Masshoya and I find ourselves stuck in Paris due to the two inches of snow that has paralyzed the entire European community. I'll be brief this week because the French keyboard is backwards and driving me crazy and there is wine to drink...yes there are worse places to be stuck.
(Potpourri Edition of TSOTH After the Jump)
First, with Memphis on tap tomorrow this is a perfect time to point out everything that's wrong with college basketball. Memphis is a case study in rewarding cheating. They hire a well known cheater in John Calipari who had to vacate a final four appearance. For perspective that would be like a Hoya fan being caught in Syracuse wearing orange. So surprise surprise, Calipari cheats again and as to vacate another Final Four. Of course he gets a better job and more money as a punishment for cheating. So what does Memphis do? Hire someone squeaky clean, someone beyond reproach. Nope. They hire Calipari's chief recruiter. The cheater's cheater. Calipari's bag man gets promoted for helping the cheater cheat. And what does the NCAA do? Suspend Moses for nine games. Let's blow them out tomorrow night and prove my mother's old saying true for once....cheaters never win. Or was that if you can't do the time..don't do the crime? Seriously, it is a statement game when a clean program can beat a corrupt one.
Second, let me join the growing bandwagon defending Julian Vaughn. Think about it this way, if before the season started we predicted Julian would be averaging near double figures in points, almost 7 rebounds,3 offensive, blocking two shots, 70 percent from the line and only 2 turnovers per game...would we be happy? I think so. Julian is a victim of outsized expectations and unfair comparisons. JT knew what he was getting when he recruited him -- a limited athlete who plays hard all the time. Julian is intense but not blessed with a great motor. That's why he always comes out after three to four minutes.
We shouldn't judge Julian by Roy. Hibbert was a once in a generation player who turned himself into a very good athlete. It's not just dedication and hard work. Roy is special, the rare player who willed himself into being a good athlete. Its just unfair and naive to say if roy did it so can julian. For the record roy is amazing. I saw him running on fox hall one day after his freshman year and I couldn't believe how bad he looked. He looked like one of those 90 year old runners...a 90 year old 7 footer.
We also shouldn't judge Julian by the promise of Henry. Sims is a guy with unlimited potential that he's just scratching the surface of this year. We all love Henry and hope he becomes a great player. But getting down on Julian because of Henry's success is not fair to either of them. Julian should start because he gives us the toughness we need. Henry will either be first man off the bench or push Hollis for a place in the starting lineup.
The Julian debate reminds me a bit of a player in the late 70's, Mike Frazier. Mike was the first true 7 footer at Georgetown, oldhoya correct me if I'm wrong here. Because of his size, fans expected him to be a dominate player. To put it mildly, Mike was not. His first two years he barely got off the bench because he just wasn't good enough. Many fans were very disappointed that the big man couldn't even get into the game, much less dominate. Mike developed into a very good reserve his junior and senior years averaging about six points and four boards per game. And as fans expectations changed, becoming more realistic, he became the most popular player on the team and a friendly fixture on campus. Julian deserves the same expectation treatment.
Last a small rant. Last weeks reaction to cupcakeology was disturbing on one level. The blog seemed to descend into a fight over who is a true fan and who has the chops to comment on Georgetown basketball. From my point of view the true fan debate is bullshit. It reminds me of the last decade when Dick Cheney ran around America telling the country it was un-American to disagree or criticize the government. Don't support the war or the tax cuts etc....you're not a true patriot.
In my mind, a true fan is in the mind of the fan. Whether you live and die for hoya wins or going to a game is a great social occasion, who are any of us to judge how, when or why we support the Hoyas. And the biggest bullshit of all is the you can't question the coach because you didn't play or didn't coach.(typing it all caps and bold makes it even more lame.) This is a basketball blog primarily built for people with no lives. To paraphrase our founding fathers...I'll die to defend the right to prove how little I know about basketball every week. For gods sake this is America not France.