It's a very slow sports day at SB Nation New York, especially if you cover the Big East Conference where no local men's college hoops games are scheduled.
So, instead of sitting down and typing out a reaction piece on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights bad showing against the Marquette Golden Eagles on Wednesday night. I took a gander at what the bloggers of SB Nation's Big East Conference programs were writing.
I found some good stuff.
First, I'll start with Rutgers and On The Bank, which uses the "other team is good -- but actually they're not, we just really stink" excuse to explain the 73-65 loss to the Marquette on Wednesday.
"... Marquette is a good team. They're long. They play good defense and they have a few players who can fill it up," wrote Dave White. "At one point in the first half, Marquette was shooting 7-10 from three point land. It's tough to battle back when they can do that. RU was also outrebounded."
"But despite being outplayed, RU scrapped and was able to keep within striking distance. It's clear the team needs a consistent scorer."
I guess it depends on a team's point of view but sorry Dave, Marquette (11-4, 2-0 Big East) isn't that good of a team. It's just that the Scarlet Knights (9-5, 0-2) are bad. Check that, Rutgers just isn't talented enough to compete in this league.
It seems like first-year head coach Mike Rice is one heck of a coach. If you watch the Scarlet Knights, they play, at times, very sound, in-your-face basketball. But they just don't have the "ballers" to compete with the elite Big East squads. Now, if they were playing in the A10 Conference the Scarlet Knight might have a shot at a .500 record.
(Sorry Rutgers fans, all I want is for one of my paragraphs to end up on a Scarlet Knight punching bag. It's all about getting the SB Nation New York word out.)
The bottom of the Big East barrel features: Marquette, Rutgers, West Virginia Mountaineers (9-4, 1-2), South Florida Bulls (6-9, 0-2), Seton Hall Pirates (7-8, 1-2) and DePaul Blue Demons (6-9, 0-3) -- For now, I'll reserve my judgment on the Providence Friars (11-5, 0-3) because they have played well against very good opponents -- Syracuse Orange, St. John's Red Storm and Pittsburgh Panthers.
After Wednesday night's victory, Anonymous Eagle (Marquette) was questioning its fandom.
"I meant to write about this on Monday. During the West Virginia game I discovered that I've been sitting next to MU basketball legend Earl Tatum for the past season and a half. Not like, in the same row, he's in the seat right next to me. How the hell didn't I know this?. I mean, I'm sitting next to a tall African-American but I couldn't just ask: "Did you play for Marquette?" I'm a terrible fan."
Before the Louisville Cardinals (12-2, 1-0) dominated Seton Hall, 73-54, in it's Big East opener on Wednesday, the Cardinal Chronicle was trying to calm down it's "The sky is falling!" fans Tuesday:
"WE ARE 11 and 2! What in that 11-2 shows that we are done? Nothing! We are beating who we supposed to beat with only one slip up. Coming into this season many would say that we should be 10-3 if we beat only who we're supposed to beat (those losses coming to Butler, UNLV, and UK). But we beat two of those and with only one of our usual stumbles we sit pretty at 11-2."
Yes, calm down Cardinal faithful. Your team is going to be just fine. Just be thankful you're not a Seton Hall fan.
Speaking of the Pirates, the South Orange Juice is really happy about Seton Halls early-season start and the buddy-buddy attitude of head coach Kevin Willard.
"Note to Coach Willard: I do not care if the man was your mentor for 10-years. Please do not sit around, yukking it up and sharing a laugh with Slick Rick after he wiped your boys across the floor. NOBODY involved with this program wants to see that after losing by 19 points."
Seton Hall travels to, no... wait... it hosts, No. 4 Syracuse Orange (15-0, 2-0) on Saturday (noon on Big East Network).
"Unfortunately for SU, the game won't count since it's being played within the state of New Jersey," writes Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. "But it's a good chance for the team to build on it's momentum."
Syracuse forward Rick Jackson is moving in some historic SU names.
Just recently, SB Nation added a blog for Red Storm fans, Rumble In The Garden.
"I’m honored to manage the Johnnies’ entry in the SB Nation network," writes picodule. "... More and more, my free time has turned towards the attempts of St. John’s to rise out of the muck and disrepair in which the basketball program has fallen. Following the team is not quite like licking one’s finger and shoving it into a socket… most of the time. But sometimes it can feel that way; this site is another place St. John’s fans old and new can get together to commiserate about our favorite program."
I need to call "bandwagon fan!" on the mothership.
Just because the Johnnies (10-3, 3-0) upset No. 13 Georgetown Hoyas (10-3, 3-0) Monday and could possibly be back in the mainstream of NYC sports doesn't mean you snag a random blogger and start a new website.
Slight overreaction? I think so.
