Monday, November 30, 2009

Mount can't pull upset; falls at Verizon Center

The Mount put up a good fight, but just didn't have the horses to pull off the upset at Verizon Center as Georgetown made plays when they needed to and took care of Mt. St. Mary's 83-62 on Monday evening.

The Hoyas showed why they are a ranked team and the Mount showed why it is considered the favorite in the NEC. But in the end the difference between the two teams showed as well. The Hoyas took an early lead, withstood a Mount run in the first half, and built an 11-point halftime lead despite a hot shooting three-point attack from the Mount.

The Mount couldn't really contend with the Hoyas inside. Greg Monroe had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead all players in both categories, while Julian Vaughn had 14 and 8. The inside play opened up the outside as Chris Wright knocked down 4 trifectas and finished with 18 points.

MSM was led by Jean Cajou with 16 points, who is showing signs of the long-range deadeye that helped carry the Mount to the NCAA tourney two years ago. Tayvon Jackon was next in line for the Mount with 11, while Lamar Trice chipped in 8 for that Mount that shot 40% from the field.

The Mount faces Robert Morris on Thursday night in a rematch of last year's NEC championship game. The Mount will enter with a 3-3 record while Robert Morris, which has had 11 days off, will enter at 1-4.

Taking Care of Business

Syracuse drilled Colgate at the Carrier Dome on Monday Night finishing off the Red Raiders 92-58.

The win will go down as a total team effort for the Orange. Five players scored in double figures, and Brandon Triche and Andy Rautins each had nine. Meanwhile, Scoop Jardine had 3 points and 8 assists.

The game was over early as Syracuse controlled things from the opening tip. Wesley Johnson hit a pair of three pointers early, on his way to a 20-point performance as he continues to impress. The Orange is now 7-0 and will face Maine on Saturday Night.

There wasn't much new to be learned about the Orange in this one. In fact, it might have actually been a somewhat lackluster performance. Still the Orange led 47-16 at the halftime intermission against a team that led UCONN at the break earlier this season. Syracuse played man-to-man defense in the second half, and that seemed to help Colgate a little bit.

Still, the Orange got what it came for a good convincing win and will move on to the Black Bears this weekend. That should be another game to see a lot of people in.

Monday Night on the Couch



Devery Henderson could not have been more wide open then he was on that last play....The long touchdown pass gave the Saints a 17-7 lead - as New Orleans has scored two straight touchdowns got grab control. It is imperative for the Patriots to get something back quickly....Bobby Bowden will annouce his retirement tomorrow. Does that mean Joe Paterno can be far behind?....When was the last time we saw Bill Belichick with that look on his face?....The Pats had to do a lot to keep that drive alive, but ultimately they got within seven with a Gostkowski field goal....The Saints have answered with a touchdown and the Patriots are in serious danger of letting this get away. They look like a fighter struggling to stay on its feet and hoping to get through the round to its corner....To follow up on my fight analogy from above, I think the Patriots were able to make it through the fight without the ref stopping it, but there was really no doubt when it went to the scorecards. Randy Moss didn't even know the score. My impression was that people were waiting on the Saints. That nobody really believed they were as good as the record indicated. They are. And a few more people believe it this morning. Last night was one of those statement games - and in some ways, New England was lucky it was as close as it was.

Wrapping Up the Georgetown Loss

Georgetown Voice

On the Grapevine

The Mount will compete in an MTE (Multi-Team Event) next season. (2010-2011) Details of the event are still sketchy at this point but it appears that the Mount will get one home game out of it. Other teams participating in the event are Cincinnati, Dayton, Murray State, and a team to be determined. Based upon this year's schedule the Mount has home games with American, Navy and Siena already on the docket for next season, with trips planned to Loyola, Vermont and Niagara. MTE's count as one game toward the schedule and the Mount would get to play four total. Based on the way it has scheduled recently the Mount will likely look to add another home and home to the schedule and pick up several other guarantee games or may look for other options as the MTE gives it some flexibility.

The Edmonton Oilers have had a New York Mets like streak of bad injuries. The Oilers have already had players miss 155 games through less than 2 months of the regular season. Consequently, the Oilers are struggling in 14th place in the Western Conference. Recently, there has been some speculation that the Oilers were close to acquiring Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes. Well, let's just put that all to rest. It isn't going to happen. The Canes have struggled as well, but they aren't getting rid of Staal. He is essentially the franchise player there on a team that has certainly been a disappointment this year, but shouldn't be looking to get rid of top talent.

Live Blog Mount/Georgetown

Tids and Bits

As an Orioles fan, I am rooting for the Nets to lose five more games in a row. I know that it really doesn't take the Orioles out of the record book. But at least the Nets will be the true team of futility. The early season debacle has already cost Lawrence Frank his job. Of course it only took the Orioles six games to get rid of Cal Ripken Sr. The Nets play Dallas next, so there is a good chance that they will break the NBA record. Clippers and Heat fans are rooting for it. Proportionally, the Nets have already surpassed the Orioles. But in some ways that is like counting in Dog Years.

The NFC Wild Card almost seems to be decided. Both Philadelphia and Green Bay are being chased by the Giants. But with New York losing 5 of 6 and the new foot injury to Eli Manning, it doesn't seem like the Giants are much of a threat. Atlanta has been sputtering as well, but could pose a challenge if they get hot down the stretch. They seem to have the schedule to make that happen, but a win over Philadelphia on Sunday is virtually a necessity to make that happen. San Francisco could make a push, but coming back from 2 games down with five to go, seems unlikely.

Bag full of Riches

I know most of you don't like the BCS. At least the majority of the American people don't like the system. And you'll never get me to say its a good system. I just tend to believe its the best system under the constraints we are under. A playoff would be ideal. But the Universities make more money on this system, so until a playoff system keeps the money out of the NCAA's hands and in the BCS conferences it isn't going to happen. It's plain and simple. But let's look at what the BCS has provided us this year.

Heading into the regular season weekend there are plenty of intriguing games that all have an impact on the final result. Ultimately, this system is better than what we dealt with 10-15 years ago, when conference champions were locked into a bowl game and on the rare occasion that two teams would finish unbeaten, they'd almost certainly be headed to two different bowls. Now we have to contend with the possibility of more than 2 teams being undefeated, and the reality that teams from non-BCS conferences deserve a chance, but otherwise we generally match the top teams against each other - and even though there is no NCAA champ in football, we get this BCS champion that ends a lot of the debate.

THE CIVIL WAR - I'm sure the schedule makers were hoping that one of the two teams in the Oregon - Oregon State game would be a factor in the PAC 10 race. But I'm sure they never dreamed this would be a winner take all game for the Rose Bowl Berth. Looking forward to what should be an exciting game in the Great Northwest.

CINCINNATI @ PITTSBURGH - Credit the schedule makers again. Although this was a little easier. The Bearcats were the defending champs, the Panthers the preseason favorite. UC is currently fourth in the BCS standings and unbeaten. But should Texas falter in the Big 12 championship, seems possible that the Bearcats would earn the berth in the top game.

TEXAS VS NEBRASKA - BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP - The Horns have so much to lose in this game. The perfect season. The Big 12 championship. The BCS championship game slot. Nebraska is a formidable foe that might have the defense to keep this close and spirits lively in Cincinnati or Fort Worth.

ALABAMA VS FLORIDA - SEC CHAMPIONSHIP - The winner is going to play for the BCS Title. Both teams are undefeated, so this almost serves as a semifinal. Both teams have grueling defenses. 'Bama nearly got caught looking ahead in the rivalry game with Auburn, and make be without its offensive spark in Mark Ingram. That makes Florida the favorite. But this will be a classic.

Throw in a few other regular season games and championship games from the ACC, MAC, and CUSA and you've got quite a week of football. The BCS isn't perfect. It isn't ideal. But it is producing drama and stories and excitement for the fans. And most importantly, it is producing $$ for the universities. So either enjoy it for what its worth, or boycott it. But don't expect it to go anywhere soon.

Mount O'Links


Florida a Surprise Team

Week that Was

Beware the Social Media

UCONN gets to Bowl Eligible

Webcam Connections

Siena Struggling?

UMASS/ST Fran NY Live Blog

Obamas catch a Game

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mount at Verizon to take on Hoyas

Who plays?: Mt. St. Mary's (3-2) travels to the Verizon Center to take on Georgetown (4-0) for the second straight season.

