Top of the class: News reactions

What it is vs. what it means. Too many sports journalists, and specifically bloggers, are obsessed with the former and don’t pay enough attention to the latter. Breaking news certainly matters, but audiences ultimately want to know what it means for their favorite players, coaches and teams. That’s where the best sports bloggers come in.

The class has been putting together news reactions the past two weeks, and here are some of the best.

Geoffrey Clark on how Swaggy P handles his shooting slump on social media: There’s no trying to fault Young for sticking up for himself.  For nearly 70 years of NBA basketball, good players have gone into dry shooting spells.  It’s only been in the last few years that they’ve had access to social media to explain what’s been going on with them.

Joshua Criswell on Jordan Mickey’s Wooden Award push: The question is whether or not he is National Player of the Year special. It’s a long shot, but from what he has shown us this season, I am a believer that he has what it takes.

Eric Domingo on why Jimmy Butler became an All-Star: He wasn’t expected to be an All-Star this year, make it to the NBA or even find a family to call his own. But his perseverance and the kindness of one family are a great examples of how dreams can come true and that anything is possible.

Zachary Holden on whether Arsenal’s injuries are a blessing in disguise: Even with the injuries to seemingly irreplaceable players, Arsenal won the Community Shield, made it to the knockout round of the Champions League for the 15th consecutive season, progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup and are still in the hunt for a top-4 spot in the Premier League.

Courtney Jacquin on the 76ers at the season’s midpoint: Brown is a saint. He’s got the front office leaning on him to play hard but ultimately lose. He has an irritable, unforgiving Philadelphia fanbase to appease somehow. And he has a roster full of dudes who want to win but don’t have the talent to do so.

Lindsey Murphy on USWNT’s potential goalkeeper quandary: Ellis can either go with the safe bet and put Barnhart in the net, knowing that she has experience with the team and in the league, as well as knowing how she is as a player, or she can take a risk and throw Naeher in there and hope those numerous highlight reels come to life.

Matthew Paras on the possible trade destinations for the Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler: Chandler’s size also adds flexibility as a stretch-four, giving Portland more depth and be creative with their lineups. Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw has typically avoided using Chandler as a power forward, but Chandler was very successful at the position under George Karl.  The Blazers prefer to keep LaMarcus Aldridge at the four, but when Aldridge rests, Chandler would be an upgrade at the spot over Thomas Robinson or even Dorrell Wright.

Alex Sieger on the weather impact for the Islanders-Rangers game: The Islanders have benefited from the size of their home crowd this season and have developed a considerable home ice advantage.  On a regular night, this game would easily produce a sellout crowd but if the game is played tomorrow there could be a major drop in fan attendance.

Joe Williams on Jimmy Butler’s inspirational All-Star ascent: I see Jimmy’s success as not only a huge accomplishment in basketball terms, but also an example for kids in a city that desperately needs someone or something to look up to. Jimmy’s rough upbringing is comparable to thousands of kids in Chicago neighborhoods, and his story is of hard work actually paying off with tangible results, and not letting where you come from hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Introducing 2015 Winter Quarter Sports Blogs

The lineup is set.

All nine students have set up their new sports blogs for Winter Quarter 2015. Please follow the blogs as well as the accompanying Twitter accounts for full coverage of these topics. All blogs and Twitter accounts are now active.

Here’s the full list:

Geoffrey Clark: NBA Player Tweets; Twitter: @NBAPlayrTweets

Josh Criswell: Bayou Bengal Post (LSU basketball); Twitter: @bayoubengalpost

Eric Domingo: Chicago Bulls blog; Twitter: @ericdomingo3

Zachary Holden: The Loose Cannon (Arsenal); Twitter: @LooseCannonBlog

Courtney Jacquin: 345 Sixers (Philadelphia 76ers); Twitter: @345Sixers

Lindsey Murphy: Let’s Talk Yanks (U.S. Soccer Federation); Twitter: @lindseygmurphy

Matthew Paras: 5280: A Denver Nuggets Blog; Twitter: @Matthew_Paras

Alex Sieger: Rocking the Barn One More Time (NY Islanders); Twitter: @AlexSieger

Joe Williams: Chicago Bullish (Chicago Bulls); Twitter: @ChiBullish