Saturday, February 18, 2006

Links of Interest

T-minus 52 minutes now 'til the best Big South Saturday of the season tips off on Fox Sports South. Here's some links to help you pass those final few excruciating minutes.

Buzz Peterson says today's mega-tilt between his Fakecocks and BSC isn't going to be impacted by a bunch of guys standing around lugging cameras. But then Buzz turns around and admits it turns the fans' intensity up another three notches or so, which should in turn affect how hostile the gym is and how the game is played, right Coach? On the BSC media's side of things, Mike Perrin responds to the Liberty game the same way I did: talking up James Collins. Proving once again that great minds think alike ... with lesser minds like the JCCW every now and again.

Geoff Wilson's weekly Big South notebook hangs out with Charleston Southern assistant J.D. Powell, who puts James Shuler at the top of his Player of the Year list despite Holcomb-Faye's torching of the Bucs earlier in the week. Shuler may very well be the best player in the Big South, but he ain't getting the award with the numbers he's got. Wilson also sort of slyly (or, maybe, accidentally) notes that even when Jay Bilas is slumming in the Big South, he's still doing so with his trademark gag-inducing ACC bias.

Someone asked Eddie Biedenbach what the NIT could do to protect teams like the Big South's, and yesterday the NIT said "How about an automatic bid for your regular season champ?" The catch is that they're also dropping the .500-or-better requirement that kept out some of the big boys. This is an absolute boon to lower-rung conferences like the Big South: sure Winthrop might have made the field anyway, but the latest NIT-ology from Mike Scullin sez BSC's not even in the picture and the NIT has never been kind to the Big Souths and MEACs and Atlantic Suns of the world. Who this hurts is the upper-rung mid-majors: teams like the MAC's and CAA's runner-ups will now feel the squeeze from both the smaller-conference automatic bids "below" them and the under-.500 power conference teams "above" them. But for the Big South, the guarantee of more rewards for the regular season champ is a beautiful thing.

Winthrop goes for the BracketBuster win over Northern Illinois later today. "This is the best team that's been in our gym this year," sez Gregg Marshall, and while he's probably right forgive this BSC fan for seeing seven different kinds in response. (Of course, losing by 40 points in that gym doesn't help our argument, does it?) Key to the game? If Martin can shoot the Huskies out of their preferred 2-3 zone. Also check Marshall's flippity-flop on the importance of the game, probably due to the no-TV disappointment fading a bit with time. Of course, the Charlotte Observer quotes Marshall as saying "Neither one of us cares to do it very much," so who knows.

(One other Eagles note: As noted before, the name "Winthrop" sounds awfully British upper-class to the JCCW's ears, thus the "Lord Wintrhop" nickname, fox-hunting jokes, etc. It's nice to see Gregg Marshall getting into the act this week by calling De'Andre Adams "a tough little bugger." Cor!)

Ye gods, the folks at the Citizen-Times are cranky. Aside from a "Bulldogs lose by 12" mini-brief, there's no BracketBusters preview for UNCA-Eastern Kentucky, but there is more-than-plenty of bile towards the region's college hoops. They point out how many losing seasons UNCA has had recently, but fail to point out that's by Biedenbach's Schedule From Hell design.

Enjoy your Saturday!


Anonymous said...

Just sitting on press row before the possibly coma-inducing CSU-VMI tilt, and I thought I'd let you know that the Bilas comment was no accident. Also, Shuler's numbers aren't great, but he fits the definition of an MVP, because when he's off, Winthrop isn't nearly as good. BSC doesn't really have anyone in the MVP discussion precisely because of something ou brought up in an earlier post...if you can't figure out who the *team* MVP is from among six candidates, it isn't likely any of them are going to win.

Good stuff on your blog, though...just found it this week, and I'm wishing I had found it earlier. Keep up the good work!

Geoff Wilson
The (Charleston) Post and Courier

Jerry Hinnen said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by Geoff. 'Preciate the encouragement.

I agree with you that Shuler is Winthrop's MVP, but I don't think he's the league's. Without him WU's still very good...without WHF, RU's, well, not still very good.