Friday, January 29, 2010

Holden Everything! Hall Loses (Innocence)

Well, JD Salinger is dead. RIP. And lying right next to him, just faintly breathing, is our dream of a postseason berth.

In a way, it's a fitting tribute to one of the most captivating American authors of all time. SHU fans were riding high. We had just beaten Louisville. Just beaten Pitt. Dave and I were excited like little children, giggling in a field of poppies and Cinderella pumpkins.

But, you see, childhood can't last forever. And yesterday was our coming-of-age. With the ball dribbling off Mitchell's left Stick, and tears dribbling from my literal eyes, I watched as my innocence imploded. This loss truly took the "boost" out of us Boosters.

Can we come back? Sure. We match up well against Nova, and an upset isn't out of question. In my post-game FB chat with Keon, I told him I wanted at least 3 blocks against Reynolds. Can it happen? Maybe. But the truth remains: our wide-eyed optimism is gone.

Why did we lose? Too many reasons to mention. Admittedly, give USF credit for making some impossible shots. But, for STARTERS, why did we change ours?? The lineup was finally working, Gonzo! Why mess with a good thing?

Also, JROB was a beast in the first half. Why doesn't he see more time?

And Pope needs more rest -- it's unfathomable to expect him to play so hard for so long. Fero needs more touches!

And our offensive reverted back to its old ways. Out of synch, without much sense of purpose.

Perhaps Holden said it best:

"I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it."

Well said, comrade. Well said.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pirates Pinch Panthers 64-61

We all knew we could compete. With heartwrenching losses against West Virginia, Syracuse and UConn that was never the question. The question was: could we win? Well, with consecutive home victories over Louisville and 9th ranked Pittsburgh, we are starting to see the answer. In both wins, the Hall controlled the game in convincing fashion, displaying a patience and determination - on both sides of the ball - that we havent seen all that much this year.

Are we the Princeton Tigers of the 1960s? No, nor do we really want to be. Is Gonzo the second coming of Peter Carril? Not exactly. Is Herb Pope a modern day Bill Bradley? Unfortunately not, despite his striking White House similarities. But, over the past few games, Seton Hall has been playing with a newfound sense of conviction and confidence, especially in half court sets - one that would make even Maybrey Forney blush!

What was so surprising, yet so encouraging, about this Seton Hall win was we did it in rather uncharacteristic fashion. With J'Zell picking up his third foul midway through the first half, the team was forced to play without its leading scorer and offensive threat. While the team could have easily folded and played the "blame the refs" game, we were able to share the ball more effectively and the players were allowed to play within themselves rather than simply giving the ball to Jeremy and watching with their mouths wide shut. His Holy See was a force to be reckoned with down in the low post and the combination of JT, Neon Keon, and Eugenius were spectacular. Plain and simple - we beat Pitt at their own game, without one of our best scorers.

This particular victory was especially sweet. Not only did we take down Jamie Dixon's 9th ranked Pittsburgh team. Not only was cult hero "Coach Gonzo" in the hizzy. But yesterday was the annual Seton Hall Booster Club dinner at Gabe Lopez's very own Don Pepes! The paella was delicious and the speakers were great. Below are a few highlights for all those who couldnt make it:

- Coach Gonzo: He always provides great fodder for the blogs, but unfortunately I dont think it would be appropriate to use most of it. He was obviously riding high after the game and was effusive in his praise of the team and the fan support.

- "Foooooooch": Ever the crowd pleaser, he spoke highly of Gonzo and kept referring to the now famous quote about our beloved coach, "He makes coffee nervous."

- Vince and Sal: The behind the scenes guys who put together this great event year in and year out. With two of the biggest wins in the last couple of years coming on the heels of the Booster Club Dinner, you guys might want to think about having the dinner before every home game! I sure wouldn't mind...

- Glen Mosley: He regaled us with stories of his Pirate days under Bill Raftery and keyed us in on the secrets of rebounding. He also mentioned that if asked he would love to help the Pirates become a better rebounding team. Is anyone friends with him on Facebook!?!?

- And last, but definitely not least, the Paella. Simply amazing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cardinal Caged! Hall Wins, Naughtily!

With Naughty by Nature sitting courtside, the Hall won in dramatic fashion last night, sending Pitino back to Louisville with a scarlet "L." Jeff Robinson in particular seemed to feed off the energy of the 90's rap troupe, throwing down a couple absolutely naughty jams that even made Rich Eisen question his hasty departure from SportsCenter.

