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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Where Amaker Buys His Apples: The Harvard Preview

I'm ready to get over this one.

At exactly 8:51pm on Saturday, November 29, I turned off the BU vs. Mount St. Mary's game, drove to airport and boarded a Delta 737 that took me directly (via layover in Cincinnati and Houston) to the Le Blanc Spa & Resort in Cancun, Mexico to partake in some relaxation, refreshment and rejuvenation for my mind, body and spirit. I was in a knot after that game, and a Shiatsu massage, seaweed body wrap and a 50-minute Steam-Vichy Rain Journey were just what the doctored ordered to calm my hoop-rage.

Or, not. I couldn't drop the 3 grand it would take for rejuvenating therapy, so I had to rely on the old fashioned Frank Costanza method:

It was a frustrating game - to listen/watch, to play in, and to coach. Mount St. Mary's is a good team, and they played well enough to win on Saturday - but I don't think they are necessarily the better team. I think the teams were evenly-matched to the point that whoever was the home team would win. MSM jumped out to a big early lead, but BU was able to grind it down throughout the entire 2nd half to tie the game with 5 minutes left.

Much of the trouble in this one came from FREE THROWS and REBOUNDING. We were dominated in both aspects. I think that's where much of the frustration came from. Plus that one really frickin fast guy they have.

It appears as though D. Wolff blew a gasket in this one. The refs blew a shot clock violation on MSM with about a minute to go that could have altered the outcome of the game, and the refs basically admitted they blew it by not T-ing up Wolff during his ranting. The players got fired up too, with news coming that the two teams nearly erupted in fisticuffs near the locker rooms after the game.

But it's time to forget about that now, and I can only hope that much of that fire carries over to tonight's game against Harvard. This is another team that is easy to underestimate but not very easy to beat. BU has pwned the smart kids lately, winning 14 of the last 15. And Tommy Amaker has nightmares about the Terriers, dating back to his back-to-back home losses to BU back at Michigan.

He's starting to bring some good players to the Crimson though, and it's showing in the standings. Harvard is going to challenge for the top couple spots in the Ivy League by the end of the year.

There are plenty of reasons to hate them though:

1. New York Times exposes dirty recruiting by Harvard

"In a New Era at Harvard, New Questions of Standards"
The New York Times
By Pete Thamel
March 2, 2008

"It is also because Harvard is willing to consider players with a lower academic standing than previous staff members said they were allowed to. Harvard has also adopted aggressive recruiting tactics that skirt or, in some cases, may even violate National Collegiate Athletic Association rules [...] In the race to become competitive in basketball, Harvard’s new approach could tarnish the university’s sterling reputation."

And this is funny...

"In another case, Amaker approached the parents of an athlete in a grocery store and urged that their son visit Harvard..."

See ya in the produce aisle, Tommy!

2. Harvard encroaching on BU's territory

"Residents mobilize against Harvard"
Allston-Brighton Tab
By Karen Elowitt
February 15, 2007

Allston may be smelly and disgusting, but this side of the river is ours, bitches!

3. Apples

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