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John Rooke - Thinking Out Loud

Saturday, December 01, 2012

 

Thinking out loud…and wondering if I should offer “satisfaction guaranteed” with every column…

• Where in the world is former Friar all-American Ryan Gomes? In case you were wondering, he has signed to play in Germany this season for the Artland Dragons…

• One-time Friar recruiting target Tony Trocha, a 6-10 Columbian from Houston, TX, signed with Texas A&M this week. What made him so intriguing were his raw skills, and almost-instant eligibility…like next semester…

• My man Friarblog, with an assist from FriarFrenzy, is spot on with this observation – “If you don’t think recruits are impacted by sold out and frenetic arenas like Rupp Arena or the Carrier Dome for games against also-rans, you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. As stated before, it is student presence that makes The Dunk a tough home court and thus far they have not shown up. Noon on Saturday would be a good time to start.”

• In other words, get your butts in the seats. That goes for non-students as well. It’s easy to show up for URI (which is next Thursday, btw). That doesn’t count. If you really want to be “big time,” prove it…

ESPN recruiting maven Dave Telep included this blurb on non-BCS conference team recruiting grades, about URI and Dan Hurley – “The Rams are on the verge of making real waves on the recruiting trail and in the win column after Dan Hurley scored two key recruiting victories with his 2013 efforts. ESPN 100 combo guard E.C. Matthews (Romulus, Mich./Romulus) is one of the better guards in the senior class at getting in the paint and finishing at the rim. Meanwhile, power forward Hassan Martin (Staten Island, N.Y./Curtis) is a three-star recruit with a roadmap to scoring in the lane. This is an impressive class and a building block to future success for the Rams…”

• Louisville center Gorgui Dieng is out indefinitely with a fractured scaphoid in his left wrist. This is a big blow to the Cardinals, who depend on Dieng’s interior defense as they lack an adequate back-up for his interior presence and solid if unspectacular inside game…

• And Seton Hall forward Patrik Auda is going to be out for a while…like four months…after undergoing surgery to repair a break to his right foot. He suffered the injury against Maine, and coach Kevin Willard has already said he’ll look for a medical redshirt year…

• This could have been Tim Welsh’s mess – and it is for former PC assistant Steve DeMeo – four Hofstra basketball players have been arrested and charged with six campus burglaries…

• There was more than just a touch of irony last week when Boston College fired football coach Frank Spaziani…on the same day that North Carolina State also fired its head football coach, Tom O’Brien – who was Spaziani’s predecessor (before Jeff Jagodzinski) at BC…

• Congrats to BC hockey coach Jerry York, who is truly one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. And one of the best hockey coaches, ever…as he becomes the winningest coach in college hockey history…

• New York Jets superfan Fireman Ed said he is quitting his cheerleader role at games this season. He said he will attend, but not as “Fireman Ed” to get the crowd riled up. Strangely enough, he blamed fan reaction for the quarterback controversy with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow…as he has been wearing a Sanchez jersey recently. Wow, and I thought it was over the way they were playing…

• You know, Tom Brady doesn’t lose much. But he apparently lost something here

• Did you see Notre Dame gets 17,000 BCS title game tickets ($350 face value each)?  I've heard they’ve had requests for more than 100,000. The Irish are back, apparently...

• Tweet of the week, in reference to North Carolina's blow out loss on the basketball court to #1 Indiana: @GaryParrishCBS - The "Blocking Out 101" course at North Carolina must've been one of those no-show classes, too...

• Tweet of the week #2, in reference to the "throwback" status of the nation's top teams in football and basketball at present:  @Mengus22 - So Notre Dame and Indiana are #1 right now. What time does The Cosby Show come on?

• If you’ve not yet entered the Twitterverse, you now officially have no excuses. 85-year-old Vin Scully, the legendary Hall-of-Fame LA Dodgers’ broadcaster, is taking over the teams’ Twitter account next week…

• Nawlins, anyone?

