NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Kemba Walker #15 and Roscoe Smith #22 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrate late in the game against the Louisville Cardinals during the championship of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Today starts the best five days of the year, the Big East Tournament. Well that is the reckoning of some. Recent UC history suggests its a day of fun followed by a day of soul crushing depression followed by two days of general numbness that seems like it might be triggered by weapons grade morphine. But hey, to each their own.
Big East Tournament/Stuff
Playing For: Securing NCAA Tournament at-large bid. If everything goes right for Cincinnati, it could earn its first ever Big East Tournament crown. However, most Bearcat fans are hoping their team can just win their first game, so they don't need to worry come Selection Sunday.
Unless Pitt or St. John's are the opponents a loss Thursday wouldn't put the Bearcats on the bubble. This team has proven their worth beyond a doubt.
Tranghese tried to tell the Big East’s university presidents and athletic directors as much as early as 1989 when he was Gavitt’s assistant. Gavitt thought the conference needed to bring Penn State into the fold. Penn State was an independent at the time, looking for the security of a conference. The membership voted no, with St. John’s, Villanova and Georgetown leading the resistance. At the end of the meeting, Gavitt asked Tranghese what he thought about the decision. "I said, ‘We will all rue the day about this decision,’ " Tranghese said. "I understood how big football was. I didn’t understand how big it was going to become.
Understatement of the millennium. Easily the dumbest decision made by a conferences membership ever. Now it goes without saying that if Penn State goes to the Big East UC would probably still be stuck in Metro/Great Midwest/C-USA hell so I'm not that upset about it still. That was the Bowie over Jordon moment of the last 25 years of conference upheaval.
Familiarization. That's what makes 'Championship Week' so special. Conference tournaments may not have the universal win-or-go-home luster of the NCAA Tournament. But what it does have is team-to-team familiarization. Instead of seeing an opponent for the first time, every team knows everything about every other. With St. John's and Pittsburgh, it reaches another level. It's rare that two teams ever play each other twice in one week. On Tuesday, the Johnnies and Panthers will, with the same players, same coaches, same managers, same trainers. Same everything.
Should be weird to watch
What is not to get pumped up about is how the offense played in the second half. The missed a lot of jump shots. Instead of the slashing, there was the settling. The offensive rebounds were cut off. The 3 pointers were cut off. The late trio of 3s put the Bearcats over double digits for the half. They also won the game. If this team is going to shoot jump shots, they might as well be 3s. Kilpatrick, Parker and Dixon dropped the 3 biggest shots of the game late to put UC up 3, 6 and 5. Way to step up.
(nods head vigorously )
"My big message to him is going to be that there are many pitfalls out there for guys," UC coach Mick Cronin. "He’s got to ignore any praise and awards and stay focused on getting better because he’s got to get better as a player to do what he wants to do."
At linebacker, Jancek said Solomon Tentman would go into the spring with the first unit, with junior college transfer Greg Blair also in the mix. But the Bearcats are training outside linebacker Nick Temple to play inside when they go to substitution packages and nickel defense. Temple played as a true freshman last season and shows the athleticism and versatility needed to play both.
I like that Tentman is in a position to lock down the MLB spot for the next three years. His injury during his freshman year really set him back last year. But he is a big time athlete and a perfect fit in the middle. Also like that Temple is going to be the nickle/dime linebacker. His versatility was a big reason why he started 7 games as a true freshman.
In several interviews last year, Wolfe said he felt he was able to get off blocks quicker because he improved the positioning of his hands. Taking boxing last summer helped specifically in that area. Wolfe also was better conditioned, and immensely helped because of the added depth on the line. All of that added up to a season to remember, along with being honored with one of the top awards in the Big East.
Wolfe's season was about as dominant as you will see from a defensive tackle at this level.
Mitchell had originally planned to take his official visits after January 28th but told PBD.com that he has yet to take an official visit. His first official visits will take place this weekend as he will be visiting Florida State first and then visit Maryland on Sunday. Mitchell said that he has no plans to commit after these visits and still plans on making other visits to schools such as Cincinnati and Tennessee. Just recently, Mitchell said a new team emerged as Florida offered him a scholarship.
Mitchell is regarded as one of the 70 or so best prospects in the country, depending on which service you ask.
BECOME VERSED IN SCOUTSPEAK One 240-pound athlete who can move like a hungry leopard is pretty much like all the others, a fact that cannot be allowed to stand between the motivated draftnik and that coveted senior draft analyst title. Luckily, there is Scoutspeak, a language designed to baffle laymen with submolecular analysis of every high-cut, sudden prospect who can high-point, bucket step and take proper angles but gets upright, runs with poor lean, and fails to syncopate his duodenum while percolating the jabberwocky.
Sources: Syracuse basketball program repeatedly violated internal drug policy - College Basketball - Rivals.com
So college athletes use drugs? Shocked. It's not like shit like this has been going on for as long as colleges and universities have existed. Oh wait...