Saturday, January 19, 2013

This Week in Wrenball: Misery Loves Company (Not That Misery Loves Company)

What once seemed so promising has rapidly unraveled, as a string of close losses spiraled into a pair of desultory efforts, leaving our William & Mary Tribe losers of six straight. The Tribe is coming off a 74-58 loss to Georgia State in a game they led by 13 late in the first half. Prior to that defeat, W&M fell at a Hofstra team that's without four key contributors who were arrested for a skein of burglaries. The Wrens sit at 7-9, 1-4 in the CAA in advance of this afternoon's home contest against similarly disappointing Drexel.

And that's all we really have to say about Tony Shaver's confounding collection. Today, in an effort to make ourselves feel better, we commiserate with other fanbases across the country that are sitting in their pajamas, drinking coffee and lamenting their teams' poor starts.

On December 22, Illinois State was 9-3, with wins over Dayton and Drexel. The Redbirds took Louisville to the wire in the Yum Center, falling by three. Considered sleepers in the tough Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State entered conference play on a four-game winning streak. They haven't won since, falling to 0-6 in MVC play after a 74-62 loss at Wichita State on Wednesday.

Penn has a proud history as one of Philadelphia's Big 5. The Quakers have played in 25 NCAA Tournaments, and even reached a Final Four way in 1979. Penn alum Jerome Allen led the team to a second-place Ivy League finish last year in his second full season as head coach. But this year, after a failed drug test led to suspensions and controversy in the City of Brotherly Love, Penn stands at 3-13 after a narrow win over NJIT.

Even the bluest of bloods have struggled in 2012-13, giving those of us with different hues at least some succor. From my humble perspective, there's no NCAA program more entitled, more arrogant, and more hateable than North Carolina. While the Heels' 11-5 record is respectable, it counts as disappointing in Chapel Hill, especially when it includes losses to Virginia and Miami, and whispers of poor team chemistry. Anything that makes UNC supporters unhappy is okay by me.

Rick Barnes' Texas Longhorns beat UNC by 18, but they lost to Chaminade by 13 on the way to an 8-8 start. Myck Kabongo's charade of an NCAA suspension has been a huge distraction for Texas, and a big loss on the court. After a pair of overtime losses to start their Big 12 schedule, Texas just got buried by Iowa State. They play Kansas at home today. That won't end well.

As of this writing, Illinois is the 23rd-ranked team in the country. They won't be when the new rankings are announced. The Illini started the season ablaze, winning their first 12 games, and carding impressive victories over Butler and at Gonzaga. Since that heady peak, John Groce's team has gone 2-5, losing to Purdue by the same margin as did the Tribe, and getting hammered last week by Wisconsin and Northwestern. Illinois did thump #8 Ohio State during their skid, showing that they still have promise. The bloom's off the rose just a bit, however.

Closer to home, there may be no more disappointing and perplexing Division 1 squad this season than Old Dominion. In their farewell season in the CAA, the Monarchs are 2-15, 0-5 in conference play. They handed W&M its only league win, for Chrissakes. The perennial bully are suddenly getting sand kicked in their face by the likes of JMU and UNCW. Enjoy CUSA next year, ODU fans.

Lots of other teams are giving their fans the sadz, from Pittsburgh (2-3 after a 12-1 start), to UMES (0-13),  to Utah (winless in the Pac-12 after a dreadful 2011-12 season), to most of the SEC (which outside of Florida, Missouri, and maybe Ole Miss, is a fairly terrible league), to 0-15 Grambling State. So you see, Futile Superfans, it could be worse.

We could have had our hopes dashed in March instead of January.

45 comments:

rob said...

pour some out for the earl of baltimore. he's up there where they hit three-run homers and never sweep off home plate after a good argument.

rob said...

tribe game on comcast at 2 if you want to punish yourself

Danimal said...

A couple final thoughts on Lance interview:
-great job by Oprah and production team....they found some good stuff, likely at his peak of cockitude
-I don't feel bad for him but do believe that his inability to run in a race is a bit redic.....
-I believe he will one day be able to compete in such events including Ironman
That is all.

Clarence said...

From my humble perspective, there's no NCAA program more entitled, more arrogant, and more hateable than Duke. That Research Triangle must be like the Bermuda Triangle, except instead of disappearing you become a douchebag.

Jerry said...

Hating Duke is so passe.

T.J. said...

Marcus is the entirety of the offense so far today...that ain't gonna cut it

Jerry said...

4:00 is a really weird time for Louisville to play Syracuse.

Mark said...

2 pm is a little odd for Florida-Missouri but I won't argue with the results thus far.

rob said...

yep, teej. this offensive execution is awful.

Danimal said...

Met earl weaver....93 or 94 apple blossom....my apt at the time sat adjacent to the staging area for many of the floats/cars in parade.....including earl's. At approx 9am after an all nighter and several beers and bloodys into the day balti-moron and big o's fan k lynch asked earl to sign his plastic cup.....filled w something. Earl's response...."GET THAT OUTTA HERE....I AINT SIGNIN ANY PLASTIC CUPS!" great times...and a good apple blossom. The previous day had a buddy and me on the news clip shootin the shit w mary tyler moore.

