Archive for January, 2013

Finally, a “quality win”

January 31, 2013

The punditry has been pointing out all year that the Kentucky men did not have a win over a “top 50” opponent. But the Cats managed to get one Tuesday night in Oxford with an 87-74 decision over Ole Miss. The Rebs had been undefeated in league play, and were favorites to beat Kentucky which is rare. It was a strange game in many respects. The Cats took a 73-56 lead, only to see Mississippi run off 16 points in a row to close within 1. But it was all Kentucky the rest of the way. Nerlens Noel had 12 blocks, setting a new school record. Kyle Wiltjer had a career-high 26 points.

Next up for the Cats is a trip to Texas A&M to try to avenge an earlier loss to the Aggies. Kentucky’s 5-2 conference record leaves them 1 game behind Ole Miss, and two games behind Florida who continues to roll. Missouri, who was expected to challenge for the SEC title, now has 3 losses.

Also on Tuesday, Ohio State picked up a home win against always-tough Wisconsin 58-49 as Deshaun Thomas had 25 points. Next up is a trip to Nebraska, a game that really needs to be an automatic win if the Bucks are serious about contending for the Big Ten championship.

Big game Saturday night as Michigan visits Indiana. Both teams sit atop the league with 7-1 records. Both are playing quite well right now.

The Blue Jackets managed a 2-1 home win over Dallas but then lost in Minnesota 3-2.

A Winless Week for the Jackets

January 27, 2013

The Blue Jackets went 0-4 this week, with close losses at home to Detroit and Chicago sandwiching a disasterous roadtrip in which they were outscored by Phoenix and Colorado 9-1. Right now there is no aspect of the team’s play that is especially encouraging.

In men’s basketball, Ohio State picked up wins over Iowa and Penn State. Kentucky lost in Tuscaloosa 59-55 after leading for much of the game, then came back to Lexington and beat LSU 75-70 in another squeaker. The Buckeyes are one game behind the Big Ten leaders in the loss column, while Kentucky’s two conference losses have them two games behind Florida and Mississippi which are still 6-0. Florida is for real, of course. I have not seen Ole Miss yet to know if they can truly contend for the title.

After being ranked #1, Louisville has lost three in-a-row in the shrinking but tough Big East. Every year there seems to be more and more parity in men’s college basketball. But I have the feeling that some of the teams that are slumping now may have the wheels back on the track come tournament time.

The Ohio State women were no match for visiting Penn State today, a Top Ten team. The Kentucky women suffered a heartbreaking loss at South Carolina this week, in a game that saw suffocating defense by both teams. The Cats got back to their winning ways with a 73-60 decision over LSU today, Kentucky’s 34th consecutive home victory. But Tennessee is still undefeated in SEC play, so the Cats are one game out of the conference lead.

Wrapping up a busy sports weekend

January 20, 2013

Congratulations to the Columbus Wildcats for winning the Cincinnati Midwinter Classic hockey tournament for squirts with a convincing 8-3 win over the Columbus Black Bears in the championship game. The Bears (with my nephew, Nick) took second place, and I got to see them beat Northern Kentucky Saturday morning.

While on the subject of hockey, the NHL finally got going yesterday after the lock-out, and would you believe Columbus got a rare win in Nashville 3-2 in a shootout. Bridgestone Arena has been a nemesis, so perhaps good things are in store for the Blue Jackets this year. There are a lot of new faces on the team.

The Ohio State men have now lost two conference games with a 59-56 decision in East Lansing yesterday. The Bucks missed some shots down the stretch that would have tied it. Wisconsin finally lost (at Iowa) so everyone in the Big Ten has at least one loss.

The UK men broke open a close game to beat Tennessee 75-65 in Rupp Arena, then went to Auburn and won big 75-53. So the Cats are 3-1 in the SEC, while Florida and Ole Miss are still undefeated at 4-0.

The Ohio State women did finally win a Big Ten game with a 68-45 win over Indiana, but then were routed at Wisconsin.

The Kentucky women are scary good with 100-47 and 97-53 wins over Mississippi State and Auburn (today). But a ranked team in #19 South Carolina is on the docket for Thursday. Kentucky and Tennessee are both 5-0 in the conference.

January options expiration

January 20, 2013

Because I trade so many long-term options which expire in January, January expiration is busy for me and requires much more space than a Twitter tweet.

The 17.50 calls I wrote on YHOO were assigned, closing out the long position in the stock. With the 50 cents of premium received, and the 1.29 capital gain on the stock, profit was +1.79. This does not include premiums received on other YHOO options written earlier that expired worthless.

The 17.50 calls I owned on JCI were exercised, creating a long position in the stock. These calls cost me 11.35, so my effective basis in the JCI long is 28.85. Note that I have already written February 32 calls on JCI. The shares will be retained for covered call writing until called away.

The 20 calls I owned on MSFT were exercised, creating a long position in the stock. These calls cost me 7.20, so my effective basis in the MSFT long is 27.20. I am bullish on MSFT, so will probably wait for it to head north a bit before writing new covered calls.

The 50 calls I owned on HNZ were exercised, closing the short position I held in the shares. I paid 5.68 for these calls, but realized a 5.00 gain in the short position since it was opened at 55 and closed at 50. The 68 cent loss does not include premium received from other option writes nor the dividends paid out on the short position in the shares.

Finally, the 35 called I owned on GIS were exercised, closing the existing short position in the shares. I paid 4.12 for these calls, but realized a 4.00 gain in the short position since it was opened at 39 and covered at 35. The 12 cent loss does not include the proceeds of earlier option writes on GIS, nor the dividends paid out on the short position.

Last Unbeaten Falls

January 14, 2013

When today dawned, Michigan was the only unbeaten team in men’s college basketball. But the Buckeyes jumped out to a 21-point lead on the Wolverines in Columbus and held on for a 56-53 win this afternoon. Ohio State was led by Deshaun Thomas who had 20 points.

The OSU women continue to struggle, having lost in Minneapolis 83-74 Thursday night. The Bucks are still winless in Big Ten play.

The UK women continue to roll. After pulling out a 65-62 win over visiting Texas A&M on Thursday, the Cats visited Missouri today and routed the Tigers 69-43.

A mixed bag for the UK men. Cat fans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday night as Kentucky edged Vanderbilt 60-58 in Nashville. The ‘Dores missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer that would have won it. But Saturday the Cats returned home and lost to Texas A&M 83-71 as Elston Turner had 40 points for the Aggies.

The NHL labor dispute has been settled, and training camps have opened. Columbus will open the season in Nashville Saturday.

Another Home Win Streak Snapped

January 10, 2013

The Ohio State women had won 31 home games in-a-row before Sunday’s 79-73 loss to visiting Illinois. The Illini’s Karisma Penn had 34 points. The Buckeyes’ Amber Stokes injured her knee in the game and will be out for four weeks. With OSU’s earlier 77-71 loss at Iowa, the Bucks find themselves winless in the Big Ten. The ladies visit Minnesota tonight.

Speaking of Illinois, the Illini men routed Ohio State Saturday 74-55. But the Bucks are 2-1 in the league with Tuesday night’s 74-64 win at Purdue, and an earlier home win over Nebraska. With as good as the Big Ten is, there will be a lot of great matchups. Saturday Minnesota visits Indiana in a key game.

Kentucky played well in Louisville but lost to the Cards 80-77. The Cats open SEC play tonight in Nashville. The Kentucky women beat Florida and Alabama and will host Texas A&M tonight. The women have a 30-game home win streak to defend.