Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We've Moved!

Big news! We are now the official voice of the college basketball fan on cincinnati.com! Check us out at

or through the sports tab on the main page.

This is a huge deal for us. I want to thank all our readers for helping make this happen. Any questions or comments can still be directed to crosstownshoutout@gmail.com or feel free to comment on our posts over on the Enquirer site.

One last thing. This site will remain active as an archive of our past posts and perhaps the occasional post thats "too hot for TV" LOL.  Thanks again

Dave & Deck

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Congrats to Mazza and Feeney

Two new additions were recently made to the Xavier men's basketball team for the 2009-2010 season. Junior Kevin Feeney is from Monticello, IL and checks in at 6-3 170. Fellow junior Johnny Mazza was a team manager last year. This year the local product from St. Xavier has a chance to get on the floor.

Stephen Duckett (a walk on for X the last two seasons) transferred to Division 2 Christian Brothers University in the offseason. Former walk on Joe Hughes was awarded with a scholarship for this season. Those changes to the roster gave need for walk on/practice players and Johnny and Kevin earned those roles.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dez Announces for XU

Dezmine Wells of Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, NC did announce for Xavier today. WoGCA also produced super prospect John Wall for the class of 2009. Playing with that kind of talent could only have been a good thing.

The 6-3 190 junior is currently rated #59 in his class according to Rivals.com. They also denote him as a four star prospect. He is the highest rated recruit to commit to X since Kenny Frease. Dezmine also held offers from Baylor,Illinois, Miami (FL), NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

I must give 'mad props' to coach Mack and staff. Before their first game at Xavier they have reeled in 7 recruits, six of which are consensus top 150 players. Great job to say the least. Mack is clearly one of the best recruiters in the A10 and I think he is the best recruiter in 'our city'.

Besides winning, keeping Associate Head Coach Pat Kelsey and assistant coach Travis Steele may be Mack's toughest job. Young kids these days like to relate to their leaders, teachers, and coaches on a very personal level. The staff seem to do a great job of relating to their targets and more importantly identifying early on who the key players in a prospects recruitment are.

This Saturday XU will be hosting 'Musketeer Madness' for their fans. All four 2010 recruits will be in attendance along with Dee Davis. I am not really clear if Dezmine will join that group for the festivities. We should also see who the new walk ons are for this season.

Welcome to the Xavier family Dezmine!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BIg East Preseason rankings and awards

Big East Media day is in the books and the preseason awards and coaches poll are out. After what I heard on sports talk on the way home from work today I just need to get this off my chest. 


Sorry everybody. Thanks for your patience. Now, The awards for Deonta and Lance are nice.Any recognition in this league is great considering how east coast centric it tends to be. As far as being picked 7th I unlike know it all blowhard guy am ok with that. The host of the show Mo Egger seemed to have it in the proper perspective also. Blowhard guy said that anything less than a Sweet 16 appearance and Mick should be gone. Really? Seventh in the league all but guarantees UC a tournament appearance and I'll dance a jig on selection sunday if UC is announced. 

The other thing about overreacting to this is the fact that its a PRESEASON POLL! It has literally no meaning. Its done just so the media(it IS media day after all) has some way to rank everybody. Has a preseason poll ever ended up being accurate? the last few years UC has outperformed its ranking so if they do that again they will end up about where I hope they will. Don't get me wrong a Big East championship would be great I just don't think they are there yet. 

So I guess what I'm saying is who cares about this poll. Its almost basketball season!!!

Go Cats!!

John Calipari has the same initials as Jesus

And in Kentucky just as many believers I think.

Did you catch any of  that over the top production known as Big Blue Madness? Holy crap was that awesome! I'm serious. Could UK and Calipari have done anything else outside of a walking on water demonstration(which I'm starting to think he could pull off) to come off any better? That man could convince Israeli's and Muslims to come together AND recruit their kids. Heck I even started to wonder which "Cats" I love. Just....Wow. 

I have never been a fan of Calipari and I still think he wears red undies under his white suit to go along with his horns that prop up his halo. I will say this though. That man can speak. I half expected to start chanting "yes we can" before it was over. UK also hit it out of the park with the way the it was all packaged and presented. After it was over I started to wonder. Is there anything bigger in the state of Kentucky than Big Blue Madness?

 I came up with a list of 5 things.

1.The Kentucky Derby 
2.The 1st day of deer season
3.Rick Pitino's Ego
4.One word....Earnhardt
5. An NCAA Championship

If JC gets #5 he'll be the Savior. Of course once upon a time Tubby won one.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good News Coming?

