College Basketball Run-Down

January 29, 2009

A great slate of games on a Wednesday.  Personally, I had 3 games going during the 7pm time slot.  Can’t stay up like I used to. Last night there was a ton of good games on.  I liked to see Villanova beat Pittsburgh, an upset in the rankings, but a minor one at that.  Villanova is such a team built for the NCAA Tournamnet, its scary.  No wonder they seem to always be in the Sweet 16.  

Wake Forest beat Duke in an awesome game.  A Wake bucket on an in-bounds play with under a second left was the difference.  A good Blue Devil comeback, but I just dont see the grit and determination in the Dukies to challenge the elite when it comes down to it.  

Locally (well, my current local) Rhode Island had a HUGE win at home over the Temple Owls.  Providence nipped Syracuse in a shoot-out, 100-94.  

The Vermont Catamounts beat the Maine Black Bears in a classic New England match-up.  Congratulations to Mike Trimboli of UVM, who became the all-time assist man at Vermont.  He is also 4th in scoring.  But gotta get a Championship to be in the elite at Vermont man!

Connecticut will be the new number 1, but I think the best team currently is Louisville.  Disagree?  Let me know.

Ronaldhino

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To Go or Not to Go?

January 27, 2009

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Brandon Jennings shook the College Basketball world when he opted to take his elite game to Europe instead of doing the mandatory year in college, where you don’t get paid and put your athletic health in jeopordy.  Doesn’t sound like an “Awesome Experience, Baby” like the obnoxious Dick Vitale likes to say.  Sounds like your being used to allow a huge corporation (See Florida Athletics) and the coaches’ ego (See any Coach) to grow.  

So Brandon Jennings hopped on a plane and landed in Rome.  Kind of the guinea pig on what might be the next great trend.  Now reports are surfacing that Mr. Jennings has been paid on time only once, doesn’t get the minutes, and may be a little homesick.  Welcome to the Euroleague, a league notorious for the haze of cigarette smoke in the arena from the crowd, gangster owners, and more physical then any Over-35 game you ever played in.

So now the question is, wrong decision?  Lets weigh it out.  If Brandon Jennings only gets paid 1 time from his Euro team, that is 100% more then he would make in College Basketball.  Done Deal.  He doesn’t need to explain that decision to anyone.  Imagine you got a kid brother and sister, a single mom and live in a neighborhood with violence.  Are you more interested in getting your people into a positive situation or allowing Coach K to add a winter Range Rover to his arsenal?  Get paid young man, get paid.

Also, please rock the fade at the ’09 draft.


College Hoop Weekend

January 26, 2009

Ok, so I clearly watched way too much College Basketball this weekend.  Because of the end of the Football Season, well the playing part, we know the folks at ESPN have turned the NFL into a year-round sport, basketball is thrust into the forefront.  Clearly will have to do a better job of mixing ANYTHING into my weekend, rather then cracking out on College Hoop sun-up to sun-down.  

We are in the thick of the Conference Play and teams are really clicking.  I love this time of year, because there are great matchups and the players are really in a flow and playing the game at a high level.  Truly great basketball.  Plus add in that good ‘ol boy Billy Packer is no longer involved in calling games, MONEY!

Teams that are on the up and up;

Louisville :  Maybe the hottest team in the country.  Maximum pressure on the defensive end, in your face for 80 minutes.  Such athleticism and length, they will absolutely wear down opponents over the course of the game.  Ask Jhonny Flynn of the Cuse if he was tired after the game.  The forwards get to the rim and pick and pop better then anyone, plus they are Pitino coached and Pitino deep.  Wouldn’t want to face these guys anytime soon.  

Duke:  So the Dukies will be the #1 ranked team today, barring anybody realizing that they are in the middle of the pack if they played in the Big East.  But anyway, this is a team that is pretty good.  Finally going away from Greg Paulus at the point has transformed them into a contender.  Nolan Smith gives you a creator and someone who can get to the second level off the bounce.  It really frees up the shooters in the corner and Smith’s creativity has paid off dividends for 7-Footer Brian Zoubek.  Look out for Duke, but they must bring the intensity to the NCAA Tournament this year.  Don’t forget about the homecourt advantage either.

Connecticut: A great win to snap Notre Dame’s home winning streak.  The Huskies can beat you in a multitude of ways, inside, outside, defense.  As always, they are loaded inside and challenge every inside shot with their shot-blockers.  A.J. Price is in the flow now, so they have a legitimate scoring threat on the outside.  Jim Calhoun always does a nice job getting his team ready to play the best and play the best at the right time.

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Kay Yow

January 24, 2009

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Kay Yow passed away late last night at the age of 66 after decades battling cancer.  Coach Yow is a winner, 700 victories, a Gold Medal, always having the Wolfpack in contention in the ACC and the NCAA tournament.  I have long been a fan of Coach Yow because of her class, determination, bravery, and being the consumate teacher.  She taught not only her team, but the sports world through her example.  College Basketball will sure miss her.

Enjoy the games today.


Providence Friars

January 21, 2009

 

Great exhibit of Sportsmanship.  Unfourtunately this puts a black eye on one of the most intriguing stories of the Conference portion of the College Basketball season.  The Friars, led by 2007-08 National Coach of the Year Keno Davis, have started out Big East play on a tear, 4-2 in the toughest and deepest conference in the country.  

I recently read that security will be beefed up, but the NCAA and these Universities need to improve the overall security.  I also saw that a Clemson fan wrestled a Wake Forest player to the ground.  A solution to these problems is to go like European style and make the team play in front of an empty stadium if their fans misbehave.  Just an idea…. 

All players have shown great restraint, but restraint only goes so far.  Sooner or later, as they should, players and coaches will start to protect themselves.

Just watch the game and enjoy it folks!


Same old Story

January 15, 2009

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Tell me if you have heard this progression before.  PRESEASON – The Spurs are old, banged up and look as if their run is over.  REGULAR SEASON – something isn’t clicking with the Spurs, Tim Duncan looks a step slow.  STRETCH RUN – Here come the  Spurs.  PLAYOFFS – and with their 5 Championship in 10 years…..

I sure have.  The San Antonio Spurs, the dynasty of the new Millenium are up to their old tricks again.  Tim Duncan has always been one of my favorite players of All-Time.  The “Big Fundamental” is an awesome player, one of the greatest power forwards of all time.  I also love Manu and Tony Parker and the way that Poppovich and company utilize their role players is just brilliant.  Everyone always hates the Spurs, probably because they aren’t flashy, don’t have a PTI headline every week.  People who hate on them for that should just stick to cheesy Reality TV, let’s be honest, thats all you want…drama.

The Spurs play beautiful, team, athletic basketball and after their display against the Los Angeles Lakers last night, sound the alarm here come the Champs!


Throw it Down Young Fella

January 13, 2009

The pride of Niagara Falls, NY…all 6 feet of him.