Best of FanRag Sports: May 19


Every morning we collect the most entertaining, intriguing and informative stories from around the FanRag Sports network and bring them to you all in one place. Here you can find the top NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA and fight-sport stories of the day prior to get caught up on the news you need to know before starting your day.

Today’s edition features a potential coaching change for the Chicago Bulls, a demotion for a Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening-Day starter and a breakdown of WWE Payback.

Sit back, relax and take a look back at an exciting day in the world of sports. Here is the best of the best courtesy of FanRag Sports.


Today’s Fastbreak

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 26 Texas at Iowa State

Envisioning the Chicago Bulls Under Fred Hoiberg 

All signs point to Tom Thibodeau being on his way out of Chicago and NBA insiders believe the Bulls will take a serious look at Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. There is no guarantee he would take the job if offered, but Fastbreak’s Kelly Scaletta asks Randy Sherman about how Hoiberg would change the way the Bulls play.

Despite being linked to infamous coach of Chicago’s past Tim Floyd, the last Bulls coach to come from Iowa State, Hoiberg could make the Second City team an exciting group to watch.

While many fans maligned the pace of Thibodeau’s offense, they will not have the same complaint about Hoiberg. Sherman notes the “free-flowing uptempo basketball” played at Iowa State and Hoiberg’s ability to get shooters open using screen plays.

If Chicago does indeed make a coaching change, Bulls fans may get to root for a more exciting team in 2015-16, even if they do not perform as well right away.


Today’s Slapshot

NHL: MAR 21 Flyers at Oilers

Edmonton Oilers 2015 NHL Draft Preview

The Edmonton Oilers are in the enviable position of having the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Barring a major shocker, the top pick in the draft will be Connor McDavid from the Erie Otters.

But there is more to the draft than just their first pick. The Oilers have another pick in the first round (16th overall) and two picks in Round 2 (33rd and 57th). They also have plenty of needs as a team that has not made the playoffs since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

Slapshot’s Steven Ives breaks down the organization’s top prospects, strengths and weaknesses, as well as an evaluation of potential trades (could Edmonton target goaltender prospect Malcom Subban?) and the new general manager Peter Chiarelli.

How quickly can the storied franchise turn things around?


Today’s Knuckleball

MLB: APR 08 Rockies at Brewers

Scooter Gennett’s (Short-Term?) Future

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening Day starter at second base, Scooter Gennett, was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday. The 25-year-old’s slash line (.154/.203/.200) in 65 at-bats this season left a lot to be desired.

A big reason for Gennett’s struggles this season is his putrid numbers against left-handed pitchers. He did not have a single hit in 11 at-bats against southpaws. That fact in and of itself should not be too much of a surprise given the infielder’s struggles against lefties in the past. However, Gennett’s failure to hit right-handed pitching (.154/.203/.200) caused his demotion.

Knuckleball’s Adam Rygg says Gennett needs to put his nose to the grindstone in order to fix his swing while in the minors. Whether using cage work, video work, soft toss, contact drills or tracking sessions, the second baseman needs to work on the mechanical side of his game in order to hit his way back to the Majors.


Today’s Pigskin

NFL: FEB 01 Super Bowl XLIX - Patriots v Seahawks

NFL 25 at 25: No. 20 Chandler Jones

Today’s Pigskin continued its “25 at 25” series breaking down the 25 best NFL players at and under the age of 25. Monday’s edition was a breakdown of New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones.

Jones is well on his way to becoming one of the premier defensive players in the AFC East and the NFL as a whole. He had 4.5 sacks in the Patriots’ first seven games before a hip injury sidelined him until mid-December. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder rebounded from injury to have a stellar late/post-season run en route to New England’s fourth Super Bowl championship in the last 14 years.

Stephen Sheehan breaks down the 25-year-old and his value to the Patriots going forward.


Today’s Knockout

MLB: MAY 17 Angels at Orioles

WWE Payback 2015 – The Review!

WWE had its Payback pay-per-view Sunday night in Baltimore, headlined by a Fatal 4-Way main event between Seth Rollins (c), Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Knockout’s Joey Finnegan breaks down and reviews each match on the card and gave the special event a favorable rating. He walks readers through the high points of Payback, including a top-rope splash by Ryback, Neville’s aerial assault of King Barrett and the one-time reunion of The Shield long enough to triple-powerbomb Orton through the announcer’s table.

If you missed the PPV or just want to re-live the night’s festivities, check out this story.


Today’s U

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 14 College World Series - Vanderbilt v Louisville

ACC Baseball Tournament Gets Underway Tuesday In Durham; Miami and Louisville Have Top Seeds

Today’s the day the ACC baseball tournament begins, as 10 teams travel to Durham, North Carolina with their eyes on the prize. Louisville (42-14, 25-5 ACC) has the No. 1 overall seed despite losing three of its last seven games.

Scott Salomon of Today’s U breaks down each team in the tournament as well as the opening schedule. If you’re into ACC baseball, this is a must-read guide.



NFL: NOV 16 Vikings at Bears

Jared Allen Embracing Change in Chicago

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? That’s exactly what the Chicago Bears, new head coach John Fox and new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will try to find out in training camp.

The Bears are switching from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4. That means Allen, a player accustomed to playing with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end, will have to transition to a stand-up role. He is up for the challenge, as he tells FanRag Sports’ John McMullen.

Allen’s positive attitude will go a long way toward his goal of succeeding in this unfamiliar system. “…It’s college all over again, learning a whole new system and trying to understand the playbook. I haven’t had to do that for 10 years.”

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