But the evening belonged to -- you guessed it -- Jordan Theodore. After months of Dave and me petitioning, calling Gonzo at all hours of the night, our coach finally got the message, giving the starting nod to the kid from Englewood. You see, it's not that Harvey is bad at all... He had some great passes last night! But this needs to be Theodore's team. And the time is now. It's the energy he brings, his charisma, his ability to drive at will, his incredible defense. Once he starts finishing consistently, he'll be unstoppable. BY NATURE!

Hazell scored a "free market"-like efficient 25 points, and Keon finally helped himself out of his funk. Score one for Libertarianism and Rugged Individualism! In fact, the entire starting 5 played beautifully... although I think Gonzo was right. We have 6 starters. They're just different than the ones we originally thought. They are:


When we play a guard-dominant team that presses like Louisville, Stix should sit. We need the extra ball-handler in Keon.

When we play a post-dominant team like UCONN, Lawrence should sit. We need the added height and rebounding of Stix.

Overall, Gonzo did a job last night with the rotation. We finally played with some cohesion. Still, we have a couple critiques:

- Fero has to play a little more; give Pope some rest and get the kid some PT.

- Don't understand sitting Theodore in the final 2 minutes; you could tell JT didn't want to come out and was surprised that Gonzo was going with Harvey.

- Thought putting Pope back in with more than 4 minutes left was a bit early. Debatable, but I liked how Fero was playing.

Back to the entertaining stuff... here are a few things you might have missed last night:

- The old ref tripping on the sideline. Whoever stuck out an ankle -- so Naughty!

- Big Mel dancing in the huddle during the warm-up song.

- Harvey engaging the ref in a staring contest after Jerry Smith pushed off him. No blinking!!

In conclusion, great win. But Pitt is just as critical...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The "Hall" on Washington; Looking Ahead to Louisville

After last week's crushing defeat to Georgetown, Dave and I did what any patriotic fans would do. We walked the mall of our nation's capitol, likening each building to a different player.

The Washington Monument -- Jeremy Hazell

At the center of it all, this one gets the most attention. Visible for miles, old Washington can be seen for a range that extends beyond even the arc of the Beltway. But might it also be the most one-dimensional??

The Jefferson Memorial -- Jeff Robinson

Jefferson Robinson, or JROB JR, is as much a renaissance man as he is beast. Even with only a few games under his Heavyweight belt, JROB has proven he can shoot, drive, post up, rebound, defend, pass, block -- a little bit of everything. And his breakaway dunks are enough to topple even Monticello.

The Lincoln Memorial -- Jordan Theodore

In a time of great crisis, Lincoln found a way to bring the union together. Well, as our own team confronts the constant threat of secession, Jordan is the guy to help us persevere and stick together. He's a strong leader, and his arms are more chiseled than Abe's chin.

Capitol Building -- Eugene Harvey

As our senior captain, Nunu gets a lot of attention. But we're just not sure how much is actually getting done. Some moments of brilliance mixed in with pork-barrel decision-making... Looks like Gonzo may be starting a filibuster.

The Smithsonian -- John Garcia / Mel Oliver

Gotta love the size, but it's a little overwhelming. Dave and I got lost in the prehistoric fish section for 3 hours! Would like to see this museum slim down a little and focus on more nimble exhibits.

WWII Memorial -- Keon Lawrence

This memorial is new to the mall, and really incredible, but it just doesn't fit in quite yet. Still, there's a ton of potential here, and in time it will be a critical piece.

The White House -- Herb Pope

Everything important begins and ends here. It's what makes the whole system run -- or not run. In these challenging times, we need leadership by example.

Columns of the Fed Building -- Stix's Legs

Skinny and narrow, these things literally support the weight of the tumbling economy. Tons of pressure without much thanks, Stix is willing to put this team on his back.


Okay, enough political chatter! Let's think about Louisville, shall we?

All eyes will be centered on -- you guessed it -- Mr. Rainmaker Hazell. It was his scoring outburst two years ago that defeated Pitino's Cardinals and thrust Hazell into the spotlight of YouTube. (Ahem... you're welcome.)

This game comes at a fascinating time for Jeremy. He'll no doubt be eager to put big numbers in front of a national audience against a team he owned last time at the Rock. On the other hand, he's been criticized for taking too many shots during the Hall's recent freefall. How will he respond? Will Gonzo bench him for such a Cardinal sin??

