Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Harvard Wins Basketball Beanpot

Ten years ago, if you'd proposed a Beanpot style tournament for the college basketball teams in Boston, the idea would be dismissed because BC would be the undoubted favorite. How things have changed.

Harvard beat BC 79-63 last night. It was the Crimson's 5th straight victory over the Eagles.

What's really unfortunate for BC is that Harvard wasn't supposed to be that good this year. Harvard lost co-captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry before the season due to a cheating scandal. The Crimson were 3-3 coming into this game. One of their wins was over MIT (the Engineers compete in Division III). Another win was against the Manhattan College Jaspers.

BC was actually favored to win last night's game, and it was close at halftime, with Harvard clinging to a 31-29 lead. Then the Crimson started the 2nd half with a 7-0 run and kept their foot on the gas. BC simply could not stop them. Harvard went on an 11-0 run after the first media timeout. The game was effectively over with 12 minutes left to play.

Sivani Chambers scored 21 points for Harvard. Wesley Saunders added 18. Jonah Travis scored 14. For BC, Ryan Anderson stood out, scoring 23 very hard points, mostly down low. No other Eagle scored more than 15, and only two others scored more than 10.

Harvard won the physical battles. They got some key offensive rebounds and had 9 team steals compared to BC's 2. They also got to the line more often, and shot better with their 3-pointers.

Ten years ago BC was a perennial NCAA tournament team, the undisputed best college basketball team in Boston, and behind UConn the second best team in New England. Now, there's no other way to put it, BC is Harvard's bitch.

Photo Credit:
Boston Globe

Patriots Lose Edelman, Sign Donte Stallworth

The Patriots placed Julian Edelman on Injured Reserve, ending the wide receiver's 2012 season. The team signed former Patriot Donte Stallworth. However, Edelman's contributions in multiple phases of the game will be tough to replace.

Edelman scored 5 touchdowns this season: 3 were caught, 1 was a punt return, 1 was a fumble recovery on a kickoff. He averaged 15.5 yards per punt return, the 2nd best in the NFL. He was a key contributor on offense and special teams.

While Patriot fans revel in the team's 6 game win-streak and divisional title, what's not spoken much about is how riddled with injury this team is. Chandler Jones, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Rob Gronkowski. One more injury to a receiver, such as Wes Welker or Aaron Hernandez, and this team could be in trouble.

This is why securing a first-round bye is so vital.

BC Football Names Steve Addazio Head Coach

It didn't take long for BC to find a replacement for Frank Spaziani. Yesterday afternoon Steve Addazio was announced as the new head coach for the beleaguered program. Addazio has been the head coach at Temple the past two seasons. He had a 13-11 record with the Owls.

Before that he was the offensive coordinator at Florida for 2 years, the same time Tim Tebow was there. Perhaps Addazio will bring some of that option stuff to Chestnut Hill, where offensive creativity has been sorely lacking for years. He was part of Florida's coaching staff from 2005 to 2010.

Addazio's two BCS titles as an assistant coach, as well as his experience in Gainesville, should buy him some credibility when recruiting and coaching offensive players.

The 53 year old Connecticut native has also been an assistant coach at Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Indiana. He coached high school football in Connecticut from 1988 to 1994.

Addazio brings some new blood to a program that desperately needs it. In the last 8 years he's been moving up through the ranks of Florida's coaching staff. He went from an offensive-line and tight-end coach, to becoming the assistant head coach, to offensive coordinator, and then head coach at Temple. BC needed a coach who is making steps forward in their career, not one who is standing still, or taking steps back.

Addazio's background as an offensive-line coach also fits with BC's reputation as a program that produces NFL caliber talent in those positions. Addazio played on the offensive and defensive lines when he played at Central Connecticut State.

BC and Addazio agreed to a 6 year deal. Hopefully by then Addazio has done so well that he's fielding job offers from the SEC and NFL.

Red Sox Sign Shane Victorino... Why?

The Red Sox continue to spend money, this time signing Shane Victorino to a 3 year deal worth $39 million. $13 million per season seems like a lot for a 32 year old who has never hit 20 homeruns in a season and had an OBP of .321 last year, and slugged .383.

He's a decent fielder, but who cares? He steals bases, and again, who cares? He doesn't hit for power, he doesn't get on base, and he'll be paid $13 million next year. Why? It just baffles me.

For 2013 the Sox have committed $31 million to Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, and Shane Victorino. That's a significant chunk of cash for a backup outfielder, a decent first-baseman, and a glorified Carl Crawford.

It seems weird to give Shane Victorino so much money yet be so stingy with Cody Ross.

Do these seem like wise spending decisions? Thankfully, all of these deals are short-term.

Here's what I think the Red Sox are trying to do: They want the 2013 and 2014 Red Sox to finish above .500, and at least seem close to contending during the summer. That will keep fans interested, keep Fenway's seats full (at least keep tickets "distributed"), and create the illusion of improvement.

To actually fix the problems with this team will take 3 or 4 years. I think the Sox know this. What they're doing is overpaying for marginal temporary improvements while the long-term solutions are being addressed. It's like overpaying for a condo while your house is being built. Because the alternative is being left out in the rain.

Once again, PR and ticket sales seem to be steering this team's decision-making.