Charlotte

OpenCalais Metadata: Latitude: 
42.5636
OpenCalais Metadata: Longitude: 
-84.8358
Freshman pitcher Erica Wright leads the Longhorns’ pitching staff with a 5–3 record and 1.54 ERA.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

In its fifth and final tournament before the conference season begins, Texas (13–7) will travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to compete in the Carolina Classic. 

Although the team was originally scheduled to start the tournament against North Carolina on Thursday, the Longhorns never took the field because of inclement weather.

As a team, the Longhorns are coming off a 4–0 performance in the Texas Invitational. Their success comes from a combination of offense and defense. Texas’ leadoff batters, known for setting the tone early, reach the bases over 40 percent of the time — while from the circle, freshman Erica Wright has pitched up to her hype with a 5–3 record, three solo shutouts, six complete games and an impressive 1.54 ERA.

Texas, ranked No. 25 last week, dropped out of the rankings this week. 

With three games remaining in the tournament, weather permitting, the Longhorns face Ohio at 11 a.m. Friday.

So far, the Bobcats (4–9) have struggled to find a consistent positive rhythm — the team is currently on a five-game losing streak, though select Ohio players have stepped up to the plate. Junior outfielder Sloan Walker, who has played in all 13 games this season, has displayed a stellar batting performance, hitting .404 with nine runs on the season. Although she’s only played in four games so far, freshman outfielder Michaela Dorsey records a team-best .429 batting average for the Bobcats. Three other players join Sloan and Walker in hitting over .300 for the team. 

The last and only meeting between the Longhorns and the Bobcats, five years ago, ended in an 11–5 Longhorns’ victory. In the remaining two games of the tournament, Texas will play North Carolina on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.

North Carolina (11–4) started the season on a positive note, and the Tar Heels’ freshmen do the most work to carry the team. Freshman infielder Taylor Wike is batting .432 with four doubles and two triples and freshman pitcher Kaylee Carlson maintains a 2.58 ERA with a 6–2 record and 37 strikeouts. Junior outfielder Aquilla Mateen also hits .429 and has started in all of the team’s games this year. The Longhorns last played the Tar Heels in 2014, defeating them 7–3.

Texas will meet Charlotte for the first time in program history Saturday. Charlotte (8–6) is 2–2 on a neutral site this year and provides a balanced batting lineup. Four players hit over .300, and the 49ers have outscored their opponents 73–41. 

NBA trade deadline rumors

While there are no NBA games until Thursday, teams will be extremely busy trying to bolster their rosters before Thursday’s 3PM EST trade deadline.

Currently, there are 22 teams still jockeying for playoff position and then there are the other eight teams who have basically given up on the season, but might have valuable trade assets. Some teams will be desperate to dump some of their salary in order to rebuild through free agency this offseason.

There are three big name players to watch in the next few days that may get traded-- Brook Lopez, Lance Stephenson, and Goran Dragic. Brooklyn has experimented with the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez for awhile and have yet to find no real success yet. So the odd ball out, Lopez may find himself a new home this week.

Lance Stephenson has not been the addition the Charlotte Hornets needed so they too will be looking to get something in return for Stephenson. As for Dragic, he has made it pretty apparent he will sign elsewhere this offseason so Phoenix might as well get what they can for Dragic before he walks away.

There was a reported trade earlier this season that would have sent Lopez to OKC, Stephenson to Brooklyn, Jarrett Jack to Charlotte, and expiring contracts and young assets to Brooklyn. However it fell through at the last minute. But, it wouldn't be surprising if Oklahoma City's GM Sam Presti makes another phone call to Brooklyn to try to facilitate a deal for Lopez. He would solidify their frontcourt and help propel them into the playoff picture.

Phoenix faces the problem of having a plethora of point guards. Eric Bledsoe, Isiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic are all good point guards, but at some point, one of them isn’t being used properly. Goran Dragic seems to be the most likely to be traded this week because he has expressed interest in possibly signing with another team this offseason. Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers have continuously tried to pry away Dragic from Phoenix, so look for both of those teams to make another push leading up to the deadline.

As for Stephenson, it has been pretty apparent he wasn’t the fit Charlotte had hoped he would be. Yet Charlotte is still in position to make the playoffs so it would love to get talent back for Stephenson. And the Brooklyn Nets are one team that would love to bring Stephenson back home.

