Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Talkers

 I hate this time of year.  Not because of Christmas because I love Christmas because hey, no work, but because there's so little going on.  College basketball is just so slow.  There might be an interesting game or two, but in general it's pretty boring.  And next week is even worse with Christmas and stuff.  I have no idea why college kids can't play basketball over Christmas week.  I doubt they like their families anyway.  So since I have nothing else to write about and I just did a movie blog, here's just some stuff.

- Things should be a bit more entertaining when Rutgers joins the Big 10 than previously hoped.  Not because they're any good, because they're still pretty terrible at 5-7 this year (with a loss to William & Mary!) but because former Hoya Greg Whittington has committed to play for the Scarlet Knights after getting kicked off the team at Georgetown.  Whittington is a solid player who averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game for Georgetown last season before being ruled ineligible.  Of course I suppose it's a a question of if he ever actually arrives there considering that being ruled ineligible and then getting kicked off the team, not to mention he's dealing with ACL tear right now.  And I don't know when he'd be eligible to play or how many years he'll have left since his circumstances are a bit weird.  Hooray for information!

-  North Carolina is a fascinating team this year, and I don't just mean because they've beaten Louisville, Michigan State, and Kentucky while losing to Belmont and UAB, although that's pretty crazy in and of itself.  I mean because they're playing a completely different style than anyone else in basketball.  The average basketball team takes 32.5% of their field goal attempts from behind the 3-point arc, and scores 26% of it's total points on three-pointers.  The Tar Heels take just 15.9% of their shots from three, and that shot makes up just 10.7% of their points - both of those are dead last in the NCAA.  The team in front of them in % of attempts (Lamar) takes 19.8% of their shots from three, and the team in front of them for % of points from three (Bowling Green) gets 14.3% of their points from deep.  So North Carolina ignores the three point shot to at extent that nobody else can even touch, and it's intentional because almost every year under Roy Williams they've ranked in the 330s in those metrics (I had no idea).  It's probably a good thing since they shoot under 30% and Marcus Paige is their only halfway reliable shooter, but isn't that weird.  I think it's weird.  And I'm sharing it with you because you deserve to know weird things that are weird.

-  If you're wondering about the Gophers, and I'm sure you are since this is allegedly a Gopher blog, they take 39.6% of their shots from three (48th) and get 32.1% of their points from there (54th), shooting an above average 35.7% (vs. 33.9% national average).  These numbers are all up considerably from last season when the Gophers were ranked in the 270s, which makes sense both given the change in roster make up and Pitino's emphasis on the 3-ball.  Plus, it's way more fun.

-  Semi-Gopher related, but if Rashad Vaughn ends up at Iowa State (I said if!!) he's in for a monster year.  Hoiberg gives his guards so much freedom offensively and such little responsibility defensively that he'll end up averaging like 25 a game.  I don't know that it's the best thing for his development, but it's not like a bad defensive year will suddenly drop him out of the first round of the draft.  I really hope he's a Gopher next season, but I can see the Iowa State appeal no doubt.

-  Apparently Miramax is going to be producing a sequel to Rounders and will be turning Good Will Hunting into a television series.  These both sound like horrible ideas.  Rounders 2 could be good depending on where they take the characters, but for some reason I'm picturing a version of the Hangover with more gambling, and I suppose that could be entertaining even if it isn't necessarily "good" if you know what I mean.  The Good Will Hunting series is baffling.  I have no idea what they'd even do with it.  Hopefully someone smarter than me has that one figured out already.

