School’s back in session. No field trips scheduled here, just a look at the good, bad and ugly from the world of sports. If you’d like to submit your grade, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text it in at 217-617-9437. Heck, you can even zip us something through Twitter now that I’ve convinced Houchins to get the show on the site. Remember to listen in weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on ESPN 1440. Here we go:
Rookie Derrick Rose has shown during the playoffs why he was an overwhelming pick for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award. (AP Photo)
A — Bulls-Celtics series. Of course, I’d like to see the Bulls win this series, but even if they don’t, they have entertained their fan base and given them hope of a better future. I was spent after watching Game 4′s double-OT thriller on Sunday. I haven’t yelled at a game like that in a few years — since the team was last in the playoffs. The game was an ESPN “Instant Classic” and was replayed on ESPN Classic on Monday, certainly not the last we’ll see of that game. If the Bulls only had a coach — Vinny Del Negro is awful — they’d probably be in the No. 4-5 series instead of being the No. 7 seed. If only Doug Collins would have taken the job last summer. Gosh, do I hate My Coach, Vinny.
Jacoby Ellsbury's steal of home Sunday against the Yankees is one example of how the stolen base might be making a comeback. (AP Photo)
B — Stolen bases. Fantasy geeks everywhere are racing to pick up Colorado Rockies’ rookie outfielder Dexter Fowler. On Monday night, Fowler swiped five bases — yes, five — in a game against San Diego. And the fantasy geeks are taking note. Overnight, Fowler went from being owned in just 9 percent of ESPN.com leagues to nearly 17 percent. A day earlier, Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury stole home in a game against the Yankees. It’s cool to see the steal making a comeback. I grew up with Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman knocking down more than 100 steals a year. The stolen base has nearly become extinct. Did you realize that Juan Pierre is the active steals leader with just 430, that’s 55th all-time? Pathetic.
These Jets fans were happy about the team picking Marc Sanchez with their top pick. There were others at Radio City Music Hall who weren't as enamored with the selection. (AP Photo)
C — NFL Draft. A lot of people love it, but I just can’t get into it. About the only thing good about the draft is watching the New York Jets fans cringe whenever their team picks. Poor Mark Sanchez never had a chance.
D — Great Lakes Valley Conference. Actually, it’s the league’s Faculty Athletic Representatives who get full credit for this one. Seems the league didn’t know how it was going to determine which six schools made the GLVC Tournament in baseball this year until just days before the season started. The FARs voted that only divisional games counted toward which teams would make the GLVC Tournament field. As a result, the Quincy University baseball team might not make the league tourney field despite being guaranteed to have a better record in GLVC play than third-place Missouri S&T. See, the Miners have been a little bit better against the West than QU has, which has the Miners in control of the third and final slot from the West. (Of course, had QU not given up 48 runs in splitting four games with last-place UMSL last weekend, including blowing a 10-0 lead in one game, the Hawks would be much better off.) QU must win three of four games against division-leading Southern Indiana this weekend to pass the Miners. Still, the policy makes little sense. Imagine MLB telling the Cubs and Cardinals only games against NL Central teams mattered for who makes the playoffs.
These New Orleans Hornets fans must have lost a bet or wanted to make sure they got their money's worth while watching the end of Monday's 121-63 Denver victory. (AP Photo)
F — New Orleans Hornets. Seriously? A 58-point loss on your home court in the playoffs? We did a little NBA bracket challenge in the WGEM Sports Zone and I picked the Hornets to be my surprise team in the Western Conference, getting to the finals and losing to the Lakers. Dumb move. I thought the team would rally around Chris Paul, but he’s clearly not at 100 percent. Nuggets will close this one out tonight. Haven’t the fans of New Orleans suffered enough without having to watch something like Monday’s game. The locals aren’t too happy about it. And here I was upset about the Bulls’ in Game 3 of their series. That was mild in comparison. The Nuggets had seven players in double figures in the 121-63 triumph. Bet Peja Stojakovic loves to see that he had a plus-minus of minus-39, the worst of a bad Hornets bunch.