Mark Neal

I am the Program Director at 1410 WING ESPN Radio in Dayton, Ohio...also host of Dayton Sports Scene weekdays from 4-6pm!  Find me on Twitter @ESPNMark!
Posts from April 2014
by Mark Neal posted Apr 28 2014 2:57PM
We will be joined by Marc Silverman, host of Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, to preview tonight's match up with the Cubs!
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Topics : Sports
Location : Chicago
People : Marc Silverman
by Mark Neal posted Apr 28 2014 2:56PM
GM 1 of 3 with the Cubs tonight at Great American Ballpark! 7:10p the 1st pitch
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by Mark Neal posted Apr 25 2014 11:33AM
LIve from the Huber Heights Roosters location! 11a - 12:30p on 1410 ESPN Radio!
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by Mark Neal posted Apr 25 2014 11:32AM
7:05p pregame for GM 1 of a 3 game series in Atlanta
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Location : Atlanta
by Mark Neal posted Apr 25 2014 11:31AM
I want to start by saying, this isn't a mock draft, or even a draft order projection, just 11 guys that are going to go high in the June NBA Draft...that is all. I don't want this to be looked at as a guy is slotted somewhere, or this guy is better than that guy. This is simply my opinion on what they are as a player, strengths and weaknesses.

Andrew Wiggins: I had the opportunity to call a game of his in HS at Flyin' to the Hoop. He was the top player in the country, and billed as the next LeBron. He had 6 points, and was invisible for most of the HS...2 years ago. I do like him as a player. He is very explosive, can score in bunches, and still has room to develop. He needs to become more of a basketball player and less of an athletic guy playing basketball. He reminds me of a Forward version of Russell Westbrook...but Russ has built a game around that incredible athleticism. If Wiggins can develop a reliable shot, and stay healthy, he could be a 15-17 point a game guy...maybe even a 20+ guy. He has a ways to go though before that time comes.

Joel Embiid: Everybody has the same fear with injured big man, is an always injured big man. If his back heals, he has the length and athleticism to be a poorer man's Anthony Davis. He is so raw though. Very little offense outside of 5 feet, which will need to be addressed. New to the game, yes, but he works hard and is willing to grow as a player. Going #1 or #2 might be a bit high, but he could be a rim protector at the highest level one day.

Jabari Parker: Seen by many as the possible #1 pick, which he very well may be come draft day. Jabari played out of position much of last season at Duke, moonlighting at the 5 way too often. He is well rounded, and can shoot, score from the inside, and well as distribute. My one knock on Jabari is that I feel he will be a little slow in the NBA, which could hurt his ability to get to the basket. I can see him becoming a great stand still shooter, but his ability to take it to the rack is what would make him flourish at the next level.

Julius Randle: I wonder if he will be 6'6" or so at the combine? If so, being a PF will be difficult. He doesn't lean on being athletic, which is to say he isn't a way to overcome a height issue. He can certainly do a lot of things, and his 1 year at Kentucky helped him learn to be impactful without the basketball...something most great HS players don't know much about. He is left handed, which does create issue defensively for some. Once again, if he can develop a pick and pop game, Randle could be a good player in the NBA.

Noah Vonleh: Long, athletic...but so is most of the NBA. He is a guy, through injury and lack of team success, that wasn't seen as much as many of this list. He could certainly be a rotation big in the NBA, but must bulk up and be able to face the basket on offense eventually. Do like him, but needs work after just 1 year in Bloomington.

Aaron Gordon: Wow, his athleticism jumps off the page almost as much as he can jump off the floor. He can take over games, but at 6'8" and a mostly post player, his effectiveness will be in question, at least early in his career. A pick and pop game would do him a lot, and so would being lucky enough to stay healthy to retain that athletic stuff he brings. He is still a mystery as to his ceiling in the NBA, but a good player, he should be.

Marcus Smart: He is a classic #2 Guard, which there really aren't many in the league. Doesn't handle the rock well enough to be a PG, is too small to play the swing and guard SFs. If he can become a dead eye shooter, and mix in an ability to penetrate and get to the FT line, that is how he can maximize himself as a player. He is a natural scorer, which every team can use.

