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February 15th Jump Off

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I am trying something new here at Down The Drive and between you and me it is an completely original and non derivative enterprise, it's a morning links post. OK so it is the opposite of original and in fact shamelessly derivative, what of it.

Bearcats Links:

No Change In Gates Status: Bill Koch

"He is unhappy with his playing time. That’s part of life," Cronin said. "He’s not going to be able to have that attitude and be part of our team. He’s been told that … but that’s no different for any other guy on the team."

My opinion on this is clear. I could care less. If Yancy Gates would play every game with anything approaching the intensity that he played the Xavier game with I would love for him to play 40 minutes a game. But he doesn't do that and a Yancy Gates at 50 per cent intensity doesn't justify his existence on the floor.

Looking At The Big East QB Situations: Brian Bennett

Cincinnati -- Chance of competition: slim to none. Collaros is the established guy and a great leader who shouldn't have to worry about job security.

Stating the obvious the chances of Collaros losing the starting gig are very slim. So Bennett is right he doesn't have to spend any time worrying about job security. I, and indeed all Bearcat fans, would appreciate it greatly if Zach would spend some time worrying about ball security a bit more.

Kevin Youkilis Gives To Bearcats Baseball: Kyle Brown

Boston Red Sox infielder and former University of Cincinnati player Kevin Youkilis became a charter member of the Glenn Sample Society, the highest level of giving within the UCATS Diamond Club, with what the school called a "significant" donation to the baseball program.

I am not a Baseball fan, not in the slightest. I don't enjoy playing it, and I would rather be lobotomized than watch it on  TV. That is the main reason I spend the post Basketball pre Football months alternately watching the NBA playoffs and Soccer. All that considered it is still pretty cool to see a UC alum giving back to the program like this.

Ranking The Big East By Position: Mike Farrell,

Rutgers got the biggest fish in Jersey stud Savon Huggins, but Cincinnati and West Virginia rank ahead of the Scarlet Knights because they also landed four-star backs and better depth at the position. The Mountaineers signed Andrew Buie as well as Vernard Roberts, while the Bearcats got Jameel Poteat and Ralph David Abernathy to finish second in the conference. Pitt lost Poteat in the coaching change but rebounded well with two three-stars and four backs total. Syracuse is happy with Adonis Ameen-Moore as the only pure running back in this class.

I chose to highlight the running back portion of the breakdown because, frankly I am thrilled with what Jones and Co. have brought in. But UC was ranked 2nd at all offensive skill positions (excluding tight ends) and athletes. Once again Jones signed the best UC class in recent memory.

St. John's 59 Cincinnati 57: Bearcats Blog

Yancy Gates. Just all of it.

here, here.

Big East Links:

Syracuse 63 - West Virginia 52: Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

We've all been watching Brandon Triche develop over the last few weeks. Tonight he stepped up and took the role he's been heading towards...leader. He led the Orange with 20 points, including 2 three-pointers. The first of those threes was vital toward giving Brandon the confidence to make more.

Triche has been outstanding for the Cuse in the last couple of games. In my estimation he was their best player against the Ville and was outstanding last night as well.

No Blowout, Just Another Win Against Syracuse: UofL Card Game

A blowout would have been nice.

However, the Louisville basketball team had far too much time to think about the prospect after jumping out to a 20-point lead. Easing up offensively and defensively during those last 15 minutes, 40 seconds. Nowhere near as aggressive from that point.

That comes with the territory when you shoot as many three's as Louisville does. Wins can be easily inflated if they get hot from 3 but when that well dries up things get dicey. The Cards were comfortably better than Cuse Saturday but they had a bad stretch to let them get back in it.

Through The Grind: Pitt Blather

Look at the Big East this year. Only Pitt, ND and Louisville have avoided back-to-back losses or worse this year. Not because the teams are bad, but because there just are so many good, improving or tough outs. Providence, Rutgers and Seton Hall are in the lower, lower-half of the conference. But beating them at home is not a gimme.

All players have played through pain, and there isn’t a coach in the country that hasn’t spewed the "every conference game is a dogfight" cliche at some point in his career.

But in the Big East it actually holds true.

Unless it involves rebuilding DePaul, every league game is a physical and mental beating that leaves its participants drained. It’s simply not like that in other conferences.

Another look into the slaughterhouse that is the Big East conference in Basketball, well argued and thought provoking.

Nationally Recognized:

Last Minute Valentines[...]Turfman Sports Ladyslayings: EDSBS



That's why Holly Anderson is the queen bee of college bloggers.

Someone At CBS College Sports Isn't Familiar With Wally Szczerbiak: The Dagger



I understand, spelling Szczerbaik is really hard to do off the cuff. In fact my cousin still uses Szczerbiak as the password to his laptop. It's easy enough to spell with the assistance of Wikipedia, but you can't use wikipedia if you can't get past the welcome screen. Its a refined level of genius.

This Will Make You Smarter:

Mike Bloomberg Will Save Us from Ourselves: Esquire

Bloomberg — a man who made his very name a part of the English language — is thinking big again. He's got a coalition with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell on building American infrastructure. He's got five hundred mayors in his gun-regulation coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He's got his new postpartisan group, No Labels, a coalition of national figures from both parties who preach the primacy of centrism. Plus there's the influence of his charitable spending, well over $100 million every year, and the increasing impact of an unusual series of political endorsements last year that included politicians as different as Meg Whitman and Harry Reid. Soon he's heading off to Hong Kong to take control of an international coalition of mayors that represents 13 percent of the world's people. He dreams of creating an alternative to the political system as we know it, a coalition of centrist politicians and businesspeople who are good managers and who are focused on the most important problems of our time — a coalition of the practical. In the words of Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark and a Bloomberg disciple: "He doesn't give a damn about party, because he's about progress."

Bloomberg is certainly and introspective and interesting human being, and not just because he has a personal net worth roughly equivalent to the GDP of Cyprus. That helps, but there is a little bit more there.