Monday, September 19, 2011

Bits and Bytes: Seasons change!

Because posting the "Seasons Change" video would be cliche! (Freshman year of high school for the win!)

Remember when we were kids and seasons shifted gradually? You’d get a few weeks of increasingly warmer weather in May and June before the heat really kicked in at the start of summer. The warm weather would taper off in September with perhaps a last gasp or two of politically incorrect Indian summer in October before it began feeling like fall.

Nowadays, seasons change in the span of a single day. I walked my wife to her car early Thursday morning, when it felt more like the last week of school than the first. We went out to eat shortly after sunset and the weather so brisk I wondered if we’d run into some trick or treaters.

I blame the sudden shift of seasons on global warming. Or the fact that it’s always been like this but our childhood memories are what we think they were, not what they actually were. I don’t know. It’s like my very own Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or something,

Anyway, whatever the reason for the sudden seasonal shift, it was ironic, in that it was coincidental, that it happened Thursday, exactly one month before the start of college basketball practice. The dropping temperatures seemed to put the scent of hoops in the air and give us the nudge we all needed to start talking and writing about it.

Welcome back, fall, and welcome back hoops. We missed you. Now for some of the better bits and bytes you may have missed over the last few days:

—Our good friend Brian Mull penned more than 3,000 words in a two-day span and unofficially christened the season with his first Colonial X, in which he pegged Mike Moore as one of the 10 best players in the CAA. He’s right, of course, but he’s missing nine other Flying Dutchmen. We’ll give him a pass, although he once again disrespected Dutch Nation (snort) by picking Hofstra eighth in his predictions.

Mull takes one for the team by becoming the first reporter to put predictions to paper, but the task of picking the CAA won’t get any easier in the next four or six weeks. Drexel and George Mason are pretty easy picks in the top two—pick the order, we won’t argue either way—and William & Mary, Old Dominion and VCU are good bets for three through five in some order. Put everyone else in a hat, even Towson, and you’ve got as good a shot of picking six through 12 as you do if you put actual thought into it. Which we’ll do at some point before tipoff, because it’s fun to have something with which to laugh at me in March!

—Speaking of Mull, congratulations to the former PGA Tour caddie on winning the Wilmington City Amateur golf championship Sunday for the third time in five years. Dude does it all. Best beat writer in the CAA, provided excellent and reasoned coverage of Hurricane Irene, chips in on high school coverage in Wilmington, rescuer of stray cats from burning buildings. I may have made that last one up. But seriously, as someone whose athletic career “peaked” around 16, congrats. And props to the Star-News for not making Mull write about himself, like I had to as the de facto sports editor of the Class of 1991 yearbook. “Last-place finisher Jerry Beach tried hard and his Mom loves him very much.”

—Where was I? Oh right. Mike Litos, who also annually hates Hofstra by refusing to pick the Dutchmen first in his predictions, identified the Dutchmen as the team with the toughest “four in eight” schedule. Every CAA team plays four games between Jan. 21-28, and as I noted in my review of Hofstra’s schedule, the Dutchmen’s “four in eight” seems to have been scripted by someone still trying to stick it to Tom Pecora. At William & Mary, at VCU, home for Mason and at Northeastern. Only good thing about the travel is the Virginia trip takes place during Intersession, so there won’t be any back and forth. Still, that is a brutal stretch. SOUTHERN BIAS!!!!

—While we obsess over the season still to come, Mo Cassara and staff are looking ahead to 2012-13 and beyond and just landed promising power forward Jimmy Hall, a senior at national powerhouse St. Anthony’s. Adam Zagoria and Zach Braziller both profiled Hall following his decision. As always with recruiting, I’ll link to what other people—usually Zagoria and Braziller—write once there’s some actual hard news (not this whole “Joe Blow identifies Hofstra as one of the 317 schools he’s heard from” business), because they’re good at it and then refrain from writing anything else until the players are actually on campus, See the Malik Nichols saga for more.

—And finally, a long-overdue recommendation to check out the blog produced by my good friend Joe Suhoski, whom you might know better as @VABeachRep, whom in turn you might know better as that other guy on Twitter who likes Scrubs and Extreme as much as I do. Joe made his press box debut this weekend at the Old Dominion-Hampton football game (Football? What’s that? #ThanksStu) and heeded my advice to be seen and not heard (I think he’d stopped reading by the time I channeled Dr. Cox and wrote of journalism “Get out while you still can!”) so make sure to check out his blog, where he writes about CAA football (grrr) and, of course, Scrubs.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

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