It may not be in order, but the universe is back.
This is the first real post of the Alternate College Basketball Universe since I changed the name. A lot has gone on since that last post.
Anthony Grant IS the new head coach at Alabama. He is making two million a year. TWOOO MILLLLLION. About 4-5 times he was making at VCU. As I noted in a previous post, the question of the day...does Larry Sanders follow him to Alabama? For those who don't remember, when Ron Everhart left Northeastern a few years back for Duquesne, shotblocker extraordinare Shawn James went with him. The similarities are there. Both sophomores, both dominate in the paint and have increasingly potential scoring abilities.
By the way, had not Shawn James stupidly declared for the NBA draft last season, do you think Duquesne might have won the A10 championship this season? They made the finals of the A10 Tournament without him. Yup, what could have been. Another example of someone who should have talked to Marty Blake (Google him to find out who he is).
As much as I am happy for a CAA team to win the inaugural CIT, did anyone really know that ODU won that thing? However, the win over Bradley in the championship game wasn't the interesting note there. I am still trying to figure out how they beat fellow CAA member James Madison 81-43 in the semifinals! The teams during the season actually won on each other's home courts with the margin in either game no larger than eight. Don't cry for the Dukes though. They will be VERY good next year with that nucleus of Julius Wells, Devon Moore, Pierre Curtis, Andrey Semenov and Dazz Thornton.
By the way in that final against Bradley, Frank Harrell had 18 points and 15 rebounds in that 56-52 at Bradley for ODU. Harrell played the second half of the season with a stress fracture in his leg. But his postgame comments are what did it for me too. As you know, I am a big fan of Monarchs coach Blaine Taylor, and wrote a story about him earlier in the season. Here's what Harrell had to say after the win over the Braves.
"I'm just so glad we won. It's the first tournament championship I've ever won. Ever. What a great team and what a great coach."
And Taylor cemented his status with me with this gem of a quote.
"I feel kind of bad for Bradley. They played a great game. But we won it and we ain't giving it back."
Not so awesome is hearing the news that Seth Curry is transferring to the Evil Empire, aka Duke. After all the speculation of it being an A10 team or perhaps even Wake Forest. No, it has to be the Dukies. Hey good for Seth Curry. Maybe Coach K is learning what I have been saying for the past three years. Their guards (which he recruits obviously) are not very good. VCU exploited that two years ago and Villanova exploited it again in the Sweet 16. Teams with good guards will beat Duke. Perhaps Seth Curry will change that. But I will say this, I have more respect for his brother Stephen now. You never saw Stephen transfer after his freshman year at Davidson. Or his sophomore year when he led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight. The kid is class all the way.
Next posting, the year in pictures.