- Tons of stuff going down in baseball with the winter meetings and everything, way too much to comment on in depth even for me, but I'll tackle a couple things:
  • The Twins signed Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, and Mike Pelfrey and are still chasing Bronson Arroyo.  I read one comment along the lines of, "I've never seen a team retool by chasing so much mediocrity" and that may be true, but mediocrity is a huge upgrade for this team.  Twins' starters had an ERA of 5.26 last season, worst in the majors by nearly half a run (0.45 to be precise).  They were the second worst in 2012 with an ERA of 5.40, better than only the Rockies.  2011?  Fifth worst at 4.64.  From 2011-2013 Twins' starters' ERA was 5.08, worst in the majors.  So yeah, Hughes, Nolasco, Pelfrey, and Arroyo might be mediocre, but they almost can't be worse than what they've been trotting out there.  Right?  RIGHT?
  • Jason Kubel is back with the Twins, and that's cool because he was always one of my favorites and I even had a Kubel shirt which I have since gotten rid of (waa waa).   He signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, and it surprised me they got him so cheap.  Yes he was brutal last year, but in 2012 he hit 30 homers and OPS+ed 120.  He's become even more useless against lefties, but he should be a solid platoon player against right handed pitchers.  Considering Doumit hits lefties pretty well that could be a pretty good DH combo.  Of course there's no chance of that actually happening because Gardy.
  • Speaking of the AL Central, I am really not liking what the White Sox are doing.  Everyone has ranked them for years as having the worst farm system, so the thought was they'd be terrible for like a decade and that made me smile because fuck the White Sox, right?  Well now all of a sudden they've acquired a young promising outfielder in Avisail Garica, a young promising outfielder in Adam Eaton, a young promising third baseman in Matt Davidson, and the latest big swinging Cuban in 1B/DH guy Jose Abreu.  The pitching is still a huge question mark behind Chris Sale, but I liked it better when Kenny Williams was burning the team down by trading away all youth and trying to fix problems by throwing money at them.  I can't remember this new guys name but he's been making a lot of mostly under the radar, smart moves and I don't like it one bit.  Now, with the two new guys, Alejandro de Aza is suddenly available, and this stupid guy will probably do something smart with him.  Sucks.
  • By the way, Eaton is 5-8 and describes himself as "gritty dirt bag" kind of player.  So that should be a blast.  Hawk will probably have an orgasm on the air at some point.

-  Finally got all subscribed up with Netflix and we started watching Orange is the New Black.  Really good show.  In a world where I'm having more and more trouble finding new good shows and even some of my old favorites seem to be heading off the rails, it was refreshing to find a show that is both well made and entertaining since there are like 3 of those left.  Check it out.  It's not Breaking Bad, but what is?  Nothing.  Nothing is.  God such a good show I miss it so much.  Magnets, bitch!

-  Plus, it brings Amazonian hot Laura Prepon back in my life, which is a solid plus.

-   Semi-Gopher related, but it seems Syracuse fans have little to no interest in traveling to Houston for the Texas Bowl against the Gophers.  Instead, the fantastic Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is organizing a donation drive among readers/fans to send under privileged Houston area kids to the game for free, with a goal of getting tickets for 200 kids (plus a hotdog, soda, and a freaking Cuse shirt).  I don't know if it's the Christmas season or getting older or having my own kids or what, but I thought this was really, really cool.  Or maybe it's just the Gopher connection.  Let's go with that.

I love Jay Cutler.

-  If you don't know the story behind this, it's here.

-  I know the last thing anybody really wants to hear about is someone else's fantasy woes (Jay Cutler would weight in on this one) but indulge me for a moment.  Due to Andrew Luck falling off a cliff post Reggie Wayne injury and Alex Smith suddenly lighting the world on fire I benched Luck for Smith two weekends ago in our quarterfinal.  Ended up losing by 2 points on Brandon Marshall's last catch Monday night, and would have won easily if I had kept Luck in there.  Then I would have won easily this week, so I should be in the championship, but I'm not instead at sitting around like a loser.  Fantasy football is really stupid.  And so are you.

-  I took this quiz and got 198/200 (missed Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine).  I feel both proud and slightly embarrassed.

-  Good news for the Gophers, Florida State absolutely crushed Charlotte tonight.  The same Charlotte squad who beat Michigan earlier this year, and, with a certainly possible good year in a weak Conference USA, could end up a top 100 RPI team.  Thus, since Florida State beats them and the Gophers beat Florida State through osmosis that helps the Gophers' RPI.  Or something.  I don't know.  I'm not that bright.

-  I was gonna right more but first I got distracted by Orange is the New Black and then I realized I really hate you.

1 comment:

snacks said...

WHEN Vaughn goes to Iowa State. Pretty much a lock at this point.