No Endorsements Necessary…

We’ve got our own national champion awards to hand out.

The CAA: LAMM “National” Champion is Jon Pease of Towson. You need to look past the senior season stat line of nine points and 4.7 rebounds. We need you to blend these stats to consider relative value: Pease’s assist-to-turnover ratio was 48:38; he had 46 steals, 12 blocks, and committed 80 fouls. Now, Pease only fouled out once. That’s three fouls per game but five only once. Guy knows how to play aggressive and under control.

Our only regret is that Pease doesn’t have four more years of eligibility, because he’s the kind of player you pay to watch, if you are an intelligent basketball fan. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Maynor and Thomas are fun to watch and make you say wow, but Pease is far more interesting.

Others we’d like to see win, or win more, are next. And that is in life and basketball. These folks deserve to be in the CAA: LAMM “One Shining Moment” video, if it existed. If it did exist, it would be set to the tune of Spoon’s “Underdog” song:

Jamal Shuler, VCU: Here’s a kid who came to school with a really good shot from a lot of feet from the basket, and turned himself into a first team All CAA selection. So there’s the work aspect. However, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a kid smile so much on the floor. Shuler was genuinely having fun, something missing all too often these days. What’s more, the kid helped opponents off the floor, apologized to coaches, and saluted his ailing aunt.

Will Thomas, George Mason: Throw the team stuff out the window. All Thomas managed was a stellar career, punctuated by being “the guy” in the locker room. You never heard much from him, until he plopped a double-double on you. And if you listened to his teammates–not Larranaga but his teammates–you can see what he meant to that program. Also, am I the only one who easily pictures Thomas superimposed on the famous shot of Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen?”

Tony Shaver, William & Mary: Like Thomas, let’s skip the accomplishments and go to the reasons we love this guy. Shaver is so unassuming, I can only think of Vin Scully talking about former pitcher Burt Hooten. After the Dodgers won the World Series, Scully noted that Hooten was so unassuming, that the pitcher “would go out and paint the town beige.” (Side note: if I have to explain Vin Scully to you, please stop visiting this blog. You have no business here.) Shaver is similar. I love that he sits on the bench chatting away with his coaches prior to a game. I love that when you talk to him, you get the feeling he’s surprised he is able to put on matching socks, much less coach collegiate basketball, very well.

Bruiser Flint, Drexel: Win or lose, you get Bruiser. Can’t do anything but tip your cap to him for that. My favorite aspect is how Flint handles the media. At times he is asked silly questions, such as “what was Frank Elegar thinking when…” His answer is always priceless: “go ask Frank.” I love everything about those answers.

Steve Scalzi, assistant coach, Northeastern: You always hear about players that make everyone around them better. Scalzi is a coach that makes his program better. The guy creates promo videos, coaches, scouts, etc. If it needs to get done he is up to the task. In fact, we may have to give him the nickname “Etc.” Side note: my lawn needs mowing. I’m just saying.

The Guys at CAA Zone: They’ve endeavored to make this site more than a pile of message boards, and you should support it. I know for a fact, because I’ve been told, that there are colleagues of theirs that keep an eye on their every move to see what to do next. Right, wrong, or indifferent, they provide something CAA fans should consider themselves lucky to have.

Lennie Mendez, Georgia State: Opponents ganged up on Mendez this season and Mendez was never visibly frustrated by it. The kid just kept playing hard. And here’s the other thing to keep in the back of your mind–there is a decent chance Mendez may have four completely new guys playing alongside him next season. Rod Barnes has added a pile of talent to that roster. That’s point #1, but also consider what practice was like this year.

Brian Henderson, Old Dominion: He deserves a pat on the back for a career that will go down as “nice,” which is another term for underappreciated for his contributions. Henderson was killed this year by ODU fans early, but cheered when he stepped up and played big in big games. Remember Henderson also had to deal with injury and getting his identity stolen. This is particularly odd, considering stealing the identity of a college student could not be lucrative. Even as a senior, if my identity was stolen the perp would’ve made off with all $57 in my checking account and a credit card with a $500 limit. Good luck with that. But the point is Henderson did nothing but everything for four years.

***

There is more, but I want to let it marinate on my brain a bit. It is 80 degrees and sunny, and work is going to take a back seat today. I’m feeling benevolent.

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~ by mglitos on April 11, 2008.

3 Responses to “No Endorsements Necessary…”

  1. Yay Zone! Yay nice weather! Yay Litos!

  2. The Pease obsession has truly reached a ridiculous level, you seem to heavily focus on a few individual players in the CAA… spread the love a little, and Bruiser Flint may be solid AFTER the game, but he was repeatedly outcoached this year, probably the most overrated coach in the conference

  3. Thomas IS GOD.

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