Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is a Memphis Win

And an Ipod, and a Laptop, and a.....

Nahh.. All I really want is for my wife to give birth to our latest addition in the days FOLLOWING Christmas. It wouldn't be the end of the world but I want him to have his own day for his birthday.

Anyway with the holidays and the impending birth I am out until the New Year. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

Oh take a look at the slate of pro games on Christmas. Lakers v. Celtics should be one hell of a game.

Game Recap: Butler

The funk continues. I have to stop and tip my hat to a very good Butler team. Even though they are young they showed they can pull out a win in a tough atmosphere. Hayward could play for a lot of teams and I can see why the staff recruited Matt Howard so hard. I would imagine Brad Stevens is one of the hottest young coaches in the country. Very impressed with his poise and demeanor on the sideline. The Bulldogs deserve our spot in the top 25.

Now to our end of things. First the good: Brown played strong, Frease showed some offensive life out there in the first half, Redford continues to look more comfortable on the floor, and the team battled on the glass.

The bad: the black hole that has become CJ Anderson needs to realize the game isn't always one on one. He missed several opportunities to kick the ball to wide open shooters. He also needs to strengthen his free throw shooting if he is going to get to the line that much. Where have you gone BJ Raymond? We need you to get to where we want to be. Our warts of inconsistent free throw shooting overall and ball handling have been exposed against very good teams this week. I would suspect a lineup change for the next game. Also a little disappointed in Sean for not keeping his composure towards the end of the game. At that point I knew any chance to get over the hump in this one was finished. What X fans can take from this mini slump is to look back to last season. We were blown out by Arizona State after final exams and came back and went down to a solid Tennessee team at Cintas right before Christmas. That team learned their lessons well and went on to do big things. Hopefully our seniors will do the same for this edition of the Muskies.

I will be back first of the year with some 'inside' information on the recruiting front concerning a very talented PG from the 2010 class out of the NYC among other things. Also I have an opportunity from Learfield Sports to ponder that could lead to some interesting things for yours truly come first of the year.

I hope everybody has a safe and enjoyable holiday season. I am off to finish Christmas shopping.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Man We Took A Beating

In this weeks ESPN/AP Polls. We fell all the way to 14th in the AP and landed at 12 in the ESPN Poll. Real Time RPI has us holding steady at #3 behind Oklahoma and UCONN. Butler and Duke round out the top 5 as of 330 Monday afternoon. X wins over Missouri and Memphis remain strong as both received top 25 love this week.

Obviously the people who are paid to keep track of these sorts of things understand the landscape of college basketball a little better than some of us on this blog. Will be interesting to see how we respond tomorrow night. It will be important for this edition of the Musketeers not to let one bad loss develop into something more. We need to let Holloway play the lion's share of the minutes at '1' these next 3 games (Butler, Robert Morris, at Virginia)if his foot can take it. We will need to have a true offensive point guard in the mix if we want to do well in conference play and beyond.

Also let me add that today's edition of Real Time RPI has five teams from the A10 in the top 50. As a comparison the Big East has 6. Wow. Huge difference. The Big East SOS is 7, the A10 is 5. Wow. Huge difference.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Despite being 'owned' by Duke we will still be a top 20 team. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we are still the best team in Cincinnati (rankings such as the RPI and AP poll prove it- not to mention spanking, headbutting, punching them on their own floor). Despite being 'owned' by Duke the game against Butler was always earmarked to be a big game (chances to beat top 5 RPI teams always are). Despite being 'owned' by Duke we still have one of the hottest coaches in America. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we are a team with bonafide NBA prospects. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we are sitting at 9-1. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we have been to 2 elite 8's the last 5 years. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we have NCAA aspirations THIS season. Despite being 'owned' by Duke we have played a schedule void of cupcakes.

The point? We are pretty damn good with lots to look forward to. This loss will be a benchmark for improvement for this team for the balance of the season.

