Message Board Basketball Forum - InsideHoops

Go Back   Message Board Basketball Forum - InsideHoops > InsideHoops Main Basketball Forums > College and High School Basketball Forum

College and High School Basketball Forum College basketball message board, high school basketball message board

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-16-2015, 09:42 AM   #1
Thorpesaurous
NBA sixth man of the year
 
Thorpesaurous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,755
Default Big East 2015

RD 1

As many of you know, I've been going to The Big East tournament for 25 years now. It's an annual pilgrimage that has become pretty much the closest thing to a vacation as I'm going to take. And it's my favorite thing I do every year, even when those years include other great things.

Last year saw the real dismantling of the conference, and there was a sense we wouldn't be going. But a friend of mine who's a Georgetown alum got me killer seats, so we went, and we got to see McDermott up close.

This year we then decided perhaps we'd call it quits, but MSG contacted us via email with a great ticket promotion for our years of support (we usually see a few other college games there too). 300 bucks got us an upper level seat, smack at mid court, to every game. My buddy and I split 1200 bucks and had a box of four for the whole thing. Wednesday night my buddy gave them to his employee's. Thursday we went in with his grown cousin and cousin-in-law. Friday I took in my 18 year old cousin and his friend. And Saturday we went in for the title game with his two sons, 9 and 7, whom we coach.

Thursday opened with Nova beating Marquette. Marquette was overmatched, but hung a bit. Nova was laying 14 points, and we took a taste on them just to get into the groove, and they stayed there for a while, then just ran and hid. Nova is an interesting team, because the number just doesn't seem to mean anything. They're going to play fast. They're going to come out and defend you. They're going to push the tempo and get up threes. They're going to do this regardless of the time and score. They're running plethora of bodies out there on the perimeter. Some are better than others. Some have slightly different skills, but basically it's gonna be 4 perimeter-ish players out there at once, and they're going to get into you. The difference this year is their center, Dan Ochefu, who is a 6-10 or so physical presence who moves all over the court like a shark. He contests shots when the perimeter guys get beat going for steals. He goes after every rebound. He defends the other teams best post threat. He runs the floor end to end hard occupying defenders on every outlet. He sets hard screens and dives to the hoop sucking up help defenders on the way. And he lurches around the baseline ready to grab any drop off or lob pass from a penetrating perimeter guy, and ready to attack the offensive glass on every shot. The problem is he's the only guy on the team like that. Should he get into foul trouble, or on the occasions he's overmatched, they need to shoot lights out. Their best perimeter player is supposed to be Ryan "Archie" Arcidiacano. A tough PG with some decent size and killer jumper, who won conference PotY. But he didn't play well all tournament, and it didn't matter. Ochefu would matter. And frankly I'd say Jayvaughn Pinkston and Darrun Hilliard would matter more, since as 6-7 and 6-6 wings, they provide Ochefu with the most help with dirty work while also being the best finishers at the rim. Tyler Ennis' older brother is the back up PG, and he lit it up a few times replacing Archie. I'm not sure there's a pro on this team. Both Pinkston and Hilliard could be 3/D guys at the next level, but so could another 50 guys in the NCAA right now. But beyond that no one stands out. Nova doesn't lose a ton next year (Only Hilliard and Pinkston, both of whom are excellent, but play a replacable position, and are already being subbed a ton), and has an all American big coming in who can maybe help Ochefu. I expect them to excellent next year as well.

The next game was the one I liked most from a gambling perspective. Providence was getting a point in a half from a St. John's team that is usually looked at as a home team in The Garden. But the truth is their crowd just isn't a that big of a deal. I'd say the Providence fans travelled better. Providence was the four seed, but by my estimation they were no worse than the second best team in the conference. I'd consider them a sleeper in NCAA. Their best player is someone I have some history with for full disclosure. Kris Dunn is a 6-3 PG from New London Connecticut. I saw him while he was in HS a bunch of times. I shot around with him once before a HS Christmas tournament. Met his father. They also have a Freshman big who was a top 20 recruit from Fairfield Prep in CT. Pascal Chuckwu is razor thin, but a legit 7-2 with a wingspan that is longer than that, and he can really move. He has a great motor, but his skills are iffy. And coach Ed Cooley is a guy I've met several times, and is an excellent basketball guy. So this is a team I root for regardless. But in this case they're really good. I made a ton of money on this game, and it was never really in doubt.

