After leaving Ohio State with a season of eligibility remaining, Deshaun Thomas said he was confident he could persuade NBA scouts that he should be drafted in the first round on June 27 and not the second. But his numbers at the draft combine last week in Chicago do not support his argument.
Thomas shot well, according to reports, but he lacked agility and quickness. He completed the stop-and-start lane-agility drill in 12.94 seconds, slowest among the 51 players who were timed. His time of 3.53 seconds in the three-quarter court sprint was the slowest for his position and fourth-slowest overall.
Thomas said before the combine that he had become fitter and trimmer during his month of training away from Columbus, but his 9.1 percent body fat was the sixth-highest.
Mock drafts on ESPN.com and DraftExpress.com rate Thomas as a midsecond-round pick.
The Clippers made the front page of the sports section of Taiwan’s China Times two days in a row with photos of first baseman Chun-Hsiu Chen. In three games since Chen’s call-up from double-A Akron, the Taiwan native was 7 for 14 with a home run and two RBI.
Chen and Taiwanese pitcher Chen-Chang Lee, who is on the seven-day disabled list and working out in Goodyear, Ariz., have drawn a contingent of reporters from Taiwan. Before he went on the disabled list, Chang was 2-0 in five relief appearances totaling seven innings. He has a 2.57 ERA with eight strikeouts.
Shin-Soo Choo likes Cincinnati, but when asked about his future, it sounds like he and agent Scott Boras agree that he should explore free agency after the season. “I kept telling Choo: ‘You’re special. You’re not going to be good every year; that’s not how the game works,’ ” Boras told The New York Times. “But the reality is you’re special. Be patient, accumulate your record, and these are your choices.’ ”
Why is the Times interested? The New York Mets likely will be one of Choo’s suitors.
“A lot of people ask me: ‘Do you want to stay in Cincinnati? What do you want?’ ” Choo said. “ That’s too far away. … Cincinnati gave up two good players, and they want to win a World Series. That’s what I want, too. I’ve never played in the playoffs. I have a good opportunity to play with a good team.”
Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is one of four finalists for the cover of the EA Sports NHL 14 video game. The winner is determined by fan voting until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Players advance in head-to-head meetings with other players. Bobrovsky is matched up against Jonathan Tavarves of the New York Islanders in one semifinal. The other features Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings vs. Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils.
Cincinnati is gaining another Notre Dame football transfer. Tight end Jake Golic, a fifth-year senior, is transferring to UC for his final year of eligibility. Golic is a son of Mike Golic, co-host of ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio program. The younger Golic already has graduated from Notre Dame and will play for the Bearcats next season as a graduate student, so he will be eligible immediately. Golic appeared in five games his last two seasons with the Fighting Irish with no receptions. He also played on special teams.Golic joins Gunner Kiel, a highly regarded freshman quarterback from Columbus, Ind., who transferred to UC and began classes earlier this month. Kiel and Golic won’t be on the field together for the Bearcats. Kiel must sit out 2013 as a transfer.
The Boston Celtics still are interested in Greg Oden, a former Ohio State star whose NBA career has been derailed by three microfracture knee surgeries, but he apparently has been pushed to the backburner because he wasn’t healthy the last time team officials looked at him.
“We’ll look into Greg still,” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told the Boston Herald this week. “He wasn’t ready to play when we saw him last. He wasn’t ready to work out — I mean, not like a real workout. We’ll probably check into that some time this summer.”& amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>
Oden was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft by Portland, but he hasn’t played since making 21 appearances in the 2009-10 season.
With left fielder Ryan Ludwick out at least until the All-Star break because of an injured right shoulder and replacement Chris Heisey on the disabled list since April 29 because of a strained right hamstring, the Reds’ lineup has been a little left-handed heavy.
General manager Walt Jocketty told MLB.com that the team has “looked at” acquiring a right-handed hitter to fill in, but “there is really nobody out there that would make much of a difference. We’re just biding our time to see what happens.”
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl could be moving outdoors to the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park, the Detroit Free Press reported. The reason is that Ford Field, the home of the game, and its main tenant the Detroit Lions are trying to land to a new, higher-profile game. The bowl game’s contract with Ford Field is up after this year. So are its deals with the Mid-American Conference and Big Ten.“We know what the dimensions need to be, we know what the problems were at Wrigley Field (in Chicago with a football game there in 2010), so we don’t have that problem,” bowl director Ken Hoffman said of Comerica Park. “It’s a big enough stadium, for sure.”
The Tigers and Little Caesars Pizza also happen to be owned by the same person, Mike Ilitch. Capacity at Comerica is 41,782, just about the right size based on previous crowds for the bowl game.
Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.