For some reason, I can't quite put my finger on it, I'm not ready to stop talking basketball just yet. I think it rhymes with "flampionships." At the very least it's only fair if I do a postmortem kinda deal on the season, and I think I'll take and review every player the same as they were previewed in the beginning. It should also be interesting to take a look at the ACC once the draft deadline passes later this month.
For now, it's officially the spring season and only the spring season, and spring sports are springing. Lacrosse is trying to, anyway. The 9-6 loss this weekend would not be terribly upsetting if you pretend it wasn't Maryland. Maryland's defense is one of the best in the country, and Niko Amato is a top-flight goalie, so, you'd like to do better when the national title is an every-year goal, but the way things are set up this year it's not a huge surprise what happened. Actually, it wasn't even Maryland's defense that did UVA in; it was their ability to hold onto possession for really long stretches, and UVA's inability to win a faceoff once Maryland figured out the gimmick.
Some bulletized points in brief(ish):
-- I'd just been thinking we hadn't really seen the full Shocker effect this year when LaPierre absolutely leveled a dude while carrying the ball, which went totally unappreciated by the crowd because they might not have been rooting for us. They don't call him the Human Clear for nothing.
-- Despite taking the loss, Matt Barrett played another reasonably solid game. That makes two in a row. Progress. He saved 11 of 20, which is a .550 save percentage, and at least once I remember thinking, "he doesn't make that save a month ago." For the season, he stands at .470. That's still bad, but remember Adam Ghitelman's freshman year saw him land at .497. No, that's not good either, but still.
-- I know I wasn't the only one cheesed off by the announcers blatantly shilling for a shot clock, except doing it in the most passive-aggressive manner possible. What really bugged me was this: UVA spent too long for their tastes passing the ball around, and they practically begged the refs to put the timer on. The refs didn't, UVA shot, Amato saved, and Maryland cleared - and the first thing Eamon Mc-Inane-y said was, "I didn't like that shot. It was too rushed." Now you know why there isn't a shot clock in lacrosse, Eamon.
-- One thing I promise to start doing this week is giving a damn about baseball. Not that I haven't before, but for it being one of my favorite UVA sports, I've written damn near nothing about it. Well, there will be a series preview of Pittsburgh this week. And this past week, they swept up VT as is only fitting. I was about to say customary, but that really hasn't been the way things have gone lately. Despite the huge gap between our two programs, we'd only swept VT twice since 2008.
Joe McCarthy was the ACC player of the week, too; the third such honor for the third different Wahoo this year. Nick Howard won it the week before and Derek Fisher took one home before breaking his hand.
-- Here is an excellent rundown of the various UVA players populating the minor leagues. I used to do this myself at times but why duplicate the effort? And of course, don't forget the five Hoos wearing major league uniforms as of Opening Day: Ryan Zimmerman (Nats), Sean Doolittle (A's), Mark Reynolds (Brewers), Javier Lopez (Giants), and Brandon Guyer (Rays).
-- I was hoping that DeLoss Dodds's retirement at Texas would significantly decrease the douche quotient of the UT administration, but no such luck. Glad to know shipping the players off to Mexico City or Dubai to "grow the Texas brand" is a priority, more so than playing Texas A&M. I want to defend the NCAA in certain things they do but it is really friggin' hard to do when you claim that your purpose is educational, not business, but you won't play a hundred-year-old rivalry because it doesn't make "business sense." And you assholes wonder why the players are trying to unionize.
-- Marquette lost their coach to the ACC, so they went to the ACC for his replacement, luring Steve Wojcie-whatsit away from Duke. You know, Wojo. Let me be neither the first nor the last to make the joke about oh no who will do Coach K's sideline interviews for him now.
-- Boston College is not exactly aiming high in their own coaching search. The two names mentioned in that article coach the Atlantic Sun runner-up (FGCU) and MAC 5th seed (Ohio.) Yeah, both those schools won conference championships lately - and the coaches who did so are now at USC and Illinois. Would it be too much to ask of an ACC school to think a little bigger than a guy whose only foray out of MAC coaching peaked in one CBI bid in four years at TCU? I like Boston College, honestly I do, I've never known anything but good people out of Chestnut Hill, but if the Big Ten cares so much about media markets, maybe we can swap them for Penn State. Step it up, Eagles.