Set Your Tivos: Week 2

Posted by nvr1983 on November 16th, 2008

Our new and improved Set Your Tivos is in the format that we expect this feature to take for the rest of the season. It will feature our top games of the week and leave the daily TV schedules to After the Buzzer. Now the top 7 games (add 3 for a few of the late round games in some of the random tournaments to make a top 10 if you want) in reverse order. . .

Courtesy: www.jakeludington.com

7) Illinois at Vanderbilt–Thursday, 8 PM on Fox Sports South, ESPN Full Court, and ESPN360.com: Our only featured game involving two unranked teams. We’ll be watching to see if Bruce Weber has recovered from losing out on Eric Gordon, who would have left Illinois by now anyways even if Kelvin Sampson hadn’t stolen him before destroying Indiana’s basketball program. On the other side, Vanderbilt will be trying to recover from last year’s embarrassing first round loss to Siena in the NCAA tournament after a trip to the Sweet 16 the year before that ended with a close loss to Georgetown.

6) Southern Illinois vs. #5 Duke–Thursday, 7 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com:The Salukis look to recover from last year’s 18-15 season after six consecutive NCAA tournament bids against everyone’s favorite villain Duke. I’m sure most of you would like nothing more than seeing Duke lose in Madison Square Garden against a mid-major, but that’s not happening here. Watch it to see if Southern Illinois will be challenging for the MVC title this year and if Duke is going to try to develop an inside game this year.

5) #4 UCLA vs. Michigan–Thursday, 9 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com: The more interesting of the Coaches vs. Cancer games will feature two of the most prestigious programs in the country with one (UCLA) coming into the season with high expectations following 3 straight Final 4 trips while the other (Michigan) has become a source of humor for visitors to this site. Both teams struggled in the early rounds, but the Bruins will be overwhelming favorites and should advance unless the freshman get caught up in the bright lights of MSG and/or start looking forward to playing Duke in the championship game.

4) Kentucky at #1 UNC–Tuesday, 9 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com: This game, which was once billed as one of the premier early season games, has lost much of its luster with Kentucky’s opening loss to VMI and the absence of Tyler Hansbrough (and his fellow pool-jumping “Golden God” Bobby Frasor). This game will be more of a barometer for Kentucky than the injury-depleted Tar Heels. A Kentucky win would give Billy Gillispie a temporary reprieve from Wildcat fans who are undoubtedly livid after another embarrassing season-opening early-season loss. If the Wildcats want to do that, they will need to utilize Patrick Patterson much more than they did against VMI.

3) Massachusetts at #12 Memphis–Tuesday/Wednesday at midnight on ESPN and ESPN360.com: Our first look at this year’s Tigers will be a relatively challenging game against John Calipari’s old school. While Tyreke Evans might be one of the top players in this year’s freshman class, he will be a significant drop-off from Derrick Rose. The Tigers may be able to adjust to that, but they will be hard-pressed to replace the veteran leadership and all-around play of Chris Douglas-Roberts. We will be interested to see if the Tigers worked on that small issue of free throw shooting that reared its ugly head at the most inopportune time last year. 

2) Miami (OH) at #6 Pittsburgh–Monday, 7 PM on ESPN Full Court and ESPN360.com: While this might not seem like an interesting game to most of you, I think it will give us a good idea of how good/bad UCLA is given the fact they narrowly held off the Redhawks 64-59 and whether or not Doug Gottlieb is an idiot. Given that we think it’s definitely worth watching and should be a good lead-in to Monday Night Football.

1) 2K Sports Classic Championship Game (if it is #4 UCLA vs. #5 Duke)–Friday, 7 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com: As noted this is only if we get our first top 5 (or top 25) match-up of the season. Both teams should be able to navigate their semifinals despite the fact that the Bruins struggled against Miami (OH) last week. Duke will probably win this game as they tend to dominate early season tournaments and the Bruins are still very green, but the Bruins young talent and Darren Collison will give Coach K and the Blue Devils a stiff challenge.

If I missed any good games and I’m sure I did, tell me about it in the comments and I’ll update the list.

