EJSIC College Basketball Preview Series: Memphis

Trivia: Name the University of Memphis’ basketball coach?

Got it yet? Need more time?

His name is Josh Pastner. He’s thirty-two years old and he’s in his first season ever as a coach of a division one school. Raise an e-hand out there in the blogosphere if you have more experience than Coach Paz? (I know a hundred hands are going up right now because no one thinks they know more about sports than the average Joe, and I’m not saying that to be a jerk)
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More trivia: Did you know Memphis Athletic Director R.C. “Cola” Johnson (sorry, couldn’t resist) keeps a piece of paper in his pocket at all times with the names of five replacement coaches if the need ever arises? Odds that Josh Pastner’s name was on that list prior to being hired: 1 in 500.

Okay, I don’t intend to bash this hire. In fact, I like it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun. Pastner has some question marks and so do his 2009-2010 Tigers. John Calipari left for Kentucky and like every good carpetbagger; he took the silverware (i.e. Memphis’ number one recruiting class).
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A depleted roster means the Tigers will be down this year in comparison to the last four, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them or expect them to drift away. In fact, the Tigers play a good non-conference schedule which includes an early season test against the championship-favorites the Kansas Jayhawks (neutral site game in St. Louis), trips to UMass and Syracuse, and home games with the hated Tennessee Volunteers and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. So, there are chances for Pastner’s crew to pull an upset or two and gain some national recognition.

Where Memphis may fade from the spotlight this season is during the conference schedule. The Tigers are not the clear-cut favorites to win CUSA, but they will be one of the top three or four contenders for the automatic bid.
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I won’t put any added pressure on the new staff by making any predictions. However, I do get positive vibes from the fan base which will help make the season easier to weather. They all seem understand that this year is about gaining momentum for the next, when Pastner’s already heralded recruiting class will step on campus.

If the Tigers secure the automatic bid or even an at-large to the NCAA Tournament, the season is a success. It doesn’t sound like much of a season, but it’s all we can really put on Memphis and Pastner’s shoulders right now. They’re extremely thin in the front court and one key injury anywhere could be devastating.

Projected starting lineup:

PG Elliot Williams (So)
SG Roburt Sallie (Jr)
SF Doneal Mack (Sr)
PF Wesley Witherspoon (So)
C Pierre Henderson-Niles (Sr)

Key Reserves:

PG/SG Willie Kemp (Sr)
SG Drew Barham (Fr)
C Will Coleman (Jr, JUCO)
PF D.J. Stephens (Fr)

More information (schedule, full roster, etc.) can be found here.

Note: I did not include any projections of record or post-season play because it is entirely too early for this particular team. The projected starting lineup comes from reading team reports in the Memphis based Commercial Appeal. Everything else is a giant question mark. Talent is still left from the Calipari area, but depth is a main concern.

Luke Warm Linkage

Watch yourself out there. People are Jerks.

Sports

POP

Politics

Memphis Restaurant Renaming Contest Update

We have officially stopped taking submissions for the Cal’s Restaurant renaming contest. We will be reviewing the entries over the weekend and we’ll contact the winner on Monday. [Here's hoping you used a valid e-mail address.]

Once we’ve gotten in touch with our winner, then we’ll go to work designing the new T-Shirt that will be available for everyone to purchase in the Jerk Store. In addition to the untold amounts of dap he/she will be getting from the viewing public, the winner will also receive a free shirt in their size.

Thanks to everyone for their entries and we look forward to picking a winner!

Vic “The Brick” Jacobs: Most Annoying Person in Sports

If you ever find yourself listening to Fox Sports Radio in the afternoon, you’ll probably be subjected to the most irritating voice your ears have ever heard. As he introduces himself for the quick sports update segment at the break, you’ll hear the horrifically annoying catchphrase: “Vic ‘The Brick’ Jacobs… feelin’ you!”

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know who Jacobs was until fairly recently when my local sports talk station became a Fox affiliate. After hearing him once or twice on the already-annoying-enough-because-everyone-talks-at-the-same-time-like-Hannity-and-Colmes Chris Myers show, and actually becoming overtly angry by how irritating he was, I had to find out more. After a quick Google search, I see that he’s some sort of legendary Lakers homer (from Queens…typical) who somehow backed into a radio gig in La La Land. Then he lost said gig when his radio station lost its Lakers affiliation…or something like that. Then it appears Fox Sports threw him a bone because they want to outdo ESPN in the talentless talent department. Either that, or focus groups have determined that listeners now want their sports commentary peppered with faux-Buddhist enlightened hipster bullshit.

I don’t care if I’ve missed a detail or two of Jacobs’ bio here. The point is that he sucks, and that’s all that matters. His voice makes me want to drive a railroad spike into my frontal lobe. Unfortunately, I’m much too much of a wuss to actually follow through. And I have no idea where to get railroad spikes, anyway.

And isn’t radio all about the voice? Imagine Janice from “Friends” with a pair of testicles. That will get you in the ball-park of how ear-rapingly awful this man’s voice is. But that doesn’t take into account what a raging idiot homer he is. It’s bad enough just hearing his voice, even if what he says happens to make sense. But just listen to him wax poetic about Kobe Bryant being a samurai warrior and try not to vomit.

