Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which needs to learn how to ride this unicycle and then stop by the Fiesta outlet in Flatwoods.
You’re damn right it’s Red Panda time. She’s the halftime entertainment for tomorrow’s game. In my world, WVU v. Louisville is the first and third act at the Red Panda show. We can probably agree to disagree. Highlight of the season for me. See Brutus the Buckeye? That’s basically me every time I see her, except maybe with a little more And-One mix tape.
This clip is hilarious, too, because she really plays up the tension at the end and all of a sudden it’s Truck Bryant dribbling down the court at the end of overtime against Providence. Then she nails it and does the arms-out-”Whooo!” It’s just … I can’t. I can’t.
I need to know more about Red Panda. Is she a Big 12 act? Why wasn’t this a more contentious part of the settlement negotiations? What’s she like? I mean, when Matt Wells comes to her dressing room and is all, “Ms. Panda, five minutes…” is she on her Blackberry texting friends like Shaq and Caley Kuoco and Lil Wayne and Jay Bilas and snapping bubble gum and doesn’t even acknowledge Wells? Or is she sitting on her unicycle signing autographs with her feet for little children seven feet below?
Haven’t seen her on the road or, of course, at a home game this season. And don’t tell me this isn’t a coincidence. Red Panda is the don’t-leave-your-seats halftime entertainment and WVU football has its junior weekend recruiting soiree — heavy on the quarterbacks — featuring seats at Saturday’s basketball game.
Blue chipper: Coach, coach! This unicyclist … is she here often?
Dana Holgorsen: That’s what Mr. Luck assured me in December 2010.
Blue chipper: Well, I’m ready to give you my verbal commi–
Dana Holgorsen: In a minute, kid. In a minute.
Somehow I suspect that is not why you’re here today. We did see the tentative agreement reached last night to end the lawsuits — and from what I’m told, the terms are fairly similar to those proposed at the beginning here. So I have to ask: What was all this about?
WVU has done exactly what it said it would do and got exactly what it wanted. I didn’t necessarily agree with what the University did — which was say with conviction from the beginning it was in the Big 12 come July 1 and there was no conversation to the contrary — but at the end, I do have to admire the resoluteness. It worked.
I mean, if WVU looked bad at the beginning of this for thumbing its nose at the Big East and its bylaws, there is at least some credibility to what it has previously stated and stood behind. The Big East has made a series of underwhelming additions and basketball decisions and, I have to believe now, didn’t have what it needed in order to do what it wanted to do to WVU. Basically, the University held its breath longer and the Big East reached a point where it stood to lose way more than it was going to gain.All stuff we’ve been over here recently now, but this time with what I trust is a conclusion.
So, really, what took so long? Why are they settling now and not, I don’t know, months ago? I hope we get answers to that, as well as a few other questions, over time here.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, get fired up (and get your legalese figured out before the judge calls you on it.)
Better Lucky Than Goode said:
I’ll say this for Truck — when he succeeds, he succeeds magnificently, and when he fails … he fails magnificently. Absolutely no short-term memory, which is a good (albeit sometimes frustrating) quality to have in a cornerback and a shooting guard. He never seems to let a missed shot deter him from taking another one.
You might say this Truck doesn’t have a rear-view mirror, either.
You might say that. I’m furious I haven’t said that before you just did. Treadmill…
So what you’re saying is that Kilicli needed to be “grounded” to play well?
Yeah, I know that was bad on many levels.
Bah, 0-for-2! I definitely needed to say that.
Dann White said:
I commented after the game about the three upperclassmen accounted for 74 0f 87 points in the game. Notwithstanding the fact that the competition shouldn’t have been as sound as it was, this was an effort that required the more experienced players to step up when the newer guys were stumped.
I believe that when the prognosticators picked the Mounties to have a “down” year, they based that idea on the notion that while KJ would be solid and Truck would be, well, Truck, depending on the day, Deniz, I believe was percieved to be a lumbering sort of role player, often in foul trouble and therefore would be limited in minutes played. Just not that much of a factor.
This was not the Deniz we saw Sunday; if, (cross your fingers everyone) this new Deniz proves to be more than just a difference in the defense he faced at Providence, these new-found feet of his might just balance out what has cost us so many close games this season. Then again, if a frog had wings………………………..
I’d agree with that and he’s been a difference in some good wins and in some bad losses. To follow up, though, this comment was post-Providence and the frong had wings against Notre Dame, which, again, could not handle him. It’s going to be different against Louisville … a sixth straight team that’s going to use a zone.
The 25314 said:
I believe there is an English word that conveys Deniz’s idea. “Coordination.”
“If we don’t win another four games, we’re going to the NIT.”
Argh! I hate this statement. I’m hoping it’s lost in Turkish to English translation but this says to me “We can still lose three games and get to the NCAA” it speaks to contentment with losing and that’s plagued this team already this year. Do I think this team is really content to lose? No, of course not. But the lax attitude resulted in butt whoopings at Seton Hall and St. John’s. This team isn’t good enough to treat games as anything but “must win.”
