I Heart Rod Barnes…

I probably haven’t talked enough this year about Georgia State. One reason is that everybody else has been talking about Georgia State, and even though I hop aboard bandwagons every week (and off them), I try to be somewhat judicious and find different perspectives.

For example: everybody has to get their word counts in on that kid from Davidson. For me, it wasn’t about all those adjectives and verbs and similar stories. Really, they are all the same, only the words have been put in one of those cloth Scrabble bags and shaken. (Side note: As much as I tried to avoid the topic, it hit me one night in a very memorable manner.)

The thing is that I didn’t want to overtalk Rod Barnes and the Panthers either. Sure,  Georgia State was getting a pile of talent eligible, but in my mind there were just as many questions. In my mind, it was too much ??? for definitive statements.

So I held out.

We’re starting to get some answers: Most notably, Joe Dukes is a bulldog and disrupts defenses by getting into the lane. Dukes is filling stat sheets at an all conference rate–15ppg, 5rpg, 5apg, 2spg.

Trae Goldston (Trae Goldston?!?) is leading the team in scoring and shows no ill effects from the extra foot of arc. Rashad Chase is wide-loading folks on the blocks.

And then there’s Lennie Mendez, last season’s best player and sharpshooter, not even averaging double figures.

There are still a bunch of question marks–how the heck was it December 6 before the Panthers won a division one game being at the top of the list–but in the words of Lou Brown: “it’s starting to come together, Pepper.”

Tonight, Rod Barnes and his band of merry young men get Georgia Tech. The Wreck is the ACC version of The Dub, only it’s not located in a city I one day will call home. Paul Hewitt has been, to use Jeff Goodman’s word, decimated.

This is one to get.

So it is with great disdain that I must say it won’t happen, but I think Georgia State may challenge for a top four seed. Lennie?

Wreck 62, Wrecked 60.

***

ODU at Duquesne: Somebody pointed out to me that Keyon Carter made both of his three point attempts in the Monarchs win over Delaware. I was busy with Carter’s double-doubles. Somebody else pointed out to me that quietly Blaine Taylor has played star thicklegger Gerald Lee at the “four” spot, allowing Lee the freedom he likes. The value of the network, folks. ODU 75, Duquesne 71.

Akron at VCU: Of VCUs top seven players in terms of minutes per game, six are freshmen or sophomores. For Akron, Anthony Hitchens is the ringleader, shooting a smidgen less than 50% from three. Akron is much better than CAA people think, but they are on the road just after exams. Interesting note: Anthony Grant gets praise for his smothering defense and the issue is always a plodding offense. Check the stats: the Rams are the best offensive team in the CAA, and a middle-of-pack (at best) defensive team. VCU 73, Akron 66.

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~ by mglitos on December 17, 2008.

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