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About Taj79

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    Listener of the Streets
  • Birthday 12/07/1957

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  1. Taj79

    The Bills over Duq by 4

    The only scouting note I'll add to this is Duquesne's pace. Duquesne is not a halfcourt team. From what I've seen, they like to turn up the pressure and run. In some games, their halftime deficits require this. And they don't run for layups, rather threes. Against Longwood (who?) they were down 15 at half at home and then outscored them by 24 in the second half. At Davidson,they faded down the stretch when Davidson dictated play and turned it into a full shot clock possession kind of half. They are on NBC SN today at 4/3 EST/CST at Geedubya where they are favored by 3 with a 62% chance to win. Duquesne has 11 guys averaging at least 10 mpg. So they go deep but are not all skilled. Williams and Carry like to launch and both are at about 38% from three. Surprisingly, Mizzou transfer Frankie Hughes is their high volume three point shooter. Half of Williams shots are threes. Michael Hughes is their only real front court player. Dambrot has five guys 6'10" or better but none are factors and all are freshmen. But can you say Tydus Verhoeven? That stiff had one game last year --------- against us.
  2. Taj79

    Other MCBB games on TV '18-'19

    Don't sleep on Mason. Fordham had them by ten late in the second half and Mason escaped at home with an NBA-length three by Livingstone with .4 on the clock. The Bonnies let Ryan Mikesell beat them with a career-high 21. Peter Frampton hit 8 three for Davidson as they romped the Spiders at home. Rhodey easily handled La Salle at the Mausoleum. And VCU pulled away late to beat Umass by 14 or so. I am sick and tired hearing about what a top level athlete Obi Toppin is for Dayton. He had ten points on four dunks and a layup. Yes, I'd pay to see him in a dunk contest but the rest of his skills are so-so. Dayton has no bench and only Davis and Crutcher can shoot from outside. Yet, with Crutcher out on fouls in the second overtime, the Bonnies didn't run at Davis to make him give up the ball. Both Dayton and Mason are building Mighty Mo'. VCU is there as well. The Bonnies played without starting guards Jaylen Poyser and Nick Kaputo with both in concussion protocol. Schmidt's backcourt is so weak, they activated Dom Welch off the redshirt list once his broken foot healed. But Stockard, Griffin, Osunniyi and Ipkeze are a massive front line based on A10 standards.
  3. If anyone still questions who we are, last night proved it in spades .... we are a decent team with certain limitations and once again St. Joe's showed us that. A decent start. A lull. A decent run out to a nine point halftime lead. A dreadful start to the second half. And then enough fire power to bury an opponent at home (anyway). All coupled with some damn tough defense. Capped off by a comfortable win. The Joeys are always hamstrung. I said in a preseason thread that I thought they were again one serious injury away from being decimated. Kimble. Brown. One of them down and lights out. They have that with Kimble again and now add Oliva to it,. Oliva won't win many games, but his loss makes Martelli go down a weak bench and pluck Lodge or Edwards or even Clover to step up. And they usually don't. Oliva's injury warps the sub patterns and Longpre's concussion did even more damage to a team ill-equipped to handle it. Who's to blame for that? Seems to me to be Martelli. We've lost Henriques, Bishop, Graves, Johnson, Santos, Welmer and Gordon and manage to keep on plugging. We've lost Hankton and Wiley and now maybe Jacobs for some time. And we keep on plugging. Let's remember one thing before we get too high ---- we are 5 and 0 playing the bottom of the league right now and our only decent encounter (Rhodey) was at home. Wednesday at Duquesne will say a lot. Observations: in another thread, I said Wiley would one day drop 20 making a lot of threes. Last night. We need Dion to maintain that shot and that presence. Having him and Hankton, as threats, added to Bess and Isabell, is also what opens the middle for French and Goodwin. I also believe this will do the same for Foreman, who we all know is best off the dribble ---- even if it is an odyssey at times. Jacobs wasn't that great last night, but he seemed to be ready to turn a corner. Instead, he turned an ankle. Thor's departure means nothing in game situations ---- it hurts with practice players and it hurts with the raising of more questions as to why Ford can't keep kids. I don't think it reflects much on Travis but the perception rather than the truth will prevail. As of right now, Verbal Commits does not show Ingvi transferring nor is he deleted from the official roster. Maybe he is, as some say, homesick and in need of time away. No matter ---- here or gone --- I'm not crying over a line 2 games played, 5 total minutes, 2 missed shots, one rebound, one foul and no points. Given the injury history chronicled above, one would have expected a little more. Given it's zero, maybe he's zero. I'll be stunned if he shows up on another D1 roster anytime soon. Bess' job on Brown was downright amazing. Only one shot made and that with 36 seconds to go in the game. We didn't let Funk snapped out of it either ---- guy went 2-of-9 from three. Chris Clover did nothing to back up his good game against Davidson. Bynum was okay and I'd always dare a freshman to beat us. The 23 point run showed we can do well and we do have it in us. I was torn about Isabell's last second drive but so what. That, coupled with Brown's ineptitude, will be rallying points come February on Hawk Hill for the Martelli's. The Joeys are 1 and 5 in conference for a reason and once the avalanche started to bury them, the conceded. Frankly I expect that Billiken team to always be on the floor at Chaifetz and can't wait for it to happen against Davidson, Dayton and the rest of the A10. We are pretty sky high but Wednesday as noted will be huge. Also huge will be the month of February as we go on the road to Rhode Island, the Joeys, Geedubya, Dayton and VCU. Then there is the close out in Olean before Brooklyn. Those six games will really define us in the near future. If we win at Duquesne, I can see 8 and 0 in the nearer future. The Big Three are playing well and Isabell is close. All we need is a decent Foreman and an equally decent bench and I like us in that future.
  4. Bynum and Isabell went at each other all night. Flagrant 1 on Bynum with Isabell. Flagrant 1 on Isabell with Bynum. Young punk versus grizzled vet. We b*tch-slapped Phil and company. The rematch will be interesting.
  5. Taj79

