You're right Matt

The recruiting story did get delayed while I was doing some other stuff. Going to try and do it to run for the holidays. Maybe tomorrow. I will tell u when it's up.
It's nothing earth-shattering, just a quick look at the guys slated to come in.

So close

Too much inside, too much Ray for CCSU to handle. Not sure what the final will end up being here, but not that it was MUCH closer than the score will indicate. Great effort.

still hope

But Ray just nailed 2 threes in a row to put RU up 44-39, inside 10 minutes left. Good news: CCSU within 5 at Rutgers. Bad news: It was up 6.

Halftime update

CCSU up 28-25 at the half.
Huge sequence right before the break: Rutgers cuts it to 1, then presses. Dowdy breaks it, goes all the way, hits Gabby on the wing for a jumper, which misses. But Bailey gets the board and puts it back. Rutgers then misses a 30-footer at the horn. CCSU has all the mo again, which they might not have if Rutgers had been within one or gotten the lead back.
Ray's shooting keeping Rutgers in it. CCSU MUST control tempo, break that press, and avoid turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

Holy shnikey.....

I'm watching the game and will check in at various points, but for now I'll just tell ya the CCSU women are giving Rutgers all it wants. It's exactly the game CCSU wanted, turnovers, ugly, defense, on the floor scrapping for balls. CCSU was just up 5, now 3, late in the first half.

more mail!

First, LOVE doing this. Give me more at
Ok, first let's tackle the can of worms I opened. This is the reason I don't give opinions more often, because they get twisted. For example, I was asked today if Central had a chance to get into the AE.
No. Stop the madness. You're talking about teams that have much bigger reputations than Central, or in some cases a lot more money.
Here's all I was saying. I really believe, the more I hear, that Hofstra and NU, and maybe one more team like Delaware is going to eventually be trying to get out of the CAA, which NU NEVER should have joined in the first place. They'll need a league. They could go back to the AE, or they could join for football CCSU and Albany with a couple more. We're talking years from now, but yeah, someday there will be a new Yankee Conference. Will CCSU be in it for football? I dunno.
I continue to think two things about hoops: 1) CCSU is NOT leaving a league that's been too good to it and again, not sure its "profile" is big enough. 2) The hoops only Big East teams will eventually form their own regional power league. Gtown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's, etc. Maybe that's where NU and Hofstra, with no more football, end up. And that's how QU makes its big jump, but it can only do it after some winning years. I was just trying to see it from the Q's perspective. Me personally, I'd like to see their hype matched by some wins. IF they start dominating the NEC and Moore gets them going, then that could happen. That includes their hockey team, though with me being a hockey guy, I say good for them on that program.
We'll see how it all goes. It's certainly fun to speculate. Even if some of the wilder theories drive me temporarily crazy.

Got this from an anonymous.... PLEASE send me a name or at least a handle like Hud, so I can feel like we're having a conversation. I can't do that if I don't know your name.

Here's the questions:
Many of us have always wondered why it seems as if one to three basketball players leave the program every year.Is it Howie? Do the find the school not to their liking? Is it too tough, academically?Another topic: Regarding teams that the men's BBall team plays. It looks as if the only money game this year is Northwestern. Maybe the Citadel? But, does Howie tailor the schools he's willing to play, even if it's payday, based on how close they match up? That is, I'm sure he doesn't want to get really beaten by the "majors".

And here's my answer: The answer is all of the above. Some players don't make the cut academically, something Howie and the school is passionate about. Some can't handle the program's hard-nosed approach. By the way, that happens at a lot more places than just Central. The jump from a high school game to a D1 PRACTICE can be extreme, and not for everyone. And yes, Howie is the kind of coach who demands a level of intensity, which is huge at this level. Look at this year's team. Central must out work and out hustle the opposition. That, and a little luck, is how the Devils beat Albany Saturday.
As for the schedule, it works a number of ways. Sometimes they try and play close to a player's home so his family can see him play. Sometimes, as was the case with N'Western this year, they get "bought," that is, the Wildcats pay Central to come play them. Football does that all the time.
Sometimes, when things are right, they'll play someone like UConn. That gives them money and a taste of how the tournament will be (this is just a guess, but I can see CCSU playing someone big next year, when I expect them to be good).
Do they try and tailor the schedule to the team? In that respect, yes. They'll play a tougher sked in years where they expect bigger things, but that's only a small part of it. Remember that schedules are done in many cases years in advance, particularly in football. Hoops has multi-year deals a lot of times, too. So, for instance, they had Albany locked in regardless of how this year was supposed to go.
Sometimes things change that cause schedules to change. There was one this year for example for the men, a small game that fell through. And sometimes you can get a money game like Northwestern or a game to test yourself against good competition (see Butler).
Did I get it all? :)

Bag notes

Just wanted to make clear that the mail bag preamble about the new fb league was a guess on my part, and not news. An educated guess on a few levels, but a guess. I was not reporting that it's going to happen, I was guessing it will.
more mail is already in, so we'll do that today too if I can.