What's at stake?: The Hoyas continue their pre-Big East Schedule with another "tune-up" with the Mount. Georgetown is trying to improve upon last year's 16-15 record which included a first round NIT loss to tourney runner-up Baylor. Among the 16 wins was a 69-58 win over the Mount. For the Mount its another chance to get a signature win over a big time opponent. It also gives the Mount its last opportunity to iron out some things before the NEC schedule kicks off Thursday at Robert Morris.

When is tipoff?: Monday at 7:30. The game will be aired on MASN - and we should have a live blog on the Fan Blog - so if you don't make the trip - tune in with us.

Where is the game?: at Verizon Center in DC. The Arena is the sixth largest in Division I basketball. As mentioned the game is on TV - MASN with the broadcast. Radio coverage available on the Mount Radio Network, 1450AM WTHU.
The Analysis: The Mount had to have left a solid impression with its 11-point loss last season. A game that if I remember correctly, the Mount had a second half lead in. So its unlikely the Hoyas will take the Mount lightly. Georgetown had some struggles with the tough defense of Temple and the Mount will look to defend strongly against the Hoyas.

Advantages for Mt. St. Mary's: The Mount has played in these types of games before. Playing at the Phone Booth last year should also help the Mounties. The Mount has played well this season, but must still find a way to shoot the ball a little bit better. Jeremy Goode and Jean Cajou have provided offense for the Mount, and Kelly Beidler has done a fine job stuffing the stat sheet.

Advantages for Georgetown: It seems as if Georgetown might have the weapons to take advantage of some of the Mount's weaknesses. The Hoyas have a size advantage up front, and the Mount has struggled on the glass and with its interior defense. That could be good news for former HS All-American Greg Monroe who has averaged 13.8 points and 9 rebounds per outing to start the season.

What to expect?: All indications are that this is going to be a defensive test. The Hoyas give up just .880 points per possession (32nd in the country) while the Mount has held the opposition below 70 points in each of its three wins this season. If the Mount can improve upon its offensive efficiency, it could have the opportunity late to steal a win. If the Mount struggles to find itself offensively and allows the Hoyas to get out and run, as they did against Lafayette in a 97-64 win, it could turn into a similart result. I think it might be too much to ask for the Mount to get a win, but I'm expecting a quality effort - let's call it 69-55 Georgetown.

Casual Hoya

ACC Stats

Mount Athletics

Washington Examiner

Hoya Hoops


Quick Takes

Is Bobby Bowden going to be the coach at Florida State next year? I really don't know the answer to that question. I know that the 'Noles continue to be one of the more athletic teams around, so you have to wonder how they actually can be 6-6 with the team they have. I think that Bowden has done enough for the program that he'd earned the right to step aside when the time is right. However, right now might be that time. Still, I think if he wants to fix the problems that have been created he should be given that opportunity. To me, and I'm a huge outsider, it seems like the problem might be in the impact that Jimbo Fisher is having on the program. There doesn't seem to be a good continuity between he and Bowden and one way or the other, something needs to change.

With the Mount taking on Georgetown tomorrow night, I was reminded of the great players that played for the Hoyas back in the early 90's when I was at Syracuse. I will never forget a trip in the fall of 1991 to NYC and Madison Square Garden for the conference's media day and the size of the hands of Alonzo Mourning. Nor will I ever forget how quick Allen Iverson was with a basketball. Truly, Iverson is probably the quickest person I've ever seen live. Not sure how the whole retirement thing is going to turn out. AI could certainly help someone in the right situation, but not sure that he could allow himself to be a role player. Some guys just aren't cut out to take on that type of role. Iverson may very well be one of those guys. He had a tremendous career and letting it end now might be what is best for everyone.

Links on Georgetown

Georgetown made road trip to Savannah


Where to find Georgetown info

No Early Answers

Sunday on the Couch

Thoughts and Views from the games that I watch

In between the tree decorating and the stringing up the lights, I plan on watching some games today.


The MAAC hosts this tournament each year so it gets a team in the field. Good move for the conference. Iona is trying to earn it a win in the early start at Disney. Rich Hollenberg, a former Z89er, and Len Elmore on the call from the Milk House.....IONA Won the Game 63-55


The two schools are playing for fifth place in Orlando - and they look like two teams ready to get back to campus. Nobody scored in the final segment of the half and it is a 26-25 game in favor of the Bears at halftime. Maybe the second half will get better. BAYLOR Won The Game 69-64.


By my count this is the third game in the Big East/ACC Championship challenge. I know my buddy JC made it up from West Palm for the game. He is a big Warrior (I know) fan.....For some reason when this game came on I had a Bob Sura flashback....Marquette was picked 12th in the Big East, Florida State was viewed as a potential dark horse in the ACC....All is going right for MU right now. They have extended a 12-point halftime lead and the start of the second half and look on the verge of putting the 'Noles away....Lazar Hayward is a big factor in the 17-point lead for Marquette. He has 13 and 9 at the moment....Florida State turned up the defensive intensity after a timeout, but they've got a long way back....Marquette still has matchups with NC State and Wisconsin before the Big East season....Florida State travels to Columbus to play the Buckeyes this week and will face Auburn and Texas A&M Corpus Christi outside of the conference....Marquette has let Florida State get some life by settling for jump shots. It is now 42-34 with under 10:33 to play....This is the third time I've seen Florida State this year. This is the second time they have made a ferocious second half charge. The first time, they played a terrible first half against Florida. They tried to make a game of it in the second half, but ran out of gas and Florida made some plays and won the game. Tonight in Orlando, they got at Marquette quicker - and made it a game down the stretch. Both teams matched each other play for play at the end, before Florida State finally won the game with a bucket with about 11 seconds left. It was a great win for the 'Noles, who could be pretty good in the ACC this year. We'll have to wait to see how the Golden Eagles respond from this meltdown....FLORIDA STATE Won The Game 57-56.



The Eagles got a big win a week ago, so that probably means they won't play well again today. So far, that is the case. The 'Skins scored early, and the Eagles were held to a field goal. The longer you let the Redskins stay in the game, the longer it is a problem for Philly....DeSean Jackson is one of the most exciting players in the league right now. He was about one step (maybe a half) from turning that nothing punt return into a touchdown....The whole Vick thing on third down worked for a week....Eagles showing absolutely no respect for the 'Skins offense though. Going for it on fourth down, twice, onside kicking, etc. Some is working as Weaver kept this drive alive....THE EAGLES Won the Game 27-24.


Wrapping Up the Navy Win

AP Story

Observations from the Navy Win

I debated and debated whether or not I wanted to make the trip. The advent of the internet allows us to watch most games on the road - and I knew I could see this. Plus my family wasn't able to make the trip as my daughter was participating in the Christmas Parade. She ended up lighting the tree with Governor Rendell, so I was sorry that I missed that. But I was really happy to have made the trip. It was well worth it.

