Author Archive - Andrew Force

Team Profile: Northeastern – Wright State Recap

Northeastern 69, Wright State 57 Imagine the reaction, the emotion felt crowdwide when a magician flubs his magic trick.  From heightened anticipation to equal parts disdain and unease.  The very same sequence repeated itself numerous times in Northeastern’s 69-57 victory over the host Wright State Raiders (16-12) Saturday morning. With WSU collectively playing the role… more »

Villanova Wildcats

Good Wins: Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Marquette. Bad Losses: None. West Virginia was disconcerting only because of the margin (19 points). Strengths: 1. Bravery. Led by Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats never recoil their claws. Small as a Scottish Terrier, this diminutive Scottie is much more pugnacious. He darts into the lane every night. He can shoot wildly… more »

Connecticut Huskies

Good Wins: N-Gonzaga, Villanova, @Louisville, Syracuse Bad Losses: none. Strengths: 1. Urgency. The players have not changed in the past two years but the level of success is night and day. Flashes of brilliance have given way to a steady stream of illumination. For a team that has never sniffed postseason success, their legacy is… more »

Pittsburgh Panthers

Good Wins: @Florida State, @Georgetown, Syracuse, @West Virginia, West Virginia, Cincinnati, @UConn Bad Losses: None. Strengths: 1. Strength. For over a decade the weight-lifting program of the Pitt Panthers has borne outstanding results. The oncourt benefit has been the castle-strong defense, which served as the backbone of Jamie Dixon’s success. This year is no exception…. more »

Big East Report: Point Guards

The Big East is home to some of the biggest, strongest, most powerful centers in the country. But the point guards excel on more than strength. Each have a particular skill set along with one super skill. This week for the Big East Report we will take a look at the best PG in a… more »

Marquette Golden Eagles

Good Wins: Northern Iowa, Villanova, West Virginia, @Providence Bad Losses: @South Florida Strengths: 1. Dribble Penetration. A lot of their scoring comes off penetration. Most of their scoring plays begin on the wing or the high elbow. The dribble weave made famous by Michigan State’s Tom Izzo begins most of the Eagles’ possessions. The guards… more »

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Good Wins: N-Texas, Georgetown Bad Losses: @St. John’s Strengths: 1. Flow. The Irish get good shots. Between Luke Zeller, Kyle McAlarney, and Luke Harangody the Irish have good shooters at three key positions. Mike Brey has a great success rate on plays out of timeouts. This shows the strong link between coach and players. His… more »

Luke Harangody: The Overlooked

Facing the African giant, Hasheem Thabeet, the small town kid from Indiana suckered his foe to the baseline. Lesser men had cowered when faced with Thabeet’s arms, long and fear provoking as Medusa’s snakes. From the baseline the five-inch shorter Luke Harangody evaded those frightful arms with his patented spin move, releasing the ball while… more »

The Fury of Philly

Every city celebrates college sports success the same way.  Initial delirious celebration gives way to naming a child after the heroes.  The in-game chants and baby-making bizarrely go hand in hand.    What separates fanbases is the way in which they handle setbacks, failures.    Big 10 fans internalize the frustration.  Burying such silly anger… more »

The Big East’s Pinnacle: Pitt

After traveling through the undulating landscape of the University of Pittsburgh, longtime fans and curious parties alike stacked the rafters of the immaculate Peterson Events Center. The buzz in the building exceeded that of a dozen beehives. People stood in the top rows eager to witness the purported preeminent college basketball team. Hundreds of animalistic… more »

Lefty Guards

In the cutthroat world of playground basketball, any advantage helps, no matter how small. An unorthodox shot or awkward dribble can be of real benefit. For a defender to block a shot they need to know the release point. A few left-handed guards are exploiting their most natural gift. They didn’t choose to be left-handed…. more »

Dayton’s Frequent Flyers

Flight found its way home. The new edition Dayton Flyers truly soar. A trio of starters dubbed “The Dayton Flight Club” brings fun, and the illusion of carefree play to UD Arena. The building itself appears to have wings on which to fly. Its contours resemble Calgary’s Saddledome but with more rigidity and less abstraction…. more »

