Kamloops' own Kelly Olynyk, who is having a banner season with the Spokane-based Gonzaga Bulldogs, is one of 30 nominees for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award. The candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors. Four finalists will be named late this month, with a winner announced April 7. . . . The Bulldogs are 15-0 in the West Coast Conference after beating the host BYU Cougars 70-65 on Thursday. . . . A victory by the Zags over the visiting U of Portland tonight and they could show up at No. 1 for the first time in school history when the rankings come out Monday. . . . Hey, Kamloops, are you ready for some March Madness? . . .
Centre Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who played for the WHL's Vancouver Giants and has ties to this area, is leading the ECHL in scoring going into the weekend. He has 65 points in 60 games with the Gwinnett Gladiators. . . . Former Kamloops Blazers centre C.J. Stretch is fourth, with 60 points in 57 games for the Ontario Reign. . . . The Tampa Bay Rays will hold a bobblehead night when they play host to the Oakland A's on April 21. The honouree will be Astro, pitcher David Price's pet dog. Astro also has a Twitter account with more than 3,200 followers. "So this is what sports has come to," points out Len Berman of ThatsSports.com. "Fans signing up to read the musings of dogs." . . .
The NFL paid commissioner Roger Goodell $29.49 million in 2011. "Team owners," wrote Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, "are now being tested for symptoms of concussions." . . . "Tiger and Obama had a friendly golf game recently in Florida," notes Richmond blogger TC Chong. "That was until the bodyguards overheard Woods telling the Prez that he was going to give him at least eight shots." . . . "Some French gourmets are recommending horse meat," writes Chong, "saying it has less fat, is tender and is more flavourful than beef. You would be more tender, too, if someone was whipping your butt, while you ran around in a circle." . . .
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: "The NHL motto post-lockout: 'More fighting, fewer goals.' How proud they must be." . . . So the Calgary Flames signed restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet. And the Colorado Avalanche, with seven days to match or let him go, matched in less time than it takes to eat a hot dog. Which begs the question: Why didn't the Avalanche sign O'Reilly a while ago? . . . That was a tough day to be a Flames fan. They signed O'Reilly to an offer sheet on the same day that they played the Avalanche. Calgary then lost O'Reilly, a 3-0 lead and the game, all in less than three hours. . . . Talk about things going up in flames. . . .
"Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley both turn 50 about the same time," writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, "but I'm just guessing whose party was more fun." . . . Joe Mauer, the Minnesota Twins catcher, and his wife Maddie, who wed in December, are soon to become first-time parents. Of course, they are expecting twins. . . . The Miami Dolphins were represented at this week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis by a total of 55 coaches and scouts. . . . Gee, I hope they didn't miss anything. . . .
Sheesh! It's only spring training and already the Chicago Cubs are in mid-season form. Left-hander Dontrelle Willis is attempting a comeback with, yes, the Cubs. His first appearance lasted seven pitches before shoulder soreness took him out. . . . The Cubs went on to lose the game 7-6 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Uhh, the Cubs gave up two runs on balks. . . . Here's Shaq, explaining his relationship with the late Dr. Jerry Buss, who owned the L.A. Lakers: "He gave me everything I wanted. I wanted one extension - he gave it to me. I wanted a second extension, he gave it to me. I wanted a third extension - he traded me." . . .
Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe: "I'm guessing even O.J. Simpson is thinking Pistorius's story sounds a bit farfetched." . . . After beating the Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA game recently, the Brooklyn Nets' public relations department tweeted: "#Nets now 32-0 when outscoring opponent this season." . . . Think about that for a moment. . . . Who is likely to be the highest-paid outfielder on the New York Mets' payroll as this season begins? If you said Bobby Bonilla, you know your baseball. Bonilla hasn't played baseball since 1999 but the Mets owe him $1,193,248.20 per year through 2035. . . . The Baltimore Orioles, by the way, are paying Bonilla $500,000 a year through 2015. But it seems an ex-wife gets half of that cheque. . . .
"Jennifer Jones is weighing a decision to move from Manitoba to Ontario," writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, "where she would be closer to Brent Laing, a competitive curler who is the father of her baby. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place." . . . Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: "NFL coaches and general managers won't downgrade (Manti) Te'o because he got catfished. They would love it if all their players conducted their romances online." . . . More from Ostler: "One golf tournament is delayed by crazy winds in Hawaii. Another tourney is delayed by snow in Arizona. Is this God's way of explaining man-made climate change to a doubting demographic?"
(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at email@example.com, gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn't.)