Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2011 Leonid Meteor Shower Expected to Peak November 17-18: Watch & Listen!

Will the 2011 Leonid Meteor Shower give the exciting celestial show it usually does every November or will a bright Moon outshine the shower? Expert sky-watchers say that the Moon–almost in its last quarter phase during this year’s shower time–will be shining near the Leonids’ radiant point in Constellation Leo and therefore mute the Leonids with its neighboring brightness. However, die-hard sky watchers may still want to watch–and listen.

When to Watch the Leonids Shower. The Leonids will stream from their radiant point around November 17 to 18. Early-bird meteors may be seen as soon as November 10 while stragglers will finish last by November 20. For the Lower forty-eight States, the best viewing times for the shower might be on the midnight of November 17’s Thursday and into the small hours of Friday. However, the Leonids can have erratic peak times.

Although the meteors will be visible in any direction, look to the eastern sky–toward Constellation Leo from which the meteors seem to fall. (See an image of Leo here). Also watch the Moon for possible flashes from the impact of larger Leonids–in this case, a telescope, even an amateur one, might be necessary.

Where to Watch the Leonids. The best place for watching any meteor shower is anywhere away from the glare of city lights–try a public park or make an excursion to the countryside. In a warm clime, wear the usual summer clothes and bug spray. In a cold climate, bundle up and bring blankets. In either case, get out the deck chairs and get comfortable. Neither a telescope nor binoculars are needed. Just let your eyes adjust to the dark sky and start watching. When perusing a sky chart, use a flashlight with a red filter, which will allow your sight to stay attuned to the night sky.

How to Listen to the Leonids. The Leonid meteors leave a trail of ionized gas that can be heard. To listen to the Leonids Shower in November 2011, visit the Spaceweather site and then click on ‘Listen’. In fact, visit this site anytime to hear live Meteor Radio Echoes as the Air Force Space Surveillance Radar constantly scans the skies above Texas. To assemble your own listening setup, read the ‘Do It Yourself’ section of ‘How to Hear the Leonid Meteor Shower’ (a 2006 article).

The Leonids Peak Years. A peak year for the Leonids cycles every thirty-three years. The most recent peak year for the Leonids was 2001; the next will be 2034. During a peak year, the Leonids create a frenzied storm, raining meteors up to 300 per hour (ph). Yet even during non-peak years, the Leonids generate a light phenomenon worthy of watching as they fall at an average rate of forty meteors ph–except for when cosmic conditions make visibility poor.

What Determines the Leonids Visibility? Apart from how bright or dim the Moon, the location of the radiant point determines the meteors’ visibility. If the radiant point is below the Earth’s horizon, then few if any meteors will show through Earth’s atmosphere. The radiant point is highest in the hour before dawn–a good time to watch.

What Causes the Leonids Shower? Their parent body–the Comet Tempel-Tuttle–creates the Leonids Shower by shedding streams of dust and meteoroids, seen as shooting stars. First discovered by Ernst Tempel in 1865 and then by Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1866, Comet Tempel-Tuttle is a periodic comet that runs through the inner solar system every thirty-three years as it orbits Earth’s sun and then returns to the outer solar system–hence the Leonids 33-year cycle. Tempel-Tuttle may be 4.6 billion years old.

What Is a Shooting Star? A shooting star is the detectable path of a meteoroid as it enters Earth’s atmosphere. The meteoroid then becomes a meteor. If it is very dense–and perhaps large–it can survive a collision with Earth. The survivor is called a meteorite.

The Leonid meteors are tiny, ranging in size from a sand speck to a large garden pea. They shoot into Earth’s upper atmosphere at a blinding speed of 160,000 mph that causes the air ahead of them to compress and heat up to about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. Appearing as shooting stars, they typically burn up or vaporize–brightly–while about sixty miles above the Earth.

In outer space, the rare larger Leonids can damage spacecraft–about 650 satellites are orbiting the Earth. To learn what types of damage they can do, visit Aerospace, Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies.

Do Leonids Land on the Moon? Since the Moon passes through the same vicinity of space as Earth, it also passes through the Leonids Shower. Because the Moon has no appreciable atmosphere that would cause the Leonid meteoroids to combust and burn up before hitting its surface–as happens in Earth’s atmosphere–the Leonids explode against the Moon’s surface, causing flashes of light, which if made by a larger Leonid meteoroid might be seen at least through an amateur telescope if not by the human eye.

More About the Leonid Comet Streams. On every periodic journey through the solar system, Comet Tempel-Tuttle sheds a new stream of icy meteoroids or particles. The new stream mingles with existing streams. The Earth moves through these diverse streams in varying parts, which is why the Leonids’ celestial outburst always varies in intensity. The meteor shower of 1833 was so bright that it woke people from their beds. Some nineteenth-century watchers thought the world was ending. For an amazing photograph of Leonids over Norway, look at Spaceweather’s Meteors Gallery.

All meteors, including the little Leonids, are great sources for studying the beginning of the world–the beginning of life. They contain the chemical precursors to biological activity. As electronic musician Moby sings, “We are all made of stars.”

Sources: Leonid Meteor Shower; Meteor Shower; Radiant; Leonid Facts.

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2011 Memorial Day Weekend Events in Pittsburgh, PA

If you live in Pittsburgh or will be visiting for Memorial Day Weekend 2011, there are lots of area events to keep you busy and entertained. Enjoy these Pittsburgh Memorial Day 2011 events with the whole family as you have fun getting outside in the warmer weather.

Mutt Strut Memorial Day 5K and Dog Walk
Sunday, May 29, 2011
9 a.m.

Celebrate the service of our troops with your four-pawed friend this Memorial Day. This event includes a 5K run (no dogs) or a 1.5 mile dog walk with lead walker Cris Winter of Today’s WISH 99.7. Enjoy a light breakfast and pet-friendly activities. All participants will receive a t-shirt, and goodie bag, which can be picked up in advance. You can also meet members of Operation Troop Appreciation, an organization which builds and sustains the morale of deployed troops. Register in advance to secure your spot; teams are encouraged. This event happens rain or shine.

Memorial Day Observance Ceremonies
Various areas around Pittsburgh will be hosting services to honor our servicemen and women this Memorial Day. Many services will be held in cemeteries and churches, and some even begin or end with a parade. This is a moving way to remember the meaning behind this holiday, and the above link will show you which services are close to you.

Penn Hills’ Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 30, 2011
11:30 a.m.

Bring the whole family and enjoy this parade which marches along Frankstown Road in Pittsburgh. The parade will feature antique cars, bands, floats, and fire companies. Come early with blankets and chairs to get a great viewing spot.

Free Admission for Military Personnel at the Pittsburgh Zoo
To honor our troops, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium give free admission and 20% off all gift shop purchases to all military personnel with a valid ID on Memorial Day, as well as Veteran’s Day and the Fourth of July. Celebrate all you’ve done for our country on this special day at the zoo and aquarium with your family and friends.

GoodShip Lollipop Cruise
Sunday, May 29 & Monday, May 30, 2011
$13.50 Adults; $9.50 children ages 3 to 12

Sail the scenic three rivers on the Gateway Clipper Fleet this Memorial Day weekend. Each GoodShip Lollipop Cruise is one hour long. Join the captain as he points out scenic points of interest and stories about the past and present. Lolli the Clown will also be on these cruises to delight and entertain the children. This is a wonderful way to see Pittsburgh and enjoy the start of warmer weather.

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2011 Mountain View Girls Softball Registration Ends Early

The 2011 Mountain View/Los Altos Girls Softball season will begin on March 12, 2011 and run through May 2011. Registration this year is ending earlier than last year, and early-bird registrations for discounted fees are now closed. There is still time to get your regular registration in before the final deadline in December.

For information on what age division is appropriate, and important team formation and game time selections, visit the website for complete details. Also check out the mandatory requirements for parent participation.

–The deadline registration for Buddy-Forms is December 15th, 2010.
–Registration for player sign-ups is also December 15th, 2010.
–Training and evaluations will begin in January.
–Player practices begin first week in March.

You can only register online. It is suggested to use Internet Explorer for registration as Google Chrome and Firefox have been having difficulties on the MVLAGS site.

