Monday, September 28, 2009

X- Gonzaga Ink Deal

Tom Eiser (XU Sports Information Director) is confirming a home/home series with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Muskies travel out to Washington for the first one next season. As good as the 2009-2010 schedule looks, 2010-2011 is even better. I like getting Wake Forest and Florida at home. I also like Xavier playing in season tournaments that feature teams like UCONN and North Carolina.

Can't wait for the season to start. I have decided to write previews of each A10 team in the order they finished last season. That way I don't embarass myself with 'predictions' on where they finish up in March 2010.

Any one else see what Nancy Zimpher did to the Binghamton Bearcats? Does she not like the 'Bearcat' nickname? Actually I think Kevin Broadus has a reputation for renegade recruits. Tiki Mayben getting busted for selling crack cocaine just tore the lid off of everything. Shortly after the Mayben arrest Broadus let 6 other players go (including Rutgers transfer Corey Chandler) without citing a reason. I guess Kev wants to show Nancy he has seen the error of his ways. Too funny and ironic to pass up without commenting on.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Basketball Season is Almost Here

Hopping around the web today and realized that Midnight Madness and the beginning of practice is just three weeks from today. I can't believe it. This also means that my Big East previews are soon to come. I will have to stop obsessing so much about fantasy football and get to work!

09-10 Bearcat Basketball Commercial

I just watched this and I'm ready for the season now! I'm calling it now top 5 in the Big East and a tournament run. 

Thats right Deck. Our City!!

This year on the Parkway, Victory is Ours!!

Just playin. Sorta.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bearcat Links n Stuff

Born Ready  likes it out of the limelight.

More Love for Stephenson. This time from Andy Katz. 

I know it was announced over a week ago but I'm a slacker so.....Here's the Schedule

Another schedule. This time for the Caravan.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Previews, Jakarr Sampson

I have noticed the annual preview magazines (Athlons, Lindy's, Sporting News, ect) are starting to hit the newsstands. Don't waste your money my friends. If you do not need pretty pictures and want in depth analysis be patient and get yourself a Blue Ribbon Yearbook. Chris Dortch and his team do an excellent job of giving in depth previews of all 341 division 1 basketball teams. It takes a little longer to produce but to a hoops junkie like me it is well worth the wait.

Also I will be doing the A10 previews once official practice kicks off in mid-October. I am hopeful my colleague will do the same for the BEAST. Ours will not be nearly as in depth but give some perspective we hope. For the record my predictions were off by a country mile last year.

Finally Jakarr Sampson was on campus for a visit this past weekend. The highly sought after 2011 prospect has the Cincinnati Bearcats high atop his leader board as well. Michigan State is reportedly in the mix for the Akron star and Izzo has done well recruiting Ohio. Usually guys who are interested in both X and UC will kill two birds with one stone but that wasn't the case with Jakarr this weekend. With the 2010 class secure Xavier's staff now has plenty of time to focus on some 'high major' players in the 2011 class. Dezmine Wells, Robert Goff, and Durand Johnson are some other targets the staff is monitoring.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 Updated Team Rankings has updated their 2010 team recruiting rankings. With four top 150 level prospects in the eyes of Rivals, XU lands at #14 in the top 20. UD follows closely behind at #15. In the end that is splitting hairs. I am glad to see two Atlantic 10 teams make the rankings. I imagine when it is all said and done it will be hard to hold onto those spots as teams are still filling out their classes. There is plenty of talented players left out there which will cause the rankings for teams to shift accordingly.

However it does affirm that Xavier and Dayton did good jobs piecing together their 2010 classes. The Flyers are still holding onto one scholarship which they may roll forward to 2011 if no 'big' that entices them is available. These rankings are hard to crack for teams (like UC) that have only one or two spots available.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fantasy Football

Sorry for the lack of posts here recently. A little bit of quiet before the storm and a whole lot of fantasy football are the reasons I guess.

Just so everybody knows I handed my boy Dave his hat the first game of the ffl season. The final was 94-62. Would make a nice score for the Crosstown Game this year I think. . .

