Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bourbon's first offer, and SEMO's best 10

Junior running back Brandon Bourbon of Potosi is on the recruiting list of a growing number of colleges, and one of them stepped up to make the first offer this week.

Stanford on Wednesday made Bourbon an offer to compete at the Pac 10 school in California at the running back spot starting with the 2010 season. Stanford is the first of several schools expected to bid for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound all-state pick. He led his team with a school-record 2,420 last season.

Mizzou is among the other schools already showing an interest.

Follow more offseason recruiting news, along with combine results, at Brandon's page on our site.

• A colleague and I were debating who should make the ultimate all-star roster for senior basketball players across our region. After some head-scratching, here's the list I came up with (in alphabetical order). On both the boys and girls list, the first three or four names were pretty easy to come up with. After that, the talent level is so balanced among about 12-15 athletes, it's hard to narrow it down to just 10.

If you were coaching a 10-person team of seniors, who would you pick?


Austin Brewer, Eminence
Zach Curry, Bernie
Dustin Ferguson, Clarkton
Austin Greer, Notre Dame
Josh Minner, NMCC
Michael Porter, Sikeston
Riley Raulston, Poplar Bluff
Antonio Riggens, Charleston
Drew Thomas, Scott County Central
Byron Wright, Portageville


Molly Barnes, Farmington
Jeleea Drake, Portageville
Alex Fowler, Notre Dame
Debra Hall, Kelly
Katelyn Heil, Dexter
Chelsea Kight, Meadow Heights
Taylor Jansen, Farmington
Jodi Menz, Delta
Jill Temples, Dexter
Brittany Walker, Portageville

Saturday, March 21, 2009

With Portageville and Scott Co. Central, it seems like old times

Put Jim Bidewell or Ronnie Cookson in a state championship game and it's hard to bet against them.

The two coaches are a combined 18-1 in state championship games, and both added to the total this week in Columbia. Cookson's Scott County Central team won 98-63 in the Class 1 final Saturday, and Bidewell's Portageville team won 60-55 in Class 2 on Friday.

It's the first title win for both coaches in more than 15 years (1993 for Central, '94 for Portageville), and it's the first time since 2004 that two Southeast Missouri boys teams returned as state champs.

Congratulations to both on a great weekend.

But the weekend puts a twist on our final SEMO Top 25 poll of the season — or does it? Scott Central, No. 2 in the Top 25, dominated the Class 1 playoffs, while No. 1 Sikeston lost in the quarterfinals to Borgia, the eventual Class 4 state champion.

Who ended the season as Southeast Missouri's No. 1 team?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dickey Nutt looks like a lock for SEMO's job

It appears Southeast has its new men's basketball coach.

It's Dickey Nutt.

Feel free to go back to napping, washing laundry, filing your nails — any of the things that are bound to add more excitement to your day than the arrival of Dickey Nutt to the Cape Girardeau city limits.

The big announcement — if you can call it that — should formally come Thursday from athletic director John Shafer at a 2 p.m. news conference. It's the culmination of a quiet search that Shafer said produced piles of quality applications, rumored to include a lengthy list of former Division I coaches, assistant coaches and others with ties to the area.

And from that pile, we bring you Dickey Nutt.

Remember the "40 minutes of hell" basketball with fired coach Scott Edgar? Get ready for 40 minutes of "oh well" with Nutt.

By all accounts, Nutt's a nice enough guy. A solid nuts-and-bolts coach, a decent recruiter, a good ol' boy born and raised in Arkansas.

He came within three wins of becoming the all-time winningest coach at Arkansas State before he got the hint — a mostly loud, less-than-subtle hint — that he was no longer welcome. He resigned in February 2008 with a resume that included 13 seasons at the school (seven of them winning seasons), one conference championship, and one short-lived trip to the NCAA Tournament. His overall record: 189 wins, 187 losses.

But after Nutt's homecoming wore off at ASU, his teams had trouble drawing 2,000 fans to home games at ASU's Convocation Center. He always had trouble selling recruits on small-town life in Jonesboro, Ark., a city even bigger than the one he's been hired to build up.

And he hardly fits the original dream candidate described by Shafer, who said in January that "you can see there's a lot of enthusiasm and people are hungry. I want to do something to help that."

But the hiring of Nutt, who turns 50 in June, was a safe, stable choice for Shafer, himself a newbie on the SEMO payroll. And for a program still trying to argue its way out of impending NCAA sanctions left over from the Edgar era, maybe a safe choice was the best choice. It was certainly an easy choice.

Even if it has all the excitement of watching paint dry.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Class 1-3 sectional matchups should be good ones

The basketball playoffs showed potential for interesting sectional rounds once the new district assignments were announced several months ago, and it looks like they've delivered.

Twelve sectional games Tuesday and Wednesday feature Southeast Missouri teams, including a few potential to be classics.

The best bets:

Class 2 boys at TRCC, 6 p.m. Wednesday: Thayer, which reached the state football championship the past two seasons, will put a tough group of athletes on the floor against Portageville, but the Bobcats don't often pair off with Bootheel talent. Neither team made it out of their district tournament last year. The winner here gets the winner of ...

Class 2 boys at Park Hills Central, 6 p.m. Wednesday: Bernie and South Iron feature two of the area's best young coaches and two of the scrappier teams in the SEMO Top 25. South Iron, which reached the state championship game last year, has the edge in experience against Bernie, which hasn't been in a sectional game since 1992.

Class 2 girls at TRCC, 7:45 p.m. Wednesday: Portageville and Couch are two of the state's top five teams in Class 2, but one of them won't even be among the state's final eight. Together, they have 50 wins and five losses this season.

Class 1 girls at Park Hills Central, 7:45 p.m. Tuesday: How far can Meadow Heights carry the excitement of winning its first district championship? The Panthers face Bismarck, another relative newcomer to the playoffs.

Still looking for another game? Here's the rest of the Tuesday and Wednesday lineup:

Class 3 boys: Bloomfield vs. Charleston at Poplar Bluff High School, 6 p.m. Wednesday
Class 3 boys: West County vs. Maplewood at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, 6 p.m. Wednesday
Class 1 boys: Clarkton vs. Eminence at Poplar Bluff High School, 6 p.m. Tuesday
Class 1 boys: Scott County Central vs. St. Elizabeth at Park Hills Central, 6 p.m. Tuesday

Class 3 girls: Greenville vs. Scott City at Poplar Bluff High School, 7:45 p.m. Wednesday
Class 2 girls: St. Vincent vs. Canton at Troy, 7:45 p.m. Wednesday
Class 1 girls: Naylor vs. Bakersfield at Poplar Bluff High School, 7:45 p.m. Tuesday
Class 1 girls: Delta vs. Tuscumbia at Park Hills Central, 7:45 p.m. Tuesday

Which one of them will be THE game to see this week?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Want a free t-shirt? Get out your phone

Thanks to the input of fans and coaches across the region, has featured the most up-to-date and most complete high school basketball scoreboard of any local media source this season.

Many of those updates are sent to our site via text messages, which allows us to post the score within minutes after the game ends. But for the rest of this week, we're going to try to generate even more texts and even faster score updates.

At the end of the week, we'll select five people who have sent the score of their boys basketball playoff game to us via text message and show our thanks with a t-shirt.

To win one, jot down this number — 573-979-5929 — and send a text message with the score immediately after any boys game you attend this week. If you're one of the five numbers chosen at random, you'll be contacted (via text) to get your name and mailing address. We'll ship the shirts out Monday.

The more texts you send, the more chances you'll have to win.

Thanks again for everything you've done to help our site keep growing month after month.