Saturday, March 03, 2007

Two Down, One To Go!

Today, SIU took another step toward winning it's second consecuitive MVC tourney title with it's 53-51 victory over Bradley at the ScottTrade Center in St. Louis.

I'd love to tell you a game story describing how I was there, unfortunately my roommate and I were unable to snag student tickets. Which leads to the following story.

After roaming the streets near the ScottTrade Center, my roommate Steven and I decided to go to the nearby Sheraton Hotel which is only blocks from the arena. Little did we know it was the hotel that was hosting Creighton, their fans and their alumni.

Creighton's our biggest rival. Heck, they're our arch-enemy. Needless to say, we were in an interesting predicament.

So it was me, my roommate and a few scattered maroon-clad Saluki fans cheering on their #11 team in Creighton's hotel among Creighton fans and a whole bunch of Bradley fans.

First, I must admit that all Creighton fans aren't as horrible as I thought they were. Sure, a lot of them are still angry, obscenity filled people...but the guys we were standing next too weren't bad people at all. They knew basketball. Also, I guess there's no sun in Omaha, Nebraska....the Creighton girls (though some were cute) were really pale. Makes me wonder if the sun can get through the cornfields.

Anyway, on to the game.

The game was back and forth. Bradley fans had a lot to shout about early with their three point shooting and their getting away with murder on the defensive end. SIU didn't help it's own cause with it's poor shooting and turnovers.

In the end, senior guard Jamaal Tatum stepped up hitting big shots again and again, eventually pulling SIU in the lead. Later a Randal Falker free throw made it 51-49, but that didn't last long when a Bradley player went down court and scored a tying basket.

This sets up the final scene. Tatum cut to the basket with under 5 seconds left and missed a potential game-winning lay-up.....but right there to clean it up was junior forward Matt Shaw, whose put-back put SIU ahead for good.

Daniel Ruffin's desperation half-court three was no good and the SIU victory was clinched.

Tomorrow, #11 SIU (#1 seed in the MVC tourney) plays arch-rival Creighton (#2 seed) who beat Missouri State in the other MVC semi-final game. I'm excited because really, that's how it should be. The two top teams in the tourney, the two biggest rivals in the conference and the two best programs in the nation's best non-BCS basketball conference.

My roommate and I will be back in "The Lou" bright and early tomorrow morning in another attempt to get tickets. Wish us luck, and then watch us tomorrow on CBS!

P.S. Shout out to "Bernie Federko's Steak and Sports Grille." That's where we stood and watched the game in Creighton territory. Good people, cute waitresses and the wings are pretty good! If you're stuck in the St. Louis area around Busch Stadium or the ScottTrade Center, that's the first place I suggest that you go and grab a bit to eat!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday's Off The Wall Blog: Spring Has Sprung Edition

Finally, it's Friday. Nothing due tomorrow. Nothing to study for. Nothing to bitch about. I can actually smile because again the weight of the world is off my shoulders (at least for the next two days.) Interesting news week. Let's get to it, shall we?
  • An interesting story about ice cream being good. Well, that's not breaking news because everyone knows that ice cream is good. What we probably didn't know is that ice cream may lower the risk of some types of infertility. Despite the buzz, there's a hint of skepticism from medical experts. Still, it makes for an interesting story.
  • It's very easy to point out that the youth of today is going to hell in a handbasket. However, one should also note that adults aren't helping matters much. This mother taught her kids to fake retardation and gained over $280,000 in benefits. All that could be worth anywhere from six months to one year in prison. That's just special, no pun intended.
  • This story from the "no sh*t" category. A study recently found high amounts of narcissism and self-centeredness in today's college students. That's not really shocking in this generation that is slowly gaining the nickname "Generation Me." As a college student, it doesn't surprise me at all because really college kids are sharks. That phrase "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" really puts college into perspective. An old friend of mine taught me a lesson early in my collegiate career. "It's okay to be selfish, sometimes you just have to be selfish." It's too bad I learned that lesson a little too late for my own liking.
  • From the "rich getting richer" department, a freshly minted billionaire is trying to make the team pitching for the Dodgers. Left-handed pitcher Matt White struck it rich when land he bought had precious stones, instantly making him a billionaire. Now White's stuck trying to figure out what he wants to do. He could just sit back and rake in the good life, or he could try to play the game he's loved since he was a child. If I was White, I'd do both. I'd buy a team and then insert myself as the Opening Day starter, then retire. Sounds like a good plan, huh?
FRIDAY'S FIVE. Five really good songs I've been playing on my I-Pod this week.
  1. This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race Remix by Fall Out Boy (featuring Kanye West)
  2. Beemerz and Benzes by Trick Daddy & T.I.
  3. Complicated by Robin Thicke
  4. Birthday by Flo-Rida and Rick Ross
  5. Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift
FRIDAY'S FIVE. Old school songs, because "Old School" is really where it's at.
  1. She's A Brickhouse by The Commodores
  2. Volare by Dean Martin
  3. I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
  4. Daydream Believer by The Monkees
  5. Doo Wah Didee by Rick Springfield