Before I begin the mailbag, I wanted to chime in with a change in my previous position on a topic:
In light of recent changes to the football landscape and some people I know who know things telling me things, I do believe there will be a new football league in the next 5 years. It will take a couple years to develop, but I can see the northern CAA teams getting out and CCSU and Albany going with them. I'm not sure it's a great idea for CCSU, which will take its lumps for a while playing ranked teams a lot, but it could help in the future.
The same thing, I predict and have for some time, will happen in basketball, but Central won't be involved in that. (Quinnipiac might, however, as it could be as close as it ever gets to a jump).

Ok, mail time:
First, JJ asked about recruiting. I'll have a story on Central's signees later this week. You will like Justin Alexander. As to why a 6-6 forward wouldn't want to play at CCSU: 1) the league is thought of as a guards league, always will be. 2) A 6-6 guy, especially an athletic type, is gonna be behind Kenny. Without immediate playing time, you aren't coming.

Matt Mauro wants to know more about Joe Efese.
Matt: I think he's not quite a Ken clone, but you can picture him in that kind of mold.
To answer your question about HOW high he is on Joe E, I will tell you that Howie manages to mention that he thinks he's going to be a good player just about every time I talk to him. I think some of that is to try and help him boost his confidence, but it's also the truth. I can see him going into Kenny's role in two years.

To answer your question of why, I'll quote Howie from a recent story I wrote:

“He’s going to be a good player, but with him it’s been a feast or a mini-famine,” Dickenman said. “I don’t want to say a complete famine. He has shown up. In practice [Friday] he had nine blocks. Sometimes you have to call him out to get it out of him, but he’s going to be a good player. He asks questions and he’s learning a little more about defense responsibilities. He wants to be good.”

Lee wants to know about the penalties in Indianapolis:
Lee, I would hardly call four penalties to none a huge discrepancy. It wasn't exactly the 2002 NBA West Finals. But yeah, it is weird that Butler wasn't called for ANY. I will say that the pace of the game made it so that penalties were going to be low to begin with.
I was a little high in the sky to have a perfect view of all the penalties, but lemme go by memory.
The two facemasks, are pretty straightforward calls.
If the PI against CCSU is the play I'm thinking of, I called it in my head before the flag came.
The offside, I can't tell you if someone jumped first, I simply don't remember to be honest.
Again, I can't recall everything and I was fairly high, but I will honestly tell you that I didn't leave that game in any way thinking that CCSU got screwed. I do know that some other people did, however.

The one thing I disagreed with was Mac's call not to go for two, but I thought his answer was pretty solid.
6:44 left, CCSU scores to make it 21-16. I wanted to go for 2 to get within a FG, but Mac's theory was this: If you don't make the two and Butler makes a FG, you're down 8 and NEED the two. This way, if the D holds them to a FG, you're down 24-17, and all you have to do to tie the game is make that XP and the one after the tying score. Of course, CCSU gave up a TD on the next drive, making it irrelevant. I think you have to try and hold them to no points there and play it that way, but that's the logic he used. It's sound, even if I don't necessarily agree.

wow, lots to catch up on!

So I needed a bunch of time to catch up on work things (my OTHER job here at the Herald) and some sleep, but I'm back and ready to roll with this thing. Gonna give you a few general thoughts then post a mailbag, which I LOVE doing, so keep the email coming to

Hope you guys saw all the football recap stuff. To clear up some rumors going around, it doesn't seem like Mac will be going anywhere for the foreseeable future, but I will look to confirm that this week.

On the hoops front: BIG win for the men on Saturday. It exemplified exactly how they will win games this year: defense, rebounding above their means, and poise, meaning free throws and a lack of turnovers. Throw in some big shots and you have a win.
Big game for the women Sunday at Rutgers. No, I don't think they'll be pulling an upset, but it will be interesting because this is the kind of team you want to draw in the dance... a squad that plays low scoring, defensive games.

Ok, bag coming soon.

Don't worry

Nothing going on, no big news coming, just a nice season wrap up, which I'm working on now.

Season recap

Will have a nice season recap thing in tomorrow's paper, but there's a small chance that there's breaking news today. I hate to keep saying stuff like that, but I like giving you guys a heads up. Check the blog and like 4:30. If there's nothing there, don't sweat it (and I don't think there will be).
Either way, you'll have something nice to read tomorrow, the kids deserve it. I hope you liked the piece today. The kids were great. A depressing loss, that we'll talk about more today too, but that doesn't ruin an incredible year.

