UWM, Loyola, and No Sound
Well, this is turning into another poor week of updates for me. You see, while I watched the UWM-Loyola (Chicago) game last night, work and a handful of errands made me miss the start of the first half, and some telephone jockeying for future basketball plans forced me to watch the second half with no sound. And since about 3/4 of discussing a televised UWM game the day afterward is making fun of comments by play-by-play man Daron Sutton, I wasn’t left with much to talk about. So I’ll make the few quick points that I do have and move on to something more interesting:
1) As I was watching the end of the first half, the color commentator was making a good point about UWM, in a rare shift from man-to-man defense, showing off a 2-3 zone look. Right as he was spitting out the last word about that matter, Loyola scored one of the easiest layups I’ve seen in awhile, and the color man aptly said something to the effect of "I don’t think we’ll see too much more of that 2-3 zone."
2) A more Badger-centric friend called me at halftime to note how much he wished Wisconsin had Adrian Tigert on its team. I couldn’t agree more. He’s probably the most consistent frontcourt player in the state. And while Joah Tucker is more talented, and Boo Davis can get on hotter scoring streaks, Tigert is still what makes this UWM team go.
3) Before the game I hadn’t known anything about where Loyola played its home games, but I read an on-screen graphic last night noting that Loyala’s gymnasium is called the Gentile Center. Isn’t that perhaps taking the whole Jesuit university thing too far? Perhaps you could have a gymnasium that sounds more inclusive to Jewish folks. Of course, I assume that the name is pronounced differently (remember, my sound was off last night), but still, there must be a sign on the building somewhere, and I can’t be the only one thinking this.
4) Nice, tough road win for the Panthers, who are indeed running away with the conference as expected. It was a little disheartening to watch them fail to zoom in for the kill on Loyola after building a decent lead, (just as they did at home a couple weeks back, almost dropping the game), but in the end, a win’s still a win. I must reluctantly admit, though, that a big part of me is having a tough time getting excited about UWM’s dominance this year, given that their NCAA tournament chances still basically come down to winning the conference tournament at the end of the season. I guess there’s still that home-court advantage in the conference tourney to worry about....
With that out of the way, I’ll detail why I had the sound off during the second half. In fact, I was finalizing plans with one of my friends for what will likely be my only interstate road trip of the year. I’m calling it the Chris West Basketball Journal Tour of Indiana. Basically, it’s a low-rent, poorly conceived idea for a road trip. UWM’s playing at Butler on Saturday afternoon, and Wisconsin’s playing at Purdue during the evening. I’m going to both with my buddy Peter. Why? Well, because it’s possible to do, and Peter and I don’t have much going on Saturday (Actually, that’s a bit of a lie, but how often do you get to see two of your favorite teams playing in another state in the same day? This had to be done.)
I’d like to sleep tonight, though, so I’m going to save detailing the insanity of it all for Wednesday’s update. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be wondering what I was thinking by the time all is said and done. But like I said, it has to be done.