Quickie Recap 1/15: Purdue prevails, X edges Rams, Tubby remains atop the Big 10

January 16, 2009
A game that should not have resulted in this picture

A game that should not have resulted in this picture

How about a round of Boilermakers? some applause for the Boilermakers?  Down by eleven with just under eight minutes to go, Purdue rallied to prevent a potential upset by Big 10 dormat Northwestern.  JaJuan Johnson was the hero by hitting two free throws with two ticks left on the clock, but he got it twisted.  He meant to miss the second of the two to force a long distance heave, the result: an intentionally unintentional bank in, which gave the Wildcats a decent shot at a desperation three ball.  Rick Gano of the Indianapolis Star believes the defense of the Boilermakers is what helped them overcome their 22 turnovers. Purdue will now be tested on the road, facing Wisconsin and Minnesota in upcoming games.  Mike Greenberg’s school drops to 0-4 in the conference.

Moving over to the A-10, the X was able to squeak by Rhody the Ram 67-65.  This game was ugly on both ends, with multiple series of turnover…fast-break…turnover…fast-break.  A vicious cycle. Dante Jackson gave X the lead for good with 1:30 left , moving them to 14-2 on the year.  Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal says the Rams are living a real life version of the movie “Groundhog Day.” Xavier should walk all over La Salle and St. Bonaventure before making their trip to the Bayou to take on LSU, who is undefeated at home this year.

Over in Madison, it took extra time for the Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers to put away Da Badgers of Wisconsin.  After forcing OT with a long range bomb with two seconds left, Lawrence Westbrook reeled off 9 of the Gophers 16 points in OT to secure the win.  Mark Stewart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan saying “the Badgers wilted under the pressure.” Yep, Bo knows wilting. The Golden Gophers are quietly making some noise at 16-1 and walking into The Barn is no easy task.

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Quickie Recap 12.30: Teams trying to make a name

December 31, 2008
No fun for the Sooners in Fayetteville

No fun for the Sooners in Fayetteville

The Sooner’s were the next of the undefeated to fall on Tuesday night, and the most we could do was check the score when our browser refreshed every 30 seconds.  Arkansas jumped on them early, starting the game with a 25-10 lead.  The Razorbacks have flown under the radar all year, even with a 10-1 record, but with this win we’re sure more than just Corliss Williamson and Bill Clinton will be paying attention to PIG Sooie!!!  All teams have to fall at some point, unless you have Argyle on your jersey, so a loss to a 9-1 team isn’t the worst way to go down.

Purdue seemed like the “sexy” pick of the year for a lot of people, but now we just want to call them the “Tara Reid All-Stars,” after losing to Illinois 71 – 67 on their own hardwood.  It took overtime to pull it off but the Fightin’ Illini improved to 13-1.  The stat of the game was “6”: Illinois only committed 6 turnovers, coupled with 21 assists.  The Illini, like Arkansas, have been quietly building up force despite being unranked, but today Andy Katz says it’s time to give them their due.

Andy “Rainman” Rautins is back at it.  After tying a school record with 9 triples last game, Rautins (26 pts) added 7 more on Tuesday night to aid the Orange to a 100 – 76 shooting clinic. The Orange shot 55% from beyond the arc compared to Seton Hall’s 7.4% on 2 of 27 (Yes, all schools do TRY and recruit players that can shoot).  The ‘Cuse also welcomed back Eric Devendorf for their Big East opener to the tune of 20 large.


Purdue plays football, Curry held in check

December 20, 2008

Squinting doesn't help

Squinting doesn't help

 

Davidson’s secondary couldn’t handle the speed of Purdue’s receivers, as the Boilermakers jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and never looked back in an afternoon delight for fans in Indy.  The former is clearly a bad attempt at humor, but the latter is true and Davidson never looked so hopeless in this one.

Stephen Curry missed his first eight shots, and was blanketed by primo defending all game. He finished with 13 on 5-26 shooting. We’re guessing he’s calling this one of the worst games he’s ever played.

