Friday, October 31, 2008

X 26th in AP Poll

Xavier has been pegged at #26 in the first AP poll this season. We are at #30 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Should be tested early and a win against Mizzou in the PR tournament would go along way to keeping us in the voters mind.

I am also hearing from a very, very reliable source that X will pick up it's first commit from the class of 2010 this weekend. We have a big on campus that is a strong XU lean.

Exhibition this Saturday

The Bearcats will start off the season with an exhibition game at noon this Saturday. Canada’s Capital University have won five of the last six Canadian National Championships and went undefeated in three of those six seasons. They should give the Cats a fight and at the very least give those of us who cant wait something to look forward to.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

11th Place - Richmond Spiders

Head Coach: Chris Mooney
Record at Richmond: 37-54 (3)

Home Court: Robins Center (9,071)

1 Darrius Garrett Fr F 6-8 200
4 Jahron Giddings Sr F 6-9 225
5 David Gonzalvez Jr G 6-4 200
11 Josh Duinker Fr C 6-11 220
12 Kevin Smith So F 6-5 190
14 Kevin Anderson So G 6-0 170
15 Francis Cedric Martel Fr G 6-5 200
31 Conor Smith Fr F 6-7 210
32 Justin Harper So F 6-9 215
44 Ryan Butler Jr F 6-6 200

First 5:

1-K. Anderson (the A10 Rookie of the Year last season is solid overall and his scoring output increased greatly the Spider's last 9 games of the season. He should continue to develop.)
2-D. Gonzalvez (the junior is plagued by inconsistency. He dropped 25 in a loss against Memphis and other games he disappeared in.)
3-K. Smith (the sophomore has a solid overall floor game. He was third on the team in blocks and fifth in assists last season)
4-J. Giddings (he has battled shin injuries his whole career. Giddings needs to rebound for Richmond to exceed expectations)
5-J. Duinker (the big Aussie actually joined the team last January. Josh reportedly can dribble, pass, and shoot which bodes well for a big man in the Princeton offense)

Second 5:
1-K. Hovde (long guard will provide depth in the backcourt)
2-F. Martel (Canadian prospect intrigues many, is a shooter to match the rest of Richmond's team)
3-R. Butler (his three point shooting percentage dropped last year keeping him off the court)
4-D. Garrett (good prospect will need to add weight to hold his own against the other bigs in the conference)
5-J. Harper (this big kid had flashes last year including dropping 11 on X that included a perfect three for three from 3 land)

This team would have been projected much higher if Dan Geriot did not tear a ligament in his right knee playing summer ball. The 6-9 post averaged over 14 a game and the offense was run through him. Now Duinker will be that guy hopefully. I still like their team very much despite the low ranking because they can all shoot from deep, pass, and handle the rock. What I don't like is their rebounding and overall athleticism. And I am still not sold on Chris Mooney. He had one solid year at Air Force before heading east to replace John Beilein. Anderson is a very nice player and some who follow the league have this squad finishing quite a bit higher than I do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

X Picked 1st. Of course they were.

My compadre Deck continues to be cautiously optimistic for another year. No surprise there. Being the resident Cats guy even I can see they are the class of the A10. Deck you've been calling me out to post so now I'm calling you out.

Stand up and shout for your boys man!! Even with the losses the Muskies will contend for an A10 championship and probably be dancing again. Be Proud! I know I would.

Good read From Katz on Cats

The season is so close I can already hear the sneakers squeeking and the buzzer sounding!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

X picked 1st

Xavier was picked first in the preseason balloting by A10 coaches and media members it was announced today. Derrick Brown is a first team all A10 pick, while CJ was selected for the third team. No less than three Musketeers made the preseason all rookie picks in Frease, Holloway, and Lyons. Obviously we know now that 'Cheeks' will be sitting out but it still speaks to what the league thinks of the young talent on Victory Parkway. Let's hope the prognosticators are right on this one. We are getting close and I am getting excited. I will start to put up the other A10 teams in my preseason selection a little quicker as we get close to the start of the season.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blue/White Game Tonight

The Musketeers will hold a Blue/White scrimmage game tonight at 7 PM. Unfortunately I won't be attending but several 2010 recruiting targets will be here this weekend. My sources tell me we can expect a commit from this class before we fill out our last remaining 'ship from '09. Kyryl Natazhako is our primary target for the last 2009 ride and he hasn't even taken his SAT test yet. As of now it appears to be a two dog race with us and Arizona State. However Kyryl has moved up to as high as the 31st best recruit overall (ESPN) in this class and almost every recruiting service has him jumping several spots. In the end that means the Duke's and Kentucky's of the world get involved but most of those schools have completed their recruiting for this season. We shall see.

