The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.
So I realized for the next month, women’s hoops will be having games on Saturday and Monday. So for the sake of properly recapping those games, The Perils of Everyweek Existence will be posted following the Monday games either late that night or early Tuesday morning. This will be the case at least through the SoCon Basketball Tournament in early March and then a decision will be made as baseball season kicks into full swing.
This Week….This Freaking Week
First the GSU game. Two minutes in, Jay Canty hurt his thumb on his shooting hand. It was a re-aggravation of an old injury that hampered him in December. Despite a rough start and the Canty injury, all things looked well for the Apps. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 13-4 lead eight minutes in. The lead stayed consistent for the rest of the half and the Mountaineers jumped to a 33-20 halftime lead. The very idea that not to long ago GSU beat Davidson was mind-boggling.
In the second half, App stayed steady and kept a double-digit lead. However that uneasy feeling of what occurred at the Roundhouse was always there. With 10:35 left, Mike Neal went down with an ankle injury and didn’t return. And then it happened. Up 52-36 with 8:15 left, the Eagles made their run. With both Canty and Neal out, GSU showed their skill with a press and eventually tied the game with nine seconds left to force overtime.
The extra period was an exercise in futility as both teams struggled to make a shot. GSU took the lead with 29 seconds left after two free throws. Then on a play where no player on the court looked like they wanted the ball, it ended up in the hands of Chris Burgess, probably the seventh player who App fans would want to take a big shot, whose off-balance three-pointer somehow went in. GSU rushed down the court and put up two contested jumpers, both of which were off as the buzzer went off.
After the game, it was a lot more relief than excitement. The blow a 19-point lead with seven minutes to go on the road is one thing, but to then blow a 16-point lead with eight minutes to go at home a week later is a disturbing trend. If ASU had lost this game, it would have gotten really bad for Capel.
Healy led all scorers with 17 points and added 13 rebounds and two steals. Burgess added 12 points, Obacha got 11 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in his longest appearance of the season and Hamilton got 10 points.
Off we go to Saturday. It was the big rivalry game as Davidson was in town. The Wildcats had held on to beat Western on Thursday by five at the Ramsey Center and ASU had gotten their bad game out of their system so things we looking up! Then the game started.
No play-by-play here. Davidson played out of this (SoCon) world and ASU had a bad night everywhere. Five minutes in the final result was apparent. One positive was the turnout. The students were there, mostly in white (more on that later) and wanted to be supportive. It was one of those games that wasn’t meant to be on the court.
Then in the second half came the play Davidson fans will whine about for years. De’Mon Brooks went for a lay-up and Nate Healy fouled him and then, for the lack of a better term, finished the check. With his other arm, Healy brought Brooks down awkwardly and everyone was fired up. Davidson fans wanted Healy ejected, McKillop turned red as a lobster and ASU fans wanted the Davidson fans to shut up. It was called an intentional foul but not an ejection since Healy did go up with one arm in a (vain) effort to block the shot.
To App fans, it was mostly justified for all the years of Davidson getting favorable officiating and the lack of calls on illegal screens, cupping the nuts and other sneaky dirty fouls and while claiming their wholesome image while their student fans dress like hoodlums and make fools of themselves while their older fans hail them as innovative and intelligent.
Oh and the final score was 79-56. Tevin Baskin lead all scorers with 18 points, 12 of them from the line, and added seven rebounds. Healy added 13 points, eight rebounds, four steals, four blocks and a lifetime of scorn from Davidson fans. Canty had eight points and six rebounds in limited action
What that foul did was fuel the fire for the rematch two Saturdays from now. A rematch that hopefully will see Canty and Neal both healthy. However to get there, the Apps have to tread on with a road trip they will never make again as a conference game to the College of Charleston.
Charles Towne’s College – A Look At The Future Colonials
The College of Charleston was technically founded in 1770, but due to strife, debate and eventually revolution, the school wasn’t charted until 1785. Despite this, the school was considered a joke among educations of higher institution until it’s closure in 1811, once again proving not a lot has changed. It was brought back in 1824, but was met with opposition from the South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) until the City of Charleston took over control in 1837 and waved a metaphoric middle finger at Columbia.
The school served primarily as a college for locals for the next fifty years, surviving through economic depression, a four-year siege by Union troops, the subsequent Union occupation, hurricanes and even a freaking earthquake. It wasn’t until the turn of the century when CofC started to broaden their appeal and expanding their campus, which was previously blocked by the city due to limited area in downtown Charleston.
After becoming a private institution in the 50’s and then a public institution shortly after, CofC experienced it’s greatest growth period, going from 500 students to over 5,000. Charleston’s College now has 11,000 undergrads and how they fit them all into downtown Charleston, I’ll never know.
