Report: Andy Toole to interview at Marshall

Written by Craig Meyer on .

It wouldn't be a Robert Morris basketball offseason if coaching speculation wasn't involved.

Colonials coach Andy Toole is expected to interview for the vacant men's basketball head coaching position at Marshall University, a source told the Charleston Daily Mail.

This time of year is always filled with people trying to pimp Toole out to most any vacant job, but this is a legitimate report for something substantive -- an actual interview for a position that would make some kind of sense.

According to figures from the Office of Postsecondary Education, Marshall spent $2.37 million on men's basketball during the 2012-13 season, ranking it 137th among Division I teams and ninth among programs in the 16-team Conference-USA. For the sake of comparison, Robert Morris spent $1.34 million on men's basketball, good for 253rd in Division I.

Tom Herrion, who was recently fired as the Thundering Herd's coach, was making about $400,000 per year, which, according to tax documents, is more than double what Toole was making in 2011. Since that time, he's gotten a raise and an extension, but the fact still remains that this job would be a bump in pay at a school that spends more money on men's basketball.

With all that in mind, would this be the right conference for Toole? Andrew Chiappazzi over at Colonials Corner breaks it down some in this thread and I agree with him on some points. This isn't the Conference-USA of 10 years ago, when Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette and Memphis would regularly help the league send multiple teams to the NCAA tournament. It could very well be a one-bid league for the future, but I think the potential at least exists for there to be multiple teams selected from the conference in a given year.

At the very least, there's more of a financial commitment to basketball than there is in the NEC, largely because these are bigger schools with more resources, even if the prestige factor of the Big East or Atlantic 10 isn't there. Ten of C-USA's 16 teams are among the top 150 in basketball expenses in 2012-13; the NEC, meanwhile, had no teams in the top 150 in spending and just one in the top 200 (LIU Brooklyn).

It's maybe not the job many people envisioned Toole being tied to, but there is reportedly mutual interest and, to me at least, it appears like a step up for him on the proverbial coaching ladder.

The situation is certainly worth monitoring and I'll provide any updates as they become available.

UPDATE [4/17]: When reached last night, Toole said he had no comment no the report or a potential interview.


Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Ducks - Stars preview - 04-15-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Ducks vs. Stars

Ducks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Ryan Getzlaf (right), 87 points (31 goals, 56 assists).

Stars Leading Regular Season Scorer: Tyler Seguin, 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists).

Ducks Expected Starting Goaltender: Frederik Andersen, 20-5-0, 2.29 GAA, .923 SV%.

Stars Expected Starting Goaltender: Kari Lehtonen (below), 33-20-10, 2.41 GAA, .919 SV%.

Ducks Regular Season Statistics

Stars Regular Season Statistics

Ducks Injuries: Right winger Tim Jackman (hand) is out. Defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) is on injured reserve.

Stars Injuries: Defenseman Brenden Dillon ("lower body") and left winger Ray Whitney ("lower body") are questionable. Center Rich Peverley (heart) is on out.

Ducks with Stanley Cup bling: Francois Beauchemin, D; Ryan Getzlaf, C; Corey Perry, RW; Teemu Selanne, RW.

Stars with Stanley Cup bling: Erik Cole, LW; Alex Goligoski, D; Segei Gonchar, D; Rich Peverly C; Tyler Seguin, C; Tim Thomas G; Ray Whitney, LW.

Something worthwhile about the Ducks: The Ducks led the NHL in goals per game this past regular season with 3.21.

Something worthwhile about the Stars: The Stars were shutout only once this past regular season, least in the NHL .

Something useless about the Ducks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Current Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz holds the Ducks' postseason record for assists in a period. He recorded three in a 5-1 win against the Canucks in Game 1 of a 2007 Western Conference semifinal series.

Something useless about the Stars that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The longest playoff overtime win in Stars/North Stars history was a series-clinching 2-1 victory in four overtime periods against the Sharks in Game 6 of a 2008 Western Conference semifinal. Former Penguins left winger Brenden Morrow scored the overtime goal.

Former Penguins on the Ducks: Brad Lauer, assistant coach; Ben Lovejoy, D.

Former Penguins on the Stars: Alex Goligoski, D; Sergei Gonchar, D; Jiri Hrdina, amateur scout; Dustin Jeffrey, center; Mark Recchi, advisor to hockey operations.

