Monday, February 14, 2011

catching up

Ordinarily I'd have the Duke preview tonight, but I've run out of different ways to say just how doomed we are, and you don't need me to tell you anyway. I have catching up to do after my long weekend, so I'm gonna do that instead. And skiing in New Mexico was awesome, thank you very much. Hidden gem of skiing in the West.

- First, a recruiting board update. There's a junior day tomorrow, and like you, I'd sure like to know if it's likely Mike London can pick up his first commitment for 2012. But I do get to make the calls on the recruiting board, so here are the updates:

- Added OT Mark Harrell and DT Nigel Williams to green.

- Added WR Romond Deloatch to yellow. Deloatch is one of the very few names on the board without an offer. He'd probably be green if he had one. Nobody's offered Deloatch at all (not even verbally which is the only kind allowed at the moment anyway - it's an academics thing) but he's the kind of player you recruit anyway and hope the grades follow. Lot of talent.

- Added WR Leonte Carroo to red.


The Duke game isn't the only thing going on tomorrow anyway. The ACC swimming championships kick off tomorrow with the women's event. It's a four-day swim meet, culminating on Saturday, and the men have their turn next week. And your humble writer is a former high school swimmer so you have to listen to me go on about it.

Last year I scored out the psych sheet and found that the women would in all likelihood breeze to the championship. They proceeded to breeze to the championship. This year's psych sheet shows a closer meet, but one that should still end with our girls on the podium again. The scores:

Virginia - 791
North Carolina - 690
Florida State - 435
Maryland - 374
Virginia Tech - 309
Duke - 212
Miami - 212
Georgia Tech - 128
NC State - 103
Clemson - 93
Boston College - 60

What is a psych sheet, you may be asking yourself? A psych sheet seeds swimmers in each event based on their best time of the season. It's highly unofficial. Well, the times are real, but the meet isn't as simple as that. There are limits both statutory and practical on how many swimmers can swim in an event. And most times will drop. Disqualifications will be a factor - they always are. Oh, and it doesn't include the diving because most schools didn't include their divers' scores. But UVA is stacked with freestylers and the highest-scoring individual event for UVA on the psych sheet is the 400-yard individual medley (IM) - 100 yards of each stroke. Having the most and fastest freestylers and the best IMers is the way to win these meets. The psych sheet may be a pretty unofficial thing (the actual lineup won't be disclosed until the actual meet) but it tells you pretty well who to watch out for. The bottom three teams will be nonfactors in the individual events, and the only real threat to another repeat championship is Carolina.

Swimmers who'll shine for UVA include Claire Crippen (sister to the recently deceased Fran) in IM events; Liz Shaw in IM and butterfly; hotshot freshman Rachel Naurath in just about anything; Lauren Perdue in sprint freestyle; and Katya Bachrouche in distance events. The grueling 1650-yard freestyle (one mile) could see a 1-2 for UVA with Bachrouche and Anne Summer Myers.

The men go next week, at which time I'll score out their psych sheet and you'll have to listen to me blab about it all over again. It's my blog and the swimmers will get their time in the sun once a year. Besides, this should be the first ACC championship of the year for UVA, so you should be excited about that.


The schedule slugs at the ACC finally got around to letting us know about the fall football slate. NC State returns to the ACC schedule, and Boston College disappears for another three years. Of course all the times are TBA - except one. A rare Thursday night appearance is in the offing, at Miami on October 27. (UVA doesn't do Thursday night home games, so the road is the only chance for one.)

Things I think:

- The bye week is where I was hoping it was: October. I hate September bye weeks, it sucks having two weeks of football and then missing one right away. And it was before the VMI game last year, as if we needed extra practice time for VMI. This year it precedes Georgia Tech, which is terrific.

- I was hoping, though, that the September 17 weekend would be filled with something a little easier than a trip to UNC. Because London continues to sell the "team on the rise" story, going on a long winning streak to start the season would be perfect for bolstering that sales pitch. The nonconference schedule is easy as pie (assuming William & Mary got all their upset-mindedness out of their system two years ago) with Southern Miss the toughest opponent. Indiana is going through a coaching change and isn't good anyway. Idaho is Idaho.

- The OOC gets a lot harder next year, since Indiana and USM are the tail end of home-and-home agreements, and Idaho is a one-off that doesn't involve a return trip. Try TCU and Penn State, with Louisiana Tech (looks to be very recently added to the future schedules page, also now updated here) filling the last spot.


Other things:

- Ron Mattes has taken the position of OL coach at Elon. A step up, because he was officially a graduate assistant last year, which doesn't pay. Too bad, because of the highly improved play of the O-line - Mattes surely had a hand in that. But you can't keep GA's around forever; they have a two-year shelf life, per NCAA rules. TE coach Scott Wachenheim is now the OL/TE coach, which was probably the plan eventually. London's being coy about the replacement GA that'll be hired, but the rumor - which I have no qualms whatsoever about shamelessly spreading - is that it'll be Marques Hagans.

- Will Sherrill looks like a maybe for both Duke, and the rest of the year. I hate to be like this, but: ah well. This was a bigger deal in December when he first got hurt, because there were still Things To Do. Now there aren't too many tangible things that this season can accomplish, so more playing time for Akil Mitchell and Will Regan can't hurt.

- As you can see, Tech is scared shitless of London's recruiting chops, and they gently nudged aside one of their most elder statesmen as a result. Billy Hite has been at Tech longer than Beamer, but he's kind of an old guy and not much of a recruiter. Shane Beamer is, and he'll take Hite's spot as RB coach. RBs don't really need much coaching, and the position is often used for a star recruiter (like Beamer Junior) or, in UVA's case, a sounding board for offensive strategy, like former offensive coordinator Mike Faragalli. Shane Beamer gives Tech an instant boost on the recruiting trail.

- Fluff piece on Stephen Bruno, likely shortstop. Fluffy but informative. Bruno steps into Tyler Cannon's biggish shoes at the most important infield position, but Bruno hit well last year in bench duty, and there shouldn't be much, if any, loss of firepower in the lineup from this change.

Speaking of baseball, I was going to start a season preview for baseball this week, but I decided it'd be better to wait. This is because I like being right, and seeing how the lineup looks in actual games instead of a lot of guesswork is a big step in that direction. The next two weekends are important - a tournament at Auburn and a home series against East Carolina - and Brian O'Connor will probably reveal his lineups then. So after the ECU series, which is the last weekend in February, look for all the baseball you can handle.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that junior FB players can only have a verbal offer at this point? I thought they could get written offers as soon as their junior year starts.

Brendan said...

That was the old rule - they could receive written offers on September 1 of their junior year. The NCAA in its infinite wisdom decided to push that back to August 1 of their senior year to try and ease recruiting pressure on juniors. It's dumb. As if schools were just going to stop recruiting them.