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NCCA Bracket Contest Winner & Billikens.com Donor
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About Taj79

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    Listener of the Streets
  • Birthday 12/07/1957

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  1. Depth has been a recurring issue with Ford's regime --- and through no real fault of his own. How quickly we forget Aaron Hines starting. We have had French and Foreman and that's it on the front line. Now we have French. One injury (which Hasahn has had albeit minor ones) and the front line is decimated. Going to be a lot of OJT for Diarra, Bell and Perkins because I am sure the A10 D1 level is a lot better night-in and night-out than SWIC's competition. Examples? Just look at what happened at St. Joe's the last few years. I don't think we are going to be in a positionwhere two seven-footers sit on the bench night after night ..... I am holding out hope that SF from BU might come calling, or has his train left the station too?
  2. If you were the next big thing in terms of a P7 or P8 conference, who from the current A10 would you steal? I'd offer two teams ... VCU and Dayton. That's it. Umass and Rhodey have been more down and out then not. Rhodey went to the NCAAs two years ago for the first time since Lamar Odom. Umass hasn't sniffed it since maybe Marcus Camby and John Calipari. Maybe not but it's been a LONG time nonetheless with little if any real success. Nobody ever says "hey, let's annex St. Joes, or La Salle, or Duquesne or the Bunnies or Fordham ...." And every so many years, the Joeys get a Nelson or a Bembry but they are far from consistent. Those five teams plus GeeDubya, Mason and us are yo-yos when it comes to consistent status. Davidson has been okay in their first few years in the A10 .. let's give them some more development time, however. McKillop goes and they go. Richmond is not special by any stretch. Frankly, I see little difference in some of the Midwest schools bopping just above then below the surface ..... Detroit Mercy, Bradley, Drake, Valpo, Tulsa, Tulane, Evansville. I am sure such a collection also exists in the Mountains and on the Pac Coast -- I just don't follow them much, past my bedtime. If TV market is the only thing we got -- which appears to be the case -- we're out. Plain and simple. We don't bring enough cachet to the table. The only real thing that might keep us in is Xavier's hatred for the goobers to the north.
  3. It is my opinion that the sports train left the SLU station many years ago. They never recovered and likely won't. Not to the extent that other, similar schools embraced it and ran with it. At one point in time, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette, and St. John's all had similar situations to ours. Played in pro facilities in their big towns. Had rinky-dink college gyms to fall back on. Were the big dogs on campus when it came to revenue sports. Something clicked there and they ran with it. Other schools came late to the party but figured it out. Xavier, Creighton, Butler, and Gonzaga. But there is a large group still struggling to reach those gold standards -- us, DePaul, St. Joe's, La Salle, Duquesne --- of high level D1 basketball. Why? I don't profess to have an answer. Maybe it rests in a religious philosophy that doesn't embrace athletics. Maybe it rests in the BoT unwillingness to spend money. Maybe its the fact that our alumni don't bother to pack 10000 seat arenas where they seem to love to do it in Omaha, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and, ughh, Dayton. I disagree with some of CB's stuff above ---- I don't think Ford was allowed any money to spend on the players' lounge -- he had to go out and fund raise that, right? Fountains, museums and clock towers are what we seem to want. If Ford does produce winning records someone will come calling. Challenge seems to trump money most times and Ford will likely be no different. But no SLU coach has ever gone on to bigger and better things because of his record here. Why? Maybe some of the above, I don't know. (Romar went home). So losing Ford on his track record will take an extended time on that track if you ask me. And Ford hasn't done much other than last year's miracle run. I know, I know, S2 and S3 hamstrings. Fine. But the Ford era really starts now. He needs time now and I'm all for giving it to him. I don't think SLU has changed any attitude, not the top level that is needed. Chaifetz went to Biondi to hire Majerus; SLU had nothing to do with it but got gifted. Biondi was staying with Brad. Biondi then promised the sky and reneged on just about everything. We finally bid adieu to Larry and ol' Freddie has moved in with very few accolades given due to S2, S3 and the Clock Tower Accords. What I see in Pestello is a guy who will be in Brooklyn as long as we are winning. I don't see May being strong enough to break any molds there either. Chris is okay, but he can't be any more given the atmosphere he works in. SLU's hiring of Majerus was a pure stroke of luck. Once in a lifetime thing. Given our track record, it won't happen again. Not trying to rain on the CB parade and keep your optimism. I just don't see it as rosy as you do.
