Monthly Archives: November 2009

Site Of The Day

The Minnesota Golden Gophers had a bit of a rough time at the 76 classic, losing to Portland and Texas A&M and as a result falling out of this week’s poll. Hopefully for the folks at From the Barn, being today’s site of the day will help cheer them up.

You can also follow them on Twitter at @fromthebarn

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76 Classic Preview

I’m writing this at almost 2 in the morning, so if you see any mistakes, bear with me and/or e-mail me. Happy Thanksgiving.

Usually these contrived holiday tournaments feature either a crappy field or one power team beating up on a mid-major. Not so with this year’s 76 Classic which will take place in Anaheim, California. As we did with Maui, we will take a team by team tour through the field (and hopefully guess the champion correctly like we did with Maui)

West Virginia v. Long Beach State

Gone are the John Beilein days of the 1-3-1 zone and the shooting tons of threes, but this West Virginia team packs some punch. There isn’t a Kevin Pittsnogle or a Joe Alexander type player, but the Mountaineers feature lots of depth. West Virginia has gotten just 12% of its points from beyond the arc so far this year, and they are shooting just 50% from the line, so they need to maximize their two point attempts. Given the fact that they have just a 50% EFG, they could be primed for an upset. The 49ers have a little bit better offense than West Virginia (albeit against worse competition) but their defense has been pretty bad so far this year, allowing almost a point per possession. Long Beach is going to have to shoot better than they have so far from beyond the arc to have a chance – their two most frequent shooters are a combined 18-54 from three.

Texas A&M v. Clemson

This is a matchup of two teams who are outside the conversation in their respective conferences and are itching to get into the conversation. The Tigers actually had a pretty damn good offense last year, averaging 116.1 points per 100 possessions, good for 16th nationally. This was fueled by their ability to get 2nd shots – they had the 17th best offensive rebounding team in the country. Of course, their best offensive rebounder from last year is gone, so that will be a point to watch. The Aggies meanwhile were thought of as a gritty defensive team by the mainstream, but in reality they were another very good offense. They scored 113.6 points per 100 possessions, but since they were so slow (65 possessions per game – 231st overall) their defensive numbers were inflated. The Aggies will probably rely on the Senior trio of Donald Sloan, Bryan Davis and Chinemelu Elonu (how was he not on the all name team?).

Portland v. UCLA

UCLA opened up their season by losing to Cal State Fullerton. I don’t see them suffering an upset here, for no other reason than the cliched one that they will have an opportunity to have a resume win in the semifinals. The three best players off the 3rd ranked Bruin offense last year (Darren Collison, Josh Shipp, Jrue Holliday) are all gone, and in their place are guys like Michael Roll and Nicola Dragovic. Roll actually had the 17th best O-Rating last year, partly buoyed by his 52% shooting from beyond the arc, but that was in extremely limited playing time. Regardless of UCLA’s struggles, I think they’ll come out on top.

Butler v. Minnesota

This is the game to watch. Butler, as we’ve said, is led by foul drawing/shooting machine Matt Howard. Howard has been pounding the defensive glass so far, but is really struggling in other areas of his game, posting just a 35.7 EFG. Willie Veasley, Gordon Hayword and Shelvin Mack have been picking up the slack in his downturn. The Gophers, meanwhile, have dealt with the dismissal of star recruit Royce White and have not been challenged yet. He takes a lot of shots, and sometimes some unnecessary ones, but Laurence Westbrook is the key to the Gophers offense. Even though he had just a 50% EFG he drew quite a few fouls for a guard and shot his free throws at an 83% clip last season. He also shot 35% from three.

This could go a lot of different ways, but I think I’m going to play it save and pick Butler to win the classic.

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2009 Atlantic Sun All-Name Team

The All-Name Team will be a reoccurring feature here at Beadlemaniacs. How often it will run remains to be seen, but rest assured, by the time the season is over an All-Name team for each conference will be unveiled. Each edition of the All-Name Team will consists solely of a starting five. Since we mentioned Jacksonville University in a post earlier today, we will look at the Atlantic Sun’s All-Name Team.

