E-mail to a friend in California, commiserating with a long-suffering S.U. basketball fan in exile after S.U.’s defeat in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals (the elite 8)
Well, another year of delusion is over.
1) Were we ever really as good as our press clippings and victories against an unusually weak Big East made us out to be?
2) Can you win it all in the postseason without a big offensive force in the paint?
3) We always used to joke about the “disappearing senior” that sunk our tournament hopes. I think you can make the argument that Joseph, Jardine and even Waiters (a sophomore all but declared for the NBA draft) all qualify for the label this year.
4) Ohio St. game: People here are complaining about ref’s incessant whistles–but I’ve never seen so many clueless Orange possessions in a big game: point guards getting caught in the air with no outlet for pass, stepping out of bounds, dribbling ball off of various body parts, missing gimme layups.
5) Tough times ahead: Scoop, KrisJo, Waiters & Melo are all gone. JD kid Coleman is too fat. Triche isn’t a vocal leader. Southerland inexperienced and prone to shooting slumps. Keita is too soft. Christmas is strong but unpolished offensively. We will be a young team, prone to streaks and probably will not eke out all the close games we did this year. Still very good–not great. I could see M C-W taking over at point and leaving Triche at 2 guard or on bench.
Point: Brandon Triche
Shooting Guard: Trevor Cooney
Center: Rakeem Christmas
Small Forward: C.J. Fair
Power Forward: James Southerland
Bench: Michael Carter-Williams (G) Baye Keita (C); Jerami Grant (F) Dajuan Coleman (C/F)
HOWEVER If S.U. lands Nerlens Noel 6-11 center considered one of top 5 prospects in all of HS hoops–all that changes!
See, hope always springs eternal in this land bereft of economic opportunity, hipness and diversity. One depressing note–I’ve noticed a much more pronounced interest by the populace here for SU football. That used to be just an affectation of people from my parents era entering Schwartzwalderian senility. Rational people of my age and younger now think it equal to or more important than hoops. Heresy!