The too-early SEC East predictions

June 30th, 2008

It occurs to me during these slow days of summer, in which people fill time by making football predictions, that basketball might feel a bit neglected. Of course, this is the deep South, so basketball feels that way about 360 days a year.

(I’m giving hoops the first four days of the NCAA tournament and the Saturday of the Final Four. But even on those days, analyst Phil Steele is hard at work breaking down Florida Atlantic’s depth chart at the deep snapper position.)

In any case, I won’t give you football predictions here … yet. First, it seems like a good time to give you an SEC basketball fix. Here at Stalking Darrin Horn, I know you’ve been aching for it, and I’m here to serve.

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A normal transition?

June 19th, 2008

Barring the unforeseen, the dust has setttled on Darrin Horn’s initial takeover of the USC men’s basketball program. We know what next year’s roster will look like. Returning players are in summer school, departing players have chosen their destinations, and the circle of life continues.

Left behind are some hard feelings, and the quesiton of whether it’s in any way damaging to the new coach.

The three players essentially shown the door by Horn have all publicly registered their feelings. That’s expected. Their high school and AAU coaches have been a little less public, but their feelings are known in the industry as well. That’s also expected.

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Horn and his early recruiting

June 18th, 2008

At least one expert says new coach Darrin Horn has discovered that recruiting USC basketball is harder than he might have thought.Darrin Horn’s first few months on the recruiting trail have yielded plenty of curiousity, but no commitments. That’s not unexpected.

The new South Carolina men’s basketball coach inherited a team whose core was intact, and which, even after two transfers, didn’t have much immediate flexibility. Horn will sink or swim in his first season with the team he has right now, but every other waking minute appears to be aimed at recruiting.

So whom is Horn targeting? Whom will he end up getting? That can’t be ascertained yet; Horn can’t get specific because of NCAA rules, and it appears much of the recruiting emphasis has been on laying the groundwork rather than all-out runs at specific players.

What we can gauge is an overall strategy and the caliber of players the Gamecocks are going after. I gathered this information from talking to Horn, recruiting experts, high school and AAU coaches and a few other sources.

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Just the man for Obama

June 13th, 2008

I was reading the newspapers the other day when I stumbled upon a story about a feller named Barack Obama, who it seems has a job opening. And I might be able to help him with that.

No, I’m not volunteering to be vice president. If asked I will not accept, and if elected I will not serve. No, really, I can’t: The Constitution says you have to be 35, and I miss that by about three years.

Actually, what grabbed my attention was that Obama is looking for someone for his vice presidential search committee. Obama had three people lined up, but one of them, a guy by the name of James Johnson, quit this week due to some complicated issue I don’t understand.

So Obama is in need of someone who can discreetly interview candidates, hiding his activities from the media. Boy, do I have the perfect man: Eric Hyman, USC’s athletics director.

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And so ends the name search

June 12th, 2008

Ladies, gentlemen, other people and family dogs reading this blog the past week are aware that, along with a revamping of the gogamecocks Web site, I have been hard at work finding a spiffy, new name for my blog.

After an extensive national search, in which I received more than a hundred ideas from readers - some of them in English - the search is over.

The committee considered your suggestions, did hours of consumer testing, and early on Thursday morning reached a decision: to go in a different direction.

Um, sorry.

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