Xavier got owned

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a top 10 team get OWNED so badly. The Muskies were outcoached, outplayed, and outdone in every aspect of the game on Saturday. All the talking heads will be saying how overrated they are and I expect them to plummet in ranks when  the new polls come out. 

Interesting to me is how the "top teams" they have beaten so far this season are turning out to not be as good as advertised. Don't get me wrong. Its still only one loss against a VERY good Duke team but still. All of a sudden the Butler game looks a little more daunting for the boys from Victory Pkwy. 

What a week for the Bearcats

Man its been a jam packed week for UC. They beat all the teams the should have this week with only a few issues worth mentioning. 
1.They are still putting to much on Vaughns plate in my opinion but it looks like Dion Dixon may take some of the load at guard as he gets better and better. 
2. Entry passes have been abysmal and they still need a lot of work in that regard.
3. I was screaming at Yancy on Thurday night. He seemed to not be interested in playing D for stretches in the second half. 
4. Most importantly they still seem to have trouble getting into a rhythm on offense. This did look better against Eastern Kentucky but not as good as it could be. 

Now the good stuff.
1. The three point shooting was pretty damn good this week. They should have won by 30 on thursday but the D got soft to start the 2nd half. 
2. Dion Dixon gets better everytime he steps on the floor. 
3. Mike Williams and Yancy Gates looked very good against EKU. Those are the kind of games we need from them every night. 

A win Monday night against Arkansas-Pine Bluff will finish out a nine day stretch of five games with a 4-1 record. not bad. 

Real Time RPI Update 12/21

Took a look at the realtime rpi website this morning to see how far we fell. They currently have Xavier at #3 with a SOS rated 5th overall. For reference Duke is #2 in the RPI with a SOS rated 13th overall after yesterday's games. Looking ahead to Tuesday night we face the Butler Bulldogs who are currently ranked #4 in the RPI and they have a SOS of 15. SO as all the 'haters' can clearly see losing to quality teams is not nearly as bad as taking an 'L' to a team with a double digit RPI ranking. X still has shots at quality wins against Butler, Virginia, Louisiana State, Temple, Dayton, and Rhode Island. There are also several other A10 teams in the top 100 of the RPI. I feel good about our NCAA tournament chances based off our SOS. IF we can manage 11 wins in the A10 and take two out of the UVA, LSU, and Butler games we should be sitting at 23-7 heading to Atlantic City. Considering 3 other teams in the top 10 lost yesterday we may not fall in the AP/ESPN polls as much as I originally thought. We should stay in the top 20. Winning Tuesday would be huge. Your's truly will be sitting directly behind the X bench for this one thanks to knowing some VIP's instead of my usual second deck seats in the 'Tas. Hopefully the team delivers an early Xmas present.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Game Recap: Duke

Ouch. It hurts to get your nose broke. Duke took it right to X in the first 3 minutes and it was over. So goes a golden opportunity. Overall at the end of the season it won't be a 'bad' loss on the resume. Derrick Brown hopefully will continue to step up and understand he could be the 'man' for this team. Raymond and Anderson didn't give us enough today. Flat out laid an 'egg' to say the least as a team overall.

Turnovers and horrible three point defense played right into the Blue Devils hands. I tip my hat to them. Far and away the best team we will play all season and when their hitting 50% plus from downtown kiss your chances of winning good bye. This was the first game our ugly wart of not having a true point guard to settle us down and compose us on the floor was exposed in a huge spotlight no less. Coach K is a master and great motivation sitting all of his starters down against UNC Asheville the previous game. 18-1 lifetime for the Meadowlands for the 'Dookies'. We got our face smashed by true basketball royalty today. Still hurts. They are a clear top 5 team. We should land some where around twenty in the polls if I had to guess.

