Feb 18

Scrogcast: The ‘logic’ of CIF-SS hoops playoff seeds and Fan Laws

Mission Prep guard Quinton Adlesh

Mission Prep guard Quinton Adlesh

The Mission Prep boys basketball team is on the road to start the CIF-Southern Section Divisional playoffs, which would be fine if the Royals weren’t the No. 3 overall seed in their bracket. They might even be on the road for the first two rounds should they advance. How can that be?

For the first half of this episode Alex and I discuss that slap in the face and review where the other local teams wound up in their respective divisional playoff brackets. We had to record in the lunch room, so please don’t mind the reverb. We’ll be back in the regular studio next time.

The quality improved when I went to the Fansmanship.com headquarters to talk to Owen Main about the responsibilities fans have in support of their teams. Two basic fundamental laws of fandom are handed down, using Cal Poly and, specifically, men’s basketball as a backdrop.

There’s also a spirited discussion about Long John Silver’s that you will not want to miss. So, stick around for that, and let us know what you think.

Jan 24

Scrogcast: Ramses Barden signs in Buffalo

It’s shorter than usual, but we found some time for a show this week to talk about Cal Poly football legend Ramses Barden getting a second chance in the NFL by signing a futures contract with the Buffalo Bills.

Tribune prep sports reporter and Buffalo native Alex Jankowski was especially excited to talk about what this means for the Bills and Barden, who still has the potential to be a play-maker.

Alex also made his first appearance at a Cal Poly game, and we talked about his impression of the student section at Mott Athletic Center. It got loud in the final two minutes of the close loss to Long Beach State, but was that good enough?

What do you think?

Jan 10

Scrogcast: Quitting at Cuesta and owning Hawaii

We use the second podcast in as many weeks to discuss a crazy basketball story from Cuesta College you have to hear to believe, Cal Poly’s surprising men’s basketball blowout victory over Hawaii and “The Carson Wack Show” at Arroyo Grande.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser beat reporter Brian McInnis joins me for a segment on college basketball and the rumored Star Wars Land. Plus, Alex details his familial ties to Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and if you want to get in on giving Alex his official Tribune nickname, please listen and leave a comment below.

Jan 03

Scrogcast: Introducing our new prep sports writer

We at The Tribune rang in the new year by welcoming new high school sports reporter Alex J. Jankowski to the Central Coast.

Alex comes from Buffalo by way of Rutgers and Ketchikan, Alaska, and I sat down to ask him about his road to SLO, his affinity for and the lovable use of his middle initial within his byline and his midseason take on the local prep basketball scene.

We discussed all that and more, including Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, Snooki of the Jersey Shore and the use of a new live horse Mustang mascot at Cal Poly. It’s the return of the Scrogcast — with a promise of more regular updates coming soon (and possibly a name change ((but not likely))).

May 04

Cal Poly spring game: Kevin Britt is back


Cal Poly junior cornerback Kevin Britt. Tribune file photo

It’s been nearly a year since Kevin Britt has been a factor at Cal Poly football practice.

But in case anybody forgot the junior cornerback’s name, he got it called in Saturday’s spring game.

The former Nipomo High standout came up with an interception of quarterback Dano Graves that had to have some saying, ‘Oh, yeah, Kevin Britt.’

He was on track to becoming a key contributor in the defensive backfield before a lower back injury forced him to the sidelines last spring.

Now, he has to make sure he isn’t forgotten again.

“I’ve just got to prove not only to coaches but players, too, that I didn’t lose a step,” Britt said. “I deserve to be on the field. I’m ready wherever they need me as long as my body’s ready.”

Britt has spent most of the past calendar year performing therapy in the form of pilates and other core-strengthening exercises, hoping to stabilize his lower back, where a vertebrae tear and bulged disk were revealed by tests shortly before the 2012 season opener last fall.

He’s rid of the shooting pain that traveled from his back down through his legs, but he’s still been dealing with back stiffness at Cal Poly’s early morning practices.

But if Saturday’s performance was any indication, his back is ready for action.

Shadowing a nearby defender, Britt made a quick reaction on a pass tipped by another receiver and caught a ball he barely had time to see.

He regretted losing his balance and falling to the ground while completing the catch but was happy about the way his back held up.

“Spring practice was pretty rough,” Britt said. “My body’s getting adjusted to the little things, so I had to stay on top of it with ice baths, stretching two or three times a day.”

But Saturday, “it felt so good, better than any practice. It’s great to be out here taking advantage of every rep.”

