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FOX Sports Knoxville 7/20 Mailbag

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the weekly mailbag. We’re really happen with the feedback that we have received after the first edition. Keep up with the great work. The questions have been fantastic. With that said, let’s get started.


Grant S. writes:

“I know a lot of people have a problem with Lonzo Ball because of his dad. But he must be doing something right to be worthy of the 2nd overall pick in the draft. So strictly from a basketball perspective how do you see his career as a player turning out? Hall of fame? Good overall player? Bust?”

It’s foolish to say that a guy is going to be a Hall of Famer before ever playing in a real game, but Lonzo Ball is in the right situation to become a hall of famer. The Lakers are on the cusp of being “back.” He’s a part of a young duo that has been deemed “untouchable” alongside Brandon Ingram, and help could be on the way next off-season in the likes of LeBron James and friends or at the very least Paul George. By year 2, Lonzo could be playing in meaningful post season games.

So far on the court, he’s shown that he has a special gift with his court vision. It’s summer league, but his defensive instincts have been much better than anticipated. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that he will be an all-star within his first five years in the league. In a loaded Western Conference, that’s an accomplishment.

– Jon Reed


Billy H. writes:

The other day on 3&OUT, I heard you all talking about the movie Con Air. When you think about it, it really is a great movie. I mean how can you not love Nicolas Cage? So that leads me to the question of what is the greatest Nic Cage movie of all time?”

Where do I begin! First off, Con Air is a fantastic movie. It has everything! You got Nicolas Cage for the action, John Cusack for the sentimental value, Dave Chappelle for the comedy component, Steve Buscemi to freak everyone out acting all Hannibal Lecter like, and Malkovich to tie it all together. I mean the list goes on and on and on. Definitely one of the best films made in the 90’s. I will say Con Air is Cage’s best film, but The Rock and Raising Arizona are up there as well.

I don’t think many people will debate the fact that Nic Cage is the greatest actor of his generation! I mean did you see Face Off?! If it wasn’t for Cage’s horrendous ability to mismanage money we wouldn’t be blessed with great films such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Drive Angry, and Outcast. If you haven’t seen Outcast, I pray you never have to watch a second of that train wreck of a movie.

Anyways, we were playing a game at the FOX Sports Knoxville studio the other day where we took historic movies and replaced the lead actor with Nic Cage. Can you imagine Cage playing Forrest Gump? What about starring in Cast Away? WILSON!!! Honestly, if you switched every Tom Hanks’ movie with Nic Cage as the lead think about how many Oscars Nic would have now? He’d be pushing double digits.

Side Note: Personally, my favorite Nicolas Cage movie Kick Ass. If you have never seen Kick Ass you haven’t lived life yet. You can thank me later.

– Davey Hudson


Bruce B. writes:

Which Tennessee player drafted in 2016 will have the most impactful NFL career?”

The obvious answer is Derek Barnett. He is the best defensive lineman to come out of the University of Tennessee in a very long time, and I believe he will not only start right away, but have a Joey Bosa-esque impact.

It wouldn’t stun me to see Barnett rack up double digit sacks in his rookie season. Is that a realistic expectation? Of course not, it takes time to adjust to the NFL game. But football is weird. If we were talking impact relative to draft status, Josh Malone is my choice. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Josh Malone will have a better Bengals career than John Ross III, who Cincinnati selected in the first round.

Malone is a 6’3″ 210 pound receiver who can run a 4.40 forty yard dash, which is a very strong athletic profile. As well, he proved at Tennessee that he can be a reliable deep threat. The Bengals need more of that in their receiving corp. now that Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu have moved on, and I believe that Malone will provide that.

– Jake Tidwell


Bryan J. writes:

“Aaron Judge seems like the next MLB superstar. Everyone knows he can hit some pretty incredible home runs, but as an overall player is he as good as everyone says? What former baseball great would you compare Judge too?”

It’s hackneyed but not inaccurate to compare Judge and Stanton. Both guys’ slugging percentage and strikeouts will be tops in the league. They look unnatural in the outfield. But runners respect their arms. Better hitting comparison would be Jim Thome – extraordinarily high BABIP, slugging percentage, strikeout rate and walk rate.

The important thing to keep in mind with Judge is that he’s played 113 Major League games. His home runs and RBI impress everyone. But he’s unable to do this for 162 games. I am telling you he’s unable to do this for an entire season. His batting average will wind up closer to .300 than .320 this year.

Judge didn’t make his Major League debut until age 24, three years after the Yankees drafted him in the first round. Now if the organization knew that Aaron Judge was the 500-foot home run, colossal power hitter we know him to now be, don’t you think the Yankees would’ve brought him up quicker? In 2015, the Yankees chose outfielders Ramon Flores, Chris Young, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott to call up instead of Judge.

Forget batting average for one second because Judge thrives on power. In the Minor Leagues, he never slugged over .500. His OBP got over .400 once. The Yankees had a 6’8″ outfielder who struggled to use his physical gifts the right way.

Most Minor League players and college players could jump in an MLB game and compete for an afternoon. Much different story when it comes to playing 162 games. I’ll be impressed once Judge shows me he can stay healthy for an entire year, keep patient for an entire year (leads the league in walks,) and hit for power and average.

– Boomer Dangel


Caleb W. writes:

If you had the opportunity to trade any of Tennessee’s starters for another player that will be an incoming freshmen in college football (not at the same position) who would it be?”

Give me Najee Harris for Coleman Thomas in a heartbeat. Thomas could be replaced by sliding Jashon Robertson over to center and slotting in Venzell Boulware or Trey Smith at guard. Obviously losing an offensive lineman always stings, but if there’s one position Tennessee has depth at its offensive line.

Najee Harris was one of the top prospects in the nation last year, and he would make an immediate impact on a Tennessee backfield that needs more depth. He would team up with John Kelly for an immediate impact, and allow Ty Chandler to be brought along more slowly. Obviously they’re both freshmen, but Chandler has been dealing with hamstring issues. The addition of Harris would allow Tennessee to make sure that all is well with Chandler before putting him out there.

– Jake Tidwell

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