Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tournament Thoughts - Final Four

Louisville has no scorers to go to.
Gorgui Dieng can't catch the ball and he missed at least two dunks and it still was a great game by his standards, 7 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks.

Russ Smith shoots too much (4-15).
Peyton Siva dribbles as if he's getting paid per bounce.

Steve Kerr kept complaining that Louisville's uniforms were more orange than red. He even called them Syracuse at one point.

Anthony Davis is freakin awesome, did you see that one-handed jam when the lob was tipped. Amazing.

Here's a good look at his unibrow.

Kentucky is so good but so undisciplined. Several times they took bad chances or pushed the action too much. That, and lazy defense allowed Louisville to make a comeback.

After the game, John Calipari said Davis could play point guard. And if he comes back for another year, he would let Davis do just that. Cal is a funny and charming guy. You can see why he always gets the best recruits. That, and the bags of cash the boosters provide really explain it quite well.

Ashley Judd has lost her fastball.

A lot of college teams struggle in the half-court. They can only score on fast breaks, 3-point shots or drives to the basket. That is why Thomas Robinson is so good. He can get the ball in the low post and either score or kick it out. Sullinger too. But I think I like Robinson a little more. But I'd take Sullinger in the NBA, over Robinson. But Sullinger did have a lot of problems with Withey in this game, shooting only 5 of 19.

That was a very weird scenario at the beginning of the game when the refs didn't call a foul on Robinson though he blatantly whacked Sullinger. It was almost like the refs were trying to protect him from getting in early foul trouble, but the TV crew kept pushing it so they had to reverse the call. How would the referees possibly get #0 and #24 confused?

Shooting percentage is not about ability. It is about the shots you take. At the beginning of the game Kansas was rushing shots, missing them and fell into a big hole. Because once you miss a few and get behind the tendency is to forgo patience and shot 3s, or shoot early in the possession. The same thing riddled Ohio State at the end.

Ohio State lost, but it is not Aaron Craft's fault. He made two huge plays, a steal, and then a clean strip on Robinson to protect an easy layup. Clutch plays, that could have tilted the game for Ohio State. But he totally fucked up on that missed free throw. Everyone knows the shooter can't enter the lane until the ball hits something. When you're trying to miss you need to nail it hard off the front rim or backboard so it bounces long, past the front line of rebounders.

Anthony Davis's Unibrow

Anthony Davis is probably going to win the college player of the year award, win the national title and be the first pick in the NBA draft.
But no one talks about his low-post game or his prodigious shot-blocking.
The first thing that comes up when you mention his name are his eyebrows, or perhaps the singular description, unibrow, is more appropriate.

anthony Davis Unibrow

Is his unibrow really that bad?
I want to hear from the ladies on this? Does it really look worse than other unibrows? Do you think this will stop him from getting pussy when he goes to the NBA?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Funny or Douchey?

At every SU game this season you can find two fans wearing Jim Boeheim masks. The stick their noses through a cutout, and tie the masks with string in the back.
One of the men is John Groat, who owns Holy Shirt!, a Syracuse institution.
The duo even spent the money to go to Pittsburgh and Boston for the NCAA Tournament games.
So is spending thousands of dollars to watch games while wearing a huge mask funny or douchey, or douchey with a hint of funny?

Racist Onomatopoeia

Every Friday Mrs. Poop takes Julian to "Storytime" at the local public library, it's basically 20 minutes of singing, a 10-minute story and 15 minutes of destructive free play. On the rare occasion that I am off on a Friday I have taken him. But I hate it for several reasons:
1) The old lady running it has disdain for children. She doesn't like when the children get up and walk around.
2) The songs they sing are ridiculous. "Hot Cross Buns," really? We really need to teach our kids 19th century British imperial songs? Better than slave songs, but still.
3) It's all women, mostly chatty women who want to be nice and friendly and talk to the new guy. But I hate socializing, especially with psycho-mommies.

