Countdown to the season

Del Olaleye: College football weekly update

Kliff Kingsbury is not all that liked by Baker Mayfield. Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Scott Frost gets robbed

Apparently winning a national title as a player and being the next savior of Nebraska football doesn’t make you exempt from getting robbed in Lincoln, Nebraska. That is what happened to new Huskers coach Scott Frost. In his first summer back as a Lincoln resident Frost had his house broken into and initial reports valued the stolen merchandise at $165,000. Frost has since disputed the initially reported value. He made that clear as part of a statement: “I would like to clarify that some items initially reported as missing have been found, including some of the rings listed on the police report. Also, the value of what we believe to actually be missing is lower than what has been publicly reported." It was reported that some of the missing things were found in the garage which was actually the point of entry for the burglars. Somebody better tell coach that Lincoln isn’t the same as it was when he left. Don’t think his former coach Tom Osborne had to worry about anyone breaking into his home. Then again he won three national titles. Legends can leave all their doors unlocked in Lincoln.

The house was being remodeled so no one was living at the home at the time. That made the theft easy as all the items taken were in boxes. The stolen swag consisted of title rings and multiple pairs of Jordans. Frost has coached at Nike schools for the last nine years of his career. He was the head coach at UCF most recently and the offensive coordinator at Phil Knight’s love child Oregon before that. He now coaches at Nebraska, one of the premier schools for Adidas. I’m sure #3StripeLife will excuse it this time, but the next time Frost has his house robbed the stolen items better consist of Yeezys and Hardens vol. 3s.

Baker Mayfield has some thoughts on Kliff Kingsbury

Baker Mayfield’s journey is a tired story. So I won’t really get into it. Just know that before he was a star at Oklahoma he was walkon at Texas Tech. A really good one in fact. He started his career 5-0 as a starter. He got hurt during that season and that is where he claims his relationship with Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury changed. In a clip from his docu-series for Fox Sports he says that after he got hurt the relationship between himself and Coach Kingsbury took a downturn. According to Mayfield, Kingsbury treated him after the injury as if “he hadn’t done anything for him”. That’s only the quarterback’s side of the story and Kingsbury has responded to his former signal caller’s words in a short statement to TMZ, "I’ve always been a huge fan of Baker and loved working with him. He had an incredible career at Oklahoma, and I wish him nothing but continued success as he begins his NFL career.” Certainly not a denial of Mayfield’s words but Kingsbury has nothing to gain from engaging in a back and forth.

Wherever the truth lies, it certainly isn’t a departure for college coaches to all of a sudden play a game of “new phone, who dis?” when it comes to players who are no longer useful to them. The word attrition is used to describe players who don’t play regularly somehow finding their way out of the program. Some of it is suggested (politely forced) by coaches and other times it is voluntarily as players look for a better opportunity to play. Mayfield’s talent makes him one of the lucky ones. It turns out he could’ve played anywhere and got the chance to beat his former team three years in row during his time at Oklahoma.

 

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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