• What gets my goat is the Big East apparently HAS to add East Carolina to the football mix, along with the addition of Tulane in all sports, just to cover themselves over another departure (Louisville). ECU probably deserved to move, as they’ve actually wanted IN to the Big East in the worst way over the past couple of years…

• Let me get this straight…Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati all wanted to leave the Big East – badly – to get into the also-possibly-crumbling ACC? Cincinnati even went so far as to tout its attributes over the other schools? Excuse me, but if they don’t want to stay in this league, can we please just kick their butts to the curb?

• If you were looking for another job, and your boss knew about it, do you think he/she would keep you around or kick YOU to the curb? If UConn and Cincinnati want to leave – and they have no other options – fire ‘em anyway. It’s a cold, cruel world…

• A headline this past Wednesday in the Cincinnati Enquirer that should be remembered: “UC remains stuck in the Big East.” Really?

• No matter. UConn wants to play “monkey see, monkey do.” So does Cincinnati. USF wishes someone would love them, more than the Big East does. Be careful what you wish for…

• I know, I know – and I’ve been saying this, so I’ll say it again – hold tight, everyone else. Simply put, the basketball schools (and the football schools who have no other choice) must wait the process out a little longer until a TV deal is finalized to see what the future will actually hold. The trouble here is that schools keep bailing on the Big East – like rats jumping off of a ship – and that keeps the TV deal from solidifying any true value or worth. It’s a Catch-22 for Commissioner Mike Aresco. Tough to win this battle…

• Just remember…in the sports world, memories are long…and TV money will be tougher to come by as the years go on…stupid is as stupid does...

• So, the idea of a national basketball conference is looking better by the minute, isn’t it? 

• A great line – and a sad one, too – from CBSSports.com on this weeks’ realignment saga: “This is what the Big East has become -- taping flyers to light posts and leaving easy-to-tear phone numbers tasseled at the bottom…”

• Much as I might hate to admit it…in effect, the ACC ”dropping” Maryland and adding Louisville is a smash hit for them, and another smash in the mouth to the Big East. The Cardinals are – by far – better in football and basketball than the Terps…

Jim Boeheim. Rick Pitino. Roy Williams. Mike Krzyzewski. All in one basketball league now. Brilliant. Sounds like the old Big East (Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, John Thompson, Louie Carnesecca) doesn’t it? Just sayin’…

• Ouch. The truth hurts. Here is one national writers’ view on what realignment is doing to the “basketball seven” of the Big East…

ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil wrote a great piece this week on how we should appreciate the Ivy League. The “Ancient Eight,” unchanged since Grover Cleveland was president, has been playing football in its present form since 1945, and included all sports in 1956. No urges to admit MIT or woo Stanford. Maybe we appreciate it a little more around here, thanks to Brown, but “high minded elitism” has an all-new meaning these days. And it has zero to do with the Ivy League…

Grand Canyon State? To the WAC? Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic to Conference USA? Yup, just in case you haven’t kept up. There will be a quiz…

• By the way, look at the University of Colorado as an example of what could happen to any school moving out of its “region.” They are awash in red ink, the money hasn’t come in as expected, they are in over their heads in a league that has proven to be tougher for the Buffaloes to get up to speed on (recruiting-wise), and now firing coaches (like football coach Jon Embree) who also happen to be alumni…

• Other than Duke so far this season, no one in the ACC is standing out above the rest. Pre-season favorite NC State has dropped two games (one in Puerto Rico to Oklahoma State in the title game)…UNC has been blown out once…Florida State has underachieved and Wake and BC – do they even have teams this year?

• Was there a better coaching job this season in the college game than the one done by Penn State’s Bill O’Brien? The former Patriots’ assistant was named the Big Ten coach of the year, after the probation-strapped Nittany Lions finished 8-4, including a season-ending win over Wisconsin. Not for nuthin’…but he says he’s sticking around Happy Valley, even though pro teams are kicking his tires…

• Had an “only in Rhode Island” experience this week. As I shopped for groceries, I kept passing a couple in every aisle, as they were stocking up on almost everything imaginable in their cart. Going through check out, I had the unfortunate circumstance of having to get behind them. That’s not the bad part…they paid for almost $400 worth of groceries with food stamps – no problem – but then I watched them drive away in a Mercedes, after buying lottery tickets with their change…

• Is it just me, or does anyone else have the feeling of “bah, humbug!” when you see the Christmas decorations go up so early?