And we go

As Shaun Green says.
It's almost 10 I think, first bus is leaving, everyone else goes at 11. Cold but sunny, not much wind I think. Is it snowing back home yet?
Game's on 1410. Jason Page and T0m P on the call. Full coverage in the Herald. Unconfirmed by me: I heard rumor there will also be video on Butler's Web site.

A bit late

But I couldn't get on the net. I'm down in the lobby, paying to use write this blog! But dag nabit I promised a blog, you get one.
Today was amazing. The kids went for a light practice/walkthrough that seemed more like a bonding session than anything else. Then it was off to Hard Rock for a great lunch. I hung out with Page and Paul, the new AD, while the kids had a good time looking at the memorabilia and talking. Amazingly, the World Cup draw seemed to be a hot topic. Of course, the soccer players coming over to kick might have had something to do with that. My inside soccer source on the team says the US got a great draw and should go 2-1 0r 2-0-1 with ease and get to the next round.
From there it was off to Lucas Oil Stadium, which is, in a word, stunning. The Blue Devils (and I) got to walk on the field, take pictures in the locker room, and run through the tunnel (I let the players handle that part). The people there were all first-class, giving us a ton of thrills. So Pats fans, at least don't hate the Colts' support staff.
Btw, the 28 seems further away from that close up. Maybe that's what Bill was thinking! Ha. I crack me up.
Anyway, not to worry about all this fun and excitement. By 5pm the kids were in a meeting, and were off to do more team stuff after dinner (not before a near riot broke out in the excitement over the arrival of cheesecake.)
Jeff Marino (among others) swore that the team would be all business by tonight and ready to go in the morning.
Btw, hope you get the paper. I have a nice story about today's trip as well as a full game preview (and hoops previews!). LOTS for you to chew on.
I don't know if I'll get to blog Saturday, if I do it will be in the wee hours of the morning I think. We're coming home as soon as I finish my story and I'm not sure when we'll land, since I hear there's snow coming back home. If it makes you feel any better, it's bitterly cold here, too.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading this and the Herald site, I hope I was able to give you guys some insight into the trip. My goal was to give you an inside feel, more than just game stuff. I think I achieved that. I hope so anyway, for your sake, since you're the ones I was trying to talk to.
Will talk to you guys again on Sunday. REMEMBER THE GAME IS ON 1410! Page and Tom will have the whole blow-by-blow. A big thanks again to both for helping me quite a bit during this journey, particularly with logistics.

Greetings from Indy

Sorry it took me so long to check in, I can't get the net to work in my hotel room. I put a full report of Thursday night's activities on the Herald's Web site, please check it out.
For now I wanted to tell you that I will check in on this blog Friday afteroon. In the morning I'm going to practice, then tagging along with the team as the visit Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play.
Saturday's paper will have a full breakdown of the game as well as a more in-depth piece detailing Friday's fun.
Two quick side notes: First, HUGE thanks to Tom, Jason, Steve, Chris and everyone else who helped me through a wild ride, literally and figuratively, to get here to Indy. I'd be stuck on a tar mac in East Granby without them.
2nd: GREAT win for the men tonight. I will confess, I didn't see it coming. I'm going to try and do a preview for Saturday's LIU game as well. I talked to Howie and have some extra things to mention.
Talk to you guys on Friday, please read the Herald's site and the blog so my trip is worth it! I'm here for you guys.

greetings from Indy

well that was embarassing

I apologize to anyone who was listening to the women's broadcast at halftime. I took a drink of soda right before I went on and choked literally through almost all of the spot. I went to take another drink to try and get it back and just literally couldn't speak. I apologize. I promise I sound much better usually.

men's hoop nugget

Just talked to Howie, and Shemik is expected to play Thursday night after all. Tull got hit in practice today so his status is unclear, but everyone else is fine, including Shemik.
Lineup (subject to change of course) should be Shemik, Robby, Dave, Markeys one unclear spot, possibly Joe.

1 quick response

Saw this asked... number of scholarships for fb next year expected to be 34. Eventually heading to 40.

Your news...

Judging by the postings on maybe my news will be dissapointing to some who wanted something big, like a new stadium, which I can't give you.
But I can give you full coverage from the Gridiron Classic, which I will be attending. I'll have a bunch of stories, I'll blog whenever I can, and I'll be able to give you all the sights and sounds from Indianapolis.
Wanted to make sure everything was confirmed before I told you, that's why it was held up.
On that front, as of today, everyone but Hunter is healthy. Hunter will not play.