Leftover UMass questions

Whew, and I thought I was going to have a full day off!
The mailbox lit up today, and many of the questions were timely, so I didn't want to hold them for the chat.
By the way, see the live chat details below! And if you can't make it, email me a question at mstraubblog@hotmail.com and let me know it's for the chat and we'll throw it up there.

Now, for today's mailbag.

Q: Could you give us an update on Markeys Deans. He started in CCSU's first 11 games, but then played just 1 minute vs. Brown and missed the UMass game. Also, any updates on David Simmons.

A: Deans played great early in the year, but began to slow down. My own personal theory is the quicker pace didn't suit him, but there was a definite drop off. You also had to figure he was going to cool off eventually. He carried Central for stretches early in the year.
He missed the UMass game for what coach Howie Dickenman called "personal reasons."
Now, that's one of two things. Either he had something going on that needed to be addressed and if that's the case we wish him well, or the time away was a kind of head-clearing thing. There was a prominent player a few years back who missed a game early in the year because he was unhappy about things going on with his role and such, but that player went on to come back and have an incredible year.
So it wouldn't surprise me if this was something like that. Again, that is PURE speculation. I'll have more before the SFNY game Thursday. My gut says he'll be back and contribute before the year is over.
As for Simmons, I wouldn't be surprised if he's back at some point, but it won't be this year. At least that's the last info I was told. Before the season I thought we might see him again this year, now I'm pretty confident he won't be seen this season.

Q: Maybe you can give us some input on the debate about whether or not the UMass game was a quality home game on the schedule and a big win in school history. As I said in the threads, for this old timer UMass coming to Detrick Gym is a dream come true and the added bonus of a victory is a dream realized. In my opinion every fan or alum that calls themself a fan of CCSU Blue Devil basketball should have been excited about this game. January 3, 2011 was a special night on the schedule and I'm really confused how some people can downplay it. Any thoughts?

A: Well let me start by saying I haven't been to CCSUfans.com in a few days (been quite busy as I hope you've been seeing in the paper and on here), but I think I get the gist of the discussion.
I probably will be accused of being on the fence, but you're both right.
Was UMass the biggest name to come to Detrick in some time? Yes. Was it a huge win? Absolutely. Central beat an A10 team by 30. There was more media buzz about this one than any game in a long time and I've gotten more questions about this game than I have about anything since March 2007. It was great exposure and the kind of game CCSU needs to play, and if they can do it at home even better. And getting nearly 2,200 for a non-league game while the students are on break is impressive.
It also set Central up, IF it can dominate in NEC play, to avoid the "First Four." The Blue Devils are a Deans missed three away from being 2-0 vs. the A-10, and that and 14-15 league wins should keep the Blue Devils out of the play-in games come March.
However, there are reasons to downplay it. UMass is in the middle of a downturn, though the Minutemen did scare the heck out of a ranked UCF team not long ago. Let's also make sure we remember that Marcus Camby hasn't played for UMass in 15 years. UMass is still an A-10 team and it has to be considered a great win for Central, but this UMass team isn't the Camby squad.
Ken Pomeroy's cpu rankings as of 3 a.m. Thursday as I type this project UMass to finish around .500 in the A-10. While beating a .500 team in a potential multi-bid league is impressive, it's not earthshattering.
The win was huge for PR and morale and could pay dividends in March, but it was UMass, not UConn or U-Dub.

There are 4 or 5 others in the que, but I'm going to hang onto them in case we need a few extras for the chat (I know afternoon can be hard for you folks with real jobs).
Again, mstraublog@hotmail.com for questions, and read below about the live chat, which is Tuesday at 2 on Brad Carroll's Gameday site.


  1. Matt - I hope all is well. Seth Cantor here with SFC Men's Basketball.

    Would you be interested in coming on for a halftime interview during this evening's broadcast?


  2. Seth,
    I should have a couple of minutes. Find me at the table. I'm the guy in the wheelchair.