Gang's All Here: Spencer Hawes Accepts Qualifying Offer

Gang's All Here: Spencer Hawes Accepts Qualifying Offer

Amidst all the turmoil in the NBA right now, the Sixers continue to stay
far out of the fray, content to bring back the same group that made an
unexpected run at the playoffs last year. After re-signing Thaddeus
Young and Tony Battie (yes, really) since free agency began two days
ago, the team has now also secured their starting center from last
season, Spencer Hawes. Spence accepted the team's qualifying offer, of
just over four million dollars, to stay with the Ballers for another
year.

Extending Hawes the qualifying offer was kind of a no-brainer for the
size-depleted Sixers. Battie was the only other potential center on the
roster (unless you count Elton Brand, which, not really), and it's
unlikely the team would've found a starting-caliber big man for such a
reasonable price elsewhere.

Of course, whether or not Spence actually is a starting-caliber center
remains up for debate. He wasn't exactly a dynamo for the team last year,
averaging just 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 22 minutes a game, while
shooting 47% from the field and an abysmal 53% from the line (though
that was somewhat moot, since he only shot about one free throw a game)
and playing sporadically porous defense. Still, Hawes is young—though
he's already been in the league for four seasons, he's only 23—and he
has enough talent that, for a low price in a year where the team isn't
exactly expected to contend anyway, it's worth it for the Sixers to take
another look at what they have with him.

And generally, I like the team's strategy of getting the band back
together, while generally staying out of most trade and free-agency
discussions. True, this has been the team's strategy for pretty much
every post-season since they splurged on Elton Brand, Lou Williams and
Andre Iguodala back in '08, but it especially makes sense this year to
make consistency a priority, with such a short training camp and
pre-season.

“With the signing of Spencer, we now have our core returning - a group
that is very familiar with each other, their roles and Coach Collins’
system and philosophies," said
de facto team GM Rod Thorn of Hawes' signing. And though it's not
exactly the '83 squad that they're bringing back together, this group of
players does seem to click very well with each other and with Coach
Collins, a chemistry that only seemed to grow as the season went along.

Re-signing Young and Hawes aren't the kind of moves that put the team
over the top as a title threat, but they should stabilize the team and
make them a likely playoff threat, at the least. Until the team gets out
from Brand and possibly Andre Iguodala's contract and starts building
in earnest towards a group that may one day contend for a championship,
they should at least be a fun, competitive group to watch in the
meantime. We're looking forward to watching them this year, anyway.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Penn State begins daunting Big Ten stretch with statement win over No. 19 Michigan

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Penn State begins daunting Big Ten stretch with statement win over No. 19 Michigan

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – It was 11:23 p.m. Saturday night – James Franklin, poised to address reporters in the Beaver Stadium media room, knew the time because he checked a cellphone lying before him – and Penn State’s coach said that would allow him exactly 37 minutes to enjoy the 42-13 victory over Michigan (see observations).

After that it was time to move on, time for the second-ranked Nittany Lions to prepare for the next step down a treacherous path. That involves a visit to No. 6 Ohio State next weekend, with another trip, to No. 18 Michigan State, to follow.

Franklin wasn’t about to discuss the Buckeyes within that precious 37-minute window. There will be time enough for that in the days to come.

But what seems apparent is that the Lions have the ability and adaptability to run with the Big Ten’s big dogs – that if they lose next week, it will be because of the Buckeyes’ strengths, not their weaknesses.

On Saturday night PSU was as good as it has been against a quality team in Franklin’s three-plus seasons on the job, outgaining the No. 19 Wolverines, 506-269, and unleashing Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley for three touchdowns apiece.

“Everybody’s been saying we haven’t been playing anybody this year,” wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton said. “Obviously we played somebody today.”

Somebody who came away pretty, pretty impressed.

“They hit us on quite a few plays that we have defensed well this year,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I thought their execution was really good tonight, right from the beginning.”

As in, the second play from scrimmage. That’s when Barkley lined up in the Wildcat – a formation the Lions hadn’t shown all year – and zipped 69 yards for a touchdown. He then capped their second possession by scoring on an option pitch, something else PSU hadn’t done much this season.

Franklin had said in the days leading up to the game that the Lions had something up their sleeves, that they were waiting to spring some stratagems on the Big Ten heavyweights. The wrinkles, he added Saturday, were things they had worked on during the preseason.

“The fact that we have some recall helps,” he said.

So too did the fact that they had a week off to prepare for the Wolverines.

“We watched, probably, seven different games of Michigan film,” Hamilton said. “It really helped a lot.”

Michigan cut the gap to 14-13, but then the Lions ran away and hid. It was difficult to find fault with any aspect of their performance, though Franklin tried. He thought the defense could have handled sudden change better, seeing as Michigan charged downfield for a touchdown after McSorley threw a first-quarter interception.

Barkley tried, too. On a day when he generated 176 all-purpose yards – 108 of them on the ground – the Heisman hopeful fixated on his second-quarter drop of a McSorley pass, on a wheel route down the left sideline.

“Sometimes I overthink and I just put myself in bad situations,” Barkley said. “I should have just caught it first. I was thinking score. I was thinking about catching the ball. I felt the safety. I felt his presence. I wanted to try to make him miss and find a way to get into the end zone.”

He atoned with a 42-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter, though he juggled that one, too.

“I was able to run through it,” he said. “It humbles you again, makes you realize you’ve got to put a little more work in. You’ve got to find a way to make those plays.”

Especially now that the celebration, brief as it was, is over. It’s time to take another step down a treacherous path, time to find out where it might lead.