Posted on: March 18, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2010 3:18 pm

Live Blogging Day 1 of The Tournament

I'm going to be watching the games anyway. So, I've decided why not jump onto this blog here--which I haven't looked at in months and jot down my thoughts. Worst case: I have some organized thoughts which I can share in discussions with my friends. We'll be arguing about these games and I'll be prepared. Best Case: Some college basketball fans come and join me at some point today and we begin an active. If you happen to drop by this page and read the above sentences, I urge you, please join me in discussion. This kind of comradery is what the tournament is all about.

Opening thoughts:

The Florida-BYU game is on with 16:30 left to go in the first. Florida is up 8 to 6. I've liked Florida's talent from the beginning. You can sift through my infrequent posts and read a quick blurb on the Gators, in which I penned them one of my underrated teams to watch. I love Chandler Parsons, Alex Tryus,  Macklin, Walker and Boynton, all of whom average double digit points. I have picked the Gators in my bracket--however, I don't have them going any further.

This is the game I'll likely stick with through the first series of games. Villanova-Robert Morris? No thank you. And I prefer this Gators matchup to Notre Dame-Old Dominion, in which I've picked the Big East team. Even with Harangody coming off the bench, I think the 'Irish have proven down the stretch in big east play, they have the drive to push forward. They're a team of perseverance, with momentum coming in. These types usually do well come Tourney time.

Your thoughts on the first series of games? Let me know.


After 2 computer crashes, I've determined that my (4-yo) laptop can't handle both streaming games and constant page updates and posting. So, all I can do i live blog what CBS shows me.

Some quick hits:


Despite my disappointment, I have to admit, this was a terrific game. Florida came back down the stretch in regulation, had the lead at times and endured through overtime. However, BYU pulled off... well... they just pulled out a win. Florida was technically the underdog. I maintain, Florida was the better team today.

NOVA-Robert Morris

Game just ended in overtime 70-73. The Referees gave this game away to Scottie Reynolds and Villanova. They should not be celebrating as much as they are. They lost, everywhere but on the scoreboard...

Vanderbilt-Murray State

I've scene none of this game, but I see that Murray State has the lead. I'm going to assume I'm headed there next though. None of these current games interest me as much as the first round of games--or the later games--so, I'm taking a little break. I may even head to the gym for a couple hours. If/when I'm back full on live-blogging, it'll be on a new page. Enjoy the rest of today's games.

My picks for the current set:

Vanderbilt, Baylor, Kansas State... yep chalk. Nothing special. I do have UTEP over Baylor later though.
Posted on: November 18, 2009 11:45 am

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/18/2009

As usual we’ll start with a review of the teams already apart of my bandwagon:

Florida State (ACC) 1-0

Connecticut (Big East) 3-0

As always, let me know what you think below.  Tell me what you think of teams already in my bandwagon.  Tell me which teams are apart of your bandwagon.  Try to guess which seven teams will round out my bandwagon.  Let’s get some interaction going. 

I’m moving onto the representative from the SEC.  The experts say the South East is much improved, but I’m not yet buying into that thought.  Kentucky is Memphis of the last several years, only in a tougher conference – so they’ll lose a few games.  After Kentucky its Tennessee, whom I like as well, they’ve got three or four possible All-SEC performers.  However, the team who is joining my bandwagon is neither of these teams, but it is a recent back-to-back champion. 