There is a little buzz going around on the world wide web that Xavier will be getting good news later this week on the recruiting front. Class of 2011 target Dezmine Wells is reportedly the target getting ready to pull the trigger for the Musketeers.

IF TRUE Dez would be the second top 75 recruit for Chris Mack and staff in the class of 2011. He is currently rated #59 on Rivals.com with four star status. A 6-3 small forward/shooting guard he is receiving interest from the hometown NC State WolfPack, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee among others.

Our City = Joke

You can thump your chest all you want. The fact is when it comes to UC basketball it is settling nicely as the fourth best program in the state. AGAIN the desperation is clear. WHEN you win a game in the Big East tournament you will be taking a step in the right direction. WHEN you can put 10,000+ at 5/3 Arena the program will be taking a step in the right direction. WHEN you can advance to the postseason and win some games (CBI, NIT, NCAA) some momentum can be gained. WHEN the coach can have a press conference with fewer than one excuse the town may be coming back. WHEN the little catholic school across town has LESS television exposure than you, then maybe the UC basketball program could claim it's their city.

Until THEN it is your city because the institution bears the same name? Hardly. But I have beaten a dead horse. The reality is this: for them to even create a marketing campaign like this shows how far they have fallen. In terms of importance in this town UC basketball is at the back of the line. Reds, Bengals, UC Football, High School Football, and XU hoops are all out in front of Mick's merry band of ballers.

But hey, 'Born Ready' is here to take the city by storm. I can't wait for December 13th!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Damn right it's OUR CITY

I posted that video weeks ago and your just now commenting on it? I guess It took awhile for you to come up with your little rant. 

Your Damn right its Our City. Who else could stake that claim? The little program that could? The big fish in the small pond?

It took a collapse of colossal proportions in Clifton for you guys to get a sniff of the coverage in this town REGARDLESS of your programs success. The local sports talk station continues to try every year to make Xavier a topic with no success because nobody outside of Victory Pkwy cares. Every coach you hire leave to go to a bigger program partly because they will always be #2 in this city even when your team is better. 

Say whatever you want about records, success, postseason appearances, better halftime entertainment, weird blob guy mascot(actually he's pretty cool).....Whatever you've got you will never have this city. 

It Belongs to us. It Belongs to UC. Its well....OUR CITY!!!!!!

GO CATS!!!!!!!

"Our City" - Really? Is It?

As we countdown days and hours before college basketball teams around the country play their first exhibition games something has come to my attention. I couldn't help but notice the Cincinnati Bearcat basketball season ticket marketing campaign ingeniously titled "Our City".

To be frank: Really? It's your city? The team that averaged about 6,500 fans per night last season? Sorry UC marketers it is a far cry from your city. Television contracts and Cintas Center average attendance dictate it's not.

But I get it.

You have to start some where, some how to get the fan base back. I hear UC's athletic department is considering making folks who want to buy season tickets for football purchase season tickets for basketball. Trips to the College Basketball Invitational and late season swoons just doesn't cut it and neither will this silly little marketing campaign.

As a Xavier fan and alum I take it as a little condenscending. Same way as I took Mick Cronin's comments last year in regards to Syracuse and the A10 as a little condenscending. Taking it even further anything coming out of little Mick's mouth, is well, 'little'. Shut up and prove it on the court Bearcats. Until then quit posturing like your big time. You play in a big time conference for sure, but everything else hasn't added up since Nancy sent Bob Huggins packing. "Our City" is a joke, just like the 'Cats record in the Big East conference tournament.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bearcat Links week of 10/17

Stephenson still waiting for Clearance


Practice? We talkin bout practice?

Yes we are. And yes, I know that is way overused but who doesn't love that clip? Heck a quick search on youtube and you will find tons of videos using, making fun of, responding to, and even re-enacting this wonderful Iverson moment. 


Not much to say here just that this is a great day to me. It's better than when pitchers and catchers report(sorry crotchety old baseball guy). Its better than anything to do with Hockey, Pro basketball, Golf or any other sport for that matter and its only the first day of practice. The only "league" that even compares when it comes to sporting events that aren't actually sporting events is the NFL with its combine, draft, and camp activities that get more coverage than most major sports actual games. 

Very soon my beloved Bearcats will take the floor with a fresh start and more hope than any year since Mick took over. Regardless of the situation with "Born Ready" I think the Cas are poised to make a big leap up in the conference. Obviously he makes us better but the other additions look good and Gates should make a name for himself this year. More on all that later this month when I preview the Big East saving the Bearcats for last.

Man I can't wait. 

