Wednesday, 06 April 2011 10:30
Louisiana Sports: Greg LaFleur, LSU, Niki Caldwell, New Orleans Hornets, Tulane, Zephyrs
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Ed StatonSouthern University athletic director Greg LaFleur was arrested over the weekend in Houston after being charged with soliciting a prostitute. LeFleur, who is in his sixth year at Southern, played tight end at LSU and went on to an NFL career for six years. University spokesman Edward Pratt said  " SU will determine what action or actions are necessary," Judging by similar ethical shortcomings by Georgia AD Damon Evans, it wouldn't unreasonable to fathom that LeFleur could meet a similar fate to his counterpart...

Niki Caldwell
Nikki Caldwell was officially introduced as the seventh women's basketball head coach in the illustrious history of the LSU Lady Tigers program at a news conference on Monday in Baton Rouge.

"She's a star, she's a role model and she has the priorities of the young athletes in her heard and in her mind," said Tigers AD Joe Alleva.

Caldwell, 38, arrives at LSU as one of the elite coaches in all of college basketball. She won national championships as both a player and an assistant coach at Tennessee and turned UCLA into a national power.

LSU, Tulane
Sophomore right-hander Kevin Berry fired 2.2 scoreless relief innings on Tuesday night and second baseman Jacoby Jones delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth to lead No. 15 LSU to a 7-5 win over Tulane before a sold-out crowd of 5,131, largest crowd in Turchim Stadium history.
The Tigers (21-8) return to action this weekend with a three-game series at Arkansas. Game 1 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m.

Tulane dropped to 18-11 with its sixth straight loss. The Wave plays at Central Florida this weekend in a Conference USA series.

"This is a tough place to play, and I'm proud of our kids for fighting back after Tulane took the lead," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.

New Orleans Hornets
After having to sort through various scenarios in recent days to determine how the Hornets can clinch a playoff berth, the consequences of Wednesday's home game against the Rockets are extraordinarily easy to understand. If the Hornets (44-33) prevail in the Southwest Division matchup, they will guarantee themselves a trip to the NBA postseason. Tipoff is 7 o'clock.

If the Hornets lose to Houston, they can still ensure a playoff spot by winning two of their final four games, but the Hornets obviously would greater prefer to end all doubt by whipping the Rockets (41-36).

The Hornets hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series vs. Houston, winning on the Rockets' home floor twice during the first half of the season.

Over at there is a wonderful statistic called XeFG%. The X stand for "expected". Hoopdata keeps track of how well players shoot form different ranges and calculates the NBA average from each of those ranges. Armed with that information, the site can determine what the  expected FG% is for each type of shot in the NBA. For example, they know that the average eFG% for a shot taken from 10-15 feet away from the basket is 39.2%. So how do these numbers tell us the Hornets have the worst shot selection? Hoopdata tracks the type of shots the Hornets take, and here's the percentage of their shots from each distance:

Team      At Rim  <10 feet  10-15 feet   16-23 feet  3s
NOR        25.6%     15.3%    10.7%      28.9%  19.3%

That particular set of shots is expected to generate an FG% of 48.4%, which is the worst in the league. When Chris Paul was the runnerup for the MVP award in the 2007-08 season, the Hornets were second in the league in offensive efficiency, but they haven't been an elite offensive team for some time now...LSU quarterbacks depth chart for Saturday's spring game: 1. Jordan Jefferson. 2.Jarrett Lee. 3. Zach Mettenberger...


The New Orleans Zephyrs released the team's preliminary Opening Day roster for the
2011 season on Tuesday, which includes both the reigning Minor League Player of the Year and Pitcher
of the Year in the Florida Marlins organization.
Ozzie Martinez, a shortstop ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the system, hit .302 at Jacksonville last
season, earning a spot on the World Team in the Futures Game during Major League Baseball’s All-Star
weekend. He then batted .326 with the Marlins in a September call-up, and punctuated his season by
being named the organization’s Player of the Year.
Other Zephyr infielders will include veterans Mike Cervenak, Ruben Gotay, Josh Kroeger and Joe
Thurston. Matt Dominguez, a third baseman named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the
Marlins system, was to begin the year with New Orleans before suffering a fractured elbow late in spring
training that will force him to miss four to six weeks.
The outfield will feature familiar faces, as Chris Aguila returns to New Orleans, where he will begin
pursuit of the franchise career record for home runs. After belting 29 homers in 2008, the third-highest
single-season total in team history, Aguila hit two more after rejoining the club late last year, leaving him
25 shy of the record held by J.R. Phillips.
Another returning outfielder is Bryan Petersen, who enjoyed three stints with the Marlins in 2010 while
batting .255 in 91 games with New Orleans. Also seeing time in the outfield will be Aaron Mathews and
Vinny Rottino.
Headlining the starting pitching rotation will be a pair of right-handers who dominated the Southern
League last year, combining for 30 victories. Tom Koehler, the league’s Most Outstanding Pitcher, and
Elih Villanueva, the Marlins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, will start alongside left-handers Sean
West and Mark McLemore, and right-hander Adalberto Mendez.
The bullpen includes Burke Badenhop, Jay Buente, Jose Ceda, Steve Cishek, Todd Doolittle, Victor
Garate, Frank Mata and Dustin Richardson, with all but Doolittle having seen Major League time. The
battery mates for the pitching staff will be catchers Brad Davis and Clint Sammons.
The Zephyrs’ home opener is Friday, April 15 against division rival Round Rock. Tickets are available by
calling (504) 734-5155, by visiting the Zephyr Field box office or any Ticketmaster location, or by

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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