In January, Utah running back Devontae Booker opted to return to school for his senior year, and now that he's back he has some pretty lofty goals.
Booker did a Q-and-A with ESPN's David Lombardi, where he talked about some of these goals.
"I just want get better overall at running back," Booker said. So I'm focusing on blocking, I'm focusing on catching and I'm focusing on running the ball. But as far as stats go, I'm planning on rushing for 2,000 yards and winning the Heisman. Those are my two main goals."
In 2014, Booker busted onto the scene, going from a member of a crowded backfield to one of the Pac-12's most dominant rushers. He finished with 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns. He said in the interview that when it comes to the Heisman, playing in the Pac-12 does come with its challenges, and they don't just include the opposing defenses.
"You see a lot of guys from the SEC, they're getting mentioned every week about awards, the Heisman watch, or whatever else," he said. "We don't get that same respect enough, especially with the great group of running backs we have in the Pac-12. I think they should do something about it. They should make it out here and let us be recognized too."
Jazz games amid the games
The Jazz have had an interesting few days. First, Enes Kanter returns to Salt Lake and blasts his former team, and then Rudy Gobert and Andrew Wiggins staged what may have been the most exciting exhibition of elite skills between two lottery-bound teams.
Well, the people over at Grantland.com noticed, and wrote about the Jazz's last couple of contests.
Jason Concepcion wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about Kanter's negative comments toward the team and city, writing things like, "The state has been getting by, thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty and the interesting role it's played in American history, for far too long. It's about time someone spoke up," and "(Oklahoma City is) a clean city, not like the sewage-strewn, fecal-waste hellscape that is Salt Lake City," and "Let a dude dream, Utah! Why can't a guy close his eyes and find himself leaping the decrepit buildings of downtown Salt Lake in a single bound?" And finally, "Mountains of trash, he obviously meant to say. Glimmering vistas and towering peaks made of old tires and food waste."
The story does go in-depth on the rarity of the situation. Because many players don't want to burn bridges, the kind of shots fired from Kanter don't happen very often. Concepcion says the closest thing he can remember is Latrell Sprewell after he left the New York Knicks, but he only went off on New York owner James Dolan, he left the city out of it. Kanter, however, spared no one and because of that, was on the receiving end a few times at the end of the night.
"After the game," Concepcion writes, "Trevor Booker summed up the tempest over Kanter's comments with: 'He got his stats, but, as always he took the L,' after which Booker dropped the mic, unplugged the mic cord, turned off the PA, and then burned down the club."
Concepcion's colleague Andrew Sharp wrote a piece on the Gobert-Wiggins battle, with the glorious headline of, "Andrew Wiggins and Rudy Gobert Staged a French-Canadian War..." In the story, he writes how small battles like this is exactly what the NBA needs come March.
"The playoffs are coming soon, and we're all checked out and exhausted. College basketball is taking center stage by necessity. All we need from the NBA during March is a couple of weird nights and highlights that could just as easily be hallucinations. (Monday) in Minneapolis was like fan fiction for those of us who have spent five months talking about this league."
Both storylines prove that the Kanter to the Thunder trade is the trade that just keeps on giving.
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