EJSICleaks Vol. 3

Volume 3 of the EJSICleaks is ready for leakage (that doesn’t sound right, but I’m sticking to it).

Today’s lone leak is a series of e-mails between Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference discovered by two loyal readers: j-town-hero and daparish.

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From: OleMissCoaches@my.SEC.edu

To: SECofficials@my.SEC.edu

Subject: Hey!

Hey guys, remember that time we helped you move back in ’69? Yeah, we’re going to need a favor. Please don’t let Memphis into the SEC! It’s hard enough to get people to play sports here as it is! I mean, come on, our mascot is Rebel Black Bear. WTF is that? Do you know how damn hard it is to tell athletes that they could one day wear that “Rebel Black Bear” uniform with pride? It’s embarrassing. And now you want us to compete with Memphis for recruits too? COME ON!

Regards,

Ole Miss

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From: SECofficials@my.SEC.edu

To: OleMissCoaches@my.SEC.edu

Subject: RE: Hey!

We understand your concern about a new admittance into the SEC with whom you would directly compete as a bottom-rung SEC team. However, the predicament with your new “Black Bear” mascot is a crisis that the SEC attempted to avert. As we related to you in the weeks prior to your mascot selection, the only subspecies of black bear present in Mississippi is the LOUISIANA black bear (Ursa Americanus Luteolus). However, in its infinite “wisdom”, your administration disregarded our warning and named your mascot after a namesake species of one of your most hated rivals, Louisiana State University. It’s only fitting, however, that your mascot would be an homage to the football program that has been stamping it’s name on you for nearly 100 years now. FWIW, we were pulling for Admiral Ackbar.

It’s Not a Trap,

the Southeastern Conference

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From: OleMissCoaches@my.SEC.edu

To: SECofficials@my.SEC.edu

Subject: RE: Hey!

I, personally, nor any of the coaching staff at Ole Miss was actually given a vote. Unfortunately the student body was too busy with their studies and what not to actually research the Miss. black bear population prior to making the decision and I’m told that the Rebel Black Bear was fairly popular with the ladies because it was “cuddly”. How am I supposed to work with cuddly? For the record, I was pulling for the Rebel Lion. Get it? Makes me chuckle every time.

-Ole Miss Coaching Staff

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EJSICleaks out!

EJSIC @ the SEC tournament

That’s right. Yours truly has been dispatched to provide up-to-the-minute updates live from the site of the 2010 SEC tournament at the “whatever-they’re-calling-it-now-that-the -Sommet-Group-failed-to-make-payment Center” in Nashville, TN. EJSIC will be your first stop for the sights, sounds, and even smells (if I can find a way to capture them on my phone) of the 2010 installment of the UK Invitational.

To get things started, here are the 3 biggest story lines heading into the tournament, and the 3 things I’m looking forward to the most:

Tournament Story Lines:

1. Will the runaway-train that has been the 2009-10 version of the Kentucky Wildcats continue their resurgence with a tournament title? The obvious favorites going in to the event, it will be interesting to see if the C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS will be able to continue to build on their 29-2 (14-2) record by capturing the tournament championship. THE most talented team in the country (IMO), the Cats have been dominant at home, but have proven to be shaky away from Rupp Arena, including losses at Tennessee and against the fightin’ Devon Downey’s, as well as close games against Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Auburn. It will be interesting to see how this freshman dominated team will perform in what will be the first college tournament situation for most.

Can anyone derail DeCuz and the UK crazy train?

All that said, make no mistake about it; Nashville will become Lexington south this weekend, just as it is whenever UK comes to town.

2. Bubbles bursting. It is my opinion that none of Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State will make the Big Dance without a win in this tournament, and it is shaping up to be elimination Friday, with potential Tennessee/Ole Miss and Florida/Miss St matchups.

3. Who is SEC POY? The case for Devon Downey over either of John Wall or DeMarcus Cousins was a strong one after ‘lil Carolina’s upset of then #1 UK, but it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the team’s late season slide. However, Downey may have thrust himself back into consideration, after a 26 point performance last week at the dump that is Memorial Gym. With a deep tourney run, and perhaps another upset of Kentucky should they beat ‘Bama on Thursday, things could get interesting.

Things I’m Looking Forward To:

Bruce Pearl is a show unto himself.

1. Vandy fans. I was at the SEC/Sun Belt Classic in mid-December, which showcased MTSU vs. Tennessee and Vandy vs. Western Kentucky at the same venue as the SEC tournament. Vandy fans showed why they were the joke of the SEC by managing to attract **maybe** 200 fans to a game in their hometown. Meanwhile, WKU had 6-8 thousand, and were a raucous bunch. No one would have guessed they were the team 4-3 heading in and Vandy was the team nationally ranked. Well Vandy fans (or as I like to call them, “Alabama football fans“), here’s your chance to redeem yourselves. I don’t expect any more than 400 of you, so don’t disappoint me.

