Monday, December 17, 2007

Vinny Pezzimenti Moment -- Week 5

Vinny took a seat on the Villanova bandwagon last week when he ranked the 'Cats #19 on his AP ballot last week according to pollstalker. There is definitely extra room on the bandwagon if Seth Davis and Ed Graney want to jump on board.

My Big East Blogger Poll for this week:

1 - Georgetown
2 - Pittsburgh
3 - Marquette
4 - Villanova
5 - West Virginia
6 - Connecticut
7 - Louisville
8 - Notre Dame
9 - Providence
10 - Seton Hall
11 - Syracuse
12 - South Florida
13 - St. John's
14 - Rutgers
15 - DePaul
16 - Cincinnati

Player of the Week: Jerome Dyson, Connecticut

Rookie of the Week: Dar Tucker, DePaul

Who's Up...Who's Down...
This appears to be finals week for most Big East schools, so most teams played one opponent, if any this week. And the competition was mostly cupcakes. My top 5, though I have been tempted to move West Virginia over Villanova, the Wildcats managed to beat their designated patsy, Hartford, by +28, 3 more than Pomeroy predicted. Another slow start against Columbia next weekend and I might be even more tempted, especially since West Virginia is scheduled to play Radford, a team Georgetown beat handily this week. I did shuffle the bottom three quartiles around to reflect recent wins/losses and team developments. Louisville lost their 3rd game of the season to Purdue on Saturday. Center/forward Derrick Caracter was suspended after the loss to Dayton last Saturday, so, after drafting Josh Chichester from the football team (a move that reminded me of Andy Kennedy's raid on the Cincinnati football team to get Connor Barwin...) the Cardinals went to Purdue with an extremely depleted front court (no Padgett, no Palacios, no Caracter). And lost 67-59. The Cardinals have gone 3-3 since losing David Padgett. I moved them down another position this week to make way for Connecticut. I also moved Providence down a spot even though they beat Brown by +19 last week. With 3 losses, including 2 the week before last, I think Connecticut is doing better right now. I moved Notre Dame up another spot, leapfrogging Providence. Syracuse may have won the battle against East Tennessee State on Saturday, but did they lose the war? Off guard Eric Devendorf is out with an ACL tear that ended his season. The Orange lost wing Andy Rautins in August to a similar injury, and so appear to be very short of outside scoring threats. Looks as though Philadelphia's Scoop Jardine will get the abbreviated version of Coach Boeheim's orientation for new players. Syracuse also appears to have lost senior pg Josh Wright. Wright appeared briefly in the season opener with Siena, disappeared for five games, then reappeared to take garbage time minutes in 3 games. He was DNP for ETSU, and according to accounts, was not on the bench. Wright started most of Syracuse's games at the point last season, but was displaced by freshman Jonny Flynn during preseason practice. The Orange stay at #11 this week (for me anyway), but there are some rough weeks ahead for them. In the bottom (or so) quartile I had South Florida and St. John's swap spots. The Bulls did not play last week, but the Johnnies dropped a game to Niagara (MAAC Conference...) over the weekend. The bottom 3 teams all lost last week, but DePaul is losing "more quickly" than Rutgers, and at almost the same rate as Cincinnati at this point. So I dropped them to #15.

The competition was pretty meager this week, most coaches emptied their benches before their starters ran up the points. Or the team lost and the rotation stayed pretty tight. Joe Alexander of West Virginia had a pretty good game against Maryland-Baltimore County over the weekend. Joe scored 20 points in 29 minutes, snagged 8 rebounds and had 2 assists. But my vote for player of the week goes to Connecticut's Jerome Dyson, who scored 23 points in 29 minutes, dishing 3 assists, snagging 4 rebounds and pinching 2 steals in the process. Jerome's eFG% for the game was a very nice 61.8, produced while getting a good deal of defensive attention from the Bobcats. The freshman player was tough since Dominique Jones was not playing this week (Bulls had finals?). Villanova's Corey Fisher had 18 points, 3 assists and 2 steals against Hartford on Friday night. He had an eFG of 75.0 and a PPWS of 1.36 -- both very good offensive numbers (see side bar for further reading). But if the Blue Demons are going to salvage anything from this season, Dar Tucker is going to have to have a number of nights like he had in their losing effort againt Illinois - Chicago. Tucker, coming off the bench, scored a double-double in 23 minutes of play. He scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Demons 85-80 loss to Illinois - Chicago. The Demons, at 2-5, are really struggling right now.

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