Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

Another big weekend of basketball in the Horizon League and another weekend of surprises and near misses. Damon and I made the trip to Milwaukee for the big Wisconsin showdown on Friday night then woke up early to get back to Indianapolis for a look at Detroit as they played Butler at 2:00 ET. We barely survived the drive down. There was the large number of plows on the road (over 30), there were the flares that we had to drive over, the half dozen cars that slid off the road, and the accident we saw literally right in front of us on the south side of Chicago. All in a Horizon League blogger day's work.

The Milwaukee-Green Bay game was a classic. Both teams REALLY wanted that game. And for good reason, it was a match-up of two teams that are playing well at the top of the league's standings.

A few things that stood out during the game:

- BIG LUMBER, aka James Eayrs. The JUCO transfer is just a fun guy to watch. The origin of the "Big Lumber" moniker is a mystery to Damon and myself so if any of you HL fans know please share. BL hit a late-game three pointer to get the Panthers into overtime. He is obviously a big body but he has good footwork and can space the floor because other 'bigs' have to respect his range. We weren't the only ones who noticed.

-Green Bay's ability to space the floor. When coach Kowalczyk brings Ryan Tillema off the bench and pairs him with Mike Schachtner in the frontcourt it makes keeping Rahmon Fletcher out of the paint nearly impossible. Fletcher got in the paint all night for the Phoenix and has mastered the floater.

-I'll reserve judgement on both team's shooting guards. Both Tone Boyle and Troy Cotton have played well this year but both had an off-night Friday.

-Oh and Terry Evans' pass to Tillema for the dunk...WOW (if you have the video please post)

UIC Flames Out in Ohio

The Flames went 0-2 on their trip to Ohio this week and are now reeling at 1-4 in league play. I haven't had the chance to watch the archive of the game but I'll be interested to see how Cleveland State held Josh Mayo to 2-10 shooting. I know Viking fans don't want to hear it but they're one play away from sitting atop the league standings.

side note: If you haven't watched the highlights of the UIC-YSU game on HLN you need to. Josh Mayo can shoot from anywhere inside of 30 feet. Great win for the Penguins.

Bold Prediction: If Cleveland State shoots like they did against the Flames they WILL win the conference tournament AT Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Detroit so close yet so far...

I was really impressed with the Detroit Titans on Saturday. They played better than Butler for most of the game. If they could have gotten any semblance of an outside game (0-6 on 3 pt. FG) they would have left Indianapolis with their first conference victory. Coach McCallum can 'coach em up' as the Ole Ball Coach would say. Thomas Kennedy is a player. Both he and Eulis Stephens can make some tough shots and they'll be a tough team to beat the rest of the way.

Bold Prediction #2: Detroit will defeat one of the current top three teams in the conference at some point this season.


  1. From what I know..the team calls Eayrs "Big Country" Big Lumber was on the ESPNU broadcast

  2. Just search "Best Pass Ever" on YouTube and look what you find...