After the Buzzer: Zone Offense

Posted by rtmsf on November 7th, 2007

ATB v.4


Well, we already covered the Ohio St. debacle. More CvC tonight…

Kentucky 67, Central Arkansas 40. Billy Gillispie debuted at Kentucky with the third highest victory total (27) for a coach’s first game in UK history (Rupp; Smith), while holding C. Arkansas to 20% shooting for the game, the lowest total against a UK team in 12 yrs. The Cats were paced by sometime-malcontent Joe Crawford, who was benched for the first 13 mins of the game before coming in to score 20 pts. Who is Mark Coury? The UK walk-on soph had a double-double (13/10), while Patrick Patterson, who looked great in the two exhibition games, got himself into early foul trouble and finished with four pts. Unless Patterson dominates and Carter gets healthy, inside play could be a season-long bugaboo for the Cats. For the definitive take on tonight’s action, check A Sea of Blue.


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Memphis 80, Richmond 63. After a performance last night against Maine last night that may have set the game’s evolution back a generation or so, Richmond decided to bring its game tonight. Or at least its zone defense, which seriously confounded the Tigers until a 14-2 run with 13 mins to go in the game finally put the Spiders away. Seriously, UM was only up one point at halftime, and by all accounts, looked confused. Once again, Derrick Rose was the story, with a line of 21/5 but only one assist. CDR also contributed 19/9 (on 5-14 shooting, though). Could zone be an achilles heel of the Calipari’s AASAA offense? Also, for the second consecutive night, someone went off on the Tigers, as David Gonzalvez blew up for 25 in a losing effort.


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Other Games: Gardner-Webb 69, Alabama A&M 55. So our SWAC predicted champion got beat, but how about our A&M boy Mickell Gladness? Nearly a trip-dub tonight, with 8/10/7 blks. G-W advances to play Kentucky tomorrow night.


On Tap Tonight. The Lexington Regional continues and the Storrs Regional gets started (aka the Regional that Holy Cross Can’t Play In).

  • #15 Kentucky (-25.5) v. Gardner-Webb (ESPNU) We heart Mark Coury.
  • Connecticut (-26) v. Morgan St. (ESPNU) Calhoun and Bozeman in a game of who is shadiest.
  • Ohio Valley (NL) v. Buffalo – Could you have handpicked two crappier teams, Calhoun?
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After the Buzzer: Memphis Rose in Bloom

Posted by rtmsf on November 6th, 2007

Welcome to After the Buzzer. We’re sorta envisioning this to be a one-stop recap of notable information from each night’s games. Think Daily Dime meets Doug Gottlieb (w/o the credit card fraud conviction). Or something like that. Now, we’re not promising we can do this every single night of the season – a weekly Friday’s Ivies would put everyone to sleep, including especially us. But we’ll do our best to get you some college hoops insights for your morning bourbon coffee. Except for this morning, because it’s already the afternoon. Details, details. If there’s anything you guys want to see as a regular feature, hit us up at and we’ll unabashedly claim the idea as our own think about adding it.

ATB v.4


The 07-08 season got underway at the Memphis Regional last night for the CvC first round games.

· Richmond 44, Maine 42. Remember when the Richmond Spiders were good with Dick Tarrant on the sidelines beating the likes of Syracuse and Indiana? No longer. 100 Memphins (?) showed up early to watch a high school game break out.

· Memphis 102, UT-Martin 71. The nightcap that nobody outside of the Pyramid saw (thanks ESPNU) showed just how explosive the #1 blogpoll Tigers can be. Joey Dorsey didn’t play, but no matter. Chris Douglas-Roberts led the way with 28/8, but reviews were sparkling for the debut of superfrosh Derrick Rose (17/6/5), fueling message board chatter about the number of trip-dubs Rose will have this year. Possible Memphis concerns – 1) they let UTM’s Lester Hudson drop 35 on them (do they play D?); and, 2) 58.6% from the line (17-29).