There’s many teams with valuables players for contenders. For example, the Denver Nuggets' season may not have went as they planned yet they still have plenty of talented guys a contending team may want their hands on. Arron Affalo, Randy Foye, and Wilson Chandler all have tremendous value for a team desperate for some help on the perimeter. Also their two star players, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are also said to be available this week. So at the right price, a team could get an explosive veteran player in either one of them.

Other teams are searching for a big man to bolster up their frontcourt and Brandon Bass of the Celtics would be a solid addition to fit that role. He is a terrific rebounder and can finish around the basket. Lakers big man Jordan Hill is also having a tremendous season despite the Lakers being near the bottom of the West.

Recently, Chicago has made Taj Gibson available in trade talk. With rookie Nikola Mirotic coming into his own, Chicago might be able to fill another hole in their rotation by letting Gibson go via trade. Gibson has great value in trade talks because he is a solid contributor off the bench, and could quite frankly start for plenty of teams around the league. Watch for teams like the Clippers or Blazers to look for a much needed big man.

Needless to say, there are plenty of intriguing options out there for teams in need of help. However, I don’t foresee any blockbuster trade taking place this time around. We already saw Rajon Rondo get traded earlier this season, and there isn’t any player as talented in trade talks. But a contending team can definitely find a missing piece this week and could change their fortunes come playoff time.

NBA trade deadline rumors

While there are no NBA games until Thursday, teams will be extremely busy trying to bolster their rosters before Thursday’s 3PM EST trade deadline.

Currently, there are 22 teams still jockeying for playoff position and then there are the other eight teams who have basically given up on the season, but might have valuable trade assets. Some teams will be desperate to dump some of their salary in order to rebuild through free agency this offseason.

There are three big name players to watch in the next few days that may get traded-- Brook Lopez, Lance Stephenson, and Goran Dragic. Brooklyn has experimented with the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez for awhile and have yet to find no real success yet. So the odd ball out, Lopez may find himself a new home this week.

Lance Stephenson has not been the addition the Charlotte Hornets needed so they too will be looking to get something in return for Stephenson. As for Dragic, he has made it pretty apparent he will sign elsewhere this offseason so Phoenix might as well get what they can for Dragic before he walks away.

There was a reported trade earlier this season that would have sent Lopez to OKC, Stephenson to Brooklyn, Jarrett Jack to Charlotte, and expiring contracts and young assets to Brooklyn. However it fell through at the last minute. But, it wouldn't be surprising if Oklahoma City's GM Sam Presti makes another phone call to Brooklyn to try to facilitate a deal for Lopez. He would solidify their frontcourt and help propel them into the playoff picture.

Phoenix faces the problem of having a plethora of point guards. Eric Bledsoe, Isiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic are all good point guards, but at some point, one of them isn’t being used properly. Goran Dragic seems to be the most likely to be traded this week because he has expressed interest in possibly signing with another team this offseason. Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers have continuously tried to pry away Dragic from Phoenix, so look for both of those teams to make another push leading up to the deadline.

As for Stephenson, it has been pretty apparent he wasn’t the fit Charlotte had hoped he would be. Yet Charlotte is still in position to make the playoffs so it would love to get talent back for Stephenson. And the Brooklyn Nets are one team that would love to bring Stephenson back home.

There’s many teams with valuables players for contenders. For example, the Denver Nuggets' season may not have went as they planned yet they still have plenty of talented guys a contending team may want their hands on. Arron Affalo, Randy Foye, and Wilson Chandler all have tremendous value for a team desperate for some help on the perimeter. Also their two star players, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are also said to be available this week. So at the right price, a team could get an explosive veteran player in either one of them.

Other teams are searching for a big man to bolster up their frontcourt and Brandon Bass of the Celtics would be a solid addition to fit that role. He is a terrific rebounder and can finish around the basket. Lakers big man Jordan Hill is also having a tremendous season despite the Lakers being near the bottom of the West.

Recently, Chicago has made Taj Gibson available in trade talk. With rookie Nikola Mirotic coming into his own, Chicago might be able to fill another hole in their rotation by letting Gibson go via trade. Gibson has great value in trade talks because he is a solid contributor off the bench, and could quite frankly start for plenty of teams around the league. Watch for teams like the Clippers or Blazers to look for a much needed big man.

Needless to say, there are plenty of intriguing options out there for teams in need of help. However, I don’t foresee any blockbuster trade taking place this time around. We already saw Rajon Rondo get traded earlier this season, and there isn’t any player as talented in trade talks. But a contending team can definitely find a missing piece this week and could change their fortunes come playoff time.

