Philly March Madness: (11) Cole Hamels vs. (14) Tug McGraw

Philly March Madness: (11) Cole Hamels vs. (14) Tug McGraw

Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll          matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition.                     Examine the       cases of the two fine Philadelphia       athletes        below,    and     cast     your  vote at  the bottom as  to       which   you     think should    advance to         the next   round.   And        as always,   feel   free to explain    your     selection         and/or       debate the   choices    in the comments  section.

With the first round completed, we're presenting our second round   matchups with some YouTube clips we feel to be definitive of the   respective athletes' greatness during their time in Philly. If you   think there's another, better video we should have used, we'd love to   hear about that below as well.


(11) Cole Hamels

(14) Tug McGraw

    Who should advance to the next round?survey software

First-Round Results:

East Bracket:

(1) Julius Erving (91.8%) over (16) Von Hayes (8.2%)
(8) Simon        Gagne (77.9%) over (9) Seth Joyner (22.1%)
(5) Eric Lindros  (70.3%)       over (12) Eric Allen (29.7%)
(4) Randall Cunningham  (77.6%)  over    (13)   Shane Victorino (23.4%)
(11) Cole Hamels  (82.1%) over  (6)  Mark     Recchi (17.9%)
(14) Tug McGraw (51.1%)  over (3) Moses  Malone    (48.9%)
(7)   Darren Daulton (74.0%) over  (10) Andrew Toney   (26.0%)
(2)   Chase   Utley (93.5%) over (15)  Andre Waters (6.5%)

Midwest Bracket:

(1) Mark Howe (60.2%) over (16) David Akers (39.8%)
(9) Rod        Brind'Amour (73.6%) over (8) Rick Tocchet (26.4%)
(5) Brian  Westbrook      (93.3%) over (12) Jayson Werth (6.7%)
(4) Mike  Richards (85.1%)     over  (13) Trent Cole (14.9%)
(6) John LeClair  (89.2%) over (11)     Clyde  Simmons (10.8%)
(3) Jimmy Rollins  (75.8%) over (14) John  Kruk    (24.2%)
(7) Lenny Dykstra (51.9%)  over (10) Dave Poulin  (48.1%)
(2)  Allen Iverson (83.1%) over (15)  Jeremiah Trotter (16.9%)

West Bracket:

(1) Mike Schmidt (96.9%) over (16) Keith Byars (3.1%)
(9) Wilbert    Montgomery (59.4%) over (8) Jeff Carter (40.6%)
(5) Ron Jaworski    (83.5%) over (12) Bobby Abreu (16.5%)
(4) Ron Hextall (94.1%) over    (13) Andre Iguodala (5.9%)
(6) Mike Quick (59.8%) over (11) Hugh    Douglas (40.2%)
(3) Brian Dawkins (98.3%) over (14) Scott Rolen    (1.7%)
(7) Maurice Cheeks (51.9%) over (10) Eric Desjardins (48.1%)
(15)    Carlos Ruiz (58.9%) over (2) Tim Kerr (41.1%)

South Bracket:

(1) Reggie White (97.1%) over (16) Hersey Hawkins (2.9%)
(9) Troy    Vincent (51.8%) over (8) Curt Schilling (48.2%)
(5) Pete Rose   (85.2%)  over (12) Peter Zezel (14.8%)
(4) Ryan Howard (86.3%) over   (13) Jon  Runyan (13.7%)
(6) Pelle Lindbergh (51.0%) over (11) Keith   Primeau  (49%)
(3) Donovan McNabb (84.5%) over (14) Bobby Jones   (15.5%)
(10) Jerome Brown (51.8%) over (7) Brian Propp (48.2%)
(2)   Charles Barkley (64.6%) over (15) Pat Burrell (35.4%)

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

CAMDEN, N.J. — It appears Ben Simmons took the saying about having the weight of the world on your shoulders a tad literal.

The Sixers' No. 1 overall pick walked into the team's sparkling new training complex for media day sporting a much bigger frame than when his name was called on draft night.

"I'm a lot stronger. When I started getting ready for the draft I was about 217 [pounds] and now I'm around 250," Simmons said Monday.

When you're expected to be the centerpiece of an organization that managed just 10 wins a season ago, it helps to have that extra bulk to carry those expectations. 

But Simmons isn’t just being looked at as a key to help change the franchise’s fortunes. He’s also being viewed as perhaps a once-in-a-generation talent after drawing several comparisons to LeBron James, who Simmons shares an agent with in Klutch Sports Group.

So how did the incoming rookie deal with being likened to four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion James? He went to work like someone trying to achieve those same goals.

“Just being around him and learning from his habits and what he does has just helped me overall,” Simmons said of working out with James and other NBA stars during the summer. “He’ll be one of the first guys in the gym every day. It doesn’t matter what day it is. He’s one of those guys who gets the work in and enjoys the rest of his day. Just learning from him I think I can take a lot from what he’s done. ... He’s done a lot for me. He’s helped me experience things I need to learn.

“They get in the gym and work. It’s one of those things where they don’t play around. They get straight to it. Obviously in the weight room too. LeBron loves the VersaClimber and they also brought two more in here. I’m starting to learn from what these guys do, D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) also. They’re all doing the same thing, working out every day and getting ready.”

That type of work ethic will go a long way toward Simmons' earning the respect of his Sixers teammates. The group was already eager to get on the floor with him for training camp at Stockton University and get a firsthand look at the versatile forward, especially his prowess as a passer.

“The most exciting thing that I’ve seen was his passing ability,” Jahlil Okafor said of Simmons. “That’s going to help me out a lot. He’s selfless. Being with the summer league guys he was always about the team. I’ve always considered myself a good teammate and he’s a great one as well. I’m excited to work with him.”

“I think for anybody who likes to shoot or likes to score, whenever you can have a big man who is a really good ball handler, can make good decisions, has great vision, it’s always a great thing,” Gerald Henderson said. “If you can be aggressive on the offensive end you don’t always have to have the basketball to be able to be right there and score. You have somebody that can find you and really is thinking pass-first. I think it’ll be great, not only for us but just our offense in general.”

Considering that the Sixers finished 29th in scoring a season ago, Simmons knows they will need him to be more than just a facilitator. The team needs consistent scoring from everyone on the court. And while the LSU product’s jump shot was questioned during his lone year in college, he believes he has worked hard to silence those doubts.

“I usually try to take what they give me. Obviously I’ve been working on my shot a lot with all the coaches,” Simmons said. “I can shoot the ball. I’m not really worried about that. Coming into training camp, it’s one of the things I’ve been working on since LSU.”

Simmons made it clear several times that he is confident in his offensive game and that the Sixers’ logjam in the frontcourt will work itself out on the floor. One thing he’s not so sure about: that he’s even in this position.

Despite dreaming about being in the NBA since he was a kid in Australia and being groomed to be the No. 1 overall pick for years, Simmons said it’s still a bit of a surprise to be at this point.

“I think it’s still surreal for me,” he said. “I think it’ll finally hit me once I step on the court matched up against OKC the first game.”

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

I'm not sure if they could win nationally, but there is absolutely no doubt that a Wentz-Simmons ticket would dominate the Delaware Valley.

An intrepid Philadelphia sports fan was up at the Presidential Debate last night at Hofstra University and made a sign showing his support... for the Eagles and Sixers.

I don't know though, I'm pretty sure Simmons was born in Australia.