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On Tap Tonight. The Memphis Regional continues and the Lexington Regional of the CvC gets started.

  • #1 Memphis (-29) v. Richmond (ESPNU)maybe the Fedex will open up the concessions?
  • # 15 Kentucky (-27.5) v. Central Arkansas (ESPNU) Gillispie’s debut at Rupp
  • Gardner-Webb (-3.5) v. Alabama A&Mkeep an eye on A&M’s Mickell Gladness
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Conference Primers: #31 – SWAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 2nd, 2007

Season Preview Banner 3

Predicted Order of Finish.

  1. Alabama A&M (18-9) (13-5)
  2. Mississippi Valley St. (13-13) (12-6)
  3. Grambling St. (14-9) (12-6)
  4. Alabama St. (15-14) (10-8)
  5. Southern (13-15) (9-9)
  6. Jackson St. (12-17) (8-10)
  7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-19) (8-10)
  8. Prairie View A&M (9-20) (8-10)
  9. Alcorn St. (5-20) (7-11)
  10. Texas Southern (5-23) (3-15)


What You Need to Know (WYN2K). Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the worst basketball conference in America! For three years running, the Southwestern Athletic Conference has found itself at the absolute bottom of every major computer ranking system (RPI, Sagarin & Pomeroy) as its ten schools have gone a collective 32-229 (.123) in OOC games during the last three seasons (easily the worst). Its sacrificial lamb league champion has received eight straight #16 seeds in the NCAAs and four of those teams were relegated to the dreaded play-in game. Just how bad is it? Consider that tournament champion Jackson St. and regular-season champion Mississippi Valley St. were the only two schools with overall winning records last year – no other conference member won more than eleven games. There are no encouraging signs of change for this season.

Predicted Champion. Alabama A&M (#16 Seed NCAA). Yes, we’re predicting a worst-to-first here, but the Bulldogs are the only SWAC school returning all five starters from last season, including dynamic sophomore guards Trant Sampson and Cornelius Hester as well as 6’11 defensive freak Mickell Gladness (6.3 bpg), who blocked an astonishing 20.5% of shots while he was on the court last season.

Others Considered. Grambling is an interesting team because they return four starters including the SWAC’s best all-around player Andre Ratliff, but they also open a brand-new 7500-seat arena and we shouldn’t discount the “new barn” effect. Mississippi Valley St. is another team to watch because they won the regular-season crown last season and return former Southern Miss coach James Green, who has inspired his teams to play maddening D, which will keep them in the hunt.

Games to Watch. There’s only one game you’ll find on tv from the SWAC, and it’s the only game that matters for this conference all season.

  • SWAC Championship Game (03.15.08).

RPI Booster Games. The SWAC plays 28 games against BCS conference opponents, and 26 of those are on the road. In a weird scheduling coincidence, only Auburn deigns to venture into a SWAC gym, and it does so twice – it could lose either of these if Lebo’s team isn’t careful.

  • Auburn @ Alabama St. (11.17.07)
  • Auburn @ Southern (12.16.07)

Odds of Multiple NCAA Bids. Nil. It’s never happened before, and the reality of the non-conference “guarantee games” in the SWAC will ensure it doesn’t happen again this year.

All-Name Team. Alabama St.’s Grlenntys “Chief” Kickingstallionsims is a cinch for national honors, but Texas Southern’s St. Paul Latham is another worthy candidate.

Neat-o Stat. The SWAC likes to run, as half of its teams were among the top 62 fastest tempos in the nation in 06-07. By the same token, though, none can shoot the ball, as 9 of its 10 teams were among the bottom 35 teams last year in effective FG%.

65-Team Era. The SWAC is 1-21 in the era. Southern University (#13) defeated Georgia Tech (#4) 93-78 in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tourney.

Final Thought. The SWAC isn’t worth much in basketball, so we’ll give it some love for something it’s actually good at.

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