@coachKantor – @Einsane How do you feel the first few months of the John Groce era at Illinois have gone?
I think the Groce era kicked off about as well as humanly possible. I know part of the fan base will wonder why Groce took transfer Ravonte Rice instead of locking down the nation’s No. 1 player Jabari Parker, but that’s reality for Illinois right now. The past couple years of Bruce Weber and co. didn’t resemble the first couple seasons when they had the luxury of riding Deron Williams and Dee Brown, and the programs star became dim enough that Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens were mid-major shots in the dark. But John Groce from Ohio has won a lot of faith in the powers that be by keeping stud recruit Malcolm Hill in the fold, and surrounding himself with a well-rounded staff. Respected writers such as Mike DeCourcy and Paul Klee are very impressed with Groce as a coach and person, and recently, after the hiring of assistant coach Paris Parham, high school coaches Robert Smith (Simeon) and Ty Slaughter (Whitney Young) have jumped on board. Weber wasn’t as generous with Groce as Bill Self was with him, and he doesn’t have the pieces (1 point guard on the roster) to implement his ball-screen point guard dominated offense, but he will still be graded swiftly by wins and progress in 2012-2013. A recruiting haul in 2013 will help put a finger in the dam of Illini Nation pressure.
@arcello – Hey @Einsane - with URI’s hiring of Dan Hurley, what are the chances the Rhody Rams compete for an A10 title in the next year or two?
HI Aaron. After an ass whoopin I took on the meanstreet courts of Rhode Island I have a new found respect for hoops in the Ocean State. I like Dan Hurley, I knew him well from his time at St. Benedicts in Newark and think eventually he will be a great hire – but it’s going to take time for his recruiting connections to pay dividends. Hurley accepted a couple transfers that should help in 2013-2014, but the A-10 is a power conference and setting the rebuilding plan at two years is underrating the gap between Rhode Island and the cream of the crop. Temple, Xavier, Richmond, Dayton, Saint Louis, St. Joseph’s are all tournament teams in most years, and now you are adding NCAA Tournament darlings VCU and Butler to the mix. Rhode Island finished second to last in the A-10 last season and lost their top scorer Jamal Wilson to graduation, and their best player Billy Baron to transfer. Outlook not so good for 2012-2013. I don’t think that screams doom for Dan Hurley, but it should scream patience to the fan base.
After addressing Aaron and the labyrinth of thorns that is the A-10, I think I should begin this response by hammering home the point that the MAAC is a completely opposite animal. For example, Loyola (Md.) finished 2010-2011 15-15 and in the middle of the pack in the MAAC, in 2011-2012 they were 24-8 and made the NCAA Tournament. In a conference with disperse talent a team with a great summer or a couple key additions can make significant jumps, but that also opens up the door for substantial falls. The loss of Justin Drummond hurts, he was the little engine that stirred the drink, I loved his dreads, and most importantly Drummond played huge in March. But, I don’t think his loss is devastating to Loyola (Md.) tournament hopes. The Greyhounds bring back a good mix of veteran leadership, including their two best players and leading scorers Erik Etherly and Dylon Cormier. If Loyola (Md.) has a weakness in 2012-2013 it will be in the frontcourt, where they only have three players returning from last year’s team. Loyola (Md.) should win enough to earn a beneficial seed in the MAAC Tournament, and then have a punchers chance to land back in the dance. Fairfield, Manhattan, and Iona pose the greatest threats to their bid.
@dshaffer99 – @Einsane How’s this prospect look? And do you know who his dad is? http://www.hudl.com/athlete/904210/highlights/9719377 #foshizzle
Who better to spot young talent than former University of Illinois punter Dominic Shafer? And yes I know who this kids father is! Cordell Broadus is none other than the son of Snoop D-O Double G! The puppy is only a sophomore to be and already has a scholarship offer from UCLA, the same school that just landed P. Diddy’s son; but unlike Diddy’s offspring it appears that Broadus can play. Without adding a ton of Snoop puns, here it is. If you watch the highlights they look like they are mostly from freshman team games, but he is still a superior athlete. At 6-2 and 180 pounds as a freshman, he’ll probably have a couple more inches to grow, and he already weighs more than his daddy ever did. It’s early in his development, but it looks like he’ll eventually be a wide receiver in college. On film Broadus on has plus speed and is good at attacking the football and making quick moves after the catch. If USC gets involved it’s over. Snoop, along with Will Ferrell, are USC’s two biggest celebrity supporters.
@Bandogypsys – yo @Einsane, give me some good gunner kiel predictions, best nd qb prospect since clausen? With a name like gunner he’s got to be good,no?
I thought Dayne Crist was a pretty good prospect when I saw him on film, don’t know what happened to him at ND. Gunner Kiel is similar in ranking and attributes to Crist; both are big guys with strong arms that are adept at using their athleticism to extend plays. I know that Gunner is the new toy, so he can’t possibly be Crist II, but hold the phone with him. When you watch Kiel’s game film and take a gander at the competition it’s no wonder that Indiana is one of the best basketball states in the country, because it appears that nobody cares about and is playing football. I could scroll through my iPhone contacts and probably put together a team of has-been’s that would eclipse the competition Kiel faced in high school. He is running away from 210 pound slow defensive tackles and throwing passes that beat cornerbacks who appear to be wearing cement cleats. As I understand Brian Kelly’s madness, Gunner is in competition for the starting job right away after coming in early for spring ball. I don’t think he’ll win the job, because frankly I can’t imagine he is ready for the step up in competition. Notre Dame’s schedule in 2012 has numerous pundits calling it the no. 1 toughest in the country; and you wouldn’t want to throw Kiel to the wolves this early. I think a young kid named Everett Golson will start for Notre Dame this year, and be plenty fun to watch. In the long run that will be better for Gunner’s development. And I agree with you, Gunner is a great name for a quarterback, but not at Notre Dame. I want my Gunner’s in the Deep South, lip packed full of chew, drinking Jack Daniels, and wearing Wrangler jeans.
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