Introducing RTC’s ACC Microsite…

Posted by rtmsf on October 3rd, 2011

You’ve probably noticed that little countdown clock above tells us that we’re a little more than eleven days from the first official practices of the 2011-12 college basketball season.  In many parts of the country, the leaves have started to change, there’s a nip in the air, and Halloween candy has taken over the grocery store shelves. Today also marks the first day of the RTC 2011-12 Season Preview, where we’ll be previewing all 31 Division I conferences and bringing you comprehensive coverage of the upcoming season over the next five weeks until the first games tip off on November 7.  What better time to also introduce our newest and perhaps most ambitious idea, the RTC microsites. the first of which rolls out today with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The premise behind the RTC microsites is rather simple.  The breadth, scope and influence of the six power conferences on the sport of college basketball only continues to grow.  As much as we all love the mid-major schools, the focus of most fans falls on one or more of these six leagues.  The RTC microsites will endeavor to spotlight each conference at a level of detail that goes well beyond what the national site can or should do.  Each microsite will be staffed with at least two writers whose sole responsibility will be to keep up with the stories within their particular conference.  Our intent is that the quality of commentary and analysis that our readers have come to expect on the national site will transfer over to the microsites, and we hope that you’ll let us know if we’re not keeping to that standard.

You can find the ACC microsite by simply adding the three letters acc to the end of rushthecourt.net/.  Or you can click on the fancy little ACC microsite button above at the top right.  Or you can simply click here.  However you decide to navigate there, we hope you visit and stay for a while.  Our two ACC staffers, Matt Patton and Kellen Carpenter, have been with RTC in several capacities in the past, but both fellas really know this league and will do a great job with it over there just as they’ve done over here.  If you’d like to reach them with questions and ideas of your own, their contact information is available on the microsite.

We’ll be rolling out all six of the microsites gradually over the next couple of months, and we’re still taking applications for writers for both the Big East and Big Ten conference microsites, so please contact us at rushthecourt@yahoo.com with a writing sample if you’re interested.

Share this story

Different But Same: Welcome to the New RTC…

Posted by rtmsf on September 6th, 2011

Here’s hoping everyone had a superb Labor Day weekend to celebrate the end of summer and coming of fall.  It may have been college football weekend elsewhere across the sporting universe, but here at RTC we’ve been whiling ourselves thinking about the upcoming roundball season.  With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce a completely redesigned site, streamlining many of our existing features and adding a couple of new ones.  Our hope is that a simpler and sleeker interface will enhance the user experience while still offering the comprehensive commentary and analysis on college basketball news that we’re known for.

RTC Continues to Evolve...

The major changes to note are as follows:

  • The Independent Voice of College Basketball.  We’re not quite sure how it happened, but in the four-plus years since the debut of RTC we’ve evolved from a one-man showcase of college hoops opinion and nonsense to a 40-person team of extremely talented writers showcasing college hoops opinion and nonsense.  Although we have a very basic affiliation with Big Lead Sports to provide advertising, we are one of the few remaining college basketball sites free from corporate overlords directing our content and analysis.  We are proud of our independence in terms of creative control, and the day that we lose that here will also be the same day we shut the whole thing down.  You as the reader may not always agree with our opinions here at RTC, but you can rest assured that you’re getting a legitimate and honest take.
  • Conference Check-In Carousel/Nightly Nonsense Tabs.  This feature located at the top left of the site under the navigation bar will make it easier to keep up with our 31 conference correspondent updates (called Conference Check-Ins) during the regular season.  The most recent Check-In on a given day will post on the far left side under the “Latest Check-Ins” tab, and the carousel will allow readers to scroll back through the last 15 posts to find their favorite conferences.  Conference Check-Ins will resume weekly in mid-November.  On the right hand side of the carousel, you’ll notice a blue “Nightly Nonsense” tab, which will provide a daily listing of the key televised games of each day during the season for your viewing pleasure.  This feature will resume again in early November on Opening Night.
  • TumblRTC.  You’ll note on the right sidebar that there’s a new widget we’re calling “TumblRTC.”  Tumblr is a blogging platform that many folks have fallen in love with in the past year, and we’re planning to give it a shot too.  The best way to describe how we hope to utilize it is “RTC for Busy People.” It’s not meant in any way to replace our long-form content on the home page; rather, we intend for our TumblRTC posts to complement it.  TumblRTC will be heavy on photos, quotes, videos, links and any other media we find and think might be interesting to you guys, and it will also provide readers with an interactive way to provide some of their own content back at us.  You will be able to see the last few TumblRTC posts on the RTC home page (above right) or you can see our entire stream at rushthecourt.net/tumblr/.
  • RTC Microsites.  These six buttons for each of the power conferences currently sit at the top right of the page where the old Announcements box resided.  Over the next couple of months, we hope to start rolling out conference-specific ‘microsites’ focusing on all things college basketball within each of those six leagues — the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC (for as long as they exist).  Each microsite will have its own subdomain and dedicated writer(s), and the idea will be to cover those conferences with a depth of scope and analysis that is simply impossible on our nationally-focused home page.  Stay tuned on these — we’re very excited about them.  We’re still looking for talented writers to staff these six microsites, so please send us your information (i.e., area of interest, background, writing sample) to rushthecourt@yahoo.com if you think you’d be interested.

