PUB WISDOM

Tiger Who?

Archive for UC Riverside

Big West MVP = Kyle Austin? Axe somebody

MVP? Make it so.

MVP? Make it so.

I know that most folks are just sinking their teeth into the college football season, but college hoops is right around the corner. And it looks like the editors over at Athlon noticed Kyle Austin’s junior effort last season. I know that pre-season hype is basically worthless, but any longtime Highlander fans have got to enjoy this nonetheless. Athlon is projecting Austin as the Big West MVP. Nice. Bring on the double and triple teams. Drive and dish.

Also cool, Athlon picked the Highlanders to finish fourth in the Big West. Fourth place cool? Considering that the Highlanders have been picked dead last in just about every preseason poll going in the past few seasons, this is a nice bit of well earned respect.

Is this the year UCR punches its ticket to the Big Dance?

Highlander Hoops Release Schedule

 

"Where the hell is Berry College?!?"

"Where the hell is Berry College?!?"

Click here for a look at the 09-10 UC Riverside mens’ basketball schedule.

While it looks like the pendulum has swung back slightly, which will hopefully get the Highlanders’ SOS rating below 300, it appears Jim Wooldridge is still easing his squad into the nation’s top tier based on the competition he’s booked. There’s USC, which is legit on anyone’s schedule. But no other PAC10 teams? Really?

I, for one, am in the camp that believes that Wooldridge’s marked softening of UCR’s schedule last year was genius, letting the players get used to what it feels like to win. I figure we’re seeing a continuation of that strategy, which I find hard to fault.

Still, Pub Wisdom reckons there are others who are chomping for UCR to test it’s new-found success on some proven competition. Would’ve been nice to see a surprise or two on the schedule, especially since the USC date was pre-announced.  Well, there was one surprise. Where is Berry College and how did they end up on the Highlanders’ schedule? Now that was a surprise, though without researching it at all, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I learned that Berry College is in the midwest somewhere and coached by one of Wooldridge’s buddies.

In the end, it all comes down to conference play, the goal being to reduce the number of games you need to win in the conference tourney to get that auto-bid to the dance. 

See you at the Echo Chamber…

Brenda Martinez Hearts Europe

BMART rolls through Europe.

BMART rolls through Europe.

UC Riverside track phenom Brenda Martinez is two-for-two so far in her six-meet Europe swing, taking the 1500 title in Ghent, Belgium, blowing away her previous PR by four seconds. Click here to check out footage of the race. 

Brenda Martinez Works the Europ-a-dopa

Ali-inspired?

Ali-inspired?

After finishing 8th in the NCAAs, UC Riverside’s half-mile miracle, junior Brenda Martinez, took her act to Europe for a six-meet tour of the continent. However, Pub Wisdom reckons Martinez got a hold of some footage shot on a different continent, of the Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire, for inspiration prior to her first 800 meter event in Belgium.

Fresh off the plane in the final of her first meet, Martinez employed Ali’s classic rope-a-dope, hanging well back and letting others think they might have a shot, but with perhaps 300 meters left, she straight blew past the field, briefly settled into third, then put on the afterburners for a precisely timed move at the last second that gave her the win and a personal record. The field included the two runners that have claimed the last three NCAA 800 titles. Yep, she’s the real deal.

Watch the race it here. It’s worth the click. She’s got the white singlet on.

The Nation’s Hottest Runner?

UC Riverside phenom Brenda Martinez won her semifinal 1500 heat in the NCAA outdoor championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas to earn her spot in Saturday’s final. Impressive.  Did I mention she was hot?
Poetry in motion, coconut lotion...

Poetry in motion, coconut lotion...

UCR Baseball Team Knocking On the Door of the Top 25

The helpful folks in the sports information department have put together this useful little roundup of just how much the UCR baseball team is turning heads nationally.

With quality wins over UCLA, Cal, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State, among others, the Highlanders are now in the conversation on many of the polls and rankings. Take a look here.

Akognon Dismantles the Big West’s Best Defense

Akognon: NBA bound?

Akognon: NBA bound?

The real John Akognon showed up in Anaheim for this one, and he was wearing his superman underoos, pouring in a tournament-record 37, including nine 3s. The chants of “You can’t guard him” were spot on. No one could, methinks.

At one point, with less than five minutes left and before Bob Burton subbed out his starters, the score was Josh Akognon 37, UC Riverside 35. Yikes.

Javon Borum having to serve a one-game suspension after punking someone in the Cal Poly likely made a big impact — not on Josh Akognon’s ability to score, but on the Highlanders’s own scoring. With him out, and Jalonni Diggs gimpy, Wooldridge came out with a very unordodox lineup. The Highlanders’s offense didn’t show up, save for 17 from Brandon Dowdy in the first half.

Despite the loss, this season has been one to celebrate for Rivi.  Big props to the program. Truly an impressive campaign. And the Highlanders return all but two players next season…