How Can Frank Vogel Beat the Heat?
Wildwood Crest native Frank Vogel has been in this situation before.
Last season his Indiana Pacers trailed the Miami Heat three games to two, heading home with their backs against the wall for a pivotal Game 6. While it didn't end well for Indiana on that night, the Pacers have a chance to avenge 2012, and extend this year's Eastern Conference Finals to the maximum with a win this weekend. But is it possible for Coach Vogel's team to win two games in a row against the defending champions?
For that answer, we asked Indiana Pacers television play-by-play man Chris Denari about their chances in Game 6. He also explains the differences in this year's Pacers team, how Frank Vogel has shaped the identity of an entire franchise in only two years, and how the South Jersey native has added to the changing culture of sports in Indianapolis.
Hall of Fame sports reporter Tom Williams remembers Frank Vogel from his days on the court in Wildwood Crest; listen in for an interesting stat about his "old school" basketball achievements in South Jersey. Tom also previews this year's Schoppy Awards in Ocean City, and highlights which local athletes could be taking home some prestigious awards this week.
While players and coaches will be honored on the Music Pier in Ocean City for their achievements over the past year, the spring sports season continues for a hand full of teams in our area. Coach Mike Bylone's St. Augustine Prep baseball team continues its postseason dominance, earning victories over Holy Spirit and Bishop Eustace. Find out what he says it will take for the Hermits to overcome what could be their biggest challenge of the season this week.
The Southern Regional volleyball team has added another banner after capturing the South Jersey title. It's been an impressive run for the Rams and coach Eric Maxwell, who have reached the "Final Four" five years in a row. Find out why coach Maxwell had his team back on the practice court the morning after their big victory, and why their next match could shape up to be a true "heavyweight showdown".
And the controversy continues for the Rutgers Athletics program. More dark clouds have gathered on the horizon, as new Athletic Director Julie Hermann is facing accusations of abusing former players during her tenure as a head volleyball coach at Tennessee. SNY Rutgers beat writer Matt Sugam breaks down the madness at Piscataway, including what's next for a sports program and a school that's seemingly losing credibility by the day.
Listen to this week's show:
Mike Gill, V.P. of Atlantic Shore Babe Ruth Baseball & 97.3 ESPN-FM personality
Chris Denari, Indiana Pacers television play-by-play announcer
Billy Ward Sr., St. Augustine Prep head wrestling coach
Tom Williams, South Jersey Hall of Fame sports reporter
Leigh Klein, former Division I assistant basketball coach & top recruiter
Eric Maxwell, Southern Regional head volleyball coach
Mike Bylone, St. Augustine Prep head baseball coach
Matt Sugam, SNY Rutgers reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:
Track & Field, Atlantic City
She took top honors in the triple jump at Group IV championships. Gist jumped a total of 36 feet, 4.25 inches to earn first. She also placed second in the 100-meter dash and long jump.
It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or 973espn.com, and now catch the expanded edition every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m.
Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @TDsTake