As always, none of this means anything if our readers don’t like what we’re doing, so feel free to share your feedback with us in the comments, via email or social media.  We’re always listening.

Share this story

Thanks For The Props, SI!

Posted by jstevrtc on July 14th, 2011

The editors and correspondents here at RTC were quite a happy bunch today upon taking a gander at Sports Illustrated’s Twitter 100.  SI polled 50 of their reporters, editors, and writers and, after distilling the numerous possibilities, they refined it down to a list of the 100 Twitter accounts the queried 50 consider “essential to their daily routine for finding news, information and entertainment from the sports world.” It looks like SI finally took note of the 300 subscriptions to the magazine we maintain, and the weekly bribery money we send to Davis, Winn and Glockner finally paid off, because…we’re on the list.

Our Twitter feed is manned pretty much ’round the clock by at least one of our three executive editors, but the Twitter feed wouldn’t be worth anything if the site itself wasn’t something we thought was worth our readers’ time, and much of the site’s quality is due to our cadre of correspondents around the country covering every conference for us. It may be one guy out of only a possible three doing the tweeting at any given time, but we count this as an honor for the whole RTC crew.

The 2011-2012 season — our fifth — will be here before we know it, and we think we’ve got some fun stuff in store for our faithful. We’ll keep tweeting as long as you keep engaging us in conversation, since that’s the point of this whole endeavor. So, many thanks, SI. We greatly appreciate the mention, and we’re proud to be on a list with so many people whose work (and tweets) we’ve long admired.

Share this story

RTC Tourney Contests: Third Round

Posted by rtmsf on March 19th, 2011

RTC is lucky to have partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings and the Reese’s Company to offer some great prizes this weekend during the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.  Get your picks in prior to the first tip on Saturday at 12:15 PM ET.  You can email your responses to rushthecourt@yahoo.com or tweet at us @rushthecourt — either works, but please don’t do both.  Description of the games and prizes are below.

RTC is Offering Some Great Prizes This Weekend

Contest #1) There will be sixteen teams remaining after this weekend is finished.  Add up the total aggregate value of the sixteen seeds that will remain. (ex: #1 + #4 +#3 +#10 seeds = 18, etc.).  The closest two replies to the actual number will win this contest.

Prize:  Buffalo Wild Wings is offering prize packs that they will mail directly to your home.

Contest #2) Pick the highest scoring player in the Third Round, and give his total points scored to act as a tiebreaker.  (ex: Nolan Smith, 31 points).

Prize:  Reese’s is offering a case of Reese’s Cups for the winner of this contest.  Yes, it’s a lot of candy.  Also note that you can go to Reese’s Perfect Play for a shot at a million bucks.

Share this story

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Posted by rtmsf on December 31st, 2010

Share this story

Merry Christmas From Rush the Court!

Posted by rtmsf on December 25th, 2010

No matter how you choose to spend the holiday season, we here are RTC want to wish all of our readers, correspondents, contributors, groupies, hangers-on, gadflies and collection agencies a very merry Christmas and a safe, fulfilling holiday season.  We only get so many in this hoops-filled journey known as life — we should make them all count.  Keep the enduring spirit of peace and generosity in your heart, and we’ve found that good things will always come your way.  Have a great one, everyone!

