How’s that for luster?


One of the best in recent memory. Man, what a game.
A lot of people were saying the Crosstown Shootout had lost its luster. I didn’t necessarily agree. I knew that, come Sunday night, the people of Cincinnati would be fired up. I knew the players would be, too. I knew the fans at Cintas Center would be loud and proud. After watching, I’d say all three of those things are definitely true. Both sides wanted this one. Bad.
In what ways did I agree with that assessment? Good football seasons by the Bearcats and Bengals overshadowed the basketball season. The game was played very early in the season. ESPN couldn’t broadcast it because they were playing a re-run of the World Series of Poker. ESPNU broadcast the game instead. On a Sunday night. It was a slap in the face to one of college basketball’s best rivalries. And that slap in the face cost millions of people the chance to watch what was probably the best game of the year so far – and it’ll be tough to top.
As a UC fan, I can’t help but be exceptionally frustrated at how the Bearcats just pissed away a big win. The bottom line is very simple: free throws. XU shoots 78%. Cincinnati? 45%. It was pathetic. 10-22 from the line. Unexcusable. But they shot 45% from the stripe, in a hostile environment, against a good squad – and still should have won. If they get their shit together at the charity stripe, they can be really good.
Lance Stephenson had himself a game. 22 points and showed some maturity. Sure, he mouthed off to Chris Mack (even though the classless Mack jawed right back – no reason for a coach to talk to a player…the kid’s 18) and was going back and forth with Jordan Crawford, but look at what happened – Crawford almost shot his team out of the game thanks to Lance baiting him into doing too much. Lance passed if it wasn’t there, took it when it was, and almost won it for the Bearcats. I felt for Deonta – the senior in his last Shootout, does everything he can to try and win it for his team (him driving to the bucket – UC’s offense in the last five minutes of regulation and overtimes). But he misses a lay-up that would have kept his team in reach. A bitter end for a player who deserved much, much better.
As for the fights – everyone in Xavier’s corner is going to point the finger at UC’s “thugs,” especially Lance Stephenson. I’ll agree that Stephenson needs to shut up, but does anyone know what sparked the jawing? Jordan Crawford was running his mouth from the minute he got in the game and made his first bucket. Mark Lyons was talking to the UC bench every time down the floor. The altercation after Cashmere Wright’s hard foul under the XU basket wasn’t shocking. A hard foul and some words – it could happen in any game. What got me was how much Xavier went back and even over the top. The second fight (more like near brawl) was all on X. Sure, Ibrahima Thomas doesn’t need to walk that close to their huddle, but does a player need to shove him and a coach need to run his mouth? Absolutely not. The coaches were acting like players (which means they’re acting like teenagers). That’s not acceptable. UC’s coaches? They were tackling their own players to prevent a fight. XU fans can point the fingers at the “thuggish” UC squad, but they should take a look at their own players and, yes, coaches, too.

Cincy's coaches were tackling their own players to break up a fight while XU's were running their mouths to start it. (photo, cincinnati.com)

Even though I think the ‘Cats should’ve won, I can’t take anything away from the games of Terrell Holloway and Jason Love. 26 points for Holloway, 19 boards for Love. Those two guys wouldn’t let their team lose. Hats off to them for that. But, I still don’t see a foul on Holloway’s and-1 to tie the game in the first OT.

Do you see the contact? (photo, cincinnati.com)

Now Cincy needs to get ready for a tough road test at UAB. It will tell us a lot about this squad based on how they bounce back from a tough loss like that. I think they’re experienced and talented enough to bounce back.

-Butch Jones is apparently UC’s new coach. Jacking a guy from Central Michigan again. I was pulling for Jeff Quinn and I don’t know a whole lot about Jones, but Mo Egger makes a good observation.

-Troop 104’s Secret Santa gift exchange was a resounding success. Fauxhawk got a nice sweater and an MU scarf, Little Guy got Transformers, a dumb calendar and some Pez (I love Pez), I got a 2010 Harry Potter calendar (Little Guy knows me so well!) and the first volume of music from the new hit show “Glee.” But, it was Swan who went home the big winner on this day. Sure, he may have been the only person to get one thing, but the one thing I got him was absolute money. He loves the phrase “Daddy Likes” and the work of Billy Mays. I put the two together beautifully (a shoutout to @kchizek for the idea).

Yes...Daddy Likes.

-Speaking of Little Guy…he and I love Golden Tee. Nothing like heading up to The Deuce for a few brews and a few rounds on the flat screen. When I started playing, I was usually able to beat him. But Little Guy has significantly improved his putting and, as a result, he has won the last six matches in which we’ve played. It annoys the shit out of me, but I have to tip my hat to him.
Yesterday, he slayed the giant. He beat Papa Stuck, the formerly unbeatable Golden Tee master. And he did it twice. Slightly less exciting but still awesome: he got a hole-in-one during their third round (even though it was the only one he lost). And the coolest part? You can enter your e-mail and post your hole-in-one to YouTube. Little Guy doesn’t mess around. But he does make hole-in-ones:

-While we’re on the topic of golf, Tiger Woods sets the record straight. He doesn’t not win championships. But he does do something else. I warn you now that this is vulgar and inappropriate, but click at your own risk.

-Bengals aren’t great. The Vikings showed us that. Their passing offense blows. They need to get it on track, and quickly. They’ve got a difficult road game again on Sunday, but a win in San Diego this weekend puts them in the driver’s seat for the first-round bye. They’ll be banged up. They need the first round bye if they want to get a playoff win.

-Christmas time is nigh. I’m not a big fan of the holiday. I think it’s become far too greedy and selfish. It doesn’t keep me from enjoying Alvin and the boys, though.

But the man who captured my feelings of Christmas is Paul Daugherty when he says:

“I dont need anything, at least not anything that comes on a gift card. I need time. Is there a mall that sells that?
Otherwise, what’s important is having family near and healthy, kids happy, a warm house and a cold beer. That’s a good Christmas.”

Think about it.

I’ve got a final in about three hours, so I’m gonna get to studying. As 8-5 would say, “Be great today.”
Altiora.

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~ by nchaney3 on December 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “How’s that for luster?”

  1. […] how I said XU’s players were worse than UC’s when discussing the fights during the Crosstown Shootout? Well, their reactions to […]

  2. […] of people love Christmas. Unfortunately I am not one of them. I expressed my feelings at the end of this post. But I do like the majority of the music. I especially like Jason Mraz’s take on this […]

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