Register HERE

Mountain View/Los Altos Girls Softball Website

Girls Softball League
P.O. Box 4264
Mountain View, CA 94040
650-964-6489

Source:
http://ift.tt/2aLsKw3
http://ift.tt/2beOAEC

Tags:2011 Mountain View Girls Softball Registration Ends Early

2011 Mother's Day Weekend Events in Raleigh-Durham Area of North Carolina

Daddies and kids, there are more things to do in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Mother’s Day weekend besides eating out. The Triangle area has numerous family friendly activities you can treat mom to at affordable prices. Listed below are eight events mom will love.

1. Brick Festival for LEGO Fans

No mom will want to miss this spectacular event on May 7-8. You don’t have to be a child to be fascinated by the extraordinary sculptures professionals build with legos. The Brick Festival will take place in a playroom with over 20,000 loose lego bricks. Workshops on building tips and techniques will also be offered. Families can meet Certified Professional LEGO Builder Sean Kenney and watch a robotics competition. Mothers who want to involve their kids on their special day will love this event. Moms also get in free on Mother’s Day Sunday.

2. Mayday at JC Raulston Aboretum

Dads are welcome to take the children to JC Raulston Aboretum for a special program called Mayday that celebrates trees. At this Mother’s Day event, kids will dance around the May Pole and makes gifts to give to mom. This rescues daddy and kids from crowded shopping malls. This event is for children ages 5 and up and costs $5 per child. Admission and parking for parents are both free.

3. Orchid Trail

If your mom is a garden lover, you can’t let this event slip away. Take her to the 21,000 square feet Orchid Trail in Morrisville, North Carolina. The site has over 2,500 orchids and is one of the largest private collections in North Carolina. The Orchid Trail is great way to celebrate Mother’s Day and the perfect opportunity for family bonding time. Some orchids can be purchased, so mom cam pick out her gift herself. This activity is free, so don’t miss out.

4. 31st Annual Meet in the Street

The mom that loves browsing exhibits at street markets and appreciates art should not miss the 31st Annual Meet in the Street held in downtown Wake Forest. The festival starts at 10 am and ends at 4 pm. Live music, delicious food, and a children’s village are part of the excitement. Artisans from all over North Carolina will show off their arts and homemade crafts.

5. Mother’s Day Children’s Day Tea

Mother’s Day Children’s Day Tea is perfect for the mom who appreciates diversity, culture, and learning new things. The Mother’s Day Children’s Day Tea is an intimate tea gathering in a Japanese traditional style. The family will learn aesthetics, poetry, and Japanese traditions as they indulge in a bowl of whisked green tea and Japanese confection. The tea gathering will be held at Duke Gardens on May 7 at 10:45 and costs $30 per adult and child.

6. Concert at the Durham Performing Arts Center

Raheem DeVaughn and Mint Condition are set to grace the stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center for the soulful mothers. Tickets start at $25, and the two are set to make their debut on May 6, so book your tickets now.

7. Hello, Dolly at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium

Let mom sit back and relax as she enjoys the show. Hello, Dolly, a musical theatre performance, will be held at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium on May 6-14. Mom will enjoy singing along to songs Ribbons Down My Back, Put on Your Sunday Clothes, and Before the Parade Passes By. Tickets start at $30.

8. Raleigh Jaycees Fit to Leak 5K

The fitness mom would love to attend the Inaugural Jaycee Fit to Run 5K walk. The 5K run benefits the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. The run will be held on Saturday, May 7 at 9 am. A 1 mile fun will be open for the kids while the adults participate in the 5K. Contact Peter Ansbacher at 919-412-2356 for further details.

Tags:2011 Mother’s Day Weekend Events in Raleigh-Durham Area of North Carolina

2011 Martin Luther King Day NBA Schedule

On January 17, 2011, the NBA will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday. The NBA will honor Dr. King’s legacy with a slate of 13 games. The Martin Luther King Day Holiday schedule will begin in New York City with a 1:00 p.m. ET matchup between the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. During the day, the NBA will showcase games in the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern regions of the country.

ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT will televise four of the day’s games nationally. National television coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the city where King was slain when the Memphis Grizzlies host Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. NBA TV will take us to King’s birthplace when the Sacramento Kings visit the Atlanta Hawks at 4:00 p.m. TNT will feature a rematch doubleheader beginning at 8:00 p.m. with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic facing off against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will host Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last season’s first round playoff matchup in TNT’s nightcap to conclude the King Day celebration.

(All statistics and records are through January 12)

Phoenix Suns (16-21) at New York Knicks (22-16), 1:00 p.m. ET on MSG
Amare Stoudemire’s arrival in New York has made the Knicks relevant once again while his departure from Phoenix has dropped the Suns down into the bottom third of the Western Conference standings.

Utah Jazz (26-13) at Washington Wizards (10-26), 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX ROCKY
Just a couple of miles from the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech in 1963, the NBA will honor his legacy with a game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

Chicago Bulls (25-13) at Memphis Grizzlies (18-21), 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Most Valuable Player candidate Derrick Rose will lead the Chicago Bulls into Memphis, the city where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, to face the Grizzlies.

Charlotte Bobcats (15-21) at Philadelphia 76ers (15-23), 2:00 p.m. ET on COMCAST
In the City of Brotherly Love, the 76ers will host the visiting Charlotte Bobcats and try to tie the season series at one game apiece.

Toronto Raptors (13-25) at New Orleans Hornets (23-16), 3:00 p.m. ET on Cox Sports Television
The Toronto Raptors will make their only trip to the Crescent City this season when they meet Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena.

Milwaukee Bucks (14-22) at Houston Rockets (17-22), 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Net Houston
The Bucks head to Houston with a chance to sweep the season series over the Rockets for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

Dallas Mavericks (26-11) at Detroit Pistons (12-26), 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Detroit
With Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler both out of the lineup, the Dallas Mavericks have struggled. A matchup against the Detroit Pistons, who Dallas has beaten five straight times, might help them get back on the right track.

Indiana Pacers (16-20) at Los Angeles Clippers (13-24), 3:30 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket
Between them the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers have victories over the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs. These two sub-.500 teams will meet in a Martin Luther King Day matinee at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Sacramento Kings (8-28) at Atlanta Hawks (26-14), 4:00 p.m. on NBA TV
In the city where Dr. King was born, the Atlanta Hawks will celebrate his memory with a game against the Sacramento Kings.

New Jersey Nets (10-28) at Golden State Warriors (15-23), 4:00 p.m. on CSNBay HD
The New Jersey Nets close a four-games-in- six-night West Coast road swing with a game against the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors.

Orlando Magic (25-13) at Boston Celtics (29-9), 8:00 p.m. on TNT
With only three games against the Celtics this season and a Christmas Day win in the bank, the Orlando Magic can win the season series with a Martin Luther King Day victory at the TD Garden.

Minnesota Timberwolves (9-30) at Portland Trail Blazers (20-19), 10:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports North
The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to overcome the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time since March of 2007.

Oklahoma City Thunder (26-13) at Los Angeles Lakers (29-11), 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT
In their first meeting since Game 6 of last season’s first round thriller, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers will close the NBA’s Martin Luther King Day celebration.

More Coverage of the 2010-2011 NBA Schedule:

2010-2011 NBA Schedule Heat at Lakers on Christmas Day
2010-2011 NBA Schedule Lakers and Celtics Host Opening Night

Information from ESPN.com’s
NBA Schedule, 2010-2011 NBA Regular Season Conference Standings, and Basketball-Reference.com’s Milwaukee Bucks Franchise Index was used for this article.

Tags:2011 Martin Luther King Day NBA Schedule

2011 Mapping Solution | Community Site Advertising Model | Community Map

This amazing new hi-res mapping technology combined with stunning graphic design: Cherie Young has your revenue model: pre sell advertising on the map as an online advertising model:

A great way to give back to your community, city, organization. Make friends, promote businesses. Their friends, family and associates will refer people back to your site. Wait til you see these in progress! The St. Thomas map took more than 350 hours to develop and we are just about done.

Beautiful Custom Maps

This next map was done last year for a Bed and Breakfast in Deer Crossing, I love exploring and feel like I go on vacation everytime we create a custom map.

Beautiful Custom Map for Deer Crossing B&B

Another map in progress is for a Hawaii Word Press client, site is close to finished and will have this groovy map to show off too!