Florida (SEC) 1-0

The argument I’ve heard against Florida is that they lost their top player, their top scorer, their top playmaker – of course all of whom all Nick Calathes – how can they be better.  It was the same for Connecticut and partly the same with Florida State – with the loss of Toney Douglas.  Throw out all comparisons to last year.  It’s a new season anything can happen.   The talent as a whole is down, in my opinion.  Florida is one of the most solid team’s I’ve come across.  They return sophomore Alex Tyus, who will shift to hi natural power forward position this year, he will likely lead the team in rebounds and could lead them in scoring as well – he averaged 12.5 ppg his freshmen year.  Also returning is 5-8 sophomore guard Erving Walker , who averaged 10.1 ppg last year despite playing in Calathes’ shadow – and it was a literal shadow, Calathes is 6-6 to Walker’s 5-8, ha!  Junior Chandler Parsons is a personal favorite of mine.  He led the team with fourteen points in their season opener.  His emergence will be a key determinant in Florida’s season.  Joining the above three holdovers is top recruit Kenny Boynton, a 6-2 off guard who will immediately step in as one of the team’s top scoring threats, he scored twelve in the opener.  Helping out the front court is Georgetown transfer Vernon Macklin, who will step in at the five to provide defense, rebounds and some low post points; he scored thirteen and grabbed eight rebounds in the first game.  He’s an excellent complement to Tyus.  Senior forward Dan Werner will also contribute; he averaged 8.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg last season in a starting role.  Freshmen Erik Murphy, a 6-10 forward, whom likens to former Gator Matt Bonner .  I really like this Gators team; they’re good in the frontcourt with depth there and they’re good in the backcourt, admittedly with less depth.  The question is, are they great anywhere?  I tend to think that frontcourt of Tyus, Macklin and Parsons is great.  Florida will get a couple of early tests as they take on Florida State November twenty-forth, they go to #2 Michigan State on November twenty-seventh and take on another “great” frontcourt in Syracuse, at home, December tenth.  Other than those three games they coast to SEC season, when they go to Vanderbilt on January ninth.  It’s my impression that they will lose all three early tests and go into SEC season 10-3, which isn’t bad, but they’ll be without a good win.  Stealing one of those games, most likely either Fla. St. or Syracuse at home, would go a long way to ensuring their March plans. 

Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:50 pm

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/17/2009

Welcome back to The Bandwagon .  Before I reveal the second team on my early/pre-season bandwagon, let’s first look at those teams already on it:

Florida State 1-0

As always, let me know what you think of my bandwagon picks thus far and be sure to include your own bandwagon picks at the bottom of the page; I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Now are you ready for my next bandwagon team? 

Connecticut 3-0

There is a strange vibe surrounding the Big East this year.  It seems that the usual leaders of the conference have taken a step back -- I mean you Connectut, Pittsburgh and Louisville -- while Villanova and West Virginia have both taken a big step forward.  At least the experts seem to think so.  I'll admit 'Nova and West Virginia do deserve some buzz, but I think the experts are making a mistake by overlooking some of the conferences top programs, such as Connecticut.  When I made my selections, I was under the impression that UCONN was ranked lower than thirteenth – thus making them a bolder pick.  I still feel they belong here though.   It could be argued that Connecticut lost more following last season than any other team (North Carolina and Pittsburgh may be the only competing teams).  However, Jerome Dyson returns, he’s scored better than nineteen ppg through the team’s first three games while also leading the team in assists.  Kemba Walker is lightening-quick and will provide adequate scoring, while reserving his ability to explode in some games.  Stanley Robinson is a tall 6-9 with great athleticism, everybody is expecting him to burst out this season and thus far he has.  Helping out this threesome – and 6-9 senior forward Gavin Edwards – are three freshmen ranked better than seventy-fifth by .  Amongst the newcomers is Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 center, who’s presence will be felt immediately on defense and on the boards – he leads the team in rebounds through three games averaging just more than ten a game.  Joining him is 6-7 forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and off-guard Darius Smith, who is of the Kemba Walker mold.  Suffice to say, the Huskies have a good mix of young and old on this year’s team.  I understand they lost a lot; it is tough to imagine this team is better – especially after that game against Hofstra, right? – but give this team time and they’ll scare any team in the top ten.  Looking at the schedule, Connecticut should cruise through their first five.  On December ninth they’ll play Kentucky, at home, giving this team its first true test.  If the younger players can learn to contribute offensively by then, I say they take that game to remain undefeated heading into Big East play at Cincinnati on December thirtieth. 

Posted on: November 16, 2009 2:54 am

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" (11/16/09)

"The Bandwagon" is simple: throughout the season [college hoops] I will periodically name teams whose bandwagons I am officially jumping on (or off).  These are teams I think of in high esteem, teams I think are on the rise, or are at least an interesting sleeper team.  To start the college basketball season off right, I have choosen ten teams whose bandwagons am either starting or jumping on -- they will be released throughout the early part of the week.  I will monitor the performance of these teams, and continuously reevaluate whose bandwagon I'm on -- and in some cases driving, right?  To start the season off right, I am on the bandwagon of at least one team in each of the six BCS conferences.  My pre/early season thoughts on each of these bandwagon teams will accompany their selection.  Feel free (and please do) let me know what you think of my selections and post whose bandwagon you are on as well. 