Austin chosen as the next Summer X Games Host

Austin will host the Summer X-Games next May at the newly built Circuit of the Americas site that opened last year. ESPN announced Wednesday morning that Austin had been chosen over three other finalists: Detroit, Charlotte and Chicago. 

The X-Games will take place May 15-18, 2014 and is one of six stops on the Global X-Games circuit. Austin, which recieved the bid for the next four years, is replacing Los Angeles as the host city. Los Angeles will host X-Games for the final time this August. 

"First of all, Austin as a city has done a terrific job over the last several years embracing big events," Scott Guglielmino,  ESPN's senior vice president for programing and Global X, said in a statement following the announcement. "When we got on the ground in Austin...and saw the facility, it felt very right very quickly." 

The COTA complex that lies southeast of downtown Austin, will host a majority of the events at the sprawling 1,600 acres. Some events will take place in downtown Austin.

Austin hosted a rally at the state capitol this past June to support its bid as the new host. 

2013 NBA Mock Draft - Staff Picks

A few sports reporters compiled lists of who they think will be drafted in tonight's NBA draft. Here are their top ten and where they project Texas' Myck Kabongo will end up.

 

Sara Beth Purdy, Sports Editor

1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

2. Orlando: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

3. Washington: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

4. Charlotte: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

5. Phoenix: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

6. New Orleans: Alex Len, C, Maryland

7. Sacramento: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

8. Detroit: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

9. Minnestoa: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

10. Portland: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

...

51. Orlando: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas

 

Christian Corona, Sports Permanent Staff

1. Cleveland: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

2. Orlando: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

3. Washington: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

4. Charlotte: Alex Len, C, Maryland

5. Phoenix: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

6. New Orleans: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

7. Sacramento: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

8. Detroit: C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh

9. Minnesota: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

10. Portland: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

...

46. Utah: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas

 

Diego Esteban Contreras, Sports Issue Staff

1. Cleveland: Nerlins Noel, C, Kentucky

2. Orlando: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

3. Washington: Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown

4. Charlotte: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

5. Phoenix: Alex Len, C, Maryland

6. New Orleans: Anthony Bernnett, PF, UNLV

7. Sacramento: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

8. Detroit: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

9. Minnesota: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

10. Portland: CJ McCollum, PG, Lehigh

...

38. Washington: Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas

In race to secure X Games, Detroit beating Austin, other cities in Facebook poll

While ESPN executives consider their options for the future home of the X Games, cities have turned to social media efforts as one way to grab executives' attention.

Austin is currently one of four cities bidding to be the new home of the ESPN X Games. Its competitors are Detroit, Chicago and Charlotte. All four cities have hosted events to impress the ESPN executives and convince them to host the games in their city, similar to the rally Circuit of the Americas hosted at the Capitol last week. Kelly Erickson, a representative of Circuit of the Americas, said the organization used various social media accounts to promote the rally, and that they will continue to use social media to impress ESPN.

“I think ESPN is watching everything," Erickson said. "For people to have a voice through social media is something they are definitely paying attention to. So we're doing everything we can to spread the word that way."

Detroit is leading in a recent poll on the X Games’ official Facebook page that poses the question of which city should be the future home of the X Games. As of Monday afternoon, Detroit has more than 18,000 votes. Austin is in second with more than 11,000 votes. Erickson said Circuit of the Americas has been pushing fans to vote for Austin in the poll.

"We're hoping people keep voting for Austin, because that's something [ESPN] will look at," Erickson said.

ESPN executives have said they will consider many factors when choosing a city.

Elsewhere in social media, the four different cities are using various accounts to promote their bid. Austin, Detroit and Charlotte all have official Facebook and Twitter pages designed to bring the X Games to their respective cities. Chicago does not have official pages, or at least one that can be immediately found, but the city does have Facebook and Twitter fan accounts.

With more than 21,000 “likes” on Facebook, Austin has the most “likes” of the four cities. On Twitter though, both Detroit and Charlotte have more followers than Austin does.

ESPN is expected to announce their decision in July.

Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — TV viewership for last week’s Republican National Convention dropped sharply from 2008.

But the convention was a hit online and on social networks, the latest evidence of the political conversation’s gradual migration from traditional media to the Web.

There are many reasons this year’s conventions may be less compelling than in 2008. Four years ago was a historic election that saw Democrat Barack Obama become the first black presidential nominee and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin emerge as Republican Party star.

Hurricane Isaac drew at least some attention away from the largely surprise-free GOP gathering in Tampa, Fla., last week.

Little news also is expected at this week’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., where Obama will be nominated for a second term.