Friday, February 24, 2006

Meaty Speaks The Truth

Long time listener, first time blogger........

If there is anything clearer than the necessity to hire Andy Kennedy, I would like an example.....

If there has ever been a time to drop the fishnet stockings, and to get your head straight, this is the time. What this BEARCAT team has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. With 5 1/2 scholarship players, in fact.

Andy Kennedy has done a terrific job with the team this year. This is not from a casual fan, this is from someone that has bled the black and red for the last 26 years. He has taken a team that was left in shambles and coached them to a possible NCAA bid. And, oh yeah, an almost win tonight.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. That’s what the Xavier fans will say (First question to those fans: who was the last team in Cincinnati that had a player dismissed from the team for violating team policy). Although I am the first person to admit that "almost" does count for shit except in horseshoes and hand grenades, this was a great almost. The Kennedy-led Bearcats fought the #2 team in the country until the last 3.2 seconds of the game. They were down 12. They had 5 1/2 scholarship players to Nova’s 11. In the first half, they shot the ball like blind people throwing a ball at a dunk-the-president attraction at a school-wide carnival. But damn, did those kids compete.

Yes, it is true that they were beat by a lay-up on a throw-in with the game on the line. This is true, and can’t be denied. It is the first thing that every kid in America learns in recreational hoops - don’t get beat to the basket on an inbounds play. It sucks, and is hard to swallow, but it also makes the fan that watched the entire game wonder what if. What if half the team, the original 10 player schlarship team, hadn’t left at the beginning of the year? What if two referees with dark hair hadn’t been calling the game?

I don’t like to bitch about refs. Not even in intramural basketball. You can ask one of the co-founders of this blog about it. But tonight was something different. The 15,000 + fans present tonight now know what anal penetration without lubrication feels like. Lord knows what the players felt like.

Let’s call the two perpetrators Abott and Costello. Both have dark hair, and one of them has been killing UC basketball for years. Just ask the 65 year old lady in section 106, seat 8. She knows. She’s been there since the games were played in the Shoemaker center, and only the Shoemaker center - before the school sold out naming rights in an attempt to raise its academic standards.

The first ref, we’ll call him Abott, was the ringleader. Every time that the Bearcats made a run, and had momentum, he made a call. I wish that I could have heard the commentators tonight (if they didn’t complain, they should be fired). There were 7 momentum-shifting calls made by Abott. Two, in particular, changed the game. With UC threatening to shrink the lead under five late in the first half, he called a questionable foul. Next thing you know, the lead is up to 9, and then 10, before being shrunk to 8 at halftime.

Then comes the mysterious 5th fould on James White with 3 minutes or so in the game. This call came after a break-away lay-up when a Villanova player grabbed the net on a fast-break lay-up attempt right in front of Abott, causing the lay-up to slip off the rim, not 30 seconds before (Something every pee-wee plater knows is goaltending). But, back to the foul in question, White didn’t even touch the guy. There wasn’t a foul, let alone one demanded a whistle with 3 minutes remaining and the the #2 team facing a very real threat of upset to a league opponent. Even pee-wee refs know that type of call shouldn’t be made. With this foul, UC was left with 4 1/2 scholarship players to Nova’s 10. This call played a large role in their defeat (not to mention the reach-in fould called by Costello 30 seconds before against White when the Nova player first pushed UC’s Muhammad aside and then ran over White to get a rebound).

The more troublesome fact, in actuality, is that every time Abott made a call, Costello followed with an equally, if not more mind-numbing, call 30 seconds later. Last I checked, weren’t unranked, home teams playing in-league, highly ranked teams supposed to get more calls (unofficially of course)? Even those in attendance whose blood is colored Tar-Heel blue said the the bullshit was knee-deep tonight.

Aren’t there supposed to be safeguards against fundamental injustice and unfairness written into American society? (sorry, as a law student, thought there should be some legalese terms in the post). Obviously, the NCAA does not believe in the 14th Amendment. One should wonder, however, why the refs chose to make those calls. In addition, in business world tournament-ese, which dominates the NCAA, UC will obviously travel more fans, and have a higher audience, than the 5th best school in Philadelphia, PA. By the way, I was asked 30 times tonight where Nova was located. Shouldn’t they at least get the opportunity not to get royally screwed?

But, after bitching about the refs, the focus should return where it stated. The BEARCATS have played their hearts out, posting a remarkable record when most of their fans were already focusing on next year’s coach and recruiting class. This is the first class of UC players that a fan can be truly proud of in a long time. And the school has already found its coach.

And speaking of next year’s coach, let’s talk about that. Andy Kennedy has had one of the most demanding interviews on record. He has made a potential mountain out of a mole-hill. If one wants to raise the standards of an institution, it should be done behind great talent. If one truly wishes to see these transformations take place, they should make moves that will pay off in the long run, instead of demolishing something to make a name for one’s self and then running to a higher publicized position. Andy Kennedy is such a talent. Hire him.

Great almost to the Cats.



The Namby Pamby said...

At least your first year in the Big East was better than ours.

I hate losing

trotskey said...

I thought the worst call was when White and the Villanova player both went up for a rebound, the Villanova player got it , then fell down on top of White. Instead of a no-call, travelling violation or offensive foul, they called the foul on White. WTF?

MIKEYTAF said...

Does any of this matter? Let's be honest, even if the Cats make the tourney (BIG "if" now) - they will be gone in the first round. We are talking about UC here, c'mon. Second, Tre, I'm a little surprised that you are supporting this blog as we have spoken together how terrible Kennedy is - that last play proved it. It wasn't coaching that kept it a close game, it was Eric Hicks' heart and some timely shooting by Chad Moore who needs to cut those damn sleeves or something. Don't fret though UC fans, soon enough an ex-Xavier leader will be here to redeem the program.

P.S. Paul Pierce is a top a 5 player in the NBA.

Tre! said...


You have obviously not been drinking enough lately. Skip Prosser is not coming to UC. I wasn't supporting the Kennedy section of this post, it was mainly the criticism of the refs that I supported. It was awful. Halfway through the game I began to wonder if the refs were rec sports officials.

UC will win a tourny game this year.

Paul Pierce is garbage. Top 20 at best.

MIKEYTAF said...

If you are speaking of the Big East Tourney, then I think you might be right about winning a game. In the dance, if they get there, not a shot in hell. Cincy's top win was over Syracuse who is also on the bubble. Great, you had the 7th toughest schedule in the country - but you lost pretty much all the games that gave you that schedule. Kennedy doesn't know how to run an offense and their backcourt is not good enough to win a tourney game. These are the essentials of tournament basketball, half court offense and guard play - without them, you are done. They have neither.

Paul Pierce has been stabbed in the face, had his teeth knocked out, yet never missed a game for these reasons. He is a bad, bad boy and one of the nastiest players in the league. I'll give you Kobe and Lebron, but after that...I'll take my chances with my boy. I will continue to fight the good fight until you submit.

I have not heard any Skip to My Lou rumors in about a week or so, but last time I checked they were packing his bags at Wake. Why would Zympher want one of Huggins illegitimate children? She obviously isn't phased by the political pressure either.

trotskey said...

I believe that SOS has moved up to 3 after last night. Definitely tourney bound. The refs were f-ing terrible. Players better than Paul Pierce (besides Lebron & Kobe): DWAYNE WADE, Amare Stoudemire, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, etc.

MIKEYTAF said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nye! said...

I think I've made it pretty clear that I don't know a thing about basketball, but remember that time when a Nets fan held up a sign that said "Will somebody please stab Paul Pierce"? That was awesome.