We will wait and see. In the meantime, if I may, this is the line-up I want to start. Everyone has an opinion; here's mine:

Theodore (Lincoln)
Hazell (Washington)
Stix (Fed Columns)
Robinson (Jefferson)
Pope (White House)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hall Gets Mall-Ed, ID'd in Washington

When the schedule came out last fall, Ben and I used our favorite Seton Hall magnet to pin it on our then condiment-overloaded-yet-otherwise-empty refrigerator and circled the January 14th matchup with Georgetown. With friends, family, and a bit of history awaiting, two words came to mind: Business Trip. Before long, our bags were packed and we were awaiting our bus that would literally bolt us down to our nation's capital to do exactly take care of business.

Well, let's just say our business plans got a little derailed. With friends and family in the stands - even the YouTube sensation "Coach Gonzo" managed to sneak into the Verizon Center seemingly unnoticed - Ben and I were preparing ourselves for another thrilling and emotionally draining basketball game. Unfortunately, the Hall forget to show up, exhibiting the worst effort we've seen all year. Lacking any sense of identity and direction, we acted more like a bunch of Fat Cat politicians in the middle of a filibuster, making the Hoyas out to be a team full of James Carvilles.

Normally, this is where we would try to point out a few positives like Hazell making it
rain or Herb seeing double-double. Maybe Keon finally had his breakout game or Stickie got his groove back. However, Thursday night's fiasco left us speechless...a first for a bunch of Fat Cat politicos. There was, however, one revelation that came out of the Georgetown game: we are a team that lacks an identity.

For years, Seton Hall teams have been out sized, outnumbered, and often out-talented. What we lacked in size and talent, we often made up for in heart and determination. We played a frenetic style of basketball that at times helped make up for our players playing out of position. Expectations were low, and when we occasionally exceeded them all was right in the world. We played with our backs against the wall and we loved every second of it. That was our identity.

Now, with this year being now, expectations were high and the pieces were seemingly in place for what could have been a successful season. Three transfers, improved returning players, and an emboldened head coach helped set the bar high for this year. Talk of the NCAA tournament was rampant and we were getting publicity from a myriad of sporting news outlets.

However, we forgot one thing. We are Seton Hall. A team that thrives when it is playing with its back against the wall and everyone has counted it out. A team that relies on creating chaos rather than relying on pure talent. The recent game against Georgetown featured a team we had not seen before. One that became complacent with its supposed talent level and forgot how to fight. One that lacked an identity.

Hopefully next Thursday the fight will be back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Inman Continues; Use of Deer Metaphor!

Jr Inman responds to critics:

Ok so it is obvious that many who read my notes feel as they need to respond on the message board with many negative comments. Let me clear up a couple of grey areas...

1. My Grammer. Facebook is a social website designed to enable people to communicate through informal means. Many readers insult my intellect stating that there might have been some errors that need correction. Well, I'm sorry I don't have a portable spell checker to travel with me and correct my vocabulary everytime I want to write a note down. Besides, how many CEO's in corporations even write there own documents. In fact, most corporate buisnesses have secretary's that review each and every document to make sure they're absolutely no mistakes. Besides, how many basketball players do you know of that can sit down and write any type of document without calling for the help of a tutor, girlfriend, or coach to do it for them.

2. Me being a "Thug". Wow when i read this one i couldn't stop laughing. I have never been called a thug but just so all of you know I come from an upper middle class neigboorhood in upstate New York. I wake up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping, and deer feasting from the plants in my mother's front yard. Does this imagery sound the least bit of the "Thug Life" I don't think so. If some of you were referring to how I say certain things let me educate you. I took a class my senior year at Rutgers called "Intercultural Communication". During this coarse we learned many things. One of the things that was very interesting to me was the topic of "Black English Vernacular". This phrase simply means that historically, in the African American household we are socialized to learn the English language alittle different than the traditional "American English" or "Old English". These differences do not mean that us African Americans are ignorant. It's simply a different form of how we communicate with each other. In today's society, America has labeled this form of english as "Ebonics". I do no subscribe to the use of this language as a formal way of communicating however, I do feel that it is important to understand the principles of our heritage.