Beautiful Custom Map for Hawaii

Go to our portfolio at http://ift.tt/2beP1i6 for the maps in motion. Hope you like them

Kind regards,

Cherie Young

760.440.0699

www.CherieYoung.com

http://ift.tt/2beP1i6

Join us today as my guest:

This week training is on Thursday: Word Press Sites – 2 for 1 Special – $179 Word Press Sites – 2 for 1 Special – $179

Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011 Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM PDT After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

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Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://ift.tt/2bePzo8

>>>learn more about the top community site advertising model according to Google>>>

Tags:2011 Mapping Solution | Community Site Advertising Model | Community Map

2011 Model Trucks Preview: Top 5 List

2011 promises to be a great year for purchasing a new truck. From the notorious big names in truck manufacturers (i.e. Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge) to the lesser known truck builders such as Toyota and Honda, one cannot really go wrong with many of the 2011 new truck models that will be launched. Due to the economic recession of the past several years many truck companies had to make a decision between going with style upgrades or modifications or performance enhancements. Most of them chose to make performance changes over style changes. While one can’t go wrong with many of the new 2011 truck models that will become available, here is a top 5 list of some of the better 2011 truck models.

1. 2011 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra HD

Due to a sluggish economy GM had to make budget cuts of their own and had to choose between making more changes in style or in functionality–they chose performance. Therefore, other than a louvered hood, new front bumper and grille, and, for the first time, 20-inch wheels, you will not notice anything remarkably different between the 2010 and 2011 models. However, the changes in its performance appear impressive. The 2011 Silverado/Sierra HD is powered by a choice of two engines: a gas 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 or a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8. As of the publication of this article, SAE testing hasn’t been completed on either engine, so horsepower and torque numbers aren’t yet available–but they expect both to be higher on both V-8s.

Here are some other new features and specifications you can expect on the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra HD:

1) 19 hwy mph

2) Larger fuel tank (36 gallons versus 34 which means the truck can travel up to 680 miles on a single tank

3) 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions (to comply with new Federal regulations)

4) DEF must be refilled every 5,000 miles; when empty the truck can go no faster than 55 mph. To learn more about DEF (click here)

5) Front frame structure is 125 percent stiffer; reduced vibration and improved ride and handling

6) Rear doors on extended cabs now open 170 degrees for easier access

7) Cabin features include mobile WiFi, Bluetooth, navigation, and XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic

I have a couple of friends that have Silverados and they absolutely love them. So if the 2011 Chevrolet Model is an improvement over past years I can only predict increased satisfaction. However, I personally, don’t like the DEF refill every 5,000. The more maintenance the worse for me.

2. 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2

The hot new feature on this “bad boy” is the 411- horsepower V-8, an increase over the 310 HP from the 2010 model. It may cost the customer an additional $3,000 but according to many reviewers already–it is worth it! One such reviewer for trucktrend.com, Angus MacKenzie, calls the Raptor the “Porsche 911 GT3 of pickup trucks.” The addition of expensive Fox Racing Shox internal bypass dampers behind the special 35-inch tires help the Raptor absorb massive high-speed off-road impacts that would normally push the springs through the fenders of a regular truck, allow the Raptor incredible body control that it rides like a Range Rover on blacktop.

If you don’t want to spend the extra $3,000 you will have to settle for a 5.4L rather than the 6.0L. Here is an excerpt from two separate test drives of the 5.4 and 6.0 Ford Raptor models by trucktrend.com reviewer MacKenzie:

“We drove 5.4 and 6.2 Raptors back to back along the same desert track, a challenging mixture of soft sand and scattered rocks and stomach-churning bumps, linked by a constant string of fast and slow-speed turns. The 6.2’s crisper throttle response, how it punches harder out of the turns, and how it blows through deep sanddrifts that leave the 5.4 struggling, are all instantly noticeable. The revised transmission calibration delivers faster, more authoritative upshifts, yet holds a lower gear when you lift off the gas and pitch the truck sideways into a corner.”

When asked if this type of improved maneuvering is worth paying an extra $3,000, MacKenzie responded, “Worth the money? You betcha. In fact, it’s such a no-brainer that, of the 7000 orders that had been placed for the Raptor at the time we went to press, 3000 or so were for the 6.2.” The 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has a 6-speed automatic and a 4 wheel drive. For expanded specs (click here). I personally liked the Raptor in the blue color as some pics online showed.

3. 2011 Toyota Tundra

Even though the 2011 Toyota Tundra won’t be in the showrooms until the summer of 2010, nor will the price be set until the truck goes on sale later in 2010, there have been some released changes.

Evidently, Toyota is getting serious about competing with Ford, Chevy, and Dodge in the big pickup field as they have come out with a new V-8 model this year. The 2011 Toyota Tundra also includes a brake-override system that it began installing later in 2010 to prevent unintended acceleration.

A few style changes you will find with the 2011 Toyota Tundra are a revamped grille and revised tail lamp. The Tundra is returning with three cab styles and three bed lengths. The regular cab has two doors. The Tundra Double Cab is extended and adds a pair of small rear doors.

The three bed lengths may not compare with the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and the Ford F-150 offerings of four bed lengths, but the 2011 Toyota Tundra otherwise gives up nothing in size to its competitors. There is a bit tighter fit in the Toyota as far as the head room is concerned and it may not be as stylish as the Ford or Dodge or as upscale as the Silverado or Sierra.

The safety equipment includes driver and front passenger knee airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover both seating rows and incorporate rollover sensors. Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, USB linking for iPods and other MP3 devices, a navigation system with backup camera, and rear DVD video are among entertainment and communications options.

The price is projected to fall in line with last years (regular-cab with the 4.6-liter V-8 was $25,300); fuel economy is expected to be similar to the 2010 model (15/19 mpg (city/highway) with the V-6 engine and 2WD); and an antiskid system, traction control, and a limited slip differential to help keep it on track are added safety features.

4. 2011 Dodge Ram

Naturally, if you are going to talk Dodge Ram you are going to have to start all talks with the engine, specifically, the HEMI engine that is tough to compete against. According to autodesign.com, “The Ram 1500 boasts a new available 5.7-liter HEMI Magnum engine that delivers 345 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 375 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. Add this to the 4.7-liter Magnum V8 and the 3.7-liter Magnum V6 that the Ram 1500 already offers, and you’re talking about one hefty machine.”

All models will come with an Available rear spoiler, 16-inch performance tires and aluminum wheels, brushed dual exhaust tips, speed sensitive power door locks that lock after 15 mph, trunk lid release, 12-volt accessory outlet for your cellular phone or laptop, and four speakers. The new Neon Dodge Ram also boasts 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space- the largest trunk in its class.

The Ram models will come with standard 17″ styled steel wheels with silver accent center cap, or 17″ steel chrome wheels. Prices for the 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab should begin around $26,000 with 2WD and $30,500 with 4WD. Crew Cab should begin around $30,500 with 2WD and $33,900 with 4WD. The fuel economy for the 4.7 V-8 should be 14/19 mpg with 2WD and 13/18 with 4WD. The 2011 Rams 1500s with the Hemi V-8 should again be rated at or slightly above 14/20 mpg with 2WD and 13/18 with 4WD. They recommend using 89 octane for the HEMI.

5. Ford F-250 Super Duty

The 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck promises to offer several new upgrades. For starters, there is a major change planned in the style. The current blue oval Super Duty’s almost imitate the 2002 Ford F-350’s, which means massive chrome bars stretched across the grille, and new taillights.

It gets slightly better fuel mileage than the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 HD (18 mph highway) and it tows much stronger then the Dodge when matched head-to-head. However, when it comes to price the Dodge is $6,000 cheaper than the Ford F-250 ($49,000 bp) which is a huge negative for the Ford F-250 when comparing “apples with oranges.”

Here are some additional interesting specifications:

1) 26 gallon tank

2) Braking power 0-60 (empty) = 152 ft.

3) Acceleration 0-60 (empty) =8.3 sec.

4) Seating capacity =5

5) Transmission = 6 speed automatic

6) Horsepower = 390

7) Engine = Turbodiesel V-8, iron block, aluminum heads

In addition, the overall drive is superior to that of the Dodge Ram. The Dodge Ram is a much more stiffer ride and doesn’t maneuver as easily at the Ford through Canyon roads or adjust to road difficulties as well.

