Monday, February 9, 2009
I know I said I wouldn’t be blogging at all while I was in Utah, but, much like when I say I’m going to write something short and go on for paragraphs and paragraphs, this stupid blog is like some sort of drug to me. I’m like the Joker in that gay cowboy movie, “I don’t know how to quit you.”
I attended the big Utah State vs. LA Tech game on Saturday and it was a good ole time. I wrote about the game I attended last year, and most of that still stands. The arena is still really cool. It’s still like 50% students so it is still very loud and, especially compared to the exhibition I saw last year, very rowdy for a conference game. And the girls are still absolutely amazing looking. I seriously can’t get over it. Imagine that girl above and her like-level of hotness friends, and then imagine an entire arena full of them, and you’ll start to get the idea.
As for the game, it was a good one which is really all I wanted. The Aggies pulled it out 60-52 to go to 23-1 on the season, and gave me a pretty good idea of what they are capable of - and they are definitely able to pull an upset come March. Right now the Aggies are projected as an 11 seed by ESPN, and with a pretty easy schedule left - the only game remaining that Ken Pomeroy gives them less than a 68% chance of winning is their Bracket Buster game against St Marys, and now the Gaels are without Pat Mills - I don't see them falling too far from there. They are an extremely efficient team (26th in offensive efficiency and 4th in effective field goal percentage) and use the three pointer to their advantage, shooting 39% as a team (21st nationally) and have four or five different guys who can hit.
Additionally, the have some good size up front, with three guys 6-7 or bigger playing regularly, a luxury a lot of smaller conference teams don't have. What this all means is pretty much that they are a very real danger to a team who doesn't defend the three pointer well and relies on their size a lot. Oklahoma would do well to hope the Aggies aren't in their bracket. The Sooners are horrible against the three pointer (231st in the country) and rely a lot on Blake Griffin. Not saying Utah State could stop him, but they at least have the size and ability to make him work hard, and if he's off they can score points with anybody and could knock them off. It could happen.
The other interesting thing I saw in the game was deserving of the rare, "Unknown Awesome Player Alert" and goes to LA Tech forward/center Magnum Rolle. Rolle was #18 on the Rivals 150 when he came out in 2005, but ended up transferring to Louisiana Tech due to playing time concerns. He's averaging 12 and 7 with two blocks per game this year, his first at LA Tech, and throws in two blocks a game to go with it. He is incredibly athletic, and was definitely the best player on the court during the game I attended, even after getting hurt going for a crazy dunk the likes of which hasn't been seen since Rico Tucker hurt his knee, getting hit in the head and falling hard on the floor.
After a brief trip to the locker room he returned to the game and helped the Bulldogs get back into it. He has a very nice touch out to about fifteen feet, has an excellent touch passing for a big man, and is a commanding presence in the paint, both on offense or defense. He actually didn't put up great numbers in the last game, just eight points and five boards with four blocks, but it was easy to see why he was ranked as the 18th best player in his high school class. He has one season left, so if they can get some talent in to put around him, next season could be a good one.
I'm back tomorrow evening, and will be in attendance at the Gopher game, hopefully witnessing a twenty point destruction of the hated Hoosiers.