3. My Time at RU... I Love Rutgers. I bleed scarlet. During my time at Rutgers I certaintly was no angel. I did many things that I am proud of as well as things that I am not. I am in know way, shape, or form blaming anyone for how my career turned out at Rutgers. Sometimes I think maybe I should have transfered when Coach Waters left. For those of you who are wondering why I didn't I will let you know. First of all, my parent's always told me once you start something you must finish. After I signed my letter of intent, i felt obligated to fullfill my contract. When Coach Waters was dismissed I told myself that know matter how tough things got, that I would finish. I wanted to earn my degree from an academically prostegious University. My Academics were always important to me. My Grandfather was a factory worker for over 25 years. he came home everyday smelling like oil and machinery. When my father tells me of his stories it motivates me everyday to use what God gave me which is a gift of knowledge and understanding. This is what motivated me to stay at Rutgers even after it was announced that Gary Waters would not be returing the following year. Even though, we did not have winning seasons my sophmore, junior and senior year i still overall enjoyed my experience. I took Lance Thomas around on his official visit at Rutgers. He loved the school, loved the players on the team. Among other reasons, his main reason for no coming to Rutgers was because his advisors did no like the way the Rutgers Administration handled the discharge of Gary Waters. Furthermore, I ran into Jeff Robinson (top 50 player in the nation out of highschool) in the back of the Rac one day and he two told me himself that he did no come to Rutgers because they fired Gary Waters. Eugene Harvey who is at Seton Hall, probably would have came to Rutgers if his fellow teammate Lance would have came. They visited RU together. Imagine a team featuring, Anthony Farmer,Mike Rosario, Jaron Griffin, Jeff Robinson, Eugene Harvey, Lance Thomas, Hamade(Forgive my spelling H), and myself, with the support of a few role players like Pat Jackson and so on. With an experienced Coach like Coach Waters directing our path I think we can all agree that we would have been an NCAA competitor.

3. My Suspension. Ok I will say it once more and once more only. I was suspended from competition for failing a drug test my Junior year at Rutgers. I used Marijuana to help me focus on my studies as well as block out all the negativity that was coming in from the media and other sources. I would sometimes study for hours after practice in my room and I felt as if weed helped me concentrate. This is no justification for my actions. It is simply an explanation. I am man enough to admit that I did the wrong thing so for that I am not angry that I was suspended. What anger's me was the fact and I quote from Fred Hill Himself that "9 others on my team failed at least 1 drug test that year". I will never call out names because the intention of this is not to embaress anybody. Does that seem fair to you? That out of 9 people, only two were accounted for (Jaron Griffin, and Jr Inman). If you have rules in place, than everyone should be accounted for not some. That is what made me the most salty.

4. Coach Fred Hill.
he is recieving a lot of pressure right now so i will take it easy on him. For the most part, his lack of success is not his fault. He was placed in a position to do something that he is incapable of doing. Someone tell me the last time you saw a rookie coach take over a program in the best conference in the country and succeed. that stuff does not happen. When your going up against the best coaches in the country every night, eventually experience and strategy start to wear you down. The criticism comes in with his lofty expectations he placed on himself and the program. i remember numerous times of Coach Hill speaking about winning a Big East Championship. This is when the problem arises. When you say those type of things publically people start to invision excactly what you say. When things don't turn out the way people think they should, than they start to critique. If Coach Hill would not have put hope in peoples eyes that he could be the person to turn the program around, than he wouldn't have had the extra pressure on him.

5. Coach Waters Vs. Coach Hill

Coach Waters was a stickler. He use to joke on his players and many times he would make you feel really small. That was just his style. On the other hand, he was a motivator and a God Fearing Man. When he was speaking to you, you really felt that he wanted the best for you. Ok so maybe we were not a top 25 team in the country during his reign but we were on our way.Give him an extra year or two and I promise you we would be looking at a different representation of Rutger's Men's basketball.

Coach Hill is a great recruiter cause he is a great bullshitter. He is extremely good at swindling his words to convince you that what he's saying is right. This will get player's there but after that everything else is down hill. He does not build relationships with his players off the court nor does he even try to. Ask any of the players that are currently playing for him what they think about there coach off the court. They will tell you, they don't even really know him. Coach Waters Coached me for 1 year, Coach Hill 3 years and I know far more things about Coach Waters Personality and life outside of basketball than I do Hill.

Well I gotta go I have a game in a few hours so to all my reviewers good and bad I love you. remember Negative Publicity is still publicity. Feel free to keep coming at me with your deplore comments on the RU Message Board.