The Point of the Musketeer’s Sword

In the words of DMX, “X is gonna to give it ya!” The Musketeers are sliced through November competition like D’Artagnan’s rapier through a tunic. The two stumbling blocks were apparent characters from the Wars of the Roses, a Duke and a Butler. The follow up to the 2008 Elite 8 appearance might break the… more »

Big East Report: Worst Losses

The Thanksgiving Weekend shopping spree coincided with some costly losses for Big East teams. While you picked out that new cell phone or barked at masses of shoppers, Georgetown, Cincinnati, and Louisville all joined the highly populated, extremely unpopular “Defeated club.” This week in the Big East Report, we take a look at each team’s… more »

Miami’s Charlie Coles: As Serious as a Heart Attack

The man just won’t quit. Miami (OH) head coach Charlie Coles returns to the basketball court this season after missing the spring  and summer with health problems. As the severity heart ailments increases, so too does Coles’ resolve. At several points during the course of his coaching career he has been faced with seemingly career-ending… more »

Big East Report: Week 2

The Big East is likely the most visible basketball conference with an extensive ESPN television contract and enduring Sportscenter highlights. Even so, viewers can catch a few unfamiliar talents in the mix. Listed below are the impact newcomers for each of the 16 conference teams, in order of relevance to the program. 1) Mike Rosario… more »

Big East Report: Week 1

In my humble Big East predictions, these are the bottom eight teams. Can any of them climb out of the bottom half? In this week’s Beast Report, paths to ascension are devised. Marquette Most experts will disagree with my placement of Marquette in the bottom half of the Big East. The Golden Eagles, however, have… more »

The Relevance of Louisville’s Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams is back in the red and black. For all his flaws (wild, misguided passes, embarrassing outside shooting), T-Will has great value for this particular Louisville team. With Earl Clark also back in the fold, UL is a favorite to reach the Final Four for the second time in five seasons. Rick Pitino is… more »

CBE Recap: Ripening Orange

Thousands of fans took in the College Basketball Experience, many expectant of a Kansas championship. While Syracuse spoiled that dream 89-81 in overtime, the fans did bear witness to the greatest display of point guard play in the nation thus far. They led in different ways, but both KU junior Sherron Collins and SU sophomore… more »

Mid-Major Perspectives on Scheduling

Bright lights enable big crowds to watch their favorite hoop masters all winter long. The Internet and scouting databases have brought fans ever closer to the recruiting battles. Nowadays the least visible aspect of college basketball is scheduling. Despite its phantom nature, the lining up of opponents has a deep impact on who makes the… more »

College Basketball Experience Tournament Preview

Florida (2-0) versus Syracuse (3-0) will be a nice early-season tussle. Both teams believe 2009 will mark a return to the NCAA Tournament. For different reasons these recent NCAA Champions missed the Big Dance last year. For ‘Cuse, the two-year hiatus stings even worse. Two of the nation’s finest point guards provide the source of… more »

Big East Semifinal: Pitt-Marquette

Red Rover champions, these officials must be. Under the guise of a basketball game, Tim Higgins, Reggie Greenwood, and Pat Driscoll craftily chose and removed the most irreplaceable player from each team. Foul trouble forced both teams to bench crucial starters. In the children’s game of Red Rover, once your best player is removed the… more »

Big East semis Georgetown-West Virginia

“I’m a monster!” screamed Georgetown center Roy Hibbert after converting his final basket of a 72-55 win over the resurgent West Virginia Mountaineers. Hibbert played like Dilbert in the quarterfinals. Thanks to a colossal mismatch in the post and increased motivation, Hibbert showed extraordinarily well in the third most lopsided game of the 2008 Big… more »

2008 Big East Tournament Recap

Quarterfinal Games Georgetown 82, Villanova 63 Let the bodies hit the floor! Recording artists Drowning Pool years ago concocted an apt anthem for the Villanova-Georgetown rivalry with “Bodies (Let the Bodies Hit the Floor).” Anything would have been better for ESPN to choose than the contrived, faux-frightening urban montage which accompanies every Aeropostale Big East… more »

Bracketography’s “Best in State” Awards

Where are the best of the best from? With All-Conference Teams mostly announced in the last two days, we at Bracketography thought we’d take a little different approach to our awards: the point of this article is to take a look at the best five from each state in the nation. Talented players tend to… more »

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