Every now and then I try my hand at establishing a new column. Every now and then it fails because I can't come up with a new idea, or the season starts and it gets back-burnered. I think I might have a hit this time though: The Friday Thought Dump! I often shy away from editorializing, because it seems self-indulgent. This isn't Pete Rossman presents The Only Colors featuring Pete Rossman. So I'm going to try this, and include a few of your comments as well as comments of the week. Here goes nothing.
THE BIG THING THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK: THE SE'VON PITTMAN DECOMMITMENT
I'm not going to lie -- this stung. I was upset after Pittman's decommitment, and I dealt with it by cleaning my apartment. After a couple days, I'm beginning to accept and rationalize it, for four reasons:
- If Pittman wanted to be at Ohio State and enrolled at MSU, he'd never live up to his Top-100 billing. Nearly self-explanatory. No, this isn't sour grapes either.
- Michigan State only plays Ohio State in the regular season once in the next three years -- at least. File under the category "We'll worry about the Big Ten Championship Game when we get there". MSU plays three teams from the (ugh) Leaders division each year -- Indiana, and two rotating teams. Next year's the last year MSU will have to face Wisconsin and Ohio State before December for a while, and that means avoiding two of the toughest teams. Even though Urban Meyer's recruiting his butt off right now, it's not really affecting MSU.
- Mark Dantonio has taken commitments from other committed recruits before. David Barrent, like Se'Von Pittman, was a Top-100 recruit who switched his commitment from Iowa to Michigan State. I didn't complain when that happened, so I can't complain too much now lest I be a hypocrite.
- MSU's deep at defensive end. If Pittman was slotted as a defensive tackle recruit, the tone here might be much different. Pittman was recruited as a D-end however, where MSU is deep -- William Gholston and Marcus Rush are going to be around for a couple more years (I don't think Gholston's leaving early unless he has a special year in 2012), and apparently 2011 recruit Shilique Calhoun has been impressive on the scout team this year. There's plenty of rounds in the chamber.
In conclusion -- it hurt losing Pittman this week. Rationalization helps heal the pain. Also helping: the thought that Urban Meyer will be seriously trampled at some point in 2012 by Buckeye fans attempting to touch him, in the false hope that he can heal leprosy.
"The cane makes him a little slower. Not much, though. The guy was never quick."
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio1st 5 games = 0.75:1 (9 A, 12 TO)
2nd 5 games = 2.63:1 (21 A, 8 TO)
>And in the last 3 games, the ratio goes up to 4:1 (16 A, 4 TO). He has more assists in the last 3 games than he did in the first 7 games. And with the exception of the FSU game, he has done a much better job protecting the ball. The Gonzaga game was probably the most encouraging of all, given that he didn’t register a single assist against UNC, Duke, or FSU. I thought he did a great job in transition of finding an open shooter and kicking out after a drive. He’s proving a lot of people wrong (like me) who thought he needed to go back to playing the 2.
- Ducking Delvon, commenting in the Gonzaga recap about Keith Appling's improvement at the point.
THE SILVER MEDAL:
Looking back at 03 That was a bit of a surprise. And it was just 2 years removed from the 3 consecutive final fours. But by 05 questions began to surface if it was all Izzo would ever do. That team had a hell of a senior class which jumped on board during the Flintstone days. The junior class was stacked too. Add in Shannon Brown…….To say expectations were low for that team is inaccurate. I’m perplexed when I hear State fans say the team does better when it isn’t expected to do so. I know last year sucked, I know. I get it. Really, I do. But there isn’t much to support the claim that MSU bball excels when the pressure is off because A) It’s a program that is rather high profile now, so doing reasonably well consistently is expected (and should be)……… B) There haven’t been many seasons under Izzo when the team came from out of nowhere to greatly exceed expectations (except for maybe near the beginning; 97-99).
- Conor Boyle, on MSU performing to expectations in K.J' s post.
THE GOLD MEDAL:
Per the Spartan Tailgate boards, Pittman’s girlfriend is attending OSU to play basketball, so that could have had an influence as much as whatever Meyer was selling. So let’s blame Suzy Merchant for not landing her. /end sarcasm font
- witless chum on the Pittman decommitment. Onward and upward my friends.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK:
That's the program I'm giving away for this year's College Bowl Pick 'Em winner. A warning I forgot to mention at the start -- you can only have one entry; if you have two or more I'm counting the worst one. Go here to enter, the password is CousinsToNichol. (the period's not in the password.) The contest closes tomorrow, so RUN RUN OR YOU'LL BE WELL DONE.
GAMES OF THE WEEKEND:
MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bowling Green, 7 PM Saturday, Big Ten Network. I remember missing this game last year while I was shopping in Yonkers for whatever reason. I know that MSU beat the crap out of the Falcons last year, but this year's version could pack a punch -- they've beaten 6-2 Temple, and Temple in turn beat Villanova. Hopefully the home-court advantage helps prevent an upset.
WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS: Western Michigan (scrimmage), 1 PM Sunday. It's Christmas Break, it's a slow weekend. So it goes.
LAST THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Congratulations to all the new Michigan State graduates! Sorry you had Mitch Albom as your speaker. Mine (Spring '06) was Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, and he ended his speech by recounting a story of when he was pulled over, and had to recite the alphabet backwards. He went from Z-A quickly, perfectly and in rhythm, and became one of my heroes in the process.
A Motown Christmas is my favorite Christmas album, so I'll end from one of my favorite songs from said album. We'll have a Bowling Green preview up soon, and have a fantastic weekend.