Admission is free tonight for anybody interested. Should be a fun night on campus (sans the weather) as the annual Run Like Hell event for Cystic Fybrosis is also going on in the Alumni Lot.

12th Place - St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Head Coach: Mark Schmidt
Record at Bonas: 8-22 (1)

Home Court: Reilly Center (6,000)

1 Ray Blackburn Jr G 5-10 185
3 Maurice 'Grease' Thomas Jr F 6-9 225
4 Chris Matthews Jr G 6-4 205
5 Jonathan Hall Jr F/G 6-5 225
12 Tyler Benson Sr F 6-7 210
20 Malcolm Eleby So G 6-3 200
21 Da'Quan Cook Fr F 6-9 225
24 Lewis Leonard Jr G 6-4 200
32 Mike Davenport Fr G 6-4 200
33 Marquis Simmons Fr F 6-8 210
44 Andrew Nicholson Fr C 6-9 220
45 Jake Houseknecht Fr F 6-8 200
50 D'Lancy Carter Sr C 6-10 260

First 5:

1- Blackburn (juco transfer from the Buffalo area is the perfect guy for coach Schmidt's preferred up tempo attack)
2- Matthews (Washington St. transfer will be asked to be team's leading scorer, a role which he should embrace. Very talented scorer.)
3- Hall (MVP of national JUCO title game last year can really play 2-4. He is well traveled but Schmidt likes his desire to win at all costs)
4- Thomas ('Grease' was UTEP's leading rebounder two seasons ago. He also has some nice moves around the basket, expect him to make an impact in the A-10)
5- Carter (he will be the only returning starter from last year. He is a nice rebounder who needs better endurance to stay on the floor longer.)

Second 5:

1- Eleby (sophomore needs to develop a reliable jump shot to be on the floor more.)
2- Leonard (juco transfer from Philadelphia is reportedly a big time scorer, should fit well in Bonas uptempo attack)
3- Benson (senior is reportedly a shooter who didn't shoot real well last season from deep)
4- Cook (redshirt freshman was academically ineligible last year and did not practice with team. The bonas faithful love his potential.)
5- Nicholson (the best prep big man in Canada last year is the prospect I am most intrigued about on this roster. he chose bona for their science program.)

This roster looks to have A10 caliber talent on it as opposed to last year. Coach Schmidt did a great job getting 8 wins out of that group. However he is going to have to mesh a lot of new faces this year but the league needs to be put on notice that the brown and white are no longer a pushover. IF they gell this team could move up accordingly. Davenport is a local kid out of Moeller who may have to wait a season or two for his chance. Simmons will not join the team until the second semester.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good News for 'Cats fans

I just learned that John Riek (all 7'2" of him) passed his SAT test yesterday. It is still looking like it will be the second semester before he takes the floor due to injury issues but they will have all that more talent for their front line then. IF the 'Cats start off well and McClain has improved I would redshirt this guy for next season. Reason being he is going to leave for the pros if he shows any promise at all.

Cash out for season

Lance McAllister has posted on his blog that Cashmere Wright tore his ACL in practice and will miss the remainder of this season. THIS IS BAD NEWS for UC and the young man. He was basically going to be handed the point position allowing D Vaughn to move off the ball. Mick Cronin states in the Cincinnati Enquirer write up that Vaughn will play the '1', which is where he would need to play any way in the pay for play leagues. Mitchell, Dixon, and Davis will vie for the starting '2' spot. Who backs DV up though? You can't go through the Big East wars playing 35-40 minutes a night and keep up the production.

And we also found out this morning that the 'Cats will be without the services of big man Kenny Belton as well this season. He apparently has some shrinking in his spinal cord canal? I never heard of that before but you truly have to feel for Mick and staff. They haven't been able to play with all their pieces the past couple of years.