G – Eni Cuka, North Florida. Cuka is a 6’2″ guard out of Ft. Lauderdale — south Florida, represent! — and averaged 13 points last year for the Ospreys. He is one of just three seniors taking the court for UNF this season, but has by far the coolest name of the three of them.

Cuka

Eni - one cuckoo for - Cuka puffs? Yes, another lame pun.

G – Ridas Pulkauninkas, Mercer. Ridas is a junior out of Lithuania, who is getting his first chance at playing time this season, getting 11 minutes a game. He’s only averaging 3.2 points, but is leading the team in awesome names.

F – Keaton Belcher, Belmont. I wonder if he actually lives up to his surname? Anyone want to challenge him to a burping contest?

F – Etienne Effenberg, North Florida. We’ve already established that one way to make this team is to have an apostrophe in the middle of your name. However, another way to garner recognition: alliteration. That’s just what this freshman out of Germany makes this team for, even though he has yet to see the court this season.

C – Szymon Lukasiak, Jacksonville. He may be from Poland, but this is the most original — and absurd — spelling of the name “Simon” that I have ever seen. It is also the reason that Lukasiak makes this team.

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Site Of The Day: Paradise Jam Champs

Yesterday, we dedicated our Site Of The Day to a Tennessee Vols basketball blog, since they were squaring off against Purdue in the Paradise Jam final round. Well Tennessee wound up losing the game, narrowly, 73-72 at the hands of the Boilermakers.

So in honor of the team on the winning end of that score, today’s Site Of The Day belongs to the Purdue Basketball Blog — which, as the name suggests, covers all things Purdue basketball. So go check them out, or you can find them on Twitter at @PurdueBball

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A Quick Look at the Pomeroy Ratings

This next item comes courtesy of  Clown, a friend of the site, and since I get to wear the big boy pants today because Fetch is on the road all day, I’m posting as I please. So let’s take a quick look at the current Pomeroy Ratings. Click the photo below to enlarge.

LOL Kansas

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, Fetch’s beloved Jayhawks are not only rated 25th, but they are a few spots behind the 0-1 Jacksonville University Dolphins of the Atlantic Sun conference. To be fair, the Dolphins’ only loss is to Florida State, who Pomeroy currently has rated 2nd, behind the Texas Longhorns (who throttled Iowa last night by 25 points).

So thanks again to Clown, for bringing this caveat to our attention today.

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Filed under Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Kansas, Whimsy

Open Thread

Tonight’s marquee matchup is Purdue vs. Tennessee. Each team has somewhat struggled lately, with Purdue outlasting South Dakota State by 11, and Tennessee having a squeaker vs. DePaul. Purdue’s Robbie Hummel is the player to watch, as one of our 2nd team All-Americans is shooting 50% from the floor through his first two games, although just 33% from three. It will be interesting to see if Purdue’s great defense (5th nationally last year) can stop Tennessee’s offense (21st nationally last year, although much better from 2 than from 3). Another thing to watch will be the rebounding: Tennessee had the nation’s 5th tallest team last year.

Other games for your viewing pleasure are at the Maui invitational. Cincy and Vandy are currently going toe to toe, and Wisconsin-Arizona takes place later on.

Earlier today, Gonzaga struggled with Colorado, who I called terrible yesterday. I still think they’re terrible, it’s just that Gonzaga isn’t any good.

Happy viewing.

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Site Of The Day

Hope you all had a great weekend, I know I did before this final push of work before Thanksgiving. I’m sure we’ve got some quality stuff lined up for you this week. To start it off, I’ve found another quality Site Of The Day. Since No. 10 Tennessee is facing off against No. 7 Purdue in the Paradise Jam final in St. Thomas, today’s Site Of The Day is a Volunteers basketball site.

The Site Of The Day belongs to The BruceBall Blog , so go check them out for your Vols fix.

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Filed under SEC, Site Of The Day