Sunday, January 15, 2006

End of the week

I've gotta admit it. I was very impressed with my Orange last night. The second half performance in Cincy makes me very excited about the possibilities for the rest of the season. Of course, the time I get excited is usually about the time they go into a tailspin. But the one thing about this team that is different from Syracuse teams in the past is the balance possessed and the ability for one guy to have a rough night and someone else step up. Watkins and Devendorf struggled last night, but Onauku gave some very strong minutes off the bench. Very, very good win.

Still trying to figure out Gonzaga. They've had three chances to beat elite teams this year and they've lost all three. But they seem to be above that next level as wins over Michigan State, Maryland and Oklahoma State would signify. Adam Morrison is still the best player in the land and that makes them dangerous every time out. They are going to rack up the wins in the WCC and may just may run the table. But I haven't figured out to play them come March.

I told you not to get too far down on Texas. The Horns are back playing extremely well. Or at least beating good teams. Yesterday's three point win over Villanova signified another big win in the win column and has to push them back into at least the top eight in the rankings.

Another thing I told you about was be careful of those underdogs in the NFL. Both were defeated and failed to cover last evening. Washington gave a little better showing than I might have anticipated. But just missed the number. It wouldn't suprise me if the favorites end up covering all four, but wouldn't be shocked if one of the dogs gets a cover today.

The Orioles designated Walter Young for assignment the other day. That means little to most. But nothing about Young is little. The 322-pound 1st baseman was being thought of as a potential 1B starter just the other day. But now with the surplus provided by the Conine and Millar signings, the Orioles found him expendable. I guess so. All I know is Young hit one of the longest homeruns I've ever seen. Two years ago at Bowie, the mammoth 1st sacker hit one to Annapolis off of Gustavo Chacin who was pitching for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at the time. An absolute bomb.

A couple of bad losses yesterday for some teams that we are accustomed to seeing in the NCAA tourney. Kentucky beaten at home by 'Bama and Arizona finished up a winless trip to the Northwest falling at Oregon. Is it possible that both of those teams miss the field come March. Kentucky has lost three in a row, and at 10-6 has to be on the bubble. There still is time to rally and against the weak SEC that's seems possible. But seriously, they are in trouble. Meanwhile, Arizona sports a matching mark and had seemed to figure things out after a slow start. But this latest skein against some mediocre competition is cause for concern. If they don't fare much better than their current .500 mark in conference play, they could end up on the wrong side on Selection Sunday.

Speaking of the SEC, how bad is it? Well Florida is the only definite in the league. Tennessee is probably the next best the conference has to offer, but you have to still have a few questions there. Ole Miss got another good solid win yesterday over in-state Mississippi State and is teetering on the rankings at 13-3. But when you have 53 point losses to New Mexico on your resume you tend to get overlooked, especially with an RPI above 75. Vandy has played well at times but lost yesterday when trying to followup the Kentucky win. LSU has played everybody tough but has five losses, while Alabama will try to put it together after yesterday's upset at Rupp. Is it possible this conference only gets three teams in the field in March? Or as strange as it seems, less?


  1. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I'd temper your excitement regarding the Orange for the time being. The Cincy team they played Saturday night is a shell of its former self. Sophomore F Roy Bright was kicked off the team over the summer. Junior big man Ivan Johnson bolted after Huggins was booted. Freshman 2-guard Tyree Evans had legal issues and never stepped foot on campus. Freshman center Abdul Herrera was declared ineligible by the NCAA (in a total b.s. move) at the start of the season. Freshman forward DeAndre Coleman left the team a few games into the season over playing time. Senior G-F Armein Kirkland suffered a torn ACL during the UConn game and is out for the year. F/C Ron Allen is a hardship transfer from Xavier (New Orleans), a NAIA school. And head coach Andy Kennedy recently had to take two players from UC's football roster so the hoops team could go full 5-on-5 for practice (the TE wound up playing 8 minutes against the 'Cuse). The Bearcats currently have 8 scholarship players - 4 seniors, a JuCo transfer, and 3 freshman.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to say Syracuse isn't a good team. I just think quantifying their "legit" status through a 19-point victory over a Cincinnati squad - now depleted by injuries and legal issues, and beginning to feel the effects of its administrations' untimely ouster of Bob Huggins - is the wrong argument.

    And also A.J. Nicholson has not been charged with anything yet, rape or otherwise. Maybe Joe (Paterno) knew she was just a groupie-type? Regardless, he's not going to be suspended for one game.