Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Hoops

Welcome to the Northeast Conference, Bryant University. By the statement you made by rousing up a coach from a respectable MAC school, we assume you wish to be a player. An eight-year deal for Tim O'Shea who had been doing a fairly nice job with the Ohio Bobcats. Seemed like he got a few interviews this spring, but didn't get a job, Providence, Bucknell seem to ring a bell. But it seems like a pretty nice get for all of you.

Incidentally, the Mount will play Bryant between Christmas and New Year's at Knott Arena this year. It will not be an NEC game.

Does anyone know if the NEC plans on going to a two-division 6-team per alignment when Bryant officially joins? It would seem to make sense. And maybe the teams could be broken down as follow:

Div A: Bryant, Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Long Island, St Fran NY. Div B: Mt. St. Mary's, Robert Morris, St. Fran PA, Monmouth, Wagner, Fairleigh Dickinson.

If this were done, teams could play home and home within their division, and three home games and three road games against the other division. Those games would rotate home-and-home on a yearly basis. It would give the teams 16 conference games, the ability to schedule two more non-conference games, and eliminate the need for those December conference games. In addition, all 12 teams could get into the tournament, with the top two from each division getting first round byes. Or you could stay with the eight team tourney, and eliminate the bottom two in each division.

Congrats to Dita Krumberga the former Mount womens hoops player. She's headed to Beijing with her Latvian teammates to play in the Olympics. Latvia barely defeated Angola 84-26 to advance to the main tournament. It is Latvia's first trip to the Olympic basketball tournament and they open with a game against neighboring Russia, at 10:15AM (Emmitsburg time on August 9th). Latvia is the pool opposite the US, so to see Krumberga play, you'll probably have to tune into NBC's online coverage. Although, I'm purely guessing and speculating at that.

Allen Griffin is back in the NEC. After losing his job at Providence when Tim Welsh was dismissed, the former Orange point guard returns to St. Francis NY to help the Terriers. Griffin, from NYC, was previously an assistant with the school but expect him to stick around a little longer this time.

One baseball note. Cito Gaston has returned to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays firing John Gibbons earlier today. Hey, when you're below the Orioles in the standings you make some moves.

Speaking of the Birds. How many of their next 22 games (before the All-Star break) do they have to win to make you happy at the break? I'd really love to see a 13-9 stretch, but would settle for 12-10. And all things considered if they went 10-12 over the run, and went to the break one game above .500 - I'd probably be happy. But let's root for 13 wins - and see if the second half of the season can't get more exciting than the first.

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