Friday, November 28, 2008

GoneZaga vs Oklahoma State

This was an entertaining game in the second half, playing basketball the way it should be played!

Hot on the heels of its first ever NCAA championship, the Big 12 has made bold moves towards challenging for the top basketball conference spot. The revitalization of the two Oklahoma schools is a big step in that direction, gone are the angry and vile Suttons and the mega-cheater slug-fester Kelvin Sampson, and in comes perestroika with Jeff Capel and Travis Ford, both former (and successful) basketball players.

It may take Travis Ford a couple of years in order to build a rotation that matches his style, but his impact is already evident in making Oki State a fun team to watch and play for. This will be a growing year, a burn-in year, but don't count them out if the shots are falling!

On the other side, the story is more or less the same at GoneZaga. A five-star offense with questionable defense. Josh Heytvelt is physically gifted, but a bird is looking for its brain ;-) The good news for the Zags is that a new "Pendo" has emerged, Ira Brown. A number of "designer" recruits fill-up the Zags roster, but Ira Brown is the one that can "get it done".

The other good news for the Zags is that with the Arizona "program" dismantled, partly because of two years of interim coaches, Mark Few is not going anywhere!

But where will the Zags go come March? Do they have the onions to survive a brutal defense or a high-powered offense?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family Feud: Notre Dame vs North Carolina

It's not often that two competing teams have two different sets of brothers, split between rosters. You couldn't even write a movie about this. Yet it happened, but then again, neither one of the pairs squared off on the court, because the younger Zeller is likely out for the season, why the younger Hansbro is sitting out a transfer. So there was no Zeller vs Zeller or Hansbrough vs Hansbrough.

The game was delightful! This is how college basketball should be. Run up and down and have fun and shoot and shoot and shoot. This college basketball, not nuclear science.

The omen is there, the last time the TarHeels won the Maui invitational they won the National Championship. They looked very solid at Maui, considering they were without their best defender (Ginyard) and three of their big men were not available (Zeller, Copeland, and of course Stepheson who transfered). It's good to be North Carolina, you lose three big men, and you still have three top-tier big men on your roster.

Notre Dame looks like it is going to have a very interesting and dramatic season and Kyle McAlarney shooting skill will definitely make for some dramatic game endings. He made 10 three-points after all in this game!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black friday specials from 24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness is having a couple of Black Friday specials, that are unleashed to the world early. These promotions are good from now until December 1st! That's one way to burn the turkey, the stuffing, the pie, and all the other Thanksgiving calorie-full goodies :-)

First up, you can sign up for an All Club Sport month to month membership for $30 per month, and with ZERO initiation fee! Not bad! Nobody likes to pay initiation fees. They are evil!

If you are not ready to go all out, they have a more affordable alternative, you pay ZERO initiation and $20 per month for a One Club Sport month to month membership.

For more details on these offers, be sure to read through the promotion details given in the links above.

Obsession is...

...Jimmy Dykes talking about the Hawk non-stop during the whole fifth place game at the Maui invitational. Can you please send Jimmy Dykes back to the Alaska Shootout moose-hunting instead? He may even see Russia from the arena ;-)

Memphis sends thank you note to Syracuse ;-)

It looked like history repeating last night. Kansas (Memphis) was up by a lot, then Syracuse (Kansas) made a big comeback and sent the game to overtime. The overtime was a no contest as Kansas (Memphis) was deflated by the way the opponent made a comeback and sent the game to overtime.

It looks like the rag-tag fleet of Oranges may be making a lot of noise this year! And considering their rather unique defense and length, they could have another solid run in the NCAA Tournament.

Could it be, could it be, THREE BIG EAST teams in the Final Four this year???

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game recap: Xavier vs Memphis

Free throws you say? OuCH! Outside shooting you say? OUCH! Shot selection you say? OUCH! Highly-touted kitten bumping into walls and defenders? OUCH!

There will be growing pains for this year's Memphis team, before they can reach a point where they can reach their potential as dictated by their experience and talent level. Conference USA teams, start watching this tape over and over, it's your chance to beat the 2008 NCAA co-champions!

Xavier is what Gonzaga should have been, but with not as much "buzz". They win consistently, they have post-season success, they build teams, not a collection of all-stars, and things like that. There is no "t" in Xavier, but there is a "t" in team. And that's what they are!

