Freeze Frame

I need help. I really do. First, I spent last night not watching the news to learn what is going on in the real world–apparently there’s some trouble in the Middle East, but I’m not sure what it is–but trying to make sense of the first third of the conference season. (Side note–we’re already six games in…one-third of the way to the tourney. Can you believe it?)

Here’s how we look:

VCU 6-0 14-3
Hofstra 5-1 12-5
Old Dominion 5-1 12-5
Drexel 4-2 12-4
William & Mary 3-3 10-6
George Mason 3-3 9-7
Northeastern 3-3 5-12
Towson 2-4 7-9
Georgia State 2-4 6-10
UNC Wilmington 1-5 4-11
James Madison 1-5 4-12
Delaware 1-5 3-14

It was really this weekend that got me thinking. First, I continue to realize that my dad is always right. In a battle of evenly-matched teams, take the home team. I should’ve known ODU and Delaware were going to win. I may never have picked Nor’Easter, but Mathews Arena is a pretty good home court for the Poor Bills.

Most surprising was the whomping ODU put on Drexel. Wow. Games like this are the outlyers, not the norm. (Ken Pomeroy would be proud.) It represented a perfect storm–Drexel playing a tough game and a big game and losing, then traveling to play another big game.

Folks may say Drexel was tired, but I don’t buy it. These kids play three AAU games in one day. They are 19-years old. I don’t buy tired for a minute. What I will buy is unfocused. That kind of turnaround wears on your psyche more so than your physical.

Wen coaches talk about focus and emotion and concentration, this is what they mean. I don’t mean to say players aren’t trying; rather, when it gets tough–after having to do it two days’ prior–reaching down for that extra kick becomes very difficult.

You saw it with Drexel. They got down early and no reserve. This is the first rule of the turnaround: when you play a good team there’s a decent chance you’re gonig to lose.

You saw it with Hofstra. Nor’Easter hit big shot after big shot. Every time Hofstra made a run in that game, the Poor Bills answered. After awhile, you get tired of responding.

***

What does all this mean?

Right now, I see Hofstra, ODU, VCU, and Drexel beating each other up for the next 12 games. Fans cannot get too high or too low with the wins and losses among these teams. They are fairly inseparable. Really. Any analysis that says “we are better than you” is merely finding a stat to tell your story.

We talked about tiebreakers last year and now is the time to start looking at them again. They will be important so get to know them–it will help you in the end.

George Mason is impossible to figure. They will beat a couple of teams in the top four, but I’m still not convinced. The Patriots have altered their starting lineup and been successful over the past two games, but I’m waiting ot see how they fare when smacked in the face…that hasn’t happened yet.

***

Somebody give Monte Ross a pat on the back. I mean that. He inherited a mess left by David Henderson. Raphael Madera wasn’t getting it done on more levels than on-court and was gone. His replacement, Matt Hewson, chose to head for the hills. Pau Geli, a longtime project, was diagnosed with a health problem that jeopardizes more than his basketball career–a blood clot needs tratement or it could be life threatening.

Last week Zaire Taylor asked for a leave of absence.

And then they beat, badly, everybody’s sweethearts on Saturday.

***

My aim is to educate, and every now and then it needs to be real life. Here’s a lesson that cannot go wrong: Make Your Own Pizza Night.

I’m telling you. Whether it is with your kids or your wife or your girlfriend, this idea is golden. Start with a pita or Boboli. Add pizza sauce. Get some shredded cheese. Pepperoni? Fresh garlic? Broccoli? Whatever. Pop that bad boy in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and you are good to go.

Kids love it. Add a nice bottle of wine or a cold Stella and your significant other will eat it up.

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~ by mglitos on January 15, 2007.

One Response to “Freeze Frame”

  1. Now thats on hell of a run-down of the CAA. thanks!

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