Draft: Eagles Day 1

Draft: Eagles Day 1

The Eagles held tight at 31 and selected DE Mike Patterson out of USC.  This is ESPN's take:

With franchise player Corey Simon unhappy with his contract situation
and Hollis Thomas and Paul Grasmanis getting older, Philadelphia did
well to select Patterson. He doesn't have great size, and he doesn't
shed blocks all that well, but his ability to anticipate the snap and
his initial quickness make him a great fit for the Eagles' one-gap
scheme. He is also a high-motor player who is relentless in pursuit,
and he always seems to be around the ball at the end of the play.

In Round 2 at 35 the Birds went with WR Reggie Brown out of Georgia.  Not too shabby for A.J. Feeley.  This is ESPN's take:

At some point, Philadelphia had to use one of its five first-day picks
on a receiver in the event the Terrell Owens contract issue continues
to worsen. We feel they picked a good time to fill this need, because
they are getting excellent value for an early second-round pick. Brown
always played second fiddle and received far less recognition while at
Georgia, but he led the Bulldogs in receptions the past two years, when
his production began to reflect his outstanding overall athletic
ability.

With their second 2nd rounder at 63 they chose LB Matt McCoy out of San Diego State. 

Outside linebacker isn't a significant need, but Philadelphia wouldn't
mind upgrading either position. Although McCoy is undersized and will
struggle when teams run right at him, he possesses excellent instincts,
doesn't waste any motion and shows good burst to the ball.

With their first 3rd rounder they chose RB Ryan Moats out of Louisiana Tech.  Here are his strengths from ESPN:

Is a tough and shifty back. Shows good instincts, reads blocks fairly
well and has the lateral mobility to cut back when the opportunity
presents itself. Runs bigger than size indicates. Runs with good pad
level, shows good balance and can bounce of arm tackles. Fights to pick
up yards after contact, is built well and plays with good intensity.
Has the burst to turn the corner and is elusive in the open field. Has
very good quickness and above average top-end speed. Shows good focus
when the ball is in the air and rarely drops passes that he should
catch. While lacks the bulk to anchor in pass protection, shows good
awareness, isn't afraid to throw cut blocks and does an adequate job of
picking up the blitz. Has excellent work ethic, is a leader on the
field and should only get better with added experience.

The Eagles traded away their final pick of the third round (94 overall) for the first pick of the 4th round (102 overall) and a 6th rounder (175 overall)  The Eagles all currently on the board because they make the first selection of day 2 now.

Overall I am pretty happy with the picks.  I don't know a ton about all of them, but I found this great video of Ryan Moats which gets you excited about him.  The Eagles have a ton of picks tomorrow and I think they should package some of them to move up and get more quality instead of quantity.  Also, we still have Freddie Mitchell, meh.  Some of the picks I found surprising were Mike Williams going to Detroit.  What a stacked WR core they will have.  Wow.  Matt Jones going at 21 seemed a bit early to me, and Clarret going on Day 1 was a tad surprising.  Also, the Eagles website has some great stuff including a nice piece from Dave Spadaro which includes some Andy Reid quotes and some Travis Henry stuff.

Best of NBA: Harden's 38-points fuels Rockets past Bucks

Best of NBA: Harden's 38-points fuels Rockets past Bucks

HOUSTON -- James Harden had 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-92 on Wednesday night.

Harden drilled a straightaway 3-pointer with six minutes left to give Houston a 13-point lead and shimmied his shoulders down the court in a celebratory dance as the Bucks called timeout.

After losing three of four, the Rockets regained their form while improving to 17-4 at home this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Milwaukee (see full recap).

Rose powers slumping Knicks past Celtics 117-106
BOSTON -- Derrick Rose matched his season high with 30 points, and the slumping New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 117-106 on Wednesday night.

New York played without injured starters Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah, but Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez each scored 17 points to help make up for their absence. It was just the third win in 14 games for the Knicks.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 39 points, his 13th time this season with 30 or more points. Jae Crowder added 21 for the Celtics, who lost for only the fourth time in 17 games.

Al Horford, Boston's big free-agent acquisition during the summer, had five points on 2-of-14 shooting. He was 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts.

Boston closed to 97-96 on Jaylen Brown's two free throws with just under eight minutes to play, but Justin Holiday and Courtney Lee nailed 3-pointers 29 seconds apart, pushing New York's lead back to seven. Rose then capped an 8-0 spree by putting in his own miss after Thomas missed a jumper -- his seventh straight shot that was off (see full recap).