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Generally I Don't Condone Theft, But In This Case...

So I found this on a friends My Space and figured it would be a nice response to all the "If you loved her" notes saying to leave her cute texts and hold her hand and tell her you love her blah blah blah.

To all the ladies out there, look around you. There are nice guys everywhere. The problem is the nice guys aren't confident enough to walk up to you and try to start a conversation. And to all the guys out there, those cute girls who are sitting in the corner with their friends not talking to anyone, not dressed all trashy and trying to get guys to buy them drinks, those are the nice girls, and you know what, they're just as shy as we are.

I didn't tag anyone with the note because I didn't want anyone to feel like I was directing it at them. If you read this and think its about you, it probably is :)

"to all the girls who look past the nice guys"

I'm sorry
that i bought you roses
to tell you that i like you

I'm sorry
That I was raised with respect
not to sleep with you when you were drunk

I'm sorry
That my body's not ripped enough
to "satisfy" your wants

I'm sorry
that I open your car door,
and pull out your chair like I was raised

I'm sorry
That I'm not cute enough
to be "your guy"

I'm sorry
That I am actually nice;
not an asshole

I'm sorry
I don't have a huge bank account
to buy you expensive things

I'm sorry
I like to spend quality nights at home
cuddling with you, instead of at a club

I'm sorry
I would rather make love to you then just f**k you
like some random guy.

I'm sorry
That I am always the one you need to talk to,
but never good enough to date

I'm sorry
That I always held your hair back when you threw up,and didn't get mad at you for puking in my car,
but when we went out you went home with another guy

I'm sorry
That I am there to pick you up at 4am when your new man hit you and dropped you off in the middle of nowhere,
but not good enough to listen to me when I need a friend

I'm sorry
If I start not being there, and being used as a door mat, only to be thrown to the side when the new asshole comes around

I'm sorry
If I don't answer my phone anymore when you call, to listen to you cry for hours, instead of getting a couple hours of sleep before work

I'm sorry that you can't realize.. I've been the one all along.

I'm sorry
If you read this and know somebody like this
but don't care But most of all

I'm sorry
For not being sorry anymore

I'm sorry
That you can't accept me for who I am

I'm sorry
I can never do anything right, and nothing that I do is good
enough to make it in your world.

I'm sorry
I caught your bf with another girl and told you about it, I thought that was what friends were for...

I'm sorry
That I told you I loved you and actually meant it.

I'm sorry
That I talked to you for nine hours on Thanksgiving when your bf was threatening you instead of spending time with my family.

I'm Sorry

That i cared

I'm sorry
that I listened to you at night so you could talk about how you wish you could have done something different.

Ladies always bitch and bitch to their friends that there is never any good guys out there, and they always end up with assholes who mistreat them. <> Well ladies next time you're bitching, maybe look up to see who you're bitching to, maybe that special someone is right there hanging on your every word as usual, screaming in his head "Why won't you give me a chance?" Because the person you are usually searching for is right by you.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

To The Victors Go The Spoils

UPDATE: Sometimes all you have to do is wish on a star, Chris Lowery wins Coach of the Year.

