The Week That Will Be…

I got a chance to talk to Tom Pecora yesterday–always a good conversation. The best thing he said (that you care about): “we’re not as good as our record but probably better than I think we are.”

Always realistic, that Pecora. He’s not afraid to take shots at himself. In this case, he realizes coaches always think their team stinks, even when they don’t.

We’re going to find out a little bit about those Pride and that 8-1 record on Saturday. Hofstra heads north to face UMass, a team who just beat Kansas and is better than its 3-6 record shows.

It is as much an internal litmus test as it is an external test. Whether Hofstra wins or loses will shine a light on the phony (or not) 8-1 record for all of us to see. I’ve been questioned many times over the past two weeks about them and I really can’t tell you. On a radio interview I actually assessed it thus: “I have no idea, other than 8-1 is a lot better than 1-8.”

Clemson was far better than Hofstra, and the Pride has beaten everyone they should beat. The Pride is better than you think defensively, as it is holding opponents to just 37.3 percent shooting from the floor. No other CAA team is holding its opponents below 40 percent.

But perhaps more importantly, Hofstra will see what Hofstra is about.

A few seasons ago Pecora brought his 10-1 or 11-1 Pride to Richmond to play VCU. Hofstra was a giddy basketball team. Everyone was full of confidence, except for the coach. And if the buzzer hadn’t sounded to end the game, VCUs BA Walker might still be hitting wide open threes. VCU destroyed the Pride.

After the come-uppance, Pecora was able to focus his team and Hofstra played well until the first 12 minutes of the CAA championship game against The Dub. They played well enough to get jobbed by the Selection Committee.

You remember those few weeks, don’t you?

***

But that isn’t the only game of note this week:

WEDNESDAY

Georgia State at Georgia Tech: this is a road game in the same vein as VCU played a road game at Richmond Saturday. Except the Wreck is an ACC team. Flashlight Game here folks.

Old Dominion at Dukeaine: Lots of Nor’easter fans will have blue running through their blood, and it isn’t because they are old.

Akron at VCU

THURSDAY

Niagara at Drexel

JMU at Morehead State

FRIDAY

The Dub at College of Charleston: This is a big game, if only for the psyche of the Mossmen. For the love of Craig Callahan, we hope they keep it close. Plus, we’re betting Dub beatnick prefers Charleston in December to Vermont.

Radford at George Mason: Had the presidential election occurred the last time Mason played?

SATURDAY

Winthrop at Old Dominion: I watched VMI run Winthrop right out of the gym.

Coastal Carolina at Georgia State

Hofstra at UMass

Drexel at Bucknell

VCU at Oklahoma: This is what they call opportunity, replete with storylines. The sports-watching world certainly won’t be focused on Fresno State and Louisiana-Lafayette in the Jab A Chopstick Into My Temple Dreck Bowl. Big win against former coach, on the road, on national teevee. It has all the ingredients, and I fear 81-63.

Haverford at William & Mary

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~ by mglitos on December 16, 2008.

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