If you guys haven't read the Eric Crawford blog piece that CardsFan922 linked to in the diaries section, you owe it to yourself to do so. It's easily the most spot-on assessment of the offense that I've read anywhere. I took two separate looks at it to try and find something I disagreed with and came up empty.
Brendon Desrochers of SNY.tv has an awesome piece on Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez (the guy who got ejected after his team tried to thug it up in Freedom Hall on Senior Day) that gives a great deal of insight into just how insecure Gonzo might be. Apparently Gonzalez took umbrage with something Desrochers said about him in his preview of the Pirates, and called him up to let him know exactly how he felt. Among other things, Gonzo grills Desrochers on whether or not Rick Pitino had him write what he did.
Here's a snippet, but you really should read the whole thing.
Mainly, though, Gonzalez wanted to know if I had an agenda: What was my background? Did someone put me up to this? He was specifically curious about whether Louisville head coach Rick Pitino had gotten me to write what I wrote, since he had heard on the Internet that I was from Florida (kinda false) and was friends with Pitino (utterly false though somewhat flattering). Pitino, along with Providence head coach Tim Welsh, are notable in their distaste for Gonzalez's style, but I would need only point Coach Gonzalez to two subsequent posts about Louisville and Providence that showed my willingness to be critical about their coaches (despite my long-time support of the Friars, including when Gonzalez coached there). I could also have pointed out that people have hardly needed to have a vendetta or agenda against Gonzalez to dislike him. Pitino, in fact, once mentored a young Gonzalez, but Gonzo's actions on Senior Day have strained their relationship to the point that he wonders whether his old friend is employing media mouthpieces to bash him.
Over the course of our conversation, Gonzalez hinted at a slander suit, which would have had no foundation (I took sports law at St. Thomas University -- Go Bobcats!). He also threatened to "have my a**" if I ever took another cheap shot at him. As a first endeavor into journalist-coach spats, it was pretty exciting, though I'm glad to still maintain ownership of my own backside, at least for now.
College basketball officially kicked things into high-gear last night with 186 teams playing in 93 games. Six Big East teams took the floor for the first time, and three are still searching for their first win.
In the 49th best Big East non-conference game of the season, two-time defending Atlantic Sun champion (break up the A-Sun) Belmont rolled over Cincinnati 86-75 in the Queen City. It was the first time the Bearcats had tasted defeat in a home opener in 43 years.
Former Louisville forward Chad Millard scored 15 points and notched four assists and five rebounds as Creighton dispatched of visiting Depaul 74-62. All you need to know about why the Blue Demons lost: Draelon Burns was 3-of-16 and scored only 7 points.
Stan Heath was welcomed to the world of South Florida basketball with a 73-70 home loss to Cleveland State. The Bulls were playing without star center Kentrell Gransberry, who was suspended one game for playing in a non-sanctioned summer tournament.
Your Big East victors:
J.R. Inman scored 18 and freshman Corey Chandler added 16 as Rutgers held off Tennessee Tech 70-64.
Freshman big man Dejuan Blair scored 20 points and snatched 14 rebounds as No. 22 Pitt trounced Houston Baptist 103-62.
It doesn't sound pretty, but Villanova took down Stony Brook 86-64 behind Shane Clark's 25 points.
Your other big stories from college basketball's quasi-opening night:
Two big name freshmen got off to a huge start as K-State's Michael Beasley scored 32 points and grabbed a Big 12-record 24 rebounds in the Wildcats' 94-63 victory over Scramento State, while UCLA's Kevin Love scored 22 and snatched 13 as the Bruins beat Portland State.
The start was decisively less impressive for Tennessee's Chris Lofton, who scored just ten points and made only one field goal in an 80-63 win over Temple. Owl forward Dionte Christmas was the player who deserved the most credit for shutting the preseason All-American down.
And playing in their first game without Skip Prosser, Wake Forest dispatched of Fairfield 85-60.
And finally, get 'em while you can.