With Peace, Love, and happiness,
Jr Inman

Monday, January 11, 2010

Inman Blasts Freddie!!!

Allegedly, JR Inman -- former basketball player at RU -- posted this to his Facebook account. Cannot verify the source, but this is too good not to post. Apologies for any derogatory language here... don't jump-shoot the messenger. Enjoy!!

Ok people, so this is about to be the most controversial Note you've ever read. Everyone who knows me or anything about Rutgers Basketball knows that Me and the current Head Coach Fred Hill have our differences. What you guys don't know is just how much of a scum bag this guy really is and guess who's about to air his punk ass out. Me.3 years ago Fred Hill stole the Head Coaching Job from the Coach who recruited me to Rutgers Gary Waters. Since then the program has been in complete turmoil. Among many excuses Hill has been using to justify his lack of success, the biggest one was "Jr Inman". He black balled me from the NBA as he told General managers and coaches that I was a cancer and the focal point of all our negativity. Furthermore, He used my name as a persuasive recruiting mechanism to recruit players to come here. Johnathan Mitchel told me himself that when he transfered into Rutgers the coaches told him that I was a problem Child and that when I left things would be so much better. They gassed him up into believing that he was going to replace me(I averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds and 1 block a game for two years straight, Mitchel is averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds you do the math). I felt ultimately disrespected for many reasons. First off, out of everyone that was on the team at the time I was the most accomplished student athlete. (Freshman All-American, 1,000 point scorer, top 10 RU history in Block Shots and top 25 in rebounds). Scholastically, I graduated with a 2.7 GPA and majored in communications without recieving help from any boosters or tutors doing my work for me. Mr. Hill would constantly mother f*** me to death at practice. It became a point where I did no even want to go to practice anymore.My Junior year i was averaging 17 pointsd and 9 rebounds a game and on my way to earning first big east honors. After the Manhatten game that year I posted 16 points and 10 rebounds during that contest. A few days later he benched me saying that I don't rebound enough, and I break up the offense. Mind you at the time i was top 5 in the best conference in the country in rebounding. So i came of the bench for the rest of my junior year.Despite the hateration from this asswhole, i still got invited to enter the NBA draft my junior year in college. Ned Cohen was the name of the gentlemen who called my cellphone gaurrenting me that I would be a second round pick. I told Mr. Cohen that I wanted to come back for my senior year and earn my degree. Not knowing just how much of an asswhole Fred was going to be I came back my senior year. Coming off the bench every single game my senior year I still managed to score my 1,000th point against Marquette on January 2,2009.Some of you may be wondering why Fred did this to me. Well to his defense, I was apart the aftermath of Coach Gary Waters recruiting class the clast class that came to RU before he was constructively Discharged. When Fred got the Job he vowed to athletic Director Bob Mulcachy that as soon as FIG (Anthony Farmer, Jr Inman, and jaron Griffin) is gone he will turn the program around and win a Big East Championchip. So let's fast foraward into the Present.Since Fred (not coach hill but fred is his name) took over the job he has lost 3 times as many games as he has won. Five of his recruits have transfered (Earl Pettis, justin Softman, Greg Ech, Corey Chandler, and Christian Morris) and the ones that are currently thier want out (trust me). I feel bad for my fellow teammates that are still thier cause it is about to get really ugly.I don't want to put all of Fred's buisness out thier. I'm sure youll read about it in the Newspapers within the next couple of weeks but I just want the public to know one thing. "It took 3 years for Fred Hill to cook his steak of turmoil but the check for the dinner is coming due". As for me, I'm still Jr. Ballin in Japan right now in my own apartment with a balcany and a bachelors degree to fall back on. Only the strong survive and this one man Fred Hill has taught me more about life than you'll ever know. I hope he see's this post as will as that ass kisser Coach Jim Car.Overall I love my program. Coach Carter stay up and keep the faith. You will rise through all of this Bullshit. Coach Savino please leave. We bumped heads alittle bit but i always respected you at the end of the day. Coach Dyer please get a life. Stop trying to act black when you have blond hair and blue eyes. Can yall believe this fool actually goes around telling people he's black. OMG. we took a team trip to the Basketball Hall of Fame and this dick head was shooting around with a backwards Cap on his head. this grown as 40 year old man didn't even have the decency to take his hat off in a place that he couldn't even get a job being a hallway monitor in. He is Fred's Ass Kisser, well one of them in case yall are wondering who i'm referring two.I know yall may think i'm buggin or over stepping bounderies but after all I have been through at Rutgers all I can say is to all the Fred Hill supporters and anti Jr Inman credicts that bashed me for 3 years and nearly ruined my basketball Careeer. F*** YOU!!!!karma is a bitch and if my memory serves me correct Johnathan Mitchel had a interview on media day and was talking down the class that I came in with that consisted of me, jaron, and Ant. Mitch I'm no tmad at your comments you made against me griff and ant, but what i am mad at is that you let Freddy brainwash you into really thinking I was the problem. Don't think i'm talkin bad about you but all i'm saying is never let anyone turn you against those that rode witchu from the jump. I remember when you had your knee surgery. Who was thier to help you and cook you some food when we were in Rockoff. Me, not Freddy, not Jimmy, none of them. Mike Rosario is one of the teammates I hung out with the most at RU. Mah dude, do yourself a favor and continue to put up them numbers and at the end of the season either transfer or enter the draft.Fred can't do anything but hold you back. If anyone has a problem with this post you can see me. I aint never scared. I got the support of the Que Dogs, mah niggaz from Rocktown Enterprise, my family, my church family, and a bunch of die hard fans that love me. I wish Fred would call my cellphone talkin shit. If I was 30 years older, 10 inches shorter and a fag, I would go to the rac right now and punch Fred Right in his face.In closing, I want to thank all who are rady this note. To some it is an eye opener, to others it a document that is answering alot of unanswered questions. Initially I wanted to take Fred to court and sue for defamation of charecter. My senior year in college I took an employment in law class and we learned about that. During class I would sit there mesmorized realizing that everything we learned in class I have experienced first hand thanks to your boy Freddy. My close friends know how much I dreaded coming from practice because of Fred Hill. He literally turned me into a psycopathic disfunctional human being for my entire senior season. Long after I have retired I will always remember Fred Hill the Gift and the Curse. A gift because he opened my eyes to the real world and just how cruel it is. This prepared me to facfe anything. A curse because if it wasn't for him I would probably be helping the Knicks out right now cause God Damn their Bad. Please anyone who reads this feel free to comment.‬

