Baylor Mens Basketball Review

On November 10, 2010, in Other Interests, Uncategorized, by admin

This is a rather quick post to review the opening game for the Baylor Men’s Basketball team, a team that went to the Elite 8 last year. Although there are significant losses of personel from last year, namely Epke Udoh, who was drafted as the sixth pick in the NBA draft, there is (was) significant anticipation for this year as well. Newcomer Perry Jones III arrives as the nations Number 2 recruit last year, according to ESPN.  Returning scoring star Lace Dunn would provide the senior leadership for the team. Mesquite Texas’ own Quincy Acy returns to scare the hell out of the opposition.  A strong supporting cast of returning players now with more experience under their sneakers.

Well Coach Scott Drew (I call him Skippy, and hereto forward in this article, that is what he shall be called), known for turning this titanic of a basketball program around, has seemed to run into a few bumps in the road. All that glitters is not gold, at least for too long apparently.  You see, it seems that Lace Dunn allegedly rearranged his girl friends face….oops, one star player out while they sort this matter out.  Please note, I said “allegedly”  God only knows how accurate this is.  But, Dunn is out indefinitely as a result. Skippy is also now a bit tarnished as NCAA is investigating the program for allegedly (there I go again, using that “A” word) texting a Columbian recruit…a clear violation of rules, if it indeed did happen. And further, the texts allegedly (thats three) were very aggressive and basically threatening the kid that he will never leave his native Columbia if he does not come and play for BU.  Now thats not very Baptist, Skippy.

Bottom line:  Distractions are a plenty at the beginning of this season.  The game I witnessed was an exhibition game against a very scrappy, aggressive DII school, Midwestern State, coached by ex-BU basketball players.  The starting line up for BU was Anthony Jones, a third year underachiever from Houston area, AJ Walton, a sophomore point guard who got a lot of playing time last year, Quincy Acy, best known for the blown call by incompetent refs in the game against Duke last year when they called Acy for a charge in a drive to the basket which was no more than me bumping into my grandmother…..(believe me Mr. Incompetent Boob of a Ref, you will know when Acy really charges, and next time may it be at you). Perry Jones started as well.  Perennial journey player Fred Ellis was the fifth starter. The team continued its normal tact of 5 individuals playing a basketball game while the Midwestern State team put on a clinic on passing around a zone defense.  In the end, BU won 68-59.  But they were out hustled, out played, and nearly out rebounded even though at any given time BU has at least three player on the floor 6-7 or more. Jones did not do much. 5 total points, and I think 5 rebounds.  The one thing I witnessed that was impressive, however, was his ball handling. After a rebound, he took the floor, and for a 6-11 dude, he looked like a natural point guard.  Rumor has it he is a three point threat.  But then again, so was Anthony Jones to be as well, and his three point game has spiraled to hell since his freshman year. The impressive player in this group was junior transfer J’Mison (think ‘Jameson’) Morgan, transferring in from UCLA.  This dude served up a double double with 15 rebounds playing half the game. I consider him to be the potential impact player on this squad. Match him with ever aggressive Quincy Acy (love this guy), and if the Dunn situation does work itself out before the season wears on too long, this could be a great combination.  Jones III? Hey, first game.  But if he going to be the one and done like I think he think he is, and certainly the way Skippy likely did the recruiting sales job for one and done, the kid will have to make a impact quickly.  This was no Kevin Durant out there.  As number two pick in the nation, I expected more

WE will see how this sordid saga of distractions mix into this season’s agenda.  Heres to hoping that somehow, God sweeps in and makes everything better with the NCAA and personal issues on the team….and they just get to playing ball.  Ranked 14th in the nation, they have an opportunity, and the personnel, to make this another great season.

My NCAA Bracket Is Standing On Its Head

On March 22, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

While the nation sits around whining about passage of the health care bill, I choose to prioritize on much more important things, namely, the sad state of my NCAA March Madness bracket. What a year this has been. With the number of upsets in ranks, I cannot remember a year where so many lower seeds have ended up in the Sweet Sixteen. Good for those programs. It must start somewhere, and going to the Sweet Sixteen really can lift a program if they can capitalize on it consistently year after year. Schools can be branded through this process. You have millions in the nation hearing your schools name, sometimes for the first time. How many of us would know of Marquette, a small engineering school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin had it not had been for the Al McGuire era basketball program that put them on the map to stay. And what is a Gonzaga? If not for basketball, few of us outside of the State of Washington would know of the school. Marist? St. Mary’s? And a host others. And on the women’s side, Liberty? (from a few years back) San Diego State and South Dakota State? At the end of the day, you can put your school on the map with a great basketball program.
I am happy as well to see some of these underdogs in the Sweet Sixteen. While the above branding takes place, the powerhouses return year after year resulting from years of consistent play and branding leading to great recruiting. So when the little guy gets in, it may not make for as great of TV ratings as CBS would like, but I am pulling for the underdog and appreciate their presence in the Sweet Sixteen, and maybe the hope they can return and build some recruiting momentum in their programs.
So just not to go too far on the above, I do feel compelled to shorten my support of the underdog when it comes to my Baylor Bears. Yes, they play St Mary’s in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday, a 10 seed. BU is a 3 seed. So before you make me sound hypocritical, let me just say, I thought that those who do the seeding were especially kind to BU putting them as high as a three, and playing close to home. Not that they do not have the talent, but I thought this was generous especially since they checked out of the Big 12 tournament much quicker than I think they should have. They should have taken Kansas State in the Big 12 Tourney. But, BU has always been an underdog program. Where do you think I learned my support of the underdog role?
So it will be an enjoyable run on the Sweet Sixteen. A lot of good basketball to watch. So maybe the nation can quit whining about other things and focus on some good ole basketball.

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