The Thanksgiving Song
I just cannot bring myself to write with a Thanksgiving theme today. Sometimes there is a thin line between clever and cheesy. A Turkey Day bent would be a big honkin’ slice of Havarti. Even though I will warn you that this is a Buffet Plate entry, let’s move on to the crisis that many believe has become the early season…
First, we need to give thanks (oops) to Blaine Taylor and Old Dominion for not allowing the CAA to fall completely off the national radar. The Monarchs’ sound whipping–and it was a sound whipping–of Georgetown in its own dingy gym was the veritable breath of life in a moribund early season for the conference. Since I’m so slow and behind the times, you know the stories and the boxscores and I don’t need to repeat them here.
Two items stand out for my smarter readers:
ODU had a significant win last season at this point, bludgeoning DePaul. They followed that up with a monumental egg against Richmond. ODU’s opponent Saturday: Richmond. I love irony.
Second, This is funny.
The Games People Play
This week has been a bit on the upchuck side of things…
Penn 68, Drexel 49
Um, 33% from the field, 25% from three, and 59% from the foul line is not going to beat many people. Bruiser told me they were good last year but couldn’t shoot. My Drexel guys tell me that playing awful in the Palestra happens every year, too. Time warp, anyone? PS–I still like them to win the conference.
Western Kentucky 95, Towson 72
Not a surprising result, but the margin is definitely surprising. I think we’re learning about Towson playing a good team without Gary Neal playing well. Item of note: Tommy Breaux played very well. Put that one in the back of your mind. This game is also why I don’t wager. I actually began to salivate when I saw Towson getting 16 points.
George Mason 55, Hampton 46
I saw this score at the half and knew there was a typo somewhere. Hampton with “22” was not surprising. Mason with “19” was very disturbing.
Rider 77, Delaware 67
At home to a team that went about 8-20 in the MAAAAAAAAAAC last season? At least Calvin Cannon was back to lead the Hens in scoring. I really don’t want to pick on these guys all season, but my gosh…
Campbell 100, UNCW 94
The last time UNCW gave up 100 points in a game was February 1993. I looked it up. That’s about 13 years.
VCU lost by three to Xavier and by one to Toledo, finishing 1-2 at the Paradise Jam. (VCU defeated the College of Cremins.) That performance was a Hall & Oates special. It also tells you very little about their progress–you can see it there but it isn’t there. And they play well for stretches and not well for others. It’s a guessing game right now.
(Side note to all of this: bless you, Poor Bill Coen. And thanks Ga. State.)
It may have slipped under some radar screens, but George Mason AD Tom O’Connor has been appointed to chair the Men’s Basketball Selection Committee, beginning in the 2007-08 season. Conspiracy theorists get another data point, but the fact is that O’Connor is a smart and accomplished administrator. Oh, by the way, he is also a former head coach. (Dartmouth and Loyola).
Aha!, Part 2
Hofstra has lost freshman forward Greg Washington for the season. The sinewy 6-10 Washington has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearninghouse. (Side note: are you kidding me? What kind of committee is that?) Washington will remain in school and be eligible to compete next season.
The hard part, and something I personally believe has contributed to Hofstra’s slow start, is that Washington practiced and played with the first team since October 15. There is an adjustment period. I just cannot figure out how these committees cannot weed through the paperwork and make a call more quickly than the start fo the season. It’s not like there is no rigor in checking eligibility from the time a kid signs. Oh, wait. That’s right–the NCAA was preoccupied with two stinking feathers in The Tribe’s logo. My bad.
The Big Dodge
There will be games over the weekend and I will be dodging family. It all adds up to the real start of the season.