Monday, January 3, 2011

Week in Review - 01.03.2011


1.  Purdue Boilermakers.  Robbie Hummel's injury sucked for him and Purdue fans, but fans of every other school, both in the Big Ten and nationally, should be grateful  because this team is incredibly good without him, and might legitimately have been unstoppable with him.   JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore are both stars, and all the role players fit around them perfectly.  White shooter guy?  Ryne Smith.  Athletic wing who can defend well?  Kelsey Barlow.  Next Brian Cardinal/Chris Kramer?  D.J. Byrd.  Lighting quick PG?  Lewis Jackson.  They beat Michigan on the road and Northwestern at home, and while those might not sound like great wins they did it in completely dominating fashion.  When Hummel went down it seems Purdue was written off as a national title contender, but after seeing them play this week I'd put them right back on the list.

2.  Washington Huskies.  If Washington was going to stumble on their way to a nearly inevitable Pac-10 crown this would have been the week.  Going into to Los Angeles to play the two L.A. teams is easily their most difficult road trip, but Washington managed to escape with a 2-0 record by beating USC in overtime and then knocking off UCLA with ease.  The Huskies probably don't have enough size to be a real threat to make the final four, but they play at one of the fastest paces in the country (9th) and combine that with being very efficient on the offensive end (6th), which means they score a ton of points (3rd at 89.1 per game).  That, along with their very good guards, make them a threat to pull off some upsets along the way, and they should cruise to a Pac-10 title, especially after this week's 2-0 start.

3.  St. Johns Red Storm.   I had said St. Johns was a bit of a sleeper in the Big East, and then they sucked.  They lost back-to-back games against crappy Fordham and crappy St. Bonnies, and looked dead in the water.  Well, like Jesus they're back, opening up their Big East schedule with two road wins, and impressive wins at that.  First they beat West Virginia and then followed that up by taking down Providence - not a tournament team, but a team that was 11-3 coming into the game so they aren't exactly a piece of cake.  This team still lines up well to be a sleeper:  good guards, balanced scoring, good depth, senior leadership.  Now they're finally starting to play like it.   

4.  Iowa State Cyclones.  I would like to call your attention to Iowa State, because nobody is paying any attention to them.  After going to Virginia and beating the Cavs this week, the same team that killed the Gophers here don't forget, the Cyclones are now 11-2.  Now, the Virginia win is one of the only decent wins they've had, along with wins over Iowa and Creighton, and neither loss is particularly good (to Northern Iowa and Cal, neither a likely tournament team) so it's not like they're exactly lined up well for an NCAA bid or anything, but after the last few nightmarish seasons in Ames this has got to feel pretty freakin' good for fans of that program.  Hoiberg seemingly has them moving in the right direction.

5.  Stanford chick basketball.  Thank fucking god.  If I had to hear about that UCONN women's team streak one more time I was going to scream.  Nobody cares, stop shoving it down my throat ESPN jerks.  I don't remotely care enough about women's sports to hate a team anywhere near as much as I hated that UCONN team.  Thank god our long national nightmare is finally over. 


1.  Louisville Cardinals.  When you're ranked #20 in the country you're not supposed to get blown out at home, and when you're Louisville, you're not supposed to get blown out at home by Kentucky, so Friday's 78-63 loss to the Wildcats was a nice big double oof.  So what this means is that Louisville is ranked #20 on the strength of two notable wins:  over a Butler team who has been exposed as terribly overrated, and against UNLV, who followed up that game by losing to Santa Barbara.  The other impressive part of Louisville's resume right now is they only have two losses:  this blowout at home and an earlier home loss vs. Drexel.  So I guess what I'm saying is we probably shouldn't start printing up NCAA Tournament tickets for Louisville family and friends just yet.

2.  Mississippi State Bulldogs.  Holy crap is this team bad, and I don't think it has anything to do with Renardo Sidney kicking his teammates asses or getting free cars.  They got smoked this week by St. Mary's, who joins Washington State, Virginia Tech, and Hawaii as teams that have absolutely smoked the Bulldogs, who also have losses to Florida Atlantic and East Tennessee State this year.  They're just awful.  I don't even know why, they were supposed to be the favorite for the SEC East title.  Or West.  Whichever division they're in that I'm not looking up.  Maybe things will turn around when Dee Bost comes off his suspension, but by then Sidney may have already beaten up the entire team.

3.  Siena Saints.  So I know the Saints lost three very good players and their coach off last year's team, but holy crapolavich have they fallen far.  They came into the week at 4-6 with some pretty terrible losses, but may have bottomed out this week by losing to crappy St. Bonaventure and crappier Saint Joseph's.  With two excellent players back - Clarence Jackson and Ryan Rossiter - the Saints were supposed to be a contender for the MAAC crown once again. Instead they're an absolute disaster of gopher football-ish proportions.  Yeah.

4.  Big Ten Football.   You know how there are a bunch of people in the world who always say stuff like "The Big Ten is too slow" and "The Big Ten sucks at football"?  Well, yeah..

5.  Washington State Cougars.  Remember how up above there I was talking about how the LA trip went really well for Washington?  Well the opposite is true for Washington State, who dropped both games.  With their wins over Gonzaga and Baylor and a competitive loss against Kansas State the Cougars were looking like a possible sleeper in the Pac-10.  With one of the best scorers in the country in Klay Thompson and another guard who can light it up from deep in Faisal Aden along with a solid group of big men, WSU looked really good for most of this year.  Well fart on that. 


Marty Gibson said...

Who sucked #6- WWWWWWWW's performance at the bar on saturday. What a bitch!

Loretta8 said...

stupid UConn women. I thought I was done with them after they finally lost, then I'm hung over on News Year morning flipping channels before football starts, and what do I find on ESPN Classic but the UConn women losing that game to Stanford. apparently, ESPN thought that game was worth Instant Classic status. kill me now.

rghrbek said...

Devoe's mommy is in town, and it appears he is gone for sure, according to Metcalf at the strib.

F'ing strange.

Shina Willson said...

very informative and interesting blog.
Thanks for sharing:-)