CofC is awfully proud of their basketball program. In their first season of SoCon play in 1998-99, the Cougars went 16-0 in conference and won the SoCon Tourney, easily winning SoCon Newbie of the Year. Ever since then it’s all been downhill as CofC hasn’t won another SoCon Tourney. Ever since then, ASU, UNCG, ETSU, Davidson, Wofford and Chattanooga have won the SoCon Tourney at least once. This 13-year drought has been an unpoppable pimple on the face of CofC. After investing heavily into their program with a new arena and production truck that gives them capabilities to stream every home game on ESPN.com, constant trips to the NIT, CBI, CIT and whatever secondary tournament is around isn’t enough for CofC.
Despite this, CofC fans remain unabashedly optimistic and a tad bit smug. Even though some schools ponder the idea of football, Charleston’s College isn’t down with that. They are fiercely anti-football and proud of it and often mock the SoCon football schools for competing at a “D2 level” and such. Basically, they are saying the same things Charlotte and OId Dominion fans use to say before realizing how awesome having a football team can be.
In 2012, the Cougs figured it out. It was the conference holding them back! This stupid league didn’t know a base line from a clothesline and it took then an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes. So when the CAA came calling, Charleston was willing to trade in their Confederate grey for Colonial blue. In the decision to move, CofC AD made comments some SoCon AD’s have been wanting to make for years, trashing the SoCon’s visibility on a national stage and talked about how it hurts recruiting. For his sake, he is lucky the move was all-but official.
So ever since November 30th, Charleston has been on a farewell tour of the SoCon. This hoops season brings a change to the Low Country as former ASU coach Bobby Cremins had to step down due to health reasons and now Doug Wojcik is the new head-man.
Currently CofC is 14-7 on the year and 6-3 in the SoCon. They will be a contender for a bye, but with the inconsistencies they have suffered, no Cougars’ fan is certain of anything right now. Their biggest win of the year
, and in many years, was over then #24 Baylor in Waco. Three weeks later the lowest low in many years happened as CofC lost at home to Division 2 side Anderson by 16 points. One game CofC beats UTC like a drum, the next game they’re losing at home to Samford. One day they’re taking care of Wofford, then next they are struggling against Charleston Southern and El Citadel. How this game goes depends on what Charleston team shows up.
EDIT: Yeah, CofC beat #9 North Carolina at home in 2009-10, which is bigger for so many reasons.
One interesting facet about this game is the re-emergence of one Anthony Thomas. Yes, the Anthony Thomas who played for ASU in 2010-11, Capel’s first season. He was a B*zz recruit who came in and had some okay minutes, but then permanently got himself in the dog house with the old “violation of team rules” suspension due to an unknown event at the Cancun Invitational. After the season, he transferred to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. where he became a Regional Junior College selection, leading the team with 14.8 PPG and 7.2 RPG. After the season, he was recruited by Wojcik to fill the needs left by a large graduating senior class.
The leading scorer this season for the Cougars is the British Andrew Lawrence at 13.6 PPG. When they win, he’s British, but when they lose, he’s English. Leading the way down low is 6’9″ Adjehi Baru from Côte d’Ivoire, getting 10 PPG averaging 8.4 RPG.
Tipoff is 7 pm on Wednesday night from the TD Arena in downtown Charleston. Hopefully Capel doesn’t wear CofC colors this time.
The Whee Game This Saturday
After the CofC game, the Apps return home for another big conference game against Western Carolina next Saturday at 4:30 pm.
Back in December, the teams met up to kick off conference play. Western built a big lead early, but the Apps fought back in the second half. Then someone attempted a free throw and WCU went on to a 70-64 victory.
To get back on track, and especially before the GSU/Davidson trip the following week, the Mountaineers need to win this game. Even though they broke a lot of hearts this past Saturday, fans need to show up and support the team again this weekend.
Got that? Women at 12:30 against Elon and Men at 4:30 against WCU. Be there and be loud. Speaking of the women….
The Long Road West
In a virtual tie for first place in the SoCon, the ASU Women’s Hoops team headed to the River City for a much-hyped battle with Chattanooga and their 20-game home winning streak.
The first half was a tight affair for the first ten minutes, but UTC was able to pull away a bit for the 31-24 halftime lead. That lead was extended early in the second half and looked like a blowout victory as it became 44-29 with just over 15 minutes left in the game. Then in a reversal of fortune from the men’s game last week, the App Ladies mounted a come back and tied the game at 45-45 with 7:31 left. The teams traded points for the next six minutes until UTC made some crucial free throws and took a 59-55 victory.