Who needs to be the difference for the Ducks: Andrew Cogliano, Saku Koivu, Jakob Silfverberg. The Stars generate the bulk of their offense from their top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichuskin. Presumably, the Ducks will pit their third line against this trio. The Ducks' defensive forwards much limit the damage from the Stars' best players.

Who needs to be the difference for the Stars: Lehtonen. For the Stars to pull off this upset, Lehtonen has to steal some games. At the very least, he has to outperform the Ducks' uncertain goaltending situation.

Best Ducks YouTube Video We Could Find: Mighty Ducks right winger Petr Sykora scoring a goal in the fifth overtime of a 4-3 win against the Stars in Game 1 of a 2003 Western Conference quarterfinal series:

Best Stars YouTube Video We Could Find: Stars defenseman Paul Cavallini scoring the franchise's first postseason overtime goal since it moved to Dallas in a 5-4 against the Blues in Game 3 a 1994 Western Conference quarterfinal series:

EN Prediction: For the Stars, reaching the postseason has made this a successful season. They will give the Ducks trouble and definitely won't be outworked. But with limited sources of offense and the spotty history of Lehtonen, they don't have enough to win this series. Ducks 4-2.

(Photos: Jeff Gross/Getty Images and Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Record low temperature predicted for tonight, don't panic in the garden

Written by Doug Oster on .

mystery lettuce under row coverEven though it won't get cold enough to kill things like lettuce, a floating row cover will make the plants happier. Photo by Doug Oster

There's a possibility temperatures will reach a record low of 21 degrees tonight and that could adversely affect some plants in the garden. Don't panic though, most of these plants have seen this many times over the years.

Lets start with things we're not worried about and/or couldn't really protect anyway. Most shrubs and trees will be fine. Things like azaleas and rhododendrons shouldn't be affected along with dogwoods and pines. Magnolias and fruit trees might get the worst of it. In my garden, both are too big to do anything about, so all I can do is cross my fingers. If the magnolia has started to bloom, flowers might get zapped and if not, the buds stand a chance of freezing out.

For spring blooming bulbs, I won't do a thing. They have been through this for centuries, worse case scenario there will be some bud blast and loose the blossoms for the season. This is most likely to happen on daffodils.

I'm not worried about pansies or violas either, they should be able to take the cold.

Most of what I'll be protecting is in the vegetable garden. Peas and greens like lettuce, arugula, spinach and more won't be killed by these temperatures, but will be happier with a little protection.

The easiest thing to use is a floating row cover. It's a spun bound translucent fabric which is so lightweight, the plants themselves can hold it up.

Since soil temperatures have warmed up, I'm not too worried about one night of cold. We should reach 50 by tomorrow afternoon. Lets hope that's the end of the really cold weather, but don't forget, we'll get frost all the way through May.

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Secrets in the daffodil patch; spiders and flowers beyond yellow trumpets

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog secrets spider 3Secrets are revealed when you get close to the flowers. This tiny spider tried to hide behind a daffodil petal. Photos by Doug Oster

The forest is filled with scrawny deer, tired and hungry from a brutal winter. But even though they are starving, the four legged thieves turn their noses up at daffodils, that's one of the reasons I grow so many.

I love yellow trumpets, but their are countless other colors and flower forms to experience.

Spring is officially here when the daffs begin to bloom, but the season can be extended by choosing early, mid and late season varieties. I enjoy the subtle differences each one offers. It's fun to get close to the flowers, and when you do, surprises can happen. As I was cutting bouquets I saw a tiny spider jump behind a petal, hoping not to be seen. I slowly laid down on the soft, cool soil with camera in hand. The close-up lens was perfect to capture the tiny hairs of the hidden spider's legs.

My connection with daffodils goes back to 1967, when I visited the graves of my grandparents at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland. Behind me were thousands of flowers in bloom on Daffodil Hill. The area was started in the 1940's with an initial planting of 100,000 bulbs. I was profoundly affected by those flowers and when I moved to Pittsburgh, told my mother I would create my own Daffodil Hill in memory of my grandparents. I'm a long way off from 100,000 bulbs, but I'm working on it.

I had the honor of being in Rick Sebak's Cemetery Special talking about Daffodil Hill and how it changed my gardening life.

