Monday, February 07, 2011

This Week in Wrenball

Sometimes the how is more important than the what. Case in point, the young Wrens struggling to find their wings and leave the nest in the 2010-11 hoops season. Sure, if you look at their record, Tony Shaver's kids aren't much to crow about (see what I did there?). W&M split a pair of roadies this week, beating JMU in Harrisonburg before losing a track meet in Wilmington to drop their record to 7-17, 3-10 in the CAA.

But not all lousy records are created equal. Recall, if you will (and if you've got a strong stomach) the fallow years of the Chuck Swenson era, when the Tribe's annual 4-23 record was accompanied with apathy and abject hopelessness. Victory back then came when W&M stayed within 15 of conference opponents. Progress was measured in whether or not reserves could get their warmups off without tripping on themselves before entering games.

Today's 7-17 speaks of a young team finding itself, struggling to close out games. The Wrens haven't been blown out in a single CAA contest, with six of their 10 losses by four or fewer points. Combine that stat with what my admittedly failing eyes tell me, and I give you a team that might be overmatched, might lack the athleticism of its opponents (though Brandon Britt might be the most athletic Tribe guard since Randy Bracy), but never, ever gives anything but full effort.

And that, friends, is a little thing we like to call coaching. The Green and Gold will continue to take their lumps this season, with games at home against ODU and on the road against revenge-minded Drexel this week likely exhibits 18 and 19, but conference opponents had better get them now. The building blocks are in place, and with Quinn McDowell returning for his senior season in 2011-12, a third CAA championship game in five years isn't the pipe dream that it would've been back when Igor's pterodactlyan lady-killing style roamed the 'burg.

Speaking of drinking the Kool-Aid, FOG:TB MGL notes via twitter that four CAA squads (Mason, ODU, VCU, and Drexel) are currently in the top 53 RPI spots. That tally gives the Colonial more teams at that level than the ACC, Pac 10, and Conference USA. K'naan-like dreamers are making the case for multiple at-large bids to the Big Dance, which would be a first for the conference. Cold-eyed realists have yet to be convinced. The optimists in this argument have a lousy track record, so grains of salt are on order. But the selection committee needs to fill out a 68-team card this year, and the CAA boasts a number of legitimate out of conference wins and very good teams. Call me Pollyanna - won't be any different than closed-door nightynight time with the missus.

TMI?

10 comments:

T.J. said...

rob, I found an old label in mothballs and dusted it off for you...

rob said...

niiiice

T.J. said...

Greg's travel day seems to be going well...

"Did I just do a double tequila before I got on my flight? Yes. Yes I did."

rob said...

way to blow otto's cover, man. don't you know how much visibility this site gets?

T.J. said...

Hey rob, dumbass, you just blew his cover...

rob said...

that was part of the joke. this site doesn't get any visibility.

T.J. said...

I hate jokes. And work.

TR said...

Do we need to call it "felony rape"? Isn't that redundant?

Mark said...

About to fly out of Miami and into Orlando for the final leg of this never ending day of travel. I can't get home soon enough. I need to cast a ballot or two.

Igor said...

For what it's worth, according to Forbes magazine, Washington, DC makes #16 on the Most Miserable Cities list this year.

"President Obama's (relatively) new home also makes the cut at No. 16. Washington, D.C., has one of the healthiest economies, but problems abound. Traffic is a nightmare, with commute times averaging 33.4 minutes--only New York is worse. Income tax rates are among the highest in the country and home prices are down 27% over three years.

And it does not get much more miserable than the sports scene in Washington. Beltway fans should be grateful for the NHL's Capitals, their only major pro team to finish out of the basement in the last two seasons. The Nationals (MLB), Redskins (NFL) and Wizards (NBA) have all finished in last place in their respective divisions the past two years."



Jacksonville was #19, Danimal. Sorry. Stockton, CA was #1, and the list was littered with Cali cities.