Florida State (ACC)

Many experts say its a down year for the ACC this season, they instead favor the top heavy Big 10 and Big 12, but the ACC is incredibly deep this season.  In part because of the Seminoles.  Florida State returns a pair of guys in the frontcourt: the 7-1 Solomon Alabi, a highly skilled big man and Chris Singleton, a 6-9 sophmore, who I have yet to get a good read on.  The front court will have to be a strength this season after Florida St. lost top guard Toney Douglas.  They do return three guards, however, including 6-4 junior Derwin Kitchen who will at least share ball-handling responsibilities, he is a good rebounder - averageing 4.6 rpg in 08/09 - and will look to up his shooting this season as well.  The other two holdovers are: Luke Luocks, a 6-5 sophmore point guard and Deividas Dulkys a 6-5 shooting guard who makes his mark behind the arc (not intentionally looking to rhyme).  Joining them in the backcourt is one of my favorite freshman in all of college basketball this season -- and perhaps the biggest reason for the Seminoles' inclusion on this list -- Michael Snaer.  Snaer is a 6-5 shooting guard with explosive scoring ability and athletism.  He can get it done by getting to the basket or from outside.  He will be this team's leading scorer.  I absolutely love this team's size.  I realize "it's all about the guard-play", but oversized players at three positions [with Alabi, Kitchen and Snaer at the 5, 1 and 2] should cause a lot of teams some problems.  I question, however, this team's depth and possibly more importantly, their ball-handler -- I prefer both Snaer and Kitchen off the ball.  Florida State has a fair non-conference schedule.  They'll play four early road games, including @ fellow bandwagon team, Florida and @ Ohio State.  At worst this team goes 5-2 before going to Georgia Tech on December 20th to kick off their ACC season, but I think they can easily handle an unexperienced Florida team this easy in the season.  Ohio State will be the real test, the Buckeyes are experienced and skilled, and perhaps most importantly at home.  However, if they can take that road game, or maybe even play tough and stay in it till the end, I think they will have turned some heads going into conference play.  This team is not better without Toney Douglas -- they're better with Michael Snaer

So, what do you think of my first bandwagon

Posted on: November 16, 2008 9:52 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 4:57 pm

Notes from the LeMoyne game

First, it was LeMoyne. Second, it was the first game of the season, so I am sure Beoheim went in with the same game plan he would with a "real" opponent. This team still cannot make free throws, and they force, but also allow, a lot of turnovers. Expect this team to score over 75 a lot again. They spread the ball around, because everyone on the court is a threat to score. Boeheim went to a "three guard" - or at least I call it a three guard lineup - with Mookie, and Harris on the floor with Rautins, Devendorf, and/or Flynn. I also saw a lot of brief man-to-man mixed into the zone from time to time. Overall, good start.

Johnny Flynn - He's as good as expected thus far this season, and he went to the hoop more than I thought he would. I thought he would act more as a facilitator, and pass first. Flynn's still pass first, but is nice to know he will still take the ball to the basket, and put it in the air on occasion, he could score 20 + a night if he wished.

Arinze Onuaku - Ok, so it appears I jumped the gun a little bit when I said he would average 16 a game earlier today (four, or five players will average right around 12, or 13 points, each taking over at different times throughout the year. Onuaku was pretty silent in this game, but scoring in double digits. He will become more important when Syracuse plays bigger teams.

Rick Jackson - He is defense, and rebounding only. He is not a viable scoring threat. So, Jeremy McNeal.

Andy Rautins - One of the best complete players on this team. No longer can you call Rautins a one-dimensional player. He can pass - can someone say nine assists? - plays good defense, causes turnovers, plays with spirit, and is still a good shooter.

Eric Devendorf - Should not be starting. Rautins deserves to be the starter, he has improved in all facets of the game. Devendorf still shoots too much, and is horrid with the ball in his hands. He traveled three times, taking a step before he dribbled, at some point you have to figure it out. He also does not play with the same passion as Rautins. He is, however, still good at getting to the basket, but settles for the jump shot too much.

