Wednesday, March 21, 2007

C. U. n NYC! Clemson is headed to the NIT final four!

As the great crooner, Mr. Sinatra's "New York, New York" blasted over the PA system and the Tiger fans stormed the paw, I couldn't help but think, Wow, this team blew a 17-point lead but finally woke up from their nightmare on the "charity-stripe" to pull it together and inch out a win. I guess that's just Clemson b-ball for you. Clemson improved to 24-10 for the season and are headed to the Big Apple to play Air Force in the final-four. (Air Force defeated the DePaul Blue Demons tonight by 2). KC Rivers scored a career-high 29-points as the men in Orange defeated the Orangemen 74-70.

Talk about an easy bracket to pick
The NIT final four consists of all four, number 1 seeds. Mississippi State will face West Virginia and Clemson will face Air Force in the final four next week. I was upset that the Cougars did not get a bid for the NIT this year, I thought they deserved it. But with big names like West Virginia, Syracuse, DePaul, et. al. I can see why we got passed this year. Not to worry Maroon Nation, we will be dancing next year. (Snark: Hey WB, at least we beat Maryland the last time we went to the NCAA Tourney. Way to represent the SoCon Davidson!)

Photo of Clemson's two biggest b-ball coaches (1 from the side-lines the other from the couch) courtesy of Brick Hiers

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patricks!

My best to all of those green-clad celebrants today on St. Patrick's Day! I don't have any Irish blessings for you (maybe I will put a few in the comments section), but I will give you a couple interesting facts. (Photo compliments of J. Trabert, taken last Friday on my way home from work)

Slainte America! Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with parades and drinking green beer is an American invention. The first St. Patrick's Day Parade was in 1762 in New York City when Irish soldiers serving in the Royal Army got a few bag-pipers together to march through the city. Irish laws forbid pubs from being open on March 17th. The "Paddy powers" finally got their act together and decided to use their patron saint to further Irish tourism and ended the ban in 1994.

Talk about a sweet investment! In 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years on the property at St. James Gates for a whopping $70 a year.

Buzz kill: The annual cost for the "Irish Flu" in the U.S. is $148 billion, due to workers missing work and poor job performance, (source: San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center).

Thursday, March 8, 2007

ACC Basketball Tournament (2007) Bracket

Clemson and Florida State meet today for the first game of the ACC Tourney at Noon on CBS (Channel 9 on Comcast).

I'll post my picks later on today, but I have Clemson barely getting by Florida State, Maryland over Miami. Duke should get by NC State and Georgia Tech beating Wake at 9:30 tonight.

Big Ten Tournament Bracket (2007)

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tourney begins today at noon on ESPN2 with Michigan taking on Minnesota in the first game. Once again, "The Windy City" will host the tourney this year. (JPEG format of the Big 10 Tournament bracket compliments of Maize n Brew)

I'll post my picks later today, but I think you know who I am pulling for to win. Go Bucks! The game to watch though will be Game #6, Michigan State vs. Wisconsin-both teams are tough and playing "lights out" basketball.

SEC Tournament begins today!

Click here for the South Eastern Conference Bracket in PDF.

Today's SEC Basketball Tournament games

  1. Bama vs Kentucky @ 1-pm: Prediction-Kentucky
  2. South Carolina vs Arkansas @ 3:15-pm: : Prediction Arkansas
  3. Georgia vs Auburn @ 7:30-pm: Prediction Georgia
  4. LSU vs Tenn @ 9:15-pm: Prediction Tennessee

Big 12 Tournament Bracket

The Big 12 has a lot of tough teams, but I think Kansas is a cut above everyone else in the conference. Look for Texas and Texas Tech to put on a few great shows. Also, former Cincy coach Bob Huggins has a fantastic squad at Kansas State. They are a dangerous and formidable opponent.

The Big 12 will be played in Oklahoma City at Ford Arena. Their first game Oklahoma vs Iowa State will air on CSS (Comcast channel 42) at Noon.

The Big East Tournament Bracket (2007)

The Big East Tournament will return to Madison Square Garden for the 25th straight year. I am pulling for Georgetown to win the Big East and do well in the Big Dance. I am glad to see G-Town basketball back to the level of play when Coach John Thompson was there. I guess it took his son, John Thompson Jr to bring the Hoyas back to a team of talented excellence. Then again, it helps to have Doc Rivers' son, Jeremiah and Patrick Ewing's son, Little E-wait, we already have an athlete named "Little E", I guess we will go with Ewing Jr.