Our favorite Xavier team is probably the 2004 Elite 8 team of Thad Matta, this is the team that was ROBBED of an NCAA Final Four appearance because the ZEBRAS gave the Dookies every single 50-50 call in that unforgettable Elite 8 game.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Sins of the Father?

Danny Ainge was a "do whatever it takes to win" type of a player in his NBA days, and it was no secret that he was one of the "dirtiest" players in the league. His second biggest skill next to shooting.

So it's no surprise when his son gets busted for steroids as a rookie in the NFL. Makes you wander if he was "doing some" while being a touted college quarterback...

Friday, November 21, 2008

New drinking game!

We have a new drinking game for you when watching college basketball games on ESPN! Every time Hubert Davis uses the word "outstanding", drink up! And by drink of course, we are talking about water, orange juice, Perrier, green tea, or milk :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recap: UT Chattanooga vs Memphis

This had the feel of a first round early morning NCAA tournament game, with Memphis playing the part of the top 16 seed, and UT-Chattanooga playing the part of the tough mid-major conference team.

All things considered, UT-Chattanooga did quite well, they never let up, and they did not let the Tigers blow them out. The former South Carolina shooter certainly wasn't shy about shooting, and he made quite a few of his "brave" shots.

As far as Memphis is concerned, the easiest way for players to increase their playing time is to show they can make three-pointers without taking too many of them. In today's game, D-Mack did just that, providing much-needed perimeter relief for the Tigers.

One player that Memphis could have used as a backup for special occasions is a player like Andre Allen, a short water-carrier-type point guard, for special matchup situations.

But don't cry for Calipari, his bench is loaded with versatile players, and while he may not have the power-big-man like Dorsey, he's got plenty of everything else. Players like Roburt Sullie, Wesley Witherspoon, D-Mack, Jeff Robinson could start on a lot of teams!

However, the two Tigers games so far have shown some big holes, and when facing a Top 40 team, things could be a lot different for the Tigers, because they are likely to punish them more when they miss perimeter shots, and they will be longer and athletic in filling up the paint and forcing them to prove their perimeter shooting over and over.

NCAA Basketball 2009 starts shipping!

Don't like the outcome of the games? Think you can design better plays? Think you can do better? Well, you can! Sort of... In the virtual world of video games! EA Sports has started shipping the NCAA Basketball 2009, available for XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Playstation 2. This is the initial release of the games, so as you can expect, it will be at list price, $60 for the first two, and $30 for PS2.

Something funny about the picture, Kevin Love is not a guard and he is not playing this year :-)

But if you are the thrifty type or a completist, you can get the NCAA March Madness 2008 video games, ranging from $8 to $25 depending on which gaming platform you have.

Game recap: UAB at Arizona

A series of very unfortunate events can easily describe the last two season at Arizona. And this unfortunate situation is quite possibly what is going to return Arizona back to the amorphous pool of BCS college basketball programs hoping for an NCAA bid on a good year.

If you needed any further evidence of the confusion and disarray, two different Wildcats fouled a player when they didn't have to in the last minute of the game. Both fouls were completely unnecessarily and quite likely had cost the team a very unlikely victory. Ouch for Kyle Fogg.

Two years of uncertainty also have a way of derailing your recruiting pipeline and planning. Who is going to commit to Arizona for 2009-2010 and beyond when no one knows who the next coach is going to be? And considering the current roster, the next coach is going to have at least a couple of years of struggles. Unless of course he can convince Budinger and Jordan Hill to stay put for their senior years and convince the remaining players not to transfer out.

UAB on the other hand, may be getting ready to have their best season since their epic NCAA tournament run against Washington and Kentucky. Despite the academic troubles, including the coaches "daughter" (Jim Rome speak), they have plenty of talent, and as long as Darth Vader(n) can make comfy three-pointers from the half-court, they can come back to just about anyone. But just like their coach, the team looks to be erratic, and that cuts both ways.

Farewell Pete Newell

As most of you have heard by now, one of the most influential college basketball coaches of all time, Pete Newell has passed away in his 90s. Coach Newell had a great career, being one of a very elite group of coaches winning the NCAA, the NIT (when it mattered), and the Olympic Gold. But even after he retired from coaching college teams, he continued teaching and sharing his knowledge with players and coaches alike. A lot of past, present and future centers and big forwards have made drastic improvements in their games thanks to Newell's Big Man's Camp.

