Bring the cheese sandwich things!
Oh, Clippers. As you know, I did my best trying to follow this team...and the usual ineptitude made it nearly impossible. Anyone who says otherwise is either the smelly guy yelling to himself at Ralphs or lying. (I remember Bill Simmons years ago saying he bought Clippers tickets, but I haven't read him in 5 years) I'll admit, watching Blake Griffin is a joy. But, he can't play all 5 positions at the same time...and, as it happens, despite a strong run at home, the team is 10 games below .500. That's a game out of the 8 spot in the East but does them no good now. Their problem, one of many, is that they are shit on the road. And, as thus, I continue to wait (as some of LA does...they'll never get the whole city) for them to make me care. There's no moral victories in pro sports. (Especially when your owner has no morals - ZING!) Better than usual means "not good enough."
The Golden Rats...that performance in Indiana can be summed up in 1 stat. I know, it's more than stats, but I'm a researcher. Bear with me. Forget about how many guys are injured, or the lack of depth.
Free Throw %
HOOOOOOWEEEEEE! Did Clem come back and coach and I didn't hear about it? What the fuck was that?!
OK, now quick bounce pass: we're early, but since I won't be in Halewia, HI for another late night session of drinking and discussing those NCAA "sleepers" (used for free picks and not gambling, of course) let's take a look at some that Hogg McHonk for the NY Daily News seems to miss while only watching the Big East:
(and we're doing some digging here, ok?)
Colonial Shakedown: George Mason (18-5, 10-2 in CAA) vs. OLD DOMINION (18-5, 9-3 in CAA)
Sum bitch, this is one hot match-up. The likelihood that both schools will make the tourney is a possibility. If this happens, it would send Billy Packer to a 30 minute monologue to his waitress at Denny's. But these are two strong teams. With a record like that, and an RPIs in the 30s, GM and OD are getting no love.
GM as a team is looking good. Of note is a 41% 3-point percentage, helping them expand leads in close conference games. OD's man is Frank Hassell, who nearly averages a double-double this season. OD won this meeting at home earlier this season, and Hassell put up 18 pts and 9 rebounds. He's going to have to get those boards if they're going to win tomorrow.
George Mason: Ventrail Vaughns, Paris Bennett, Rashad Whack
Old Dominion: Kent Bazemore, Trian Illadis, Marquel De Lancey
Prediction: George Mason
Ivy League "Don't Give Me This Studying Bullshit" Battle: Harvard (15-3, 4-0) vs. Princeton (14-4, 2-0)
The Ivy League plays games on Friday nights, which for whatever reason just seems wrong. And, Ivy being Ivy, doesn't have photos to show you these guys actually exist. But it would appear either of these schools will finally unseat Cornell this year.
The Crimson's Keith Wright is doing a good clean-up job, averaging 14.7 points and 8 rebounds. But this the Ivy League is all about the extra pass, and Harvard is doing that better than anyone else. 4 guys average double figures, which happens when there's a lot of passing.
Princeton's stats are nearly identical to that of their opponent, so how do they win? Well, like Harvard, they have 4 guys averaging double figures. (For Princeton, it's 13.0+ a game) They make extra passes. So how do they win? Beats the shit outta me.
Harvard: Laurent Rivard, Ugo Okam, Dee Giger
Princeton: Ian Hummer, Mack Darrow, John Comfort
Prediction: None, but Princeton is at home, and has someone named Noonan. Good luck making the free throws with that name, son. (Then again, Noonan made the put)
Just Because: South Mississippi (17-5, 6-3)
According to Hogg McHonk, this is a Memphis-only conference. But look closer, and you'll see UTEP and Southern Miss making deals. I choose the Golden Eagles because of Gary Flowers:
He averages 20 points a game, nearly 50% from 3 point range. He put up 27 points in 25 minutes vs. Houston. With his size, can score from multiple ranges. He can also turn the ball over at the wrong time...which is likely why he's not thought of higher. (6 TO's against Memphis in the 1 point loss; no help there). It may come down to UTEP and SM, and the NCAA might take both if it works out that way.
South Mississippi Names:
Devonte Newbill, Josimar Ayarza, Sai'Quon Stone, Torye Pelham (1-2-3), Kayland Partee
Plenty O Big games this weekend, folks. Get a can of Old Sconnie and enjoy before the Super Bowl hits you in the food tank.