Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The UC Unforgettables?

The college basketball season is rolling along and I've been following the drama that is UC basketball all season; explaining my long posting absence.

How can so much crap befall one program for trying so hard? All the competition's fans will say "this is karma." First off, that's ignorant, but the problem is... that's the image the program allowed to propogate. Of course no one would openly admit that they liked the "thug" image, but the university and program never made strong efforts to dimiss it. Why? Because it did give the team a slight competitive edge. Teams had this vision that UC was mean and strong, which just added to the reality. The problem is that image also hurt the program, and not just in the way we all saw. It also put a bullseye on the team from its competitors, who played twice as hard. Well, all that is in the past and we can argue over it, but the fact remains... UC basketball is suffering right now.

BUT... its not for lack of effort. Effort on the part of the coaches and the players. I've never seen a UC basketball team put so much heart into its play compared to this team, and that speaks volumes because of the top 10 teams that playeed with heart in the last 20 years, UC probably has 7-8 of them.

For those of you who are not familiar with the quagmire the team finds itself in, let me update you.

1. We all know Huggins was forced out.
2. A committed player backed out for this year, and multitudes did for next year.
3. Abdul Herrera (freshman center 6'11") was ruled ineligible due to taking an approved Florida state high school class (I could go on a giant rant about this being bogus in light of Randolph Morris and Kansas players taking money, but I'll pass now).
4. DeAndre Coleman drops off team for lack of playing time (you are a freshman! Irony... he'd be starting right now if he had stayed)
5. Armien Kirkland (one of my favorate UC players, despite being one of the most frustrating) tears his ACL in the UConn game in which he scored 14 of UC's 18 at that point, leading UConn by 1.
6. Outrage of fans has dessimated attendence and home court advantage.

Sounds like all is lost doesn't it. Well, up to Armien's ACL injuy, UC was 13-2. Not too shabby for a team facing those odds. Did I mention that UC was already starting with a short bench before the season? Anyway... not all is lost because we finally ended the drought against Rutgers this Saturday to stay afloat at 14-5.

1. Devon Downey is incredible, he'll be an all-american in the future.
2. James White wants to play in the NBA and is proving it.
3. Eric Hicks belongs in the NBA and everyone knows it.
4. Two football players, Conner Barwin and Angelo Craig, have joined the team, giving them some much needed support with Barwin contributing significant playing time.
5. Die-hard fans making the place shake at only 60% capacity.

Which brings us to late January with UC 14-5 and 3-2 in the Big East. We all know we could be better than this had certain things fallen the other way, but you can't change that. With that being said, had none of those things happened to pose obstacles, this team may not have performed to their ultimate potential which I think many of them are getting close to. Now we travel to Louisville, who is vastly underacheiving this year, to play a serious make-or-break game. I know it sounds cliche, and "make-or-break" games are going to keep coming for the rest of the season, but it doesn't hurt to live in the present. I think UC has a good shot of pulling out the upset on the road if they just play to their potential, which is very possible with this team.



Blogger BarryC said...

Come on Brock, give me a break.

6:16 PM  
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