  • Navy's Alumni Hall is a top-notch facility. The whole military academy thing is pretty cool. Because of security you have to park off campus - and they shuttle you onto the site. I don't have a Department of Defense sticker, so I parked at the football stadium and they bussed me and the rest of the crowd to the Arena. Alumni Hall has two distinct seating levels, which only the lower bowl was open on Saturday night. I found the section behind the Mount bench, and saw numerous familiar faces.
  • There is a comment on here that the Mount was 25 points better than this Navy squad. As fans, I think we need to be extremely careful about our expectations for this squad. Especially with Will Holland out with an injury. Now, was the Mount the better team? Yes, absolutely. But I thought this Navy team was better than American and probably better than Loyola. The game was in their building - and they beat us last year. Getting a W was a good thing.
  • The Mount did make it look fairly easy real early. The offense was sharp and balanced and the defense was taking Navy out of its gameplan.
  • The lead was nine at halftime, but Navy made some key adjustments at the break and turned up the defense in the second half, and essentially took away the perimeter from the Mount. It allowed some penetration, but the Mount missed some shots. 
  • I wasn't overly impressed with Chris Harris in the first half. He missed a good portion of it with fouls and missed every shot he put up. He did not get to the free throw line. I'm pretty sure it was his mother I saw talking loudly into a cell phone on the concourse level, "No he's not hurt, he is just playing terribly."
  • I give a lot of credit to Navy's resurgence in the second half to Harris. The Midshipmen were playing against one of the best defenses they will face this year - and Harris was being guarded by Jean Cajou - who I fully expect to win NEC defensive player of the year. Still the guard managed to work extremely hard off the ball and score 15 points in the 2nd 20 minutes. I think he worked so hard that he might have run out of gas a bit - and his 2-for-4 performance from the free throw line in overtime - breaking a consecutive made streak of 38, might have been a result. 
  • Still, the game never should have gotten to overtime. The Mount led by six and was at the free throw line to make the lead seven with just under two to play. However, they didn't score the rest of the way and Navy converted some chances and was able to tie the score.
  • The Mount got a decent shot from Shawn Atupem working on the low block at the end of the game. But his 8 footer fell off the rim and it went to overtime.
  • Credit the experience and the composure of the Mount in overtime for the victory. Here they were having led the whole way and fighting desperately to hold the lead on the road and all of a sudden the game was tied. But Jeremy Goode got the team started in overtime, and Jean Cajou hit a key three-pointer as the shot clock expired to provide some needed seperation in ot.
  • Also, the Mount staff gave the game ball to Tayvon Jackson - and it was for a deserved effort. Tayvon continued his run of recent strong performances with a 5 point 8 rebound effort. However, if I was making the choice my vote very well may have gone to Kelly Beidler. The senior seemed to get every rebound down the stretch and in overtime and finished with 14 caroms. He also had 4 blocks and 5 steals to go along with 9 points.
  • Goode and Cajou led the scoring efforts with 17 and 16. The foul shooting was better although it could have been better. Still all in all, this was a good win on the road against a team that I think will probably win more than it loses in the Patriot League. I'll be interested to see the Navy result with Quinnipiac on Monday night.
The Mount now travels to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas on Monday. The game will be broadcast on MASN.

Mount O'Links

Junior Class Rank

Around the Big East

WVU wins

Nebraska/Colorado Notes

Monmouth gets big win at Wyoming

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mount finds a way in win at Navy

Maybe it never should have gotten to overtime.

But the fact of the matter is, it did. And once it did, the Mount controlled the overtime outscoring the Midshipmen 11-2 in the extra five minutes to come away with a 65-56 win at Alumni Hall in Annapolis.

The Mount led the whole game, literally the whole game. It took a 2-0 lead on an inside move from Shawn Atupem 17 seconds into the game and held the lead until Navy tied it on two free throws by Romeo Garcia with 22 seconds left to force overtime.

The Mount scored the first six points in the extra session on three free throws from Jeremy Goode and a high arching three-pointer from Jean Cajou that beat the shot clock to take control.

Navy could manage only two free throws in the extra session. Chris Harris, who had made 38 straight free throws made 1 of 2 on two different occasions as the Mount came away with the win. Kelly Beidler, who made several key defensive plays on the evening while grabbing 14 rebounds, converted four free throws in the extra session to seal the win.

The Mount held Harris, who scored 37 in a win over Towson earlier in the week, without a point in the first half as it built a 32-23 advantage. But Navy played better in the second half as Harris scored 15 points in the second half.

The Mount led by six with 1:58 left but committed two turnovers and missed a free throw in the closing moments to allow Navy the opportunity to force overtime.

Goode led the Mount with 18, while Cajou had 16 and Atupem finished with 11. Beidler had 9 points, 4 blocks and 5 steals to go along with his game-high 14 rebounds and Tayvon Jackson played well contributing 5 points and 8 rebounds.

I'll have some more thoughts and observations on the game tomorrow.

View from my Couch - Saturday

Thoughts from the games that I watch

College Hoops


The Boilers are likely to be the Big 10's highest ranked team when the new rankings come out next week. After a tournament win in The Virgin Islands, Purdue was a bit sluggish at the outset here, but a 9-0 run has helped them to open up a 18-11 lead with about six minutes left in the first half....Nothing flashy about Purdue but they do move well offensively - get in and out of their sets and guard you on the other end....They seem to be well built for the grueling Big Ten Schedule....Purdue is in total control at the start of the second half. Central Michigan hasn't been able to get anything going offensively as the Purdue defense has mainly been impenetrable. It's a 16 point Boiler lead....I doubt it really had anything to do with the 11:30 start, but this just hasn't been a very exciting game. Purdue is going to give a lot of teams trouble, but they are not going to wow you....Whatever the noise is that plays - the crowd makes - when an opponent shoots a foul shot is one of the most annoying sounds I've ever heard. Like fingernails on a chalk board, but worse. Here it comes again. They didn't do it that time. Made me happy but CMU still missed they are 5-of-10 and have 24 points in 31 minutes. So much for a point per possession. They'll be lucky to get a point per minute. The Big Ten Network announcer just said "Purdue has done this in workmanlike fashion." I guess so, its 49-24. Does workmanlike mean Ugly?....Robbie Hummel has a double-double for the Boilers. Workmanlike....Purdue trying to get ready for the B10/ACC Challenge this week. The Boilermakers host Wake Forest on Tuesday. There is that word again. "The Boilermakers lead Central Michigan in a workmanlike effort," The announcer says.....PURDUE Won The Game 64-38.


High hopes for the Explorers this season. They haven't exactly been sharp at the beginning of the season, but they are 3-1 after the Charleston tournament where they beat Davidson and Tulane....Villanova won the Puerto Rico Shootout. I was impressed with their championship win. The way they took control in the second half. During that game, because they nearly lost twice during the tournament, I sort of got the feeling that maybe they'd be the type of team that would do just enough to win each time out. They have an early 19-14 lead on Lasalle in a Big 5 game....Todd Graham on the call for ESPN2...LaSalle has thrown two straight alley-oops - out of bounds. Not the way to win against a Top 5 team on the road. 5 straight turnovers....'Nova is starting to gain some seperation, building a ten-point lead heading to the line - at the under 8....Good to see Jay Wright back in a suit. He needs those cufflinks. But Nova continues to make some silly mistakes. Lasalle has not not been sharp enough to fully take advantage and 'Nova to their credit is playing with a lot of energy....It is a nine-point game at the last media TO before the half....LaSalle is really doing a good job of getting the ball inside in the halfcourt offense - and they are creating turnovers on defense. They are creeping back into the game as a result....LaSalle made 10 of its last 14 shots but trails 38-30 at the intermission.



My thoughts from this game are in the Syracuse UCONN game thread


We like these rivalry games. But we're trying to figure out what happened to the Tar Heels at midseason. They looked good early but certainly weren't able to sustain that. Now they are playing just about as well as anyone at the end of the season. I'll keep an eye on them headed to the Bowl season....NC State just scored to draw within a field goal. It was a drive helped by three Carolina penalties. Two pass interference calls and a personal foul.....NC STATE Won The Game 28-27


Always seems like the underdog holds an edge in these rivalry games. They seem to be the team that comes in the most focused and has the greatest desire. South Carolina is putting it to to Clemson right now. A 24-7 lead fro the Gamecocks better than midway through the third....SOUTH CAROLINA Won The Game 34-17.


Another in-state rivalry game. Another underdog getting the win. Guess Oklahoma State's case for a BCS bowl is taking a beating here. Lots of folks in Idaho happy. Percentage wise I mean....Great punt return from Broyles for the Sooners as they extend the lead to 27-0....Seems to be a little bit of quit in the Cowboys at the moment....Oklahoma is just running over top of them....OKLAHOMA Won The Game 27-0


Are these throwback uniforms from the Gators?....I doubt they ever had the Oregon wings on their shoulders before. But the helmets are very similar to the version Florida wore in 1966 - although they are not exact....

Syracuse UCONN Football Game Thread

Post your thoughts and comments from the finale of Doug Marrone's first season here....

