Questions while taking a tourney-time break: Credit for Whitehead? Jackie Bradley in center? First tourney point at Cross?

Clearing the sports mind between sessions of Tourney Week ’14…

– UMaine baseball played UMiami over the weekend at Alex Rodriquez Park in Coral Gables, Florida. It says so right there on top of the boxscore. And yes, it is that Alex Rodriquez! The school must be so proud! A few years ago A-Rod gave the school $4 million bucks to upgrade.

– Maine hockey has jumped to No. 11 in the national PairWise rankings. A 20-win season is possible. The new coaching staff has done a great job…should Tim Whitehead be getting some credit for bringing in some of these players?

– USA vs Russia Olympic hockey…when I saw some of that game Saturday morning I thought about 1980 and Lake Placid. I remember exactly where I was 34 years ago when that group of no-name Americans won. How many sporting events are etched in your mind for three decades and beyond?

– Take a good look at Celtics coach Brad Stevens. Tell me he hasn’t aged five years in a half a NBA season.

– Not much of a surprise when Little East Conference baseball coaches picked the USM Huskies to win the LEC title again. Ed Flaherty has 18 players returning (including former Messalonskee standout Sam Dexter) from a team that won a school record 46 games and finished as Division-3 national runner-up a year ago.

– I think about how good Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College is these days. Johnny Hockey has 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points in 31 games…and then I think about Paul Kariya for UMaine in 1992-93 – 25 goals, 75 assists in 39 games. Kariya won Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, the Hobey Baker Award and a national championship.

– The Mr. and Miss Maine High School basketball semi-finalists are announced Wednesday.

– I watch Jackie Bradley Jr and he says all the right things but why do I keep getting the feeling that he is not the next everyday Sox center fielder?

– Wonder what Bruins free spirit Brad Marchand is doing during the Olympic break.

– For trivia buffs…Old Town’s Adam Richardson scores the first tournament point at the Cross Center on a free throw. Trevor Lyford scored the last  tournament point at the Bangor Auditorium on a free throw. He gets his chance to score points in the new place Tuesday night…somehow, sports thoughts this week always return to tourney time!

Join veteran BDN sports writer Ernie Clark when he talks tourney time story lines Wednesday morning at 7:35 a.m. on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.