Wednesday, January 19, 2005

ESPN and Chicken

Stayed in last night despite a couple of high school games that I would have liked to have gotten to. Milwaukee Vincent was playing at home, and their home venue is always a somewhat safe City Conference gym, even when North Division, the most frightening school in the district is playing there. Milwaukee Marquette was also playing host to Madison LaFollette, which intrigued me, since it was probably my only chance to see LaFollette’s high-scoring David Dubois (who didn’t impress me at all when I saw him last year). Plus, I always like to take in a good Marquette game ( I see Alexis Pease tossed in 27 last night). It was not to be, though, since the cold of the evening, combined with the fact that I haven’t spent a night at home since the previous Wednesday and coerced me into staying in and cooking a meal. And luckily, while the chicken was good, the basketball on TV was also entertaining. After work and a few errands, I didn’t get home until after 7pm, but there were two good second halves to catch: Michigan State-Purdue, and Wake Forest-Florida State. My concentration was on the Big Ten game, but I flipped back and forth a bit. My thoughts:

1) Well, it looks like it’s official to me: Carl Landry is Purdue’s offense. Pretty much everything that Purdue does seems geared toward dumping it to Landry in the post. Given the fact that Landry was playing against one of the better interior defenses in the league last night and dropped 31 on them, it might not be a bad idea. Again—I had no concept of how good this guy could be when I saw him in high school. Back then he was just good for one ridiculous dunk per game.

2) Tom Izzo had to be sweating as Purdue hung with his Spartans well into the second half. It can’t be a good feeling being in danger of dropping one to a bottom-half team at home after going on the road and losing to a team for the sixth time in a row. Things worked themselves out, though. Although, Purdue had almost as many chances as Wisconsin to turn this game the other way—they only capitalized on 75% of them in the closing minutes, though.

3) Great shot at one point of Gene Keady joking around with referee Ted Valentine right after complaining about a call on the prior play. Though he looks like a guy you wouldn’t want to hang around with while he’s patrolling the sidelines, I’ve always heard that Keady is a very nice guy off the court. Even so, I probably still couldn’t keep from laughing at his hair if we were having coffee together or something.

4) So let me get this straight—Wake Forest beat North Carolina this past weekend, and then goes on to lose last night to bottom-feeder Florida State in overtime? I know FSU has a history of doing these things (and if I didn’t, ESPN sure wasn’t shy about pointing it out last night), but that was truly bizarre. The ACC just got even more fun to watch this year. Say, when does Duke start playing the legitimate teams, so that they’re run as an undefeated can come to an end?

5) I thought things were done for Florida State at the end of regulation. Wake canned a tough three-pointer to tie the game, and then went to the foul line to attempt a 4-point play because of a dumb foul by one of FSU’s freshmen. The game should have been won right there, but the foul shot missed. I figured Wake had the game in overtime, though. They’re the more confident team, they’ve got more on the line, and that last shot should have given them momentum. And I was absolutely wrong about everything. Florida State didn’t seem to miss in overtime. I think they shot 125%. The NCAA should look into whether flubber was involved. It was unreal. Wake never had a chance, and was pretty close to losing by double digits.

6) I didn’t watch Mississippi State vs. Alabama, since by the time ESPN cut over to the game, it was already apparent that Mississippi State was in for an ass-kicking. I’d still like to see Lawrence Roberts, the best player I’ve never watched, but the Buldogs lost by 50 last night. I stand by my decision to watch High School Reunion on the WB. Basketball’s good, but not quite as good as 28 year-olds bickering about how someone ruined their fake prom.

7) After re-arranging my bookcase last night, the basketball guide section has grown to two shelves. I’m actually thinking of going to the book bindery that I used to work at in college to start getting these things bound into yearly editions. Now that would be an impressive library.

Likely another night in for me tonight, unless I get motivated to head out for a nearby game that I have some interest in. Duke’s on TV, though, so my closet Duke fan tendencies and love of my wok should keep me home.


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