The Peterson Principle 3/9/10

Kevin O'Neill has USC headed in the right direction

By Tim Peterson

That was a cool haircut that Ron Artest was sporting Sunday against Orlando. But it didn’t seem to help. Besides hasn’t it been done before? When I first saw him running down the floor I thought Dennis Rodman had made a comeback. Actually I wish Rodman had come back. For everything he was, there wasn’t a better defender or rebounder.  

Artest is nice, plays solid defense, but I still contend that the Lakers were better off with Trevor Ariza. He’s younger, more athletic and a better scorer than Artest. Ariza is averaging 15.4 points per game and pulling down 5.4 rebounds. Artest is at 11.3 points per contest and grabbing 4.3 caroms. Ariza has struggled from the field shooting just over 37 percent but is still scoring four more per game.  

It looks more and more like the Clippers are going to make a huge pitch to land LeBron James in the summer. Before you double over in laughter think about this. Will LeBron ever face a bigger challenge? How remarkable of a feat would it be to be known as the man that led the Clippers to the NBA title? James and a healthy Blake Griffin would make the Clips instant contenders.

The PAC 10 must be happy that they brought back the post season tournament a few years ago. If not for the tourney, there might not a single team from the conference amongst the 64 team field in the NCAA tournament. Selections are this Sunday.  

Despite the fact that USC played its last game of the season Sunday due to self imposed sanctions for the basketball program, it feels like they are already headed in the right direction with Kevin O’Neill as coach.

John Wall of Kentucky will follow such players as Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and Kevin Durant as being one and done in college. What’s the point of the one year rule in the NBA anyway? Just throw it out altogether and allow kids to enter the NBA straight from high school like the old days.

Note to David Stern and the NCAA: What motivation does a one year college player have to go to class? Why study for a history exam when you’ll be making millions of dollars once the season is over?

I got out to see my first high school baseball game of the season Friday with Arcadia making the trek down Duarte Road to take on Temple City. Garrett Tuck fired a complete game and looked every bit the four year varsity starter while leading the Apaches to a 6-1 victory. The Apaches may have lost guys like Tim Smoley and Bryce Rutherford to graduation but Coach Nick Lemas is counting on players like Tuck, Jonathan Larson and Kyle Schneider to pick up the slack.

While watching Tuck, a former Temple City American Yankee, pitch a gem, I started to think about all of the players on the two teams I had covered in Little League. It’s kind of cool to watch the players develop from a 10 year old little leaguer to a varsity starter.

Here are the players on the two rosters and the little league teams they played for.

Temple City: Dusty Sanderson- TCN Dodgers, Evan Stransky – TCN Cubs, Justin Smith – TCA Yankees, Julian Jarrard – TCN Dodgers, Jonah Jarrard- TCN Dodgers, Jake Halversen – TCA Red Sox, Troy Brocato – TCA Yankees, Calvin Copping – TCA Angels, Alec Vigil – TCN Cubs, Corey Copping – TCA Angels, Branden Pultz – TCA Yankees, Connor Cullen – TCN Dodgers, Justin Sutton – TCN Dodgers, Ruben Jara – TCA Yankees.

Arcadia – Garrett Tuck – TCA Yankees, Tyler Dominguez – EMA Yankees, Chris Lucas- TCA Red Sox.

Note: We didn’t cover Arcadia Little League because they were not part of District 18. As a result I am missing some Arcadia players. All corrections and additions are welcome.

It’s not a surprise that there are that many former little leaguers playing at the high school level, but it is cool to see so many of them still playing America’s favorite past time.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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