"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Big East Tournament Begins: Media Roundup

Post-Season Awards
Todd Rosiak profiles Dominic James, the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year. UConn's Jim Calhoun notes in the article that James "was as good as, in my opinion, almost any player in the league."

Frank Burlison of FoxSports named Dominic James to his Freshman All-American team. According to Burlison, DJ "was easily the most influential newcomer in the Big East Conference." Tom Crean earned honorable mention for coach of the year. Read about it here.

Big East Tournament Previews
The guys over at Back Seat Drivers project the winners in the BET (and have MU losing to ND tomorrow). Check it out here.

The New York Sun offers one of the best tourney previews on the Web. John Hollinger notes that "The Golden Eagles fared the best of the league's five new entrants (Louisville, DePaul, Cincinnati, and South Florida were the others), and look to be a team on the rise. Marquette's prize recruiting class of guards Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wes Matthews averages 35 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists combined." Read it here.

MSNBC says that the Big East Tournament "promises to be a doozy". MU gets mad props as well, "Marquette was the only one of the five new members from Conference USA (Louisville, South Florida, Cincinnati and DePaul were the others) to earn a first-round bye. The Golden Eagles prevailed in a three-team tiebreaker with Pittsburgh and Georgetown for the fourth seed."

The SportsNetwork previews the BET and picks UConn to take home the title.

MarquetteHoops previews the Garden Party here.

Georgetown Takes on ND: Previews
MU will be watching today's ND/Georgetown game with great interest. MU faces the winner on Thursday at 2pm EST.

Georgetown is coming off of a disappointing loss at USF to close out the regular season. The player to watch today for Georgetown is sophomore Jeff Green. According to the Washington Times, "For close followers of the program, perhaps the most disturbing part of team's failure in Tampa was that it continued a trend that has been evident during the last two seasons: When Green struggles, for whatever reason, the Hoyas struggle, no matter the caliber of competition. In several of Green's other sub-par games this season, sophomore center Roy Hibbert has stepped in to accept the team's go-to mantle. But rarely has the void been filled by one of the team's logical leaders -- seniors Owens, Brandon Bowman and Ashanti Cook."

Brandon Bowman shows off stateman-like qualities in today's Washington Post, noting "Throughout the whole season, you're talking about all of these teams that can beat anyone.....I think that's pretty much been shown throughout the whole season so far. Now it's a new season, every team in it has new life. It's like everyone is 0-0. Every team is going to be gunning for that championship, and everyone is capable of winning it."

Meanwhile, Notre Dame closed the regular season with back to back victories that warmed the cockles of Digger Phelps' heart --- and sent him scurrying to Office Depot to get a truckload of lime green highlighters to match his ties. Could there be a let down by the Irish today? The Irish struggled all season to punch a ticket to MSG and are "happy just to be playing." Despite the disappointing season in South Bend, Mike Brey and the Irish have high expectations for the games at MSG. Just ask Rick Cornett how far ND can go this week, "Sky's the limit" he said.

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