First off, sorry I have not blogged much at all, but I'm trying to get this basketball media guide off my plate, which I've almost done. Speaking of basketball, my long strange journey ended last night, but not without a scare.
For those that care of such things, I write the stories for softball, football, and men's basketball ... well, it has been 192 days since the last win I got to write about, and that was on April 25 when the softball team came from behind to score a run in the bottom of the seventh and defeat Utah Valley 9-8. To put it in other terms, I hadn't had the cake from my 39th birthday yet (I had it that night).
Obviously I haven't written a winning story for football, and so I enjoyed last night, even if the team gave me a heart attack first.
The positives from last night's basketball game? The offense. True, they had overtime, but the team still scored 75 points in regulation. ISU moved the ball around a bit, and the combination of Gilchrest and Morgan driving to the basket looks unstoppable at times. Gilchrest can finish at the rim much like Marquis Poole did for the Bengals in the early 2000s, but he is probably a better long range shooter as well, as evidenced by how calmly he hit the tying three with 12.0 left.
Other positives...Deividas Busma with a double-double. Now granted, he should get some rebounds being 7-0, but his 15 points were crucial. Also, Sherrod Baldwin looks like he has made the leap from freshman to sophomore, not unlike Morgan did a few years ago.
That brings me to another point....seriously, how good is Joe O'Brien, and Geoff Alexander in recruiting? All nine guys that played last night can absolutely play, and they were missing Demetrius Monroe (injury) and Eric Segert (suspension). They have rarely missed in their time here at ISU.
Last positive...an overtime win. Yeah, yeah, it's an exhibition game, but remember ISU played three OT games in a row last year in games 2, 3, and 4, and lost them all. Don't discount getting the chance to practice that situation for real yesterday.
The negatives...hmmmm, the olay defense at times in the post was not comforting. UCCS scored 40 points in the paint, and that's just too many, but that will get corrected. As will Gilchrest dunking in pregame warmups and earning a technical before the game ever started. That will not fly in the regular season, but again, it'll be taken care of.
LIFE IN ATHLETICS
Life does go on here in the athletic department, and we are busy...Katie is off with the soccer team to head to Portland for the conference tournament, so let's give some kudos to Allison Gibson, who rebounded from a 3-12-4 year with a 90-7 campaign that isn't done yet. The team gets to face Eastern Washington in the surprise conference tournament matchup of possibly all-time (ISU was picked seventh in the preseason one slot ahead of Eastern, who was slated for last...that's the 2-3 game!). Should ISU get past Eastern, they would face either Northern Arizona or host Portland State in the finals. No radio coverage, but Portland State's website www.goviks.com has the livestats going.
GUESS WHO THE ONE VILLANOVA VOTER IS?
One of the things I get to do is vote for the nation poll in the FCS, and if you saw this week's poll, the fourth place team, Villanova, got one first place vote.....my first place vote, despite a 28-024 loss to New Hampshire like three weeks ago. Why am I not voting for Richmond or Montana number one? there is just something about Villanova this year...I think that loss to New Hampshire was so close, and at the time I had New Hampshire #1 and Villanova #2, so I didn't move them out of the two slot because of that loss. New Hampshire dropped when I thought they had a bad loss losing 23-17 to a UMass team that is 1-3 in their last four...that one being that win. So Villanova has the top spot in my poll, which looks like this...
4.William & Mary
8.South Carolina St.
10.South Dakota St.
19.Stephen F. Austin
(Afternoon edit): Just a little late edit here, but I'd also like to point out that I got slightly ridiculed on e-griz for this (I guess because I have Montana third...), but Villanova is #1 in the Sagarin ratings, so I'm not that off base. Also, for those e-grizzers that wander over here...I'm not Bengal, I'm ISUSID, and Brad Bugger our color guy for radio wrote the Griz posting ... he gets those kudos, not me.
SADLY AARON RODGERS COULDN'T MAKE IT
Jared Allen is in town this week, guaranteeing that a few more fans will show up, and a few more people will want his autograph (I'm getting calls and requests about it left and right). The bottom line is this though....how cool is it that the NFL leader is sacks is an Idaho State guy?
OK, good luck with soccer....back to the guide!
(seeking to serve, not just survive)