Kenny Frease needs to continue to get stronger and improve his scoring efficiency around the goal. These games will be a great learning experience for him. Nice to see Redford drop some bombs from downtown to stem the bloodletting late. The boy has range. McLean needs some serious help from the free throw line. Jackson and Holloway should switch spots in the rotation possibly. Dante' could serve as a nice 6th man due to his ability to defend 1-3 on the floor. With X being on break it could be a long few days for the team as they get ready to take on Butler. The Bulldogs are strong again taking undefeated Ohio State to the wire and holding them to 54 points. They are a good three point shooting team. A 6'8" frosh wing named Hayward has a very nice game for Brad Stevens' squad. And fans who follow Musketeer recruiting closely will know the name Matt Howard. He is a solid inside performer for them. They are a top 10 RPI squad so it will be a nice chance to score another 'quality' win at the Cintas Center Tuesday night. In order to do that we need to tighten up the ball handling, three point defense and work harder on our identity on offense

Number 1

We moved up to the number one spot in the RPI as of yesterday. If we win today over Duke something tells me we stay there. That is a big IF as we all know. We have to keep our composure and pound it inside to get to the free throw line. Excited for the opportunity and possibilities. If we take the 'L' we are still shaping up to be better this season than I anticipated. In all honesty I would be happy with a split between Duke and Butler. Butler is top 10 in the RPI as well.

This is a great day to watch college basketball. Here is my schedule for the day:

Noon: Miami (OH) -v- West Virginia (ESPNU)
2:00: Xavier #7 -v- Duke #6 (CBS)
4:00: UCONN #2 -v- Gonzaga #8 (CBS)
6:30: Cincinnati -v- Eastern Kentucky (FSN)

I mean who really wants to watch EagleBank Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, St. Petersburg Bowl, or the always riveting Las Vegas Bowl? Does anybody make any money off this early season bowl games besides ESPN and their family of networks? Who knows, who cares. As we close out 2008 the basketball action is heating up.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Cry Babies Go Home

'I freakin hate losing to freakin Xavier!'

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finally ready to address the Crosstown loss

I freaking HATE losing to freaking Xavier!!!!!!!!!

I thought I could do this respectfully but I can't. Kenny Frease I now hate your guts for the duration of your stay at Xavier. I have heard rumblings that Yancy instigated the headbutting incident but I don't care. You're a tool. What can Brown do for you? How about whine and run his mouth when he doesn't get all the superstar calls he thinks he deserves. 

Don't get m wrong Xavier out toughed and out played the Bearcats almost the entire game.If it wasn't for Deonta it would have been ugly. That doesn't change the fact that I hate losing to them. 

If anything good came out of this game its this. Both teams showed that all the talk about the Shootout losing its edge can be put to rest. THAT was what rivalry games look like. So Duke & UNC can bite me if they think their game is any better.

Have I mentioned that I hate Syracuse?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Poll/RPI Updates 12/15

The polls came out this afternoon with Xavier sitting at #7 in both. Duke has the #6 spot in both polls which sets the table for a major matchup this Saturday in New Jersey.

RPI we are sitting at 4th with the 14th toughest schedule according to the SOS rankings. With Duke at #8 in the RPI and the Butler Bulldogs sitting at #3 you see X has a golden opportunity to strengthen the resume before A10 conference play begins. The A10 fared well this weekend with Temple beating #8 Tennessee and UMASS (3-6) handing it to the defending national champions Kansas in Kansas City.

UC is sitting at 61 in the RPI with a SOS of 58. Their best out of conference quality wins have been against UNLV and UAB. It would be beneficial for them to beat both Mississippi State and Memphis before the first of the year. Games against Arkansas Pine Bluff, Charleston Southern, and Eastern Kentucky are assumed givens in the win column. Of course they play in the uber tough Big East Conference which if they can win enough will greatly enhance their post season chances.

Game Experience

As stated earlier I enjoyed my experience at 5/3 Arena Saturday night and not just because the Muskies won either. There was plenty of parking and the campus looked great. Varsity Village should be admired by anybody who visits the UC campus in Clifton. Our seats were center court but near the very, very top. So much so we stood because it was easier to view the game. That precluded me from returning for another beer and dog (which was decent) because I went to watch the game and not get a work out. There was more blue in the house than I was expecting but for the most part everybody was cordial. Towards the end as UC edged nearer there was one 'tard who had a few too many. Everybody on X was either unskilled, an oaf, or a thug in his intoxicated opinion and I reminded a young X fan arguing with the drunk that was going to ruin alot of people's good time in our section. Let it go.