Mar 08

Is it You-you or Oo-oo? Video interview with Drake U’u and Chris O’Brien

When Drake U’u makes a play during a men’s basketball game in Mott Gym, public address announcer Mike Moreno lets you know it by emphatically booming out the Cal Poly senior guard’s last name: “You-youu!”

But all this time, have we been mispronouncing U’u’s name (which is Samoan in origin)?

According to the Hawaii broadcasters – experts at pronouncing Pacific Islanders’ surnames – during last week’s game in Honolulu, we have been. But then again, they also tagged a Pomona on the end of Cal Poly a time or two.

I set out to clear up any remaining confusion on how to properly say Drake’s last name in my latest video, and it ended up being a fun tandem interview with fellow senior Chris O’Brien, who has some nickname pronunciation issues of his own.

See the duo play in their final home game in San Luis Obispo at 7 p.m. on Saturday (March 8, 2013) against visiting Cal State Fullerton in the second half of a doubleheader with the women’s team.

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Mar 01

Scrogcast: Hawaii beat writer Brian McInnis talks Big West

Tribune file photo by David Middlecamp. Cal Poly's Drake U'u drives past Isaac Fotu of Hawaii earlier this season.

Tribune file photo by David Middlecamp. Cal Poly’s Drake U’u drives past Isaac Fotu of Hawaii earlier this season.

Since the Cal Poly men’s basketball team remained on the road after Thursday’s blowout victory at Cal State Northridge, I went with an audio production lieu of a game preview on Saturday’s showdown at Hawaii.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser basketball beat reporter Brian McInnis came on the Scrogcast to give you everything you ever wanted to know about the Rainbow Warriors, the Warriors, the Rainbows, the Bows and the Rainbow Wahine.

We talked about Hawaii’s fit in the Big West, the home court advantage on the islands, a little recruiting and a little Star Wars.

Hope you enjoy, and follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/SLOcollegebeat for Cal Poly men’s basketball updates.

Mar 01

The road to NCAA baseball regionals is tougher out west

NCAA Division I Baseball Map – Source: Wikipedia

The map above is the problem with NCAA baseball postseason credentials in the world of Cal Poly baseball head coach Larry Lee.

West of the Rockies, there are a lot fewer teams to play, and most of them are at least decent. In the interest of travel budget, good teams have to play good teams. In the East, there are so many more teams to choose from, the good teams don’t have to play each other outside of conference play. That makes it easier to pile up wins.

If you’re a good team in the East, why would you want to play Cal Poly when there are a bunch of no-name states, directional schools and last-name private colleges to slap around nearby?

Florida State, for instance, starts this season off with a 15-game home streak. LSU plays 15 of the first 16 at home. Take a peek at their opponents. Stanford on the other hand, plays Rice, Fresno State and Texas in the first three weekend series. Arizona State plays a series with Long Beach State. Oregon plays Cal State Fullerton for three.

In the end, you can’t fake it in the CWS, but the road to regionals seems easier in the East, an aspect of college baseball that can frustrate bubble teams from the West.

Feb 23

Update on Kevin Hess’ condition

For those of you looking for news on former Cal Poly defensive tackle Kevin Hess, who has been in the hospital with head injuries suffered in a skateboarding accident, there has been some encouraging developments.

Hess’s sister Lindsey posted the following on Kevin’s Facebook page:

Update on Kev: He has been awake for short spurts over the last few days. He is able to speak, which is a good sign but he is still very groggy and confused. It is too soon to tell how much of his behavior is from the medication and how much is from the injury. Overall, we feel things are moving in a positive direction and the doctors seemed pleased with his progress. Will keep everyone posted, as we know more….keep sending the love and positive thoughts, it seems to be working!

Kevin Hess

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive tackle last played for Cal Poly in 2011. He is still living in San Luis Obispo and was working on campus. I’ll continue to pass along any updates as they come in.

Feb 16

Former Cal Poly football player Kevin Hess hospitalized with head injury

Former Cal Poly football player Kevin Hess is in intensive care at a San Luis Obispo hospital after sustaining a head injury in a skateboarding accident, former teammates confirmed Saturday.

Hess, who was a senior during the 2011 season, still lives in San Luis Obispo and has a job on campus at Cal Poly, Mustangs head coach Tim Walsh said.

“I really think he loved Cal Poly, and that’s why he was still here,” Walsh said.
“We in the program want to support Kevin as much as we can. It’s kind of a hang-out-and-see-what-happens thing.”

Described as one of the most popular players on the team during his five years with the football program, Hess was a key contributor at defensive tackle in each of his final three seasons and a primary backup at defensive end as a redshirt freshman.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Arcadia High graduate played in 41 career games, racking up 50 total tackles and five sacks.

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