Purdue was certainly the trendy pick coming into this season, but hadn’t done much to live up to such expectations until today.  But this was the output we expected from them, as Matt Painter’s boys showed their potential at both ends of the floor. 


Quickie Recap 12.2: Jack McClinton has to slap Buckeye?

December 3, 2008

In a game that showed how reliant Miami is on their standout Jack McClinton, the Hurricanes blew a 14 point lead after “Apples” slapped Ohio State’s Anthony Crater about midway through the first half.  Great audition tape for the Real World (see Jack’s Profile from Siena days).  Ohio State, who really isn’t that good, dictated the pace of the game and chipped away at the Hurricanes, turned tropical depression, to get the mild upset W.  

Steve Lavin made the whole situation sound cool and unfortunately Nick missed it, instead electing to watch the beginning of the end of Will Ferrell’s movie career.  Anyways we’ll wait to see if McClinton is reprimanded further, aside from the predictable bashing he’ll hear from ACC crowds.

In the night cap, Purdue students slept in the cold for two nights just to see their boys play 40 minutes of fairly uninspired basketball, losing 76- 60.  The Boilermakers are clearly talented but are going to have to learn, on-the-fly, how to win big games after missed opportunities against Oklahoma and now the Dukies.  The Blue Devils got 20 each out of Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer.

Notre Dame has announced that Mike Brey will be the offensive coordinator for the football team…well no, but it’s not a terrible The Irish basketball team rained triples all over South Dakota. They were without the services of Luke Harangody (pneumonia), but that had zero bearing on the outcome.  Ryan Ayers and Kyle McAlareny were the key culprits responsible for the team’s 37 three point attempts.  Usually that’s enough to make a coach cringe, but when you hit a school record 19, apparently you just keep telling ’em to fire away.


Quickie Recap 11.28: Sooners win NIT, G’Town-UT shoot it out

November 29, 2008
Apparently other teams even have a Man Crush on Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin: All-American, bully who throws balls at his peers

It’s only the Preseason NIT, but it might carry more weight than its sister tournament held in March. Oklahoma took home the trophy tonight over Purdue. Blake Griffin adds more hardware to the Blake and Taylor Griffin trophy mantle, taking home Tournament MVP honors.

It’s no secret that freshman in Madison Square Garden can get a little caught up in the moment, and we saw that in this game. Down 83-80 with nine seconds left, Purdue’s Freshman PG Lewis Jackson froze in the middle of the lane like a early teenage boy forced to slow dance. He panicked and threw the ball directly out of bounds, which ensured victory for the Sooners.

We’ve got to think this infuriated Purdue’s Namanja Calasan, a guy we’re already handicapping as the “2031 Suburban Indianapolis Adult Men’s League MVP.” After playing his bum off the entire game and getting slapped around by the better Griffin, he has to settle for some sort of moral victory. For the record, since he’s really good, let’s note that Griffin put up 18 and more importantly had 21 “window cleans.”

Down in Disney Tennessee and Georgetown put on a shooting clinic, essentially playing 40 minutes of L-A-K-E-B-U-E-N-A-V-I-S-T-A-F-L-O-R-I-D-A (that’s ‘Horse’ but much longer, obviously) before the Vols finished off the Hoyas, 90-78. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field but the Vols just made more of ’em, and got the victory. Props to ESPN for breaking the Lane Kiffin new hire story during a Tennessee basketball game. Always love to have something like this provoke John Sciambi into a conversation with Fran Fraschilla about his Heisman favorite. We’d rather hear Dicky V talk about the Tampa Bay Rays, or even his analysis of President elect Barack Obama naming his cabinet. That’s just our take.

Tennessee now will meet Gonzaga in the finals. The Bulldogs brought Gary Williams and his Maryland Terrapins back down to earth, after they took down Sparty of Michigan State in the quarterfinals. Maryland never led in this game so there’s no point in overanalyzing. Maryland’s consolation prize: We’re not really sure.