Dunn, a Soph, is the best player in conference. Co-league MVP with Archie, and DPotY to boot. The team runs a ton of high pick and pop with 7 foot 250 lb Carson Derosiers. And fills it's wings with two really good old NBA style scoring wings, Sr. LeDontae Henton, and Jr. Tyler Harris, who's the brother of soon to be paid NBA player Tobias Harris from Orlando. Both guys are catch and shoot, jab series, mid post types. Henton I'd say is a little better, albeit a little smaller. Dunn is a legit monster. He's been moving up draft boards for the past several weeks. And I sense he'll move further. He missed last season with a shoulder injury. But lately his jumper is starting to come back around. His ability to separate with his step back is at a pro level. He finishes with both hands around the hoop. He's playing in a pro style offense with tons of turning the corner. When Dunn comes out the offense shifts drastically. Both wing guys get turns running the offense through the mid post. The team isn't terribly deep. Chuckwu is pretty much the only reserve who sees significant minutes. They also have a Frosh PF named Ben Bentil. He's a physical specimen. He's capable of knocking down jumpers. And he's a beast on the glass. He got double doubles in both games I saw him. But his hands are iffy, and he made a couple bad decisions at terrible times. He has a chance to get better.

Intermission I the four of us got six people's worth of dry aged porter house. It was spectacular as usual, and as much a part of this trip as the basketball. The guys who came with us were first timers to the tournament, and drank too much. They left after the third game.

Game three was a not so great Georgetown two seed vs a Creighton team that has me wondering if Greg McDermette has ever coached a competent team that didn't include his son. GT was laying 7 points, and I was running hot, and decided to lay pretty heavy on the Hoyas. It didn't go over well.

The Hoya Princeton offense is gorgeous when it works. But a disciplined defense just makes it look stiff. Guys running away from the ball backcutting, but no one biting. There's no creativity. It was rough to watch. Fat Josh Smith is a really skilled guy, but he gets so gassed. And is so flat footed that he's just not efficient around the hoop even though he's getting good shots. Shooting PG Dantae Smith-Rivera looked awfull, but I looked up and he had 25 and more or less won the game for them. Isaac Copeland is an end changing PF. LJ Peak is solid wing. Both started. But the one I liked most was Tre Campbell. He didn't play as much as I would've liked. He played great D, and pushed the issue on offense, which is probably why he didn't play more, but man did they need it.

The final game I was still up a bit of money, so I threw it on Xavier +1.5 against Butler. I've been fond of X for a few years. They have a goofy fat white center named Stainbrook, who a little like Georgetown's Smith is much better than he looks. But he plays a more team oriented game. He's a great passer. He plays with more intensity. And he's a great talker on D. Jalen Reynolds and James Farr are both big athletes. And tiny PG Dee Davis really pushes the ball. They fill things out with a deep group of athletic wings, but none of whom can truly space the floor. My fondness for X stems from their willingness to do all sorts of weird things. Offensively they rely a lot on Stainbrook's passing and Davis' penetration. But defensively they run all types of stuff. The most interesting is a weird 1-3-1 with Stainbrook on the baseline. Typically the 131 has a bottom that can get to the corners. But they ask their wings to do more work. And then they even more uniquely push their center up to point to defend the second pass out of the wing against it. It takes advantave of Farr and Reynold's athleticism. And it hides Stainbrook. It's truly unique. And you can tell they came up with because it was the best way to keep Stainbrook on the floor with either Farr or Reynolds, since they were certainly in their top five. I love that type of outside the box coaching.

Butler has a few shooters as to be expected. An undersized center named Chrabascz played really well. And Barlow can really shoot it. But they're not great.
We stayed late because my buddy took X heavy. He wound up a lot of money. I wound up a bit. We bar bounced for a few hours before hitting the 207 train home. It was about 4 before I got to bed. The next morning we coached his kids game, then I head back for Round 2 with my 18 year old cousin and his buddy.
Thorpesaurous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 10:16 AM   #2
the mesiah
I'M GOD GIFTED!
 
the mesiah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 717
Default Re: Big East 2015

Like always , great read Thorpe,.always feels like I'm there when u break it down .always been a goal of mine to go to the ole big east tourney, this new alignment does nothing for me.That price on those seats , u can't beat that.
the mesiah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 12:41 PM   #3
Thorpesaurous
NBA sixth man of the year
 
Thorpesaurous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,755
Default Re: Big East 2015

RD 2

My younger cousin Zack has been wanting to go to this tournament with me forever. I also have a friend who is a Providence Alum. She took my seats last year. But this year she was busy, so Zack finally got his chance, along with a friend. Frankly it's the best day of games. You get two. And the quality is always super high.