  4. ESPN is reporting all Uconn sports back to Big East for 2020.
  5. I think the write up is decent ---- anything that spurs debate. HP: I know their rankings are for the recently completed year. And Goodwin (rated #8 in the preseason rankings if memory serves) didn't make this Top 25. I thought my statement "how is that possible" was rife with sarcasm .... as broy pointed out to me in the blue font response on page 1. To me, these rankings validate my "evaluation" but many will claim I'm jumping on the kid. Not true ----- I'd take him over Gilyard, Carry, Honor, and a few other of these so-called Top 25. But tons of improvement, especially in the shooting skills of the game, is still needed. And I expect him to do just that ...................... or the season will be lost. Ditto French. Ditto Thatch. Going to need strong upper class leadership to offset what we lost plus six newcomers. Can't wait to see how it develops.
  6. This is about right. Sixth in A10. Meaning behind Davidson, VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island and who? Richmond? The Bunnies? A10 Talk has Richmond owning two of last year's top ten players in Golden and Gilyard. And Sherrod is back. I don't have a lot of internal fortitude to believe Welch, Osunniyi and Lofton can do enough to put them ahead of us, So we shall see. By the way, A10 Talk didn't list Goodwin in it's Top Twenty Five. How Is that even possible?
  7. Bauman ---- appreciate the feedback. To clarify, not all my eggs are in that basket, rather, what i'm saying is it starts now on the Ford regime. We have lived through the debacle of the [dead] years and Travis has weathered the course. Last year was six of one, half dozen of another ---- we were giddy as all get out to start and then it fell apart. Then we recovered in a glorious week in Brooklyn. That was fantastic and it also I believe relieved some pressure on Travis going forward. I don't think its win now because of that so with the reprieve, I see now as the time to start building on to it. I have no expectations to put on this coming year, but do want to see improvement. Can we return to the Dance? Yes. Are we favored to do so? Most likely no. In case anyone has forgotten, Jordan Goodwin has tons of room for improvement. Ditto Hasahn French. But both are well above the average player in the A10 IMHO. Thatch is a nice compliment but needs an offensive game. Neither Hankton nor Jacobs are returning veterans by any stretch. Some want to wax poetically on Perkins, Hargrove, Jimerson and Collins. Most believe Bell and Diarra are projects as I do. But the sustainability I crave seems to be there ----- it is time for Travis to develop it, that's all. No more mercenaries. Mo more transfers from elsewhere (he can but he hasn't). Travis has leveled his playing field by overachieving last year. I just look forward to seeing the development. And that development will equal sustainability. I want to see what progress we show this year ...... a Dance invite would be a stunning achievement given our roster and the strength of the A10 this time around. But a Dance invite is not a needed measure of success as I see it this year.
  8. Right now, making the tournament alone is our buggaboo. We don't get there enough to satisfy me. And we all know how hard that can be. Once that is achieved, then it comes to making a Sweet Sixteen --- something we've never done. Then the Elite Eight. Than and only then a Final Four. In the 80 year history of a Final Four, these teams have been there once: Auburn, Charlotte, Duquesne, Drake, Dayton, Florida State, Mason, Georgia, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Jacksonville, Umass, Minnesota, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Penn, Pitt, Princeton, Rutgers, Snata Clara, Seattle, Seton Hall, SMU, South Carolina, St. Bonaventure, St. Joe's, Texas Tech, UTEP, VCU, Wake Forest, Washington, Washington State, Western Kentucky and Wyoming. And yes, some of that is ancient history (Duquesne 1940; Drake in 1969). In the last ten years, the only teams outside the P5 conferences to get there are Loyola, Gonzaga, Wichita State, and VCU. The ten years prior to that, only Mason broke the mold. So in the last 20 years, teams outside the elite are shooting at a 6.25% clip. If the Bills did that, St. Louis should be New Year's Eve, Mardi Gras and Fourth of July all wrapped into one week. Of course, the front page sports story in the Post would be Mizzou's women's softball team losing a heartbreaker or pitchers and catcher playing extended toss in Florida. Sustainability. The first real measure of that in the Ford regime starts this year. Can't wait.