Quickie Recap 11.26: UNC is pretty, pretty good

November 27, 2008
So much for that injury, Hansborough looked pretty sharp out in Maui

So much for that injury, Hansborough looked sharp out in Maui

We’re guessing that you didn’t spend last night sitting in a well lit living room, sipping on a couple beverages complimented by some sort of vegetable spread, tending to your dog, and watching the few decent games on in solitude. No, we’re guessing you had to keep monitoring the televisions on mute while navigating through cramped bars full of high school “has beens” and “never weres.” Biggest bar night of the year but it’s always fun though, we think.

While you were catching up, partaking in “stop and chats” that you wish never had to happen, UNC made the Irish look like Charlie Weis was coaching them. Tyler Hansborough put up 34 points, while after the game Roy Williams said his star center is playing at only about 75 percent. Ass holes.

Staying in Maui, Indiana did manage a two point victory over host Chaminade in the seventh place game. Phew! You can credit Tom Crean’s staff on that victory. Great advance scouting guys!

In NYC, Blake Griffin, the second best player in the country, led his Sooners over a good UAB team, Ya granted the Blazers blew the lead at the end, but they have talent in a lame Conference USA. We’re not sure if this news made it back to Norman, as attention is strictly on the Bedlam game. Nonetheless, they’ll face Purdue in the NIT Season Tip-Off finals.

If you’re eyes are hurting from the awful football the NFL is giving to us on this sacred day, we noticed that ESPN2 has all the first round games of the Old Spice Classic. Feel free to switch over.

Now if you’ll excuse us we need to go watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back to bed.

Enjoy Turkey.


Obligatory Preseason Top 10. #s 10-6

November 12, 2008

OK it’s just about that time. Baseball is finito, ESPN is in full on “NFL ALL DAY EVERYDAY UNTIL IT HURTS!!!” mode, and it’s getting effing cold in the Northeast. That can only mean one thing…National Novel Writing Month college basketball is about to finally tip-off. We’re not that into the whole preseason prediction crap–we’ll leave that to the talking heads. But even so we must post something. So we will stick to a quick top ten, as we finally get this blog rolling.

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#10 OKLAHOMA SOONERS

Blake Griffin does a pretty mean David Tyree

Blake Griffin does a pretty mean David Tyree

When Sophomore Blake Griffin announced in April that he was giving up his Lottery Pick status, millions of dollars and stripper groupies to return to trifling Norman, Oklahoma, you better believe coach Jeff Capel was pleased. Chances are however, the rest of Sooner Country said, “cool” and resumed their insatiable anticipation for the upcoming spring football game.

It’s pretty simple with this team: As (Blake) Griffin goes, so go the Sooners. He’s a preseason All-American, which is well deserved. We should note that his older brother Taylor is on this team, but serves as a bench reserve and doesn’t garner any attention from the NBA.

In addition to BLAKE GRIFFIN, there’s a few other guys to keep an eye on. Tony Crocker will have to continue his 3-point prowess-as he shot over 40 percent from 3 last season. He will look to spot up with passes from freshman Willie Warren, a Top 25 recruit making the transition to point guard.

OU will participate in the NIT Season Tip Off, with potential noteworthy match-ups against Davidson and Purdue. Other than that it’s a pretty easy non-conference schedule, although we’re full of glee for that December 10th match-up against the Maine Black Bears. WHOOOO!!!

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#9 NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

I mean, they sure don't not look alike

I mean, they sure don't not look alike.

GODY!!! OK we just wanted to say that once. The Irish look good this year, and return Big East Player of the year Luke Harangody. That red head can play.

The Irish are set up for a very entertaining season, with one of their best teams on paper and toughest schedules in recent memory. They will get lei’d out in Hawaii and participate in the Maui Invitational, with potential match-ups against Texas and UNC.

We’re expecting a 30 win season from this team, but keep this stretch of games in mind…from January 12th to February 12th their schedule is as follows: @ Louisville, @ Syracuse, UCONN, Marquette, @ Pitt, @ Cincinnati, @ UCLA, and home to Louisville… Good Luck Leprechaun.

