Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fuzz's Stew

Five out of eight…

If the Gopher basketball team has that record in the last eight games we are tourney bound. Yes, if the no talent ass clowns that Monson recruited win five more games, I think they are in. I’m not piss drunk either right now. It’s a Sunday afternoon and I mean this. It should be noted they would need to win at least one or maybe even two games in the Big Ten tourney. Not a tall task if you win five out of eight because your seed will be higher. I still can’t believe I just wrote that last paragraph but I think it’s possible.

The last eight games look like this: Illinois, at Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, at Purdue, Ohio State, at Indiana and at Illinois.

Four home games and four road games. The four home games have a combined record of 43-50. On the raised home court, they should win these all. No excuse not to with the Barn back to a packed house. The Barn advantage has come back with the college students lit up yelling obscenities at opposing players. They haven’t beaten any really good teams but they haven’t slipped to any team worse than them either. No quality wins but no bad losses either. Illinois, Michigan, Penn State and even Ohio State at home should all be wins. That puts them at 19 wins. Now the road games…

Since they didn’t win one game in the home stretch of Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin, they need to a quality win on the road. At Wisconsin is a loss. Bo Ryan is an “unimpressive” 51-3 at home since he took over the job. I don’t see the likes of Spence, Coleman, McKenzie and company winning this game. I know, I know, I should be more optimistic but I’m not. The next road game is at Purdue. This is the game they need to win. Purdue is 10-1 in the conference and will be ranked this week so this would be a good win. They can win this game. If they can’t do that, they need to win at Indiana. Indiana is a lot more talented than we are and a win there would be short of a miracle. The last one is at Illinois who is 10-14 right now and is an easily winnable game. However, if they lose the three before this, this road win won’t matter. They’ll still win the 5/8 but they won’t have one quality win on the whole schedule. That doesn’t get you in.

The question on your mind is probably: Are they good enough to do this? It’s a legit question. Sometimes you feel that you’re watching a junior high team. They’ve looked good against the bad teams, hung with a couple good teams but also have looked really shitty against good teams as well. They haven’t gave us a win that says they belong in March Madness. However, the last two games have told me something---they are getting better. The rotation is down to eight guys and the two freshmen---Hoffarber & Nolen---are playing well. Hoffarber is a smart basketball player with a killer shot and Al Nolen is intriguing. He leads the Big Ten in steals per game and breaks down defenses with his speed. I have to give credit to program killer Monson on these two guys; they are going to be solid.

If you’re into stats, here’s where the stand on a few: Third in the Big Ten in scoring offense and field goal shooting. First in the Big Ten in three point shooting and steals. Those are the good wins and I’m going to refrain in mentioning the bad ones because I’m a homer. They involve free throw shooting and rebounds if you need to know.

So, the five out of eight isn’t as cut & dry as I may have stated early, but they can do this. You win your four home games and one against Wisconsin, Purdue or Indiana and a Big Ten tourney win, we’ll be dancing. That scenario will put them at 21-11. 21 wins with Tubby as your coach puts you in.

How fun would it be to be back in the tourney?

P.S. If this column looks familiar, I wrote one about three weeks ago about the same thing but from the other side saying we were done and had no chance. Yep, I’m flipping it like a bad politician. I don’t care. The play from the dominant center SpenceDog Tollackson has inspired me to switch my position. From banking free throws to creepy, possessed looks into the stands by SpenceDog has turned me. Kidding. To be honest, I wrote the whole damn thing and forgot I did this three weeks ago. That's what turning 27 does to you.

P.S.S. Anyone want to write a “Voices from a Stranger” column this week? Let us know.

Five other college basketball ingredients:

Tell me you guys saw this the other night:

Meet Louisville head coach Colonel Sanders.

Did anyone see the dicey situation between Illinois and Indiana this week? If you don’t know the story, Eric Gordon verbally committed to Illinois but changed his mind to Indiana. Well, the Illinois folks didn’t like that since Eric Gordon is program changer. After watching it I truly believe Illinois should be penalized somehow. It was so ridiculous the punishment Gordon went through. It started with a purposeful hard chest bump at the beginning and Gordon was grabbed, pushed and hit the whole game. I couldn’t believe they were getting away with some of the cheap shots they pulled. Just because a 18 year old kid changed his mind?