2. A live view of “Dermal Soul Glo I’ve heard stories, but I want to see for myself if Bruce really does glow.

3. Demarcus Cousins. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this ticking-time-bomb’s explosion all year. If this kid played in the ACC, he already would have been involved in brawls with Chas McFarland and Ryan Reid, and having the opposing fans get a hold of your phone number would be a weekly ordeal. But even in a league as physically flaccid as the SEC, Cousins has been driven to temper tantrums and dirty plays numerous times. If he’s gonna flip out, and he will eventually, I just want to be there to see it.

I’m also looking forward to some “pity” beers to be bought for me by those feeling sorry for me, in my North Carolina t-shirt, although I don’t expect Kentucky fans to be overly willing to support my cause…………..dafunk…………….out.

Got a question, an angle you’d like me to cover at the tourney, or some hate-filled garbage to spew???? Shoot me an email at dafunk.EJSIC@yahoo.com, and I’ll get back to ya ASAP.

EJSIC’s SEC Review & Preview

After a dismal showing in 08-09, the SEC was justly rewarded with a paltry 3 participants in the NCAA tournament. When you factor in that one of those teams got in solely by winning the SEC Tournament Automatic Bid, you’d be hard pressed to find a worse overall year for the league in recent history.

With a year of disappointment behind them, 09-10 has been billed as a big rebound year for the SEC. An influx of new coaches and new talent, combined with a slew of veteran all-conference players returning to school, means expectations have risen significantly. With the out of conference portion of the schedule behind them, how have the teams of the SEC fared versus those expectations to date? As you might expect, the results have been mixed.

Team Assessments:

Alabama – Like many teams in the league, the Crimson Tide have anointed a new leader for 09-10. New Head Coach Anthony Grant brings a great pedigree and a record of success to Alabama. His skills as both a motivator and tactician have been on display in the Tide’s wins over Baylor, Providence, and Michigan. However, things haven’t exactly been “coming up roses” for Bama basketball [That's a really bad reference to the Rose bowl right there. It's how I "Roll"], as the Tide have yet to secure an “NCAA resume” win. All of their 4 losses have been to quality opponents (Cornell, FSU, Purdue & K-State), but quality losses will only get you so far. Alabama will need to perform very well in the SEC (probably needing 11 plus wins) in order to get into the big dance. Anthony Grant has talent to work with in Mikhail Torrance and JaMychal Green to go along with a guard heavy roster, but you have to wonder if it will be enough in year one.
Non-conference Grade: B | Postseason Projection: NIT


No, that's not a girl with a mustache. That's John Pelphrey's meal ticket.

Arkansas – John Pelphrey is starting to feel the heat in Fayetteville. Forced to suspend 5 players following an incident in a campus Fraternity house involving allegations of rape, the Razorbacks have struggled mightily out of the gate. Embarrassing losses to the likes of Morgan State, East Tennessee State and South Alabama have dug a substantial hole for the Hogs heading into conference play. At 7-8, with no wins of note on their resume, even the NIT may be a stretch at this point. There is hope, however, as the Razorbacks have returned All-SEC caliber PG Cortney Fortson to the line up. Fortson, combined with sharp-shooter Rotnei Clarke and potential NBA 1st rounder Mike Washington, could be enough for the Hogs to make a run in the SEC. One thing’s for sure there will be zero margin for error going forward.
Non-Conference Grade: D- | Postseason Projection: None


Auburn – Poor Jeff Lebo. The guy is a decent coach, but he seems doomed to get sucked into the black hole that is Auburn basketball. Despite the recent University investment in a new arena and practice facility, you have to think that no one cares less about their basketball program in the SEC than Auburn Tiger fans. Considering the overall commitment to basketball in the conference, that’s saying a lot. This season’s version of the basketball Tigers bears a close resemblance to those of year’s past. Under-skilled and under-manned, the Tigers have lost to Missouri State, UCF, Troy, and Sam Houston State, while compiling an non-compelling 9-6 record. One bright spot for the Tigers is their balanced scoring, as they have 4 players averaging more than 13 points per game. That said, Auburn is going to struggle in league play. Here’s hoping the Tiger’s Administration gives Lebo the opportunity to use the coming facility improvements to his advantage on the recruiting trail.
Non-conference Grade: D | Postseason Projection: None

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