• Saw an online item on Thanksgiving leftovers, which said the esteemed Mayo Clinic recommends keeping those delicious seconds for only four days after they are originally cooked. Uh oh. Is it bad even if you scrape the black and green spots off of them, before consuming?

• My buddy “Big E” told me his wife has been on a constant diet for about two decades. He figures she’s lost more than 700 pounds, so by all accounts, she should be hanging from a charm bracelet by now…

• It wasn’t very smart, but there’s a part of me that didn’t mind Rajon Rondo rushing in on Kris Humphries after his foul on Kevin Garnett Wednesday night. Still – leaders need to learn how to keep their cool. Can’t win anything when you’re on the bench, ejected or suspended…

• Since when did David Stern become a coach? Or even a general manager? I can understand his dismay over Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich sending four stars home, rather than play at Miami…as the game was on national TV. But hey, Mr.Commish? Who the heck made out the schedule that had San Antonio playing four games in five nights? Look in the mirror, and fine yourself for that piece of brilliance…

• Kudos to Louisville’s football team, and coach Charlie Strong, for their comeback win over Rutgers to claim the Big East football title, also known as the “ACC-Big 10 Challenge…”

• Cardinals’ QB Teddy Bridgewater was a standout performer…on one leg and with one arm. He played with a broken wrist and badly sprained ankle, and still pitched his team to a BCS game…

• And what happens when you win? Your coach gets poached. Strong allegedly met with Auburn just a few days ago, and reports persist that Tennessee and Arkansas are also interested. Cincinnati’s Butch Jones also reportedly has interest from Purdue of the Big 10…

• An absolutely awesome idea – that you’ll never see any of our teams come up with: Satisfaction Guaranteed Night. The Phoenix Suns will be the first team in NBA history next Thursday night to guarantee their fans will have fun at the game against Dallas. If you don’t, you get your money back. Of course, if the Red Sox tried this, John Henry would be flat broke in about two minutes…

• And if you don’t like what you’ve read here, simply fill out the on line form in triplicate, send me your eyeglass prescription (so I can have it changed for you), and your check will be in the mail…

• Our mailbag question/comment this week comes from Jeff in Missouri via Facebook: “Why does everyone act surprised about the outcome of the Jets game? Does anybody see how bad they really are?” Jeff: Not sure it’s that everyone is surprised the Patriots beat the Jets, but the WAY in which they beat them. Which was thoroughly. Much more was expected out of the J-E-T-S this season…and you know it’s bad when Fireman Ed quits on them…

• Interested in having your questions on local RI sports (including the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics) answered in a somewhat timely fashion? Send ‘em to me! It’s your chance to “think out loud,” so send your questions and comments to jrooke@golocalprov.com. We’ll share mailbag comments/Facebook posts/Tweets right here! Follow me on Twitter, @JRbroadcaster (new Twitter handle!)…and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/john.rooke ...

• You’re up early anyway…don’t forget to join us for GoLocal Sports on 103.7 FM, every Saturday from 7:00-9:00 am! Call in (401) 737-1287, or text 37937…and send email to the show - golocal@weei.com .

• Looking for your midweek football fix? Jump into the “Patriots Playbook” on Patriots.com Radio, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:00-4:00 pm ET. We’re live with commentary, interviews and your calls and questions on the Patriots and the NFL via social media. It’s a great way to break up the day at work! But if you can’t make it for the live webcast, never fear…the podcast will be near…

• Let history be remembered…through the recently released “Rhode Island Radio,” from Arcadia Publishing. The book tells the story of the 90-year history of radio in our state through photographs, clippings and memories from many of the personalities who have graced our airwaves. If you’re in search of that holiday gift that says “Rhode Island,” you can find it in local bookstores, or find it online right here… 
 

 

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