Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hall & Hazell Trigger Happy; Force OT against WVU
When you drive to West Virginia, it seems like everyone and their mother has a gun. Nothing is more startling in fact than watching a basketball game in their campus arena when suddenly the Mountaineer mascot fires an actual civil-war musket in what has to be one of the most authoritative "SHOTGUN" calls of all time.
In other words, WVU knows a little bit about firepower. Still, I don't think they could've anticipated what SHU delivered yesterday.
Dave and I stood there, our jaws slack with awe and the memory of wisdom tooth extraction, as the Hall shot rounds and rounds of shots. True, the vast majority missed the mark. Especially our free throw shooting! Yes, Pope let loose round after round of blanks (1 of 10) and even Theodore and Harvey missed key opportunities at the stripe.
Even the SHU basketball operations team seemed to be misfiring. While it was clear the university was pumped to have CBS in attendance, and put forth quite an effort (e.g. balloon animal maker, blue & white pompoms) there were definitely some pre-game jitters. For example, there was a serious lane violation on the national anthem singer who started belting out "O Say Can You See" before the WVU team was even in sight. And while the CBS sports banners were quite aesthetically charming, did we have to present WVU's colors so prominently in our own building?? Lastly, could the mop guy please be a little more proactive?? Herb Pope was completing his 6th Scott Hamilton death spiral before we finally toweled up the sweat stains on the hardwood.
The refs also blew a couple big calls. Chief among them?? Cam Thoroughman camped out Mountaineer style in the paint for about 7 seconds on one possession. And the charge call on Jeff Robinson made my blood boil!!
Okay, those are the negatives. Here's the plus side: yesterday's game was one of the most exciting, most classic Seton Hall performances I've ever witnessed. Hazell was magical, and looked about as good as anyone can who shoots 4 of 19 from deep. He drove to the rim, hung in the air, and showed a national audience what makes him so special. Move aside Katie Couric!!
Another positive: Ferro Hall. If you listened closely, you could actually hear the Southern screams of joy from Tennessee as the freshman found himself in the game at the most pivotal moments. He even had a monster dunk in the last couple minutes of the game. Ummm.... MINT JULEP!!
Also, JROB. This guy is for real. Threw down some nasty dunks, and rebounds in traffic better than anyone.
Harvey did some great things too. A number of key layups and beautiful passes. That backdoor feed to Hazell was brilliant... just mishandled.
Bobby also coached a pretty good game I thought. Yeah, we probably should have fouled earlier on a couple possessions, and our offense looked a little cavalier at some critical points. But overall, we substituted very well, and I loved how involved Jamel and Ferro were in the offense. Our guys gave a superhuman effort against a very talented WVU squad. If we play that hard against the rest of the Big East, we should coast into the tournament.
Well, time to reload, because next we face the Orangemen. And I'll tell you one thing: Dave and I are definitely snagging some of those "Juice the Cuse" t-shirts.