Who's Hot Who's Not

January 31, 2011

Who's Hot

LINDSEY VONN

A bum left knee couldn't stop the best U.S. female skier from claiming her sixth victory of the season on Sunday, her second in three days. Vonn (right) won the Super G at Olympia delle Tofane last Friday, then beat German rival and overall World Cup leader Maria Riesch by .05 of a second in the Dolomites.

TAMPA RAPTURE

Lightning strikes! Tampa's 7--1 thrashing of Atlanta marked its fourth straight win and solidified its lead in the Northeast. Across town, the Rays reunited former Red Sox teammates Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, adding veteran leadership to a young team.

AMBASSADORS

U.S.-born soccer players did their homeland proud last week: Clint Dempsey and Giuseppe Rossi had braces for Fulham and Villarreal in wins; Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel (right) shut out Man City 1--0; and Edson Buddle netted in his debut for Ingolstadt.

LONE STAR REVELS

Twenty-three bench points from J'Covan Brown (right) helped Texas snap No. 2 Kansas's 69-game home winning streak 74--63; Texas A&M beat No. 24 KSU 64--56 (A&M also lost last week—to the Longhorns); and Texas Tech earned its first Big 12 win by offing Nebraska 72--71.

Who's Not

AMERICANS: GONE

The fourth-round ousting of Andy Roddick by Swiss foe Stanislas Wawrinka means that no Americans advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time since 1987, when the field expanded to 128. Said Roddick, who's reached only one Grand Slam quarterfinal since Wimbledon '09, "I was frustrated."

TEPID RAPTORS

Toronto has crumbled in the New Year, having lost eight of 10 with victories over only the Cavs and the Kings (combined winning percentage: .203). The good news? The Raptors' next five opponents are a combined 81--131. The bad? They're still 20½ games out of first in the Atlantic.

SENATORS

Ottawa averages 18,237 fans, fifth best in the NHL, but there ain't much to see these days. The Sens had lost five straight through Monday and had an NHL-worst --51 goal differential, leaving them 14 points out of a playoff spot approaching the All-Star Game.

DEMONS BEDEVILED

Jeff Bzdelik's first year at Wake Forest has been a flop. His Demon Deacons are losers of nine out of 10, including five ACC losses by an average of 25.6 points. DePaul's Blue Demons have fared no better: They've lost seven straight and sit dead last in the Big East.

SI PLAYERS NBA POLL

WHO WOULD MAKE THE BEST NFL QUARTERBACK?

LeBron James, Heat F 24%

Rajon Rondo, Celtics G 13%

Chris Paul, Hornets G 9%

Steve Nash, Suns G 9%

Kevin Love, Timberwolves F 7%

FAST FACTS

James was an all-state receiver at St. Vincent--St. Mary High in Akron as a sophomore and junior before giving up football his senior year.... Mavericks guard Jason Kidd also received 7% of the vote.... More than 60% of the players named are guards, and six of the top nine are point guards.... No true centers were named.... Only one rookie, the Trail Blazers' Armon Johnson, received a vote.

Based on 164 players who responded to SI's survey

PHOTOCHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (VONN) PHOTOJONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES (DAMON AND RAMIREZ) PHOTOSHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES (FRIEDEL) PHOTODARREN CARROLL (BROWN) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (LOVE HEAD); SIMON BRUTY (VIKINGS UNIFORM) PHOTOGREG NELSON (JAMES HEAD); DOUG MURRAY/ICON SMI (DOLPHINS UNIFORM)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)