T.J. said...

8 of 22 shooting in the first half. booooo.

Jerry said...

Just doing some reading on Rutgers basketball -- I know that Sports Info Depts tend to put a glossy spin on things, but you have to feel like this one is crossing the line into outright lying...

"Rutgers took to the court for the first time in the 1906-07 season. On the losing end of three games that year and with a 3-12 record the next, play was suspended for the next five years.
....
Since that inauspicious start, Rutgers has had considerable success and enters the 2010-11 campaign with 1168 victories. Along the way, there have been 20 post-season tournaments. Six Rutgers teams have earned berths in the NCAA Tournament and 14 have been invited to the NIT."

For the record, Rutgers hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1991. 1991. They haven't won a tournament game since 1983.

Jerry said...

In 1908 they lost 33-6 at Union and 48-3 at Williams.

rob said...

bit of a loose definition of considerable. and success.

Jerry said...

I guess they've won hundreds of games over the past 100 years so...there's that.

As bad as the Tribe are, one could make the argument that this is the best chance we've had to make it to Dayton in years. We're still making the conference tournament and there doesn't appear to be any good teams in the conference this year.

rob said...

jerry drinking the superfan kool-aid. this team's going nowhere if they don't find a way to gain some confidence.

Mark said...

I've said it a few ties already this year but this is the best defensive Gator team since 06-07. And it's better than those teams on perimeter defensively.

Jerry said...

Drinking coffee until I get enough fool's energy to get off my ass and do something productive. No more football = doing useful stuff.

It seems like most years there's a team that wins its conference as something like an 8-seed. It can happen. I really do like our chances just as much this year as I did of a better Tribe team beating loaded Norfolk CC or Richmond Vo-Tech teams.

rob said...

stop it, jerry. i'm trying to wallow in this team's suck over here.

Jerry said...

If we just made 4 more 3's, we'd be tied. Think about it.

Jerry said...

Mo-Chi
Mo-Chi
Takes it up the ass, yeah!

Jerry said...

Holy balls - Florida is killing Missouri. And Missouri is the #17 team in the country. That's impressive. #collegebasketballanalysis

rob said...

according to mark, the gators are very, very good. most observers concur. hopefully, mark will start writing 'this week in gatorball', so we can bask in the reflected glory.

Jerry said...

Going forward it's going to be important for Florida to crash the offensive boards, take care of the basketball, and keep opposing guards out of the paint.

Shlara said...

Hi Gheorghies--
On Lance--he's always been a douchebag, and theses I tear views confirmed him as a sociopath. Think it did more harm than good for him to go on camera and "confess." Still appreciate and value LIVESTRONG.

Saw Rhett Miller at Jammin Java last night. Opener was Black Prairie--basically most of The Decemberists. They played 4 songs together T the end including Wilco's California Stars. Really great show. Rhett also told a great story about recording "the other shoe" with Waylon Jennings. I'll share it with you at the yacht party

rob said...

annie licks her?

Shlara said...

Yes! So he's told that story before...still was funny

rob said...

careful readers of this blog would remember that story from the review of the earlier rhett show @ jammin java. but it's a good one. you should still tell it at yachtfest.

rob said...

just exchanged tweets with marcus thornton. feel like this is where the season turns around.

Danimal said...

'Cuse is in the house ohmygodohmygod

rob said...

pour one out respectfully for stan musial.

T.J. said...

VCU is laying waste to the A-10 early in conf play

rob said...

someone on twitter likened them to clubber lang. i approved.

zman said...

Because they wear mohawks?

rob said...

duh

rob said...

hope you asshats saw that gonzaga/butler game. wow.

Clarence said...

Hi, Gheorghies!! It's still early but I am hoping to catch one of you still awake. The Clarence-dog is housed as a mf.

Clarence said...

And Jerry, if rooting against Duke is passe, I don't wanna be cool. (No threat, I know.) Entitlement is never cool. I rooted against Laettner (in vain) in '91 and '92, I'll probably root against the Blue Devils hereverafter. They exude pretentiousness. Whether or not it resonates with the bullshiterati, I probably won't know.

Clarence said...

And on a final note, I want to hear what Mark's travel plans are for next weekend. And Dan's.

Clarence said...

And for what it's worth (nothing), I'm going to contest Dave's slag against Jefferson Starship on Day 13 of Gheorghemas. I will propose that the songs "Jane,", "Count On Me," and "Miracles" by Jefferson Starship are worthy of a listen. Not awful. Starship, after they'd dropped the Jefferson, was awful. But before that, they were no worse than most 70's acts.

There you have it.

Also, drugs are underrated. Not that I do them, but come on. Let's not judge.

Dave said...

hola gheorghies!

Clarence said...

Hi Gheorghies!! Hi, Dave!!

Dave said...

clarence always wins that contest . . .

saw a band last night called "the roadside graves." really great alt country stuff.

zman said...

Which fact is more surprising:

1. A man with one testicle needs PEDs to win the most grueling endurance event in the world.

2. The captain of the Notre Dame football team has to resort to online dating to meet a girl.

T.J. said...

sunday fashion filler up