Taking His Talents Away From South Beach – Everyone Meet Frank Ponce, App’s New Assistant Coach

This past week, the fellowship of coaches to begin the Era of Attack was set. Fresh from the latter of Satterfield’s stops FIU is new Quarterbacks Coach and Pass Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Frank Ponce.

Along with the news of Ponce’s hiring, it was also announced that Offensive Line Coach Dwayne Ledford would be promoted to Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator.

Ponce is taking a step out of his comfort zone of the 305 after he along with his boss Mario Cristobal was surprisingly fired as coach. Ponce spent six season as the Golden Panthers’ Wide Receivers Coach. Before then he was a decade-long veteran in the Miami High School scene, being a head coach for five of those years. He was a standout QB in the late 80’s at Miami Senior and went on to play at Arizona Western. By the time you will read this, Ponce will have seen more snow in the last two weeks than he has before combined.

Concerns will be brought up about how this will effect the play-calling during the game. It’s remained to be seen if Ponce and Ledford’s OC duties will translate from gameday preparation to in-game action. It is assumed that Satterfield will want to be chief play-caller but will need someone in the booth to see the field.

This completes a turnover in the last 13 months where every coach besides Scot Sloan and Dale Jones changed and the only position to stay the same is Sloan’s duties as Secondary Coach. Here’s the list of coaches from the 2011 season.

Jerry Moore (HFC) – Let go after 2012.
Dale Jones (DC) – Demoted to DA/DL after 2012.
Mike Kent (S/C) – S/C Coach at Colorado State after 2011.
Mark Speir (RC) – Head Football Coach at Western Carolina after 2011.
Chris Moore (RB) – Let go after 2011.
Bob McClain (OL) – Let go after 2011.
Scot Sloan (DB) – Added RC title after 2011.
Brad Glenn (QB) – OC/QB at Western Carolina after 2011.
Jason Blalock (DL) – Let go after 2012.
Trey Elder (WR) – WR at Western Carolina after 2011.
John Holt (TE) – OL at Western Carolina after 2011.
John Mark Hamilton (DA) – Reassigned to non-coaching position after 2011.

So now ASU has a staff that Satterfield pretty much assembled. This off-season he got the Defensive Coordinator who beat him last year and the guy who coaches the players that his QB at FIU threw to.

This Week In Men’s Hoops – Trending Onward

ASU Men’s Hoops lost on the road and won at home. Sound familiar? It’s because right now at 5-5 in the SoCon, the Apps are 1-4 on the road and 4-1 at home. Take away CofC and the other three losses were by two possessions or less where the team blew a second-half lead. The only win was at Wofford where the Terriers didn’t score in the final seven minutes. At home, take away Davidson and the four wins were when the Apps finished strong to win. The GSU game did have a blown lead, but it ended in victory.

First the last-ever CofC SoCon game. The game started hot and heavy and the Mountaineers jumped out to an early 25-17 lead, but as all leads have this year, it evaporated quickly and the Apps took a 35-33 lead into the break.

The second half exposed the major weakness of this team. Anyone who watches this team constantly knows that Capel likes an eight-man rotation of Neal, Hamilton, Canty, Obacha, Healy with Baskin, Trice and Burgess coming off the bench. In a sense it is better than last year where 13 different starting lineups took the court in 30 games. However the problem is that it is a young team (2 seniors, 1 first-year junior, 3 sophomores, 2 freshmen) and their conditioning is suspect. Combine that with Capel’s desire to be a physically tough team that rebounds and defends and it’s a recipe for tired legs. It would explain all the blown second-half leads this year and if you remember back to the last ten minutes on last year against UNCG in Asheville, the Spartans outscored the Apps by 22 in the final quarter of the game and Trevis Simpson made an entire highlight reel of dunks as the team just quit. And in a format where a team plays three or four games in three or four days, that’s a recipe for disaster.

On Wednesday, this team didn’t quit. They were just outclassed by a better team in the second half. CofC took the half 39-24 and the game 72-59. The Cougars only had 11 fouls in the entire game (six and five in each half respectively) and the Apps only shot 10 free-throws compared to 20 fouls and 25 free throws the other way so you can guess who pushed the action. Rebounds were virtually even (39-37), but another big difference was in the second half field goal percentage. CofC shot 52% compared to 37.5% for ASU. It correlates back to tired legs not pushing the action and not shooting well.

At least Capel didn’t wear CofC colors this time.

