Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning Munchies

I missed a busy week last week in my travels, but hopefully I can catch up here.

* After a pathetic showing in Oxford two series ago, the men’s baseball team rebounded and did what they needed to do against Arkansas in Fayetteville, clinching a share of the SEC overall championship. Congratulations are certainly in order for shaking off a rocky start to the season and rebounding to win the toughest conference in America. The 20-10 record is fantastic, obviously, but how nice would it have been to handle business against mitippi state one weekend earlier? Now, the Rebels tangle with previous #1 UGA on Wednesday in Hoover. The ‘Dawgs have been in a tailspin though since they were handled in Oxford last month. Hopefully that continues. More on that later this week. It sucks Scott Bittle won't be making the trip.

* So much for the snub providing the tennis team the motivation they needed to finally get over the hump… 2009 became yet another earlier than expected exit from the tournament for Billy Chadwick’s netters. It was certainly a season to remember, but it ended sooner than many thought it should.

* It’s been a busy week for the men’s hoops team as well. It was announced this week that Nick Williams, a fantastic freshman guard for Indiana University last year is transferring to Ole Miss. He’ll sit out 2009-10 and be eligible to play as a sophomore in 2010-11. He's a big strong guard that will almost certainly get better with a year of going against one of the best backcourts in the conference in practice.

* The Rebels will also be returning to Puerto Rico this year, playing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic. It won’t take long for the Rebels to find out how good they are: The field includes Boston University, Dayton, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, and Villanova.

* The Dagger takes a stab at ranking the SEC basketball coaches, and offers many of the same opinions I did a couple of months back. The difference is that every school has their coaches in place now, so allow me to express my opinions about the new guys.

It’s hard to argue with the hires made by Alabama and Kentucky. While both made big splashes with their hires, Kentucky landed the biggest catch, luring John Calipari from Memphis. I do have to disagree with the “Superelite” tag applied to Calipari. Coaches like Tom Izzo and Roy Williams are “Superelite." They’ve consistently won in the highest level of college basketball and have the banners hanging above their heads to prove it. Calipari is certainly elite, but until he wins in a Big6 conference consistently and cuts down the nets in early April, he’s not “Superelite."

Anthony Grant was primed to take over for Billy Donovan during his momentary lapse of reason a couple of years ago when he actually signed with the Orlando Magic. Now, he’s finally getting his crack at the SEC and it’s hard to see him not succeeding. He was an integral part of Florida’s national championship teams and UF hasn’t been the same since he left.

Mark Fox, UGA’s new coach, seems like a decent enough hire. He took over Nevada’s program when LSU head coach Trent Johnson left for Stanford. It’s certainly not a “wow” hire like the Bama and UK hires, but he appears to be a solid coach. If he can recruit/win in the SEC remains to be seen though.

* Then there’s this: College Football Network’s rankings of the SEC football coaches.

The Right Reverend Nutt comes in at #3, which seems a bit high to me. Not sure how he’s ranked ahead of Mark Richt. It must be tied to UGA’s disappointing (in relation to expectations) season last year while Nutt walked into a gold mine in Oxford. Whatever the situation is, it’s nice to see the positive press.

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