Against my better judgment a couple Fridays ago while I called in Madness and Mrs. Poop took Chase to the circus, I decided to go to storytime. Mrs. Poop's friend was also going to the circus so I expected her husband to be there as well. Plus, he gets laid a lot so I thought I could score some brownie points with Mrs. Poop. But he faked an illness so I was the only father there.

I lip-synched my way through the songs until we got to "The Wheels on the Bus." First of all they add a verse about daddies saying "shh shh shh." Probably because the mommies never shut the fuck up. Then they sang about the money on the bus. And I swear they were saying "the money on the bus goes chink chink chink." I was shocked. I thought this was maybe a holdover from 200 years ago, like "Hot Cross Buns" and since everyone learned it that way, no one changed it.
I came home and googled it and it turns out there are two alternate versions, clink and ching. Maybe some mommies were singing "clink, clink, clink" and when combined with the other mommies singing "ching, ching, ching" it sounded to me like "chink, chink, chink."

I'm just glad Jeremy Lin wasn't there.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I've Wasted 75% of the Best Year of My Life

Age 33 is the best year of our lives, a new survey has found.
A British website, Friends Reunited, says that 70% of people over 40 picked that age as their happiest.
Just 6% said they were content during their college years, the site reported.
And only 16% pined for their childhood years.
One in three surveyed found their happiness in having children, while only one in five linked their sense of joy to their job.
“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivete and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth,” psychologist Donna Dawson said.
“By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope,” she added. “We have yet to develop the cynicism and world-weariness that comes with later years.”

I normally hate these studies, I even have a tag for them "pointless study" but I think this one might be right on. I do feel like this has been a great year. And for the reasons expressed above. I'm old enough where dumb shit doesn't matter anymore and a lot of the worries of youth (about money, career, my place in the world) are over, but I am not so old that I am unable to enjoy it.

But maybe not as much as the chick quoted in the Daily News article:

Christine Possemato, 35, from Springfield N.J., agrees that 33 was a very special and sexy year.

“It's the sex, definitely,” said Possemato, who is single. “You’re hitting your stride. You’re a lot more confident and you can attract younger guys.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Song of the Week

"I Wanna Be Your Lover" - Prince
I'm not really a big fan of Prince, the 1980s stuff, but before he became big he released this song, and it became his first big hit. It was 1979 and he incorporates a very cool 70s funk beat that I like. He also hadn't developed his over-the-top unintelligible falsetto yet.

Prince - I Wanna Be Your Lover (Official Video) by Prince-Official

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Hope She Was Wearing a Helmet

This off-season Staten Island Jew Jason Marquis signed with the Minnesota Twins for $3 million. The Twins will be his 7th team in his 13-year Major League career.
But Marquis, who was having a shitty spring (8.53 ERA) left spring training to be with his family.
His 7-year-old daughter was seriously injured when she fell off a bicycle.
There are no more details than that available right now. It seems like she fell and hit her head. I sure hope that's not the case. I would hate to see a young child seriously injured because her parents didn't enforce strict helmet rules.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tournament Thoughts Elite 8

Why final scores are misleading. Kansas beat North Carolina by 13 points, Kentucky beat Baylor by only 12.

But the UNC-Kansas game was a great game. In the words of a noted UNC scholar, "both teams played hard man."

Harrison Barnes made a free throw after the under-4 timeout to make the score 68-67. Kansas scored the next 12 points.

That is when they could have used Kendall Marshall. It is a real shame he got hurt. I really believe North Carolina would have won this game if he had been at full-strength.

In some ways its worse than what happened to Syracuse because at least Syracuse kind of deserved it because Melo was a dope, and no one helped him or covered up for him. North Carolina has nothing to blame but bad luck.

Baylor had a great season and they have a lot of promise on the horizon because they've increased spending on their athletic performance. But they laid down like dogs in the is game. Quincy Acy was the only guy busting ass during the stretch when Kentucky took a 40-20 lead.

Why did Calipari bring Anthony Davis back in once he got hurt? That does not make sense. They were up by 15, give the kid a break, don't risk him re-injuring his knee.