Home cooking: Wiz top Grizz 104-101, 13th win in row in DC
WASHINGTON -- A vastly different team at home, the Wizards won their 13th consecutive game in Washington by edging the Memphis Grizzlies 104-101 Wednesday night behind two late layups from John Wall, who finished with 25 points and 13 assists.

James Ennis III missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer for Memphis.

The Wizards are just 4-13 on the road but now 18-6 at home, where they've compiled their longest winning streak since a 15-game run in the 1988-89 season.

Washington never trailed and led by as many as 19 points in the first half, then held on after a 10-0 run by Memphis made it a two-point game with 2 1/2 minutes left. That's when Wall took over, scoring on consecutive drives (see full recap).

Walker, Hibbert lead Hornets past Blazers 107-85
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 23 points, Roy Hibbert provided a huge boost off the bench, and the Charlotte Hornets stopped a five-game slide with a 107-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Nicolas Batum added 17 points for the Hornets, who limited the Trail Blazers to 35 percent shooting and snapped an eight-game streak of allowing at least 100 points. But it was the 7-foot-2 Hibbert who stole the show.

Hibbert, who came in averaging 5.2 points per game, had a season-high 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Damian Lillard scored 21 points and C.J. McCollum had 18 for Portland, which has lost three straight and 16 of 22 since Dec. 5 (see full recap).

Penn State falls to Indiana, 78-75, on buzzer 3-pointer

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USA Today Images

Penn State falls to Indiana, 78-75, on buzzer 3-pointer

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Shep Garner gathered his teammates along Penn State's bench to remind them they needed one more stop to head to overtime.

Indiana's James Blackmon was ready to head home, however.

Blackmon took an in-bounds pass with less than five seconds to go, sprinted down the court and drained a 3-pointer to lift the Hoosiers to a 78-75 win over Penn State on Wednesday night.

Blackmon, Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson all scored 17 points for the Hoosiers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) who survived a late Penn State rally.

"They definitely grew up," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "It wasn't easy, but they definitely earned the victory. It would've been a shame if they hadn't gotten this win because they earned it."

Tony Carr scored a career-best 24 points and Garner added 15 for the Nittany Lions (11-8, 3-3) who trailed by 14 with 9:19 left. Garner brought Penn State within striking distance with a 3-pointer that cut it to 75-73 with 39 seconds to play.

It was the second straight win for the Hoosiers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) who took control by halftime and led the entire second half until a pair of Lamar Stevens free throws tied the game with less than five seconds left.

"I'm really proud of the kids, the way they fought back," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "I felt like Penn State really hurt Penn State tonight, missed layups, little things. If we shoot better from the free-throw line, maybe the outcome's different."

Memories of Watford
There's a good reason Blackmon's shot was strikingly similar to the one Christian Watford sank at the buzzer to beat then-No. 1 Kentucky in 2011.

"It was the same play-call," Crean said. "But we got open differently. Usually we run off a screen but in this case we knew they'd switch it so James did a great job of setting it up."

Penn State coaches and players knew they'd have to defend a similar play, Chambers made note of it in his scouting report, but Blackmon was able to slip past Josh Reaves at midcourt and pull up over Julian Moore to hit the winning basket.

Rim un-protected
Indiana didn't have as big of a challenge on the glass with Penn State's designated rim-protector Mike Watkins in early foul trouble. Penn State's leading rebounder played just 13 minutes and finished with no rebounds.

The Hoosiers won the battle on the glass 37-33 and Penn State made just 21 of 31 free throws.

Hurt Hoosier
Indiana lost OG Anunoby on the final play of the first half to a right knee injury. The sophomore forward came down after battling for an offensive rebound and crumpled to the floor where he clutched at his right knee before trainers helped him slowly to the locker room. He did not return.

Anunoby started eight games and was tied for sixth in the Big Ten with 1.4 steals per game.

Crean said Anunoby would be evaluated when the team returned to Bloomington.

The big picture
Indiana: The Hoosiers entered Wednesday's game having lost five of their last eight. They'll have a chance to gain momentum with four of their next five against middle-of-the-pack Big Ten foes before a trip to Madison to take on No. 17 Wisconsin on Feb. 5.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions' inability to put a full game together has to be grating on coach Patrick Chambers. Even in their last win against No. 24 Minnesota, the Nittany Lions were out of sorts early before a late rally paid off. They were competitive early and late in this one but sluggish and mistake-prone midway through when Indiana took over.

Up next
Indiana hosts Michigan State on Saturday.

Penn State plays at No. 22 Purdue on Saturday