SOURCES:

http://ift.tt/1DxOoda

http://iguida.com

http://ift.tt/2aLrQQa

Tags:2011 Model Trucks Preview: Top 5 List

2011 MLB Playoff Predictions: Power Ranking the 8 Playoff Teams

With the MLB playoffs just over a month away, it’s time to determine which eight teams are set to play in October and which teams will be the favorite to reach the Fall Classic.

Each team has been projected from eight to one and have been ranked according to their ability to win once they reach the postseason.

When determining these power rankings, StatSheet.com’s Team StatRank was taken into consideration. Team StatRank uses metrics such as strength of schedule, momentum, ballpark and a variety of other baseball statistics.

All StatRank grades are subject to change as the rankings are updated daily after each game played.

8: NL West Champion, Arizona Diamondbacks

While everyone waits for the young Diamondbacks to concede the division to the San Francisco Giants, they continue to win. Led by outfielders Justin Upton and Chris Young, what Arizona lacks in household names, it makes up for in talent. The Diamondbacks are currently 10th overall (84.9) in the StatSheet StatRank, but fourth in the National League, putting them right where they need to be to steal the NL West. As a comparison, the Giants sit at #12 (81.4) while the Rockies are 17th (77.3).

Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson have been solid atop an unheralded rotation, and J.J Putz has been lights-out as closer all season. Pitchers Josh Collmenter, Joe Saunders and David Hernandez will need to continue their better than expected seasons if the Diamondbacks want to play in October.

The recent additions of first baseman prospect Paul Goldschmidt (call up from Double-A Mobile), second baseman Aaron Hill (acquired from Toronto) and shortstop John McDonald (acquired from Toronto), may be just what this lineup needs to hold off the defending World Champion Giants and an inevitable September surge by the Colorado Rockies.

7: AL Central Champion, Detroit Tigers –
The Tigers currently sport a comfortable lead in the AL Central and have arguably the game’s best pitcher in Justin Verlander, who leads the MLB in both wins and strikeouts. He grades out as the top player in the StatSheet Player StatRank with a 101.4, the only pitcher in baseball to surpass the 100 mark. After Verlander, however, the rotation leaves a lot to be desired.

Brad Penny, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello have all been inconsistent throughout the season, though Scherzer is known for his second half prowess and the addition of Doug Fister (acquired from Seattle) has improved the rotation’s depth. A team ERA of 4.09 gives Detroit the worst ERA of all teams entering the playoffs.

Offense is a different story for Detroit as Miguel Cabrera heads a very solid group. The Tigers offense is in the top half of many statistical categories, and the recent addition of Delmon Young (acquired from Minnesota) gives this team another bat to drive in runs. If Delmon can return to even a shadow of his 2010 form, this becomes a very formidable group.

6: AL West Champion, Texas Rangers –

It’s surprising to see the defending American League Champions sitting at sixth in the power rankings, but right now the Rangers should just be concerned with holding off the Los Angeles Angels for the AL West crown. The Rangers also rank sixth in Team StatRank with an 89.3.

While Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton have both battled injuries this season, offense has not been the issue, currently ranking third or better in batting average, hits, runs, RBIs, home runs and doubles in the MLB. The subject to many offseason trade rumors, Michael Young has proven to be the most consistent hitter for the Rangers this season, currently leading the team in RBIs and Batting Average.

The starting rotation resembles the 2010 rotation only somewhat, with C.J Wilson picking up where he left off from a year ago and Colby Lewis occasionally showing flashes of his 2010 form. Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison can be dominate at times, but, as the season winds down, both have shown signs of wear.

If the rotation can hold until the seventh inning, the Rangers have one of the game’s most dominant bullpens with Mike Adams (acquired from San Diego) and Koji Uehara (acquired from Baltimore) setting up the ninth inning for flame-thrower Neftali Feliz. If Feliz stumbles, both Adams and Uehara have what it takes to take the ball in the ninth.

5: NL Central Champion, Milwaukee Brewers –

The hottest team in baseball ran away with a once-close NL Central battle behind a potent offense and a solid pitching staff from top to bottom. The Brewers are the fifth (91.5) ranked team according to Team StatRank and also have the top offensive player in baseball according to Player StatRank (Ryan Braun, 100.0). Braun is currently the only hitter in baseball with a score of 100 or better and should be considered a front-runner for MVP in the NL.

With Corey Hart and Nyjer Morgan batting in front of Braun and Prince Fielder, the top of the Brewers lineup is as scary as any in the National League. It can be argued that Braun and Fielder are the best 3-4 hitter combo in baseball. With Fielder playing for a monster contract after the season, it only makes the duo that much more scary.

The Brew Crew spent its offseason upgrading their pitching staff, and it has paid dividends. Zach Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Yovani Gallardo will be a formidable trio come playoff time. With John Axford dominating the ninth inning and recent acquisition Francisco Rodriguez (acquired from New York Mets) setting him up, the bullpen is just as strong as the rotation.

4: NL Wild Card, Atlanta Braves –

The Braves have run away with the National League Wild Card, leaving only the NL West up for grabs. Atlanta is capable of playing with any team in baseball behind a strong rotation that seemingly does not run out of young pitchers to call upon when needed.

The Braves are fourth (93.9) in Team StatRank behind a pitching staff that currently has seven pitchers with a grade of 87.8 or higher. Of that group, Brandon Beachy has the highest ERA at 3.31. As we saw with last year’s champs, pitching staff alone can be enough for a team to win the World Series.

The injury bug has hit the Braves pretty hard, losing offensive weapons Brian McCann, Martin Prado, Chipper Jones (of course) and Jason Heyward for periods of time this season. However, with the recent resurgence of Dan Uggla, and the additions of Jose Constanza (call up from Triple-A Gwinnett) and Michael Bourn (acquired from Houston), this is a Braves team that isn’t lacking at the plate. Failing to mention rookie Freddie Freeman would be a crime, as he has come into his own offensively and is a candidate (along with teammate Craig Krimbel) for NL Rookie of the Year.

Atlanta may enter the playoffs as the Wild Card, but they are clearly the second best team in the National League and have been all season.

3: AL Wild Card, New York Yankees –

The Yankees currently rank third behind the Red Sox in Team StatRank (96.7), and trail Boston both in the standings and head-to-head battle, putting them third in the power rankings.

Curtis Granderson has been the MVP of New York this season and is a top candidate for AL MVP. He currently leads the MLB in runs (and it’s not close), is tied for the MLB lead in RBIs and is second to only Jose Bautista in home runs. He currently ranks fourth in Player StatRank (96.4) behind only Braun, Bautista and Matt Kemp. With both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter missing time due to injury, Granderson has been the horse, along with Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, that has kept the Yankees offense as explosive as we’ve come to expect.

When it comes to the New York Yankees of late, it’s never about the offense but always about the pitching. The continued struggles of A.J. Burnett, coupled with the recent struggles of C.C. Sabathia and the disappearance of the 2010 version of Phil Hughes, leaves this team wondering if it can contend with the Rangers, Tigers and Red Sox for a chance to add a 28thWorld Series championship to its trophy case.

2: AL East Champion, Boston Red Sox –

The Boston Red Sox made quite a few upgrades to its offense in the offseason, and, despite the lackluster season by Carl Crawford, it has paid off handsomely. This has everything to do with the MVP-caliber performance by Adrian Gonzalez, who currently leads the MLB in batting average and is tied with Granderson for the lead in RBIs. Gonzalez has been everything the Red Sox expected of him when they plucked him from the offensive sinkhole that is the San Diego Padres.

The Red Sox currently rank second in Team StatRank (97.4) and first in the American League. Both Josh Beckett and David Ortiz have returned to form, giving this team a veteran presence and even more depth at the plate and in the rotation.

On offense the list goes on and on, with both Jacoby Ellsbury (MVP candidate as well) and Dustin Pedroia once again enjoying big seasons for the Sox. Guys like Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marco Scutaro have all contributed at times, making this team one of the toughest lineups to deal with from one through nine. The return of Kevin Youkilis from injury will make this offense all that more dangerous.