Kentucky and Syracuse were undeniably the two best teams in the country this season. One loss each. They had three common opponents: St. John's and then Louisville and Florida. The last two lost 19 games combined in the regular season, 7 of those losses were to Syracuse and Kentucky.

That was a really horrible loss by Florida. They really choked this game away.

Did you see that dunk by Patric Young? Dude is nasty. His arms are ridiculous. He looks like a young Kevin Willis.

Billy Donovan can't beat Rick Pitino. 0-7 lifetime. Yikes!

Peyton Siva has been around a long time, you think he would be more mature by now. His 5th foul was really stupid.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Syracuse vs Ohio State

I was in too much pain and anger to write this after the game so I decided to sleep on it and maybe I would feel better about it in the morning. Didn't turn out that way, still crushed.

This game was marred by officiating. Don't skip the rest of this paragraph thinking it's just going to be a bitter Syracuse fan bitching and being sour grapes. I am not saying there was a conspiracy against the Orange. I'm saying the game was poorly officiated because it was called way too tightly. There were some phantom calls, but mostly it was just every tiny bit of contact was a whistle. 48 fouls in all. Five fouls in the first two minutes of the second half. It was just too much, and it had more of an adverse effect on Syracuse than it did on Ohio State. Partially because SU had less depth up front, partially because Ohio State adjusted better. Sullinger allowed two easy layups in the second half because he backed off on defense. Syracuse never made an adjustment. But it also hurt the Orange because they were trailing and wanting to play an aggressive trap, and every time they did an Ohio State player stepped into a Syracuse player and they called a foul.

But there were other reasons Syracuse lost. Offensive rebounding hurt again. Ohio State had 13 offensive rebounds.

Dion Waiters picked a bad time to have his worst game of the season. 2 for 8 from the field and almost zero other contributions. He plays aggressive defense and only played 20 minutes due to foul trouble. It was likely his last game for Syracuse.

We know Kris Joseph won't be back, and he went out with a whimper as well. I really think he regressed this year as other players improved and took more of the scoring load away from him.

Scoop Jardine however ended his career on a better note. He didn't play great but he made some big shots and his drives created some easy baskets for Christmas and Keita. For five years Scoop has given everything he had to this program. And like Shane, I just want Scoop on my team still.

Syracuse also lost because they missed lots of layups early. Then in the second half they took some bad shots without passing and working the offense. And then came the finishing stretch late in the game.

Sullinger had just made 2 free throws to put Ohio State back up by 4. The next three possessions were three turnovers, one by Scoop and 2 by Kris Joseph. Ohio State opened it back to 7 with 3 minutes left and the game was over.

I really wish Syracuse would have driven the ball into the lane more. It was working because Sullinger was backing off to avoid pikcing up his third foul, but they got away from it.

Sullinger is awesome. He's a little like Tim Duncan. He really knows how to use the glass on his post moves (like that one he banked, hit the rim, bounced off the backbo again and in) and that makes him very effective.

Aaron Craft is a total pest. Not a good player just a total pain in the ass. He fouled out and I thought he could have been called for even more fouls.

It's a shame that one of the greatest seasons in school history had to end without a National Championship, without even a Final Four appearance. And it's even more disappointing because of all the what ifs, especially what if Fab Melo had just been able to stay eligible.

But as I discussed before the tournament (and before Melo's suspension) this was a great season. It was very enjoyable to dominate the entire country all year. It was great to have the longest stretch at number one we've ever had. It was great to reload the RPI page and see Syracuse on top for basically the entire season. It was great to watch Scoop's last hurrah, to watch Waiters become a star, to live and die with every chucked 3 by James Southerland. And it was fun to watch the development of Fab Melo, while it lasted.

It was great so beat UNC-Asheville despite all the internet hate. It was great to dominate Kansas State in the second half. And it was great to survive Wisconsin, a game where they played to the maximum of their potential and Syracuse was just a little bit better.

The 2003 team is of course the best team in school history. 1987 and 1996 are special. But this season will also be special to me for the wonderful journey these players took me on. Even if we didn't reach the destination.