Tag:Big East Basketball
Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:50 pm

Firing Up "The Bandwagon" 11/17/2009

Welcome back to The Bandwagon .  Before I reveal the second team on my early/pre-season bandwagon, let’s first look at those teams already on it:

Florida State 1-0

As always, let me know what you think of my bandwagon picks thus far and be sure to include your own bandwagon picks at the bottom of the page; I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Now are you ready for my next bandwagon team? 

Connecticut 3-0

There is a strange vibe surrounding the Big East this year.  It seems that the usual leaders of the conference have taken a step back -- I mean you Connectut, Pittsburgh and Louisville -- while Villanova and West Virginia have both taken a big step forward.  At least the experts seem to think so.  I'll admit 'Nova and West Virginia do deserve some buzz, but I think the experts are making a mistake by overlooking some of the conferences top programs, such as Connecticut.  When I made my selections, I was under the impression that UCONN was ranked lower than thirteenth – thus making them a bolder pick.  I still feel they belong here though.   It could be argued that Connecticut lost more following last season than any other team (North Carolina and Pittsburgh may be the only competing teams).  However, Jerome Dyson returns, he’s scored better than nineteen ppg through the team’s first three games while also leading the team in assists.  Kemba Walker is lightening-quick and will provide adequate scoring, while reserving his ability to explode in some games.  Stanley Robinson is a tall 6-9 with great athleticism, everybody is expecting him to burst out this season and thus far he has.  Helping out this threesome – and 6-9 senior forward Gavin Edwards – are three freshmen ranked better than seventy-fifth by rivals.com .  Amongst the newcomers is Alex Oriakhi, a 6-9 center, who’s presence will be felt immediately on defense and on the boards – he leads the team in rebounds through three games averaging just more than ten a game.  Joining him is 6-7 forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and off-guard Darius Smith, who is of the Kemba Walker mold.  Suffice to say, the Huskies have a good mix of young and old on this year’s team.  I understand they lost a lot; it is tough to imagine this team is better – especially after that game against Hofstra, right? – but give this team time and they’ll scare any team in the top ten.  Looking at the schedule, Connecticut should cruise through their first five.  On December ninth they’ll play Kentucky, at home, giving this team its first true test.  If the younger players can learn to contribute offensively by then, I say they take that game to remain undefeated heading into Big East play at Cincinnati on December thirtieth. 

Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:32 am

Big East Tournament: Round 1, Game 2

5 West Virginia v. 12 Providence

On paper these two teams are identical. \
wv - 76
prov - 73
wv - 45
prov - 45
wv - 35
prov - 37
wv - 40
prov - 38

The only difference is Providence commits slightly more turnovers. What does this tell me? There are no reason's why West Virginia shouldn't win as they should. But, there is not a reason why Providence can't upset West Virginia either. The most important factor I see in this game has nothing to do with the guys playing on the court. While some teams, like Syracuse and Villanova are playing to get into the NCAA tournament. Tim Welsh (Providence) is coaching for his job, and I think that will make the difference today.

Outcome: Providence upsets West Virginia 79-77
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:19 am

Big East Tournament: Round 1

I'm going to have to make this quick,I'm expected to be at a pals house to watch the SU game in an hour. \

8 Villanova v. 9 Syracuse

This games has the most NCAA tournament implications. The loser of this game is out. The other fights another day. Many say if Syracuse wins they are in, many other say Syracuse has to win it all, or make it the semi-finals. I'm not interested in the technicalities. If Syracuse loses, they are out. For, both Syracuse and Villanova, that is what matters today.

Both teams are running with two game win streaks, but I feel Syracuse has more momentum coming off their fifteen point victory against Marquette. Villanova and Syracuse split their regular season series, winning on each other's home court, so it is only just for these two to settle the dispute on a neutral court... Madison Square Garden. Wait. Neutral court? Syracuse is beloved in MSG, and Villanova is a Philly team. This could spell disaster for Villanova, or maybe Syracuse, since the visitor has won the previous two games.

For Syracuse to Win: Syracuse has to force, and avoid, turnovers. Create fast breaks. But, the key for Syracuse is to get the ball inside. Onuaku should have a field day against Nova's front court, and Donte Greene needs to do exactly what he did Saturday take the ball to the hoop, and avoid shooting lazy threes. On defense they need to extend the zone like they did against Marquette and contest Nova's shooter.

