Raphielle Johnson's Blog
Mid-August is here, and that means that we're that much closer to the beginning of the 2007 college football season. One team that may not have the best outlook on the upcoming year is Pittsburgh. In the first two years of the Dave Wannstedt era, the Panthers have failed to qualify for a bowl game, going 5-6 and 6-6 respectively. This despite Wannstedt bringing in some highly-regarded recruiting classes, and the new certainly hasn't gotten any better the past week or so.
To quote Rakim, "It's been a long time", but with the beginning of fall camp for many of the nation's college football programs I'm back. By the end of the weekend players should be arriving, beginning preparations for a season slated to begin August 30 for some. Not sure how many of you like to sit down and watch footage from conference media days, but you usually end up hearing something quite interesting.
1. Gold Cup Semifinals
Well, the Gold Cup is down to its final four, and three of the remaining countries were expected to be here. The United States, Canada and Mexico have done what they were expected to thus far, albeit in underwhelming fashion. Joining them in Chicago on Thursday night is Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France that isn’t even recognized by FIFA, soccer’s governing body (yet Turks & Caicos is).
According to Dick "Hoops" Weiss of the New York Daily News, Iona has hired former Seton Hall point guard Shaheen Holloway as an assistant coach. Holloway spent last season at his alma mater, helping out first year head coach Bobby Gonzalez in South Orange as a graduate assistant. With the amount of youth in the Gaels' backcourt, this is a very good hire. Iona had trouble in the backcourt last season due to injuries and inexperience. Returnees such as Milan Prodanovic, Mike Harris and De'Shaune Griffin should benefit from Holloway's presence on the staff.
UEFA Champions League Final Preview
Rematch of 2005 classic
Two years ago in Istanbul, fans of the beautiful game were treated to one of the more bizarre matches in the history of the Champions League. The meeting between Italian side AC Milan and Liverpool of the English Premier League will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats. Behind a goal in the first minute from Paolo Maldini, “Il Capitano”, and a pair of strikes from Hernan Crespo, the Rossoneri jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first half.
According to today's Newark Star-Ledger, Seton Hall has reached agreement with the new Prudential Center in Newark, meaning that their 26-year run of playing at the Continental Airlines Arena will come to an end. While negotiations have not been finalized, the New Jersey Devils (primary tenants of the new arena) and Seton Hall have found common ground in areas such as weekend scheduling, a major sticking point early in the negotiation process.
This morning, Iona College announced that Louisville assistant Kevin Willard will be the new basketball coach. Go to www.iona.edu/gaels for more details as the day progresses.
Game two's about to tip off, so here are my three keys to the matchup between the Bruins and Gators. The winner gets Ohio Sate on Monday night.
Just a couple of minutes before Game One tips off, and here are my three keys to the game between the Hoyas and Buckeyes.
1. Defending Jeff Green. Ohio State will give this job at the start of the game to Ivan Harris, but this is no one-man job. Do we see a Ron Lewis slide over at some point, or an Othella Hunter or Matt Terwilliger come off the bench in attempts to slow down the Big East Player of the Year? Whoever gets the call throughtout the game needs to step up.
Georgetown...when you say the name there's just a ring to it, especially if you grew up with basketball in the Northeast as I did. The 80s brought about excess, hip hop, drugs...and the Big East. All things that are brash, in your face, a departure from the establishment that not all were willing or able to embrace. Programs like Syracuse, St. John's and Villanova helped shape the Big East during that time, but it was Georgetown that gave the league its first "label".