Friday, October 07, 2005

A List, UPS dreams, Ball starts

I watched the INHD's special on the Reebok's annual "Big Time Tournament" in Las Vegas. I wanted to take a shower just watching it. Is Sonny Vaccaro, Reebok's AAU "facilitator" and talent pimp, not one of the most phony guys you'll ever see? I do think he believes that he is a "father figure" to some of these kids but he's the type of father who makes sure his own wheels are greased in the process. Kevin Love a 6-8 240 monster from Oregon was very impressive, let's hope this 2007 recruit stays on the West Coast. Other 2007 recruits OJ Mayo and Billy Walker were also both dominating. Mayo is a do-everything scoring PG and will come into college with the ability to immediately play at a very high level. Walker is a skinny but incredibly athletic 6-5 wing player. His dunking ability reminded me of Hakim Warrick, but he may struggle with his size at SF in the bigger conferences. Unless he can improve his outside shot or his ballhandling he may be more of a highlight player that hides too many weaknesses. He also showed a disturbing fixation on "posterizing" other players and gave more than a few cheap elbow shots under the basket. Consensus #1 2006 recruit Greg Oden did dominate. He has good hands, a decent 7 foot frame, can rebound, score and plays good defense. He gets away with a lot based on his height and his stamina is not very good at this point. He will struggle to give 25 minutes a game as a freshman.

Some of those AAU coaches looked like Reebok cleaned the bathroom out of a racetrack and gave them whistles. It is a rotten snake pitt. The did profile a nice team from Australia that had mostly foreign players trying to just get a college scholarship. Alas if any of those kids showed promise some AAU cockroach would be all over them.

Reality Check
Up in Happy Valley the UPS faithful have been sniffing glue this whole week. Apparently their team feels like they are legitimate contenders for the fictional national title. Why wouldn't they be? It's not like they have had losing seasons in 4 out of the last 5 years. Joe Paterno scheduled himself a bowl game with South Florida, Cincinnati and Central Michigan as his out of conference foes. They just barely squeaked by Northwestern to win their fourth game. They will play in a bowl game but won't beat anyone of consequence the rest of the year. With Ohio State coming to town this week and a road trip to Ann Arbor looming you can add two losses and end any ridiculous talk of the Rose Bowl.

Ball's the Call
It appears after his 163 yard performance that RB Lance Ball will get the start this week against Temple. The game day conditions should be miserable with possible torrential rain. Count on Ball getting a heavy workload. He ran very well last week but the offensive line dominated like that had not in two seasons. This week senior C Ryan McDonald was awarded ACC lineman of the week. He graded out with a perfect score according to the coaches. If the line builds upon the success of the last few weeks Maryland may make some noise in the ACC.

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