Perhaps this is the best way to sum it up: Jacobs makes Dick Vitale sound like Walter Cronkite. There shouldn’t be a place in the world for that.

Al’s predictions for this weekend’s Top 25 NCAA football games

The lame ACC team that beat Virginia Tech

The lame ACC team that beat Virginia Tech

Feeling emboldened by my prediction that Virginia Tech would lose to some lame ACC team (this time the lame team was my beloved Heels), I’ve decided that I’d like to take a stab at predicting this weekend’s NCAA Top 25 football games. Because I’ve decided that the AP sportswriters are all sitting around a bong somewhere (Kentucky ranked above UNC in the pre-season men’s basketball polls–seriously, Messrs. Sportswriters?), I’m going to use the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 for Week 9. I’m then going to apply a complex set of statistics and algorithms to each game to determine who each winner will be.

<dramatic pause>

Yeah, right. I’m going to do what the sportscasters do and use bias and gut feelings to make my predictions. However, unlike them, I don’t have to worry about my Nielson ratings or kowtowing to rabid fanbases with big bucks. I also decided not to predict scores because I’ve never been good at that.  So, with no further ado, I’m going to get right to it. I’ve bolded the name of the team I expect to win.

Friday’s game

No. 21 West Virginia at South Florida. This has the potential to be an exciting game. West Virginia has yet to play a ranked team, so it’s difficult to tell how good they are based on victories against such stellar opponents as Liberty and Marshall. South Florida has lost decisively to ranked opponents Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, although they did beat Florida State. Continue reading

Preseason Favorites for the ESPN Nut-Hugger Award

As Flop pointed out in an earlier post forewarning you of our upcoming college basketball previews; we, here at EJSIC, love college basketball. The “homer” previews are all well and good, but I know what you really care about. Who will become ESPN and Dick Vitale’s favorite white guy this season? Who will win the appropriately named ESPN Nut-Hugger Award?

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J.J. Redick held the distinguishable honor in his All-American career at Duke University. After J.J. moved on, his mettle was doned by another member of Tobacco Road: Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough became the poster boy of college basketball with his hustle and earned national player of the year honors. Now, they’re both gone from the campus hardwood and we need a new white boy to cheer on because America loves whitey like no other. We must keep in mind the central characteristic of this award: aside from the melanin requirement, the recipient must also be expected by fans to have little to no success at the next level. Whether or not they do succeed in the NBA is basically irrelevant.
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This year’s nominees include:

1. Jon Scheyer (Duke): Scheyer is a lot like Redick in size and shooting ability. He was named the 2009 ACC Tournament MVP after leading the Blue Devils with 29 points in the championship. He already has the admiration of Dickie V which makes him a top contender for the leading white guy in America. Plus, he’s a team leader and someone Duke will be relying on heavily this season. Continue reading

Luke Warm Linkage

la-clippers-jersey-burn

Is watching the Clippers a fate worse than death? It’s debatable.

Sports

  • Fatal Staples Center collapse saves crowd from the Clippers. (The Onion)
  • Read excerpts from Tim Donaghy’s banned NBA tell-all book. (Deadspin)
  • Andy Roddick contemplates trying crack to spur on future book sales. You can’t blame the kid for thinking ahead. (Sports Pickle)
  • The Yanks even their series with the Phillies.
  • Pacquiao says Mayweather is skerrd.

POP

  • In retrospect, drawn on ski masks probably aren’t a good idea for thieves.
  • Just when you thought the Jonas Brothers couldn’t get more annoying, they up and go country.
  • Jon Gosselin will no longer be dating Octomom for your viewing pleasure.
  • If video games were more realistic… (Cracked)

Politics

  • Historical figures leave their browsers open. (College Humor)
  • Nearly half the sub-committee in charge of defense spending is facing ethics charges.
  • Republicans decide Swine Flu is good for America. (The Onion)

EJSIC College Basketball Preview Series: Wisconsin

WisconsinNow I know what you’re thinking… “Is my wife getting fat?… Why does my neighbor look at me that way?… What am I having for lunch today?… Are the fucking Yankees going to win the World Series again, and is that dumbass Tim Tebow really a virgin?”

And I bet you’re also wondering why the hell anyone would preview a college basketball team as irrelevant as Wisconsin?

Well NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!

Wisconsin may not be a national championship contender, but hey, neither is Kentucky and that didn’t stop Elitist Jerk Flop from orgasming all over his keyboard and writing 2000 words about his Wildcats.

Unlike Kentucky and about 340 other programs, the Wisconsin Badgers have played in 11 consecutive NCAA tournaments, reaching a Final Four, an Elite Eight, and several Sweet Sixteens.  And during that run they have been unappreciated and under-preseason-previewed nearly the whole time.

The media that follows the Big Ten (yes assholes, there is such a thing), only publishes preseason predictions for the top three finishers.  Per tradition, this October the media predicted that the Badgers would not reach the 2010 Big Ten regular season medal round.  But that should not serve as any indication that Wisconsin will not be awesome this year.  In the previous ten seasons, Wisconsin has only been ranked in the top three of their conference in the preseason twice, yet the Badgers have three Big Ten titles and two second place finishes in that period.

What I am trying to say is that you should pay good attention to the gibberish the Sensei is about to write.  There’s a picture of a hot girl doing a beer-bong at the bottom too.

Continue reading