Most people know my love for Duke but I still think Kansas is the best team in the land. They only have one loss and have everything you need to win in the playoffs. Good guard play, good rebounding, experience, depth and balance. They have five guys that average over 10 points a game. Collins is at 9.8 so I’m including him. I like them the best heading into the tourney.

Since I’m really good at predictions (wink, wink), I have another one for you. I think Memphis loses once in the next three games. I even have a wager with Q on this who put his hand out faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. Call it a hunch but I feel it.

A few good games to watch this week: Monday- Kansas at Texas. A big game for both teams. Kansas could solidify themselves as a championship threat with a win if people aren’t convinced already and Texas could open people’s eyes as a sleeper in the same category. Wisconsin at Indiana on Wednesday. The cream of the Big Ten going head to head. Expect a 45-42 game. Finally, Pittsburgh at Marquette on Friday. A must win for our home away from home team. A must win!



Buddha said...

Can we get a feature story or something? I already know what is on Fuzz's mind....dogg!! Can we get another date night at the bar to read about? Hell, I'll chip in for the 1st round if we can hear about your quest for cougars and Q and his workout partner.

Fitzy Fresh said...

Marquette is reeling right now. They would have won at Notre Dame on Saturday if the head coach could figure out how to coach and yank a kid who shot 3 for 15 and absolutely killed their chances. Rumor has it they have a 6'9" gun slinger on the bench. Although, he probably doesn't play because he doesn't have a "cracked sidewalk" in front of his hometown home.

Fuzz said...

What's really stupid is that Marquette is still ranked today at #25. They are 16-6 and 6-5 in the conference. Yet, Louisville is 18-6 and 8-3 in the conference but is NOT ranked. And Louisville kicked the shit out of Marquette this week and beat Georgetown, the 6th ranked team in the land. Does this make sense?

Fitzy Freh said...

I am shocked by both of those points. Marquette, despite my unwavering bias, should not be ranked and it is an absolute shame that Louisville has not cracked the top 25. In all honesty, I wouldn't chose to play Louisville over anyone except for Memphis, Kansas, UNC, UCLA and maybe Duke. U of L is hitting stride at just the right time. Watch for them to make some noise come tourney time.

Finn-to-Win said...

Yeah when I have watched Marquette play this year the seem to only play guys who are athletic and not able to shoot. All the gaurds can get to the rim but they can't finish or they try and shoot a contested shot. I think the 6'9 gun slinger is a great choice for that team to have on the outside shooter who can make 4 of 6 every night if he was able to get 6 3's a game.

Buddha said...

Here's a little tidbit for your stew. Chris Meidt, head football coach at Olaf, resigned to take an assisstant coaching job witht he Redskins. How does one jump from DIII to the NFl coaching ranks?

On that note, how do all you gusy feel about the new coach to lead your alma mater, or have you completely given up on football at UST? I don't know how UST isn't a powerhouse...great location, and a great school. Do any of you care? Maybe that is the problem, that no one at the school or alumni cares about it?!?

Hill said...

Don't let the KU misstep last night throw you for a loop. They are still dominant and will have a strong showing in the tournament. Last nights game was a classic Big 12 match up, with Texas landing the final blow. It was bound to happen sooner or later, KU has been squeaking by Texas lately and just could not get it done last night. I will say that I like Texas much better without Durant. They finally look like a whole team, not just one superstar.

I am calling it right now, that KU will play Texas in the Big 12 tournament final with KU winning 80-72. Mark it down!!

Dogg said...

Buddha, we do care about our UST football squad but nobody knows anything about the new head coach except that he coached at Macalester who was kicked out of the conference. It doesn't look good for the UST program right now. No reason why they shouldn't compete for the title every year.

That St. Olaf coach will be 2 and barbeque.

Buddha said...

Fuzz -

do you guys need a guest bowling columnist? I can analyze them with the best of them.