    A10 Mid-January Look-In

    The pundits I have read seem to have a love affair going with Keith Dambrot and Duquesne. And maybe it is deserved ..... in his thirteen-year run at Akron (stop previous to Duquesne) he posted a record of 305-139 with a winning percentage of .687 overall and went 155-65 in conference for a winning percentage of .705. He MISSED a post-season tournament only three times in those 13 years while averaging, averaging, 23/5 victories a year. DAMN! I did not realize what a great hire he was. Will they fade? I was expecting that too but I don't know, mighty mo' is a fickle lady. There is a lot to be said for breeding a consistent attitude and believing you can win. Duquesne's win at Richmond last night was it's first win there in 25 years. Yep -- YEARS! Now, they are 12 and 5 and that was done playing essentially nobody. They lost their biggest games against Pitt, Notre Dame and Penn State. They also lost at home to a record-decent NJIT team and had Davidson on the ropes in NC before stumbling down the stretch. On any given night ..... Currently at 3 and 1, their next few games include going to GeeDubya, then hosting us and VCU and Rhode Island to close out January. They open February on the road in Dayton. I suspect they will win in DC to rise to 4 and 1 with us coming to town, likely still unbeaten. That will be their Super Bowl ..... they will need that game immensely to try and add luster to an already vacant SOS. If they win that, the snowball grows for VCU and then Rhodey. Lose to us, and it could go south just as easily. Duquesne is like any other mid-major team, they have one real interior player and the rest are three-point line bombers like Williams, Carry, Hughes and so on. They must be on to win and even when no ton, that could change quickly and a barrage of three-pointers get you back into the game quicker. One need look no further than their win over Longwood earlier this year for that example.
  6. Mason wins at Umass. Duquesne wins at Richmond. Rhodey beats the Bonnies.
  7. As you scroll through the daily A10 scores on ESPN, they show you times and networks. Both Duquesne and the Bonnies currently show as airing on ESPN+.
  8. .. last undefeated now is Dayton (besides us) who play at VCU tonight. Believe it is 8 EST/7CST on CBS Sports Network. VCU favored by 4. Others tonight: Bonnies (+6) at Rhodey. Richmond (-2.5) hosts Duquesne. Mason (+2.5) at Umass; yes, Umass favored. And Geedubya (+6) at La Salle.
  9. Taj79