I actually got a laugh out of Connor Barwin's comment at half time as well. What else was he going to say? The mascot fight instigated by the Bearcat was a little much and he broke our flag but the Muskie got one in on him when he wrapped him in the 'X'. Actually very symbolic of the game. Driving home I listened to Mick as is per my custom of the Crosstown. Whichever team loses I always catch the postgame show of that coach. Mick lamented the lack of transition points. I really thought he may have had some better halfcourt offensive schemes giving he had a whole week to prepare. He most likely did but execution became a challenge.

For us up next is Duke on Saturday 12/20. We are on exam week. UC has a full schedule beginning with Charleston Southern today. They have four games within the next week I believe. The SEC/Big East challenge down at US Bank looks to be a very entertaining double header with Louisville and Ole Miss hooking up opposite UC and Mississippi State. I may attend that one. MSU has a great shotblocker named Varnado. With MSU and Memphis this week the Bearcats will have a chance to improve on their non conference resume. Good luck the rest of the way.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cincinnati Recap

It never gets old beating the Bearcats. Tim Higgins gets the game ball for helping lead his squad to six technicals. Sarcasm aside the 'rivalry' certainly seems to be alive and well.

A quick glance at the box score shows Anderson and Brown BOTH posted double doubles. Brown with 20/10 and Anderson with 17/11. I was also proud of the way Love battled with four blocks in a big game, including my personal favorite over Gates in the second half. Raymond never got it going but Jackson supplemented his usual output with a scoring outburst of 13 points in the first half. Redford played limited minutes as expected but didn't do anything to hurt us. McLean battled but didn't do much offensively. Frease showed he is going to be a big part of our success. He brings toughness and hustle to each game. Holloway showed why we are excited about his future despite giving it back to the 'Cats three times.

On the dark side you cannot help but be impressed by Deonta Vaughn. He always plays big against us and his 27 points kept his team in the hunt for a time. I also liked the way Toyloy and Dixon played. The front line of Gates and Williams couldn't do much less. 'Biggie' didn't bring much fire when he was out there either. Bishop had a very strong 9 rebounds but he didn't get it going from the field very much. He fouled out with four points. I also expected Mitchell and Wilks to deliver more for Cronin and company. Larry Davis has a very solid perimeter jump shot but didn't get enough attempts to make a huge difference.

I will be back later with some more thoughts on the 'in game' experience at 5/3Arena. For the most part a very, very pleasant experience.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Favorite 'Crosstown' Moments

Heading over to enemy territory tonight is a first for me. Either way the game goes it will be a lasting memory for me. I am getting amped just thinking about it!

Past highlights for me in this storied rivalry include:

- The Lenny Brown shot in 1996 (duh!)

- The 'no handshake' game between Gillen and Huggins.

- 'L-Train's' shot over Eric Hicks.

- Jason Maxiell questioning West's toughness and doing nothing to stop him from winning.

- Jamal Walker's infamous play.

- Charles Williams' infamous play.

- Dontonio Wingfield flipping off the X student section and then putting up a whole two points during his only Shootout.

- The ending to the '99 game. I miss Kevin Frey sometimes.

- 5'5" Drew Lavender's block on 6'1" Deonta Vaughn in last year's edition closing minutes. Please note one of the players heights is accurate, the other is not.

I am hoping I will have pleasant memories again in this year's edition. It sure is shaping up to be a good one on paper.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The WorldWide Leader Thinks We Are Good At This

When ESPN wanted to know why the Crosstown Shootout is so great they asked us. Why? We're still not sure but we were damned happy to help em out and honored to do so.

Check out our Crosstown Shootout coverage on!!!!!