Share this story

Rush the Shirt Contest – Official Rules

Posted by jstevrtc on January 29th, 2010

Looking for that last piece to complete your winter wardrobe?  Maybe you should try a sweater or at least something with long sleeves.  But, if you need something to wear UNDER that, look no further.  It is with immense pride that we introduce to you… the official RUSH THE COURT t-shirt.  It’s got our name on it, a cool slogan, and a shoeprint design on the back along with the site’s URL.  That’s pretty much the only ways in which it’s different than every other shirt you own.  Oh, and it’s freaking awesome.  You can order yours at our CafePress showcase here (priced between $11-$24).

Suffice to say, we’ve got just about every school color combination there is.  We don’t do custom orders, but tell us if you want a color combo we don’t offer and if there’s enough demand, we’ll see what we can do.  ALSO, because we’ve been inspired by the recent generosity of various basketball programs who have raised aid money for earthquake relief in Haiti, AND by the Mark Titus blog Club Trillion, we’re donating all profits we make to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

But there’s more to this.  Even though your coolness factor and college hoops insider status will take off faster than a  Jeremy Hazell jumper as you wear your RTC T-shirt, we’re not just doing this so we can use you people as walking billboards for us (though we do appreciate it).  We’re going to have a little contest along with our T-shirt promotion.  We want to see these things in action.  And when we say that we want to SEE them… we’re quite serious.

Here’s the deal — send us a photo of yourself wearing the RTC t-shirt , and we’ll enter you into a lottery for one of  two prizes:

  • First Prize Two (2) Tickets to a 2010 NCAA First/Second Round Venue of Your Choice
  • Second Prize$50 Visa Gift Card

The number of chances you actually GET in the drawing is determined by the situation in which you are wearing your RTC shirt.  Our committee of judges will review each photo as it’s received, assigning it a point value which will correspond to the number of chances you get in the drawing.  For example: a photo of a person wearing an RTC shirt  generates one chance.  You take it from there.  We’ll assign points based on how creative you get, where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, etc.  Also, if one of our correspondents or editors sees you anywhere while wearing the shirt (at the supermarket, at the gym, at a game, etc.), you’ll be given an extra ten entries (the correspondent/editor must approach you — do not make a spectacle of yourself).  We’ll occasionally post our favorite photos on the site.

Send the photos to RTCShirtPhotos@gmail.com.  The drawings will occur on the Monday AFTER Selection Sunday and we’ll announce the results here after we’ve notified the winners.  The photos must be sent from the email address from which you want to be contacted if you win one of the prizes or if we need to get in touch with you.  Don’t worry… we’re not going to put you on any mailing lists or anything.

One prize per person.  No obscene or illegal material, please.  Photos of that nature will be discarded without consideration.  Contest ends at 12 midnight the MORNING of Selection Sunday.  Photos submitted after then will not be considered for the drawings.

So grab a shirt or five, and start racking up points.  Most importantly, enjoy the rest of the season.  We’ll be looking for you!

(RTC dudes and their relatives aren’t eligible to win.  We promise.)

Share this story

Early Week Conference Check-Ins…

Posted by rtmsf on January 6th, 2010

Colonial - Ryan Restivo of SienaSaintsBlog  (READ MORE)

William & Mary is on a Roll. The Tribe have won ten straight, a new school record, and won 48-47 at Hofstra on a Kendrix Brown three point play to continue their historic season.  William & Mary is 2-0 in the CAA for the first time since 1997-98.  The Tribe have not started this well since 1948-49 when they started 14-2.  More impressively, the Tribe never gave up the lead at Maryland after the 4:44 mark in the first half in a convincing 83-77 win in College Park.  After dropping their first two games to Connecticut by nine and Harvard in triple-overtime, the Tribe have racked up impressive statement wins over Richmond, Wake Forest and Maryland.  According to Kenpom.com, their Offensive efficiency is tops in the nation (124.2).

Missouri Valley – Patrick Marshall of White & Blue Review  (READ MORE)

Northern Iowa mowing down the Valley — Those that don’t consider Northern Iowa the class of the Valley need to have their head examined (including myself, before now).  The Panthers are on an 11-game winning streak after following a tough road win against Creighton in Omaha with victories against Evansville and Missouri State to race out to a 3-0 conference record in the first week.

SEC – Paul Jordan of Wildcat Blue Blog  (READ MORE)

The big story in the SEC this week was the arrest and indefinite suspension of four Tennessee basketball players — Tyler Smith, Melvin Goins, Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams.  The group was arrested on a myriad of drug and weapon charges.  Some of the charges were felonies, and given the recent problems with UT’s football program, it is hard to imagine any scenario in which the players may step back on the court this season.