For Nova to Win: Make jump shots. Exploit the zone, because Boeheim's not coming out of it. If they can get Syracuse's big men into foul trouble early. Syracuse will be doomed if Onuaku and Greene have to spend extended times on the bench. On defense, they need to force Syracuse to take outside shots.

Outcome: I have Syracuse winning 79-68
Posted on: February 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Bandwagon Hopping: 2/10/08 Louisville Cardinals

   [Sorry for the one month hiatus, Physiology tests, eh? Anyways back to the blog, and the premier segment on my blog... The Bandwagons of course!]

    There were times  earlier this season when I thought Louisville wasn't going to make the NCAA tournament.  They started the season ranked in the top 10, but lost to BYU, Dayton, and Purdue, with no significant wins.  They've gone 8-3 in the Big East, with wins against West Virginia and twice blowing Marquette away.  Then yesterday I witnessed, via the television, Louisville stun Georgetown in the second half. Beating them at their own style of basketball. The second half of that game was nothing, but perfection from Louisville.

    Prior to yesterday, it looked as if Georgetown would run away with the conference.  After a strong start West Virginia has fallen off the map, Syracuse's injuries prove to be detrimental to the teams ability to grasp their potential, and Pittsburgh has their own injury problems.  Marquette has begun to drop since conference play, Connecticut is still a bit young, and inexperienced, despite their promise, and although Notre Dame has been playing well during the Big East season, they still haven't showed that they are good enough to hang with Georgetown, or the elite teams in the country. 
    No team can win by the play of a single player, but Louisville's success has been stimulated by a catalyst, David Padgett.  He creates plays on both ends of the floors and despite average numbers (10 points 4 rebounds), he is the heart and soul of this Cardinals team. Following this season's end Padgett is unclear of what his future is.  He claims he's just concentrated on playing out his senior year. But, ifI were a betting man I'd say that he should look forward to next year, as I expect him to be taken in the late second round.  Terrence Williams is still a jack-of-all-trades type of player, and Jerry Smith has established himself as a good scorer.  Juan Palacios has never shown his full potential, but if he is finally healthy he could be a key to this teams success as well.  Louisville is my pick to win the Big East regular season title, and could play deep into March after a disappointing early exit last season.
Posted on: January 21, 2008 6:07 pm

Syracuse, Georgetown Game Preview

Tonight at 7:00 the Syracuse Orange[men] take on the #8 Georgetown Hoyas in the Verizon Center. Syracuse is 2-3 away from the Carrier Dome, and 1-2 in true road games. They also have not won a game on the road in the Big East, losing to West Virginia and a mediocre Cincinnati team. I wouldn't go so far as to say this game is a must win for Syracuse, but with a 13-6 overall record, 3-3 in the Big East, I think this is a game that could set the tone for the rest of the season for the Orange[men].

Key Match ups
Georgetown is once again loaded with talent. They are led at the 5 by Roy Hibbert, college basketball's greatest true center. He leads the team in both points and rebounds, and although some don't believe his numbers are overwhelming (13.1 and 6.5), he does however, play great defense and is a terrific passer for a big man. Fortunately for Syracuse they have one of the Big East's greatest surprises in the emergence of Arinze Onuaku who's numbers outshine Hibbert's (scoring 13.4 and averaging 7.8 rebounds).

Donte Greene is the second leading scorer in the Big East and is the most important piece to Syracuse's puzzle. He ranks in the top ten, in the Big East, in scoring, blocks and 3pt shooting. Opposing him is DaJuan Summers a 6-8 sophomore. He ranks second on the team in points and rebounds.

Keys to Victory

For Georgetown to win: They need to play their style of basketball. They have to keep the low, and prevent Syracuse from scoring on the fast break. They need to contain Donte Greene, and assert Hibbert inside. They also have to play around Syracuse's zone and make their 3pt. shots.

For Syracuse to win: Donte Greene must, MUST, stay out of foul trouble. They also need to force turnovers and keep their track shoes on. Syracuse will not be able to win scoring less than 70 points, and they absolutely cannot settle for 3s. Challenge Hibbert inside early and often. The first 3-4 possessions I would go inside to Onuaku, and then allow Greene to get open outside.


Georgetown should win this game. But, if Syracuse scores 75+, and I believe this will only happen if Greene plays 35 min+, then they will win.

Georgetown 68 Syracuse 65
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com