Kristof Ongenaut - I like him. He plays harder (works harder) than anyone else on the court, and just has a knack for rebounds. He also creates turnovers, and made most of his shots in the shoot around. But, Boeheim played him very little, despite starting him both halves. He certainly deserves more minutes.

Paul Harris - Made his jump shots, 'nough said.

Kris Joseph - The better of the two frosh this game. Joseph was one of the first players off the bench. Joseph plays with some energy, and can rebound, and pass well. He has some range in his game, but does not make that shot consistently, yet, he likes to keep it close to the rim.

Mookie Jones - He is not afraid to pull the trigger. He made all of his outside shots during shoot around, but missed most in-game. Plays with a lot of intensity, and is extremely athletic.
Posted on: November 16, 2008 2:40 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2008 2:43 pm

Syracuse Orange[men] Season Preview

...Not to be confused with a Big East preview, or any other kind of preview this is strictly a Syracuse Orange[men] preview. Sorry, the Big East preview will come before Big East games in December.

Syracuse Basketball Preview

In a few hours the Syracuse Orange[men] will be tipping off their season, by taking on LeMoyne; which means in a couple of hours I will have to leave to grab a good parking spot. But, before I do, here is the Syracuse Basketball seasonal preview… winners are in bold.

LeMoyne at Syracuse

Richmond at Syracuse

Oakland at Syracuse

Florida vs. Syracuse in Kansas?

I believe this game is in Kansas the winner of this game would go on to play the winner of Kansas vs. Washington, which I believe will be Kansas, in Kansas

Syracuse vs. Kansas in Kansas?

Yes, Syracuse will lose their first game against Kansas. Although losing most of their key players from the National Championship team, I have to favor Kansas in what will be a virtual home game. I will say that I think this is a game Syracuse can win, but not this early in the season. If Washington ends up here, or if Syracuse loses to Florida, and plays Washington I think the ‘Cuse win.

Virginia at Syracuse

Syracuse beat them in Virginia last season; I see no reason why they will not be able to handle them at home… take that ACC.

Colgat at Syracuse

Cornell at Syracuse

Long Beach St. at Syracuse

Cleveland St. at Syracuse

Canisius at Syracuse

Syracuse at Memphis

I think Memphis is overrated after losing CDR, Derrick Rose, and others, but at Memphis with Tyreke Evans. I am taking Memphis, but I think this game will pay dividends when Syracuse has to play multiple games on the road against tough opponents during Big East play, plus it helps SOS.

Coppin St. at Syracuse

So, I have Syracuse at 11-2 entering the Big East season, and ranked somewhere between 13, and 20, I am saying a firm sixteenth, so I can shove it in your face if it is right.

Seton Hall at Syracuse

Syracuse at South Florida

DePaul at Syracuse

Syracuse at Rutgets

Syracuse at Georgetown
This begins a tough four game stretch for Syracuse which includes two road games, and two home games against two of the best teams in the Big East. I think Georgetown takes care of business at home, Austin Freeman finishes with 6 3’s.

Notre Dame at Syracuse
This one hurts to say, but I do not think the Orange[men] are ready to beat this team, and McAlarney tears up the SU zone.

Syracuse at Pittsburgh
First, I think Pittsburgh is beatable, second, Pittsburgh always seems to amass injuries by this part of the season, go ‘Cuse for their biggest win on the road, yet, this season.

Louisville at Syracuse
I want to say that Syracuse can win this game. They matchup well with Louisville, but I think the Cardinals win.

Syracuse at Providence
The nail in the coffin, Syracuse will look to bounce back from their current tough stretch, but will be denied in this close loss.

West Virginia at Syracuse
[Courtesy of Joe Alexander]

Syracuse at Villanova
I dislike Scottie Reynolds, with every fiber of my being. My wrath will fuel Syracuse to victory, their need for this win may also be a factor.

Syracuse at Connecticut
Were this a home game I would consider it, but since it is not. I will watch ESPN, and hope Syracuse proves me wrong.

Georgetown at Syracuse
Georgetown is good enough to win at home, but they are not that good. If Greg Monroe sticks around for a sophomore year, though, they will be.

Villanova at Syracuse
I want the sweep, and really, really dislike Scottie Reynolds… with every fiber of my being.

