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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holy shit the season starts tomorrow, better get a preview in

It's the best day of the whole season: all the excitement and optimism of the upcoming months, before the drag of losses and injuries sets in. Today, we're undefeated. Today, we can all have visions of that magical George Mason/Davidson year that we still think is possible for us. Today, we can envision the huge crowds that will flock to Case and The Greek because the buzz is finally growing around this sure-to-be-special team. Today, we're so sure we're getting that autobid.

Well, that could all change tomorrow if we lose to GW of course. But let's not think about that.

This year's squad returns just about everybody of importance. Not that Ibe wasn't important, because we all know he changed my life as well as yours, but I mean of importance to the success of the team. We've still got our two-time All-AE performer, our HEALTHY 2007-08 AE Rookie of the Year, our reigning AE Rookie of the Year (plus reigning All-Defensive Teamer), our Olympic Hero, our Dunk Champion. Plus we add a couple new guys who seem to have some promise.

Will all these guys (plus one more year of experience and bonding without the distraction of transfer rumors thank God) translate into more wins than last year's campaign? Dennis Wolff seems to think so, and so do I.

Out of Conference Schedule
This year's schedule looks to be a fair bit easier than it was for last year's disastrous 3-9 campaign. Not easy, mind you, but a little easier. As the Wolff-man said, there's a few conference winners on there.

My prediction: 7-3
I think we beat up on Yale, Harvard and St. Peter's, as we should. Delaware, Bucknell and Holy Cross are all down from where they once were, and I think we take em. As for Cornell and the Mount St. Mary's, yes they're conference winners but I think our conference is stronger than both the Ivy and the NEC, so we should be able to beat both. I'm chalking up Marshall and Notre Dame, as much as I loathe them, as losses. That leaves Northeastern, who's up this year, and GW, who's down this year - I think we split those, but I don't know which one we beat.

Conference Schedule
Vermont is going to be loaded. Hartford brings almost everyone back, except for their one big guy, so they're a question mark. Albany loses way too much. Same for UMBC. UNH brings everyone back including a good freshman class, so they're on the upswing. Maine brings almost everyone back, but they're just not as talented overall - they probably stay about the same. Stony Brook lost their only two scorer, so they suck again. And who the eff knows what's going on in that clusterfuck known as Binghamton?

My prediction: 11-5
With everyone from ESPN to Blue Ribbon to the AE coaches picking us to come in first, expectations are high. I think this group can live up to them, with a few minor hiccups along the way.

1. Vermont
2. BU
3. Hartford
4. UNH
6. Albany
7. Maine
8. Binghamton
9. At this point do I even have to write it?

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At 4:39 PM, Blogger Raff said...

I think you're awful confident of that win against the Mount. I think it might help that it is while students are away over Thanksgiving, but its still a road game against a tournament team and a preseason favorite to get back to the Dance, by just about anyone.

Also not sure where you get the notion that the AE is the better conference. They really are very, very similar. Real quick 2 of the 3 sources I looked at had the NEC ranked higher last year (Sagarin and the RPI), while Ken Pom had AE. And even though the AE has won the season series the last two seasons, it's virtually a lock over the last three years as the AE has won 27 to the NEC 26 victories.

I think the Mount would be a favorite going into this game, but it should be a good one.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Tall-boy said...

Raff - Good points, all. The conferences have been pretty close over the last couple years. I do know that BU has not lost to an NEC opponent in quite some time. I owe this year's MSM a better look - what they have returning, etc.

I'm definitely looking forward to that game though, it's one of the few away games I'll be able to get to.


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