The Boston pitching staff is led by the one-two punch of Jon Lester and Beckett, and the addition of Erik Bedard (acquired from Seattle) adds some depth to a top-heavy rotation. Set-up man Daniel Bard and closer Jonathan Paplebon continue to shut down games at the back end for the Sox.

1: NL East Champion, Philadelphia Phillies –

When the Phillies re-acquired free agent Cliff Lee last offseason they immediately became the team to beat and to this point have not disappointed. Currently sporting the best record in baseball and the top Team StatRank (100.8), Philadelphia grades out as the only team over 100.

After Roy Halladay, the front-runner yet again for the NL Cy Young, both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels would be the ace of most staffs in baseball. Veteran Roy Oswalt hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was in 2010, but, as the fourth arm in the rotation, he doesn’t have to be. Vance Worley has stepped up and pitched big for Philly when given the opportunity.

On offense Philadelphia boasts the usual suspects of Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. Recently, Hunter Pence (acquired from Houston) was added to the mix, giving this team one more significant bat to put in the lineup. While this offense does have a tendency to go cold, as we saw in last year’s NLCS, when everything is working it can be as good as any in baseball.

Mitch is a Sports Data Analyst for StatSheet.com and can be reached on twitter @mitchfortner21

Tags:2011 MLB Playoff Predictions: Power Ranking the 8 Playoff Teams

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Following Bristol

After the fourth race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season the new point system is beginning to shake out. While some expected names are back on more familiar ground, some others are surprising the statisticians this season.

Surprise number one is Paul Menard. For years, it has been assumed that he bought his way in, but eight years of Sprint Cup experience and a solid team at Richard Childress Racing are paying off. Menard sits solidly in fifth in the points on the back of four top twenty finishes, including two top tens and one top five.

Five time champ Jimmie Johnson finally cracked the top ten this week after a top five finish at Bristol. Although Johnson has had bad starts before, his team does not typically take this long to find their groove. Kevin Harvick is still climbing his way back up through the standings after several bad finishes including sour motors and bad luck on the track. Harvick currently sits in 15th and is 40 points behind leader Kurt Busch. Under the new system 43 points is a full race behind and although Harvick has the ability, he can not afford any more bad finishes in the first half of the season.

Look below to see the rest of the surprises in the points and to see where your driver sits.

Pos____Driver __________BPts___Pnts__Ldr
1_____ Kurt Busch________ 3_____150___ 0
2_____ Carl Edwards______ 6_____ 149___-1
3_____ Tony Stewart______ 3_____ 138__ -12
4_____ Ryan Newman_____ 4_____ 138__ -12
5_____ Paul Menard______ 3_____136__ -14
6_____ Kyle Busch________6_____ 133__ -17
7_____ Jimmie Johnson____ 3_____ 130__-20
8_____ Juan Pablo Montoya_2_____ 126__ -24
9_____ Dale Earnhardt Jr.__1_____ 124__ -26
10____ Martin Truex Jr.____3_____ 123__ -27
11____ Mark Martin______ 0_____ 123__ -27
12____ Kasey Kahne_______0_____122__-28
13____ Matt Kenseth______ 2_____ 117__ -33
14____ Bobby Labonte_____1_____ 115__ -35
15____ Kevin Harvick______3_____110__ -40
16____ A J Allmendinger___ 1_____107__ -43
17____ Denny Hamlin______2_____106__-44
18____ Marcos Ambrose____1_____105__-45
19____ Jeff Gordon________7_____104__ -46
20____ David Ragan_______1______89__ -61
21____ Brad Keselowski____1______89__-61
22____ David Gilliland_____1______88___-62
23____ Greg Biffle________ 1_____ 86___ -64
24____ Clint Bowyer______ 2_____ 84___ -66
25____ Bill Elliott_________ 0_____ 82___ -68
26____ Jamie McMurray____1_____ 76___ -74
27____ Regan Smith_______ 1____75___ -75
28____ David Reutimann___ 1_____75___-75
29____ Jeff Burton________ 1_____ 74____-76
30____ Joey Logano_______ 0_____74___ -76
31____ Brian Vickers_______0_____69___ -81
32____ Robby Gordon_____ 1______59___ -91
33____ Casey Mears_______ 0_____52___-98
34____ Dave Blaney_______ 2_____ 51___-99
35____ Andy Lally #_______1______ 49__-101
36____ Tony Raines_______ 0_____44__-106

Tags:2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Following Bristol

2011 Nascar Chase Preview

Well Boys and Girls it’s racing time again. The 2011 Nascar season will kick off in Daytona on Feb 20. The goal for every driver to start the season is make the Chase. Then win it all. Well Nascar has changed the Chase a little this year. The Top 10 drivers in the point standings after 26 races will make the Chase. The last two spots goes to the drivers with the most wins and are sitting in 11th thru 20th spot in the standings after 26 races. So winning does mean more this year.

Here are the Drivers that I think will make the Chase and were the stand after 26 races.

Two Wild Cards: I see two drivers benefiting from the new rule. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Ryan Newman will be your two wild card entries into the Chase. Junior is starting over again and with the doubters saying I told you so look for Junior to pick up two wins. He will still have an up and down year but will be sitting in 18th when it matters and those two wins will get him in. Newman is a very talented driver who has the skill to win every week. He will also have two wins on the season and be sitting in 14th when the 26th race ended to earn a spot in the Chase.

10th = Kurt Busch Busch will struggle this year but has the talents to make the Chase. Might be winless entering Chase but look for him to be there.

9th = Tony Stewart Stewart is not the same driver has he was 10 years ago but don’t count him out of anything. Tony will win one maybe two races but will have down weeks also.

8th = Greg Biffle Biffle is almost to the point were its now or never. Greg can win races just like everybody else what kills him are mistakes.

7th = Kyle Busch Easily one of the best drivers on the track. Focus in Nascar will always be a question. Three race wins.

6TH = Carl Edwards Finished the season with a bang. Fun to watch but can make dumb mistakes. Two wins.

5th = Clint Bowyer He is finally putting it all together. Look for a great year. Two to Three wins entering Chase

4th = Jimmie Johnson Five time champ enough said.

3rd = Kevin Harvick Harvick had a great year last year and will easily duplicate it again.

2nd = Jeff Gordon With Johnson sitting on Five look for Jeff to driver harder than ever.

1st= Denny Hamlin Johnson will not win six and this is the man to beat him. Six wins entering Chase.

Well there you go my 12 Drivers I see making the Chase.

Tags:2011 Nascar Chase Preview

2011 NBA Mock Draft: Power Forward Prospects

The 2010 NBA draft saw Kentucky have two players taken in the draft lottery that were listed as Power Forwards during much of the season in Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins. 2011 sees another Kentucky big man, Enes Kanter being ranked as one of the top-rated big men for the 2011 NBA draft-before playing a college game. Lithuanian Donatas Motiejunas and Jared Sullinger of the Ohio State are the next two rated power forward prospects who could quickly leapfrog Enes Kanter if he does not live up to his potential during the 2010-11 college basketball season.

#1 2011 NBA Mock Draft Power Forward Prospect – Enes Kanter – Kentucky

6-11/260 lbs

Freshman

Losing three big men to the 2010 NBA draft didn’t faze Coach Calipari brining Enes Kanter to Kentucky. Kanter already possess a polished game with above average athleticism. Kanter is assessed as having a high basketball IQ and is already able to knock down mid-range jump shots in addition to making powerful inside moves. He is considered very coachable and is an above-average free throw shooter. Kanter is not perfect, however, with some scouts being worried about past knee injuries in his past.

#2 2011 NBA Mock Draft Power Forward Propsect – Donatas Motiejunas – Lithuania

7-0/ 200 lbs

Donatas Motiejunas is a highly regarded big man from Europe who normally plays the PF position but could also be used to fill the five spot. He is assessed at having good outside range as well as a jump hook and good footwork around the basket. Motijunas has shown tendencies in losing his focus and appearing lazy in practice while being observed ov the past few years. For Motiejunas to excel in the NBA, teams would also expect that he would need to bulk up some in the upper-body, though he is not currently assessed as being a “weak” player.