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Born Premature; Hazell Owns Lance

With Dave off skiing the Colorado slopes with his lady love (soooo PAC 10!!) the burden falls on me alone this week to sum up last night's battle with Cincy. In short, it was a great game. Along with my trusty father filling in for my intrepid partner, we watched as the Hall finally came together to get a critical W in the Big East. Chest bump, JPurk Sr!!

There were a number of memorable offensive plays last night. After Stanley "The Manly" Robinson threw down thunderous alleyoops against us last week, the Hall flexed our own dunking muscle yesterday, with both Fero and Hazell pulling off some sweet fastbreak jams!! The Hazell dunk was particularly sweet, as Jeremy's feet got tangled up with a Cinci player's face. You could literally hear the Frenchmen in the audience shudder, recalling terrifying memories of Frederic Weis!!

Even more stunning, we executed offensively at the free throw line. Herb was cool as a cucumber, knocking down a clutch 1 and 1, and Jeff Robinson also hit some critical charity shots late. Nice to see the Beast getting fed.

But the best plays of the night came on the defensive end. With Adam Zagoria literally bricking his Wesleyan education to change Lance's every diaper during his recruitment, Jeremy Hazell reminded everyone why he's maybe even more talented. Last night, Hazell pretty much owned Lance, not just because he nailed some sick 3's in Lance's grill, but he prevented Lance from getting into a rhythm, or should I say, N Sync. In the second half, Lance played a little better, but it was great to see Hazell focus and win the defensive battle. A win for Backstreet!

Also, another great defensive effort from, you guessed it, Mr. Theodore. Vaughn had been literally raining down 3's like his long-lost cousin Jacques from Kansas when all of a sudden Jordan enters the game and contests his every shot. You just can't say enough about how Jordan impacted that game yesterday. Sorry, guys, don't want to stir the pot... but he sure looks like a starter to me.