And the accolades keep rolling in for the #11 SIU Salukis men's basketball team.
  • Senior guard Jamaal Tatum was voted Missouri Valley Conference player of the year in a close vote over runner-up Nate Funk (Creighton) and fellow teammate Randal Falker. Falker did take the individual award for Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Falker also joined Tatum on the All-MVC first team. Saluki teammates Bryan Mullins and Tony Young join Falker on the All-Defensive team.
  • As for the All-Centennial Team for the MVC, four Salukis made the squad. Ashraf Amaya, Darren Brooks, Mike Glenn and Kent Williams were named to the team. Brooks, a two-time MVC player of the year, was the only one I got the pleasure to see first-hand. I was here at SIU for DB's senior year.
  • More on the Tatum front, he was named to the Academic All-American team. Good to see that education still matters in the NCAA. Tatum, Mullins and Matt Shaw were named to the MVC All-Academic team. Damn, this is one good all-around team.
  • And finally, sixth man Wesley Clemmons was named to the MVC All-Bench team. Clemmons, may make the leap (like Tony Young did after his sophomore year) to the starting line-up in 2007-08 when two guard spots are opened up with the graduations of Tatum and Young.
I'm wondering when Coach Chris Lowery gets MVC Coach of the Year. Or how about National Coach of the Year?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Senior Night Celebration!

With the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title secured, many wondered what was there to play for Saturday night. Revenge? Sure, SIU's last loss did come at the hands of the Purple Aces of Evansville. Tune-up for the conference tourney? Yeah, that makes sense, you always want to go into March playing your best basketball. But more than that, SIU played for its senior leaders Jamaal Tatum and Tony Young who have helped bring championships and tournament appearances to SIU, and a smile to this young man's face.

A sell out crowd of 9,628 filled the SIU Arena one last time to give Tatum and Young a proper send-off. Prior to the game was the tribute ceremony that included senior transfer Kobby Acquah, and senior walk-on C.J. Smith. But the night began to Tatum and Young.

Tatum had another stellar offensive showing with 15 points on 50% shooting, dropping off 6 assists, and also went perfect at the free-throw line. Tatum's highlight of the night was his fast break slam dunk, his first "real" slam dunk that brought the Saluki faithful to their feet, capping a 14-2 SIU scoring run.

"I hope ya'll got that on camera," Tatum said after the game. "That's not a baby dunk. That's a senior dunk right there."

Young had a strong offensive showing as well, with 17 points and 5 assists to go along with 3 steals.

Not to be outdone by his senior teammates, junior forward Randal Falker dropped a career high 30 points on 13-of15 shooting from the floor, to go along with 7 rebounds, leading the #13 -ranked Salukis (25-5, 15-3) in both categories.

Evansville (14-16, 6-12) proved to be a worthy opponent on this night, shooting 52% from the field in this game, and could provide an interesting match-up early in the MVC Tourney next weekend in St. Louis. The Purple Aces shot nearly 70% from the field in the first half and had a 44-43 lead with 15:38 left in the game. That's of course before the Salukis went on that 14-2 run I mentioned earlier.

Evansville was lead by Matt Webster's 21 points on the inside, while sharp-shooting guards Kyle Anslinger and Jason Holsinger combined for 21 points and collectively shot 50% from the three-point line.

In the end, it wasn't enough for the Purple Aces as SIU won the game 76-69.

  • After the game, the fans were unable to storm the court so instead the players came into the crowd and took a picture with the Dawg Pound.
  • After cutting down the nets of both baskets to the sound of Queen's "We Are The Champions," many (if not all) the Salukis stayed on court to do interviews with media people and to sign autographs for fans in another sign of appreciation.
  • Both Tony Young and Jamaal Tatum sported t-shirts before the game sporting the phrase "Floorburn U."
  • Speaking of t-shirts, the MVC championship t-shirts have quite a clear message "This is OUR conference." SIU has won the MVC regular season title in 2002, 03, 04, 05 and 07 to go along with their 2006 MVC Tourney championship.
  • SIU's 76 points is the most they've scored in a game all season long.
  • Though it will be overlooked by media giants, the MVC has had quite the year with 8 of its 10 teams finishing with at least a .500 record.