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Players you hate (or like)

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My theory on judging opposing teams and players has always been, "Who on that team would you like to  have on yours?"

If you think about it, there's probably several.  I've used this argument over the years when comparing the Steelers and Bengals.  I'm not necessarily a gung-ho fan of either in terms of face paint and jerseys, but I've always appreciated the Steelers' toughness and success--even though I typically want the Bengals to beat them.

It's not being a Steeler fan, it's just appreciating good coaching and athletes.

Likewise, though my UC allegiances have never been doubted, there have been players that I grew to like even though they were thorns in the backsides of the Bearcats.

I'll surely miss a few, but I enjoyed the following:

1) Penny Hardaway at Memphis--great player but UC owned him and it usually meant a big win.
2) Tom Kleinschmidt at DePaul (yeah, some of these date you youngsters). "The Doughboy" was one tough cookie.  It made for a great chant from Bearcat fans.
3) Quentin Richardson, DePaul.  Awesome player who's halfcourt shot was past the buzzer a few years back when DerMarr Johnson sank a shot to beat the Blue Demons in the epic "Kenyon takes over" comeback game.
4) The tandem of Scott Highmark and Erwin Claggett. The Billikens of Charlie Spoonhour could "ball" and shoot the "trifecta". Thank goodness LaZelle Durden had a shot left in the Great Midwest tournament.
5) Gerry McNamara, Syracuse.  Got to give it up to a guy that single-handedly beat a decent UC team and everyone else that year in the Big East tournament.
6) Sam Young and Dejuan Blair of Pitt.  I still preach Sam Young's shot-fake to my younger kids and Blair was a Wes Unseld-like presence that couldn't be stopped.
7) Luke Harangody, Notre Dame.  One ugly dude, but a reliable, old-school player.
8) Kemba Walker, Connecticut.  I assume you watched last year's Big East and NCAA tournaments.
9) (NOT INCLUDED:  Diego Guevera of UNC-Charlotte--blowing kisses is one thing; running to our fans and dropping F-bombs at UC fans after a CUSA tourney win in Freedom Hall crosses the line.)
10) (NOT INCLUDED:  Francisco Garcia of Louisville.  Thought he was a dirty player and a crybaby.  No respect in my book.)

That leads now to my current list.  While UC has defeated several of these guys and their respective teams, who wouldn't want them on your side?

1) Starting with my favorite--Dennis Kilicli of West Virginia.  Sure, he looks like their mascot on  'roids, but give me some flying elbows and a strong hook shot (the lost shot of basketball).
kilicli.jpg
(Thanks to www.bleacherreport.com/Getty Images)

Throw in Kevin Jones and his bag of tricks and Truck Bryant and that's a power trio.  Who doesn't need a guy named "Truck"?
2) Syracuse is loaded, but give me a long guy that can score in Kris Joseph and a seven-foot coordinated monster in the middle (Fab Melo) and I'll take my chances.
3) Moe Harkless of St. John's.  Beaten UC twice. You'll always take the best player in New York City.
4) Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut.  Huskies best scorer and last year's tourney experience=money.
5) Jack Cooley, Notre Dame (see Luke Harangody above).
6) Herb Pope, Seton Hall.  It seems like Herb's in his 15th year of college basketball now.  At one time, he had interest here.  Darn!
7) Vincent Council. Providence.  Bearcats fried the Friars the other night, but Council scored at will.  Sign me up.
8) Chane Behanan, Louisville.  A beast already and he'll only get better.  Should've been here. UC had the inside track and the kid was in the backyard.  There's a nice Enquirer story out that includes some unique coincidences in life. Funny how things work out sometimes, huh?

That's mine. Who do you have?  We've all had these thoughts.  No matter what the level, there's always someone you compete against that you seemingly hate.

Why do you hate them?

Because they're beating you.

Heck, the Yankees have built teams for years on this theory.  Next time you're in a pick-up game somewhere and you're choosing up sides, take the guys you hate!

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