Simmons update

I have a bunch of thoughts on both hoops teams I'll post tonight, but I wanted to squash one rumor out there.
I checked today, and Dave's absence at ASU was a coach's decision. He's not ineligible from what I was told.
Anyway, more to come after I get home and eat.

Back from break

First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, whichever one you celebrate.
Second, man oh man am I glad to be back healthy and having things to blog about with break over!
Here's the schedule:
Men's preview in Monday's paper, breakdown of what happened on here during the week most likely. Don't forget the women are home Wed. afternoon, and my oh my are they improved.
I'll have other stuff during the week as events warrant/allow.
For now, back to the blogging full time, break is over!

Happy snow day!

Some thoughts heading into Princeton on this snowy Friday.
First off, hope all of you have a wonderful holiday.
Second, the game IS ON Saturday.
Princeton is down, but the Princeton offense is fun to watch and it will be interesting to see how Central defends it. Go outside on the shooters and watch a cutter go through the back door. Sag back to prevent cuts and watch the 3-pointers rain down.
CCSU will have to keep the Tigers from moving players and the ball. The key to defending them making them go where you want and keeping them out of any flow. Finally, CCSU is going to have to shoot better. Hopefully the shooters are there and that opens up Dave, Ken and Marcus inside.
Let's go play in the snow.

Thoughts on the week and fandom

Ok, first off I'm sorry I've slacked on this. I got out of the habit once I went to the hospital and have to get back into the groove of this thing. I will.
The recent losses to me prove one thing: Central is going to have to get more out of its bench. There are two reasons for this. The first is that Central needs more scoring options to take the heat off Joe and Ken. Aaron can be a spark off the bench, and needs to harness his energy to become a solid contributer more consistently.
Marcus, as evidenced by his stretch run last year, can be a beast on the boards while showing a deft scoring touch. I'm pretty sure we'll so those things from him at some point this year. January would be a nice time to start.

2) The second is simple, the fatigue factor. It was a special group in 2007 that went basically 7 deep. The Blue Devils CAN win playing 6, but it sure would be nice to get that total up to 8 or so. At some point, someone's going to need a break. Shemik in particular. And that's in no way a shot at him, it's just that he's playing the toughest position, bangs himself around, and doesn't have a true backup yet.

This team is young, and I firmly believe will close out games next year. This team has the potential to win a LOT of games next year. It will learn to finish off some of these games and get a few more wins. Does that mean 30-5? No. Does it mean they could upset some people> Yes.

Remember, Howie does a great job prepping the guys for NEC play by finding anyone he can to play his guys before NEC play starts. I know some of you will hate to hear this, but in a one-bid league, November and December games really are the preseason. It's great to win those games to avoid the PIG in March, but it's more important to learn about the team and get some experience during those games.

As for the fanatic debate: The truth is somewhere in the middle. I love when people are deeply passionate about Central. That's the kind of fan the Blue Devils need more of. People who will come no matter who they're playing and care about the team even during the tough times. Look at the bandwagon crash UConn is suffering from right now. The diehards who are there all the time are the real fans, and the ones the program should care about the most.

However, being a die-hard doesn't give you licence to go crazy. You have to look at the games almost from a gambling perspective. There are games Central is a big underdog in going into the games and games they should win. Being a die-hard and hoping the best for your team doesn't mean you should overshoot expectations. Would it have been nice if CCSU had held on at Rhody? It would have been huge. But it would have been a big upset. That team had Duke dead to rights. (They would get killed 9 of 10 times, but on that day they played great) and has one of the best shooters in the country.

It was great the way CCSU hung in against BC, and I think the last 10 minutes, when the Devils prevented the game from getting ugly with a couple of tough-minded runs to keep the game under 20, set the tone for the rest of the year. That stretch sparked the comeback against Albany and some of the big efforts Central has given those die-hards this year.

So remember: passion is great, as long as it's realistic. Central isn't joining a bigger conference anytime soon, there's no giant stadium coming, and the basketball team isn't going to go undefeated. You can get upset about bad losses. CCSU was up 4 with 62 seconds left against Colgate, it never should have come down to a last shot. You could even say they should have won at Albany. But don't lose sight of the times CCSU is the underdog. Albany would have been an upset on the road. URI would have been a big upset.

Be a die-hard, but be objective and realistic. Know when your team should win and know when you're just being greedy. And be thankful for the good efforts you're getting out of a young team that will only get better.

And as always, enjoy the Ken Horton Show.

I'm alive For 3!

I did the preview for the URI game, didn't get to do because I had to be in the office, but I watched it on the cpu and will have some thoughts for you guys soon. Truth be told, I got out of the blogging habit while I was sick, but I'll get back into it. Look for some stuff Monday.

Previewing UMBC

We're back to our normal operating procedure. We'll have a preview of the UMBC game in Wednesday's paper and something on it the following day. I'll have a leadup to Saturday as well. URI should be VERY interesting.
For now, some tidbits: Coach wants more out of Marcus, can't say enough good things about David Simmons and was very impressed by the toughness his team has showed in recent weeks. This is a team that by right should be 5-2, maybe 6-1. If it keeps playing this well on the road especially, it will be the kind of good year I originally predicted in New Britain.

Back on track.

Ok, first off, thanks to all the fine men and women at Hartford Hospital who put me back together again. All the nurses there are great, and Dr. Lui took good care of me.
I'm glad to be back with you guys.
Secondly, thanks to you guys for the kind words, and to everyone at Central who checked in.
Third: Thanks to the amazing staff we have here at the Herald, led by the great Ryan Pipke. He did a great job covering CCSU and keeping the place running without me, while Andrew Lovell ran around taking care of our holes while we were shorthanded and he and Ken Lipshez dominated high school coverage in typical Herald fashion.
The sports dept. wouldn't still be standing without those guys.
I don't have too much to add about the games, though I did listen on the radio so I'm not entirely out of touch. Both games that took place while I was out were turned around by defense.
Holding Delaware to one point down the stretch of the first half let the Devils back in it, and Howie waiting until it mattered most to spring the zone on the Mount was a brilliant move. Lots of coaches would have sprung it too early and ruined its effectiveness. Coach Dickenman picked his spot and it worked perfectly.
I stand by my opinion of Joe. He works hard and won't ever get down because he struggled in the previous games. For a team that is considered small to get a pair of o-rebounds in the final seconds was huge. Simmons is back to form, great to see.
So what's new since I saw everyone last?