HOWEVER I do not want to see any excuses for not improving over last season. They have a beast of a frontline with Williams, Gates, McClain, and Toyloy which will serve them well. Also they have very talented wings in Mitchell, Wilks, Davis and Bishop especially. They still should be improved enough to post a winning record.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fordham Rams - 13th Place

Head Coach: Dereck Whittenburg
Record at Fordham: 65-83 (6)

Home Court: Rose Hill Gym (3,200)


1 Jio Fontan Fr G 5-11 160
3 Trey Blue Fr G 6-3 190
4 Herb Tanner Jr G 6-4 170
12 Kyrie Gordon Fr F 6-7 195
15 Lamar Thomas Fr C 6-9 225
21 Alberto Estwick Fr G 6-4 195
23 Mike Moore So G 6-5 190
24 Brenton Butler Jr G 6-2 205
32 Jacob Green* So C 6-9 220
44 Luke Devine Sr C 6-10 255
50 Chris Bethel Sr F 6-5 215
*-eligible 2nd semester

First 5:
1- Fontan (#144 rivals recruit coached by Bob Hurley at St. Anthony's is the reason i like FU over the Dukes)
2- Butler (started 21 games last season, will need to be the go to guy)
3- Estwick (Fontan's team mate at St. A's is a big time athlete that reportedly is getting better and better)
4- Moore (more of a '3' but w/ lack of quality bigs you need his scoring potential on the floor)
5- Bethel (if he could stay out of Whit's doghouse he could make the most of his senior season)

Second 5:
1- Tanner (combo guard needs to add weight and rebound ball better)
2- Blue (outside shooter is also touted to be good on 'D')
3- Gordon (point forward needs more weight to go along w/ his quickness and leaping ability)
4-Thomas (prep school team mate of Gordon's is a pure post player)
5- Green (when he becomes eligible 2nd semester this West Virginia transfer will be handed a starting spot; good shotblocker)

Whittenburg ushers in another large recruiting class. Last season was supposed to be their year with all the seniors but they did not do as well as expected for whatever reason. I am excited about Fontan and I think they will spread the floor and let him operate. There are some decent shooters on the floor he can find. Again I think they are neck and neck with the Dukes for the basement, but their light non con schedule should give them confidence. The addition of Green in time for conference play could give them a shot in the arm but they are just too young and inexperienced to make Atlantic City.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Duquesne Dukes - 14th

Head Coach: Ron Everhart
Record at Duquesne: 27-32 (2)

Home Court: AJ Palumbo Center (5,358)


1 Aaron Jackson Sr G 6-4 185
2 Chase Robinson Fr G 6-2 190
3 Eric Evans Fr G 5-11 195
13 Jason Duty Jr G 6-0 170
21 Shawntez Patterson Fr F 6-7 180
22 David Theis Fr F 6-8 215
23 Melquan Bolding Fr G 6-4 190
25 Damian Saunders So F 6-7 210
30 Bill Clark So F 6-5 205
31 Aleksander Milovic Fr F 6-7 235
32 BJ Monteiro Fr G 6-5 195
33 Rodrigo Peggau Fr F 6-8 230
54 Oliver Lewinson Fr C 6-9 240

First 5:

1-Jackson (will build around him, ironically only player left from Nee era)
2-Bolding (former Louisville recruit was rated #119 by PrepStars)
3-Clark (outstanding shooter will increase his 8.2 ppg from last year)
4-Saunders (offseason ankle surgery could slow this athletic player)
5-Lewinson (late signee may start but won't see extended minutes)

Second 5:

1-Evans (solid player from the Motor City could see lots of time)
2-Monteiro (Connecticut HS player of the year could suprise)
3-Theis (reported good shooter could play more if he rebounds)
4-Milovic (Everhart says he is one of the best young players in Europe)
5-Peggau (he would be in the first 5 if it weren't for offseason knee surgery)

Outlook: this is the 2nd time in three years that Everhart is rebuilding. They are talented pieces here but overall lack of experience will make it hard for the Dukes to have sustained success in the A10. The Dukes and Fordham will battle it out for the basement spot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Storming the Floor: STF Preseason Extravaganza - #16 Flop Teams

Sorry Deck But I found this interesting but I will say this. Every freaking year X gets no national love and every year they go dancing. Also I think ND(hi smitty) will have a good year unless the Big Beast eats itself alive in conference games.