Mount O'Links

Mount's Frontcourt

Orangewomen Big Win

Friday, November 27, 2009

Observations from the Columbia Win

Syracuse cruised to an 85-60 win over Columbia to move to 6-0 on the season.
  • Syracuse shared the basketball that much better in the second half. It led to some wide open shots and for the most part the the Orange knocked them down.
  • I kept a particular eye on Mookie Jones tonight. Based on the way he's shooting, I understand his frustration. He lit up the nets with 12 second half points. The thing that impressed me the most was that he didn't appear to be a gunner. It all seemed to come within the flow of the offense. It warrants more minutes, but I'm not sure where they'll come from.
  • The thing about good players is they continue to impress when you think they can't anymore. That is Wesley Johnson. He is just playing at an incredibly high level right now. I know his Syracuse career has only been 6 games (8 if you count the exhibitions) but each and every night he does something that has that Wow factor.
  • The game with Florida will be a challenge. The Gators downed Michigan State in Atlantic City and beat a pretty good Florida State team this week as well. Playing those games will help this team.
  • Seemed like a fairly good crowd at the Dome tonight. I think the fans are starting to really get behind them. There could be some huge turnouts after the league schedule begins.
  • I continue to love the balance and the options of this team. The ability to be able to score from so many different places on the floor, in so many different ways is a bonus for this club.
  • The defense doesn't stop. I liked how Boeheim took the opportunity to use different lineups and combinations tonight. At one point Triche, Rautins and Jardine were in the game with I think Jardine and Jackson. It changes things around and gives us different options again, and can create matchup problems for the opposition.
  • The maturation of Kris Joseph continues to be obvious. After a mediocre first half, I thought the Sophomore Canadian made a real difference in the second half. He will make a difference for the Orange this season.
  • This is a complete basketball team right now. They must work to continue to get stronger and build on the base they have started. The key has been the ability to share the basketball. It was noticeably not as strong in the first half, and the offense struggled. We must make sure that it continues to be a constant.
Looking forward to the continued development. This has been fun and this group continues to jell.

Syracuse Columbia First Half Observations

  • Columbia is a better team than most people would give them credit for. They shoot the basketball very well.
  • That was not a very consistent half for the Orange. They played well in spurts. But were off at other times as well.
  • Although its only a nine-point game, it sure seems like it is totally under control.
  • Syracuse didn't get any real contribution off the bench. Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine each provided minutes but didn't really provide any lift.
  • Interesting that after Mookie Jones' public outburst he garned a few minutes of play in the first half. He didn't do anything, but he was active on the two or three defensive possessions he was on the floor. Still, I don't think the minute and a half he got is going to satisfy his need to play.
  • I thought that the Orange settled for jump shots too often. Not that they weren't open shots. But shots were taken when one additional pass might have led to a better opportunity.
  • Syracuse shot 52% per the halftime stats, you'd think that would produce more than a nine-point halftime lead against Columbia but that hasn't been the case as of yet.
  • I think the second half will lead to much of the same, except I think the Orange might get one big run about midway through it where they really extend the lead and push it to like 25 allowing Southerland, Jones and Riley to get some minutes the last five or six minutes of the game.

Tids and Bits

Was watching a tape from the Princeton Yale soccer game on FSC from the other week - and I heard the Princeton faithful - the students no doubt - with their very own "I believe" chant. First time I've noticed it anywhere outside of Knott Arena.

Friday nights at Warrior Stadium just aren't going to be the same next year. One of my favorite coaches of all time stepped down from his post this week. Sam Leedy who guided the Gettysburg High School football team to places it had never been before opted to call it a career after 27 years as the head man - and another 6 as an assistant. Back-to-back 3-7 seasons after the magical run to the District Championship game in 2007, weren't the deserved ending. I spent many an evening talking more than just football with Sam over the years. He's going to be missed. As we are both graduates of Gettysburg High School and supporters of the program, I'm sure Sam will share in my wishes that the next head coach have more success than he did. However, that will be a tall tall task indeed. My best to Sam and his wife Joan in whatever the future holds for them. Thanks for the hard work and dedication and building a program that has provided so much to this community over the years.

The problems at Notre Dame aren't just with the coaching situation. When Charlie Weis is dismissed on Monday or Sunday if it happens that quickly, he will be the third straight coach to have failed. Both Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham before him were unable to restore the Irish dynasty. In addition, in that time ND has called upon several different high ranking coaches (Gruden, Bellotti, Meyer, etc) and they have all looked in opposite directions. Why? Maybe the job isn't quite as appealing as it sounds. There are obviously circumstances beyond the coaching staff that affect what is happening in South Bend. There is obviously additional exposure for other teams and parity within the college game. But that hasn't kept teams like Alabama, Florida, Texas and USC from building essential reload dynasties through this period. The same used to be said for Notre Dame. Many say that the Irish' schedule is too difficult. And I will agree that Notre Dame doesn't have the I-AA opponents that others have. But Notre Dame has softened its scheduling stance and routinely has played teams that are viewed as W's on the schedule. Plus, which team that Notre Dame has played this year will win its conference. Every other BCS team will have to play a team that finished first or second within its own conference. I don't think Notre Dame will have to do that. Maybe it is the tough academic standards. But Tyrone Willingham won at Stanford, where the standards are at least as high. So it remains to be seen what will happen at Notre Dame. Maybe the big guys they are pursuing will look at things and say the risk doesn't outweigh the reward. And then again there will be someone who will stand there and say, "I can make this happen" and then if he doesn't we'll all try to dissect why he hasn't.

Friday On The Couch

Thoughts from the Games I watch

Busy day on Friday....Looking forward to it.


RUTGERS @ LOUISVILLE -  Early start to the day with the 11AM kick. We're not complaining. Rutgers seems to have shaken off the effects of the Syracuse beatdown last weekend. The Knights have a 21-7 first half lead approaching halftime....The Syracuse loss to Louisville the other week is one that really still bothers me....Louisville went for it on fourth down at midfield and didn't get it. Rutgers consequently converted a 3rd-and-10 and scored a TD on the next play to make it 28-7. Louisville may relieve Steve Kragthorpe of his coaching duties in the locker room....Louisville, ie Steve Kragthorpe is feeling the pressure, he went for it again on fourth down at midfield - and didn't convert - and now the crowd is booing the decision to call a timeout and force a Rutgers punt with 10 seconds left. I think if you've got Trent Guy to return a punt it makes sense. Dellaganna booted it into the endzone. I'm guessing the fans will boo again when he kneels on it with one second left from his own 20. Actually, they booed after an incomplete long heave....Dari Nowkhah sent it live to Cincinnati where the Bearcats have taken control. After Illinois scored, the Bearcats Mardy Gillyard returned the kick to tie it and UC has now taken the lead at 14-7 and forced an Illini punt. The thought by some that this might be a good game, is quickly going away....You can't help yourself but want to call Louisville Quarterback Adam Froman - Abe....Louisville is back within two scores. They hit a big pass play to Trent Guy - and scored a few plays later. Maybe this is going to become a game....Just realized that the consolation game late night in Anaheim has a lot of interest now with Butler and UCLA squaring off in the consy round....Louisville has been a different team defensively in the second half. Rutgers scored on 4 of 5 possessions in the first half. The only failure coming on a late first half situation, but have now shut the Scarlet Knights down in the second half. The 'Ville just needs the offense to respond....RUTGERS Won The Game 34-14

ILLINOIS @ CINCINNATI - The game has the potential to get close in the second half as Cincy has a 15-point break lead. But the Illini have done nothing to indicate they can keep Tony Pike, who has returned, and the Bearcats off the scoreboard....Jesse Palmer is back in the studio today, after watching Texas last night and thinks Nebraska might have a chance against the Horns next week, because of its defense. He's selling, I'm not buying....Illinois just had a wide open wide receiver, who was at least 10 yards behind the closest defender. And Juice Williams missed him. How long have Illini fans been waiting on Juice Williams?....So let's assume UC survives this one. And its still 35-20 midway through the third. Who wins the showdown at Heinz Field next week? I think it is all going to work like this. Pitt is going to lose tonight in Morgantown, and then beat UC in Pittsburgh next weekend. I don't know what that does to the BE standings, but it eliminates UC from any national title thoughts....BTW, Cincy has added another score. 5 TD passes for Tony Pike now....UC just muffed a punt and the Illini are going to have a very short field to work with....It only turns into three points though as the UC defense holds them to a field goal. 42-23 right now....Illinois has scored again and gotten the lead down to 12, typical Ron Zook not to got for 2....