Here's a look at many of the early flowering daffodils in my garden. I'm looking to add more each season, this is the time to decide where I need more. I'll shoot some pictures so when fall planting time comes around I'll know where to plant them.

When I see the flowers in bloom, I always remember that day in 1967 and smile thinking of my grandparents.

blog secrets pink daffI've recorded the cultivars of every daffodil I've planted. They are tucked away in garden journals so in this garden it's all about enjoying the flowers not the names. I love this pink throated beauty.

blog double yellow daffDouble daffodils might be my favorites.

blog secrets whiteThis patch was here when I moved in, I think they are an old fahsioned favorite called Mt. Hood.

blog secrets 2It's fun to see al the different variations in daffodils.

blog secrets bridalGet close to the flowers and really take a good look.

blog secrets daffodil 1Daffodil season signals the "real" start to spring.

blog secrets orange heartThis one is also a favorite.

blog secrets still tightOne trick to extending the season is planting varieties which bloom at different times.

blog secrets yellow and orangeSimple, elegant and beautiful.

blog tight bridal daffsFor some reason flies are attracted to this variety.

blog white and orange doubleAnother cool double daffodil.

blog secrets daffodil overallThere's nothing wrong with yellow trumpets. These are some of the toughest and most beautiful daffodils in the garden.


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Empty Netter Assists - 04-15-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-"Maybe people don't see us as much as the favorite. I think that's fine. No problem." - Marc-Andre Fleury (right) on the playoffs.

-"Playing kind of meaningless games, it's not easy to get motivated. I think we did a pretty good job with it, but you can probably see it that the games really didn't matter that much." - Olli Maatta.

-The Penguins recalled goaltender Tomas Vokoun from a conditioning stint with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-"Hopefully, I don’t play." - Jeff Zatkoff on the next two months.

-The big screen is back.

-"Boys did the right thing; I don’t expect anything after something like that. It was a clean hit, we’ve moved on and we’ve had a good week and a bit since then. Put it behind us.’’ - Blackhawks captain/forward Jonathan Toews on being injured on a hit by Brooks Orpik March 30.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins recalled goaltender Eric Hartzell from the Wheeling Nailers.

-Happy 49th birthday to the best power forward in franchise history:

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Micki DuPont. Acquired at the 2003 trade deadline along with Mathias Johansson in a deal which sent Shean Donovan to the Flames, Dupont's Penguins career amounted to three game and one assist with the 2006-07 team. In the 2007 offseason, he joined the Blues as a free agent. He currently plays for Kloten of the NLA in Switzerland.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-"We're anticipating them both being ready at some point in this series." - Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on the health of forwards Nick Foligno (knee) and R.J. Umberger ("upper body").

-The Rangers recalled forward J.T. Miller (right), a native of East Palestine, Ohio, from Hartford of the AHL.

-Will Flyers goaltender Steve Mason be healthy enough to begin the playoffs?

-Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was fined $5,000 by the NHL for spearing Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore Sunday.

-The Devils assigned forwards Mike Sislo, Tim Sestito, defenseman Jon Merrill and Adam Larsson to Albany of the AHL.

-Devils forward Ryane Clowe revealed he suffered a concussion March 31.

-New Jersey defenseman Mark Fayne suffered a groin injury in the team's season finale Sunday.

-Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador revealed he missed the season's final 10 games due to a torn right labrum.

-Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin will undergo wrist surgery.

-"I signed six years because I wanted to be here. There's no part of me that wants to leave. I think [the talk] is a product of the team not winning, and the perception around here from other markets is always a lot different from what actually happens. I know we've still got some great things we can accomplish here and my mindset hasn't changed. I'm excited to come back next year and I've always loved being here." - Islanders captain/forward John Tavares (right) snuffing out a rumor he wanted to leave the team.

-The Islanders assigned forwards John Persson, Johan Sundstrom, Mike Halmo, Justin Johnson, Brett Gallant, defensemen Scott Mayfield and Matt Donovan to Bridgeport of the AHL.

-“It’s part of my job. I’m captain of the team and of course I have to take responsibility. I have to take criticism.” - Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin on his team missing the postseason.

-The Capitals assigned defenseman Julien Brouillette and center Peter LeBlanc to Hershey of the AHL.