Storming the Floor: STF Preseason Extravaganza - #16 Flop Teams

Storming the Floor: STF State Project: #10 Ohio

Hey Folks I'm back! Lots of Bearcat Stuff coming very soon. I thought I'd start out by sharing(read stealing) some of my favorite stuff from this offseason. The 1st offering comes from my personal favorite STF. I think its the best college ball blog around. 

THis little piece is short on Bearcat love but still interesting.

Storming the Floor: STF State Project: #10 Ohio

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lyons Partial Qualifier

Dustin Dow has reported in his blog that 'Cheeks' will not be eligible to be on the floor during games for X this season. He can practice, but not play due to some of the courses he took in prep school not meeting initial eligibility requirements. His grades are good enough, the classes is the issue. Doesn't matter and I view this as a positive. Lyons can practice with the team, spend time needed getting better acclimated to college studies and so forth. It is also eerily similar to Lionel Chalmers' situation at X. Cheeks and L-Train are from the same neck of the woods and their careers are getting off on the same foot. The extra year did wonders for Lionel and I am sure it will be the same for Mark. It is positive from the team perspective in terms of a redshirt being forced upon us by big brother (NCAA). This will clear a logjam at point. Dow also reported that we will have an answer on Crawford in a few weeks but I just don't see that going our way. IMO '09-'10 we will have at least three new players hitting the floor in Lyons, Crawford, and Parrom.

NOW we are down to Redford, Holloway, and Jackson competing for time at point guard. The starting nod should go to one of the frosh as DJ is not a natural point guard but could be a great defensive option. Also interesting to read in DD's blog is the fact that we could see Love and Frease on the floor together. Big Freeze has a nice touch out to the 3 Pt line. However I think matchups would have to play a role in seeing those two out there.

I had envisioned Holloway being the starting point due to clippings and recruiting rankings anyway but it would be great to see Jordan Crawford (who Sean Miller is VERY HIGH on) get that eligibility but again I don't see it happening due to the NCAA and their muddled way of handling things. IF JC is ruled eligible I think he will spend many minutes at the '1' for us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A 10 Predictions

Since I am itching for a little college basketball action (that was a quick offseason) I thought I would try and predict the A10 order of finish. I have read Lindy's prognostications, some of 'WH' (he has two teams up thus far on the atlantic 10 basketball forum message board), and my much anticipated Blue Ribbon College Yearbook has yet to arrive. 'WH' is a poster on the A10 board who produces phenonemal preview/predictions for each team in the league. He slowly reveals each team as we draw closer to the season. SO before he finished his order I thought I better get mine out there. Also I will sum up/preview each team myself as we get closer to opening tip.

1. Temple
2. Xavier
3. St. Joseph's
4. LaSalle
6. St. Louis
7. Charlotte
8. Rhode Island
9. Dayton
10. George Washington
11. Richmond
12. St. Bonaventure
13. Fordham
14. Duquesne

Kilpatrick to the 'Cats

Sean Kilpatrick committed to the UC Bearcats after attending 'Fan Jam' this week. He is spending this year in prep school at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, MA. He averaged 28 points in HS in White Plains, NY and has good size at 6'5" 185 lbs for the two guard. The 'Cats currently do not have any scholarship openings at this time for 09-10 but the recruiting game is never finished. One UC fan I talked to said he doesn't think Riek will be around this time next year but that remains to be seen.

Also I will be putting up my predictions for the A10 conference season soon. After that I will provide a preseason profile for each squad. I am hopeful Mr. Dave will do the same for the 'Big Greased'.

Monday, October 6, 2008

All X games on tv this year!

It appears that way anyway. The a10 released their 'national' TV schedule which includes the ESPN family of networks, CBS, and CBS College Sports Network (old CSTV) and X has 18 games on those channels. Fox Sports Ohio has broadcast rights for 15 XU games and well FSNO and ESPN just don't televise the same games. Quick math tells me 18+15= more games than we have scheduled. By comparison the Dayton Cryers have 3 nationally televised games. 2 of those are against us on ESPN2. I guess they haven't heard about the Chris Wright phenomenon.

Other news: we lost the recruiting battle for Chris Braswell. He rated #78 in the Rivals top 150 and was an original G-Town committ last season. Time to focus our attention on Kyryl Natazkho (#75 in the Rivals 150) who is at IMG Academy in Florida this year. He is a reported 6'11" with a feathery shooting touch. He would be a nice piece to go along with the Big Freaser.