I have a theory on the BCS - said it once or twice before. If you wait around long enough, everything will take care of itself. Is that what we are seeing in Auburn today? The Tigers lead 'Bama 14-0. It's early, but you might want to pull up a chair....The War Eagles holding nothing back in this one. Onside Kicks, Wildcat Flea Flickers (although we're not sure that is really the best name for it), Gene Chizik pulling out all the stops. For now it is working. Auburn always has those single digit tight ends....Alabama managed to tie things up before halftime. However, Auburn quickly went down the field to restore the lead to a touchdown after the break. 'Bama has gotten a pair of field goals to draw within one as the third quarter nears an end....Auburn has the ball across midfield with a one point lead and 10:30 left. They can't afford to be conservative. No way do they win this with 21 points....Alabama methodically moved down the field chewed up most of the clock, hit Julio Jones on key third down passes when they needed to and scored the go ahead touchdown. Auburn got an interception on the conversion, but Bama leads 26-21. 15 plays 79 yards 7+ minutes....Auburn has 1:24 to try to restore the upset. ALABAMA Won The Game 26-21.


MARQUETTE  VS MICHIGAN - The Warriors (I know) showing the depth and strength of the Big East once again. They lead Michigan early in the semifinal in Orlando....They are going up and down the floor at the Milk House. Pretty exciting stuff. Tune it in, it is worth the watch, if you get the chance...The Wolverines didn't play poorly in the first half. Marquette was just phenomenal. Now the Wolverines are getting some defensive stops and getting back into the game. Michigan has drawn within one, there is still nearly 16 minutes to play. Waiting to see how the Golden Eagles respond....Marquette has weathered Michigan's run and is now back up by near double digits in Orlando. The continue to play with confidence and attack the Wolverines defense....Michigan is now starting to struggle a little bit offensively, maybe pressing a little as Marquette's lead has grown and the clock has shrunk. John Beilein called a timeout with just over 5 minutes left and down 10, but not sure it will matter much, it is a long way back from here....Marquette has pulled away late and will be another Big East team to play for a MTE championship....MARQUETTE Won The Game 79-65


Pace has slowed a little bit in Anaheim. West Virginia has had the lead most of the way early. But neither team has really gained control....Ohio won the MAC East in football and will now face Central Michigan for the title. Tough luck for Al Golden and Temple - good story, but just couldn't get it done against the Bobcats today....A&M has now taken a 3-pt lead and is at the foul line as the WVU offense has taken a few possessions off. Another Big East team is in a final, as West Virginia broke things open in the 2nd half and then held off the Aggies down the stretch. Two big steals in the open court late by Devin Ebanks helped the Mountaineers hold on. WEST VIRGINIA Won The Game 73-66.


They are underway at the Garden with yet another Big East/ACC matchup. We'll kindly remind you of Syracuse's win in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic last Friday on this same floor. The Orange dominated the defending national champ UNC, in case you forgot....Lots of intensity in this game early. Amazing stat that UCONN has led the nation in blocked shots the last eight years. Who does Stanley Robinson think he is? Alex Watson. The windmill slam off the two footed jump to give the Huskies the lead....UCONN has battled back from an early deficit to take a lead and Kyle Singler has picked up his second personal. The next dead ball should bring the Under 12 TO....UCONN by one with 11:22 left....Coach K sits on the bench more than any coach I can think of....They are really starting to call it close in this game and the fouls starting to accumulate....Duke seems to be taking control, they lead by 3 at the Under 8....DUKE Won The Game 68-59

Pack your Bags - The Mount hits the road

Who plays?: Mt. St. Mary's (2-2) renews the series with Navy (2-3).

What's at stake?: Other than Loyola, this has probably been the most consistent rival for the Mount since the jump to Division I. It is a local rival, and a win over Navy usually provides a little bit of extra publicity because its Navy. The Mount embarks on a long road trip, so it is important for the Mounties to start it off on the right note. With a game at Georgetown on Monday night and a pair of conference games later in the week, the Mount needs to shore up some of the difficulties it has had at the start of the season and get a good start to the league schedule.

When is tipoff?: Saturday at 7:00.

Where is the game?: at Alumni Hall on the US Naval Academy Campus. Radio coverage available on the Mount Radio Network, 1450AM WTHU. Also an internet streaming feed is available for purchase at

The Analysis: We think this Navy team is a notch below the Mount. The Academy has won 2 of 5 to start the season and is coming off an nice home win over Towson. Of course, we thought the same thing last year and the Midshipmen came to the Knott and walked away with an upset win. So the Mount must remember that and put forty minutes of solid play together to ensure the positive result.

Advantages for Mt. St. Mary's: Balance. The Mount has done a very nice job of sharing the points offensively this season and has four guys who can really be the leading scorer on any given night. In addition, they have started to show that Pierre Brown and Lamar Trice can provide some offense off the bench. Will Holland has missed the last two games with an injury and we wouldn't expect to see him until at least the conference opener. In addition, the Mount's consistent defensive approach keeps them in all games and Jean Cajou gives them the opportunity to take away the top scoring option for the opposition.

Advantages for Navy: Chris Harris has been the top scorer for Navy in four of the five contests this season, including a 37-point outburst against Towson. Harris is not a long-range deadeye, but has averaged 2 treys a game, but gets to the foul line and converts his chances (35-of-37). Jordan Sugars has been the more effective three pointer shooter making better than 50% of his attempts. He also gets to the glass leading the Midshipmen in rebounding and has grabbed 3 offensive rebounds a game. We expect that Kelly Beidler will earn this assignment and must neutralize Sugars.

What to expect?: After the loss to Niagara, we expect the Mount to be focused on Saturday evening as it prepares for a busy week. The Mount defensive effort must be at the top of its game. Navy has shot better than 40% from behind the arc in each of its two wins and below 35% in its three losses. That could very well be the tell tale sign in the game. Meanwhile, the Mount can't get frustrated with its offensive play. It is creating good opportunities. Eventually those chances will be rewarded. This might be a good game for the Mount to establish Shawn Atupem inside early and see what that brings on the perimiter. Navy has been outrebounded by its opponents, so that should aid the Mount, but it must keep the aggressive Sugars away from the offensive glass. I expect that Navy will have a run where it makes 2 or 3 three pointers in a quick burst that will give it some momentum. But I expect the Mount to be able to contend with that. I like the Mount to win an exciting and competitive game 75-69 in Annapolis.

Gettysburg Times

DCI Index

Thursday, November 26, 2009

View from my Couch - Thanksgiving

Thoughts from the games as I watch them....



I saw a little bit of basketball this afternoon. West Virginia was clearly the most impressive to me. An easy win for the Mountaineers over Long Beach.....Marquette and Xavier played a good game in Orlando. The Warriors ended up with the win and will play Michigan tomorrow, which survived Creighton in overtime.....Now I get the chance to watch this game, which has been very competitive this far....Anthony Grant the new head coach for the Tide. He has to make a return trip to VCU where he was before he took this job. I'm sure his buddy Jeff Capel will give him some pointers on how that worked out.....Alabama starting to get a little bit of seperation, the next two minutes crucial for Baylor's chances....Baylor has switched from the zone to MtM and has gotten three straight stops, but they have to convert offensively. They've only shaved two points off the lead - its 62-55.....Another pair of empty trips, Baylor has had some chances, but hasn't gotten good looks offensively.....Duke and UCONN play tomorrow - early evening at the Garden. Be interesting to see who has the fans. UCONN has taken over the Garden in recent years at times during the Big East Tournament, while Duke has always drawn well in the Metropolitan Area, and will return for a game with Maui champs Gonzaga in December....'Bama has been much more aggressive against the man-to-man the last few trips. The Tide has gotten into the lane and produced points.....The difference in this game might be the fact that Baylor is just 10-of-20 from the line in a seven-point game....There have been some tremendous rebound baskets in this game, but I've never seen a rebound dunk overtop a defender like we just got from Udoh from Baylor....'Bama hasn't done a good job of making free throws down the stretch, and the lead is now just 74-71....Minnesota and Butler to follow this one from Anaheim....Baylor had two possessions down four and didn't get anything out of it. The Bears have had chances in the 2nd half to cut deeper into the lead, but haven't always been the most efficient....ALABAMA Won The Game 79-76.


Best matchup of the day as it features a pair of ranked teams....Looks like Minnesota brought a few fans to DisneyLand with them....Ryan Burr in the studio at halftime of this game. The Gophers lead by four....Butler has turned up the defensive intensity in the second half. But just missed a pair of techinal free throws and still trying to get back to the lead....Tubby Smith is a good basketball coach, and just another example of how staying to long somewhere ruins your reputation. He deserved better at Kentucky, obviously wasn't the problem, but was forced out. It is situations like his, that make me think Bob Stoops will take the Notre Dame job...Minnesota has surprised me a little bit. You could have taken a nickel from me. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them play for this 76 Classic Championship on Sunday....MINNESOTA Won The Game 82-73.