Tevin Baskin led the Apps with 16 points. Jay Canty had 11 points and five rebounds. Tab Hamilton had nine points and three rebounds and Michael Obacha got eight points and eight rebounds.

So after getting whipped by Davidson and Charleston in back-to-back games, frustrations among the fans began to mount. The WCU game turned into a must-win just to gets things back on track and to avoid being swept by the Whee. Some fans felt the pressure and called for a blackout!

However the athletic department had to be a buzz-kill and send out this gem via social media. “FANS: The game tomorrow is not a blackout game! The blackout game is scheduled for a later date, but still come to support, cheer loud & rock out in your black & gold!”. Yes, they told fans they didn’t have to wear black if they didn’t want to.

Anyway, the game started with the Apps again jumping out to a lead. It grew to as many as 14 in the first half, but no one felt safe. Even when the score was 41-29 at halftime, there was still uneasiness.

The second half was a constant test of patience. Western had their runs, but could never take the lead. WCU’s annoying students made the trip and chanted. The lead was chipped and chipped and chipped. It finally got down to 65-64 with two minutes left, however our hero Nate Healy came through with a big three, a big steal and a big dunk in those final plays to gain a 74-65 ASU victory. It was a huge victory, especially with two tough road games upcoming. The team needed momentum, any momentum, before doing the Statesboro-Davidson trip this upcoming weekend.

Our hero be jammin.

Our hero Nate Healy scored 24 points, eight blocks, seven steals and two blocks so the First Couple of ASU Hoops had a combined 50 on the day. Canty added 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jamal Trice came off the bench for nine points and Hamilton had eight.

Up next is the first leg in this road test. It comes in the form of the always-difficult Hanner Fieldhouse in Hell Statesboro, GA. ASU has a history of losing games down there they should win. This year has no real read as GSU has beaten CofC and Davidson at home, but then lost to El Citadel. Ever since the Burgess miracle two weeks ago, the Eagles traveled to the Whee and took a 72-66 victory, then went to cellar-dweller Furman and lost 81-74, but then returned home last Saturday and held on versus Chattanooga 59-57. Hanner is a dilapadated old building that can’t properly host a modern television broadcast, but it serves GSU well when they play good.

The Sun Belt will LOVE it.

After this Thursday SoCon special, the team heads back to North Carolina, but not quite to Boone as they exit off I-77 at Davidson for a 7:30 Saturday night tipoff against the most hated of hoops rivals.

Cardigans and Whine – The Story of Davidson College Part Two

Let’s be honest. This is Davidson, they deserve it.

Davidson College claims to have a tradition that “values diversity, recognizing the dignity and worth of every person.” Tell that to the Chicken Sandwich lovers.

If you go to Belk Arena for the game, you’ll notice that the two best players in Davidson history don’t have banners. That’s because Mike Maloy and Stephan Curry didn’t graduate and due to Davidson’s sneering academics standards, no banners for them!

Speaking of Belk Arena, the building’s namesake, John Belk, resigned from the Davidson Board of Trustees in 2005 after the school let non-Christians become BOT members.

In 2011, Davidson changed their logo from this.

To something slightly less manly…

Yes, they made it look like the Wildcat had eye-liner or very dark circles from burning the midnight oil. It might be more polished, but if this is what the leaders of Davidson think a Wildcat should look like, then we’re in trouble.

Oh and this former coach of ours went to Davidson. Happy Adam?

You got a little Duke on your shirt.

Oh and the President of the UNC System? Peacock’s boss? Dr Tom Ross is the former president of Davidson. So if anyone wants to be mad at someone for cutting the budget every year, it can be Davidson’s fault as well.

Pictured: Davidson’s Fault

And then you got D-Block. This is where players from some of the bad sports-teams Davidson fields (mainly baseball and football), dress up like those high school jocks you see at house parties who try to hit on a girl while spilling his beer on her and then gets angry when she rejects him. Then these player sit behind the basket and scream all sorts of obscenities at the opposing team while the geriatric fans laud them as innovative and want to introduce their grand-daughter to them.

Bosses think it’s a good idea to hire these people just because they went to Davidson.

Ever since the inaugural meeting 9 days ago, Davidson fans have been salivating this rematch. Even though the Wildcats won big in the first game, a sour taste was left in their mouths when Healy finished a check on De’Mon Brooks.

Should it have been a Flagrant 2 and a ejection? Not according to the refs since Healy made an effort on the ball with one hand. Anyway, maybe now that both Neal and Canty are pretty-much healed up from their injuries, this should be a closer game. ASU has won three of their last four games in Belk (won in 2007-08, 09-10, 10-11 and lost in 2008-09, Davidson’s Elite Eight year) so here’s to hoping.