Unlike the Crosstown Shootout there will be a rubber match between Dave and I a little later this year. I think I pound him again but you never know. How many times will Drew Brees throw for six touchdowns in a game?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Prep Stars Player Evaluations

Just received my Prepstars Recruiters Handbook 'Exclusive 2009' edition. There are a couple player updates from them I thought I would share. Again Brick Oettinger and Rob Harrington do a great job and you should check them out at I like getting another perspective on future players outside of Rivals and ESPN/Scouts Inc.

They evaluated JORDAN LATHAM at the Peach Jam Classic and this is what they had to say: "Competing with Baltimore Elite and battling Meyers Leonard and others, the 6-8 C/BF at Baltimore(MD)City College is a workhorse who dazzles less and hustles more. The biggest knock on Latham is that he lacks the lift or touch to finish consistently in traffic, but that's just one side of the story. Even without the benefit of great low post offense, he works extremely hard for rebounding position and is a very physical defender as well. He isn't a total non-factor offensively, either, as he runs the court hard and does make some short jump hooks. But it's his brute mentality that can take more skilled opponents out of the game mentally, and that's exactly what he'll bring in college." They rate him at the 97th best prospect in the 2010 class currently. I like the sound of his overall game and him and Frease serving as low post enforcers in the 2010-2011 should give us the size, length, and overall nastiness to stay at a high level.

Their scouting capsule on JAY CANTY detailed the following: "This highly aggressive swingman enhanced his national status over the spring and summer, and he recently gave a verbal commitment to Xavier. Our concern with him is his shot selection and overall decision making, as he tries a lot of difficult, unneccessary shots (and hits of few of them), and he also has a tendency to try to force difficult passes through traffic, sometimes resulting in turnovers. To his credit, he has upgraded his jump shot accuracy and range (now 20 feet), his driving is relentless, he rebounds very well for his height, and his athleticism is well above average, though not quite in the elite category. Additionally, his effort on defense is fine and his hustle is constant on both ends. We see him as a good mid major plus prospect for the Musketeers."

I hope the next issue I receive will have scouting capsules listed for both Justin Martin and Griffin McKenzie. Again a great value if you want a second or third opinion on future prospects.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

McKenzie a Muskie

Griffin has announced his decision this afternoon to attend Xavier. The #115th rated prospect in the class of 2010 according to Rivals will further bolster the front line when he arrives on campus. He suffered a back injury last high school season that kept him under wraps a bit as far as scouts go. The Mack-Kelsey GCL connects paid off in a big way on this one. Griffin had a terrific summer and boasted a very impressive offer list. Officially his last four were Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and X.

My friends I am going to have a celebatory drink or two this evening. Coach Mack is exceeding expectations on the recruiting front. Four top 150 rated recruits: Martin (83), McKenzie (115), Latham (121), and Canty (130) is very impressive for a rookie head coach. Mack knows how to 'sell' the Xavier program as he has seen it from every level. I need to go back and look at the old coach's first recruiting class in '05-'06 but I am certain it doesn't compare to this one as far as potential.

All four players will help on the front line. In 2010 Frease will be a junior, McLean a senior, and Robinson a sophomore so there is plenty of playing time to be had. Canty and Martin reportedly have academic hurdles but no such worries with Latham and McKenzie. IF Canty and Martin are not eligible both players are worth waiting on - see Mark Lyons for this season.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Griffin McKenzie Decision Soon

Griffin McKenzie is holding a press conference tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon at Moeller High School to announce his collegiate decision. He completed an official visit to Wake Forest this past weekend and cancelled his trip to Vanderbilt this coming weekend. Suffice to say Vandy has been eliminated. Northwestern may have an outside shot but most think it will come down to X and Wake Forest. Let's hope he puts on the blue/white hat with the "X" on it tomorrow around three o'clock. It would be great to keep another GCL kid local. I am not going to get into why a kid should go to X over Wake Forest but I really, really like our chances.