I think I'm about to call it a night. The Sooners are off to an early double digit lead in Alaska. Capel looked like he was almost taking my advice of going with the Parka. The Sooners got beat in the middle of the night last night by San Diego. The Sooners second loss of the season. They are struggling to get going early on after losing Griffin. But they do seem to have things under control early here....Well all of that obviously changed overnight. Although, I will say, I wasn't shocked when I woke up to see that Houston won the game. They were steadily closing the gap heading into the intermission - and must have done more of the same in the second. The shocker for me this morning came from the UCLA score. Obviously, we knew the Bruins were down - and had been struggling early. We also knew that Portland wasn't a pushover. But to lose 74-47 to the Pilots, in what amounts to a near home game, is just a shock. HOUSTON Won The Game 100-93. 



Trying to get a gauge on this game is beyond me. Both teams are headed in the wrong direction and need this game. Ultimately, its a home game for the Broncos and you would think that might be enough, but we'll have to wait and see. Both teams have failed in their opening drives....Giants now trail - 3-0, but have the ball back....Nearly lost it, on one of the longest fumbles I've ever seen. The ball was hit by the Bronco defender's helmet from the ballcarriers arm and scooted 12 yards along the ground, before going out of bounds. It put the Giants in a 2nd and long situation, and they were unable to convert and forced to punt it back to the Broncs....The First Quarter has been completed and it is 3-0 Broncos....When a Kyle Orton pass gets tipped at the line of scrimmage, do you just immediately think it is going to end up in a defender's arms? I do.....Big fourth down conversion by the Broncos to keep this drive alive....All of a sudden, I'm beginning to think Tom Coughlin's days in New York may be numbered.....Broncos had to settle for a field goal and after the kickoff, another commercial timeout in the NFL....Wow,three live sporting events on TV right now, and all three at halftime. Is there a name for that? Somebody give me a name for that....NFL Network is promoting 44 hours of Super Bowl Coverage and 25 hours of Combine Coverage. Is anyone else chuckling as much as I am?...The Giants showing some life in the second half, driving in Denver territory, now awaiting confirmation of an challenged Mario Manningham catch....Giants are moving the ball in the second half, but as of now they are not getting points. Down 16-3, points would be helpful....Denver is going to win this game tonight. They looked good doing it. But how good are the Giants? Or maybe the question is, How Bad?....The Giants still calling timeouts down three scores with 1:50 left. You think that staff is feeling the pressure...Matt Millen just told Mario Manningham he should have made that catch. I find a little irony and humor in that....BRONCOS Won the Game 26-6.



I for one am glad that ESPN has made this the Thanksgiving College Football offering....I heard a caller on a national radio show today asking why the Ole Miss/Mississippi State rivalry doesn't get more coverage. Maybe because the Rebels and the Bulldogs bored us with terrible games on Thanksgiving night over the last several years....A&M scored early - but Texas (McCoy to Shipley - imagine that) has tied it up....Texas has scored again and now leads, but A&M is trying to dig out of a hole in their own end....Just announced that Dan Hawkins will stay on at Colorado for at least another year. Interesting that Chris Fowler, who is calling this game and a CU alum, had nothing of consequence to add....Fowler just redeemed himself. After the Aggies scored, he gave the girl in the A&M crowd a rough time for only kissing her beau on the cheek, as the normal kissing tradition in College Station wears on....Was waiting to see how Texas would respond to the tie score. McCoy goes deep immediately to Williams and the Horns are in Aggie territory....Texas has scored on 16 of the 26 drives following opponents scores this year....I'm not sure I believe that Mike Sherman can be the answer at A&M, but I'm impressed with the Aggies tonight....Of course, Shipley and McCoy look good as well. 2nd TD of the night....Great throw by McCoy....I think Texas has their numbers above the Longhorn on the helmet tonight. Anybody know when the last time that happened was?...Looks like Texas wore those helmets in 1961-1966 - not sure if they have done it at all since...A&M got a break on a botched punt from the 'Horns, and now they have a first down inside the 20....A&M has scored again and need the conversion to tie things up. What a surprise on Thanksgiving Night....Jesse Palmer, the bachelor, just made a comment about the Aggie fan and his 2 dates. Quality TV....Charlie Weis is coming back to South Bend after the game, instead of staying in California to recruit, what does that mean, hmmm?...Incidentally, you can buy the Texas decal numbers on EBAY. Not sure about any Black Friday specials....Very impressed with Jerrod Johnson and his 3-touchdown passing performance for the Aggies in the first half. He really seemed to make good decisions on some run - pass options....McCoy drove the Horns back down the floor to get a touchdown before the break. Texas leads 28-21 at halftime, and I believe gets the ball to start the second half against a weary A&M defense....I don't believe that the Aggies would be able to come back from two scores, so the first drive of the second half, is ultra important.....They were talking Boise State/Nevada in the studio at halftime. Trying to convince us that this might actually be a game. I'm not buying what they are selling....Thankfully, ESPN has all weekend to promote the Monday Night Matchup of New Orleans and New England....It wasn't the first drive of the second half, but Texas has taken a two-score lead in College Station. I'm officially calling it over, except for the kissing...The Longhorns haven't made it ugly at the end of three quarters. The score is 35-24, but you just don't get the feeling that the Aggies are going to have enough....A&M got it within 35-32, but Txas matched the score. But give a lot of credit to the Aggies - they've got 'em kissing again. Or as Jesse Palmer just said, "Sucking face". I said it before, I'll say it again. Quality TV....I also said this was over. I'll let you know in 7:10 if I believe that. Of course the Marquise Goodwin kickoff return for a touchdown as I was typing made me feel a little bit better about having to eat more on Thanksgiving....This Thanksgiving night shootout - is sort of what football is supposed to be on Thanksgiving. Two groups that know each other getting together and slugging it out on the gridiron. Sort of like those backyard wars that occur all around the country on Thanksgiving Day. You know the ones where you pick on Uncle Al, because he can no longer cover anybody, and the score ends up like 63-56 before somebody rings the dinner bell....A&M does the right thing and takes the points down ten with 3:21 to go. It extends the game and gives them a chance to win it later....Of course, if you miss the 23 yard field goal, it makes the point kind of mute....TEXAS Won The Game 49-39.

Links on Navy

Shooters off in loss to Buffalo

UB sinks Navy

Bulls survive

Rallying cry


Navy Downs Towson


Observations from the Niagara Loss

The game was a Mount loss, so obviously I was disappointed. However, there were some good things about the game, but also some things the Mount needs to do to get better and acheive their goals this season. I didn't think it was a poor performance, but the Mount still didn't get to that sharp feeling from this performance. Here are some things that I thought of during the action.
  • The Mount and Niagara were fairly well matched, athletically and size wise. Early on I thought the Eagles might have better shooting ability, not sure I felt that way at the end. They might have across the board been a little bit stronger and physical than the Mount was.
  • This was a good Niagara team. That was evident from the outset.
  • I was immediately impressed with how hard they went to the glass, particularly offensively. It wasn't size that was getting it done for them, it was quickness and athleticism to the glass.
  • This was the first time that guards were able to match up with Jeremy Goode in a game that I had seen. But eventually throughout the game, Goode adjusted to that. He had an off scoring the ball, but was still effective with six assists and four steals.
  • Kelly Beidler wanted to improve on an off performance on Saturday. He was very active early and he shot the ball well. He might have some sort of nagging injury as he went to the bike when he left the game.
  • Niagara was very well organized and prepared for the Mount. I think it always easier as a fan to figure out the opponents gameplan because you are so familiar with your team. It was obvious that the Eagles were attacking the Mount's weaknesses and trying to force them out of things they do well. There also seemed to be a few halftime adjustments that helped them offensively, particularly at the start of the second half.
  • I think that this Niagara team is the type of team that could be a mid-level NCAA tournament seeded team. However, with Siena in their conference, and the likelihood that the MAAC will only be a one bid league, they could easily not make the tournament.
  • I was again impressed with the play of the Mount bench. I thought it brought energy and Tayvon Jackson showed a nice jump shot we might not have seen in the past.
  • There were times when the Mount had very good possessions offensively only to come away with zero points. They seemed to share the ball a little better and make the extra pass. When those things happen it is nice to be rewarded with points. There was one second half possession where the Mount did everything right on the possession and then missed an open jumper, and Niagara came back the other way - and got a bucket off a tipped pass. It was just going to be one of those nights.
  • The foul shooting was again in the atrocious column. The same guys who made free throws on Saturday missed then on Wednesday, so I don't really know what that means. But in games where you are against skilled competition, you can't give away free points.
  • Ultimately, I think Niagara is the better team. But as I wake up this morning, I'd take my chances playing them again. I am confident that these types of games will help the Mount in the long run. And for the Mount wins and losses in these games do not determine their ultimate end result. All of that comes in the conference tournament. That is not to diminish the value of the wins or losses. Just to say that the total picture needs to be looked at.
  • Excited to see how this team responds at Navy on Saturday.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. May you have the opportunity to share some time with those that make your life complete.