Maryah Sydnor led the Apps with 12 points and eight rebounds. Katie Mallow had 12 points and three steals, Courtney Freeman got 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, Raven Gary had nine points and three steals and finally Anna Freeman poured in eight points , nine rebounds and four steals.
Two days later, the ladies headed down to Samford for another pivotal SoCon game. Just like UTC, the game started off slow for the ladies as the Bulldogs hit their three and took a 33-20 score into halftime with a sense of deja-vu.
In the second half, a chippy contest where 46 fouls were called, crucial free-throw shooting and the press brought ASU back into the game with four minutes to go. Then with 12 seconds left and down two points, Sydnor got a jumper to tie the game, but Samford ran the court and got a layup at the buzzer to win the game 66-64.
Sydnor led the scoring with 18 points and added five blocks. Courtney Freeman got 13 points and Katie Mallow got 11 points and four steals.
After both games, Coach Darcie Vincent didn’t mince words on what she saw as a lack of effort. Whether her words will continue to resonate is yet to be seen after these rough three days, but we’ll see as things don’t get any easier.
For the Lady Apps, they now sit at 6-3 in the SoCon, two games out of first place. They now get a needed rest as they will return to action on Saturday as they host Elon in the first-half of a doubleheader at 12:30. The ladies then travel down to Statesboro to play the Eagles on Monday at 7 pm.
So About That Whiteout
Got to give credit where credit is due. The students showed up and were as loud as they could be given how the game went. The whiteout looked okay, but seriously it needs to never happen again. NEVER. HAPPEN. AGAIN. The schools colors are black and gold. Yes white is somewhat a neutral color, but it doesn’t resonate with a larger crowd. Look at the donors in the front now of that picture. Not a lot of white there. A black-out or gold-out/gold rush would be a lot better to do. And yes, I would be fine with the team wearing their black uniforms at home in support of a black-out.
With the WCU game next Saturday, there’s a chance for redemption here. The fans want to care, they just need a good reason. So no more white-outs. It’s too cliche and ASU Hoops could use a boost by going in a different direction.
This Week In Everything Else
-Wrestling traveled to Duke this past Wednesday for a non-conference dual. The team fell 24-15 in a meet they only won three matches in. The winners were Paul Weiss (197), Dominic Parasi (125) and Zach Strickland (165), the latter two who won their matches via third-period pins. The Appalachian Open, scheduled for this past weekend, was cancelled due to the winter weather.
-Men’s Tennis continued their early-season road trip this week as they fell 9-0 to #42 UNCW on Monday. The team then traveled to the Upstate on Saturday to take on Presbyterian and fell 4-3. The Apps dropped the doubles point and then split the singles matches. The #3 doubles team of Steve Lake and Jen-Willem Kleynhans picked up the victory in vein and singles wins were picked up by #5 Matt Saltsgaver, #3 Steve Karendal and #2 Zach Bost. The team returns to action as they open up their home schedule on Saturday, February 2nd as they ETSU at 1 pm.
-Women’s Tennis traveled to White Sulphur Springs, WV this past weekend for tournament action. The ladies dispatched George Mason 7-0 in the first match Friday, then saw their James Madison match cancelled due to a power outage, then came back to win 6-1 over Liberty. In singles action, #1 Ellie Linsell, #2 Clare Cox, #4 Brianna Amerllino, #5 Jessica Thaggard and #6 Gabriela Cel won both their matches and in doubles, the #1 team of Linsell/Mackenzie Lasure and the #2 team of Jennifer Ansari/Cox won both their matches as well. The team returns to action on Saturday, February 9th as they will host Radford at 3 pm.
-The Track Apps headed up to Lexington, KY for the Kentucky Invitational this past week. The ASU teams combined for 11 top-ten finishes on the day in the un-scored event. The teams return to action on Friday, February 1st as they travel down to Winston-Salem for the JDL Invitational.
-In recruiting, the Apps received a couple of new commits over the weekend with signing day just over a week away.
Nathaniel Norwood (LB, 6’1″, 225) of Lovejoy HS in Hampton, GA.
Chris Simpspn (RB, 6’1″, 200) of Lee-Davis HS in Mechanisville, VA will walk on.
The Jerry Moore Appearance This Past Weekend
At halftime of the Davidson game on Saturday, the football team was honored for their 2012 SoCon Championship. Making his first public appearance at ASU since December 2nd was Jerry Moore. He got a nice ovation from the crowd as expected, but a close inspection showed that things are not on the level. Jerry was wearing no ASU gear and had no public interaction with the other coaches. Suffice to say that the wounds are still fresh. I personally went up to Jerry and wished him well and hoped he came back this fall so he can be honored. No response. If it was fall right now, I seriously doubt you would see Jerry at an ASU game.