Farewell Coach Newell...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today only: College hoodies for $18 at Amazon

Today Amazon is running a special promotion, offering college hoodies for $18 each. "College hoodies" of course being sweatshirts with hoods. Some of the biggest college sports programs are featured, including Florida, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky, Duke, LSU and more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Game recap: Kentucky at North Carolina

Cancel the VMI panic. Kentucky is going to have a similar season as last year. It's not going to be the 15-2 disaster hinted by the start of a high-profile game happening way-way-way too early.

However, the Kentucky Kentucky-fans expect will probably not arrive until 2009-2010, year #3 of the Billy Gillispie era. But will that be enough to hold off North Carolina and Kansas as the winning-est programs? UNC is now just 15 wins away, and considering their roster and Maui participation, they could end the year with 35+ wins and either tying or surpassing UK's #1 all-time wins record. Good thing for UK fans the Chaminade game is a Division 2 game.

On the UNC front, everyone is singing the praises of Tyler "GQ" Hansbro, or "Psycho-GQ" these days, but considering how UNC played at times, they may actually be a better team without him, simply because Davis and Zeller are better gifted and skilled players. But neither one of them has the experience and "psycho-skill" of "Psycho-GQ".

Completely unscientific predictions

  • UNC: gets shocked in the Elite 8
  • Kentucky: makes post-season NIT Final 4

Game recap: UMass at Memphis

Let's start by saying that Tyreke Evans is no Derrick Rose. And there is no one on the roster with the scoring skills and nose of a CDR. Nor the muscle and athleticism of Joey Dorsey.

So the co-champions of 2008 are not likely to repeat this year. But don't count them out just yet, even if they can't hit a jumper. Witherspoon could be a really big surprise and a game changer once he warms up to the college game, while Roburt Sallie can be another versatile player they can plug-in where needed.

But seriously, can anyone from Memphis hit a jumper???

UMass is probably going to have its bumps and bruises this year, but the future looks bright with Kellogg's Corn Flakes at the helm. It may take a couple of years for the transition, as the Travis Ford era and players cycle out and the AASAA players come in.

Completely unscientific predictions for these two teams

  • Memphis: Elite 8
  • UMass: CBI

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jimmys and Joes versus the Xs and Os

Storming The Floor has launched a new feature, on Xs and Os - Outside the Coaches Box.

In this week's episode, STF answers reader questions on crunch time offense, shot blockers, Princeton offense, and things like that. This looks very promising, so if you are into Xs and Os, be sure to visit and bookmark!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The pre-season Blogger's Poll is published!

A new season is indeed coming up! The Blogger's Poll is back with its pre-season edition. And yes, basketball fans, there was a unanimous #1! Will that remain the same after next Tuesday?

By the way, we are planning a big party after Duke's first loss this season and after every loss :-)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

College Basketball and Elections!

Now that the elections are almost over and almost all the votes counted, and almost all the races decided, there is an interesting pattern we have observed.

As most of you know, Barack Obama played college basketball. And he managed to switch two of the three biggest college basketball states in the country, Indiana and North Carolina. The last time they voted blue, they were probably playing with peach baskets! (joke, not historically accurate fact).

But he did not win the other big college basketball state: Kentucky. But what if he was a former UK hoops player? :)

Considering the historical voting patterns of those two states, did any of the exit pollers ask whether college basketball experience was a factor? :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The 2008-2009 TV season tips off on Sunday!

Yes, college basketball fans, the TV season of 2008-2009 is tipping off! Grab your remotes and your TV schedules, and make some room on your DVRs and VCRs!

Sunday November 2

  • 330pm eastern: Previews on ESPN: Big East, Big Ten, Big 12
  • 6pm eastern: College Basketball Preview on CBS, one hour long

Monday November 3
  • 930am pacific: Kentucky Blue/White scrimmage, Fox College Sports

Thursday November 6
  • 6pm pacific: Concordia at BYU, on BYU-TV (religious channel)

Tuesday November 11
  • 6pm pacific: Georgetown College at BYU, on BYU-TV (religious channel)

Friday November 14
  • 7pm pacific: Mississippi Valley State at Arizona State, FSN/FCS

Sat November 15
  • 4pm pacific: Montana State (Billings) at GoneZaga, FSN/FCS

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