Atlantic Division

-With Ben Bishop dealign with an "upper-body" injury, it appears Anders Lindback (right) will be the the Lightning's starting goaltender heading into the postseaosn.

-The Red Wings assigned goaltender Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids of the AHL.

-"We're not counting on Dennis to be back. We're going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating, but that's all I can say on it. It really hasn't changed." - Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli on the status of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg who is dealing with a knee injury.

-The Bruins assigned forwards Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Alexander Khokhlachev, and Matt Lindblad to Providence of the AHL.

-Canadiens foward Lars Eller resumed practicing after missing three games due to a an illness.

-The Panthers assigned defenseman Colby Robak to San Antonio of the AHL.

-"We’ve got to change the culture, we’ve got to change the standards – but enough’s enough. Joke’s over." - Sabres defenseman Mike Weber on his team's struggles in recent seasons.

-Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer was diagnosed with a concussion.

-Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers (right) revealed he missed the final 10 games of the regular season due to broken ribs.

-"I worry about my future every day. I don’t come in here for one day and not worry about my future. Same as when I played. It’s a privilege to work in this league. Whether you’re a player, a coach or in the media or whatever your job is in this league, it’s a privilege. You should be worried every day that somebody wants your job. I have that fear every day.” - Senators coach Paul MacLean on his status.

-The Senators assigned forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Stone and defenseman Cody Ceci to Binghamton of the AHL.

-“Winning is a simple solution. We’re not going to win a game sitting up here today… Nothing we say here today matters. It's about the work we put in here, and it’s about results." - Brendan Shanahan on taking over as the Maple Leafs' president.

-Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will undergo surgery to correct a sports hernia.

Central Division

-The Predators will not renew the contract of Barry Trotz (right), the only head coach in the history of the franchise. Hired in 1995, Trotz coached the Predators in 1,196 regular season games and a 557-479-60-100 record. The team never advanced past the second round of the postseason under Trotz.

-"It hurts because of the good memories. It's not a sad day, but a joyous day really. It's sad because I'm not going to be around my friends as much." - Trotz.

-“It’s our fault that he left. We didn’t play good enough for him. He can’t be on the ice, he just puts the right players out there. In the end this is our fault that he gets fired, and obviously that’s a huge responsibility for us and we have to be better next year.” - Predators forward Patric Hornqvist on Trotz.

Pacific Division

-Will Antti Niemi or Alex Stalock be the Sharks' starting goaltender in the playoffs?

-"It's personal. It's L.A.” - Sharks forward Tomas Hertl on facing the Kings in the first round. Hertl missed 45 games due to a knee injury he suffered when he was hit low by Kings captain/forward Dustin Brown Dec. 19.

-The Sharks recalled defenseman Matt Tennyson from Worcester of the AHL.

-It appears goaltender Jonas Hiller is out of the picture as the Ducks' starter heading into the postseason.

-Flames forward Sean Monahan (right) will play for Team Canada in the upcoming IIHF World Championships. Flames captain/defenseman Mark Giordano declined an invitation to play on account of a hand injury.

-The Flames assigned defensemen Chad Billins and Chris Breen to Abbotsford of the AHL and Mark Cundari to Chicago of the AHL.

-"I don't like the way he [Hartley] does business. I don't like him, and eventually I guess why I am talking about it in this way is because I need to protect my players and a lot of people don't understand that, so I'll just leave it at that." - Canucks coach John Tortorella on Flames coach Bob Hartley. Tortorella objected to Hartley arguing with officials Sunday after Flames forward Paul Byron injured Canucks forward Daniel Sedin with a hit from behind.

-"John Tortorella was on my staff for the Olympics in 2010. He's a good guy. I don't know what's going on in his head, but you know what? Shut your mouth and worry about your team. Leave my coach alone." - Flames general manager Brian Burke.

-"I was scared because I felt something wasn't right. I hit my head into the glass and fell down and when I tried to lift my head I couldn't get it off the ice. It was scary, but I went to the hospital and everything looked good. So it feels okay today." - Sedin on the hit.

-The Canucks assigned defenseman Frank Corrado and forward Nicklas Jensen to Utica of the AHL.

Patrick Division

-The NHL will hold its draft lottery tonight, 8 p.m.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Paul Bereswill/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images, Rick Stewart/Getty Images and Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

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