Game one was Nova Providence, which I expected would be the best game of the tournament a week ago. The shame was that it was the early Thursday and not the Championship. I got a hold of my scalper, and he moved me up from my 212 section, to 119, which is a lower corner. We were right in the middle of Nova country. I was rooting for Providence, and particularly rooting for Providence +8. I went heavy again. I decided I was gonna ride Providence, and just touch the late game, so I was gonna go heavy on them.
The trip with the two 18 year olds is tricky. They're not old enough for the bars. But old enough that that's what they want to do. Both of them had never been to The Garden at all. So they were pretty well awed by the whole thing. My cousin doesn't eat for shit. Pretty much he's gonna get a cheeseburger. I threw a few spots out at him, and we had a plan, but my ticket guy called me and had the upgrade, so I told them we'd have to hoof it over there to finish business then backtrack for food. I couldn't get a hold of my guy, so I took them to Statlers, which is a midlevel steak house right across from The Garden. That way when I heard from my guy I could jump right to him. I was flirting hard with the this really cute Cuban waitress, who was giving it right back. It's early afternoon, and she's sitting with us eating my calamari. Griff, the ticket guy, comes in to meat me, and she starts giving me shit. "You deal with this asshole!" She was just busting chops, but it was funny. I've known Griff since High School. We did our business and she threw him out. And when I got my check she comped me the entire meal. I had a 220 dollar tab come down to less than 40 bucks for tax and an included gratuity. I wasn't even sure what was happening, so I threw a hundred dollar bill in there and gave it to her, and she said she'd get me change. I told her to keep it, please. I don't know if it was her relationship with Griff, or my natural good looks and charm, but whatever it was I'll take it. Griff gave her my number later and said she's planning on calling me next weekend.

Upgraded seats were great, and Nova/Providence didn't disappoint. Dunn was spectacular. Nearly a triple double. He got an iffy charge call about ten minutes in and lost five minutes of playing time. And the two wings they run through didn't play well at all. Harris looked like shit. They still kept getting stops and kept Nova from running away. And finally lost on a real horseshit call that gave Archie two freebies with about 3 seconds left. Even the Nova crowd I was sitting with felt weird about it. It was a classic game, with everyone standing for the last five minutes. The kids loved it. They were rooting for Nova, but had to respect my wager on Providence since I was paying for everything, and they sort of got the best of both worlds.

The second game was Xavier getting 2.5 from Georgetown. I was intrigued because the matchups had some similarity. Little shooting. Both relied heavily on small PGs to create a lot. And both had physically limited but massive bigs who they ran through a ton, and would probably cause each other more problems than anyone else they saw. I swore I wouldn't go nuts, but I was still bitter about GT from yesterday, so I did take X. Georgetown is really pretty mediocre. Xavier ran away and hid most of the game. They were up 19 at a point when it looked like GT may not score 19 the rest of the season. We were about to leave when a three made me figure these guys could stand to see the whole thing. A stretch of good shooting made GT look good, but it wasn't enough. We were getting an Xavier Nova final. I was really hoping it would go the other way. GT's two seed would deflate the line in the title game, and they would get killed by either Providence or Nova.

On the train ride home, we sat in the first car, and wound up with Kris Dunn's father and some friends of his. The guy looks like Micheal Clark Duncan from The Green Mile. Allegedly he was a football prospect of note, but while at a prep school he knocked up his girlfriend and quit to raise his kids. My cousin and I were talking about how good he was, and they all chimed in. I told them how I had seen him many times, and we started talking basketball in general. I love the kid and think he's great, but I also think there's a special relationship between Dunn and the Sr. C Derossiers. Derossiers is huge, and sets a mean pick, and he's a good passer. They run all manner of high hand off through him. But more than that is the pick and pop they run. Derossiers is a good shooter out to not quite the three point line, although he can hit that too. He works side to side, screening, handing off, and seeing guys run off of him. It's a perfect situation for Dunn. It means when he turns the corners, the bigs are usually occupied with Derossiers at the top of the key.

