Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Night In With the Dukies

So, I didn’t get to see Travon Hughes play last night, due to a rash of friend that needed to do other things, and my continuing effort to not be the creepy guy sitting alone in the high school gym. Me backing out on high school plans will likely become a recurring theme here, so get used to it. Actually, I probably would have gone, but I didn’t feel like driving all the way out to Delafield and trying to navigate the gigantic St. John’s campus (I went to an art show there once) in hopes of finding the gym. And Duke was on TV against Illinois-Chicago, so I had enough of a fix to get me through the evening without dipping into tapes of 1999 high school state tournament tapes. Mr. Hughes will be around for awhile, so I should get to see him eventually.

As for the Duke game, nothing really surprised me. UIC kept things closer than most would have thought in the first half, but Duke took over in the second. Daniel Ewing showed me more quickness and court savvy than I had remembered, but other than that, there’s not a lot that sticks out about the game itself. Oh, wait–it also hit me last night why I knew who Duke’s back-up forward Reggie Love is. Of course, in a prior game, the announcers noted that he had been with the team in the 2001-2 season before leaving to concentrate on football. I could have easily missed that, though, since Love almost never played back then. No, I’ll always remember Love for his suspension (or was it a dismissal) from the team after photos of him passed out at a party in Chapel Hill appeared on the internet. And given that this was a college party, yes, of course someone tried to make the photos more embarrassing. And by "more embarrassing" I mean whipping out one’s manhood and placing it next to Mr. Love’s head for photos. The lesson here–never pass out at a party in a fierce rival’s town when you are playing Division 1 basketball. Hey, I didn’t say it was a widely applicable lesson.

Moving on, Rick Majerus accepted the USC job, making this a really bad week for predictions on my part. At least he’ll still be around ESPN for the rest of the year. Kudos to USC for ensuring in mid-December that they will have nearly 3 months of a lame duck interim coach. That’s always a recipe for success.

And finally, the easy access to state college teams continues tonight with UWM’s visit to Wisconsin. It will be interesting to see if Wisconsin rebounds quickly from it’s loss to Marquette against another formidable state foe. UWM has the athleticism and depth to stay with anyone, so I look for this game to be close. If it wasn’t a home game for the Badgers, I’d actually take UWM in this one. If the Panthers start running like they want to, it could be a rough night for the Badger guards, who are not a particularly deep unit, and could tire with a frantic pace. As it stands, though, the Badgers have an obscene home winning streak, and will be motivated to not be thought of as the third-best team in the state, so I see them putting forth a strong effort to control the tempo and take home another win in a tight game. I also see myself at a bar ordering a club sandwich and watching this game with my friend Jerry, who’s the only person I know who’s primary allegiance as a fan is to UWM. Fun as they’ve become to watch, that team just doesn’t seem to breed loyalty.


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