Protesters plan 3 marches, rally outside Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:21
Vanessa Goodthunder, a junior at the U and a protest organizer, said “people are projecting the [demonstration] to be the biggest Washington team name protest yet.”
Categories: Local

Wednesday (Five things about the Timberwolves) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:17
We’ve been accused in years past of having an overly optimistic view of the Timberwolves going into seasons, only to see great expectations (or, let’s face it, even modest ones) blow up in another lost season. This optimism even explains the piece of art you see with this post; friends say our annual “the Wolves could be better this season” blog season preview is a good reminder to check your smoke detector batteries. As such, we’re trying something a little new this season: tempered realism. We’ll let the Wolves try to exceed our modest expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver. That’s the way to get ahead in 2014. As such, here are five things we think about this year’s team: 1) In the long run, we think the Wolves are better off having made the Kevin Love trade. We don’t think he could be the No. 1 player on a great team, and we don’t think the Wolves could have added anyone better than him without trading him. So we stand by this post from a few months ago: David Kahn, in botching Love’s contract, quite possibly saved the Wolves. It forced them to trade Love in his youthful prime, and we can’t imagine ever getting a better haul than what Flip Saunders achieved this offseason. 2) That said, we most definitely think there will be a drop-off in victories this season from last year. Our gut says even when you factor in all the close losses last season, Love was worth an extra 10 victories from last year to this one. So we’re saying this year’s Wolves are a 30-win team. 3) While including Thad Young in the Love trade could be construed as a sign the Wolves aren’t fully committed to a rebuild (they could have had a future first-round pick instead), we do like what Saunders is doing with the roster. Having a few veterans sprinkled in with all this youth is a good thing, in our mind, and it was encouraging to hear Saunders talk after the Wolves cut J.J. Barea about the move being geared toward the future and not wanting to give up on a promising young player like Glenn Robinson III instead. 4) Of all the young players on the roster, we think Zach LaVine will need the longest leash when it comes to figuring out just how good he is. LaVine is a great athlete, but his freshman year at UCLA was nothing special. Sounds a lot like Russell Westbrook (3.4 ppg, less than 1 rebound and assist per game as a UCLA freshman). We’re not saying LaVine is the next Westbrook. That would be crazy. But this was a pick that will take a couple of years to judge. 5) The Wolves should have a pretty nice bench this season. We look at their roster and see a lot of useful players and not a ton of roster filler. The downside is we’re not sure the starting five will be all that much better than the next five. We’re also not entirely sure how this team is going to score points on a nightly basis, which is half of the object of the game, but we certainly foresee this being a more motivated team and a better defensive team than in the Rick Adelman years. Maybe that adds up to a few more close wins. Maybe the youth comes together more quickly than we think. For now, though, 30 wins is our guess. But check those batteries anyway.
Categories: Local

Barr named NFC's Defensive Player of the Week

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:42
Rookie outside linebacker Anthony Barr has been named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week after his 27-yard fumble return for a touchdown gave the Vikings a 19-13 overtime victory Sunday. Barr, the ninth overall pick in May’s NFL draft, recorded eight tackles and a sack in the win. And on the first play from scrimmage in overtime, he forced a fumble after a catch by Buccaneers rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, scooped it up and returned it for the game-winning touchdown. Barr is the first Vikings player to win the Defensive Player of the Week award since cornerback Antoine Winfield in 2010 and the first Vikings rookie to win since cornerback Cedric Griffin in 2006. Barr is the sixth rookie linebacker to win the award since 2006. The others were DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews, Brian Orakpo, Sean Lee and Luke Kuechly. That’s pretty good company right there. Barr ranks second on the Vikings with 54 tackles this season and his three sacks are tied for third on the team. He has forced one fumble and recovered three of them, which is tied for the NFL lead.
Categories: Local

Fowler no longer has a stake in Vikings

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 23:17
Categories: Local

Gophers offense rushes to diversify its attack

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 22:20
Matt Limegrover wants his group ready to handle a slow ground game.
Categories: Local

Kelley gives Gophers' women's basketball a triple threat

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 22:18
Versatile Shae Kelley gives Gophers’ foes a third player to worry about.
Categories: Local

Craig: Predicting stock market is easier than NFL victories

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 21:53
The only sure thing in the volatile NFL schedule is no one’s sure of anything.
Categories: Local

Fractured finger ends Buxton's trying season

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 21:25
The team’s top prospect finger is broken, ending any hopes of him playing anymore until spring.
Categories: Local

Reverse course: Wild posts comeback victory over Boston

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 21:21
One night after blowing a 3-0 lead in New York the Wild scored three third-period goals in Boston to steal a victory.
Categories: Local

Making a point: Saunders needs Rubio to share his vision for Wolves

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 21:20
Flip Saunders will entrust his offense to Ricky Rubio. How well he adapts might decide his — and the Wolves’ — future.
Categories: Local

Foul play: Hunting dog's encounter with skunk can simply stink

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 20:52
When pheasant hunters say they were skunked, they might not be talking about coming home without any birds.
Categories: Local

Duck season in doldrums; cold front could help

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 20:18
Weather change should impact animal activity.
Categories: Local

Construction costs put squeeze on Target Center project

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 20:06
Some features may be scaled back in $99 million arena overhaul.
Categories: Local

Brodin, Haula sidelined; Vanek-Koivu split, new power-play units tonight vs. Bruins

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 16:58
The Wild visits Boston later tonight and will be without two key players: Jonas Brodin and Erik Haula were injured Monday night in New York.
Categories: Local


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