The Big East Quarterfinals will air on ESPN today: G-Town vs. Villanova at Noon and Notre Dame vs. Syracuse at 2 pm. Look for the Irish to do quite well in both the B-E Tourney and the NCAA Tourney. Big East Tourney bracket compliments of the Irish Round Table.)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Davidson still has the ugliest mascot in College Basketball!

For all of the Davidson fans that could use a Sapakoff's refresher course in FAN-101, let me begin by saying you have by far the ugliest mascot in college basketball. The Davidson Wildcat not only scares the kids, but I would be apprehensive if I saw that thing in a dark alley.

Secondly, if you feel it necessary to remove your shirt for a basketball game, you should at least paint something, anything, on your chest. Simply showing off your six chest hairs is not enough. Hell, other than the location of your seats, it was hard to know which team you were affiliated with.
If you noticed Cougar fans painted themselves maroon, with white letters. There were variations as the painted Coug Fans were numerous, but they all spelled wither "C-of-C", "C-O-U-G-S" etc. Obviously this is just advice (take it or leave it) but if you are headed to Rupp to represent your school and our conference, a little body paint would be apropos. I am not hating; I am just stating a few facts of the matter.

Post and Courier article by Andrew Miller

Click here for the Post and Courier's Andrew Miller's article about the game. The guys played their hearts out and there is still a chance at a NIT bid. It is truly remarkable what this team has accomplished this season. They went from being a 3-6 team labeled and chanted by Davidson fans during the game as being "over-rated" to becoming one of the best teams in the SoCon that reached the SoCon Finals.

(Photo from Mic Smith at the Post and Courier)

Davidson is the SoCon Champs for 2-consecutive years

Davidson will return to the Big Dance to face either Ohio State, Michigan State or Wisconsin at Rupp Arena later this month. Davidson improved to 29-4 and won their second-straight Southern Conference Championship. The College of Charleston Cougars (22-11) still have a possible bid in the National Invitational Tournament. (Photo courtesy of the Davidson basketball blog)

The game was a heart-breaker with lots of emotion on both sides. But I would be amiss to take parting shots at the Wildcats or the poor-officiating in all 3 of our games during the SoCon Tourney. As a College of Charleston graduate reared on manners and with a great level of respect for our opponents, I can only wish Davidson well in the NCAA Tournament and hope they represent the Southern Conference well.

I am taking a couple of days off, but I will post more on the blog later this week.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

SoCon Championship Game: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Southern Conference Championship Game: The College of Charleston vs. Davidson
A win tonight against our rivals would return the Cougars to their first trip to the Big Dance since 1999! Despite Davidson holding a 7-game win streak against the Cougars, they are our biggest rivals and perhaps the College of Charleston vs. Davidson match-up is the biggest rivalry in the Southern Conference! This is the first SoCon Championship that the Cougars have played in since 2000; ironically, the same year Coach Cremins retired from Georgia Tech! (Photo courtesy of Keele)

Davidson is tough, but every team has their weaknesses. On paper, Davidson looks to have none, but we all know that Stephen Curry has foul tendencies and weak first-half starts. Jason Richards is 2nd in the nation in assists, but he has issues with the full-court press. We need to give the "Cincinnati Kid" a tough time in the paint and to prevent good looks from the parimeter. We need Josh Jackson to come out fresh and for his jump hook to drop. We need a continued gang-busting efforts from Jermaine, Philip and David! We need huge efforts by the supporting casts of subs and the Maroon Nation! Finally, we need Dontaye to maintain his level of play on both ends of the court (stopping Max Paulhaus-Gosselin and Steph Curry) and impress those NBA scouts watching the game on ESPN2!

With hometown energy the Cougars have an excellent chance to win tonight. Coach Bob McKillop will be looking for his 4th trip to the NCAA Tourney and a win tonight would give the Wildcats their wishes. I am sure he is telling his troops to concentrate on tonight's game, but they are the favorites and since they are easily beating their opponents in the SoCon Tourney, it is only human nature for them to look ahead. And that is where the Cougars who are shooting lights-out basketball will bring home a win and a trip to the Big Dance! My final advice for tonight's game is to leave it all on the court. Remember the words of Urbana, Ohio native Brown when he said while walking out of the church, "You know what they say, it is better to burn out..than to fade away!" Go Cougs!


