Good morning my fellow Americans. That's right, welcome to Day 1 of The American Athletic Conference. The transition from Big East to American officially occurred today. So, as a Civics lesson of sorts, which apparently they're still working on at UConn, I will rundown for everyone the 10 teams that will be participating this season in the American conference.
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UCF.
In 2014, Louisville and Rutgers will move out while East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa will hop in. In 2015, Navy joins the fold in football only.
Here are the sites of all the postseason tournaments in different sports.
Got it? Got it.
Let's eat ...
--- Hope everyone enjoyed the countdown of the top 10 crucial developments for 2013. Wasn't the catchiest of titles, but an interesting look inside the storylines we'll be following when Higher Ground opens in about five weeks.
In case you missed it all, here's a link to No. 1 with links to all of the profiles at the bottom.
Maybe some surprise with Tion Green at the top spot, but the clear consensus from Tommy Tuberville in discussing his concern position group was the backfield needs to be solidified. Whether it be figuring out a plan for Ralph David Abernathy, seeking maturity from Green or Deionte Buckley or finding a gem among junior college transfers, a balance of carries needs to be established.
You never know how the rotation will play out, remember this time last year we were discussing the likelihood of a three-headed monster in the backfield -- then George Winn carried 243 times with nobody else lugging it more than 70.
--- The big news from last week came with the announcement of the renovation of Nippert Stadium. Here's the video and update from Whit Babcock.
Dan Hoard wrote an excellent piece about the commitment to winning this renovation stands for.
Agreed. For me, the most impressive element was the amount of suites and boxes already sold. The 18 Founders suites, which run at $100k a year with a minimum 10-year commitment were already sold out. Wow. That's serious financial support before any public sale even begins. It solidifies the reality this was the right decision to make. There is too much money in expansive premium seating to pass on the opportunity to add these types of facilities that can flip the financial model of the department.
Without a dime taken from the general university fund this renovation will pay for itself. Plus, I believe most importantly, new press box for the us media heathens!
--- Sean Kilpatrick will play for Team USA in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia from July 7-16.
When talking to SK before he left, it was apparent how seriously he was taking this opportunity. He wanted to play for Team USA, this was not some offseason camp for fun. That was apparent as by all reports he played extremely well and making the 12-man team considering the talent comprised in the 30 players that showed up in Colorado Springs speaks for itself.
SK becomes the fourth UC player to play in the WUG for Team USA. The previous three: Pete Mickeal, Kenyon Martin and Eric Hicks.
First off, nice company. Second, take a look at the improvement of those three players between their junior and senior seasons when they played for the USA team.
|Player||Jr. Year Stats||Sr. Year Stats|
|Pete Mickeal||13.5 pts, 6.5 rebs., 50.4% shot||14.9 pts, 7.2 rebs., 58.3% shot|
|Kenyon Martin||10.1 pts, 6.9 rebs., 2.4 blcks||18.9 pts, 9.7 rebs., 3.5 blcks|
|Eric Hicks||13.7 pts, 9,0 rebs., 2.3 blcks||15.0 pts, 9.7 rebs., 3.3 blcks|
Kenyon's rise still goes down as one of the greatest jumps in production by any player in program history. To expect that of anybody else would be unfair, but clearly coming back from this experience didn't hurt either of these three. There's a confidence and osmosis improvement that comes from being around the best the world has to offer in collegiate athletics. Nobody should be surprised SK thrived in that competitive environment, they also shouldn't be surprised if he takes full advantage of it.
--- Was asked this question on Twitter, and according to this story (which focuses on the swimming aspect) most hours of the games will be available in the US.
Here are the times when the USA team will play (I even converted it to EDT for you people. That's right, math. You're welcome):
Sunday, July 7, 10:30 AM: USA vs. United Arab Emirates
Monday, July 8, 3 AM: USA vs. Czech Republic
Wednesday, July 10, 1 PM: USA vs Sweden
Thursday, July 11, 10:30 AM: USA vs. Australia
Friday, July 12, 3 AM: USA vs. Canada
Playoffs run July 14-16
Mark your calendars.
--- SK wearing No. 9, not a bad number in USA basketball. Worn by Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Vince Carter famously did this to Frederic Weis while wearing No. 9:
--- Look at all these underclassmen who had decisions on declaring for the NBA Draft very similar to those of Kilpatrick, but chose to go. They are trying to figure out a summer NBAteam to end up on and researching the NBDL. SK will be playing for Team USA. You be the judge.
Along those lines, Dana O'Neil with a great piece about the ugly side of NBA Draft night.
--- UC finished last basketball season ranked No. 30 in average TV rating (fifth among those in old Big East). That may seem insignificant to you, but in the world of college basketball TV draw will get you everywhere. Nothing wrong with being a top 30 program in eyes of the national viewer.
--- The Deveroes League is happening. As always, defense is not. It's taking a brief hiatus after games last night and will resume Wednesday, July 10 at Woodward if you'd like to attend. Schedule.
--- I'm always on board with Larry David, so I'll be giving this new movie he stars in a shot. Here's the trailer for Clear History.
--- Happy Canada Day everyone. It's raining poo there.
--- I just don't understand how in 2013 in America a woman can not know they are pregnant and pop out kids on their front lawn. Not one friend was strong enough to whisper to her, you know, you should probably take a pregnancy test or maybe investigate an aqua aerobics program.
--- People may say the Tour de France is boring. And they'd be right. However, it is prone to moments of impromptu hilarity. Such as this bus getting stuck under the finishing line and sending the cyclists into a wreck. Or this dog narrowly avoiding causing one of the most massive dog-related crashes in history.
--- As always, shoot any questions, comments or dog-related crash videos to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @pauldehnerjr. Have a great day and here's this in honor of Canada on their day.