Doug McDermott: A great unknown in the NBA, yes he can college. So could Alfrederick Hughes, Keydren Clark, and Alphonso Ford...but they couldn't translate to the Association. Finding his role could be as an intermediate jumper guy, of a guy that camps out in the corner for 3s? Once again, every team can use shooters, but can he create his own shot?

Gary Harris: See Marcus Smart. Classic 2 Guard in the league. Could penetrate in college, can he in the NBA? A really good player, that may be able to transition to PG. If not, he needs to shoot 200-300 3s per day and go that route to get solid playing time.

Nik Stauskas: A ready made shooter from everywhere. If he shows he can create his own shot, he will be a dangerous player in the NBA. Maybe never a guy that scores over 17 PPG, but a niche shooter in the league. He can make FTs too, which can get you minutes late. His knock is whether he can guard anyone? Many others can't but if he can, that will only help him get minutes.

Adreian Payne: Local guy from Jefferson Township, that saw his game blossom over time. He went from a on the block banger, to a scorer from all over the court. He can go down low and score, or knock down 3s from the top of the arch. I can see him becoming a Rasheed Wallace type in the sense that he falls in love with the 3 ball. If they are falling for him, then fall in love with that game, Adreian! If he falls, like Seniors do sometimes, he could be the steal of the 2014 NBA Draft!
by Mark Neal posted Apr 24 2014 1:08PM
Weekend series with the Braves looks like this...

Friday: 7:05p/7:35p 1st pitch
Saturday: 6:40p/7:10p 1st pitch
Sunday: 1:05p/1:35p 1st pitch
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Topics : Sports
Location : Atlanta
by Mark Neal posted Apr 24 2014 1:06PM
We will talk all things NASCAR tonight on the WING Racing Show! 7p on 1410 ESPN Radio!
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by Mark Neal posted Apr 24 2014 1:04PM
The NFL is an amazing league! Salary caps and non guaranteed contracts, among other things, allow teams to exist in Green Bay and Indianapolis, as well as New York and Chicago! Because of those rules, the NFL is thriving, and most every market has a chance at success each year.

I mean, how many teams in the NFL absolutely have no chance at winning or making the playoffs in 2014? It's hard to put a number on that, but very few fall into that category. Teams go from worst to 1st in their division every year, this year will be no different.

That also makes predicting how difficult a schedule is going to be very tough. X factors like injuries and slumps can take a playoff team like Houston, and have them drafting 1st with the league's worst record. Saying you know definatively how a team will play each season is a near impossible for a few clubs.

The Cincinnati Bengals' schedule looks daunting for 2014. The AFC North is the AFC North...brutal, physical and packed with great rivalries. Even a Browns team that has fallen on hard luck recently is never a guarantee to sweep. But that only makes up 6 of the 16 games. The division is also paired up with the AFC South and NFC South, divisions that sent 3 teams to the playoffs last season.

On the one hand, you could say the Bengals only play 5 games versus playoff teams from a season ago. On the other hand, as I said earlier, that isn't always the best gauge of schedule difficulty. In a Quarterback driven league, they certainly play some great signal callers this year. Flacco twice, Brady, Newton, Luck, Ryan, and Peyton Manning highlight a schedule filled with some of the NFL best at the position.