In addition to luck and Harangody, the Irish will always be in games with Kyle McAlarney stroking it from deep—he shot 44 percent from 3 last season. They also have Tory Jackson, the “Tito” to McAlarney’s “Michael,” as he led the Big East in assists last year. That reference probably resonated with our fathers, but none of our other readers.

There will be depth issues as the bench lacks a real sparkplug who can score, but a good, top-heavy team here that will certainly be battled-tested come March.

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#8 UCLA BRUINS

It all falls on Darren Collison now, as UCLA is sans Kevin Love

It falls on Darren Collison's shoulders, as UCLA is sans Kevin Love

If college basketball powerhouse programs were like little girls, they would all be whispering into each other’s ears talking about how UCLA has been to three straight final fours, but won NO NATIONAL TITLES!!! HAHAHA!

So this year, as The Buffalo Bills look to reach their fourth straight Super Bowl UCLA looks to reach the Final Four for the fourth consecutive season, Ben Howland will have to find a way to maximize effort. The Bruins return All-American Darren Collison and have an explosive freshman in Jrue Holiday. But with the losses of Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and that really handsome boy Lorenzo Mata-Real, depth will certainly be an issue. If you don’t believe us, James Keefe is expected to start at power forward—over the past two years, he’s only managed 1.9 points per game.

Yes, the Pac-10 will be down this year so UCLA will still be the class of the conference. But getting to Detroit will be tough, as well as keeping those little girls from laughing.

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#7 PURDUE BOILERMAKERS

A Final Four appearance could make Matt Painter national coach of the year

A Final Four appearance could make Matt Painter national coach of the year

If you’re looking for a trendy pick to follow this season jump on the Boilermaker bandwagon, a team that’s got a ton of energy and depth.

All five starters return, and seven of their top eight scorers, to a team bounced by Xavier in the 2nd round of the 2008 tournament. We saw these guys in person last year, and were very impressed with their backcourt—something that’s imperative to success in college basketball.

Coach Matt Painter has supplanted ESPN weirdo Steve Lavin, and New Mexico Head Coach Steve Alford as the “Coolest Guy In College Basketball With Slicked Back Hair.” Although few other competitors really come to mind.

Anyways, getting back to that backcourt, they have guards a plenty and a point guard by committee comprised of E’Twaun Moore (all around stud), Keaton Grant (voted by teammates last year as team MVP), and Chris Kramer (reigning Big 10 defensive player of the year).

There’s also Robbie Hummel. A 6’ 8” guy who can shoot lights out, even though he looks like a 3rd grader shooting with both hands.

Yes there’s a lot of talent here and a lot of guys who can handle the ball, making them a team you don’t want to press. However, the Boilermakers will need to do better on the boards this season. They virtually broke even in rebounding margin, so that will have to be improved if they want to close out games. If they can gel and figure out each other’s roles, there could be great success! in West Lafayette.

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#6 PITTSBURGH PANTHERS

These kids are good at watching basketball, not playing

These kids are good at watching basketball, not playing

We’re not descendants of Nostradamus, but we’re nearly certain that despite Pitt’s high level of talent, they will win at least 20 games, reach the Big East Tournament final, then struggle in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve accomplished the first two feats seven times this decade but have never even played in a regional final. They’ve got the make-up to finally break down that wall this season but some players will have to take on, and perform well, in larger roles. The backcourt now falls on the shoulders of Levance Fields. He is a typical, tough Panthers point guard plucked from the NY/NJ area. Now he will have to run the show with Ronald Ramon no longer around.

Dejaun Blair will be an absolute horse down low. He’s a rebounding machine that loves attention and loves to compete.
Expect him and Tyrell Biggs to take lesser opponents lunch money throughout the season.

The bulk of the scoring will come from Sam Young, a versatile senior who is the 2nd highest returning scorer in the conference. Pittsburgh will be fun to watch, probably even more then their intra-city professional counterparts Steelers and Penguins. I purposely didn’t include the Pirates because they’re more like semi-pro, but even that is being generous.