Monday, December 7, 2009

What Did We Learn?

Well, you're never going to learn TOO much from just a pair of games, but it sure made for an interesting weekend, having men's basketball dip into Big South Conference play for a taste of things to come...

Highlights from Thursday's opening night included Winthrop's Gideon Gamble hitting his only basket of the game to send the Eagles into a Conference-opening overtime game against preseason favorite Radford. Ultimately, the Highlanders had the free-throw shooting necessary in the extra period to win 61-59, but it was high drama in Rock Hill for a good while there...and High Point's Tehran Cox took the ball end-to-end for the game-winning lay-up at Presbyterian College (63-61)...Coastal Carolina outran VMI's blistering pace for a 111-97 win...and Liberty handled CSU 69-53.

Friday had one game--but it was a doozy. How about UNC Asheville, winless overall coming into the game, finding the way to hang tight and tap in the game-winning basket (by Chris Stephenson) in the final seconds? That's right, Asheville stole one away from Gardner-Webb in the Battle of the Bulldogs, 58-56.

There was less drama for Saturday's line-up, but Radford had to come from behind a second time in as many Big South games to beat PC, while VMI's pace was too much for CSU, Winthrop topped High Point, and Coastal downed Liberty.

With Conference games off the table for nearly another month, that leaves us with these standings to muse over for a while:

2-0: Coastal Carolina & Radford;
1-0: UNC Asheville;
1-1: High Point, VMI, Winthrop, & Liberty;
0-1: Gardner-Webb;
0-2: Charleston Southern & PC.

For more thoughts on the early play in Big South MBB, try Rush the Court: Checking in on the Big South (also by yours truly, so I admit some of it may sound a bit familiar, but there's plenty more there). Enjoy.

By the way, here's a fun idea--since the schedule is a bit light to start the week--wrap your creativity around the question from our Facebook Fan Page:

OPEN QUESTION TIME: If you could get one special Christmas gift for any one Big South Conference recipient (a school, team, coach, player, etc.), what would it be? Be creative, anything goes, but keep it clean...

If you've got any fun answers, enter them there or comment on them here--if we get good ones, we'll share them!

And by the way, I know it's not all about the men's teams--but Conference play was kind of a big deal for early December. For now, I offer this one key women's hoops note: a congratulatory SHOUT-out to the Lady Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb, winners of EIGHT STRAIGHT! Way to go, GWU--keep up the good work!

That's all for this midday Monday.

Take a moment sometime today, December 7th, to think on the sacrifice and meaning of Pearl Harbor Day...we are losing more of our WWII veterans these days, simply with the passage of time, but do not forget their contributions. SHOUT offers a salute, and a heartfelt moment of silence in their honor........................

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