Monday, December 27, 2010

LSC Roundup 12-27

In the Nick of time: Hagan has new home at MSU - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
The phone kept ringing, but Chris Hagan refused to answer. He didn’t know the names of the coaches who were calling him. He didn’t know anything about any of teams they coached.

They were no-name coaches from Division II schools. And Hagan was a Divi­sion I player.

He had shown that at Rice when he started 17 games as a freshman, scored in double figures five times and was second on the team in assists. But Hagan’s Division I basketball career came to a screeching halt during the fourth game of his sopho­more year. He ruptured the patella tendon and had season-ending surgery. Hagan said Rice athletic director Chris Del Conte told him that no matter what happened, he could return to the Owls after playing one season at Blinn Junior College.

“I basically shunned off all offers thinking I was going to come back to Rice,” he said.

But Bill Braun replaced Willis Wilson as the Owls head coach. And Del Conte left Rice to become the AD at TCU. Hagan’s world turned.

He found out that be­cause he had not completed 60 percent of his major, he had not met Division I aca­demic requirements. If he wanted to play basketball, it would have to be on the D-II level.

Duncan: MSU alum Rhodes still rushes past odds - Zach Duncan, Times Record News
He faded away, like so many NFL running backs do. A quarterback, lineman or wide receiver may play at a high level into his 30s, but the repeated blows a running back absorbs take a ravaging toll on the body. And the abbreviated careers of guys like Gale Sayers and Terrell Davis back up that claim.

It’s probably the most interchangeable position in football. There’s always somebody that can run fast with good vision waiting in the wings.

Former Midwestern State running back Dominic Rhodes once defied the odds by rushing for 1,104 yards as a rookie undrafted free agent in 2001. And Rhodes, 31, is defying the odds again nearly a decade later in his third stint with the Indianapolis Colts.

Rhodes helped the Colts take one step closer to wrapping up the AFC South on Sunday by gaining a game-high 98 yards on 17 carries in a 31-26 win over the Raiders.

WEATHERFORD, Okla. – Former Southwestern Oklahoma State University basketball player Brandon Nichols passed away near his home last week in Houston, Texas after an eight-month battle with acute Leukemia.

Nichols, 24, played one season for SWOSU and was the starting center on a team that finished with a 21-7 record and advanced to the Lone Star Conference post-season tournament. He finished the year averaging 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while leading the team in blocks with 13. He was only one of three players on that team to start and play all 28 of the team’s games.

Todd Thurman, SWOSU athletic director and former coach of Nichols, kept in close contact with Nichols and his family for the past few months.

“Brandon was a very courageous person,” Thurman said. “He meant a lot to me personally, and to his teammates. That season was very special in a lot of ways. Brandon made such a big impact for us on the floor, in the locker room and in practice. He was a wonderful person, smart, funny and was a friend to us all.”

Nichols arrived at SWOSU after spending the three previous seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock, an NCAA Division I School. He played 53 games for UALR after redshirting as a true freshman. He was a member of the Trojans 2004-05 Sun Belt Conference Championship Team.

Nichols was a 2004 graduate of North Mesquite High School. He set a school record for most blocks in a season with 201 and averaged better than 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks his senior season. Nichols grew up in Conroe, Texas and played there as a high schooler before moving to Mesquite as a senior.

He is survived by his parents Sherri Schneider and Mike Nichols, and his two brothers, Austin and Aaron.

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