The Bengals have become playoff staples over the past few seasons. Who knows how the season will end up playing out, but the road to those playoffs will not be easy. The NFL did them no favors pairing them with the Patriots and Broncos as their "Wild Card" teams on the schedule. It is definitely "show us what you are made of" time in the Queen City for 2014.
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Topics : Sports
People : Peyton ManningRyan
by Mark Neal posted Apr 22 2014 10:37AM
Bob McElligott, the Voice of the CBJ, comes on DSS today at 5:40p to look back at last night's loss, and ahead to tomorrow's GM 4 from Nationwide!
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People : Bob McElligott
by Mark Neal posted Apr 22 2014 10:35AM
Dave Biddle from will join us for his regular Tuesaday visit! 5:20p today on Dayton Sports Scene!
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Dave Biddle
by Mark Neal posted Apr 22 2014 10:35AM
Network coverage is at 6:35p, 1st pitch at 7:05p tonight on 1410 ESPN Radio! Cueto vs Volquez
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by Mark Neal posted Apr 21 2014 9:57AM
6:35p will be Network pregame, 7:05p the 1st pitch! Mike Leake goes for the Cincinnati Reds
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Location : Cincinnati
People : Mike Leake
by Mark Neal posted Apr 21 2014 9:56AM
We will cover the Reds/Pirates series from PNC Park! Tonight is the 1st of 4 games from the Steel City!
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by Mark Neal posted Apr 21 2014 9:55AM
Did you miss the Bucknuts 90 from this past weekend, or just want to hear it again? Click the Bucknuts 90 link on the homepage and give it a listen! We covered the latest in Football, Basketball, and recruiting news!
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Topics : Sports
by Mark Neal posted Apr 17 2014 12:24PM
The Reds and the Cubs play 3 this weekend starting Friday! All 3 games begin with pregame at 1:50p, 1st pitch at 2:20p on the Home of the Cincinnati Reds 1410 ESPN Radio!
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Topics : Sports
by Mark Neal posted Apr 15 2014 10:56AM
It is seen as a pocketed, regional sport. It is seen as a sport in the north...and maybe they are right. But as the NHL Playoffs prepare to begin this week, I wonder how close the league is to breaking out in popularity in this country?

I will be the 1st to admit, I used to watch hockey...lots of it! I am part of the ESPN Generation, and when the NHL was on the ESPN family of networks, I caught many games. Lock outs and franchise moves, but mostly newer TV deals have slowed mine, and many others in their viewing habits.

It is a fun sport, maybe more fun in person, but a fun sport. Some sports are great on TV, football for one...but hockey is incredible in person. It doesn't necessarily lend itself to the average fan with the constant line changes and fast moving small puck, but if you can get used to it, chances are you will enjoy it.

When I was younger, the league was filled with players like Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr, and of course Wayne Gretzky...players that transcended the sport. But most importantly, players even the passing fan knew. That is something that the sport lacks, not because of excitement, but promotion. The TV deal the NHL has now doesn't put it on the stage that it needs to be on, so many of us don't know the greats of today.

As the playoffs set to begin, exciting hockey, even for passing fans like me, is on the horizon. Almost nothing in the world of sports beats playoff hockey, especially those Game 7s. I will be watching, what I can, wishing throughout I had caught more games in the regular season.

It does make me think, how close the sport is to breaking out in popularity in the US...and I don't mean in Boston, Chicago, New York, and Minnesota, where the sport is already strong. I am talking about the West, the South, and large portions of the Midwest that see it as the sport going on during Basketball season. It might not be too far away.

The right TV deal, with a platform to promote the sport, like ESPN and ESPN Radio can provide, would be a huge step in the right direction. Whether you like it or not, ESPN is the Worldwide Leader, and people go to ESPN outlets in high volumes. It would have to share a crowded platform, but it is still a platform that would benefit the sport.

I look at Soccer, which was still trying to become big in the US back in 1994 when we were the host country. Since then, in 20 years, the sport has grown, and the popularity inside our borders has grown at an incredible rate. Sure, the influx of people from Soccer playing countries to the US can't be ignored, but never the less, Soccer is a real player now in this country within the sports landscape.

So, if you have time, take a few moments and check out some NHL playoffs...heck, the Columbus Blue Jackets made it in this year. How far away is the NHL from being something that you go from maybe watching, to can't miss TV?
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Topics : Sports
Location : BostonChicagoMinnesotaNew York
by Mark Neal posted Apr 15 2014 8:43AM
Due to Easter Sunday, the Bucknuts 90 will be live from the Roosters in Spirngboro from 11a - 12:30p on Saturday the 19th!
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Topics : Weather
by Mark Neal posted Apr 15 2014 8:41AM
The Reds will pick up their suspended game today with pregame at 5p, restart at 5:30p! The 2nd game will begin 20 minutes after!
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Topics : Sports
by Mark Neal posted Apr 15 2014 8:40AM
Due to the Reds suspended game, Dayton Sports Scene will go on at 4p today! We will talk Reds and hear from Dave Biddle of, as well as Anthony Castrovince from to talk Baseball!
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Topics : Human InterestSports
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