January 31, 2009
Gut check time
Two preseason top 15 teams will finally exit the rankings this week, as Georgetown and Notre Dame are struggling so badly their conference affiliation can’t even save them as they continue to take on water.
Today, the Irish were taken care of by Pittsburgh, and Georgetown kept it close but never really made an effort to win, falling to Marquette. Both teams shouldn’t have been expected to win these games, but now that the two are 3-6 in conference play, it’s time to shed light on their faulty play.
First for Georgetown, they have the road victory over UCONN to hang their hat on, but nothing more. Since then they are 0-5 on the road and, on the whole, have no other impressive wins. If you want to counter with the “toughest schedule in the nation card,” then we’re going to say they lead the country in missed opportunities. Plus, they also lost to Tennessee earlier this season. At the time it was no big deal but as we’ve stated before–the Volunteers lack of fundamentals simply piss us off.
In South Bend, it starts with Luke and ends with Harangody. The reigning Big East player of the year accounts for 32 percent of the Irish’s offense. Sounds cool, but it’s never a winning formula for a team with aspirations of making a deep tournament run. His frontcourt running mate, Zach Hillesland ranks among the least talented, regular starters for any Division I college basketball team according to us. Yes, that’s harsh and not based around statistics, but it’s our interpretation of the situation, and proof of how short a rotation Mike Brey is working with.
So is it time to write these teams off? They currently sit 10th and 11th, (dis)respectfully in the conference, and it’s starting to be less conceivable that many teams will qualify for the field of 64.
January 31, 2009
They currently sit atop Ken Pomeroy’s defense efficiency ratings, are 8-0 in the Big East, and have toppled they’re last nine opponents with impressive wins over Pittsburgh, Syracuse and today at home against West Virginia.
Yes. Right now the Louisville Cardinals are, dare we say, Baller Blockin.
Rick Pitino’s crew have bounced back in impressive fashion, after a mediocre start that was highlighted by a double-digit loss to Western Kentucky and word that Edgar Sosa was boiling his coach’s blood so much, Pitino wanted him to leave the team and transfer.
Times have changed, and Louisville is now the hottest team in the country. This afternoon, the Cards jumped out to a 45-25 halftime lead. They only ended up winning by six, and committed a gross 26 turnovers, but remain the only undefeated team in the BE, and are now looking forward to a Monday showdown in Freedom Hall against the presumed #1 UCONN Huskies. A victory here would mean the Cardinals second win over a top-ranked team, and added viablility for a coveted number one seed come March…although it is early.
January 28, 2009
Baylor? Really? #1 PG Recruit John Wall
…I’ve got some candy in the van, wanna come play basketball for me?” Does that sound sleazy and creepy? Well it should. What if during those long and grueling recruiting trails that was the reality? In many cases that kind of sleaziness may be an actuality, but who holds the upper hand in recruiting these days, the recruit, the recruiter or the recruit’s coach?
In an era when Mid-Majors are constantly creating parody, making them more dangerous than BCS inter-conference foes, an edge in recruiting extends further than just the pimply faced, SAT taking teenager. Both coaches and players have caught on. You want to reel in the big fish, you have to use the big AND familiar bait.
Gaining a strong hold on a Blue Chipper has now started behind the scenes, before their Senior year even starts. Just ask Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew. Drew went out and hired Dwon Clifton before the 2008-2009 season. Ever heard of him? Yeah, we thought not. Dwon Clifton has no high school experience and barely made a name for himself as a college player. He has been hired as the 6th, yes, we said #6 coach of the unranked Baylor Bears (we’re pretty sure the Grad Assistants get better seats on the bench than the #6). His credentials extend only as far as the head coach of an AAU team known as “D-One Sports Basketball” Under 17 team. Significant? YES!!!
Scotty Drew of the Baylor Bears is trying to land the #1 Point Guard of the 2009 class, John Wall, member of Clifton’s AAU squad. Desperate ploy? Could be, but it has worked on others. Just ask John Calipari after he inked one hit wonder DeJuan Wagner with his hiring of Milton Wagner. Or would Bill Self have been slow dancing to Luther Vandross’ “One Shining Moment” had he not lured the big shot kid, Mario Chalmers with the hiring of Papa Chalmers as Director of Basketball Operations?
Apparently the NCAA is trying to crack down on these package deals, but will the Baylor Bears be able to make a splash with these used-car-salesman type tactics before the hour glass is empty?
December 3, 2008
If we had any pull in Vegas (we don’t), we would place tighter odds on many once thought impossible feats—like the Cubs winning the World Series, capitalism in China, and even the Earth spontaneously stopping from rotating on its axis—than the North Carolina Tar Heels failing to take down the nets in April.
Looking at their schedule, few roadblocks loom. Yes of course there’s Duke, but we’re not going to try and tout them like any sort of kryptonite…yet. .Better call up the 1976 Indiana Hoosier basketball team, it’s only a matter of time before we start getting ‘pursuit of perfection’ talk.
In related news, the ACC wins the prestigious Commissioners Cup for the 10th consecutive year, 6 – 5. Yay, what a compelling three nights of basketball.
Oh and how much excitement was in Ford Field last night? LAYOFF CITY BABY!!! May want to rethink this place as the site of the Final Four, before it becomes the House Committee on Financial Services Field.
Also should note that Syracuse sidestepped an embarrassment, coming from behind in the second half to defeat Cornell. But hey, it wasn’t on TV so like we say: “It’s like it didn’t even happen.”