ACC - Steve Moore  (READ MORE)

After splitting the top spot last week with rival UNC, the Blue Devils sit atop this week’s rankings all by themselves. No, it wasn’t the win over Long Beach State or the 59-point demolition of Penn. Duke pretty much dismantled highly regarded Clemson Sunday night, posting a 21-point win that was never even remotely that close.  Jon Scheyer is scoring more than enough for Duke, and Kyle Singler and the Devils’ frontcourt proved it could handle a seasoned big man like Trevor Booker. An impressive win, to say the very least.

Big Ten – Jason Prziborowski  (READ MORE)

Big 10 Madness has begun – Conference play started this past week in the Big Ten, and they didn’t disappoint. Indiana loses Maurice Creek, their top scorer and player, and then they upset Michigan at home. Michigan, not to be outdone, gets revenge for what their football team couldn’t do against OSU. Wisconsin, not wanting to miss out, blows out both OSU and PSU. Surprisingly, only Michigan and Minnesota have at least a win and a loss. Everyone else either hasn’t lost, or hasn’t won.

Share this story

Wed/Thurs Conference Check-Ins…

Posted by rtmsf on January 1st, 2010

Atlantic 10 – Joe Dzuback of Villanova by the Numbers (READ MORE)

St. Louis’ pair, Willie Reed and Kwamain Mitchell, along with Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, epitomize the notion of the “Go-to” guy — they combine lots of minutes (well maybe not so much for Mitchell…) with high usage (possessions and shot taking) and efficiency (ORtgs greater than their team). These guys consume a lot of possessions, but they make their teams better in the process.  (…)

Big East – Rob Dauster of Ballin is a Habit (READ MORE)

Born Ready wasn’t quite born ready, but 11 games into the season, its pretty clear that Stephenson is going to be a player in this league. Stephenson has averaged 12.5 ppg and 2.4 apg, but more than the numbers he has put up, it has been what he hasn’t done that has been most important – this kid is not a distraction. Yes, he does have his outbursts (his reaction at the end of the Gonzaga game and his yapping at Chris Mack in the Xavier game come to mind), but what 19 year old doesn’t? Cincy has struggled a bit early in the season as they haven’t quite lived up to some of the lofty expectations, but none of that has been Lance’s fault. He makes smart plays, he makes unselfish plays, and, most importantly, he simply makes plays.  (…)

Pac-10 – Ryan ZumMallen of LBPostSports (READ MORE)

Boy, that was a rough non-conference season, huh? Everybody and their mom jumped on the Pac-10 for underachieving, and there is certainly some merit to that. The teams that were expected to compete for Top 10 spots sometimes looked like they shouldn’t be ranked at all. As a whole, the conference won very few quality games and for the most part waltzed through laughably easy opponents. Then, of course, there were the downright embarrassing losses that began to pile up one after another.  (…)

Big 12 – Patrick Sellars  (READ MORE)

Derrick Roland. I feel terrible for this kid who broke his leg against Washington ending a season in which the Aggies were probably headed for the NCAA Tournament. Now the Aggies are left without their star player and they’re in trouble of missing the Tournament if they can’t find someone to pick up the slack left by Roland.  (…)

Mountain West – Andrew Murawa  (READ MORE)

Hobson takes home his third NOTW award from this space with his performance against Texas Tech detailed above.  He has been simply amazing at times this year, an incredibly versatile force who can grab a strong rebound at one end of the floor, weave his way up court and either find an open Lobo for an easy finish, complete the play himself with either a gliding finger-roll or a pull-up three or settle back in to run the half court offense.  If you haven’t had a chance to see Hobson yet this season, look him up when you get a chance, as all but one Lobo game the rest of the season will be televised somewhere, mostly on The MTN.  (…)

WAC – Sam Wasson of bleedCrimson.net and Travis Mason-Bushman of Vandal Nation (READ MORE)

The WAC begins conference play this weekend and the league has made a switch to a Saturday/Monday schedule from a Thursday/Saturday schedule in years past.  The breakout non-conference season for the WAC never materialized. The good news is the league finished 73-43 in non-conference play.  The bad news is the league was 0-7 against BCS teams, 7-9 against the West Coast Conference, 5-7 against the Big West and just 4-12 against the Mountain West, the league the WAC most likes to compare itself to due to the fact that MWC is made up of former WAC teams.  (…)