Dontaye Draper led the Cougars with 38-points, setting a new career-high and new record for the most points scored by a Cougar in a basketball game! His 8 baskets from behind the arc tied his career-high. But our team's leader just didn't get it done on the offensive-side of the ball in his 43-minutes of play; he held App's leader DJ Thompson to 2 of 16 (Thompson scored his 2 baskets in OT).

The CofC Sports Fan's Dontaye Cheer:
All right Maroon Nation, we need to come together on the cheer for Dontaye. I am not sure if I can take credit for it because my collegiate career is still a bit fuzzy, but the boys and I did this back when we did the "Hide your love away" when Dontaye was a sophomore or junior, like I said, still a bit fuzzy. The cheer for Dontaye goes to the tune of the Olay-soccer chant, just sub in Dontaye's name for Olay. Per example: Dontaye-Dontaye-Dontaye...Dontaye...Dontaye.... Dontaye-Dontaye-Dontaye....Dontaye...Dontaye...Dontaye!

Because they need them as much as we need them...
I know that Gene Sapakoff knocked the Maroon Nation for lacking in cohesive support for our beloved Cougars, but let's prove old Gene wrong and get out to the North Charleston Coliseum to support the Cougars tonight! You could watch it from the comfort of your own home on ESPN 2, but the Cougars just might need the hometown crowd to add a little more gas in the tank to help punch our ticket to the Big Dance! Go Cougs!

Draper's stats against Appalachian State
Field Goals: 10-20
3Pts: 8-12
Rebounds: 4
Assists: 4
Total Points: 38

Davidson breezed by Furman last night 91-60

The Wildcats were led by SoCon Freshman of the Year Stephen Curry with 30-points to cruise by Furman 91-60! Curry's 6 baskets from behind the arc set a new NCAA Division 1 record for most 3-pointers in a season by a freshman @ 113. Leading the nation in assists, point-guard Jason Richards added 20-points for the Wildcats!

The Wildcats' defense shut-down Furman holding the Paladins to only 15-points in the 1st-half. Davidson shot 48.3% from the field for the game and made 21-28 from the charity-stripe. They will face the College of Charleston in tomorrow's Championship Game!

For more Davidson Basketball check out WB's Davidson basketball blog or Will Bryan's real-time blogging from the game!

Friday, March 2, 2007

The College of Charleston Wins Over Appalachian State!

The Cougars won 89-87 in OT tonight against Appalachian State and will face Davidson in the Championship Game tomorrow night at 6:00 pm! The game will air on ESPN 2.

Dontaye Draper set a new career-high and College of Charleston record of most points scored in a game with 38-points! More on this later! It is time to celebrate with the Maroon Nation!
(Photo compliments of CofC

Scouting Appalachian State for tonight's game

The Cougars dropped both of their games against the Mountaineers this year: @ Kresse they lost 57-68 and at App the Cougars lost 56-67. In the December 2, 2006 game, Dontaye Draper was held to 5-points all from the charity-stripe. In the last meeting between the two schools, Dontaye scored 3-points (from behind the arc) in 33-minutes of play. (Photo courtesy of SoCon

Draper knows that he has to shake those Mountaineer blues if the Cougars are to advance this evening to tomorrow's Championship game. If you watched the last game at Appalachian State, you are well aware that Draper was cold, but so wasn't the rest of the squad. Dontaye made great dishes, but the Cougs (shooting 34.5% from the field, 22.7% from behind the arc and 65% from the charity-stripe) couldn't get the ball to drop. Philip and Josh both ended with 12-points for the game. All Conference 3rd Team honoree, David Lawrence had 9-points and Jermaine added 6. Marcus Hammond had 4-points against App and Tony White Jr and Taurus both finished with 3-points.

Although Appalachian State's starting forward Nathan Crawford is 3-days out of practice and inflicted with a virus, the Mountaineers' bench picked up the slack last night against Western Carolina. The University of Virginia transfer, Donte Minter, scored 11-points and had 5-boards, Doug McLaughlin-Williams scored 12-points with 6-rebounds and Eduardo Bermudez added 11-points coming off the bench. With 15-points, D.J. Thompson was the only starter to score double-digits.