#3 2011 NBA Mock Draft Power Forward Prospect – Jared Sullinger – Ohio State

6-9/286 lbs

Fresman

Jared Sullinger is a powerful inside player who has OK size for a PF at a legitimate 6-9. Sullinger uses his body mass to push his way around the paint and is assessed at being a good post passer. Weaknesses in his game include average athleticism and a tendency to have his shot blocked by players of equal size or superior leaping ability. Areas of improvement for Sullinger include working on his conditioning and mid-range game in order to excel at the NBA level.

#4 2011 NBA Mock Draft Power Forward Prospect – Trey Thompkins – Georgia

6-10/247bs

Junior

Trey Thompkins is assessed as having an above-average offensive game and solid footwork in the post. He has demonstrated the ability to hit the three when on the wing and has a complimenting hook shot to the normal repertoire of post moves. He averaged just over 8 boards a game last year for Georgia and shot a respectable 75% from the free throw line last season. Weaknesses include his mid-range offensive shooting, and not having an explosive leaping ability.

#5 2011 NBA Mock Draft Power Forward Prospect – Marcus Morris – Kansas

6-9/218lbs

Sophomore

Marcus Morris was one of the the “go to” big men for Kansas in the 2009-10 basketball season. He has shown the ability to play the traditional post-up as a PF as well as a good mid-range jump shot. Weaknesses for Morris include the need to bulk up more in order to play the PF position at the NBA level and increasing his strength.

References:

http://ift.tt/1JmsAod

http://ift.tt/1RAvHYB

http://ift.tt/1XZ3ul4

http://ift.tt/2beP1yC

http://ift.tt/2aLs1L4

http://ift.tt/2beP5yr

http://ift.tt/1XdjxLF

Tags:2011 NBA Mock Draft: Power Forward Prospects

2011 NFL Draft: Martin Parker Pros and Cons

Defensive tackle Martin Parker of the University of Richmond Spiders could be a sleeper draft pick after a stellar career. He’s currently expected to be a late round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting Martin Parker. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com and the Richmond Spiders Athletics website.

Pros
#1. Quickness and Speed

Parker has run in the low 5.0 range during his collegiate career. He shows a good burst off of the line of scrimmage and can penetrate the backfield easily. Parker can chase down a quarterback in the backfield, although he isn’t quite fast enough to catch a running back.

Parker had 4 sacks in 2008, 6.5 in 2009, and 5.5 in 2010. He demonstrates a decent understanding of interior pass-rushing techniques but could improve significantly with personalized tutelage.

#2. Size and Strength
Parker has good size at 6’3″. While he has solid functional strength in his hands, arms, and upper body, his legs and lower body have looked thin during his career. Parker needs to add some lower body bulk to improve his ability to anchor in the NFL.

Parker could play as an under defensive tackle or possibly some 3-4 defensive end roles. He should be more successfully in defensive schemes that ask him to penetrate rather than hold up 2 gaps unless Parker adds a considerable amount of strength.

Cons
#1. Lack of Competition

Parker played at the University of Richmond. The Richmond Spiders compete in the Colonial Athletic Association in football. The only current NFL player from the University of Richmond is Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker Paris Lenon. The all-time number of NFL players from the school can be counted on two hands. It is not a hotbed of NFL talent.

Parker did put up the kind of dominant numbers that suggests he might be able to make the leap to the NFL. In 2009, Parker made 75 tackles and collected 6.5 sacks. During his senior season in 2010, Parker racked up 96 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

#2. Lengthy Development Time
Parker will need to put on some more weight and add strength to be a regular rotational player. He’s listed at 6’3″, with a weight that varies from 283 to 300 pounds depending upon the source.

Opinion
Like other draft sleepers, Parker needs to go to a team that can bring him along slowly. While he has NFL-caliber size and produced as a Richmond Spider, Parker is probably 2 to 3 seasons away from making regular contributions.

I see Parker as a 6th to 7th round pick, although he could end up as a priority free agent. He needs to keep impressing people right up to the 2011 NFL draft to ensure he’ll be picked. I think Parker will be a likely candidate for the practice squad for his rookie and sophomore seasons, but he should be able to become at least a rotational player in the future.

Sources
CBSSports.com Martin Parker’s Player Profile. February 2nd, 2011.
RichmondSpiders.com Martin Parker’s Player Bio. February 2nd, 2011.

Tags:2011 NFL Draft: Martin Parker Pros and Cons

2011 NBA Draft: Top 5 Forwards

“Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking potential,” said Winston Churchill. Likewise, most National Basketball Association (NBA) teams are drafting players based on potential. NBA teams need talented forwards to compete with the elite forwards in the league such as Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, etc. Therefore, who are the best forwards in the 2011 NBA Draft?

#5 Bismack Biyombo
Bismack Biyombo is trying to follow in the long line of great African big men that have played in the NBA. He is very physically impressive with a powerful frame. Biyombo has an imposing 7 foot 7 inch wingspan He can run the floor very well and he is explosive especially around the basket. Biyombo is an excellent short blocker that plays with a lot of energy and hustle. He can be an intimating force on the defensive end of the floor.

Biyombo has some weaknesses. He is still a very raw player offensively with limited offensive skills.
He needs to develop a post game and improve his passing skills. He also is a poor free throw shooter. NBA teams that are considering drafting Biyombo include the Phoenix Suns and the Detroit Pistons.

#4 Donatas Motiejunas
Many NBA teams are looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki and Dontas Motiejunas has drawn comparisons to him. He is a very skilled big man with excellent hands, touch and footwork. He is an excellent and consistent outside shooter. Motiejunas is a solid ball handler that knows how to run the floor. He also has good vision and passing ability.

Motiejunas has some flaws. He sometimes has lapses in his focus and intensity. For instance, he often does not hustle hard enough for rebounds. Motiejunas is very thin and he needs to put on more weight. He will have to improve on his defensive skills. He is also inconsistent from the free throw line. NBA teams that are interested in Motiejunas include the Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers and Milwaukee Bucks.

#3 Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best defenders in the NBA draft. He can guard several positions. He is a great rebounder that plays hard with high energy. Leonard is a big time leaper that has gigantic hands. He has an impressive 7 foot 3 inch wingspan, which is one of the largest ever for a player his size. Leonard has improved as a shooter and he can score with his back to the basket.

Leonard does have some weaknesses in his game. He needs to become a more efficient offensive player. He is missing a go-to offense move. Leonard has a bad habit of taking a lot of off balance shots. He needs to work on his ability to create a shot. In addition, Leonard cannot break down a defender off the dribble. NBA teams that are considering drafting him include the Washington Wizards and the Detroit Pistons.

#2 Jan Vesely
Jan Vesely is a white man that can jump. He will make ESPN’s top 10 plays of the day often because he is a great finisher at the rim. He is very athletic and explosive. Vesely has good size and length for the small forward position that allows him to post up smaller defenders. He can guard multiple positions. Vesely plays hard with a willingness to hustle for loose balls.

Vesely has some flaws. He needs to improve his ball handling skills and 1-on-1 game. Vesely is not a consistent shooter. He is turnover prone. He needs to add some weight and to become stronger to be able to play in the paint in the NBA. He does not have the lateral quickness to play defense on very quick players. NBA teams that are interested in Vesely include include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz.

#1 Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is arguably the most complete player in the NBA draft. He is an excellent isolation scorer and three point shooter. Williams knows how to get past his defenders and finish at the rim. He is a good post scorer. He has a high basketball IQ with a deep understanding of the game. Williams has an impressive 7 foot wingspan. He is also good at defending the post.

Williams does have some weaknesses. He is considered a tweener. He is slightly undersized for a power forward. owever, he does consider himself to be a small forward. Williams will have to develop a mid range jumper. He is turnover prone. His lack of size hurts him for defensive rebounding. He needs to become a more consistent free throw shooter. Williams will probably be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Works Cited
18 June 2011 http://ift.tt/qJt4yT
18 June 2011 http://ift.tt/1hSFd6F
18 June 2011 http://ift.tt/OluiaC

Tags:2011 NBA Draft: Top 5 Forwards

2011 NBA All Star Game Starters Announced Thursday

The 2011 NBA All Star Game starters will be announced on Thursday night. The 2011 NBA All Star starters are based on votes from fans, many of whom have been submitting ballots since the voting period opened. Now the revelation of the 10 starters is going to become official as TNT hosts a special presentation in front of two really good looking NBA games.

