Friday, February 10, 2006

Big South midweek plus links


Frightening, yes, but let’s not break out the Poltergiest or Kotter allusions just yet.

Just as the Eagles weren’t officially in disarray after just the first Coastal loss, so the good ship Winthrop isn’t officially righted until they put this performance together against a team that a) plays defense b) isn’t entering the Winthrop Coliseum winless on the road in conference c) isn’t in the middle of an eight-game losing streak. As the Charlotte Observer sagely observes, the Keydet Cops were kind enough to even let Michael Jenkins shoot for percentage (he finished 6-of-11, 3-of-6 from outside). Duggar Baucom’s a good coach (with a name like “Duggar Baucom,” he has no choice, of course) but he’s not exactly Dick Bennett, either. If Winthrop trounces Radford and the old-and-improved Whit Holcomb-Faye (“Now with 100% Healthy Rapid-Fire Scoring Action!”) Saturday, then we’ll bust out the Angels parodies.

Still, Winthrop could have been playing against a bunch of dudes in matching headbands and kneepads from the Y and not shot this well. From inside the arc, the Eagles shot a ridiculous 28-of-36, for 78 percent. The much-maligned bench (well, I’ve maligned them) shot 65 percent from the floor. Craig Bradshaw was 7-of-8 and didn’t even lead the team in scoring (that would be James Shuler, who went 6of-6 from the line to finish with 17 to the Kiwi’s 14). If Winthrop can even stay within the same zip code of this kind of accuracy the rest of season … well, I don’t want to say “unbeatable,” but maybe I should.

Fortunately for the rest of the conference, coming against VMI it’s a mighty, mighty big “If.” I could harp here again on how despite the fact that Matt Murrer is far and away the team’s most accurate shooter, he took the fifth-most shots on the team Wednesday (going 4-of-5). But let’s instead focus on the positive for once, like how reserve guard Fred Robinson scored 12 points in 12 minutes, or that for all of his ability on the glass Reggie Williams mysteriously failed to grab a single offensive rebound for the fourth straight game. Wait, I meant…oh well, I tried.


You know, every now and again I feel a slight twinge of guilt for making all these definitive-sounding pronouncements about teams or players I’ve seen in person once or twice at the most. As I’ve written myself, a box score or a play-by-play or even a good beat writer’s recap isn’t going to tell you the whole story.

Fortunately, thanks to Charleston I’ll soon be guilt-free and more insufferably didactic than ever! When I saw the Bucs in Birmingham, they had little-to-no execution on offense, zippo post presence, and the kind of defense that Webster first had in mind when he invented the word “porous.”

As a result I’ve been referring to the Othern Southern for most of the season like something the Big South needed to scrape off its shoes. When recently, they’ve actually been a perfectly good basketball team. I know it’s peculiar timing to write this after they just lost at home, but as white-hot as Coastal is at the moment, I was expecting a double-digit win at least. Instead it took a Moses Sonko layup with four seconds left for Coastal to escape with their feathery pride intact.

How has CSU suddenly become a legitimate card-carrying member of the Big South’s middle-of-the-standings logjam? First, while Chris Moore has been rocking the league all season, he’s finally dragged Donnell Covington and Dwayne Jackson up to his level. The three guards combined to shoot 19-of-33 vs. Coastal for 50 points. Not too shabby. 6-foot-8 ex-3-current-4 Trent Drafts has continued his consistent play (4-of-5, 10 points vs. CCU), and despite a rotation heavier on the guards than Velveeta-and-shells is on cheese, as a rule CSU out-boards their opponents (fourth in conference in RPG).

That’s what they did the first time they took on CCU, but with Joseph Harris now owning the glass every time he goes out (he’s got the deed and everything), this time it’s what got the Bucs killed. CSU outshot the Fakecocks 58 percent (!) to 43, hit the same number of free throws (the team combined to shoot a Que bueno! 26-of-29 from the stripe), and committed only one more turnover (11 to 10) But with Harris leading the way CCU pulled in 16 offensive rebounds to CSU’s 4. The result? 15 more shots taken for the guys in green, and when 11 of those are Jack Leasure threes and five of those fall, a close loss is what you get.

Still, consider this one BSC fan who’s now frightened by both halves of the beach swing. Arrrr!


Randy Dunton’s son gets the coach’s son treatment, though not from Randy, from the News-Advance.

Geoff Wilson looks at the Big South standings pre-Thursday, but the note about two conference players hitting the 1,000-point mark in the same game is more interesting.

According to kenpom, VMI's Matt Murrer leads the nation in eFG percentage, with BSC’s Sredrick Powe seventh. Impressive for both, though maybe even more so for Powe, since eFG takes 3-pointers into account (he leads the country in regular FG%) and he hasn’t so much as attempted one all season.

As a rule the JCCW isn’t going to worry about other Big South sports, since there’s more than enough for one man to worry about with just men’s hoops. But I have to link to this, because I have little doubt I am going to harbor the terrible, terrible bitterness that it came too late for me until the end of my days.


Anonymous said...

Hey carwash HPU is coming to town and I hope that you will take it easy on us

Jerry Hinnen said...

"you" as in the program I support or "you" as in me? If the latter, well, I'll bring the same blend of rational analysis and dry-yet-sensitive wit I always...OK,, occasionally do. As for BSC, can't promise ya anything. HPU will ahve to play much better defense than they did on their beach swing.

Anonymous said...

HPU didn't play better defense than on the beach swing and they didn't get much out of the 5 spot but they did play well enough to win.Actually they were beaten on the foul line,perhaps some home cookin'or just no kind whistles.One thing for sure,it may be the last BSC win for some time.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Hi anoymous HPU fan!

Agreed that HPU played very well despite the lack of defense, but "well enough to win" is a little much considering they were down 16 with three to play.

As for the officiating, can't comment when I didn't see it. Radio's good for many things, but not for that. If BSC got a smidgen of help, I wouldn't be surprised.