Mount O'Links

Happy Thanksgiving - Enjoy all that you have to be thankful for.

Orange wins over New York State

Mount finds it way onto PSU hardball schedule

Battista signs with women laxers

Maybe not a down year for Big East


1.25 points per trip

Good Starts, Bad Starts

ACC Power Rankings

Wednesday Night Recap

Robinson standing Tall

10 Best Games

Vegas a Business Trip

UCONN plays the Garden

Andy Katz

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wrapping Up the Niagara Loss

AP Story

Niagara Gazette

Around the MAAC

Home win streak snapped; Late first half run the difference

Twenty offensive rebounds provided Niagara with 11 more shots than Mt. St. Mary's as the visiting Purple Eagles downed the Mount 74-64 in a mid-major clash on Thanksgiving Eve at the Knott Arena.

Niagara broke open a close game (30-28) with a 10-1 run near the end of the first half to take a double digit lead. The Eagles used their experience and advantage on the glass to fend off any challenge the Mounties threw at them the rest of the way.

Tyrone Lewis led Niagara with 18 points and knocked down 5 first-half three-pointers off the bench. Bilal Benn scored 14 and grabbed 18 rebounds in the win.

The Mount was led by Jean Cajou with 20 points. Kelly Beidler 11 points and Shawn Atupem 10 were also in double figures for the Mount.

The Mount closed to within six with about 15 minutes left in the second half, but Niagara quickly restored the lead.

Niagara is a very good team - and it is unlikely that the Mount will face as strong and physical a team as the Purple Eagles were in its gym again this season. The Mount made its share of three pointers, but missed its share of open jumpers and inside shots as well.

This is the type of game that is good to play early in the year and the Mount will be better because of it in the long run.

The Mount is back in action on Saturday at Navy. I'll have more thoughts tomorrow after I have a night to absorb things.

Syracuse survives test moves to 5-0

I know there are a lot of Syracuse Orange fans feeling a lot better today. The prospect of having to play Cornell at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night had some very wise fans concerned. Rightfully so. Cornell is a good basketball team, with the ability to get hot from the outside, which could have posed a problem for a Syracuse team that might still have been reviling in the joy of the Coaches Vs Cancer Title.

I can't tell a lie, so I can't tell you I wasn't a little bit concerned because I was. But there were two factors that made me feel pretty good about the Orange's chances.
  1. Cornell entered off the loss to Seton Hall - and it was going to need to play above its regular level to beat the Orange. No doubt it could occur. But having wins over Alabama and Massachusetts previously led me to believe that the Big Red might not be able to reach a peak high enough to beat the Orange. Because mid-major teams, even though they can raise their level of play, have a difficult time sustaining it. Mainly because of depth issues and that at some point their elite players will cool off.
  2. The second reason was defense. The Syracuse defense is very good. And defense doesn't usually take nights off. Especially when the defense is predicated by the athleticism and the size that the Orange has. This team guards teams. And often times in a way teams are not used to being guarded. When that defense is played so consistently, it makes it extremely difficult to have an off night. Because even if your scorers have an off night, or you don't shoot the ball well, you have the defense to rely on and win games for you. That hasn't always been the case for the Orange. Coupled with the fact that this team has multiple offensive options and it was freshman Brandon Triche's night to shine, I felt pretty comfortable heading into the game. The Orange didn't disappoint.
Now its on to another Ivy Leaguer and fellow NY team Columbia on Friday night. I don't know of any Orange fans who are scared by the prospect. It should be one where the Orange gets to work on some things and gets some playing time for some of those guys deeper on the bench.

Wrapping Up the rest of the NCAAB night from Tuesday

Watertown Paper

Cuse Orange

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mid-Majors to Collide at the ARCC

Who plays?: Mt. St. Mary's (2-1) hosts longtime rival Niagara (3-2).

What's at stake?: As far as mid-major matchups go, you'll be hard pressed to find a better one anywhere in the country on Tuesday. These two teams are both title contenders in their respective conferences. The Purple Eagles are probably the best non-conference team to come to Knott Arena since Winthrop was here several years ago and might even actually be a little better than that particular Winthrop team.

When is tipoff?: Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, at 7:00.

Where is the game?: at the Mount's Knott Arena. Radio coverage available on the Mount Radio Network, 1450AM WTHU.

The Analysis: The Mount is coming off the win over Loyola and now plays a team it has never faced. Niagara won 26 games a year ago and just completed a three-game stopover at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona, where they won two out of three. They lost to Austin Peay on Sunday, while their other loss came at the hands of Auburn. Four players average in double figures for the Eagles, who like to get out an run. This should provide for an entertaining evening at the ARCC.

Advantages for Mt. St. Mary's: The Mount enters with an 11-game home winning streak so playing at home should be a benefit for the Mount. Hopefully, the crowd can provide as much of a boost as it did over the weekend. The pace should be uptempo and that may play into the Mount's style offensively. Jeremy Goode and Jean Cajou are coming off of tremendous efforts against the Greyhounds. The Mount will need solid performances from its entire lineup. Recent strong performances from Tayvon Jackson, Danny Thompson and Pierre Brown provides confidence off the bench with Will Holland likely to be unavailable with a knee injury.

Advantages for Niagara: Not sure how three games in three days over the weekend will affect the Eagles. Certainly it could be a big boost as they played well in Florida earning victories over Howard and Central Florida. Niagara is a very experienced team returning four starters from a year ago. They nearly won at Auburn in the opener and beat Drexel at home. They are used to playing at a high level and will bring a stiff challenge for the Mounties. Bilal Benn leads the Purple Eagles in both scoring and rebounding and the Mount must try to do everything it can to keep him off of the boards.

What to expect?: Saturday's game at the Knott was one for those who enjoy defense. It was a good win for the Mount, but it was not the easiest on the eyes for a period of time. I expect Wednesday's night game to have about 20 more possessions - and a pace that will be easier for offensive purists to enjoy. Both teams are playing good basketball early in the season. I'm expecting a up and down affair that will likely see runs from both sides. Ultimately, I like the Mount to find a way to win it down the stretch and take an 80-76 victory.

Mount O'Links

Robert Morris has 11 days to prepare for Conference Opener

Lehigh downs QU

Cornell provides real test

News and Notes from Cornell

Is Florida State the ACC's best?

Cornell - Syracuse history

FDU in the CBE

QU Chronicle

The Glenn Wilkes Classic
We're thinking a trip to Daytona in 2010 is warranted

Cuse a Top 10 team

Ray's Worst nightmare; Beware the Big Red

Jon Wilner is a smart man

Goode - Rutty Co-Players of Week in NEC

Harvey working hard

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mount O'Links

Orangewomen get big win

Crushed-gers from 3 Idiots

Robert Morris loses 2 of 3

South Carolina Miami recap

If I had absolutely nothing to do....Week 3

More championships to be decided during this holiday week.

Monday November 23rd

Colorado v Gonzaga - 3:00PM ESPN2 - First game from Maui

Cincinnati v Vanderbilt - 5:30 ESPN2 The 3rd place game from the Virgin Islands might make more sense, but a chance to see UC

Paradise Island Jam Championship - 8:00PM FSN - We're rooting for Tennessee Purdue here

Arizona v Wisconsin - 11:59 ESPN2 - Is Lute Olson coming back?

