Monday, June 27, 2016


I don't follow soccer much, but tonight I watched the second half of the Iceland-England match. (Iceland won.) Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and English Premier League soccer is the apex of the sport, so the English team was overwhelmingly favored. The commentators said there are more registered players (whatever that means) in the state of Rhode Island than there are in Iceland. Roughly the equivalent of a minor league baseball team from Rwanda beating the NY Yankees.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Now the consistency

After the wonderful job Chris Beard did with the the team last year, one would assume he also would have done well over the long haul. Be that as it may, it has fallen to Wes Flanigan to build on that season for a sustained period. And the two situations are somewhat different. We likely will not win 30 games again, but I would like to start a nice run of 20-win seasons in which 18 wins would be considered a down year.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Let's go Coastal!

It is great to see future member of the Belt, Coastal Carolina, tearing up the pea patch in baseball even before they are in the Sun Belt. Really on a roll this year.

This has been a quiet recriting season

We got it done early, and except for having to replace Mo, things have stayed in place. At least so far.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How did Porter do?

So what kind of season did our old friend Porter Moser have this past year? Not too good. Loyola was 15-17 overall and 7-11 in conference. So, things could have been better. The Missouri Valley is a tough conference.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Records we might see broken this season

After one season Marcus Johnson is at 46.6% from the arc, which would tie him for second place all time. He made 75 three-pointers last season, and needs 95 to make the list. Stetson Billings has played in 92 games, and would need 112 to make the list Kemy Osse has played in 91 games. Lis Shoshi had 39 blocks and needs 57 to make the list.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Monroe-Australia connection

Three of the five announced recruits coming to Monroe next season are from Australia. I am curious how that came about.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

NBA favorites for a non-NBA fan

I do not follow the NBA any more - at all. But I used to do so, back in the good old days. So who are my all-time favorite NBA players? Bill Russell, David Robinson, Oscar Robertson  (Don't ask me about my least favorites: that list would be too long.)

Monday, June 13, 2016

One thing I would like to see

Little Rock and Arlington in the Belt tournament finals. The only two schools without football. That would be sweet!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Anticipating Moorman

Evan Moorman is still on the roster. He hardly played at all last year, and he is  a walk-on, so he might still have a more-or-less permanent seat on the bench. Still, in his two previous seasons he had averaged over 50% from the arc. I don't care how lacking he may be in the other skills,someone who can shoot like that can make a place for himself.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A good year on Staten Island

I follow Wagner a little, mainly because they are the only D1 school on Staten Island. So how did they do this year? They finished 23-11 and had one win in the NIT. Not too bad.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thurston Howell was a pretty fair golfer

Actor Jim Backus (Mr. Magoo and milionaire Thurston Howell on Gilligan's Island) made the 36-hole cut in the 1964 Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament.

Johnson at point?

Marcus Johnson had some really nice numbers at point guard in junior college. However, they were very mediocre last year. Obviously, he can play point, but I wonder if he would be able to get such things as A/TO ratio back where they belong. I am guessing he could. Josh Hagins' numbers were not overly impressive until he was the fulltime point guard, and I see no reason why the same should not be true with Johnson if he were forced back into point guard service.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Big man schools

Decent big men are the rarest commodity in basketball, I think it would be safe to say. Let's eliminate from this discussion all those one-and-done types who are using college  only as a brief stepping stone to the NBA. They go to Kentucky so they can get started early on the hype and get maximum exposure from the Sleezipari media mill.

But what about the normal big men - those who might possibly end up in the NBA, or who will never go there but who will be good college players. They want to improve, either to help their chances at a pro career or just because of the old-fashioned reason of wanting to enjoy playing ball and maybe win a few games along the way. If they have a choice, they may want to go to a school that gives them the best chance of improving their games. So what are those schools? Oklahoma State was a major big man school back in the days of Eddie Sutton. Where are those schools now?

I would put Georgetown high on the list. Good big men seem to want to go there, and the Thompsons have had a long history of making good use of their post players. Jamie Dixon did a good job in that regard while he was at Pitt; maybe that will also be true at TCU. Gonzaga seems to crank out impressive big guys who get better as they go. Those are just a few.

Wouldn't it be nice to get some day to the point where we were recognized as a mid-level Big Man University? That definitely would enhance our chance of getting better-quality post players.

Red-shirting and transfers

I read an article several years ago that discussed successful mid-major programs. It noted that one of the few advantages these teams had is that they generally were more mature and experienced, since their players tended to stick around longer than the money conference schools. And it also commented that these programs augmented that advantage by aggressively red-shirting, on the principle that a fifth-year senior is much better than a true freshman; and that a fifth-year senior from a smaller school just might have developed to the point that he would be at least as good as the freshman from a higher-level school.

But the revolving door that is college basketball these days has largely blunted that one advantage of mid-majors. It is so easy for players to transfer that they won't stick around if they are not playing a bunch right off the bat. So, once again, the Powers That Be of the NCAA have kicked the little guys in the shins. It is all about the individual these days, and not about the team.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A very nice "What if?"

What if Corbyn Jackson is the real deal? What if he is a beast on the boards, and takes no prisoners on defense? I had been assuming that we would have a mix-and-match up front, with Black and Shoshi swapping off, or maybe playing together, or maybe Hill and Jalen Jackson swapping between the 3 and the 4. In any case, I have to admit that Corbyn was not in my thinking. But he looks like a classic 4 at our level. Big, strong. And what if he is good, to boot? Nice problem to have.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I always come back to Bill Russell

What I love about basketball are defense, rebounding, and team play. And when you think of those things, one player stands out above all others. Bill Russell's offensive statistics were not as glittering as some others, but his defense was astounding; and his very presence on the court made any team better.

Nomination for NOY

Name of the Year. Incoming Maine recruit Ilker Er. That one will be a real challenge for the PA guy. He is from Turkey, by the way.

Remembering Joe Louis

People of my generation and later  cannot realize what a symbol Joe Louis was during his lifetime, and especially during his active career. His revenge victory over German Max Schmeling in 1938 was in fact a symbolic blow for the entire free world. He won 66 of 70 fights, 52 of them by knockouts, with one of his non-wins being a No Contest. From 1939 to 1941, he defended his title an amazing 13 times.

He volunteered for the army in 1942 and served until 1945. To an entire generation of Americans, Joe Louis was The Man in boxing.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammed Ali - the idolizing begins

There is nothing like death to make a man greater than he was. Certainly Ali was one of the greater boxers, but he was not even the greatest heavyweight, let alone the greatest boxer of all time. And he was a draft dodger, and an obnoxious, self-centered individual who had to have the limelight. By his own estimation he was the Greatest, but not by any objective measurement. He certainly did not look like the greatest after Joe Frazier got through with him in their first fight.