The announcement of the 2011 NBA All Star Game starters will take place during the Thursday, Jan. 27, episode of “NBA Tip-Off” on TNT. Host Ernie Johnson will take center stage with NBA analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith as the TNT crew lets us in on who will be featured in the Feb. 20 All Star Game. It’s an exciting moment every season, even if some of the starters are pretty easy to predict at this point.

Once we know who the starters are, the league will then decide who is going to come off the bench in the reserve roles. It is assumed that Yao Ming is going to be the starting center in the Western Conference again, as the voters have still favored him over the other options at center. Whether he deserves the spot or not is another story, but due to his injury right now, he isn’t going to be able to participate in the All Star Game this year.

With Yao bowing out of the game, it will be up to the NBA commissioner (David Stern) to appoint the player who will replace Yao on the roster. That could leave it up to Stern to place anyone he wants on the team, and it could be an area of contention if he doesn’t put a fan-favorite on the roster. It’s a tough position to be in, but he has made some pretty smart decisions when it comes to the league in the past. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a center either, because several forwards (like Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan) could easily slide over during the game.

The other players who are expected to get the nod in the Western Conference are guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. The forwards are likely to be Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets.

In the Eastern Conference, the center is likely to be Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, while the forwards should be LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks. In the guard positions, the last we saw, it was going to be Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade.

Voting could have altered the leaders of the votes, which could have bumped Rajon Rondo or Kevin Garnett (or both) into one of the top slots in the East, but beyond that there shouldn’t be any more surprises. As soon as we learn who the starters are, though, the debate will begin about who deserves to be on the roster as one of the seven reserves on each roster.

References:

Deserving_Western_Conference_All_Stars

Deserving_Eastern_Conference_All_Stars

Sources:

NBA_All_Star_Ballot

Current_All_Star_Voting_Totals

Tags:2011 NBA All Star Game Starters Announced Thursday

2011 NCAA Tournament: From Fairy Tale to Nightmare

As a diehard college sports fan who happens to live in Richmond, Virginia, I feel compelled to explain my views of this year’s NCAA tournament. Sure, everyone loves it when a Cinderella comes seemingly out of nowhere to slay the giants. Okay, so maybe I’m combining fairy tales, but you get the idea. This year, that Cinderella team was the VCU Rams. According to the VCU Men’s Basketball website, this same team finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Conference and was unable to win its conference tournament, which happens to be played in Richmond each year. It is also the same team that lost to South Florida, Georgia State, and Northeastern. Michael Heistand writes about how many experts expressed their shock and dissatisfaction when the Rams were invited to play in the tournament on Selection Sunday because they did not believe that VCU had as impressive of a resume as numerous other teams. This was not a sign of disrespect or an attempt to suggest that the Rams “didn’t belong” as some contended. According to a CBS News article, the team’s coach, Shaka Smart, did not even hold an event to watch the selection show, as he, too, was sure that his team would not be invited to the “big dance”. Yet, with the expanded tournament, the Rams managed to sneak into the NCAA tournament and take out some strong teams from major conferences in the process, including Kansas. The team quickly assumed the role of Cinderella. If the shoe fits…

Nevertheless, after Butler handled VCU and Connecticut squeezed by Kentucky in the Final Four, fans hoping for a Cinderella story were left with a nightmare of a national championship game. Many people, such as Mike Pascale, argue that VCU’s postseason success is a testament to why the NCAA tournament should be expanded. With more teams in the tournament, there will certainly be more upsets because there is greater parity in college basketball than in the past. Further, the tournament is all about matchups. Teams don’t have to beat the 67 other teams in the postseason; they just have to play better than the few teams that stand between them and the national championship game. However, if the tournament is expanded, lower-seeded teams might defeat stronger teams and advance simply because they are hot at that time, as was the case this year with VCU. If that occurs, then the regular season in college basketball will become equivalent to the preseason in the NFL. In addition, a team with a mediocre regular season performance and an exceptional postseason performance might then become the national champion, which is an unsettling thought.

Therefore, we must stop the madness and take a step back. The purpose of the NCAA tournament is to determine a national champion. Given that the lowest-ranked team to ever win the tournament in more than 70 years was 8th-seeded Villanova in 1985, why not simply invite the best 32 teams in the nation to play based on their performance during the entire season, regardless of conference affiliation? Although there would still be arguments about which teams were left out unfairly, at least the strongest teams would be contending for the championship.

VCU. ” 2010-11 Men’s Basketball Schedule,” VCU Athletics.

Michael Hiestand, ” Billy Packer agrees with ESPN’s Bilas on VCU,” USA Today.

Associated Press. ” NCAA Upset: VCU Stuns No. 1 Kansas, 71-61,”CBS News Sports.

Mike Pascale. ” NCAA Tournament Final Four: VCU Basketball Proves It’s Time to Expand to 96,” Bleacher Report.

CBS. ” NCAA Tournament History,” CBS Sports.

Tags:2011 NCAA Tournament: From Fairy Tale to Nightmare

2011 NCAA Championship Score and Results - March Madness Title Game

And then there were two. The 2011 NCAA basketball tournament comes to a close Monday, April 4th, with the NCAA title game between No. 8 Butler and No. 3 Connecticut scheduled for 9:23 pm ET. See below for scores and results from the NCAA Championship Game.

This year’s March Madness began with 68 teams courtesy of the new First Four tournament where four teams have to play into the field of 64. And, of course, one of the pay-in teams (VCU) makes it all the way the Final Four. From First Four to Final Four has a certain ring to it.

The No. 8 seed Butler Bulldogs managed to wrestle the glass slipper away from Virginia Commonwealth and advance to the 2011 NCAA Tournament Title Game for the second consecutive year. The Bulldogs are led by senior Shelvin Mack, but they are truly a basketball team. Coach Brad Stevens will be hot commodity in the college basketball world whether the Bulldogs win the Big Game this time or not.

Their opponent is the No. 3 seed Connecticut Huskies, who manged to edge the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats in the championship semifinals by dint of a strong defensive performance and another great performance from All-American Kemba Walker. Huskies Coach Jim Calhoun is looking for his third NCAA title, and is certainly heading for the coaches hall of fame.

(8) Butler 41

(3) Connecticut 53

Connecticut took over in the second half as the Bulldogs went cold as ice (19% shooting for the game). Congratulations to the Huskies on becoming 2011 NCAA Champions and to Butler for another great tourney run.

For more on college basketball and the 2011 NCAA basketball tournament see:

Kentucky Vs Connecticut Final Four Preview

NCAA Final Four Preview – VCU vs Butler

Tags:2011 NCAA Championship Score and Results - March Madness Title Game

2011 NFL Draft Predictions, Mock Draft Predictions-The Top Ten Picks

These are my top ten picks for the 2011 NFL draft. The picks can change as teams change their minds and/or make trades. This is what makes the NFL draft the most exciting of all drafts. Every team in the NFL draft needs a player or two to push them towards the top and make them one of the elite teams in the NFL. The New England Patriots are one of the top teams in the NFL because they know how to pick the teams that will fill their system. These are only 2011 NFL draft pick predictions, so don’t bet your life on them. At the moment, sources are showing Cam Newton as the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.

1. Carolina Panthers 2-14 Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Most of the experts agree, the Carolina Panthers need a QB and Blaine Gabbert is the top QB in the 2011 NFL draft. . The Carolina Panthers can start the rebuilding process by picking a franchise QB in the 2011 NFL draft. The problem is the Carolina Panthers like Cam Newton. Cam Newton has some good tools to help him succeed in the NFL. He needs some work, but he could be the future Michael Vick type player. The problem is Cam Newton could be one of those trouble players. Yes, he won the Heisman and the National Championship. However, did he cheat? Did he know his father cheated? Remember, he was kicked off the Florida Gators team for stealing a laptop, allegedly. The Carolina Panthers have no problem picking controversial players and Cam Newton could turn out to be that type player in the NFL. If he becomes a star, he could be the TO of QB’s. The Carolina Panthers believe the first pick of the draft needs to be “the player who will have the most impact on your organization.” Newton, more than any other player in this draft, has that potential. Unless things go crazy between now and draft day, look for Cam Newton to be the first player picked in the 2011 NFL draft.