Tuesday November 24th

TBA Maui - 1:30PM ESPN2 - Loser's bracket game from Maui; Colorado vs Cincy probable

Cleveland State vs. Kentucky - 4:30PM CBS CS - First round from Cancun

Florida State at Florida - 7:00PM FSN - Impressed by the 'Noles in first look; worth watching in this instate battle

CBE Classic Championship - 10:00PM ESPN2 - Texas vs Pittsburgh? grabs our attention

Wednesday November 25th

TBA - Maui - 2:00PM ESPNU - All the games from the Island on the Family

TBA - Maui - 4:30PM ESPN2 - Is this the third place game?; That would be a nice way to start the Thanksgiving Weekend

NIT Semifinal - 7:00PM ESPN2 - Duke vs Arizona State or LSU vs UCONN

Maui Invitational Championship Game - 10:00PM ESPN - Often a Classic
Thanksgiving, November 26th

Oklahoma vs San Diego - 1:45AM Cox - basketball in the middle of the night - something to be thankful for

Creighton vs Michigan - - Noon ESPN2 - Old Spice Classic is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition

West Virginia vs Long Beach State - ESPNU 2:00PM - 76 Classic has potential to be the best tournament until March

Texas A&M vs Clemson - ESPN2 4:30 - Could be the best game of the day

Alabama vs Baylor - ESPN2 6:30 - Alabama has rebounded from season opening loss to Cornell

Minnesota vs Butler - ESPN2 8:30 - I'll betcha a nickel that Butler wins

Houston vs Oklahoma - MASN 11:30 - Does this count as like a double header for the Sooners?

Friday November 27th

Semifinal - Orlando - ESPN NOON

Semifinal - Anaheim - ESPN 2:30

Championship - Preseason NIT - ESPN 5:00

Columbia @ Syracuse - SNY 7:00PM - Orange have to be careful of letdown midweek versus Cornell, but this one should be over early

Semifinal - Anaheim - ESPNU 9:30PM

Consolation - Anaheim - ESPNU 11:30PM

Saturday November 28

Central Michigan @ Purdue - Big10 11:30AM - Early start to the Saturday

St Francis (PA) @ Iowa - Big10 1:30PM - First look at the Red Flash who the Mount plays in one week

Louisville @ UNLV - VS 4:00PM - Should be an uptempo affair

TBA - Anchorage - 6:00PM - Bridging the gap

South Padre Island - Championship - 8:00PM

Anchorage - Championship - 11:00PM - MASN - At least we think its the Championship

Sunday, November 22, 2009

View from My Couch - Sunday

Thoughts from the games that I watch

College Hoops

Valparaiso @ Michigan State

2nd time I've had the opportunity to watch both of these teams. Michigan State has started very sharply. They lead 28-11 ten minutes in. Valpo hasn't been able to get shots that dropped against UNC to fall today. And you can see that Michigan State is just more intense defensively. They seem to be playing with a greater intensity today - then they must have on Friday night. This game is part of the Legends Classic. The Spartans will go to Atlantic City (that is a change) to play a pair next weekend...The Spartans have a free throw match for Arinze Onuaku. Derrick Nix is 1-for-17 on the season after missing a pair early today....Michigan State will play Florida in the first game - and then play Rutgers the next night....Judd Heathcote goes into the College Basketball Hall of Fame tonight in Kansas City. Tom Izzo will leave for KC after the game....If you have the Big Ten Network, you've got to turn on the game, just to see Homer Drew's tie and outfit....I just realized the Spartan logo is on the back on the State jersey. Has that always been there? I don't like it....Brandon Wood is very good scorer. He's got 12 in the first half in East Lansing after scoring 30 in Chapel Hill.....Very crisp first half for Michigan State. They are a top ranked team and playing like it. Although from Tom Izzo's words at the break, it didn't sound like he was pleased with the win over Toledo on Friday....Michigan State won the game 90-60

Miami vs. South Carolina
Didn't seem to be a lot of folks who thought to highly of Miami before the season. But they are about 11 minutes away from winning the Charleston Classic...They beat Tulane and UNCW to get here, so that wasn't necessarily all that impressive. But they are facing South Carolina today. The Gamecocks are expected to contend for an NCAA berth....Miami is using a 2-3 zone to help them pull away.....South Carolina is trying desperately to get back in this game. They have climbed within 8 at the Under 4, but its still a long way from here....Miami won the game 85-70

No HD in Puerto Rico...None in SC either, major disappointment, I've become a HD Snob.....Villanova smoking early - up 8-0, Andy Kennedy called a quick timeout....Nova making sure nothing is easy in PR, as the Rebs have evened things up early on.

NFL Football

Redskins @ Cowboys

Are the Cowboys really this bad? They've gone three quarters and done nothing offensively....Obviously, the Redskins defense isn't that bad, but you'd expect Dallas to be able to do something. But it is now essentially 2 weeks in a row, where they have been non-existent. Only 7 points a week ago in the loss at Green Bay....So do performances like this help or hurt Jim Zorn?....All game without a point and the Redskins seemed like the better team - and now Dallas leads....That is why you have to take advantage of the opportunities when you control the games....Cowboys won the game 7-6


Pittsburgh getting a lot more than anyone expected at Arrowhead today. Lots of mistakes for Pittsburgh, signifying a team that wasn't ready to make the trip. Although they do have a 21-7 lead in first downs, it shows how the mistakes can cost you....Great hustle by both Santonio Holmes and Rashard Mendenhall to prevent the pick six moments ago. KC ended up with only three points....KC has such a great fan base. It is amazing how loud it sounds when the Steelers do something....I think Pittsburgh might have the best traveling fans in the NFL, if not the best fans in sports....How much of an impact do the Steeler fans have in KC? There is a sign hanging from the first row of seats -- saying FIRE ARIANS -- only time I can ever remember seeing a sign about the opposing team and what they should do with their coaches - and not the head coach at that -- in an NFL stadium....Can the Steelers go the length of the field to win this without overtime?....Chiefs won the game 27-24 in OT.


Patriots convert on a fourth down today...But didn't understand the third down call. If you need to decoy to get a yard on a quarterback sneak, then don't run a quarterback sneak.....Patriots won the game 31-14.

EAGLES @ BEARS - When I think Eagles Bears, I immediately think fog. And I flip the channel over and there seems to be a smoky feel to the game....Vick just made a huge play on third down. Seemed like he hesitated in the backfield before taking off, but the hole was so big, I could have run through it....Eagles going to get a field goal attempt as the drive stalls again....

Observations from the Loyola game

  • The word afterwards was that the Mount would be without senior sharpshooter Will Holland for 2-4 weeks with a knee injury. They need Holland's prescence on the outside and his grit and determination in the game. But it was nice to see Pierre Brown get the minutes and produce.
  • Beating Loyola is always fun. It is even more fun now that it includes beating Jimmy Patsos. Patsos was remarkably well behaved - I'll give him credit. The jacket only came off once, in what was a pretty poorly officiated game.
  • It did seem like Loyola was trying to take away the perimiter game from the Mount. And truthfully they did a good job of defending the arc. However, their aggressiveness on the outside was easily beaten and Goode had a field day. He shot 16 free throws because he was constantly on the move, beating the Loyola defenders.
  • The Mount needed a second scorer to heat up in the second half - and Cajou did just that. I think it was a fine adjustment by Jean or the Mount's coaching staff. Cajou drove to the basket a lot more in the second half, stayed under control, and finished strong. He also got to the line and made 5-of-6.
  • After Goode missed his first free throw - after making his first 13 - I said to my daughter "And I thought he was going to set a school record today." I meant the most in a game without missing. I had no idea that the record was actually 14. He also was finished three off the record for most made in a game with 15. Landy Thompson once made 18.
  • Danny Thompson continues to impress me. There is a lot of rust there - and he might not be at his top fitness level. But the big guy finally got into the scoring column yesterday, pulled down five rebounds and played solid defense. His effort was needed with Shawn Atupem in foul trouble all day.
  • Nice job by the crowd, particularly the students. They weren't just a large number, they were loud and made a difference. Credit to the Loyola faithful that made the trip - I got some enjoyment when the Mount student section mocked them near the end of the game. Now the crowd must continue to show up in force the rest of the season.
  • Niagara will be a huge test on Wednesday night. The Mount has a chance to establish itself as one of the top mid-majors in the stretch that they are in. The next five games - four are against mid-major schools - including the defending conference champ in Robert Morris. The Mount enters the stretch at 2-1, and has a realistic chance to get to 5-3 or possibly 6-2 on the other side. But Niagara has been playing well - and will bring a strong challenge on Wednesday.