Backdoor Cuts: Vol. IV

Posted by jstevrtc on December 16th, 2009


Backdoor Cuts is a college basketball discussion between RTC correspondents Dave Zeitlin, Steve Moore and Mike Walsh. This week the disgruntled fans each pick a new team to root for — and start a friendly competition in the process.

DAVE ZEITLIN: So I know what I want for Chanukah (or, as you guys like to call it, Weird Christmas). I’ve decided I want a new college basketball team to root for.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Penn will always be my No. 1 team and I know better days lie ahead.  But let’s be honest: the only thing my Quakers are competing for this year is whether or not they can become the worst team in Division I (if they aren’t already).  Combine this with the fact that my favorite baseball team is the Mets (don’t say anything, Steve), my favorite football team (the Giants) just gave up approximately 3,500 points in one game (seriously, Steve, be quiet) and neither of my fantasy football teams made the playoffs…and I forget where that sentence was going because I just started crying.  Please, Fake Santa of Chanukah, give me a winning team to root for this holiday season.  Just one.

Here’s my own criteria for picking a new team:  I want the school to be relatively close — as in, driving distance from my home in Philadelphia (sorry, most of the country).  Obviously, the team can’t be any kind of rival of Penn’s (as much as I like Fran Dunphy at Temple).  It can’t be a perennial favorite to win a national championship (that’s no fun) but it also can’t be a team that has no shot of winning it all (rooting for one-mid major is enough).  And even though I’ve followed this conference most of my life, it can’t be any team from the Big East.  (Before going to Penn, I was a big Syracuse fan; I’d feel like an abusive boyfriend going back to them now, but I’d feel like even more of a jerk rooting for one of their rivals.)

So where that does that leave me?  Based on my complex formula, I think I have to go with a middle-of-the-pack ACC school.  And after careful consideration, I realize there’s only one that makes sense.  And the winner is…drumroll please…I don’t hear a drumroll…seriously, give me a drumroll…fine, I guess when you’re writing by yourself and there are no drummers nearby, you’re just not going to get one…Maryland!

Fear the Zeitlin!

Fear the Zeitlin!

I’ll explain more about why I chose the Terps later. But, first, I want to hear who you guys would pick, considering you both root for teams that aren’t making the Big Dance. We can even make this a competition throughout the season. A Chanukah/Christmas competition. Or something.

STEVE MOORE: You may have gotten one of your Weird Christmas wishes when your boy Glen Miller got fired today. Maybe Penn can adopt the Princeton offense (too soon?).

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Gillispie Heads To Rehab

Posted by jstevrtc on September 8th, 2009

Update: Gillispie’s lawyer on Wednesday stated that Gillispie was only “considering” rehab at the John Lucas Treatment Center in Houston, Texas, but tonight, Houston television station KRIV reported that Gillispie actually checked in last Thursday.  A quote attributed to Gillispie (was he drunk at the time?): “By going to spend some time with John Lucas in Houston. He’s got the John Lucas Athletes After Care Program. He’s going to deal with some alcohol issues for me.”

According to the inestimable fellows at, there is news out of Houston tonight that former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Billy Gillispie has checked himself into the John Lucas Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol rehab facility.

We all know about Gillispie’s history with the sauce — the DUIs (especially the recent one outside Lexington), the hanging out in bars with coeds, the alleged aggressive behavior.  Given such a setup, we should have seen how this would end.  How ironic that a guy who wouldn’t sign an actual contract with Kentucky because of an alleged “morality clause” that addressed Gillispie’s alcohol use now finds himself checking into a drug/alcohol rehab facility.

But, then again, is this the end?  In terms of a settlement, this can’t help Gillispie’s chances as far as his lawsuit with UK.  But assuming he completes the program, could it act as a catalyst toward future employment somewhere?  It’s true — checking into rehab, getting through it, and living up to it are all very distinct things.  But Gillispie is more likely to stay in the upper ranks of coaching if he’s got something concrete that proves he’s learned how to manage this problem, as opposed to his asking a school to take a chance on him while he’s still fighting this particular demon.

At this time, though, we’re going to give the man the benefit of the doubt and say that the lawsuit, the potential settlement, his upcoming book, and the prospects of coaching again are all of no concern to him at this time, and that his entry into rehab represents a genuine desire for help.  Gillispie has provided the blogosphere — including this site, we definitely admit it — with a lot of fodder.  This is different.  You’ll find no embarassing photos or Amy Winehouse jokes here today.  In this matter we wish him the best of luck, and hope he achieves absolute success in his battle.  Godspeed, Coach.

(h/t L4B)

Share this story