“Hey there little boy…

January 28, 2009
Baylor? Really? #1 PG Recruit John Wall

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?



Let’s all touch each other…MEMPHIS just won at the buzzer

January 14, 2009

 

We’re not sure how celebratory Memphis fans are after this Antonio Anderson buzzer beating lay in.  Instead, we’re thinking it is more along the lines of relief. Nonetheless, the Tigers save face for now and extend their consecutive wins against Conference USA foes to 45. Phew.


Quickie Recap 12.20: Lesson One in Bracketology

December 20, 2008

We can learn a lot from Saturday’s action.  Not all Mormon prayers are answered.  Tubby Smith still loves beating Louisville teams.  Belmont can hang in there with the best.  And the ‘Cuse can actually make free throws.

Harden and ASU get the best of the Good ole' Boys

Harden and ASU got the best of the Good ole' Boys...barely

BYU almost got to “touch each other after the buzzer,” but when Charles Abouo’s bucket to beat the clock was overturned, Arizona State was able to avoid a detrimental loss.  BYU lead the whole second half until nine ticks remained when James Harden knocked in his sixteenth “freebie” from the charity stripe to give the Sun Devils the 76-75 edge.  Harden finished with 30.

Louisville may not be the team everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the season, falling to the (surprising) undefeated Golden Gophers of Minnesota, 70-64.  Tubby Smith still knows how to coach against that other team from Kentucky.  Pitino could of blamed a nine minute scoring drought on the bus company neglecting to pick the team up at the airport, but all credit should go to Tubby and his staff. He got the final laugh and his team is now 10-0.

The Bruins from Belmont put a huge scare into Bruce pearl’s Tennessee Volunteers, but Tennessee was able to hold on 79-77.  The Bruins returned four starters, all seniors, to a team that you remember nearly upset Duke in last years tournament.  Belmont got 30 from their slasher Alex Renfroe, and almost had us fooled they were capable of pulling off an upset.  Close but not close enough once again, as missed free throws prove costly. Vols win.

Syracuse overcame a wild week in order to pick up a massive “W” at the Pyramid in Memphis, 72-65.  With Devo preparing to pick up trash on I-81, the Orange were led by Jonny Flynn’s 24 points and 6 assists.  Flynn answered every run the Tigers could muster and in the end the Orange overcame their biggest problem this year and knocked down their free throws to seal the deal.


Quickie Recap 11.23: Good Mornin’!!!!

November 23, 2008
johnmadden

Turducken!!!

Happy Monday! We’re excited…three day week then it’s T-GIVING!!! For our readers that actually know us, which is probably much larger than those that don’t know us, the better half of this blog will be in Maine for the long weekend. Matt has decided to jet to Happy Valley, PA, probably to continue lamenting that loss to Iowa. Nick will see the rest of you at “Bull Feeney’s”.

**Also note that we have taken that extra step and bought the domain name and dropped the .wordpress. It sounds easy but it wasn’t, and we hope to never have to ‘domain map’ ever again.**

Anyways, we had a fairly quiet weekend in the world of college basketball. Xavier did pull out a victory over Memphis, who is nowhere near the 12th best team in the country. They still need to determine their backcourt rotation and Tyreke Evans needs to realize that he’s got a lot to work on before he goes pro.

As a XU alum (Nick) it’s tough not to give special attention to them, but it truly is a big win for the program. For the past few years their success has been in March, usually after slow starts and missed opportunities in early season tournaments. This win is significant for those close to the program and have watched the Musketeers take the steps to gain recognition over the years.

Another game we highlighted, but unfortunately missed out on was UCONN and Miami. While they will finish no better than 3rd in the ACC the Hurricanes are an intriguing team with Jack McClinton, a guard with ‘light it up’ potential. JM led all with 27, but the rest of his team shot a dismal 22 percent. UCONN was in control most of the game with 19 from Thabeet, and 36 combined points from that discusting backcourt (Price, Walker, Dyson).

Looking ahead, the Maui Invitiational and Old Spice Classic get underway this week. We’re can’t wait to get our first look at a pair of Big 10 teams, for very different reasons. The sure-to-be trainwreck that is the Indiana Hoosiers open up against Notre Dame in Hawaii…meanwhile, we’re guessing the rest of their coaching staff will be devising a way to beat Chaminade he 7th place game.

Also want to check out Michigan State, to see just how good Raymar Morgan can be as a leader this year. Drew Neitzel was the glue guy–he’s obviously gone–it will be interesting to see the early season chemistry on this team.


Quickie 11.20 Recap: We’re gonna party like its 1992

November 21, 2008

Oh yes, the nostalgia is hitting us

Oh yes, the nostalgia is hitting us

Now the college basketball season is finally here. Our first huge upset of the season has taken place. On Thursday night in the Mecca of basketball arena’s, Madison Square Garden, an unranked Michigan Wolverines team took down Ben Howland’s #4 UCLA Bruin’s.


Michigan was able to hold off the stingy Bruin’s to get their first win against a Top 5 team in 11 years. The win was propelled by Deshawn Sims 18 points and Manny Harris’ 15 points.


Big Blue needed this victory in many ways. It ushered in new head coach John Beilein, by way of West Virginia…and no, it wasn’t a package deal with Rich Rodriguez. Also, this win should ease the pain of the Michigan faithful, since their football team is an abysmal 3-8. And finally, it is Ohio State weekend, so they will only have 36 hours to enjoy this massive victory before their football team is disassembled in C-Bus like a dog chewing on a nyla bone.


The win for Michigan sets up a final in the Garden with against Duke, who ironically so, was the last Top 5 team Michigan beat (1997 #1 Duke). The Blue Devils beat Southern Illinois on Thursday night, 83 – 58.

So maybe the Wolverines will get to celebrate once more, before the big football game.

Down in the 51st state, Xavier, Memphis, and Virginia Tech win as favorites, and Seton Hall comes up with a minor upset over USC. Those four winners move on to tomorrow’s semi-finals in the Puerto Rico Tip Off. Is it just us or can you almost guarantee nine Big East teams in the big dance? Wow. Anyways, it will be X-A-V, IER facing VA Tech and, by process of elimination, the Tigers against the Pirates.