Monday, October 21, 2013

weekend review

Well well.  Let's start this off with what must be the first piece of good football news in weeks: a recruiting board update that includes a commitment.  Whoda thunk it?  Here's the new score:

-- Added CB Darious Latimore to orange.  Latimore is a guy I did know about, and with SEC offers fairly close to home, didn't think would be worth adding.  A guy who likes us better than Tennessee is a guy who I think has his head on straight and probably nobody else does.  But a guy who's willing to commit now has to know the score and doesn't care, instantly making him the safest commit on the whole list.

Latimore is a consensus mid-to-low three-star guy with mid-three-star offers: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, and Kansas State.  Assuming Jeffery Farrar is also a cornerback, he makes the second in the class, which in turn is just about the sweet spot for that position this year.

-- Moved DE Melvin Keihn from blue to green.

-- Moved OT Alex Bookser from green to yellow. 

-- Moved DT Derrick Nnadi from yellow to red.  These three are reflective of the poor shape of the win-loss record and roughly what I think the effect is on the recruiting board.

I still rather expect that Mike London will find another Mason Thomas type somewhere in-state to fill out some numbers, because that's what he does; whether such a player will be impactful is generally up in the air, although it should be noted that Divante Walker has been making appearances on both special teams and defense this year.


Sock-hair.  And more good news!  Not as much in the men's department, where they managed only a tie in Blacksburg.  Virginia Tech is a team you'd like to beat, but the Hokies are 1-2-5, so draws are kind of their thing.  The ladies, on the other hand, went down to Chapel Hill - without USWNT member Morgan Brian, earning her third cap against Australia - and did something extraordinary.  According to the official recap: "the Cavaliers [handed] North Carolina just their second multi-goal loss since 1986, a span of 690 games."

That's amazing.  In 27 years UNC has lost by more than one goal just twice - one of them last week.  Carolina has a surprising three ACC losses this year, but still.  UNC was also missing a top player to USNWT action, but still.  This ladies' team is a mighty offensive powerhouse, with some real depth - there are three players in Brian, Makenzy Doniak, and Brittany Ratcliffe who are crushers of dreams and a full complement of forwards and midfielders who know how to find their playmakers.  In Brian and Danielle Colaprico, UVA has the top two assist leaders in the ACC.

The impression I've had from watching this team - admittedly against the two worst squads in the ACC, Pitt and a portion of the NC State game - is one that attacks not with relentless aggression, but with a calm self-assuredness.  As if they know that as long as they keep the pressure on, they're better than the defenders and eventually something will go in.  They play with confidence, knowing they don't need to be flying forward at all times in order to score.  It's fun to watch a Virginia team that is better and knows it.


A couple of news notes:

-- It looks like Miami will finally hear the word from the NCAA.  Sanctions come tomorrow.  Guaranteed nobody will be happy.  After the NCAA botched the investigation, it's not likely the punishment will appease people who want to see blood for, you know, allowing players to live like pimps on delicious booster cash.  Meantime Miami president Donna Shalala is being a colossal whiny bitch, claiming that "we have been wronged in this investigation."  So if the punishment is no dessert for a week, she'll appeal.

-- You remember Trae Golden, maybe.  He was recruited fairly heavily by UVA, then went to Tennessee where he suited up against the Hoos in JPJA last year - and will now do so again at Georgia Tech.  GT could be solid this year.

-- Basketball media days were last week - and I consider the result a surprise.  In a show of respect for what Tony Bennett has put together, the Hoos are 4th in the preseason media poll.  Given the amount of impressive new blood joining the league - the lowest-ranked new member in the poll was Pitt at 6th of 15, with ND 5th and Cuse 2nd - that is high praise indeed.  It says "we expect you to make the ACC semis and, obviously, the NCAA tournament."  Like, 4 or 5 seed stuff in the NCAA tournament.  Plus they put Joe Harris on the preseason all-ACC team - and not a single Tar Heel.

We all know what the media poll really means once the rubber hits the hardwood, but there's another truism about college programs: they're only as good as their publicity.  If the media says you're awesome, people start to believe it.  This isn't the same as constant TV coverage with Dick Vitale and all the rest, but it's a little bit something regardless.  It says there are expectations, and that the games we play will be Big Games for reasons besides the opponent.  You have to back that up obviously, but it's a start.

And just as a footnote, that other team in Virginia is last.  With 65 points from 54 voters, a minimum of 43 media types figure the Hokies for the worst team in the ACC.  Playing them a guaranteed twice a year is going to be a little advantage over the rest of the league for the foreseeable future.


Darious Latimore joins the club just in time for this week's Senior Seasons feature.  It's easy for me, too, because I can use the same source I use for Jordan Ellis.  They're from the same region of Georgia and their schools are not terribly far apart.  They don't play each other, though.

Episcopal 30, Penn Charter 0 - Evan Butts scored twice, once on a conventional reception and once on a fumble return as a defensive end.  He also racked up 98 yards receiving.  Episcopal is 7-1.

Upland 27, Los Osos 10 (Jeffery Farrar) - Upland is 4-3.
Central Catholic 47, Calvary Christian 23 (Caanan Brown) - CCC is 6-1.
Brookwood 23, Central Gwinnett 14 (Darious Latimore) - Central Gwinnett is 2-5.
Cummings 37, Carrboro 20 (Will Richardson) - Cummings is 2-6.
Oscar Smith 42, Grassfield 0 (Andrew Brown) - Oscar Smith is 7-0.
James Monroe 42, Chancellor 12 (Steven Moss) - Chancellor is 1-6.
Loudoun County 31, Woodgrove 28 (J.J. Jackson) - Woodgrove is 4-2.

Oscar Smith also beat Nansemond River 48-7 last Monday in a rain-delayed game that didn't make it into last week's update, and Chancellor lost to Caroline 26-20 on the same date.

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