I’m assuming this talk comes straight from Huggins. He tells them exactly what he thinks so they know what they have to do. Flip side: These games now are all pretty much “must win” games, even though I think the older players treat them all like that.
Simple Jack said:
When was the last game our opponent didn’t hit a 3 at the first hald buzzer?
Is it four straight games now? and St. John’s scored at the buzzer in the game before this thing started. Sooner or later you just have to foul the guy, right?
Frank R said:
What disturbs me most is “Where are all those great recruits Huggins was supposed to bring to WVU? Only one that I know of, Devin Ebanks. Five years, and only one. And most of what he brings in, aren’t that good. In years past, recruits came and quit, or transferred… We only get so many,, he’s got to do a better job of recruiting.And I say this again and again all year… Why play a man defense, when everyone in the league takes us on the dribble drive for easy lay-ups. We have to have some sort of a zone (2-3) like other teams use against us to stop our inside game…
I think Huggins would tell you that he’s never had the long line of five-star guys and McDonald’s All-Americans. I’m not sure why people make that connection. Ebanks was more exception than rule. Kevin Jones was a player who was respected because of his prep career, the high school program and how well-rounded he was as a player, not because he was killing it in AAU and chased by Kentucky and UCLA and Duke. Also, we don’t know what might have been with Cottrill or Jennings even Pepper. It’s recruiting. You never know. As for defense, I just don’t think he has the guys this year to do what he wants to do, which is basically take a team out of its sets and get the ball on one side of the floor and keep it there. He even says he can’t make a lot of adjustments because guys don’t know what he wants to do or they forget it. He’s played a lot of 1-3-1 and point-drop zone in the past, but he can’t do it this year for the same reasons. Should those things be better at his point of the season? Probably so, but I think that bothers him more than anything else. Teams don’t run a lot of plays against WVU these days because they’re good with a screen and a dribble. And I see people are grilling Gary Browne for his defense. Well, he is aggressive and takes chances and that gets him out of position and that hurts the whole concept, yes, but he’s a freshman. Truck wasn’t much better when he was a freshman. It’s a hard position to learn to guard in college — no one has the ball more than the point guard, so no one has more experience to draw upon to beat an 18-year-old defender. One reasons screens are so effective, I think.
“He’s done it in nine games in a row now and can join Rod Hundley and Jerry West with the longest streak in school history if he does it tonight against Notre Dame.”
Kiss of death.
My bad. You could kind of see it coming. KJ’s been gripping hard lately and Notre Dame plays a style not conducive to his game.
The NIT, to me, seems like a letdown for the potential of this team. They could win that tournament and I think it would feel hollow.
To balance that against a likely first or second round NCAA loss … I think I’d rather see about 5 lightbulbs come on and try our luck there.
Huggins, last night, seemed about to burst with some of the screaming at some of these guys. It’s one thing to miss a play or two, but if we’re reading over and over that guys are just not even in the same building (mentally), then it makes one wonder where we could be.
Interesting point to consider. Is the NIT disappointing or reality? You do remember the Division II loss and the Kent State loss and a peculiar effort against Missouri State? NIT seemed acceptable. I’ll admit, I had reservations when they were 15-5 and I was honestly surprised the RPI and SOS were so high, but I thought it could me a middle-tier seed in the NCAA Tournament. That St. John’s game was an omen we can’t ignore, though. You’re going to lose on the road and you’re going to have bad nights, but that was just a lack of desire and a display of complacency. It wasn’t like the Providence game. I thought WVU really tried, but just couldn’t score.
Hugs’s references to players pouting and not really deserving to play makes me wonder a little who and how many he’s talking about. I think Aaron Brown and Rutledge are safe bets, but he’s nothing but complimentary of Hinds most of the time, though he certainly makes his share of mistakes. Gary’s effort is always there, but his mistakes are usually as numerous as his highlights.
What’s most frustrating for everyone has to be the fact that we’ve gotten worse over the course of the season. If this team improved only incrimentally from the Kent State loss, so be it. They were, most of us could agree, not expected to do great things. But to have the wins they had against Georgetown and Kansas State, the close losses to top 5 teams Baylor and Syracuse, and also have losses like last night and St. Johns, et. al. is just baffling. We certainly could string together some nice wins in the final few weeks here, but we could just as easily continue to careen into the abyss.
The praise placed upon Miles has vanished, as have his minutes. He just doesn’t have any confidence. Looked like he was trying to manufacture some Wednesday and when it didn’t work he kind of shrunk and Huggins just sat him down. Brown tends to blow up some things on offense and defense and Huggins wasn’t going to have that, either. Curious about Rutledge, myself, because the potential is there. He just seems to repeat errors … and we did see Forsythe in uniform, though that may have been just to get him out there and working out with everyone. That does nothing to the hardship waiver.
Does anyone feel there may be some fresh transfering out at the end of this school year?
This is the question we hesitate to ask, but we almost have to consider now because that quote is divisive … and WVU has the max 13 players on scholarship this year, two seniors opening up scholarships and three players signed in the incoming recruiting class. Do the math and remember scholarships are one-year contracts the school decides to renew.