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After the Buzzer: Another Nightmare in Rupp

Posted by rtmsf on November 14th, 2008

afterbuzzer1

Upset of the Night.  VMI 111, Kentucky 103.  Well, for the second consecutive year we’ve not even made it to Thanksgiving before we have a nominee for biggest upset of the year because a small college from the South went into Rupp Arena and beat the Kentucky Wildcats on their home court.  Last year it was Gardner-Webb; this year it was VMI, who was picked seventh in the Big South and last defeated a BCS team four seasons ago.  The Cats aren’t ranked this season, but they arguably have more raw talent than they had a year ago.  Most pundits have UK finishing second or third in the SEC East and making its 17th straight NCAA Tournament in 2009.  They still might, but watching tonight’s game showed some serious issues with turnovers (too many players leaving their feet to pass the ball), defensive rotation (or a complete lack thereof), shot selection (how does all-american Patrick Patterson only get four shots in essentially a Y-ball game?), and myriad mental lapses.  Does Billy Gillispie really understand where he’s coaching these days?  These kinds of losses are barely tolerable at Texas A&M; at Kentucky, people start putting moving signs in your yard after close wins.  He somewhat redeemed himself last season after the G-W debacle by going 12-4 in the SEC and making the NCAA Tournament (1st round loss to Marquette), but big losses to rivals UNC, Louisville and Indiana weren’t forgotten.  A VMI loss to start this season followed by a trip to Chapel Hill next week and some other Ls to follow will not help his cause.  UK fans care about every game – not just the SEC and March Madness.  As Truzenzuzex over at A Sea of Blue put it, Billy Clyde tonight represented an “epic failure of coaching.”  As for the game itself, what can you say other than it was a classic run & gun shootout.  UK shot 54% from the field, mostly from dunk range, but other than Jodie Meeks, couldn’t hit a three regardless of whether anyone was defending it or not (3-16, 19%).  Meeks led the Cats with 39 pts, and Perry Stevenson had 20/14, but VMI’s attack was more balanced, with all five starters plus one bench player reaching double figures.  Travis Holmes led with 30/7 on 10-13 shooting, but the key difference in the statistical battle were the fourteen threes that VMI knocked down.  Frankly, UK’s defense simply wasn’t closing out on many of these wide-open shots.  All that said, when UK went on a 17-0 run in the late second half to cut the lead to 90-89 after having been down 23 earlier in the half, we figured that VMI was finished.  Several more bad possessions by the UK offense and lackluster defense on the other side ensured that VMI still had life, and the Keydets were able to hang on and pull off the monumental upset.  This Gillispie situation will remain interesting throughout the season. 

Other Games of Reasonable Interest. 

  • Pittsburgh 86, Fairleigh Dickinson 63.  The return of Levance Fields is worth a special mention.  Pitt is 52-12 when their oft-injured point guard starts, and a mere slightly-better-than-.500 team when he’s on the bench.  Tonight he showed no ill effects from his twice-broken left foot, contributing 15/8 assts in the blowout victory.  Dejuan Blair had his typical beastly 17/13 inside.  Pitt will have an interesting next game against Miami (OH) on Monday.     
  • UConn 81, W. Carolina 55.  Hasheem Thabeet needs to do more of this (23/17/3 blks).  AJ Price was ejected for a sucker punch flagrant foul – nice to see thing haven’t changed much in Storrs.  He made his triumphant return with a 0 pt, 5 turnover night.  Jerome Dyson had 23, and newcomer Kemba Walker contributed 8/5 in his first collegiate game. 

Small Piece of News.  The injury bug continues at Carolina, as it now appears Bobby Frasor will not play in UNC’s opener against Penn tomorrow because he’s been nursing a sprained left ankle.  You don’t think Frasor’s and Hansbrough’s injuries may karmically have anything to do with this, do ya?  Nah.  Didn’t think so. 

Rundown. 