Ahhhh, who am I kidding. Welcome to the club Rumble and enjoy your team's collapse.
After a tough 1-2 start to league play, The Casual Hoya is interested in how it's Georgetown fanbase feels about the rest of the season.
The truth is, Georgetown has faced two early-season buzz saws in No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-2, 2-1) and St. John's -- both are playing very well.
Three of the Hoyas next four games will be played against West Virginia, Seton Hall and Rutgers. The Hoyas should sweep those games. However, if they lose one of those match ups and drop a Jan. 15 contest against No. 5 Pitt, then they can start worrying.
The West Virginia blog, The Smoking Musket, is angry and they should be.
Their basketball team is bad, there football team is in an awkward situation with it's head coaches -- yeap, there are two of them -- Bill Stewart and Dan Holgorsen; and former "legend" head coach Rich Rodriguez was fired at the University of Michigan -- I don't know why I mentioned that but figured I'd pile on before they did.
"This basketball team needs to learn to play defense," wrote 5th Year Senior on Wednesday. "This team couldn't guard the meat drawer in a vegetarians refrigerator. Play defense with your feet not your hands <cough> J Flow <cough>. John Flowers might be the first player since John Oliver to average 5 fouls a game. Of course, he has been victimized by a lot of questionable calls, so it is not all his fault."
In Indiana -- THE HOME OF HOOSIERS! -- it doesn't even seem like Rakes Of Mallow knows Notre Dame has a Top-15 ranked basketball team.
It's the same story in Pittsburgh, but you can't blame Cardiac Hill because they don't have a head football coach -- or do they? -- and anytime the Panthers get ranked higher than No. 5 in basketball they lose.
Good idea to stay under the radar.
On Tuesday, The UConn Blog -- hopefully, I don't need to explain who they follow -- posted the latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.
This led to this awkward Twitter exchange between TheUConnBlog and I:
Me: "Interesting how Pitt all of a sudden caught SU"
UconnBlog: "Other way around, and that's with Pitt beating UConn."
No more twittering for me at 6 a.m.
For the UConn faithful it seems as if the tide has turned on your Huskies.
Before Connecticut's not-so-impressive three-game skid -- which featured losses to Pitt and ND; and an overtime victory over USF -- SI.com's Luke Winn was hot on the "not-so fast' trail.
On Tuesday, SI.com's Seth Davis admitted to jumping off the Huskies bandwagon.
"CONNECTICUT (11-1, No. 8): SELL
The Huskies have been the season's big surprise, but I'm far from convinced they're the eighth-best team in the country. In the first place, now that they've entered league play, they're learning that it's not enough to rely on Kemba Walker to beat teams single-handedly."
If I were a Huskies fan, I wouldn't be worrying too much. Kemba Walker is still a stud and there's enough talent on that team to win a bunch of league games.
But maybe this team isn't as polished to make a Final Four run as we all first thought.
On Thursday night, No. 7 Villanova Wildcats and USF battle in Tampa, FL. This heated Big East rivalry has sparked some trash talk from The Nova Blog and Voodoo Five.
"South Florida is certainly not one of the juggernauts in the Big East, but they have some weapons. You can bet that Jay Wright showed the Cats the game South Florida just played against Connecticut as an example of what the Bulls are capable of."
Voodoo is taking a more conservative approach but isn't backing down from a fight!:
"In the post is where we have a definite advantage," wrote Ken DeCelles. "We need to control the tempo and slow this game to a crawl. Villanova doesn't like to run a zone defense, which will help us get it inside to Gilchrist, Famous, and Ron Anderson Jr. If he can play our normal suffocating defense, we should stay close all game."
Okay, so this match up isn't Georgetown-Syracuse or Pittsburgh-West Virignia and shouldn't even be close. But the Bulls can at least cheer for a close game. Hooray for moral victories!
Also on Thursday, No. 24/25 Cincinnati Bearcats host non-conference opponent and cross-town rival the Xavier Musketeers (7 p.m. on ESPN2).
Down The Drive is on the attack and stooping as low as calling Xavier as bad as DePaul. Ouch!
"Xavier is not a deep team this year," writes Matt Opper. "They really only play about six guys, the five mentioned above and Jeff Robinson."
"I don't know about you, but to me that sounds a lot like DePaul. Xavier is more talented than the Blue Demons, but there is a pretty strong resemblance between the two in my mind."
Unfortunately, like Providence, DePaul doesn't have an SB Nation site to respond back. However, this season the Blue Demons won't have much to post. It's going to be a long, losing season for them. Quite frankly, nobody really cares.
SB Nation New York encourages readers to visit the other Big East Conference sites and join in on the fun. Need to reach out to Jared? E-mail him at JaredSmith16@gmail.com. Find him on Twitter at Jared_E_Smith.