Dave and Deck on!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

X - Crosstown Preview

Being unblemished and holding a top ten ranking heading into the Crosstown Shootout the Xavier Musketeers will not lack from confidence heading into the game. They have won thus far this season on rebounding, defense, and knowing how to win big games. As we head into one of our biggest tests thus far this season I thought it would be nice to take a look at the guys most likely to play Saturday and their potential impact on the game. It will be important for the Musketeers to have two out of the trio of Brown, Raymond, and Anderson to play well to win the ball game in my opinion.


1 - Dante Jackson (7.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg) sophomore can be disruptive on the defensive end. has struggled with shooting this year (under 30% overall) but has shown a knack for hitting big shots.

2 - BJ Raymond (13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg) he is showing to be a complete player in his final go round for the Muskies. can get fiery hot from behind the arc and has improved getting to the bucket and drawing the harm.

3 - CJ Anderson (11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg) if he improves his 57% FT shooting average the Musketeers will have a huge advantage. he is very good at getting hacked in the act. CJ is a big game player and being a Cincy product this one has to be for him.

4 - Derrick Brown (13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) mr. versatility gives us 43% shooting from behind the arc. he has demonstrated the ability to blow by on the drive or pull up mid range this season. and he is just getting over tweaking his ankle according to Coach Miller. he was the deciding factor last season, will he be the same this year?

5 - Jason Love (6.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 apg) love is making the most of his 21 mpg on the glass. he will need to step up and can afford to be aggressive with the length and skill we have on the bench.


Terrell Holloway (6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg) freshman guard will be seeing a hostile crowd for the first time on this level. how he handles it when he is on the floor Saturday night will be a big key for Xavier. he is a clutch free throw shooter (see Missouri and Memphis games) and we flow from defense to offense much better with him in the lineup.

Kenny Frease (4.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg) big man is also averaging two blocks a game. he plays aggressive and is better on defense than I thought he would be. big man is still learning how to get his offense going in big time college basketball. his first Crosstown he needs to focus on 'D' and be strong on the glass.

Jamel McLean (7.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.5 apg) word to the wise: box out #22 from X anywhere on the floor when a shot goes up. he is a tip dunk, momentum changer, highlight reel that throws his frame all over the place for a flush. he saw extended time together with Brown and Anderson in what gives Xavier a very quick and athletic front line as of late.

Brad Redford (2.4 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.9 apg) could a break out game be close? he is shooting 36% from three land early in his college career. he is in the game for one reason and that is to knock down the long range shots.

Brian Walsh (0.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.0 apg) has had very limited minutes thus far this season to do much. i think this may be the first game this season he does not play in. if he does get in he needs to remain poised and strong with the basketball.

This is just a game you don't want to lose. I don't expect Miller and team to lay an egg like the last time we were in Clifton for a contest. Heading into finals week the team will not want to have to wait a week to play again if we do. When we win Saturday night it will be a struggle but the big game experience of our players and culture of winning will get us over the top. Again 67-62 X as we hit freebies down the end to ice it is how I see it.

On a personal note I will be in the house Saturday night for my first one of these in enemy territory. I expect the experience to be a little different than the one I have had in Oxford but I am hoping for better treatment than I received at UD Arena. I will let you know.

One more just to piss off Deck

Bearcats tribute video

I can't wait until Saturday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ohio Recap

X wins 78-56 by shooting 69% in the first half and finishing with 52% shooting for the game. CJ Anderson put up a very strong style 22 points against the Bobcats. Brown was perfect from the field (7-7) including 3 of those buckets coming from behind the arc. BJ Raymond a very unselfish 3-5 from the field. Nice to see you back Terrell. There was a few minutes there at the end of the first half tonight that were simply spectacular on your part. 'Big Lovely' had a very workmanlike 6 points, 7 rebounds, and four blocks in 17 minutes. Frease continues to struggle to get in the offensive flow and forced some things tonight. He continues to be a very solid rebounder, defender and passer and those things help you win games too. The offense will come. Overall a great game and the end of the bench lineup was playing with about five minutes to go.

