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On Pritchard, Petrie, Blazer 'D,' OSU and UO baseball, and more

On Sports

Touching on a few items on my sporting plate . . .

• Don't believe the reports that Kevin Pritchard has been in talks with Paul Allen 'advisers' about returning to the Trail Blazers' general manager post.

Allen and Larry Miller weren't fibbing with their denials.

It's likely that Pritchard's agent, Warren LeGarie, is floating out rumors to try to increase his client's profile in the running for the New York Knicks' GM position.

• What Allen ought to do is hire Geoff Petrie as a senior consultant - a la Jerry West at Golden State - and mentor to Chad Buchanan in Portland's front office.

Buchanan, 38, is a keeper. Petrie, 17 years into his run in Sacramento, has two years left on his contract with the Kings.

But Petrie, 63, has to be growing weary of fighting the every-day battles his job requires. A less stressful position while bringing along a young exec would be just the ticket.

• Did you notice that Dallas guard Jason Terry said Monday that 'Portland, by far, has the best D' of the Mavericks' four playoff opponents?

Interesting, because Dallas averaged 100.2 points while shooting .475 from the field in the Portland series. The Mavericks have averaged 87.8 points on 41-percent shooting in the first four games of the finals.

• Erik Spoelstra's contributions as coach of the Miami Heat have been under-appreciated. It's not been an easy run through the season for the former Jesuit and University of Portland point guard, but he has done a masterful job managing egos and putting that potent mix of talent in position to claim an NBA title.

Spoelstra also has his players keyed in to playing together and creating a team defense that is best in the league, despite what Terry has to say about it.

• Mark Jackson's move from the broadcast booth to the bench as head coach of the Golden State Warriors isn't unprecedented.

Doc Rivers did it quite successfully in Orlando. Quinn Buckner did it in spectacularly unsuccessful fashion in Dallas.

Pat Riley made the move with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he spent about a season as an assistant under Paul Westhead after his time as the team's radio analyst before becoming head coach. Riley became one of the great NBA coaches of all-time.

The Warriors had better hope Jackson is a better coach than a broadcaster.

• Oregon State and Oregon were both hit hard by selections in this week's major league draft.

Six from each program were chosen in the first 30 rounds, and the Beavers and Ducks stand to lose most of the 10 sophomores and juniors taken.

OSU catcher Andrew Susac (second round, San Francisco) and pitchers Sam Gaviglio (fifth round, St. Louis) and Josh Osich (sixth round, San Francisco) will likely sign.

Ditto with Oregon pitchers Tyler Anderson (first round, Colorado), Madison Boer (second round, Minnesota) and Scott McGough (fifth round, Dodgers), catcher Jack Marder (16th round, Seattle) and second baseman Danny Pulfer (19th round, Arizona).

The Beavers need to hope that outfielder Brian Stamps (24th round, Atlanta) and third baseman Carter Bell (29th round, Arizona) choose to return for their senior seasons.

• Four high school seniors who signed with Oregon State were chosen - Brandon Martin, a shortstop from Corona, Calif. (compensation round, 38th pick, Tampa Bay); Jace Fry, a pitcher/outfielder from Southridge High (ninth round, Oakland); Jordan Dunatov, an outfielder from Scottsdale, Ariz. (15th round, Pittsburgh) and Carlos Rodriguez, a pitcher from Kapolei, Hawaii (20th round, Atlanta).

Martin will probably get so much money he'll have to sign a pro deal. The key guy is Fry, whom OSU coaches feel could step right into the starting rotation as a freshman - and might figure into outfield plans as well. The cost-conscious A's are not known to lavish huge bonus money on draft picks. If the bonus isn't enough, Fry will wind up in Corvallis.

Oregon had three signees drafted - Mitchell Walding, a shortstop from Lodi, Calif. (fifth round, Philadelphia); Cole Wiper, a pitcher from Bellevue, Wash. (14th round, Toronto), and Billy Flamion, an outfielder from Modesto, Calif. (25th round, Houston).

• Jeff Ames, who signed with Oregon State out of high school in Vancouver but wound up at Lower Columbia Community College, went with the 42nd pick in the compensation round to Tampa Bay. Ames, among those in Oregon's latest recruiting class, said he will sign a pro contract.

• The Winterhawks will host a pair of parties for fans at Big Al's two Portland-area locations for the June 24 NHL draft. Four of their players - forwards Sven Bartschi and Ty Rattie and defensemen Joe Morrow and Tyler Wotherspoon - are expected to go in the first two rounds.

• The Hawks' trade of backup goaltender Keith Hamilton to Victoria leaves the battle for understudy to veteran Mac Carruth next season to a pair of 15-year-olds - Brendan Burke of Phoenix and Jerrod Schamerhorn of Kelowna, British Columbia.

Burke is the son of ex-NHL goalie Sean Burke. The Hawks are extremely high on both Burke and Schamerhorn.0

• Aloha High sophomore sensation Thomas Tyner has the biggest race of his young career Saturday in New York City when he squares off against seven of the best high school sprinters in the nation in the 'Boys Dream 100' as part of the Adidas Grand Prix.