GO CATS!!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hey NCAA! Practice starts friday

You all remember Adam H? How about John Riek? I know you've heard of Lance Stephenson. What do they all have in common you say? I'll tell you. All had issues getting eligible to play while waiting to play for UC. Some of this falls on Mick Cronin and I'll get to that later but for now I'd like to focus on the old guys in Indy. 

With practice starting this weekend The NCAA Clearinghouse has yet to determine whether or not Stephenson is eligible to play because of his so-called amateur status. Apparently if the kid got so much as a piece of bubble yum and a soda from his MTV documentary they'll declare he is the scourge of the earth and burn him at stake using hundred dollar bills as kindling since they make billions in revenue from TV contracts

TV that features none other than "amateur" kids playing basketball for what amounts to room and board plus a piece of paper in a frame that promises(sorta) they can make 50 grand a year instead of 20. 

If the NCAA were smart they would know that Stephenson coming to UC to resurrect a once successful program is a great story and marketing gold. They would finish this type of business before the start of practice with time to spare so teams could put a better "product" on the court. I'm not suggesting they make an exception to the rule. I'm suggesting they change it. With Billions of dollars exchanging hands because of these games its about time the definition of "amateur" was redefined. 

The NCAA makes tons of money. The TV networks make tons of money. The Schools make tons of money.  Hell even guys like me make a little money from this game we all love. 

Using the term "amateur" to describe college basketball is laughable. Its a joke that the NCAA can sit back and take its time deciding a young mans future while its bank account grows by the minute from revenues gained on the backs of student-athletes. It's a joke but its not funny.

Getting Close . . .

We are getting close to the start of college basketball season with practices officially starting tomorrow. Obviously I am excited for what the new year will hold. Many questions abound for the team in Clifton and the one that sits in Evanston/Norwood. As we near the beginning of the 2009-2010 season here are a few things on my mind of the eve of first official practice:

- Jody Demling (Louisville Courier Journal) is reporting D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (DSR) will be coming to XU's practice Friday on an unofficial visit. Demling noted many thought he would be in Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria. DSR in late August skipped IU's elite camp to unofficially visit X, UC, Louisville and Kentucky. I take it as a positive the class of 2012 prospect is coming to Xavier on his own dime again to take in a practice. The 6-3 220 sophomore is considered a top 20 recruit in his class currently.

- Why does it take so long for the NCAA to reach decisions? Dana O'Neill of ESPN.com posted an article on 10/13 that the NCAA will not wrap up their investigation of Lance Stephenson until NEXT week. I know due diligence is very important in these situations - but come on! The article also references then they will make a determination on 'Born Ready' and see if any violations were commited. Let's all hope they have made a decision by the 'Cats first game. They are an NCAA team with Lance on the floor.

- In all the buzz about Stephenson's eligibility, I think Cash Wright and his importance to the overall success of UC is being overlooked. Again I ask Bearcat fans to temper their expectations for Cashmere. Big time college basketball requires an adjustment period for players not named Michael Beasley or Carmelo Anthony.

- Butler declined to have Xavier's game moved on 12/19 to Conseco Fieldhouse. Wooden Traditon organizers wanted the Bulldogs/Muskies to be one of two featured games that day. Event organizers conceded X was a big date on Butler's home schedule.

-Speaking of double headers on January 13th at Madison Square Garden Southwest Ohio squares off against NYC. In the first game St. John's takes on Cincinnati and then Dayton matches up with Fordham. Something tells me SW Ohio goes 2-0 that day. Also, sadly, there will be more Flyer fans than FU fans in the building.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Redford 2nd Best Shooter In Country

According to Jeff Goodman from FOX Sports.com; Brad Redford is the second best returning shooter in the country. 'Goody' put up a top 50 list and Redford trails only Rotnei Clarke from Arkansas. I say there is a good chance Brad shoots over 50% from trey range this year. I also think having more ballhandlers who like to dribble drive into the paint (Lyons, Crawford) will create more kickout opportunities for #12. IF he has improved his defense to the point of not being a liability Brad could see his minutes go up by 5-7 per night this season over last.

I think Mr. Goodman is a Xavier fan after all the positive press he has afforded X over the last few days. Hopefully the boys make good on all the hype concerning our backcourt. We are still young on the perimeter but talent is talent. Can't wait for the season to get started.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Goodman Likes Xavier's Backcourt

Jeff Goodman from FOX Sports recently rated XU's backcourt as the 17th best in the nation. Meaning? Nothing really considering Jordan Crawford and Mark Lyons have never played in a real game together yet. That is the duo Jeff feels will be there at season's end. Many more options for the Musketeers this year over last with Crawford, Lyons, Terrell Holloway, Brad Redford, Dante' Jackson, and Brian Walsh to share the ball.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic - A Cincy pro sports fan story

Ever wonder what its like to cheer without apprehension? Feel the need to qualify the accomplishments of your favorite teams?How about given up? You ever just say "I can't take this anymore!" and quit watching for a while only to come back and throw your arms up when Pittsburgh gets sent home hanging their heads. 

