All-President’s Day Team

Keepin' it Presidential Today.

Another day with Fetch bailing on us to live-blog the entirety of the Olympics (you should go visit him, he gets lonely over there sometimes), so again I’ve been left in charge, since SC hasn’t been heard from in days. Today’s President’s Day, which means some of you probably have the day off from work… yet for some strange reason, I don’t get the day off from school. Go figure.

Anyways, in honor of President’s Day, we bring to you the best college basketball players with presidential names:

G – Tweety Carter, Baylor. Much like our 39th president — James “Jimmy” Carter — Tweety Carter doesn’t go by his legal first name (Demond). Beyond that, though, Tweety Carter is averaging 16.1 points per game for the Bears (10th in the Big 12), and leads the conference in assists, with 6.05 per game.

G – Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin. Okay, maybe I’m getting lazy with this name, but Taylor shares a last name with Zachary Taylor, our 12th president. Jordan Taylor is second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (and first in the Big Ten) at 3.4 to 1. He also led the team with a 2.2 ratio as a freshman last season. The more you know!

G/F – Kevin Palmer, Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Who said all the players on this team have to have nonfictional presidential names? Palmer shares a surname with two of the most prominent fictional presidents of our time: Wayne and David Palmer, of 24 fame. For the Islanders, Palmer is pouring in 19.75 points per with a TS% of 59.2. And yes, this will probably be one of the few times you see Corpus Christi get some pub from us.

F – D.J. Kennedy, St. John’s. See, his last name is Kennedy, and he plays for a school with John in its name, so there’s that. Then of course there’s the whole “he goes by initials, as did JFK,” thing. So it kinda works three-fold. High five! But seriously, D.J. Kennedy is doing work for the Red Storm this season. As a junior, he is averaging nearly 15 points and close to 7 boards per game. That’s sort of presidential.

F – Quincy Pondexter, Washington Huskies. Okay, so his name isn’t quite what you would expect for this team. But he plays for the University of Washington, and when I hear the name Quincy, two people come to mind: super-producer Quincy Jones — he of Thriller fame — and John Quincy Adams, our sixth POTUS. Pondexter is averaging over 20 points per game this season for the Huskies while pulling down eight boards per with a TS% of 62.

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Filed under Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Uncategorized, Whimsy

The Big East: Where Black is East and Up is White [Updated!]

It was an interesting weekend in the Big East, to say the least. Let’s recap it, shall we?

  • Jim Calhoun announced his return to the bench for UConn… which then promptly lost to Cincinnati, dropping them to 14-11 on the season.
  • USF has fallen back down to earth by dropping its second-consecutive game after knocking off two ranked teams in a row.
  • Pittsburgh and West Virginia gave us an exhilarating triple-overtime thriller Friday night, where Pitt toppled fifth-ranked West Virginia by three after Darryl Bryant took a jumper just inside the arc… down three.
  • Then today, Louisville put a halt to Syracuse’s 11-game win streak and Rutgers took down Georgetown behind 24 points from former-Florida Gator Jonathan Mitchell.

So what do we know about the Big East at this time?

Um.

Expect the unexpected? Yeah, that’s all I got for now.

It’s no doubt that Syracuse should still be considered one of the top teams in the nation this year — as should Villanova, who survived the weekend — and Georgetown is still a good team. Hell, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has six Big East teams making the tournament, with another five just missing the cut… of course, there are still a few weeks left in the season, so things can undoubtedly change. But one thing is for sure when it comes to Big East basketball this season, anything can happen.

Oh, and for the record, Rutgers fans restrained themselves from storming the court after upsetting No. 8 Georgetown, so big props to those fans.

UPDATE: And the Big East continues to confound us, as UConn, coming off of a bad loss to Cincy, drops the No. 3 team in the nation, Villanova. For those scoring at home, the four highest-ranked Big East teams (including three of the top five ranked teams in the nation) have all lost since Friday… and two of those were at home (Syracuse and Nova). Is the Big East really this deep, or is the madness just getting started a month early, this season?

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A Fitting Valentine’s Weekend Performance

It’s Valentine’s Day, which is the perfect time of the year in the sports world to take a look at some aptly named athletes for this holiday — kinda like what Fetch did for Christmas — and see if any of them actually live up to their holiday-infused names.

But since it’s the weekend, and it was a long night last night, I’m only going to give you one college basketball player who used this holiday weekend to put his name to good use. That player, of course, being Xavier’s Jason Love.

Living up to his name.

Saturday, against Florida, Love went off for 20 points (second-highest total of his career) and double-digit rebounds with 10 en route to the Musketeers’ 76-64 win over the Gators. The defeat of course delivered another blow to UF’s hopes of returning to the big dance, but there’s still some time left.

To go along with Love’s performance, he had a +/- of +17, second only to his teammate, Jordan Crawford — yes, THAT Jordan Crawford — who had a +21. Love was also responsible for Xavier’s fast start, scoring 13 of the team’s first 23 points.

So kudos to you, Jason Love, for living up to your name the one time of year that you are expected to.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, everyone.

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Filed under A10, SEC, Stats, Whimsy

Storming The Court:When Is It Right?

When should it be ok to rush the court?

It’s an activity that many fans dream of, but only so many get a chance to partake in during their lifetimes. It’s storming the floor following a big win by your team, and it’s something that is unique to college athletics.

But it’s also something that we see too often, and in particular, something done under the wrong circumstances.

