Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Big Ten Predictions

Here's what will happen in the 2008 Big Ten season, tipping off tonight:

1. Indiana 15-3, 26-4
2. Michigan St 13-5, 25-6
3. Illinois 12-6, 21-10
Wisconsin 12-6, 22-8
5. Ohio St 10-8, 19-11
6. Purdue 9-9, 18-13
7. Minnesota 8-10, 18-12
8. Penn State 7-11, 15-15
9. Iowa 5-13, 12-19
Michigan 5-13, 9-21
11. Northwestern 3-15, 8-19

So there you go. Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, and Wisconsin tournament teams, with Ohio State on the bubble. Purdue, barring a big run in the B10 tournament, Minnesota, and Penn State NIT teams.

I've also included a short Haiku on each team. Enjoy:

INDIANA: White, Rose Dominate
The Big Ten has no answer
Hoosiers Champions

MICH ST: Neitzel know as good
Wow, where did Morgan come from
Freshman are the key

ILLINOIS: Illini puzzle
Keep letting games slip away
Good balance. Will win.

Hate them so very much
Everyone in that state
Should just die. For real.

OHIO ST: Beat Gators. Good Win.
No other quality wins
Buckeyes tough to rank

PURDUE: Young and talented
Have played just that way so far
How good and how soon?

GOPHERS: How much can Smith help?
At least great class next season
NIT I think

PENN ST: Claxton back once more
Doesn't matter. Lions no good
Could surprise at home

MICHIGAN: What a total mess
Remember when they were great?
Thanks Amaker! Yuck!

IOWA: Smith gone, Freeman hurt
Leaves nothing for Lickliter
Welcome to team, coach.

NORTHWESTERN: Bad again this year
Will it ever end? Who knows?
Tubby solves their zone

So there you have it. If you want an in depth preview of each team, with actual statistics and player names and analysis, head on over to From the Barn, where he breaks down each team in an intelligent way.

Also worth checking out is PJS's discussion on the lack of local coverage of the Minnesota basketball team. Excellent, excellent point. Radio is pretty much the same way as well. The only think I can figure is that the local media pretty much forgot about the Gophers due to the poor showings in the last few seasons, and haven't got up yet. I have to assume they will get there eventually.

And Gopher Nation hands out their 2007 Gopher Nation Awards. There's an award for Favorite Gopher Blog, and I didn't win. It went to that son of a bitch Paging Jim Shikenjanski. Yeah, real tough to win when you actually research articles and are insightful. Congrats PJS.

Lastly, I would like to add, that my new favorite former basketball player is Keon Clark. Most of the big time sports blogs have picked this up already, but in case you missed it, at a court hearing, Clark admitted, "I've never played a game sober." He also admitted he is an alcoholic. Um, I think that was pretty easy to infer from the first statement there, slim.

Clark was a badass shot blocker at UNLV in college, and could dunk from anywhere. He also had less shooting range than Jeff Hagen, but his athleticism and leaping ability got him into the NBA, drafted 13th overall in 1998 after averaging 14.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game in his two years with the Rebels. He played for the Nuggets, Raptors, and Kings (and 2 games for the Jazz), averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds per game for his career, including highs of 11.3 and 7.4 in 2001-2002. At which point, the wheels fell off Britney Spears style.

First, he fired his two agents, who were veterans at repping NBA players and instead hired a banker friend of his from back home, who had never represented an NBA player before - ever. And this was right as he was about to hit the free agent market and get a nice, fat contract. Probably a bad move. Following that, Wikipedia lists his other issues:

n 2003, Clark was ordered to pay $8,500 per month in child support to his long-time girlfriend, Jamie Hall

Clark was scheduled for jury trial on August 14, 2006 in Vermilion County, Illinois on: 1 Count of Possession of Cannabis, C misdemeanor; 2 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Class 4 Felony; and 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm without a valid FOID, class 3 felony.[3]

In addition to these legal woes, Clark was recently in trouble for driving on a suspended license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and DUI.[4][5]

On September 20, 2007, he was sentenced in absentia to 30 months in prison for driving on a suspended license. He was not present at the sentencing, and an arrest warrant was issued for him.[6] On October 11, 2007, he was sentenced to 30 months of prison in Vermillion County Circuit Court on a different charge, for not having a firearm owner's identification card and for possessing drugs.[7] The State's Attorney office wants the sentences to be served consecutively.[8] He was arrested on October 18, 2007 in Splendora, Texas by the US Marshals.[9] The prison term for his Vermillion County conviction was thrown out and new sentencing hearing was scheduled in December 2007. During the hearing, Clark has said he is an alcoholic and "never played in an NBA game sober", drinking alcohol at halftime break of games.

There was also a story somewhere - which I can't find again - about how he missed a couple of court dates because "I had so many court dates I couldn't keep them straight."

Keon Clark is a true American hero. I leave with a short, 2-minute highlight film from his NBA days. Keep in mind he's doing this all while he's hammered. Truly, a man to be admired.

TCU +20 @ Texas (W)
Houston +5 @ UMass (L)
Wisconsin -8 @ Michigan (W)
Dayton -6.5 vs. Akron (L)
Kent St +22 @ UNC (L)
New Orleans -5 vs. AR-Little Rock (L)
Indiana -10.5 @ Iowa
South Florida -11.5 vs. Rutgers (W)
Penn St +1.5 @ Northwestern
Tulane PK vs. LSU
UNC-Wilmington +4 @ Drexel (L)
Georgia St +12 vs. George Mason (W)
Creighton -4 @ Indiana State (L)
Duquesne -7.5 @ Bowling Green (W)
Northeastern -4 @ Towson (L)

Yesterday: 1-2
Season: 170-143


Dawg said...

How are the Gophers suppose to win the national championship without making the NCAA tournament????

PS Do you think Hoffbauer will stick around for at least 2 years or will his guranteed NBA lottery pick status force him to leave after his freshmen season?

WWWWWW said...

I wouldn't be surprised if he drops out of school halfway through the Big Ten season to prepare full-time for the NBA.

Anonymous said...

Stupid and irrelevant
It's author and contributors, insipid
Clearly, I'm a masochist

Anonymous said...

Insipid would also describe your attempt at trying to portray your intelligence.

Tom said...

sorry DWG, had to go with PJS as he has pictures of me with Bo Ryan that aren't exactly flattering and he was going to post them.

Gopher Nation

Anonymous said...

Obviously Insecure Anonymous - You're an idiot, and your sentence doesn't make sense.

PJS said...

Tom, information that I had said pictures was supposed to stay between you and I.

WWWWWW said...

I demand an investigation into the legitimacy of these awards.

Immediately. It feels Ganglehoffian.