Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I don't believe what I just saw

I'm back from the RAC, watching College Gamenight on ESPN and thinking, in the words of the late Jack Buck: "I don't believe what I just saw!"
What I saw was Rutgers take it to Villanova, to the tune of an 80-68 win that, for the most part, wasn't as close as the final score indicates. 
Here's the game story in today's Trentonian, which, thanks to our pals on the copy desk, made its way onto the back page (which you can see along with the story). 
I wrote in a column yesterday that in order for the Knights to do so much as win a game in the Big East, an opponent was going to have to stumble into the RAC and play its worst game of the season. 
That may have happened, and I suspect the 12-plus minutes Villanova went without a field goal in the second half was the worst stretch of basketball the Wildcats have played this year. 
But having said that, I've got to credit the Scarlet Knights. Mike Coburn and Anthony Farmer were lethal from the perimeter on both sides of the ball, Corey Chandler played well off the bench and everyone else played well enough -- especially on defense -- to pull off the upset. 
When I was in Toronto earlier this month covering the International Bowl, a light-hearted topic of conversation among reporters was the predicted number of Big East wins the Knights would get. No one put the number at more than three, and some suggested it might be zero. My best guess was two, and for Rutgers' sake, I hope I'm wrong. 
If Rutgers plays the way it did last night, there's no doubt the Knights will win at least two or three more the rest of the way. Yet then again, this is the same team that lost by 25 to South Florida, so you never know. 
Rutgers wasn't the only team in the Big East that won an exciting game last night. UConn escaped with a thrilling win at Cincinnati, giving the Huskies their third road win after winning just two all of last year. 
Elsewhere in the Big East, Louisville bounced back from a loss to Seton Hall by crushing South Florida, and Pitt blew out St. John's at the Garden. 
The Big East coaches' teleconference is today at 11, so we'll have a Big East notebook in tomorrow's paper. 
And don't forget that tonight is a big night in the MAAC, including a rematch between Rider and Manhattan at the Broncs' Zoo. 
Rider has won five straight and is in good shape in the MAAC, sitting just a game behind first-place Siena in a second-place tie with Marist in the conference standings
And before we leave for the day: We're proud to announce the first-ever TCHB Super Bowl pick-em contest. It's simple: pick the winner and exact score of the big game in Glendale and win a t-shirt of your favorite college basketball team courtesy of the TCHB. 
To enter, send an e-mail to with your name, favorite team and predicted score. 
Have a great Thursday. 


Anonymous scott apuzzo said...

Even though Evan Roberts is everybody's favorite WFAN radio anchor, he does have some flaws. Benigno and some callers were sh*tting on him today for dropping the ball when he was attempting to ask a girl out while he was at the gym. Kind of sounds like my favorite WFAN radio guy has more in common with me than I think.

January 24, 2008 at 4:15 PM 
Anonymous All-Time Yankee Great Ruben Sierra said...

I must agree with Mr. Apuzzo about a past comment he made. It is very much true that Edgar Padilla and Carmelo Travieso are highly regarded basketball figures in Puerto Rico. They are as loved on the island as ESPN’s Dana Jacobson loves her Gray Goose. My two sons attend El Instituto de Educación de Carmelo Travieso y Edgardo Padilla. The English translation of that name comes out to, “Welcome to the school of Carmelo Travieso and Edgar Padilla, the two greatest human beings ever to touch a basketball.

In fact, most schools on the island are named after players of the 1995-1996 UMASS basketball team. For example, the law school is called La Escuela de Derecho Dana Dingle, the medical school is named El Centro de Medicina Donta Bright and of course the highly regarded engineering school Universidad de Ingeniería de Puerto Rico Marcus Camby. After the successful 95-96 season, Puerto Rico became obsessed with everything associated with UMASS basketball.

In a remote area close to the rainforest of El Yunque a small religious following was formed called Los Caliparis. The Los Caliparis cult was created as a way to praise Coach John Calipari. The religious following had very strange rituals like dressing up in two-piece suits and applying large amounts of hair gel and running around with their hands up, talking about the positives of the full court press defense. In addition, they would position rocks at midnight that would spell A-10 and they referred to their compound as Moon Township, the town where Calipari was born. Sadly, the cult committed mass suicide after Calipari left UMASS for the Nets coaching job. Strangely, their choice of suicide was by stoning that left horrendous bruising on their bodies, in reference to Bruiser Flint and the dark days of UMASS basketball. Ironically, the worst prison on the island is La Prisión de Bruiser.

However, the Minuteman spirit is still strong in the hearts of the Puerto Rican people, that sentiment is clearly evident in the school curriculums. In grade school, my sons are taught Math, History, Science and how to read UMASS box scores. Every morning each student recites the U.S. and Puerto Rican national anthems and then proceeded by singing “One Shining Moment”. Each Friday during 5th period, they are shown highlights of the UMASS 95-96 tournament run. There is still hope on the island that one day our prayers will be answered. The day when, UMASS basketball will be on top again, Camby, Padilla and Travieso will walk through that door and that stupid NCAA violation will not tarnish the greatest basketball season UMASS and Puerto Rico have ever seen.

January 25, 2008 at 1:17 AM 

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