As I said before, I think Providence will be good next year. Chuckwu and Bentil are impressive freshman bigs. Harris will be back and get more of Henton's touches. If Dunn comes back, with some more recruiting, and the coaching stays in touch, they could be excellent. But talking to his father on the train, he's not so sure he should come back. And he actually really listened to my Derossier philosophy. His buddies were more interested in telling me the kid could do whatever he wanted. But the father you could sense was willing to take whatever information he could get, even from some bozo on the train. He's got a tough decision coming up. He's in the mix with a lot of similar guys. George Lucas the Argintinian. Andrew Harrison. Jerrian Grant. Delon Wright. And you can throw in a few others. They're all big-ish guards with questionable shots that could go anywhere from the tail end of the lottery, into the mid second round, depending a lot on peoples' taste, and how they workout. I think Dunn's stock is on the rise in part because he's shot is finally rounding back into shape after the lost season to the shoulder. You could make the case that a loaded team returning, and having to compete with a lot of comparable talent, isn't the worst idea in the world. But I feel like he's running hot, and that Derrosiers value to him may be more important than what it appears. Throw in losing the season to the shoulder already, and I'd probably come out.

We made it home about three that night. I had to get up to coach a 9am youth league game with my buddy before we left and took his kids back for championship game Saturday night.
Thorpesaurous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
Thorpesaurous
NBA sixth man of the year
 
Thorpesaurous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,755
Default Re: Big East 2015

The Title Game


So my friend's kids have been privy to our Big East extravaganza their whole lives. And we've taken them to many events already. I know I've written up our trip this Christmas to The Gotham Classic. And last year one of them came to the Super Bowl Saturday games we went to. But this was their first trip to the real Big East. I don't have the heart to tell them this isn't really The Big East.

They watch obsessively. They're 9 and 7. They know a couple guys on each team. They know some of the coaches. They know the mascots. They liked Nova because they were good. They like Xavier because they start with an X. They liked Providence because they know we like them.

They're great eaters, and they wanted to try Korean BBQ. So we went over an extra block to Lil' Korea, and got real Korean BBQ. We had no idea what we were doing, and wound up with a giant sampler thing. It was a good experience. But none of us got full.

Then we headed to The Garden, where the guys at The Blarney Rock bar let the kids in where we met up with a few friends for the end of the UConn game. That was a blast. The noise, the intensity. The kids sat at the bar and had two bartenders teaming up to make them Shirley Temples.

My buddy wanted to upgrade again. Last time we went to the Gotham Classic we were all just a row up from the sideline. It was nuts. But now we've set an incredible standard.

Griff, my normal ticket guy has already left for the day. He's not answering his phone, so I can't even get the name of someone from him. We come out of the Blarney and they're slinging tickets like mad. A real sketch ball limps up, with a giant scar on his face. He's got mid court floor. He wants 400 bucks plus my tix from 212. Another guy has floor corner for 125 each, which means my 212's are only worth 25$ a pop? That makes no sense. Then we get into an argument. He gives me this crap about he's been doing this 35 years, 212's are corners not FT line. I tell him I have a phone with a seating chart and pictures from two days ago and that he's full of shit and we're done. I start storming off, and he's begging for another shot. He's done with me and now is only dealing with my buddy. My buddy gets him down to 160$ plus ours for his. We head in, go through the bag check, the pat down, and then the wand. We're in the foyer, and head to the gate, and the tickets are no good.
We're both pissed, but I control my temper better than my buddy. He's frantically on the phone. The kids are hysterical because they're gonna miss the game. We're trapped in this foyer because everyone is coming in and we can't go either way. Then the younger one has a critical urination crisis! He's dancing around. The older one has some anxiety issues. He's worried if we go find this guy that his dad will go to jail, which may be true. He thinks this is just stupid now and just wants to go home. I got everyone under control, and pressed out to the street. We went back to the hotel where the guy was to use the bathroom, and to hopefully find the guy so we could kill him, but he was long gone. The good people at the hotel couldn't find it within their humanity to let the kid use the bathroom, just like the people at MSG, so we headed to Sbarro's where I had to buy sodas just so the kid wouldn't wet his pants.

