Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tigers and Hoosiers

As a Clemson Tigers and Indiana Hoosiers fan, my attention will be turned to the television tonight for two key matchups for these two teams.  My Clemson Tigers will hit the road to face the Boston College Eagles tonight, to be aired on ESPN2.  While I have been a little disappointed in their play this year, I like what I have been seeing lately and know that coach Brad Brownell is not going to settle for mediocrity.  Inexplicable loses to College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, and Hawaii left me wondering what the problem with this particular team was.  I began to realize they have a bunch of decent players, but no star.  Andre Young and Tanner Smith are good players, but they are not stars on a good team.  The loss of Demontez Stitt really hurt coming into this year, and Devin Booker has failed to fill the big shoes of his older brother Trevor, now a member of the Washington Wizards, who played well in a start against my Chicago Bulls last night.  Milton Jennings has been a five star flop in my opinion.  Any time you have the five star recruit label attached to you, more pressure is bound to come and expectations will be higher.  While this team struggles to score, it does play great defense and I like that about this year's squad.  BC has struggled this year, so I'm expecting a Clemson win tonight to jump start their ACC season after a nice 79-59 victory over Florida State the other night that shocked me quite frankly.  A balanced scoring attack and good defense will do the trick.  Let's just hope Brownell has the guys ready to play.

Regarding the Indiana Hoosiers, boy has Tom Crean done a marvelous job this year.  With Cody Zeller as the only true impact freshman playing for these Hoosiers, he has gotten this team to play remarkably in the first half of the season.  Of course Zeller is a big part of it, but the way sophomore Victor Oladipo has stepped up as well as the seniors who stuck is out through three years of misery has really impressed.  Already having defeated #1 and #2 in the country this season, the Hoosiers must not overlook the Golden Gophers tonight at Assembly Hall, who play some tight Big Ten games and have the ability to rise to the Hoosiers' level of play of late.  Despite being winless in Big Ten play at 0-4, this team has played all four Big Ten opponents very tight, including a double overtime defeat to Illinois.  I am a Hoosier fan mainly because my brother attends the school, but I embraced them even in their three years of misery.  It's great to finally see Crean's rebuilding project pay off, and the recruiting class for next year is very strong again.  I love seeing the Hoosier faithful so excited about this team and wish I could have been there up close to see Watford drain that 3-pointer as time expired against UK.    Let's go Hoosiers.

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