I am enjoying watching the offense improve the last two games. Holloway makes a huge difference to our offensive flow. We are much better in transition with him in the lineup. It had to be strange for John Groce to be sitting on the other end for a game at Cintas. He is sitting at 4-4 right now but give him time and they will be a regular contender in the MAC.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What you smell is . . .

Connor Barwin's football jock. Apparently so do the rest of the UC 'faithful' who have shown out in droves to support their basketball program this season. What was that at the UAB game this weekend? 6500! And that was the 'announced' attendance. Certainly it will be a little better this weekend. Also give the 'economy' story a break. It takes 35,000 to fill the football stadium, 13,000 to fill the basketball arena in Clifton. One is getting filled and the other isn't. The comment of 'fair weather' certainly comes to mind. Just win baby.

Now with all that being out there I am not going to play the 'underdog' card. Our status and ranking show that not to be true and ESPN validated that our program has been better in the 'modern' era of college basketball with their prestige rankings this summer. It was great we were both in the top 20 but we were two spots better. It remains to be seen if UC basketball will sustain success in the Big East or without Huggins. Sagarin rankings have you projected to finish 14-16 for the season. That will probably earn you another bid to the 'Crappy' Basketball Invitational which is certainly not fitting for a team in the Big East. I still fail to see the argument that the Big East will elevate the basketball program. Yancy Gates would have commited to UC if they were still in Conference USA. The W-L totals have not been better and quit crying that Sean inherited a much better situation at X than Mick did at UC. It's obvious he did. He helped build it to where it is but there are no excuses over on Victory Parkway. There seem to be plenty for failure in Clifton. Injuries are a part of the game get over it and still succeed.

Speaking of injuries coach Miller said on his radio show last night that Holloway will see time this Wednesday against Ohio. That makes me feel much better about our ball handling capabilities heading into the Crosstown game. Also it bodes well for our matchup the following Saturday against Duke. The UC game is always tough but certainly not the 'highlight of the schedule' as it once was. HOWEVER it is still important for bragging rights and we still have lots of work to do to make up ground lost in the '60's and '70's.

My official prediction is:

X: 67
UC: 62

Monday, December 8, 2008

Is that upset I smell?

Are there some guys over on Victory parkway who are starting to believe the hype? UC? What about UC? They aren't ranked! We are!

OK that's probably not happening but I hope so.

By the way folks I'm sure that later this week my hated(well not really hated)compadre Deck is going to try and play the same old "Xavier is the underdog and nobody in this city respects us" card so I'm calling him on it now. X has dominated this series since Y2K. Let it go. They are ranked as high as they have ever been for this game. Anything less than a victory should be a big disappointment. X has always thrived on that kind of mentality. Last season it was the "We are not Mid-Major" thing.  OK, your not. what you are is a top notch program so find a new chip to fit on your shoulders cause the underdog one is old and out dated. 

As for my beloved Cats, They are a better team than Mick has had by quite a margin so when they win it wont be a surprise to us UC fans. Just a big step on the way back up. 


New Rankings Out 12/8

In the rankings that came out today X registers #9 in the coaches poll and sits at #10 in the Associated Press rankings. All of which may be setting us up for a colossal upset next Saturday ;). I doubt it but you never know.

And a couple of quick comments regarding UC and their football program. It is absolutely big time that they are in the Orange Bowl and the city should be damn proud of their accomplishments. But coach Kelly being in the BCS cannot be compared to the Final Four. If you were in the Final Four you would have a chance at the national championship. Sorry you do not have that opportunity. The reality is who ever wins the Florida/Oklahoma game on January 8th will be the national champion. That is why college basketball is better than college football. Champions are decided on the floor and not by asinine rankings. Nevertheless this is huge for UC and validation on my part that being in the Big East serves all their programs well except basketball but that is a subject for another time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holloway Update

