The Dean's List: Thursday, June 11
Kevin Durant has been selected for induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame—different from the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. KD is one of eight members of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. Hobart native and all-time great guy Bill Hancock—who's run the Final Four and is now the Executive Director of the College Football Playoff—is the only other inductee from the sports world.
Skeptics are questioning whether Durant's induction is in part intended to influence his decision whether to remain with the Thunder after next season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. If that's part of the reason, I have no problem with it. There's no question Durant's exploits merit his induction on their own.
STICKING WITH THE WARRIORS
I was dead wrong with my pick of Golden State in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. But that's not keeping me from going with the Warriors again as four-point favorites in tonight's monumental Game 4, also in Cleveland.
No team has ever rallied from being down 3-1 to win an NBA Finals. Although I wouldn't necessarily fold on my Golden State pick if they lose tonight, the fact that a Cavalier win would put LeBron just one win from one of the all-time great performances and biggest upset in an NBA Finals could overwhelm any Golden State rally.
The longer the series goes the more the fatigue factor would hurt Cleveland. Delly spent Tuesday night in the hospital from fatigue, dehydration and cramping. And that was just Game 3. With Cleveland's shallow bench allowing them to play mostly with seven players, a Golden State win tonight would suddenly switch the pendulum toward a Golden State team that can go 10-deep.
David Lee came off the bench to inject immediate offense into a stymied offense that Golden State displayed Tuesday. Lee will get plenty of minutes to help spread the floor and use his exceptional passing skills in tonight's Game 4. But Lee is an awful defensive player. Keep an eye on how coach Steve Kerr and his defensive superstar assistant Ron Adams—a former Thunder assistant – try to hide Lee's defensive liabilities. It's important for Golden State to continue avoiding double-teaming LeBron. But that may be impossible if Lee is on the floor extended minutes.
Huge night for MVP Steph Curry, whose body language and poor leadership has matched his overall inept offensive output thus far. Did his huge fourth quarter deliver the confidence to keep it up? Or will a Cleveland defense that has dominated the series make adjustments that keep Curry under wraps?
I like the Warriors by more than the four points they go in favored. Should be another dandy in what is developing into one of the more classic Finals in history.
CONGRATS TO POKES AND SOONERS
Congratulations in order for OSU ace pitcher Michael Freeman who is named to two more All-America teams today, earning first-team honors from Baseball America and a spot on the third team from D1Baseball.com.
And congratulations to the Sooners (although losing this many players off a team that didn't make the NCAA Tournament has to concern them) who led the country and set a program record by landing 11 players in the 2015 MLB Draft.
They'll definitely miss catcher Anthony Hermelyn who was the first state player drafted, going 109th overall in the fourth round to the Houston Astros. Nine of the drafted Sooners went on Day 3 which sees a good many players return to college.
Thanks for checking in and hope you catch my sportscasts tonight at 6 and 10 p.m. on News 9.