This Week In Women’s Hoops – Time To (Wo)Man Up

After the disappointing road trip to Chattanooga and Samford the previous weekend, the Lady Hoopsters were needing to get on the right track. Sitting at 6-3 and 5th place in the SoCon, it was time to defend home court and then head out on the road for a potentially perilous trip to GSU.

The one-game home stand had a 12:30 tipoff due to ESPN.com, but that didn’t stop the fireworks. App State came out with something to prove as they never trailed on their way to a 80-62 victory.

It’s like the ball is a Louis Vuitton purse.

The story of the game was long-time backup guard Jessica Barrios getting her first start of the season and along with Michelle Taylor and Raven Gary, kept Elon’s Ali Ford in check for the game. Ford scored 18 points, but they were mostly pointless and never threatened the lead. She also went 0-2 from three, which is impressive considering she broke the SoCon three-pointer record on Monday.

Anna Freeman had 26 points, mostly in the second half, and completed the double-double with 10 rebounds and amazingly only had one foul. Maryah Sydnor got 19 points and six rebounds, Kelsey Sharkey got 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out and Courtney Freeman got nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

There was no rest for the wicked as the team made the long trek to Hell Statesboro, GA for a Monday night match-up. The game was a back-and-forth contest early but after the Under-8 media timeout, the Apps pulled away and gained a 35-23 halftime lead. GSU stayed relatively in the game by going to the free-throw line early and often, but couldn’t get the deficit slashed anymore. The final was 67-54 Apps, who are now tied for third in the SoCon with Elon.

Anna Freeman led ASU with 18 points, six rebounds and four steals. Kelsey Sharkey came off the bench for seven points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks. Courtney Freeman added 15 points and six rebounds and Sydnor got 13 points and eight rebounds.

The good news for ASU is that in their final nine SoCon games, six of them are at home and two of the road games are WCU and UNCG. Elon is the biggest road test left on the schedule but the Lady Neers match up well with them.

The next game is a huge one this weekend against first-place Davidson. The Lady Wildcats won the last three contests against the Apps, primarily due to zone defense and transition offense. To say Darcie really wants to beat Davidson is a massive understatement. She wants to run them out of the gym and send them back down I-77 in a cannon. Tipoff is at 2 pm and i personally wish it was at Noon so I can get down early to Davidson for the men’s game at 7:30.

Mangeable

After this, the women take part in a more traditional doubleheader on Monday as they host Furman at 5:30. The men then cap off the night as they tip against the male Paladins at 8 pm.

The Lady Dins have proven to be a tough out at home as they barely lost to UTC and then beat Samford on Monday night. They are currently 9-12 overall and 5-7 in the SoCon. ASU won the first meeting 66-52 in Travelers Rest, which was two days after the Davidson debacle.

The male Paladins are currently at 6-14 overall and 3-6 in the SoCon. Their last outing was a 84-79 defeat at the hands of El Citadel. Before they come up the mountain, they host the Triad duo on Thursday/Saturday as UNCG and Elon swing through the Upstate. Furmie is led by the Reddick’s. Colin Reddick leads the team at 12. 5 PPG and 6.1 RPG and Charlie Reddick isn’t far behind at 9.8 PPG and 5.3 RPG.

So got that? A double-dose of Furmie next Monday. Sheilas at 5:30, Blokes at 8:00, live from the HCC. No ASU team should ever lose at home to a purple squad so show up and be loud.

Freedom of Information Was Already Free – Dissecting the FOIA’s

foia1

This past weekend, App State Nation got mail from Georgia Southern including a bunch of e-mail documents with the common theme of all being about the Sun Belt.  Upon feeling the power of information, John went all ERMAHGERD and acted like a 13-year-old girl who just met Justin Bieber. After about twenty teases which included worrying about legality despite the fact that the GSU legal department sent them, four excerpts were posted. The first one included a a 2014 Sun Belt map with App State and Georgia Southern added, the second one detailing Sun Belt candidates and their athletic budgets,the third one a convo between the leaders of Georgia Southern and New Mexico State and the fourth some e-mails between the MAC and Sun Belt.

One thing to note about the GSU/NMSU conversations is that it seems communications ceased after their November meeting. The Sun Belt map with GSU and ASU was sent on December 21st, which was not long after Karl Benson stated that they would take their time with additions due to the Catholic Seven/Big East split.

