Hello, friends. I hope you’re well, and happy Friday. When we last spoke on Wednesday, we were looking at some of our comrades in the Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament, and today we round out the pack with the remaining teams. I’d also like to note that, and I’ll put it in bold in case you’re skimming, that this piece will likely take at least two minutes to read. I love you, readers, and that’s why if time is very precious to you, and you cannot afford these moments, you might want to better use these minutes to spend time with your loved ones or better yourselves. I only advise this because I love you. There. Now that’s said, let’s spread some love to our mid-majors pals and learn a little bit about them in the second half of our Neighborhood Watch: Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament, shall we? We shall. And have a great weekend.
Location: Radford, Virginia
Coach: Mike Jones
What You Should Know: You gotta hand it to Radford; they’re not afraid to play major names to help their team grow. The Highlanders – not to be confused with this or this – have signed on to play Kentucky, Maryland and Cincinnati in their pre-conference play (and you have to love that on their schedule, they put an exclamation point after Kentucky, which is kind of cool). Chalk that fearlessness up to the program-rebulding efforts of head coach Mike Jones, who was part of “it” coach Shaka Smart’s VCU staff for the last two seasons. Jones and crew may not be an explosive team offensively at roughly 59 ppg, but sophomore guard Jareal Smith may provide a great boost this season. They also play High Point during their season, so when they’re here next week we can ask them how the Panthers have been since we haven’t played them since Tubby left. You know, we should mail those guys a Christmas card this year or send them a Facebook request. It’s been too long, High Point. You never call.
Interesting Fact: Radford is located on the New River between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, and is only reachable by guided sherpa. In fact, last year alone the school’s home schedule was decreased by five teams who perished en route to playing them and were eaten by wolves.
University of South Florida
Location: Tampa, Florida
Coach: Stan Heath
What You Should Know: Settled in the Big East conference, the USF Bulls are, aside from being perpetually thankful for teams like DePaul and Seton Hall, always in a tough position with a very difficult schedule. It’s not entirely their fault, as former Razorback and Golden Flash coach Stan Heath has done his best to step up against the big names. It’s worth noting that the Bulls also rely on a Gilchrist to get the job done: Augustus Gilchrist, backed up by Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland, who he’s going to need to help him out a bit. Good thing they’ve got Reggie Hanson on staff, right? Right?
Interesting Fact: Many believe that Stan Heath’s resemblance to a young Gordon from Sesame Street has undoubtedly helped him numerous times in his storied coaching tenure — much in the same way Kevin Stalling’s resemblance to another beloved children’s character has helped propel Stalling’s own career.
Coach: Patrick Chambers
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
What You Should Know: When was the last time you heard anything in the news about Penn State? It’s like nobody ever talks about that university. But former Boston University head coach Patrick Chambers is hoping to change all that as he steps into the 2011-12 season. He’ll have his work cut out for him with last year’s much-vaunted guard Talor Battle and three other top-earning seniors absent this year. It’ll be a rebuilding year for the Nittany Lions but Chambers is likely hoping junior Tim Frazier steps up to lead the team. Might be a good thing people are looking elsewhere concerning Penn State right now — like at the the top notch fencing program!
Interesting Fact: Penn State lists a whopping 24 campuses as part of its educational empire. In 2009, its soldiers marched on Drexel and La Salle, conquering and enslaving them and claiming the respective campuses for the Nittany Lions. They believe it is God’s will that they control the entire state of Pennsylvania.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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