Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fun and games

Goodness me, I’m behind. Seven games to make up, all at once. Now I know how VMI and Liberty feel.

But first, let’s just get this out of the way. In response to the Radford game (and remember, what the JCCW promises, the JCCW delivers):

Lord Winthrop’s Back (apologies here)

He went away
And VMI hung around and bothered them all night
And, when Coastal swept them aside
The media said things that weren't very nice

Lord Winthrop’s back, and you're gonna be in trouble
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
Two wins or so away from being on the Bubble
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
You've been spreadin' lies that they were number 2
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
So look out now, 'cause they’re still Dubya-U
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)

Hey, Gregg knows they ain’t been tryin'
Now, he’s selling what they’re buyin’

They were gone for such a short time
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
Now Gaynor's back, to drop some more dimes
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
You're gonna be sorry you were ever born
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
'Cause Craig Bradshaw’s big and James Shuler’s strong
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)

Their time in second place was fleetin'
Now, you're gonna get a beatin'
What made you think they might be second-best? (Wah-ooo, wah-ooo)
Still got Martin and McCullough and Williams off the bench (Wah-ooo)
Wait and see!

Lord Winthrop’s back; he's gonna save Gregg’s reputation
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)
If I were VMI, I'd just go right to my vacation
(Hey la, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back)

Hey, still the Big South's biggest deal
(unLessssss, their opponent’s wearing teal)

La, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back
La, hey la, Lord Winthrop’s back

Note for the humor-impaired: No, I don’t really think Winthrop is quite as dominant as they were expected to be in November and December. But after holding a Radford team that had well-nigh torched BSC six days earlier to 28.6 percent from the field, and turning WHF into WTF (5-17, 1-7 3, 5 TO’s, 1 assist), they’re still unequivocally the class of the conference. When Winthrop is committed to defense, no one else in the Big South comes close to playing it better. And come the postseason, that hoary old line about defense re: championships still applies.

Ten other notes from Monday/Wednesday’s other non-BSC games:

1. You can’t keep a good hoopster down, at least not one as good as Whit Holcomb-Faye, and decidedly not when you play the kind of D Charleston Southern played Monday night. 37 points on 12-22, 5-12 from 3 shooting … you think after Saturday night he found someone and said, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, the Winthrop disaster bounces off me, sticks to you”? Probably not, but I bet he was thinking it.
2. Liberty defeated the sports world’s most phallic team, the Longwood Lancers, 75-66 Monday. Which was nice for Liberty and the conference, since a season sweep at the hands of the team that ruined Savannah St.’s umpteen-game DI losing streak would have been a teensy bit embarrassing, but more importantly allows me to make the following observation: If your school’s name is already “Longwood,” is it really necessary to choose as a nickname a guy who carries around an eight-foot pole for poking people? I mean, just seems like somebody’s overcompensating.
3. Speaking as a BSC fan, I’m pretty sure Coastal’s 88-70 smackdown of UNC-Asheville on the road means it’s perfectly OK to go ahead and soil our underthings. 55.2 percent shooting, 11-of-23 from downtown. 23 points for Leasure. 21 for Paelay. 7 assists for Stevens. Harris had an off-game on the glass (by his standards) and they still outrebounded UNCA 29-23. “Yikes” doesn’t begin to cover it.
4. That board advantage was largely due to the play of Moses Sonko, who I could easily have given plenty more love in this space over the last couple of weeks. His line against UNCA: 5-of-6 for 14 points, 8 boards (4 offensive), 4 assists, 2 TO’s,1 steal. As if CCU needed another guy playing on top of his game.
5. If there’s one chink in the current Fakecock armor, it’s that they still aren’t playing especially well defensively. Their last two opponents—UNCA and Charleston—combined to shoot 54 percent from the field. Of course, a) this was on the road b) CCU’s been just this side of unconscious themselves c) their advantages in rebounding (vs. CSU) and turnover margin (vs. UNCA) mean it hasn’t exactly mattered.
6. Speaking of UNCA, back-to-back double-digit defeats at home make it hardly seem like the time to say this, but the JCCW’s guess is that the Misses Peacock are the most likely lower seed to spring a first-round upset in this season’s tourney. Omar Collington’s scored 45 points those two games and Michael Ellis could, like quirky new television programs, go off at any time. If Chad Mohn (17 vs. CCU, 4 vs. WU) and Joe Barber (15 vs. WU, 6 vs. CCU) ever get it going at the same time, watch out.
7. Blah blah High Point 73, VMI 72 blah blah Matt Murrer 4-of-6 double-double blah blah blah Reggie Williams and Travis Holmes combined 9-of-30 blah blah If I was a VMI fan, I’d have stuck my head in a pot of boiling water by now blah blah blah blah.
8. Has Easy AZ Reid finally worn down after carrying the I Can’t Believe They’re Not Panthers all season? He shot 8-of-21 against VMI, far below his season-long average, and every one of those was a 2. He still grabbed 9 boards, 4 of them offensive, but his shooting combined with 0 assists-to-3 turnovers means he’s just not playing at the same level right now he was earlier in the conference season. Too bad, because Mike Jefferson and Akeem Scott (34 points on 52 percent shooting) are playing better, and kudos to Landon Quick for the buzzer-beating putback to win the game.
9. The BracketBusters game could not have come at a worse time for High Point. UNCA’s coming to the Millis Center this Monday for a massive game that will essentially eliminate one team from the race for fourth, and instead of getting four days of rest and preparation the youngest team in the Big South will travel to Maryland to take on--and, based on the VMI performance, likely lose to--a solid Loyola team. My abundant love for BracketBusters has already been documented here, but I sure wonder if the Big South could have done more to make sure its participating teams didn’t suffer because of it.
10. Remember when Winthrop’s bench was giving them right around, oh, nothing? So much for that: Phillip Williams scored 19 points in 20 minutes against UNCA and still had time to grab 7 rebounds.

My thoughts on the BSC-Liberty game—and Saturday’s mega-tilt between the Panthers and Fakecocks--coming late tonight.

Announcement: The good people at have been suckered by impressed enough with the JCCW to offer me the position of Big South correspondent. You can check out my first conference notebook, well, I was going to say "here" and give you a link, but apparently the site's all wishy-washy at the moment. But do check it out--front page, right sidebar, can't miss it. It’s like JCCW Lite--all the analysis of regular JCCW, but now 99.9 percent Snark-Free! There’s even a picture of me you can Photoshop mustaches and goat horns onto, if you like. Enjoy!


Jeremy said...

Glad to see someone that knows what he is talking about take the reins of the Hoopville Big South staffer position. I just didn't have the time to handle it anymore, especially this time of year (why a college basketball fanatic chose a February/March-intensive career such as public accounting, I have no idea).

Jerry Hinnen said...

Good question, Jeremy, haha.

Thanks for thinking I know what I'm talking about ... it means I'm doing a good job of obscuring the truth.

Good luck against NIU today.