Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Tweener - Bids Punched, Gross Beards, and a Phi-Slamma-Jamma Baby!

On February 26, I wrote an inaugural "Tweener" column. It's that time of the week: here are this issue's quick hitters:
  • Liberty University found a way to win four games in a row in their conference tournament, and they are advancing to be sacrificial lambs for some one seed in the first round the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004. Reporters on the scene detailed that students from the heavily-evangelist-influenced university were allowed to celebrate by staying out an extra 15 minutes (until 9:30, since 9-3=6 and that's the devils number) and have an extra glass of chocolate milk before bed. Former Liberty player Seth Curry, also headed to the NCAA tournament with Duke, has evidently been dealing with shin-splints the entire season and no longer regularly participates in practice. (Next week I'll lay out some predictions and picks for the tournament, but I will note here that while Duke looked great against UNC, it took two different players playing their best basketball at different times, as Curry appeared worn out after a sensational first half.) As I read this, I assumed it would hurt his draft stock. Turns out, he's projected to be selected somewhere late in the second round, if he gets selected at all. I thought a bit more about where he fits best, and suddenly it dawned on me - the Miami Heat. Of course at this point any player would probably fit well with the Heat, but as Miami moves away from the Mike Miller/Ray Allen/Shane Battier/Old Instructor from the new Priceline ads Rashard Lewis era, who better to have step in than a young, two position shooter? Miami has a good record of turning these kinds of guys into valuable assets (Chalmers & Cole), and he could certainly give you more than 4 minutes at a time without having back spasms.
  • A couple nights ago I walked one of my roommates to a babysitting job. It was 7 or 8 blocks from our house and in a less-than-super-safe neighborhood, so she appreciated the company. I decided to jog home because I love playing "who is in the best shape" aka running. Completely false. But I hadn't done anything active in a while, so off I went. I made it about 3 blocks before both my shins and my calves got remarkably tight. As it turns out, my shins only hurt because my shoes weren't tied so I was struggling to keep them on my feet as I ran. At any rate, as I used a yellow light after block 4 to rest, I figured that how I felt was probably somewhat similar to how Andrew Bynum feels as he returns to physical activity. (No, changing your hairstyle daily does not count.) Philadelphia is 1-12 over their last 13 games, and they've fallen to 29th in Marc Stein's NBA Power Rankings. Maybe it isn't just Andrew Bynum. Maybe everyone on the Sixers gets tired after 2 minutes of running.
  • My alma mater, Davidson College, successfully punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament last night. (You can find a rough approximation of my celebration here.) I would have found much more joy in watching the game if the entire team hadn't committed to growing out grotesque/patchy/gnarly beards. I'm not sure why this is happening. Hopefully the deal was "no shaving until we win the Southern Conference tournament". My best guess? They're trying to emulate former Davidson star Steph Curry, who recently appeared on this blog for his performance in Madison Square Garden. Honestly Steph, I'm as big a fan as the next guy, but we've all known since college that facial hair just isn't for you (even though I would love Davidson's slogan going into the tournament to be "Fear the Neard"). Please stop growing something that looks like the bushes from the Pokemon Blue Version on your face. (Fun fact I learned while doing minimal research for this paragraph - there's a youtube video "how to draw a beard on your face with a sharpie"...subtitled "don't be an idiot...wait...fine be an idiot just so we all know you're an idiot".)
  • After the Davidson game last night I made myself some food and returned to the living room to find one of my roommates laughing at a WWE match on TV. We watched it for a surprisingly and embarrassingly lengthy amount of time, until something roughly resembling this happened, and then we finally switched back to basketball. What could that top rope slamming possibly have reminded me of, you ask? If ever there was a moment during NBA gameplay that resembled the WWE (ok...not including Andrew Bynum decking JJ "who cares I got a fat contract for no apparent reason anyway" Barea), this posterization of Brandon Knight is it.
Think of something you'd like to appear in the Tweener? Feel free to email suggestions to japedaco@gmail.com.  Don't forget to follow @VolumeShooters on Twitter!

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