You have? 

Me too fellow Reds and Bengals fans. You are welcome here and you are not alone. 

I have been struggling with this issue my entire adult life. I have these visions of Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Boomer Esiason, and Ickey Woods bouncing around in my head reminding me of the good times but the memories are getting clouded. Fuzzy are the memories of my brother hanging out of our neighbors sunroof with a broom after the Reds Swept the A's in the World Series. Hazy would describe the pictures in my head of Ickey doing the shuffle and Boomer leading MY Bengals to the playoffs. 

Slowly but surely as I get older and the losing seasons continue to pile on top of each other I find that my head is stuffed with sub .500 seasons, favorite players that become malcontents after they realize this is the status quo in the Queen City. I actually don't have hard feelings towards Corey Dillon or Adam Dunn. Why would they want to be here? Hell I don't most of the time. 

The latest Bengals "resurgence" is what brought all this out. I'm not sure what to think right now. One part of me says "Hell yeah! The Jungle is back baby!" but the other side says "Put on the brakes dumbass. Mike Brown still owns this team". So here I am. 


Cautiously optimistic once again. Biting my nails in between cheers. Oh well. 

Two weeks till basketball practice. GO CATS!!!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Notre Dame Stadium

I had my first opportunity to take in Notre Dame Stadium this past weekend. A lifelong buddy of mine is a huge Irish fan and I was able to come across a couple tickets through a work connection. Needless to say my friend was estatic about the news. Myself I am not a huge college football fan but I do follow it while waiting for the NFL to take the stage on Sunday. I usually follow the Texas Longhorns (born in TX), tOSU Buckeyes, and the Bearcats a little bit. My first college football game ever was UC/Miami last season. The atmosphere was delightful for that one and I was looking forward to see what all the hype was about in South Bend.

The road trip up was uneventful outside of a meeting with the Indiana State Police. The main drag from Indy to South Bend is US-31 and the speed limit is 60. $140- greenbacks later and I understand that.

We had lodgings in Elkhart. Most places in and around South Bend want you to stay for two nights. Best Western did not and the lodgings were comfortable. We enjoyed the food and the bar at the local Applebees for the evening. My compadre was in awe of all the Notre Dame 'love' in the air and on the walls. The only downer for him was the guy decked out in Michigan gear sitting at the bar.

Saturday game day we headed down to the campus around 9 AM. We parked in Mulligans on Edison Road. Across the way was the famous Linebacker Inn. The weather was wet and chilly with periods of rain and sun. The slow stroll around campus was great. They have parking right up against the stadium that is tailgate city. Seeing the band come through in the AM in front of the library and through the rest of campus was very cool. Some guys jumped in the pool in front of Touchdown Jesus in an attempt to get the band to take notice. No dice on that. The ND Band is pure class.

We returned to Mulligans and sat at the bar around 10:30 AM. There we stayed until an hour before kickoff. We met people from Dayton, Toledo, Allentown, PA, Elmira, NY, and a young Washington couple who were attending grad school at Michigan. Most of these folks were there each and every week. When they found out we were from Cincy the appreciation for Kyle Rudolph was apparent. Of course this sparked conversations about the GCL hotbed and inevitably Gerry Faust. I couldn't help but notice in Mulligans there was no room for Gerry's photo amongst all the Lou Holtz memorabilia. Lou is a legend there right along with Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy no doubt about that. We also met some Steelers and Packers fans which was great for chest thumping purposes until the talk of Superbowl's came about which then led to discussions of Joe Montana of course. They played the Notre Dame fight song just about every hour, it seemed like every 15 minutes to me. I can also officially declare I am no fan of Jameson's Whiskey but of course I am not Irish. All in all I appreciated the camraderie and shared brotherhood at Mulligans more than I enjoyed the facilities on campus. The bartenders derrier probably inched my decision to Mulligans for the record.

Once we got in Notre Dame Stadium and took a stroll around the first thing I noticed was the bench seats. The entire game day experience is paired down from the NFL sensory overload events I am used too. The lights at the top of the stadium didn't seem nearly sufficient enough. No video replay board. No luxury box seats, just an old school media press box. Their National Championship displays and All American wall is classic however. Seeing the band come into the stadium is something to take in also. Seeing the players rush onto the field gets the blood flowing. The student interaction between interludes was great as well. The fist pump simulating the Fighting Irish logo is a little goofy to me but hey whatever. What was really cool was seeing the pushups the students do after touchdowns in the crowd. Television doesn't do that justice. We were in section 133 just above the students and that was awesome to behold.

