Perspective on a Wild Afternoon/Evening…

Technology can be a wonderful thing. Plans to attend ODU/Hofstra were scuttled by a late meeting, so I turned to the next-best thing(s): radio, teevee, and the WWW. Despite many hysterically subdued head-nods from the family–the ones that clearly say I might need counseling for this college hoops issue–I pressed on and followed as many games as possible as closely as possible.

***

First, I know exactly how Georgia State came from 16 down in the first half and 11 at the half to clip George Mason yesterday afternoon. Rod Barnes. The one thing we’ve mentioned since he was hired is that even if Barnes doesn’t have the talent he wants right now, his teams will always play hard for him. Yesterday the coach chose to sit Lennie Mendez, his captain and best player, to start the game. Mendez responded with 19 points and the game-winning jumper. Message received.

Sure, the Panthers shot lights-out in the second half and reversed a season-long turnover problem, but that doesn’t occur without the requisite effort to make those glowing statistical outputs happen. Last season Georgia State loses this game by more than 20. I’m certain of that.

***

Drexel v. the dub is one of the oddest games I’ve watched in a long time. It was one of those games that for the first 25 minutes if you hid your eyes from the score and then tried to predict it, you would think Drexel led by about 10. In reality, UNCW led by eight. The Dragons outplayed the Seahawks by miles last night. The problem is that they couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. In the first five minutes of the second half I lost count of the point blank, wide open shots they missed.

Drexel shot 34% for the game and still hung 70 on UNCW. And before conspiracy theorists have a field day, the free throw disparity is legit. UNCW couldn’t handle Frank Elegar on the blocks and were forced to foul him. Drexel was more aggressive, more athletic, and stronger. That is how you get to the foul line 40 times in a game. (Side note: UNCW beatnick Brian Mull has a Carnac moment, re: Elegar and foul shots.)

Chad Tomko is looking good for his size and youth, though. He will be a good one.

***

Validation for JMU. Everyone questioned the Dukes and their easy schedule. Nobody knew how good they really were. If beating VCU isn’t enough, consider how they accomplished their win: they took every punch in the face VCU could muster and answered. This includes the final answer, which appropriately was made by the Junk Yard Dawg. If anybody deserves to be mobbed by his teammates, it is Juwan James.

***

Yes, Old Dominion is also tied atop the standings at 2-0. I didn’t include them earlier because it isn’t a surprise. What is also not surprising is the overly-ironic tie of field goal percentage to ODU success. Last night, the Monarchs clanged it up to a 37% effectiveness in the first half and led 32-31. A 16-24 second half produced a 43-23 scoring advantage.

Hofstra? First half 33%; second half 32%. The Constant in the TED is always defense.

***

Two final notes: if David Schneider can’t score, William & Mary can’t win. And Towson has got to be the Sybil of the CAA. You never know who is showing up on any evening. Yes, I know that makes Pat Kennedy Sally Field.

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~ by mglitos on January 3, 2008.

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