First, hoops. Hoops season is upon us, and the VMI game is in the books. No surprise, given the way VMI plays their game, it was an NBA style score at 107-97. Half of my predictions came true. Our 7-footers didn't see the court (Sene for some foggy eligibility reasons) but as I thought, the fouls were an issue (VMI's Travis Holmes fouled out and three more players ended up with four) and VMI had no answer whatsoever for our bigger players like Mike Scott (26 points, 18 boards). The three-point and foul shooting have got to get better though. I won't get too many basketball games on TV this year, but 18/28 foul shooting tells me plenty. That's gotta improve. Still, even though the Big South is a one-bid league, that's a game we should be glad is behind us and in the win column. That's a dangerous style of play. USF on Wednesday ought to be a little less scary despite being a Big East team.
Speaking of Sene, there is some worthwhile fluffery in the RTD regarding our favorite Senagalese. You gotta love a guy who can speak three languages.
Futbol! Thanks to our pretty shocking upset of Wake Forest in the semis, I got my first look at the soccer team yesterday. Now, I don't know a whole hell of a lot about the ins and outs of soccer. Couldn't tell you whether we should deploy an extra midfielder or what the hell ever. Pretty obvious that we were the second-best team on the pitch yesterday though. Fatigue? Sure. No ridiculously amazing freshmen thanks to freak knee injuries? Sure. We got beat, though, and it should have been a wider margin because that ball was definitely over the goal line. Good thing there's no instant replay.
Anyway, we're in the NCAAs, and we even have a bye, which is nice. As the 10th seed, we get a bye and a home game against the winner of Connecticut and Fairfield. If we manage to win two games, we get to advance to play, uh....Maryland.
At the ACC Sports Journal, they point out that the deadline to extend Al Groh's contract is coming up, and the prospects for that are iffy at best. OK, that's not too surprising, but they bring up the excellent point that failing to extend Groh through 2012 would leave merely three years on his contract for the first time in his tenure. That's kind of a magic number because eligibility lasts, you know, four years, and having only three years of durability means the old "don't go there because he might not be there your whole time" recruiting tactic kicks in. Groh's been on the hot seat for a while now, so he's probably had to deal with that already, but still, another log on the fire underneath his chair is never helpful.
It's playoff season in Virginia....high school playoff season. And Dominique Wallace had touchdowns three different ways in his team's 35-12 win. Oscar Smith played in a mud bowl, and Perry Jones did the dirty work to the tune of 175 yards, and his teammate Tim Smith cleaned up afterward with four touchdown catches. Jones had a TD of his own for good measure. Alex Owah also scored a couple touchdowns, but Harrisonburg's season is over.
Movement on the recruiting board is moderate:
- DE Garry Gilliam committed to Penn State, so he's off. Not a huge loss, as we already have three DE's in the class.
- WR Terdema Ussery is added and basically takes Gilliam's spot in the "good chance" section. I don't know a lot about Ussery but if your top three schools are UVA, Stanford, and Cal, you've probably got something going right in the classroom. Also, Scout is like wicked high on this guy. The other two services give him a decent but middling grade; Scout thinks he's the #14 receiver in the land. Weird, because Scout is usually the stingiest with their stars.
- Kevin Newsome is gone after naming a more or less official four of PSU, VT, OSU, and BC.
- I also removed DE Michael Buchanan. There's just nothing there. It's not happening.
Well. While our 'Hoos spent Saturday on their couches, the other ACC teams were out making a mess of the ACC standings as usual. Let's see what the blogs have to say.
Clemson treated Duke like Duke. "I needed that," says the Mickey Plyler Blog. Indeed, Duke is really useful for teams who "need that." EXCEPT US DAMMIT
UNC did not fare so well against Maryland. I needed a damn shower after that game. Rooting for Maryland - against a team I happen to like no less - just makes you feel......ewwwww. Grody. Bleh. Anyway, Tar Heel Mania dealt with the loss in the tried-and-true fashion of ripping on insane message board posters - the Scout boards are something of a target-rich environment for this pastime. An excerpt:
Some people, however, are a bit more short-sighted. Take, for example, these, um, gems from the Inside Carolina boards, guaranteed to combust after a loss:
“I’m tired of watching my football team lose when it matters most YEAR after YEAR.”
Because the sheer amount of important games we’ve had for the past decade is just EARTH SHATTERING.
VT lost to Miami in a Thursday night game that will be Exhibit W in the upcoming case before the Supreme Court, People of Blacksburg v. Stinespring. I can't decide which I like better as a College Game Balls descriptive of Stiney's crew: "offensive abortion" or repeated references to poop.