The Flying Dutchmen have Kansas right where they want ‘em. Or, to be grammatically correct no matter how awkward it may sound, the Flying Dutchmen have Kansas right where they want it.
The top-ranked Jayhawks waxed Division II Pittsburg State, 103-45, in an exhibition game last night, thereby assuring they’ll be overconfident and arrogant come Friday night and not prepared at all for the full fury of the Flying Dutchmen.
Freshmen Thomas Robinson and Xavier Henry combined for 27 points and one technical (assessed to Robinson for hanging on the rim after a dunk), or four points and one technical more than senior stars Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins had. Dissension! The new kids are leading a palace revolt! Pretty soon the Jayhawks will be fighting amongst themselves instead of rumbling with the football team!
As you can tell, we’re a little worked up about the season in general and the imminent upset of the Jayhawks in particular. Stop back the next two days for plenty of preview material, including a Q&A with your good friend and mine Tom Pecora as well as a couple features. In the meantime, here are a few bits and bytes to tide you over.
—The football team will be relegated even further into the shadows this weekend, when it visits future East Coast Conference football rival Northeastern, a little more than 12 hours after the Dutchmen shock Hoops Nation.
Alas, it’s difficult not to wonder how meaningful Saturday’s game could have been for the Dutchmen, whose 28-24 loss to Delaware last Saturday marked the third time this season they turned the ball over on downs inside the 50-yard-line with a chance to tie or win the game in the final minute. The Dutchmen have lost to Delaware, New Hampshire and Maine by a combined 14 points. Wins in those three games would have the Dutchmen 7-2 and primed for a playoff berth, but instead Dave Cohen and his staff will have to hope the heartbreaking losses will provide fuel and a foundation for next season.
It’ll be interesting to see if Steve Probst gets more time at quarterback over the final two weeks. As I’ve written here before, I’m a fan of Cory Christopher, but now that the focus is entirely on 2010, it’s about time to see Probst behind center for all 60 minutes.
The very tentative plan is to attend the game Saturday, because my love of Boston is surpassed only by my desire to experience famously rustic Parsons Field for myself, but our schedule is subject to change if I spend all night celebrating the win over Kansas. I expect you to breathlessly stay tuned to this website and my Twitter until I make my decision!
—John Feinstein is many things I am not—including, apparently, crazy. The prolific author and Washington Post columnist appeared on NPR Monday (I, of course, was too busy listening to hair metal hits on satellite radio, so thanks to Brian Mull for the link) and said he expected the CAA to send four or five teams to the NCAA Tournament. If the CAA sends four or more teams to the NCAAs, I’ll stand on my head, a la Dick Vitale and Austin Peay in 1987. Even if all four or five of those teams are located in Virginia. Where is my conspiracy theory font?
—The disrespect for the Flying Dutchmen just keeps spreading. Collegeinsider.com released its first top 25 of the season, and not only aren’t the Dutchmen ranked, they weren’t even among the 55 teams receiving a vote. Seriously. Eighty teams got a vote and Hofstra didn’t. I’m going to channel and paraphrase Harry Doyle here: “One vote? We couldn’t get one goddamn vote?”
Four CAA schools are in the top 25, led by defending Collegeinsider.com Invitational champion Old Dominion, but at least Hofstra’s not alone in not receiving a vote: None of the other seven CAA schools did, either. That’s OK. The Dutchmen will be there next week!
—The NCAA is mad at Kentucky for hiring John Calipari, so for the second straight year, it’s probably going to suspend a Hofstra transfer for playing in professional games in his native land. Maybe Miklos Szabo—and Greg Washington, who also knows what it’s like to be at the mercy of the NCAA’s hilariously ineffective, inconsistent and unpredictable Clearinghouse—can give Brad Kelleher some tips on how to pass the time.
—Finally, I’ve updated the links on the right hand side of this page. You’ll notice (or maybe you won’t) no Newsday link. Apparently, there is no college basketball blog this year. Hey, that’s a good idea, let’s cut the news hole, double the price to $1, make our website free only to Cablevision subscribers (hooray monopolies!) and then not bother giving those folks anything extra to read online. Awesome. No wonder newspapers are so healthy. Little birdies also tell me they’ll provide Hofstra even less beat coverage than usual, which, you know, is great.
Anyway, check out the new alignment of sites covering Hofstra, the CAA and mid-majors, especially The Mid-Majority, which is so good I cannot do it justice in a piece like this. At some point soon I’m going to pen an ode to that place, because it is just freaking amazing, every single day. Also check out the self-explanatory Friends of Defiantly Dutch further down the page. And, of course, buy my book!