Syracuse at St. John’s
I know they have to have a surprising lose somewhere, but I do not know where, could be this one, could be the at Rutgers game. But, I cannot predict that, so I have them winning both.

Cincinnati at Syracuse
No problems.

Rutgers at Syracuse
[No explanation needed]

Syracuse at Marquette
I like Marquette, and I really like Dominic James having a terrific season for the first time since his frosh season. He is like a pro in their contract season, he is playing to get drafted next summer.

So, we have Syracuse with a 23-8 record, and probably a ranking of 21 in the Coaches poll. What does this mean? Probably a five, or a six seed, depending on just how good, or bad they do in the Big East Tournament, definitely a NCAA team, though, finally!

Syracuse points leaders (points per game)

1. Arinze Onuaku 16.4
2. Eric Devendorf 15.9
3. Johnny Flynn 12.8
4. Paul Harris 11.4
5. Andy Rautins 9.8
6. Kris Joseph 7.6
7. Mookie Jones 5.9
8. Rick Jackson 4.8
9. Kristof Ongenaut 4.3

I think Onuaku is one of the most underrated players in the country, and having Devendorf, and Rautins outside is going to free up the big man inside. Yes, Devendorf, and Flynn will have a few games scoring high 20s, but Onuaku will be a rock all season, and anchor this offense. I like Harris, but his offensive production is going to drop a little with Devendorf, and Rautins back. Joseph will outscore Jones because he will find more playing time at the power forward position, than Jones will find anywhere else. If you were to compare their points/minute Jones would come up on top.

[I will have a Big East Preview and Big East Tournament Preview right before they begin, so, in December, and then in March. I will also weigh in on how the season is going for Syracuse, and the rest of the Big East from time to time, but am preoccupied with my ‘top prospects’ series to write often on the College Basketball season.]

Syracuse Orange  - I have to type that once for it to be recognized by the SU hoops page, as a blog about SU hoops.  Just a formality. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:32 am

Big East Tournament: Round 1, Game 2

5 West Virginia v. 12 Providence

On paper these two teams are identical. \
wv - 76
prov - 73
wv - 45
prov - 45
wv - 35
prov - 37
wv - 40
prov - 38

The only difference is Providence commits slightly more turnovers. What does this tell me? There are no reason's why West Virginia shouldn't win as they should. But, there is not a reason why Providence can't upset West Virginia either. The most important factor I see in this game has nothing to do with the guys playing on the court. While some teams, like Syracuse and Villanova are playing to get into the NCAA tournament. Tim Welsh (Providence) is coaching for his job, and I think that will make the difference today.

Outcome: Providence upsets West Virginia 79-77
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:19 am

Big East Tournament: Round 1

I'm going to have to make this quick,I'm expected to be at a pals house to watch the SU game in an hour. \

8 Villanova v. 9 Syracuse

This games has the most NCAA tournament implications. The loser of this game is out. The other fights another day. Many say if Syracuse wins they are in, many other say Syracuse has to win it all, or make it the semi-finals. I'm not interested in the technicalities. If Syracuse loses, they are out. For, both Syracuse and Villanova, that is what matters today.

Both teams are running with two game win streaks, but I feel Syracuse has more momentum coming off their fifteen point victory against Marquette. Villanova and Syracuse split their regular season series, winning on each other's home court, so it is only just for these two to settle the dispute on a neutral court... Madison Square Garden. Wait. Neutral court? Syracuse is beloved in MSG, and Villanova is a Philly team. This could spell disaster for Villanova, or maybe Syracuse, since the visitor has won the previous two games.

For Syracuse to Win: Syracuse has to force, and avoid, turnovers. Create fast breaks. But, the key for Syracuse is to get the ball inside. Onuaku should have a field day against Nova's front court, and Donte Greene needs to do exactly what he did Saturday take the ball to the hoop, and avoid shooting lazy threes. On defense they need to extend the zone like they did against Marquette and contest Nova's shooter.

For Nova to Win: Make jump shots. Exploit the zone, because Boeheim's not coming out of it. If they can get Syracuse's big men into foul trouble early. Syracuse will be doomed if Onuaku and Greene have to spend extended times on the bench. On defense, they need to force Syracuse to take outside shots.

Outcome: I have Syracuse winning 79-68
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or