2. Denver Broncos 4-12 Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

The Denver Broncos need defense and this begins on the line. Marcell Dareus was the MVP in the BCS Championship game against Texas; he knocked Colt McCoy out of the game. Dareus is big, powerful and quick. He is a great pass rusher and is good against the rush. Mel Kiper has him going number three in the 2011 draft to the Buffalo Bills. He is the type of player you can build a defense around and the Denver Broncos need to build their defense. He should fill one of the many holes in the defense that led the team to a disappointing 4-12 record in 2010. Don’t be surprised if Denver picks DT Nick Fairley from Auburn instead.

3. Buffalo Bills 4-12 Nick Fairley DT, Auburn

Many people have the Buffalo Bills picking Cam Newton in the 2011 NFL draft with the third pick. The Buffalo Bills could use one of the two top DT in the draft to solidify their defense. Nick Fairley is one of those two DT’s and he should not make it past the third pick. If he does somebody will get a steal in the NFL draft. Nick Fairley has good strength, but he is not powerful, that is why I rank him the second best DT. Where he lacks strength, he makes up for it with his speed, Nick Fairley will help the team out immediately.

4. Cincinnati Bengals 4-12 Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

The Bengals had an incredible disappointing season in 2010. The experts believed they were one of the teams to beat and the Cincinnati Bengals laid egg after egg throughout the season. Carson Palmer wants off the team, he wants to be traded. He says he will never throw another pass for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals need a QB and Blaine Gabbert could still be there at the number four pick.Blaine Gabbert is the top QB in the 2011 NFL draft. Blaine Gabbert played two years at Missouri and he was impressive last year. He led Missouri to ten wins which does not happen often. Blaine Gabbert has all the tools needed to succeed in the NFL. He will be rusty, but he should succeed with plenty of work. He needs time to get used to the defenses and speed in the NFL. Gabbert is considered a good leader and is respected in the locker room. . Look for the Bengals to drool if Blaine Gabbert makes it to the number four pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Don’t be surprised if the Cincinnati Bengals pick up AJ Green

5. Arizona Cardinals 5-11 Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

Von Miller is one of those players that can help an NFL team immediately. He can get to the QB, in fact his job at Texas A&M was to get to the QB, Von Miller did his job well. He had 27.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Von Miller has the extinct to play his position. He is a great player who will be great on defensive. Von Miller needs to improve his run defense to become an all-around great player in the NFL. Arizona should not pass up Von Miller because he will do a lot of good for their team. Arizona Cardinals could also be looking for a QB, don’t be surprised if you see a surprise move with this fifth pick. They could also pick up AJ Green. If the Bengels don’t pick Blaine Gabbert and he is still on the board, the Arizona Cardinals may pick him up.

6. Cleveland Browns 5-11 Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Da’Quan Bowers is the best DE in the 2011 NFL draft. Bowers is recovering from post-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus and clearing him medically is a big reason for the pre-draft scrutiny. On the other hand, he will work-out for teams soon and show he has recovered from the injury. Bowers led the nation last year with sacks. He is powerful and quick, he already looks like an NFL DE and should be able to step in and help Cleveland or another team immediately. Don’t be surprised if the Cleveland Browns pick up AJ Green if he is still available

7. San Francisco 49ers 6-10 Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Patrick Peterson is the best CB in the 2011 NFL Draft. He should make it to the seventh pick and San Francisco should pick him. The 49ers need a lot of help in the secondary to make them a top tier team in the NFL. ” Peterson entered the 2010 season hoping to establish himself as the top cornerback in the country. In winning the Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defender, the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back and being named the SEC’s Defensive and Special Teams MVPs, he may have proven himself to be the nation’s best player at any position” (sportsline.com) This pick could make the San Francisco 49ers the team they supposed to be last year.

8. Tennessee Titans 6-10 Jake Locker, QB, Washington

The Tennessee Titans need a QB and Jake Locker is the third best QB in the draft, in my opinion, he is actually the 2nd best real QB. I don’t go for Cam Newton’s speed and love of the run. Jake Locker has size, arm strength and overall athleticism.

” The promise of future greatness is precisely what keeps NFL scouts watching Locker so closely. He remains a highly inconsistent passer who can be fooled by defenses, but his seemingly unlimited upside may still result in a first-round pick. “(CBS Sports) The Titans likely covet Nick Fairley, but he should be gone by the number eight pick. Tennessee could trade down for Jake Locker and pick up another pick or they could pick him with this pick.

9. Dallas Cowboys 6-10 Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

The Dallas Cowboys has a disappointing year in 2010. They lost their QB and they lost their swagger, the Cowboys were horrible last year. Prince Amukamara would be a great first round pick for the Boys. The Cowboys may release Newman and they need a good replacement. Amakamara is a great player who began his career as a running back. He reads QB’s well and anticipates routes. With his athleticism he can also play positions like returner, special teams and possibly offense. The Dallas Cowboys should pick a CB in round one and Prince Amukamara will likely be that player. “Intangibles: Spiritual man, involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Has matured greatly since arriving on campus, applying himself on the practice field and the film room more diligently since 2009. Parents are from Nigeria” (sportsline.com)

10. Washington Redskins 6-10 Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

The Washington Redskins could use a young receiver in their corps. This team is always willing to spend money on Free Agents and often finds themselves as one of the bottom teams in the NFL. Julio Jones would be a great pick for the Washington Redskins. Julio Jones is a game changer and the Washington Redskins really need a game changer. Julio Jones had a great career with the Alabama Crimson Tide, he did great at the combine and everybody knows the Redskin’s love the combine. Santana Moss will likely be leaving the Washington Redskins to Free Agency and they need a replacement, why not Julio Jones? If A J Green is still in the draft, don’t be surprised if the Washington Redskins pick him up before Julio Jones

The top players in the draft

  1. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn – 6’3 – 291
    Fairley dominated the title game and he could be the beneficiary of Andrew Luck’s return to Stanford. He should not make it past the third pick of the 2011 NFL draft
  2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU – 6’1 – 222
    Peterson’s combination of size and speed is something we have rarely seen at the cornerback position
  3. AJ Green, WR, Georgia – 6’4 – 212
    Georgia did not have a good regular season, but it was much better with Green on the field. He is a can’t-miss prospect. He could be picked anywhere from number three to number ten in this draft
  4. Da”Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson- 6’4 – 280
  5. Prince Amukama, CB, Nebraska – 6’1 – 205
    Amukamara had no interceptions last season and he still was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. That’s how good he is. He should shine in the NFL
  6. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama- 6’3 – 306 He could be the number two pick in the 2011 NFL draft
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama – 6’4 – 220
    Jones has enjoyed a stellar offseason and his size-speed combo has him approaching A.J. Green status near the top of the first round. Will he be picked before AJ Green?
  8. Von Miller, DE, Texas A&M – 6’3 – 243
  9. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri- 6’5 – 235
    Gabbert did not have a huge season but NFL teams will love his size and he is coming out early as a result. With the need of franchise QB’s, the dude could be the number one pick in the 2011 draft.
  10. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina – 6’5 – 268 did not play last year and has a tumor at the base of his brain that was operated on

Click on the individual player’s name for more in depth analysis courtesy of CBS Sports.com

The NFL 2011 draft will begin on Thursday April 28th, 2011 and will continue through April 30th. Get your party ready for April 28th because this is the day NFL teams will pick their first round draft picks. Cam Newton is not ranked in the top ten, but it is likely he will be picked in the top ten, maybe even the top five. These are my top ten picks for the 2011 NFL draft. The picks can change as teams change their minds and/or make trades. This is what makes the NFL draft the most exciting of all drafts. Every team in the NFL draft needs a player or two to push them towards the top and make them one of the elite teams in the NFL. The New England Patriots are one of the top teams in the NFL because they know how to pick the teams that will fill their system. At the moment, sources are showing Cam Newton as the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Things can change before the draft, so stay tuned.

Sources

Mel Kiper-even though he wants you to pay for most of his picks

Sportsline.com

Espn.com

Big Lead Sports

CBSsports.com

Tags:2011 NFL Draft Predictions, Mock Draft Predictions-The Top Ten Picks

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