Besides the fact that GSU (smartly) uses G-Mail and they actually have Internet in Statesboro, nothing was really learned here. Presidents and higher-ups meet all the time as it’s the collegiate thing to do. Many people would be surprised at how often these things happen. I would also say that ASU reps, along with reps from probably 10-20 other schools, have had contact and possibly met (even if by teleconference) with people from the MAC, the WAC and C-USA. Due diligence is being done by these conferences. It’s their job.

So basically, we didn’t learn anything new. It didn’t take this to figure a Sun Belt move could be imminent. There will be an announcement before June and that’s the important thing.

No Yosef, No Peace! Know Yosef, Know Peace!

 

One of the great travesties of the modern era is about to happen. According to The Appalachian, Vintage Yosef is going the way of the McRib after this academic year. Even though items bearing the Corn-Cob-Pipe Yosef happen to be the most popular items at all Appalachian State retailers, the trademark is expiring and it sounds like it won’t be renewed. At least with the McRib, its comebacks are based on low pork prices. This has no real basis. Considering how wrestling has adopted the logo in their away uniforms and baseball will be using the design on their hats this year (scoop!), it’s baffling.

A few years ago during the Threemendous Era, a generous donor made and started selling old-school Yosef logos to fellow donors. They were so popular that magnets and flags came. See all those Yosef flags in Stadium Lot on gameday? Those were there long before the University sold it. Then the King Street stores got in the act and were making money. Then in 2010, particularly after a certain App Fan Blog that won’t be named started selling the shirts, the school brought the smackdown with a trademark and sent cease and desist letters to these shops.  No one was going to make money off that logo but ASU! So to now put that logo in mothballs for no good reason is borderline infuriating. Rabid fan base, time to let your voices be heard! Give our administrators heck! Heck I tell ya!

This Week in Everything Else

-In a pivotal SoCon meet, the Wrestling Apps feel to Chattanooga on Senior Day 29-9. The loss virtually puts ASU out of contention for the SoCon Regular Season Championship with a 3-2 record. Senior Brett Boston  (133) provided the big highlight with a pin 46 seconds into the match. The only other App to win was Jake Johnson (184) in overtime.

The team will take a break from conference action as they travel to Charlottsville to take on Virginia next Saturday at 1 pm.

-Men’s Tennis held their first home meets of the season this past weekend. On Saturday the Tennis Apps hosted #73 ETSU and fell 6-1. The only point came from #6 singles as Jen-Willem Kleynhans picked up the straight-sets win. The team returns on Sunday against Tennessee Tech and was able to pick up a 4-3 victory. After dropping the doubles point, the Apps won four of the six singles match to pick up the win. #6 Andrew McKinnon, #5 Matt Saltgaver, #4 Kleynhans and #3 Steve Karendal were the victors on the day. The team returns to action this Saturday as they travel to UNC-Asheville for a 3pm start.

-Women’s Tennis was idle this week, but they will serve again this Saturday as they host Radford at 2 pm.

-Cassie Crawford picked up first place in the pole vault at the JDL Invitational in Winston-Salem this past weekend. Track returns to action at the Liberty Quad this Saturday.

T-Notes

-Even though I razz him, I do give kudos to John though for filing the FOIA. Amazed that none of the actual paid journalist did it already. We’re just bloggers who care about App State. No media credentials or super-duper sources here. For instance during Jerry Moore’s press conference I was just following the tweeting of our favorite Appalachian reporter Anne Buie and pieced things together. Sometimes that’s all we got have to go on.  Rock on guitar man!

-National Signing Day is Wednesday! As in this Wednesday! Get excited for Fax-A-Mania! The Era of Attack hosted the final batch of recruits this weekend, most of which are preferred walk-ons who would get a scholarship should anyone change their mind this Wednesday. A full recap will be next week.

-Speaking of next week, there will also be a baseball preview since the first pitch of the season is only 10 days away in Raleigh. Early prognosis is that if ASU can solidify it’s ptiching staff, it has a chance at a SoCon repeat.

-This is a sad image. We love you Kilgore!

-Congrats to Armanti Edwards for getting engaged last week. He’s running the wedding in hurry-up mode as the date is April 6th, 2013 and no, you’re not invited.

-Saturday was basketball alumni day. In attendance was former coach Bobby Cremins.

-And finally, a tradition like no other. Ever since 2009, I have been provided with a copy of the seating chart for the SoCon Basketball Tournament. Here are the 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions if you want to relieve the rules of the past. So without further adu…

soconrules2013