How come we never chat anymore, Mike? I need you. I’m a mess without you. I miss you so damn much! I miss being with you. I miss being near you. I miss your laugh. I miss your scent. I miss your musk.
What do you mean? I’m on your show tonight at 10:20 p.m.
Hey Mike! There’s an article in the Daily Mail that indicates closure could be just around the corner for the BE and WVU.
You think the guy that wrote it knows what he is talking about?
I thought so. Can’t speak for all the others.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading people’s comments and reactions to the Big East lawsuit and the move to the Big 12 in general, and it amazes me how misinformed people are.
Proud to say I didn’t contribute to that. I just wasn’t interested in writing about it until I knew something was worth pursuing and presenting. I don’t know, but maybe reporting fluidity isn’t so great.
The title of this post started “The End” by The Doors playing in my head, which gave rise to scenes from “Apocalypse Now” with Providence, RI as Cambodia, John Marinatto as Col. Kurtz and Oliver Luck as Col. Willard. Is that Mike Casazza in the Dennis Hopper role?
But yeah, a monetary settlement is probably a better way for it all to play out.
No offense to Mike, I hasten to add. It’s simply that Hopper was a journalist in the flick. So it fits that way.
Oh, well, that’s better. Better than Hopper in “Hoosiers.“
Seoul Man said:
John Marinatto to Oliver Luck: “Are you an assassin?”
Luck: “I’m an athletic director.”
Marianatto: “No, you’re not. You’re an errand boy, sent by a grocer to collect an overdue bill.”
[Cut to shot of Syracuse Orange mascot being slaughtered with machete, thudding heavily ground.]
Mike Casazza: “What are they gonna say, man, when the Big East is gone? Cuz when IT dies, when IT dies, are they gonna say it was a KIND league? It was a WISE league? It had PLANS? It had WISDOM? B******t, man! Am I gonna be the one to set them straight? Look at me — WRONG! [Points to blog commentators, gravely intones:] You.”
Todd Graham, standing on a beach, arms akimbo, shirtless, drinking in atmosphere: “You know, someday, this league’s gonna end.”
Excellent, Seoul man. Just effen excellent.
I was trying to find something to say. That’ll do.
What if Boise State doesn’t want to join the Big East until 2013 for the exact reason that you stated, Mike? Wanting to wait a year and see if the Big 12 or Pac 12 comes calling…it’s not that far-fetched
I think WVU wanted to figure that out to and then didn’t want it to become a hurdle, especially when it became a hurdle — ie, “Let us go. We’re giving you the money, it’s up to you to use it to get Boise State.” The Big East agreed Thursday to no longer attach WVU’s move to Boise State’s move — again, just couldn’t hold its breath. The Big East will get the money and do what it wants with it. Could be Boise State, could be San Diego State, but they obviously want a team for 2012.
“Further, I think the Big East might be foolish not to pursue this and make it happen.”
This alone means it won’t happen. Has the current regime in the BE done anything prudent that didn’t make it look foolish, much less take those actions at the correct time? I rest my case……
The only thing giong against my case is the vacation day on Thursday……strong counter-argument.
The vacation thing is like Manny Pacquiao. It’s a small thing, but it’s unbeatable. And infuriating.
Bill Wallace said:
Yea everyone is glad but who in the hell is going to pay for all this? FSU contract, BE fees, legal fees, coaches severance and so on;
I hope that the people running this university know what they are doing. But it’s is only money and none of it is coming out of their pockets.
Short answer? You. Well, I mean, from the athletic department, but that’s essentially you. But WVU is going to make a hell of a lot more guaranteed money as a Big 12 school than as a Big East school. Remember, WVU can’t make the full amount of money the first three years — 50 percent, 67 percent, 84 percent. In the first year, the 50-percent figure will be more than what WVU would make as a full member in the Big East. The TV contract is good, so much so that we have a likely outcome here where the nine other schools are willing to chip in to get WVU in for 2012 just so the TV contract pays out the way it’s supposed to. Then there’s an upcoming negotiation with a larger deal if WVU is on board.
Syracuse might consider staying if Memphis joins. The Tigers would be just about the only football program in either the Big East or ACC that the Orange could count on soundly defeating in successive seasons. Other than ours, that is.
It hurts because it’s true.
Is the guy WVU is suing the one who is making the “West F-ing Virginia” t-shirts?
More or less. The line is being drawn in the sand.
The 25314 said:
Good morning. In less than an hour, West Virginia will join other football schools from the Big 12. And WVU will be entering one of the best football conferences in the history of football conferences. “Football Conference.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We won’t be consumed by petty basketball schools anymore. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it’s fate that Sunday we beat Providence. And today, we break free of their bondange. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from incompetence. We are fighting for our right to an AQ. To exist. And with the win today, the Tenth of February will no longer be known as Big East basketball season, but as the day WVU declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into Conference USA!” We will not vanish without a BCS AQ! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day.
Enjoy the weekend!