The Cougars have an excellent opportunity to break the 3-game losing streak the Mountaineers have imposed and can catch the Mountaineers looking past this game to the Media's darling match-up with Davidson for the SoCon Title. As Coach Cremins said, "Everyone wants to see a Davidson vs. App. State final, but we have other plans." The Cougars need a big game from Dontaye Draper tonight and even a bigger game from the big men down in the paint. If they do so, they can contain the Mountaineers and play tomorrow for a ticket to the Big Dance!

The College of Charleston advances to the Semi-Finals to face App. State tonight at 8:30 pm

For the past 6-years, Goldfinger, Mel and I have gone to the So Con Tourney only to be disappointed as our beloved Cougars fell short from attaining the ticket to the Big Dance, but this year was different. This year, the Cougars knew the stakes and they came to win! The College of Charleston's men's basketball team improved to 21-10 defeating Georgia Southern 77-66. The Eagles dropped to 15-16 for the season. The Cougars face Appalachian State tonight at 8:30 pm.

From the Den
The Cougars trailed by 7 at the half. Dontaye Draper scored 12-points in the first half, David Lawrence had 5-points, Jermaine put up 5-hard fought points and Javon Parris added three-points in the first half. Dismal to say the least. The Cougars gave up numerous easy baskets and it looked as the same dance, just a different year. (Photo from CofC

Keeping the Faith!
The 2nd half became a Cougar high-light reel as the College turned up the defense, the crowd became a formidable opponent as the 6th man and we all ran (7-2 @ the 16:26-mark and 10-0 at the 12-minute mark) with the Cougars. (Que Prince" "They say tomorrow '00, party on like its' 1999!) Dontaye Draper would lead the Cougars with 23-points (4-6 from behind the arc). Big Man Josh Jackson looked sluggish in the first half, but became a fierce opponent in the paint with 16-points. I almost felt bad for Salazar and his fellow wounded Eagles as Dontaye and Jermaine utilized the Lionel Richie-"All Night Long" play dishing under the basket for Jermaine's easy lay-up. Jermaine Johnson would finish with 15-points. David Lawrence looked like Reggie Miller on the floor feeding shots and putting up 12-points of his own.

The Cougars played an exciting game last night. They gave us all something to cheer about and kept our spirits alive throughout. I can only hope that more of the Maroon Nation will join us for tonight's game against App. State. Great job by the Cougars! Eagles thanks for playing!

Davidson, Furman and Appalachian State advance to the Semi-Finals

#1-seed, Davidson defeated UT-Chattanooga (15-18) by 10-points, 78-68 as Jason Richards and SoCon Rookie of the Year, Stephen Curry put 20-points on the board to give the Wildcats a chance to be in it to win it. The Wildcats improve their season to 27-4 and face the Furman Paladins tonight at 6pm.

The Furman Paladins improved to 15-15 beating UNC-Greensboro by 2-points, 73-71 last night. Robby Bostain scored 18-points and Moussa Diagne added 16-points in their win over the favored Hawks. Furman will face Davidson at 6pm tonight.

#2-seed, Appalachian State Mountaineers (25-6) had a lot of help from their bench last night with Doug McLaughlin-Williams scoring 12-points, Eduardo Bergendez and Donte Minter both had 11-points during the contest. All-Conference team recipient, D.J. Thompson led the Mountaineers with 15-points. The Mountaineers will host the College of Charleston's super-powered, dynamic offense tonight at 8:30pm.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Ladies results in the SoCon Tourney!

The #5-seed, Georgia Southern Eagles defeated UNC-Greensboro 81-64 today shooting 50% from behind the arc to enter the Semi-Finals tomorrow against Western Carolina at Noon. SoCon Rookie of the year, Carolyn Whitney had 10-points in today's victory. (Photo from SoCon

#3-seed, Davidson defeated Wofford, 71-62, to advance to the Semi-Finals to face UT-Chattanooga tomorrow at 2:30 pm.

Scouting Georgia Southern

If you saw last week's game at Statesboro, the Cougars led at the half and kept the game close until the Eagles ran away with the game in the final minutes of the game. The Eagles are playing great basketball right now. Georgia Southern can hit the 3-ball and with guys like Diogo Salazar, they are big down below.

