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Taj79

NCCA Bracket Contest Winner
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Everything posted by Taj79

  1. Tomorrow, with the Bills at Fordham, will make the Ides of January, the middle of the first month of the regular season. so what's happening as we move toward March: Saint Louis (12 -4/ 3 - 0): right where we want and expect to be. Lots of questions to be answered as the season plays out. Depth, especially along the front line, is questionable. Skills (FG shooting, FT shooting) remain suspect and serve as huge bull's eye of an Achilles heel. Bench is unknown and needs development. A hot Dion Wiley would help. Favorable January schedule gets nasty come February. Need to build up conference rank now. Davidson (12 - 4/ 3 - 0): Still a two-man team in Grady and Gudmundsson. Luke Brajkovic is developing but still a soft(er) Euro-four freshman. Frampton highest volume/maker of threes in A10. But that's all he does and is streaky. Pritchett has lost shot, Collins nice third guard off bench, bench overall very weak. Team goes as Grady and Gudmundsson go. Dayton (11 - 5/ 3 - 0): Still who I thought they were. Little to no outside shooting unless Jordan Davis does it. Crutcher can compliment but only if left alone; shot is more from hip than overhead. Landers does nothing but hustle and cause havoc. Mikesell is a fifth wheel. Toppin would be great to watch -- in a dunk contest. has no outside or mid-range game. Absolutely no bench. Cunningham remains 'the man.' They will always win at home but I see confidence building right now because of those wins. Need some seeds of doubt sown soon or it will snowball. Dayton has won many national championship per their fans. It's their birthright, y'know. Mason (9 - 8/ 3 - 1): Stories of their demise might have been greatly exaggerated. A so-so OOC has been discarded and turned into a 3 and 1 conference start with road wins over St. Joe's and Rhode Island. That is impressive. They beat St. Joe's by 25 and then went to Kingston yesterday and won by 17. This is being done without injured senior Jaire Grayer and features two nice, developing players in Javon Greene and Jordan Miller. Miller played his first game of the year against URI and scored 14. Given their flat OOC performance, this team seems to know the only way to the dance is now to win the conference. They are doing well and are much better than thought with Greene and Miller. This team will be a challenger down the line. Duquesne (11 - 5/ 2 - 1): I think this is a team playing behind smoke and mirrors. They played no one in the OCC and their two wins are at home against Fordham and a very poor St. Joe's team right now and they only beat the Joeys by one. They did have Davidson on the ropes in NC but chunked it at the end. But again, momentum can be a strange bedfellow. VCU (11 - 5/ 2 - 1): These guys really choked at Davidson on Saturday. Otherwise, they are 3 and 0 and Davidson is not. I think these guys along with Mason right now are trending well and are the key contenders at this juncture in January. They have quite a stable of guards in Evans, Jenkins, Simms, Byrd, Crowfield, and Vann. Williams continues to improve as a SF. The big guys are mostly thugs but that works well for their system. And they have four of them --- two waves. Closest to complete team I've seen. Bonaventure (6 - 10/ 2 - 1): They've won at home which I expect them to do. Their 2 and 1 is a lot closer to Duquesne's 2 and 1 then it is to VCU's 2 and 1. Rhode Island (8 - 7/ 1 - 2): Trending down right now. Still a three-man team with Dowtin, Russell and Langevine and Russell remains in a shooting slump and Langevine is just not that good with no help coming from the bench. Four-star recruit Jermaine Harris is a no-show to date. Richmond (7 - 9/ 1 - 2): these guys have little to nothing. Still have to play a good game to beat them at Robbins. We don't go there this year. Geedubya (5 - 11/ 1 - 2): MoJo just doesn't have enough D1 players to run at you right now. Terry Nolan and/or Justin Mazzula will go off every now and them to win a game but that will be rare. We have to make sure it doesn't happen to us. DJ Williams is looking like he's coming around after his Illini transfer. La Salle (3 - 12/ 1 - 2): fifth, maybe sixth best school in Philadelphia area. Don't see it getting any better any time soon. Ashley Howard was a good hire. Fordham (9 - 7/ 0 - 3): yep, right where they belong and likely dropping. They will beat someone at Rose Hill this year. Always do. Just don't let it be us. Umass (7 - 9/ 0 - 3): close failures on the road with us and Dayton; beat down at home by La Salle. Go figure. The influx of transfers here not the same results as at Duquesne. St. Joseph's (7 - 9/ 0 - 4): just WOW. If this keeps up, can Martelli survive? Don't know. In a game dominated by guards, in a league where a trio of good players can win you a lot, Martelli can't do it with Brown, Kimble and Bynum. I can see St. Joe's getting ignored some now and next thing you know, come late February, Phil and Company are in the running for the four seed again. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Just like some may have discounted Mason given their OOC start. Lots of basketball to be played. Top four right now look like us, Davidson, VCu and Mason. PIG participants look like Fordham, La Salle, Geedubya and Richmond (I think Umass will do better than the Spiders in the long run). I think there will be so many teams at or near the .500 mark in conference, that final matchups and pairings will once again go down to the final week.
  2. 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.
  3. .. 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.
  4. Mason wins at Umass. Duquesne wins at Richmond. Rhodey beats the Bonnies.
  5. 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.
  6. 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+.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

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

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Au contraire ---- Thatch's offense was non-existant. Now FT shooting was GREAT!
  11. 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?
  12. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    I wanted 4 and 0 and I got 4 and 0. Like a closer, time for a very short memory. Enjoy the flight home.
  13. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Davidson at St. Joe's at 9/8 EST/CST on ESPNU, I believe.
  14. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    OH MY GAWD! Welcome to the real reality. On any given night ....... luckily NOT tonight.
  15. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    I seem to recall someone saying Wiley's career at UMd. wasn't shite.
  16. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Jacobs is a huge liability. His turnovers are unforced and pedestrian.
  17. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    All Bunting does is take charges. That's his job. Go around him; he's not quick.
  18. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    I have never seen us beat so much off the dribble.
  19. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    The middle of that piece of shite zone is w-i-d-e open
  20. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Bess and Isabell 3 for 13.
  21. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Five team fouls. Now watch the refs come into play.
  22. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Fordham has gone strictly zone to thwart French.
  23. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    Not playing lock down defense. Allowing Fordham's helter-skelter offense to dictate things. Halftime adjustments needed.
  24. Taj79

    GDT Patriot League Rams

    I like the TI euro-steps but it seems to leave him really off-balance for the closing layup/finish.
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