    The Bills over St. J by 13

    Taking the points again ..... the issue to me is match ups. The only 'banger' the Joeys have is Markell Lodge. And he's only playing because of the injuries to Oliva and Kimble and because Funk and Longpre, two Euro-fours, are not shooting well with volume. Their percentages seem to li e... 33% for Funk and 40% for Longpre ... but they just haven't produced to date. With Kimble gone, Funk is first on the team in attempts with 89. Longpre doesn't shoot much but half of his attempts are also threes. Figuring on Bess getting Brown. Goodwin will likely get Clover. Isabell draws Bynum. I would guess Foreman on Funk and then French on Longpre but both Funk and Longpre will draw the bigs out, opening driving lanes for Bynum and Brown. I'm curious to see if Clover can do anything close to what he did last night. Especially on the road. I don't want us to be the thing that cures what ails Longpre or Funk. Holston wasn't bad at USF last year, averaging just under 10 ppg. Don't want to host his coming out party either. No way we beat anybody by 13.
  10. Not only is it 'tough being a Billiken fan' I would say that it I not for the weak of heart (and or bladder). It was obvious from the get-go that Fordham was going to dare us to beat them from outside and would not budge from their employment of the zone last night. get ready -- here comes the rest of the A10. If it was a minor possibility before, it will be the defense of choice from here on out. I just don't understand how we could not attack that weak effort with entry passes to the middle. It worked at times and then other times we just seemed to be content to pass from one side of the court to the other and take late shot clock threes. We all knew Godwin would flame out ---- four-for-four was a great start and, unfortunately, a sad end. Bess was so-so but hit the big one when we needed it. Isabell and Wiley went a combined 2-for-11 but Isabell's one was also huge. An entry to the middle does require the receiver know what to do with the ball. Everyone who put the ball on th efloor in that area had it stripped at leas tone -- French, Foreman, Bess, Goodwin. I like Bess and/or Hankton taking the pass and popping the shot. We cannot have Foreman pop in there because he will dribble and he will turn it over. Hasahn has to recognize the difference from the zone and the man -- mainly because of the strip stuff going on. Observations: I thought we should have pounded it inside more. No one on Fordham could handle French. Bunting was nothing but a flopper. The Fordham announcers even knew as much. Eyisi and Ohams were stick figures. Overall, we did a nice job containing Honor and in reality, Portley hit only two threes --- big ones yes and certainly timely. And then Fordham rode the wave of emotion to an almost upset. I got a kick out of the announcers talking about how beating us would be a watershed moment for the Fordham program and get them on track to succeed. Been there, done that, and no ... that is not the case. Not when you go out and lose to Main and Houston Baptists and all the others. I thought out defense was terrible. We did make some nice halftime adjustments but still Thatch and Godwin were getting beat off the dribble and DJ Foreman can't stay with anybody. I thought with Fordham's lack of size and out guard's ability to rebound, Thatch should have replaced Foreman much sooner. With St. Joe's up next with its bevy of Euro-fours, Foreman will be tested again. We nee dhim to guard a big better than he guards a small. Wiley is a mess right now. Part of me recognizes the need for a shooter to keep shooting but Dion is just so bad right now. I know the injury is tough but that has been his MO for three years prior. I am content to continue to play I tout but eventually, Ford is going to have to cut bait with the mercenary and get his long-term commitment to Ingvi going (I think). We cannot afford many nights without Hankton --- we need the minutes. Luckily, Fordham had no inside game, we totaled 11 fouls, and French and Foreman only had two each. I don't know what to make of Jacobs. Someone said in the GDT that he looked "scared." I can't believe that but his turnovers are very ugly and very unforced. I though this lone three-ball was going to hit a rafter. Bottom line: we have NO bench. We aregoing to have to get by with smoke and mirrors --- Hankton