  9. What rules are you speaking of? Those of the opaque NCAA? Not a fan of Cuonzo Martin but yours is an uniformed statement. As Pistol and brian say, the rules seem pretty cut-n-dried. Except then the NCAA makes unexplained waivers and we're all left guessing. I think Lewis got shafted at first when [dead] went after gems like Miles Reynolds and Marcus Bartley. That's on [dead]. Did the kid really, really want to be a Billiken all along? So he says. Then he got shafted when Ferry, the coach he signed with, got canned at Duquesne. Dambrot re-recruited him obviously, same with Eric Williams, Jr., and then couldn't or wouldn't hold on to either. Lewis got passed over for Sincere Carry and Tavian Dunn-Martin. Problem was he didn't figure that out until second semester junior year. Transfers sit a year. Then the guy he wants to play for, Musselman at Nevada, rides off into a promotion send off and the kid is left adrift again. Ian Vouyoukas. Cody Ellis. And now Mike Lewis. The NCAA doesn't do SLU any favors and likely never will. Coulda/shoulda/wouldas run deep in the Lewis tragedy. I will watch with some interest where this "pro" career goes.
  10. Bench coach ..... as in X's-and-O's man, timeouts, sub patterns, strategy, schemes, defenses. The one knock on Howard is he might be light in the mental aspect of head coaching. The biggest knock on Phil at the Joeys was he wasn't getting the right players to play for him. He'd get one (Langford or Bembry) and the rest would be prayers. Michigan gets players, no doubt.
  11. Like government on any level, the NCAA's issue is one of transparency. No one seems to know how anything works. Someone mentioned the differences in the Smith cases at Mizzou. One in the other not. Was it Mustapha Heron at St. John's too? Even Travis Ford said he didn't know how things worked for these waivers and no one seems to know. My immediate gut reaction is that it hurts this team because we have no known outside shooting credibility. It does appear to give more minutes to Jacobs and Jimerson and I'm okay with that. The urgency for Ford to deliver has waned some what with last year's tournament run so the stop-gap mercenary recruiting can end. Verbal Commits still shows Maidoh and Pryor as unsigned targets of ours. Both are listed as small forwards and we only list Perkins in that area with Hankton as the unknown backup. But Perkins is also somewhat of an unknown as well. Going to be a huge development year. Goodwin, Thatch and French all need further development. Bell and Diarra are both likely projects. Hankton and Jacobs are second year unknowns. Jimerson, Perkins, Collins and Hargrove all have some unknowns coming in. Going to be a great year to sit back and see what develops. Outside of just surviving his first year with {dead} dumpster fire, this year might be Ford's greatest challenge.
  12. I don't know this Xavier alum but there is NO real talk of Big East expansion but any post like this will get a whole bunch of panties in a wad of excitement. If expansion were based on NCAA appearances, DePaul (4 in last 30 years) would be booted out of the Big East in a heartbeat. St. John's is a reoccurring nightmare. But no. Why? Chicagoland and the Big Apple! TV market. Recruiting. Midwest hub far above Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and, blech, Omaha. Broadway! Expansion will happen anywhere for two reasons ..... money and competition/domination. St. Louis is by far the prettier TV option than most. Competition/domination is what you see the P5 doing with 20-league conferences and schedule lockdowns. If the Big East wants us, they know where we are.
  13. to Phil Martelli. ESPN calls it great move. Phil won't recruit ---- just practice coach and bench coach.
  14. I'd rather Bell and Diarra get OJT over another big like this.
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