The Eagles main weakness is their shooting ability from the charity-stripe (60%). The Cougars missed opportunities to foul guys like Salazar (42%-shooter) instead of letting them make the easy basket. Hopefully, the Cougars have watched the tape and know what to do if the game gets dangerously close at the end.

Recon on Georgia Southern from the last game of the season: (FG, 3PT, FT, Rebs and Points)
  • Diogo Salazar: #34 (5-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT, 6-rebounds, 11-points)
  • Louis Graham: #40 (7-16 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-8 FT, 4-rebounds, 19-points)
  • Dwayne Foreman: #1 (4-8 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2-2 FT, 2-rebounds, 12-points)
  • Donte Gennie (All-SoCon Team) #2 (4-14 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1-1 FT, 5-rebounds, 10-points)
  • Matt Fields: #33 (5-12 FG, 0-0 3PT, 4-6 FT, 1-rebounds, 14-points)

Draper makes all-conference team becoming the 6th Cougar to reach this mark for two consecutive seasons!

For 14-consecutive seasons a member of the College of Charleston basketball program has earned all-conference honors. Previously, only five Cougars (Marion Busby, Thaddeous Delaney, Jody Lumpkin, Sedric Webber and Jeff Bolton) have earned this honor twice in their careers, but now Dontaye Draper can add his name to that illustrious list of former College of Charleston players, as he earned back-to-back all-Southern Conference Team honors by 10 of the SoCon coaches. (Coach Cremins is not permitted to vote for his own players.)

Draper started in 30-games this season, averaging 15.5-points, 5.3-assists and 4-rebounds per game. Coach Cremins said this season, “When Dontaye is playing to his potential that he (Draper) is probably the best point-guard he has ever coached.” And Cremins has coached a few stellar point-guards in his day. (Photo compliments of Wade Spees at the Post & Courier)

Interesting Nugget From the Post and Courier
If the College of Charleston fails to gain an NCAA Tournament or NIT bid this season, senior guard Dontaye Draper will become the first Cougar who has gone through four years in the program to miss out on postseason participation since Charleston became a full-fledged NCAA Division I member with the 1991-92 season.

North Charleston Coliseum

Here is the seating chart for the North Charleston Coliseum (Click on image for a larger version)
The Cougars are 26-8 all-time at the NCC. The College is 4-4 in SoCon Tourney play, having lost their last 4-games in the Tourney. The Cougars lost last year at the buzzer in a 65-63 decision to UT-Chattanooga in the Quarter-finals last year. CofC is 3-0 in Over-time games at the NCC and 1-0 in SoCon Tourney Over-time games.

The Opening Round of the SoCon Tournament went as expected!

UT-Chattanooga sent Wofford home to Spartanburg with a 64-55 win last night. Casey Long scored 13-points as the Mocs improved to (15-17, 7-12 SoCon). Junior Salters led the Terriers with 17-points. The Mocs face the #1-seeded Davidson Wildcats (26-4, 17-1 SoCon) today at 2 pm. For all of you Davidson fans out there, WB says that Parking Lot B will have a Davidson tailgate from 10 am this morning until 2 pm. (Photo compliments of SoCon Sports)

Nick Aldridge scored 20-points and Negus McKenna scored 18-points as the Western Carolina Catamounts (11-19, 8-11 SoCon) squeaked one past the Elon Phoenix 69-65. Western Carolina advances to face Appalachian State (24-6, 15-3 SoCon) in the Q-finals tonight at 7pm.

Georgia Southern defeated the Citadel, (62-46) giving Coach Conroy an addendum to his cousin’s book, “My Losing Season”. I asked Coach Conroy’s nephew-twice- removed's, college roommate, Hank, after the game what he thought about the Bulldog’s season and what Coach Conroy was thinking. He replied; “I am very proud, of my seniors’ game, although their kind of balling and mine ain’t exactly the same. Stop and think it over, try to put yourself in my unique position. Now leave me alone, we can’t press with the zone, we lost all season long, we’re just carrying on and it’s just a Family Tradition!"

The Eagles will face the College of Charleston (20-10, 13-5 SoCon) tonight. I know it is everywhere, I guess the media is rubbing their total disregard for fact-checking in the SoCon's face but despite what the liberal-Davidson (on-line) Media is saying, we (CofC) are not playing the Catamounts who we beat twice this year, we are playing Georgia Southern, tip-off is at 9:30 pm.