for maybe 15 minutes a game, Thatch maybe a half. But Wiley and Jacobs are just plain scary right now. We need to be 8 and 0 going to Rhode Island. The roughest one there will be on the road at Duquesne. They'll all be rough given our current status. Next man up --- St. Joe's. But 4 and is 4 and 0. As you may have seen, St. Joe's got off the schneid, taking down Davidson on Hawk Hill last night 61 to 60. There is ugly basketball all across the A10 folks. When I talked about St. Joe's early on, I warned how an injury or two could easily strike the Fightin' Martelli's hard. It has happened. In the Duquesne game, 6'8" junior Euro-four Chekko Olivia was lost for the year with a dislocated knee. He was averaging about a half per game and nearly 4 ppg but the gruesomeness of the injury plus his teammates carrying him screaming off the Palumbo court, was a huge mental blow to the psyche of a team, picked to finish high in the A10, but then standing at 0 and 3. In addition to Oliva, second-leading scorer and point guard Lamar Kimble suffered a broken hand against the Dukes. He is out indefinitely and missed last nights game against Davidson to start. Heretofore little used Chris Clover went off on Davidson last night making 4 of 5 threes including what turned out to be the game winner with just over a minute to play. SJU went up by the one and then Davidson just chunked it along ---- Frampton missed a layup at the end of almost a full sho c lock. Brajkovic rebounded, was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one. Grady then committed a quick foul but Bynum missed the front end of his one-and-one. Gudmundsson rebounded and after a timeout, Grady missed a short jumper on the right baseline. Brajkovic came over the back but no foul was called and Brajkovic knocked the ball off a St. Joe's player with about 5 seconds to go. Davidson used it last time out. Interestingly, on both occasion, Grady inbounded the ball. Because McKillop then sets not one but two screens for Grady to run around for the last shot. And he missed again from the foul line. KiShawn Pritchett rebounds and got a shot off that would have counted but it bounced off the rim. Frampton went 4-for-8 from three;' the rest of the Wildcats were 5 for 20. A10 leading scorer Charlie Brown was held to 11; Grady was also held to 11 while Gudmunsson had 14. As we go into Friday's game, interesting that the Hawks are hurting. However, they do have the A10's leading scorer and a case is being made for Jared Bynum as Newcomer of the Year. Chris Clover stepped up but was that an aberration? Longpre and Funk have been terrible in their sophomore slumps so Martelli is now using 6'7" Senior Mark Lodge more. For La Salle, kshoe asked if some new faces had made the floor and this is the case at St. Joe's as well. USF transfer Troy Holston played well over a half last night and added 11 points off the bench. Can't wait for the next version of heart failure. Trying not to get too high, or too low.
  11. As best as I can see, Gordon wanted to be top[ horse but didn't want to be ridden. Now, this is a statement made just from items on this board so what do I know about facts. I really don't expect to see the kid on a college floor again. This is not malice, this is my opinion. If he does make it to the DePaul court, then it will be some indication that all the "stuff" I/we have heard is bullshite and an attack on the kid's character. Gordon must sit a year before coming on the court again. So he has to enroll now, for second semester, to be eligible in December 2019. When he steps foot on the court then, he will be a sophomore because the NCAA recognizes any year semester played as a full year. While the A!0 is big man-challenged, the Big East I snot so much. I'll follow this saga from a distance, I guess. Verbal Commits website shows Gordon as a verbal to DePaul right now. As I read that site, they already had 13 players under scholarship. Hmmmm.
  12. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Try as I might, I can never get used to it. AND ---- I know it's coming.
  13. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Au contraire ---- Thatch's offense was non-existant. Now FT shooting was GREAT!
  14. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Goodwin = announcers said he landed flush on tailbone. If he's fighting a bad back, the impact is more serious, right Old Guy?