Once we got our bladders empty, I got a hold of another ticket guy. He wasn't there either, but he gave me another number. I we got two pairs on the floor for 250 bucks. The market had collapsed because the game had started and the streets empty out. But we smartly split up. My buddy waited outside with the money and the little one while I took the older one and ran in. Zipped through the check in, and once the tickets cleared, I called down and they came up and met us. From there it was a fine night. Nova blew out Xavier. But the crowd was so Nova-centric, the place stayed alive all night. The younger guy was close enough to the floor that he got on the big screen with his Nova V. But in exchange I spoiled the older guy with Big East Schwag from the concessions.

The game was a blowout. Nova ran away. We were both angry because we had missed calling in our bets, which both would've been pretty heavy on Nova, because of all the nonsense. I had tinkered with the idea of Stainbrook being a bit of a problem for Ochefku, maybe causing some foul problems, but at the end of the day X just doesn't shoot it or handle it well enough to deal with the rotating pressure Nova was gonna bring, and on the other end they just aren't athletic enough across the board to deal with Nova's pace. Stainbrook sat for long stretches because he just couldn't handle the speed of the game.

We snuck out as soon as it ended, and had 13 minutes to make a 21 minute walk to catch a 10:37 train. We hammered it, and it was the best workout my Achilles has gotten since the tear last April. But we didn't make it. We spent 40 minutes reminiscing the night, and admiring the beautiful Grand Central architecture that is often rushed through. On the train the little one crapped out. The older one stayed up and chatted with us and the other drunks on board. It was the 11:23, so it wasn't too bad. There was a young guy who was a very friendly drunk who couldn't stop talking about his Shake Shack burger. And a guy a few years older than us, tall and athltetic looking, who had just taken his father to the game. He got his graduate from Nova, but his undergrad from Yale, where he played. He was recently divorced and had kids similar aged, and loved talking to them about the night, and couldn't wait to tell his ex about us and how he was taking them next year.

The next morning they couldn't stop telling their mother. There was a lot of focus on the scarred ticket guy. About how dumb their dad was, and how they knew that guy was a jerk. But at the end of the day they had a great great time. The crazy dinner. The bar. The Schwag. Getting on the big screen. The crazy crowd saying swear words. Talking to the crowd. Even the race to the train that we lost was something they loved ... even though I could've lived without it. The older one sitting with me was a blessing, because I settle his anxiety more than his father. But also because we talk shop. We run a 131 with his team, and we really looked hard at what Xavier was doing.

Once again the Big East pays off. And for all the knocks on the conference, they got another 6 teams in. More than all but two other conferences. Plus a team on the one line.

It is a great trip and if you've never been to the city, it's a great excuse to explore.
Thorpesaurous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 02:23 PM   #5
Thorpesaurous
NBA sixth man of the year
 
Thorpesaurous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,755
Default Re: Big East 2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by the mesiah
Like always , great read Thorpe,.always feels like I'm there when u break it down .always been a goal of mine to go to the ole big east tourney, this new alignment does nothing for me.That price on those seats , u can't beat that.


Thanks,

I don't know how much experience you have with Midtown Manhattan, but the tourney is a great excuse to check out the whole scene, even in it's revamped format. And I didn't at first, but now have a pretty good feeling about these teams rallying around the Big East Banner and making this a consistently successful conference.

The only thing is that it is not cheap. Not even close to it.
Thorpesaurous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #6
the mesiah
I'M GOD GIFTED!
 
the mesiah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 717
Default Re: Big East 2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
Thanks,

I don't know how much experience you have with Midtown Manhattan, but the tourney is a great excuse to check out the whole scene, even in it's revamped format. And I didn't at first, but now have a pretty good feeling about these teams rallying around the Big East Banner and making this a consistently successful conference.

The only thing is that it is not cheap. Not even close to it.
I've been to New York only once back in December , trust me I know what u mean bout it being expensive..Feels like I'm still trying to catch up from spending on so much on 5th Ave
the mesiah is offline   Reply With Quote
This NBA Basketball News Website Sponsored by:
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:25 PM.




NBA BASKETBALL FORUM KEY LINKS:
InsideHoops Home
NBA Rumors
Basketball Blog
NBA Daily Recaps
NBA Videos
Fantasy Basketball
Search Site

FOLLOW US
Twitter
Facebook
















Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Terms of Use/Service | Privacy Policy