I just learned that Coach Miller has stated Terrell Holloway will be worked back into practice starting Monday. To me that means he will most likely sit out the Ohio game and get some minutes against the 'Cats on Saturday. As an X fan that can only be taken as good news. Tutu was really coming into his own during the PR tournament and UC will most likely press the hell out of us next Saturday night. Will be a terrific challenge for our young guys to go in an environment like that for the first time. We are getting ready to enter a tough stretch on the non conference schedule: Ohio, at UC, Butler, and then Duke in New Jersey on a 'neutral floor'. I feel like Holloway is talented enough to eventually claim a spot in the starting lineup this year and hold onto it his entire time at Xavier.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Auburn Recap

It is nice being 7-0 and seeing coach Miller pick up his 100th victory but it was easy to tell after the game he wasn't happy with particular guys and their effort on defense. To be up by 22 with close to 12 minutes to go and end up as close as we did indicates we had some 'coasting' going on by certain guys. Big accolades to BJ Raymond who scored a career high 32 and broke out of his shooting slump with a 7-9 effort from three land and 10-13 overall. Obviously he loves playing against the Auburn Tigers as he broke his own record for three's in a game of 6 which he registerd against the orange and blue last season. He is stepping up and being a leader as witnessed by some of his post game comments as well. We still struggle with turnovers and inconsistent free throw shooting which is going to cost us sooner rather than later if it is not fixed. Tutu needs to get healthy and some of that will be alleviated but still I feel we will see full court pressure from the majority of our opponents in some degree. Frease played a strong game overall (it is nice to have a sequoia down on the defensive end), Dante' shot the ball well (at the end of the game he wasn't bringing the ball up the floor 'nuff said), and again it was nice to see coach Miller extend his career record to 100-39.

Also last night the Cintas Center had probably one of the coolest gameday give aways that I have seen since the place opened. They issued a deck of playing cards that featured all of our 1000 point scorers, a few coaches, a few home courts, and a couple of mascots. Pretty sweet actually and my favorite card is the king of spades.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

Sorry I'm so late on this one folks. Family Stuff to attend to but here we go.

Well, with no TV and no ability to get to a radio I can only go by the numbers and game summaries. 

On Saturday The Cats lost to Florida St. in a low scoring affair that was actually easy to figure out looking only @ the numbers. UC shot horribly for the 1st time this year with only 33.3% from the field and an abysmal 15.8% from beyond the arc. The Bench scoring disappeared and the cats were out rebounded for the 1st time this year. Without seeing the game myself I can t say much else other than I hope this was just a blip on the radar and not something more. 

On Sunday things were back on track as UC beat UNLV to continue dominating the series 5-0. UC once again held their opponent under 40% shooting from the field and got back their own shooting touch making 10 3's in the game. The rebounding advantage belonged to the Cats and contributions  were made up and down the bench. The game was closer than I would like but a win is a win. Almost forgot.Biggie got his first start of the season. If he continues to play well it could be the first of many. 

Official - No Crawford This Season

ESPN is reporting that Jordan Crawford will not be eligible to play this season for X. Can't say that I am surprised but I remain amazed that the NCAA takes this long to make these decisions. Sure the appeal needed to be reviewed but come on. Any way we now know for sure we will have to wait one season to see Jordan and his talents on the floor. Adding him and 'Cheeks' next year after they have had a season to learn the system should just be that much better for X. Of course they will have some game 'rust' but in the end we pick up two great backcourt pieces.
This still sucks for Jordan but in the end it should make him better academically as well as on the floor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

X In 2009 Old Spice Tournament

Gary Parrish reported on his blog on CBS Sportsline that X will be in the Old Spice tourney next year. The other teams included thus far:


And there is one opening left with a strong rumor that it will be North Carolina. That would be great to get the Tar Heels on a neutral floor.

Where have you been Dave? I anxiously await your musings on the Las Vegas tournament. I heard UC lost to Florida State and squeaked by 'mid major' UNLV but since it was not televised I obviously didn't get a chance to make my own judgments. ;)