  • UT-Martin 121, Maryville 56.  Lester Hudson’s line: 27/7/7 asst/8 stls.  Sick.
  • Temple 79, ETSU 65.  Dionte Christmas with 26/11 in first round of Charleston Classic.  Next up is host Charleston.
  • Florida 80, Toledo 58Unrepentent gambler Nick Calathes with 16/4/7 assts.
  • Stanford 75, Yale 67.  Johnny Dawkins gets his coaching career off to a solid start with a road win.  Lawrence Hill’s 22/11 helped. 
  • Howard 47, Oregon St. 45.  The same cannot be said for Craig Robinson at OSU. 
  • Wake Forest 94, NC Central 48.  Al Farouq Aminu had 21/10 in his debut with the Deacs; James Johnson with 19/10/5 asst.  This Deacon team could be very interesting this year.
  • Maryland 81, Bucknell 52.  Gary Williams needed a strong opening win to silence his critics some.
  • Oklahoma St. 76, UT-San Antonio 57.  James Anderson with only 10/7 as the Cowboys rolled anyway.  Byron Eaton led with 27 pts.
  • Oklahoma 83, American 54.  Forgive us, Blake Griffin.  Despite going 5-14 from the line, he was otherwise brilliant (24/18) in a game we thought American had a chance to win.  His reverse dropstep jam was NASTY. 
  • Villanova 78, Albany 60.  Nova put six players in double figures with none of them having over 13 pts. 
  • Texas 68, Stetson 38.  AJ Abrams hit five threes as the Longhorns held Stetson to a miserable 26% shooting night.
  • Arkansas 91, SE Louisiana 87 (OT).  Very close to a dreadful opening night for the SEC, as Arkansas rallied from a late 9-pt deficit to send the game to OT, which the Hawgs won behind Michael Washington’s 30 pts in the extra period.
  • Marquette 95, Houston Baptist 64.  Wesley Matthews had a huge night (28/5/8 asst/5 stls) as Marquette rolled. 
  • Purdue 82, Detroit 50.  Hummell and Moore combined for 31/15 in a balanced effort.
  • St. Mary’s 86, Seattle Pacific 55.  Patty Mills with 15/3/8 asst/4 stls. 
  • Arizona St. 80, Mississippi Valley St. 54.  James Harden dropped 24/10 assts in Sendek’s first opening win at ASU.
  • Davidson 107, Guilford 83.  Steph Curry with 29/3/10 asst/9 stls.  Nine steals???  Ridiculous. 

On Tap Saturday (all times EST):

  • Florida vs. Bradley (ESPNU) – 2pm (CBE Classic)
  • St. Joseph’s @ Holy Cross – 4pm
  • Wisconsin v. Long Beach St. – 4pm
  • North Carolina (-30.5) v. Penn (FSN South) – 4pm
  • South Carolina v. Winthrop (ESPN FC & 360) – 4:30pm
  • Duke v. Rhode Island (ESPNU) - 4:30pm
  • UNLV (-11) v. San Diego (The Mtn.) – 5:30pm
  • Michigan St. v. Idaho – 6pm
  • Cincinnati v. South Dakota (ESPN FC & 360) – 6pm
  • Charlotte v. Old Dominion – 6pm
  • Syracuse v. Le Moyne (ESPNU) – 6:30pm
  • Tennessee (-18) v. Chattanooga (SportSouth) – 7pm
  • Notre Dame v. USC-Upstate – 7:30pm
  • Drake (-6.5) v. Butler – 8pm
  • Memphis (-19.5) v. Fairfield – 8pm
  • Kansas v. UMKC (ESPNU) – 8:30pm (CBE Classic)
  • USC (-19) v. UC Irvine – 10pm
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Bobby Frasor is a Golden God!

Posted by rtmsf on April 30th, 2008

Continuing our UNC-themed week here at RTC, we came across this photo of presumptive Heel point guard doing his best Russell Hammond of Stillwater routine at a local house of fraternage. Also check Psycho-T’s stance immediately behind and to the left of Frasor (getting wrapped up by some TarPoon).

(h/t 850thebuzz)

Far be it from us to wax medical on the proper rehabilitation of an injury, but Frasor tore his ACL in late December and appears ready to take over the reins of point guard from Ty Lawson, who himself is testing the waters (shameless plagiarism, we know).

Update: Tyler Hansbrough got into the I’M ON DRUGS action as well…

(h/t DukeDevilsBB)

Just remember, folks, the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool…

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