WCC – Michael Vernetti  (READ MORE)

Although several WCC teams have games remaining before conference play begins next Friday (Jan. 8), a few general observations appear to be safe. First, Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga have erased any doubts about their continued stranglehold on the top two positions. Gonzaga could finish its pre-conference schedule at 11-3 or 10-4 depending on its game on the road against Illinois on Jan. 2, but the Zags have made it perfectly clear they are up to the challenge of competing for a 10th straight WCC Championship.  (…)

Share this story

Early Week Check-Ins…

Posted by rtmsf on December 29th, 2009

Missouri Valley – Patrick Marshall of White & Blue Review (READ MORE)

Surprises at the top — A year ago, you would not have seen Missouri State and Wichita State at the top of the conference with Creighton and Bradley towards the bottom.  But this is how the crazy Valley non-conference season has gone so far.  The Valley is an impressive 80-32 (.714) in non-conference play with some nice wins against top level conferences that have been missing over the past few seasons.

SEC – Paul Jordan of Wildcat Blue Blog (READ MORE)

Finally!   College basketball is back in the SEC after a couple of weeks of finals (and the holidays) and it is back with a vengeance with two bitter in-state rivalries for both Kentucky and Tennessee.  Aside from that, Baylor does a curious double dip in the SEC and most of the good action is actually televised this week.

Big Ten – Jason Pzirobowski  (READ MORE)

I don’t know if you looked at the new AP top 25 poll, but if you have, you may have done a double take when you saw Northwestern at number 25. It’s for real, for the team that has never made the NCAA Tournament, they are well on their way.  Now five Big Ten teams are in the top 25: #4 Purdue, #11 Michigan State, #13 Ohio State, #23 Wisconsin and #25 Northwestern.

ACC - Steve Moore  (READ MORE)

What’s the deal with UNC-Greensboro? I understand that the poor Spartans have a short trip to almost every ACC school, and can fatten their athletic wallet with games in ACC gyms. But they’ve gotta grow tired of this, right? Greensboro plays 13 non-league games this season, and six of them come against ACC foes. The Spartans have already lost to Duke, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest  by a combined score of 319-235, and still have to face N.C. State and Maryland this week. To add to their misery, the Spartans have also been thumped by Richmond (26 points), Akron (24 points) and East Carolina (21 points). I’d love to hear that recruiting pitch…

Share this story

Weekend Check-Ins…

Posted by rtmsf on December 27th, 2009

We hope everyone had a great holiday – over the weekend, we had a few check-ins, so here goes…

Atlantic 10 – Joe Dzuback  (READ MORE)

A10 coaches have no illusions that the conference’s reputation (however good among the non-BCS conferences) will carry a bubble team into the field of 65.  While few subscribe to former Temple head coach John Chaney’s “Anyone, Anywhere” philosophy, everyone recognizes the virtue of playing invitational tournaments and having a healthy dose of road games on the resume.  Most of their OOC resume-building games may come from traditional rivalries and invitational fields, but the road games, at worst, help their squads prepare for the hostile crowds they will face when playing conference opponents.  How did the conference members do this OOC season?  (…)

Mountain West - Andrew Murawa  (READ MORE)

For the most part, it was just a really ugly week for the MWC. Aside from BYU’s win in the Vegas Classic and UNLV’s success in the first couple rounds of the Diamond Head Classic (and really, despite their names, neither of the fields at those tournaments deserved the “Classic” label), there was carnage all around. New Mexico survived an upset bid by Creighton, only to slip up at Oral Roberts for their first loss of the year. Utah lost to Illinois State and Pepperdine (yes, Pepperdine, a team who improved their record to 4-10 with that win over Utah).  Air Force fell to Northern Arizona.  TCU got drilled by Houston.  San Diego State looked lost against Arizona State.  Colorodo State couldn’t take advantage of a weakened UCLA team. And, Wyoming fell apart in the second half at Northern Iowa, and in the process the MWC lost the inaugural MWC/MVC Challenge (although, given the results, perhaps they ought to switch the conference billings in the title) 5-4.  (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Merry Christmas From Rush the Court!

Posted by rtmsf on December 24th, 2009

It’s one of our favorite holidays around here at RTC, and however you choose to celebrate, please do so safely and with the spirit of peace and generosity in your heart.   Even to your biggest rival.*  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at Rush the Court!

(* there are notable exceptions)

Share this story