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Continued: Hartman: Wild owner Leipold likes team's direction

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 24, 2014 - 12:25 AM

Jottings

• Former Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman has turned around the Washington Wizards following a 2-7 start. The Wizards won eight of their final 11 regular-season games to end with a 44-38 record and the No. 5 seed in the East, and now they have beaten the Chicago Bulls twice in Chicago to take a 2-0 lead in that playoff series. Incidentally, Bob Knight called Wittman the smartest player he ever coached.

• Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman commented about the 30 outstanding potential draft choices who worked out at Winter Park last week. “We had our top 30, and when we do our top 30 it’s guys that are potential first-rounders, guys that are midrounders, guys that are late-rounders and even guys that we believe [could be] college free agents. But we use it kind of as a recruiting trip that we would like to sign right after the draft if they don’t get drafted.”

• Winning teams draw fans, but also important is to have a good schedule, and the Twins schedule is no bargain, with 14 dates in April, when they could run into cold weather, and only 10 in June, when kids are out of school and eager to go to ballgames. The rest of the schedule: 14 dates in May, 16 in July, 12 in August and 15 in September.

• While the Vikings had enough of cornerback Chris Cook with his inconsistent play and personal problems, the second-round draft choice in 2010 received a one-year contract with the 49ers.

• Gophers coach Jerry Kill was asked to talk about the 2014 schedule, which will conclude with four games against Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. “We have a tough schedule,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question. I think anybody in the Big Ten will tell you we have one of the toughest schedules in the Big Ten, and certainly adding TCU to our nonconference schedule and then our crossover games are Michigan and Ohio State. I’d say it’s a pretty stiff schedule, but that’s our job.” Still, Kill and his staff think they can compete with anybody next year.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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