So far this season, there have been at least six situations (that I can think of) in which the fans of a team has rushed the court after a big win:

But how many of those instances have been warranted? I’d say one, maybe two of them. That one being South Carolina taking down Kentucky. What makes what the Gamecocks did right, you may ask? Well, when thinking about rushing the floor, fans should take a few things into consideration before acting on impulse.

For one, the upset should be over a highly-ranked  — and of course, your team should be unranked — and over a team that is highly favored. Also, a fan should take into consideration how successful his or her team has been in recent memory.

That’s why South Carolina is a good example: they have never really been good. The school has only had eight NCAA tournament appearances (the last one being in 2004) and has only sniffed the second weekend of the tourney three times. Add in that Kentucky is a storied program, and was undefeated and ranked first in the nation at the time of the upset, and voila(!) you’ve got an ideal situation to storm the court.

The other instance that you could make an argument for? Providence upsetting UConn. Sure, UConn was only ranked 19th at the time, but let’s face it, Providence isn’t as prominent of a program (only five tournament appearances in the last 20 years) and UConn has itself been a great team in recent years. Plus, Providence shellacked them by 15+ points, so there is some gray area on that one.

Which brings me to UConn, who should be ashamed for rushing then floor when it topped Texas. Let’s ignore for a minute the fact that the Huskies have two titles in the last 11 years, and have made the big dance eight of the last 10 seasons. UConn has been ranked most of the season, so there should be no excuse for such a reaction after defeating ANOTHER ranked team.

The same could be said for the Illini, as much as SouvenirCity will argue otherwise, their fans had no business taking the floor. As I pointed out on Twitter when the upset happened, Illinois is five years removed from an appearance in the NCAA final and has made the tournament nine of the last 10 seasons. Not to mention that Sparty was playing WITHOUT its best player, Kalin Lucas.

It was really a shameful display by UConn’s and Illinois’ fans.

What about Indiana and Penn, you may ask? Well, Indiana has been down lately, but they are still a storied program that is also not far removed from success. And Penn? Well, it has won the Ivy League regular season title six of the last 10 seasons. Oh, and not to mention Penn is the 34th most prestigious division 1 men’s basketball program in the nation, according to some weird ESPN Prestige Rankings that I know nothing about.

I think I’ve ranted on long enough about fans storming the floor. Yeah, it’s a cool thing that a lot of us wish we could do one day, but it’s become an epidemic in the college basketball world… and it loses its uniqueness and appeal when it’s done so routinely in unwarranted scenarios.

So let’s close this out with one last rundown of what criteria should be met before an arena rushes the court:

  1. Opponent must be highly ranked.
  2. Your team should be unranked (for most of the season prior to the upset).
  3. Your team cannot have a recent history of success — for this argument, let’s say the last 10-15 years.
  4. YOUR TEAM CANOT HAVE A RECENT HISTORY OF SUCCESS. Repetition drives points home.

(H/T to @TallGuyDuke)

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Nothin But ‘Net

Nothin But ‘Net is our ever so often look around the internets. Enjoy.

The most important statistic in bball (The Only Colors)

Our very own Fetch predicts the medal winners for every Olympic event (starting tomorrow!) (Olympic Sports Blog)

Taking a look at some potential #1 overall seeds (Rock Chalk Talk)

There are a few fanbases who will be pissed at RTC for this post (Rush The Court)

In case you missed it yesterday, Jim Calhoun has returned from his leave of absence. (The UConn Blog)

And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the Tar Heels… Ed Davis out six weeks (Observations from Above the Rim)

Former Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton busted for drugs (Tulsa World)

Not college basketball related, but “Pistol” Pete Maravich delivered some pwnsauce in HORSE back in the day (Josh Q. Public)

Sports Illustrated showing DoJo some love? You know I had to include this article: (Sports Illustrated)

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Wednesday Open Thread

At the beginning of the season, it was thought to be one of the biggest CBB nights of the season. But scuffles by UConn, and a disaster of a season by North Carolina, have put a small damper on tonight.

Syracuse, the #3 team in the Pomeroy Ratings, looks to have an easy time with UConn at the surface, but if UConn can knock down some threes (which they haven’t done well) and get some offensive rebounds (which they have done well) they have a chance to beat the Orange, since Syracuse is abysmal at forcing turnovers. So is UConn, and Syracuse doesn’t turn it over too much, so there shouldn’t be a ton of empty possessions tonight. I’m takin the Cuse by 15 at home.

The night cap is Duke vs. some other team. Duke has shot the three well this year and not turned it over, staples for Duke teams, but they also have hit the offensive glass really well this year, 10th in the country. Carolina meanwhile has really struggled at the guard position. Larry Drew II or III or IV or V or whatever it is has played terribly this year. He does get quite a few assists, but turns it over like crazy. Meanwhile Carolina doesn’t turn their opponent over very often. I expect Jon Scheyer to have a great game, vaulting him back into the National POY race. Duke by 1o on the road.

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Illinois a Tourney Sleeper?

Maybe.  Seems like all anyone wants to mention with the Illini is, “should their students have rushed the floor after a home win against Sparty?”

How about the larger question of who’s got a shot at the Big Ten?  Believe it or not, the Fighting Zooks have a chance at taking home the Big Ten regular season title.  At 9-3, they’re tied atop the conference and have the tie breaker against a Michigan State team they don’t play for the remainder of the season.  It’s highly unlikely that Illinois runs the table with difficult games at Purdue and at Ohio State.  Probably would have said the same thing before Tuesday at Wisconsin.

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