Okay, well it's time to get packing! After Dave returns from his Chase Budinger-esque slalom vacation, we're heading down to DC for the Gtown game and a little Smithsonian gallivanting!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Transition D-Isaster; Hall Loses 71-63

Another game, another harrowing oh-so-close Seton Hall loss. The Pirates navigated the Appalachian Trail last night - only making a quick pit stop at Mohegan Sun - and journeyed their way through UConn territory, only to come up short once again, losing 71-63. Like the weary, and probably exhausted, explorer Ponce de Leon, we are still looking for our first victory to get us over the hump, still looking for that proverbial Fountain of Youth. Were we close to finding the fountain? You betcha. Heck, Ben and I even felt a few splashes last night as we watched in agony as our beloved Pirates fall short yet again.

However, all was not (Paradise) lost. His Holy See had yet another monster game on the boards, grabbing rebounds left and right and JT went toe-to-toe with "Friend 4 Life" UConn point guard Kemba Walker. On a side note - and no disrespect to Jordan - but don't you think he could get a little more of a "BIG EAST" tattoo than that? It sounds like something my little sister would get with her 14 year old BFFs from high school. LOL.

But the real star of the evening was Jeff Robinson. Living up to his father's - and Ben's - nickname, JRob proved to all who watched why he could easily become the Beast of the East. Pulling down 9 rebounds - including 4 offensive boards - and putting up 17 points on 60% shooting, Jeff clearly had his best game as a Pirate. He even went 3-4 from the line! So while JRob is becoming the player we knew he could be and Pope continues to be a force to be reckoned with, the last of the treacherous trio to fully live up to expectations has been Neon Keon. Although he got the start last night, "Sports Center" still seems like the 3:00am rerun rather than 11:00pm primetime showing. It's like he's still on Hannah Storm's level while we all want him to be side by side with Scott Van Pelt and Kenny Maine.

However, not all the blame can fall solely on George Bodenheimer. Although UConn is indeed a talented and quick team, we made them look like Jeff Gordon at the Daytona 500 as we simply watched UConn run up and down the floor scoring transition baskets at will. Another, albeit unusual, area of weakness for us last night was our inability to get to the foul line. All season long we have been complaining about our awful free throw shooting. Well, for the first time tonight, we simply could not get to the line enough! Brother John shot 2-2, JRob was 3-4, yet Jordan, Keon, Harvey, and Jeremy combined to go 1-2 from the line. On the opposite side of the court, Dyson and Walker combined to shoot 11-14.

Saturday presents another opportunity for us to get over the hump against a talented Cincinnati team. And once we do, Ben and I will be jumping headfirst into that fountain.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No Cancun Do; Ha(ze)ll Loses Again

Dave and I spent a long time debating what to write after the Va Tech debacle. At first, we wanted to pound the keyboard with a series of expletives. Then, we thought something more Zen-like would be better. Something to make sure Kwillett and the rest of the Boosters keep breathing. But after all that, we decided on something far more honest: straight-up literary realism. (Um... thank you, Borges.)

We're just not a good team yet. Is it the end of the world? No. But it does get a little disheartening to watch a team to which you've dedicated practically your entire life keep coming up short. Strike that. We're not yet a team. We're not even the Hall. We're Ha(ze)ll. A one-man show masquerading as a half-court set with our Eyes Wide Shut on defense.

Heck, should we blame Jeremy? No, not really. The guy makes unbelievable shots, and it's a pleasure to watch him hang in the air on his drives. What an athlete! He deserves our praise. And I actually don't think he's a selfish player. I just think others are too afraid to assert themselves, particularly late in games, and we don't have plays that effectively get them involved or rightly utilize their strengths. The result? The Nets led by Sam Cassell.

Is Gonzo coaching well? Honestly, no. But that's never why we liked him. He's a fiery, passionate, plain-old gonzo... well, Gonzo. He won't change being who he is now. Still, he needs to continue learning and improving just as his players must.

Listen: Dave and I fell in love with Seton Hall as a matter of choice. We didn't attend the school. We're not even Catholic! (Although technically, I'm half.) We chose to devote ourselves to the Hall because we love an underdog with heart. When a guy like Stix, who was barely recruited, takes a charge against Louisville. When a guy like Pope, who's faced more adversity than anyone should, rebounds from a tough upbringing by grabbing every opportunity in sight. And gets dirty doing it. It's about Jordan Theodore, one of the smaller guys in the Biggest of conferences, who makes up for it by working out in the gym till the lights turn off and the janitors need him out so they can sanitize the place with Purel.

It's about a bunch of guys working together because they can't do it alone. Sweating hard. Playing tough. Having fun.

That's the team we love. That's the Hall. It's not Ha(ze)ll.

UCONN on Wed.