The game started with Washington going right down the field and scoring. There were way more Washington fans than I would have ever anticipated. Their band was in the house also. Hearing the bands and the percussion is a huge part of the college football atmosphere. Notre Dame answered with a field goal. End of first quarter.

About the start of the second quarter is when I let my buddy know he wasn't training for a MMA fight. Shortly after the second field goal I took several solid blows to the back and chest. He lets his emotions take over some time. The Irish went up 9-7 and then Claussen had a bone head play that led to Washington scoring a touchdown on defense. Golden Tate got that touchdown back in less than two minutes of game time to vault ND back on top. He finished the game with an amazing 244 receiving yards. However the Irish defense isn't as stout as some of the legends of the past and they allowed Washington to inch ahead on a field goal as the half expired. The rain really started to come down at this point. It was hot chocolate time at the half.

Returning to a cold wet wooden bench wasn't a highlight I will remember. Notre Dame recaptured the lead on a field goal. At this point it was becoming apparent whoever had the ball last was going to win. This is also about the time the rain really started to come down and the wind was a little cooler. Chris Polk was getting increasingly difficult for Irish defenders to bring down and they went ahead 24-19 on a Jake Locker touchdown pass. The third quarter ended and I discovered no more hot chocolate.

By the start of the fourth quarter the rain eased a bit. Both teams traded field goals to inch the score to 27-22. That set up some late game heroics for our guy Rudolph for a second week in a row. His twelve yard catch from Claussen pushed ND ahead 28-27. Joe Hughes tagged on a two point conversion. Around this time I am thinking the four and half hour ride back to Cincy will be enjoyable due to the heat and my friend being happy with a victory. About a minute later in game time I was having second thoughts. Washington went right down the field and thanks to another goal line stand by the Irish, Washington had to settle for a field goal and tied the game up at 30 all.

Notre Dame got the ball first in OT and scored in short order with Joe Hughes going in on a one yard run. Washington was unable to make it happen on their turn and the game ended with a jarring hit on a Huskie receiver by two Irish safeties. 37-30! Notre Dame wins in overtime!

Just a great experience overall. We plan on returning next season. Plenty of scalpers around on game day. We discovered many more things we can do and places to go before game day during our time there on Saturday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

NCAA gets it wrong again

I just finished reading an article by Mike Decourcy(one of the smartest and best in the buisness of bball writing btw) on new rules pertaining to National Letters of Intent. Once again the old guys got it wrong.

The days of kids going to Kentucky or Notre Dame because of the lore and history of the program are long gone. We live in an age where playing for a coach who can get you to the pro's is #1 on most kids lists. Hell, history and Lore aren't even #2. National exposure, being THE GUY, staying close to home, getting away from home, Hottest girls, and many other factors seem to be more important than banners from 1962.

Kentucky is a prime example. Do you think the Uber class was coming to Wildcat country if Billy Boozer was still in charge? I don't think so. Do you think OJ Mayo went to USC for tradition? Nope, sandy beaches, being the guy, and size of Media market all factored in ahead of anything else.

Speaking of Kentucky, Coach Cal was able to jump ship with no problem and no governing body telling him where he could go or how to do it. He even brought along his Memphis recruits using the NLI exceptions that are now against the rules. Bob Huggins recruited his only class for K-state before he even had the job.

Kids need more rules but Coaches don't? All the banners being taken down around the country over the last few years tell me otherwise.

Good, bad, or otherwise the players should be able to make choices for themselves. Choices that could, after all directly affect the career path they take for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Marquis Teague

Marquis Teague( younger brother of Wake Forest Standout Jeff Teague) was on campus this past weekend for an unofficial visit. Hopefully he felt the Big Time atmosphere with the football game going on. He should be on his way to Louisville next.

XU Television Schedule Set

With the announcement yesterday from FOX Sports OHIO Xavier's television schedule is set. All games EXCEPT the Sacred Heart game will be televised. If you have the Time Warner sports package you will be able to catch all networks XU will be on.

From Henry Ford, Senior Vice President & General Manager, FOX Sports OHIO: "FOX Sports OHIO is proud to be the television home of Xavier basketball. Both regionally and nationally, Xavier basketball has become synonymous with excellence."

I couldn't agree more Mr. Ford and thanks for the great coverage your station provides.