[Comment From TimbleTimble: ]
KW - Sorry I missed you when you were in Chicago at the UIC/Loyola game. Can you give me your informed and no-holds-barred insight into my Loyola Ramblers and why they can't seem to win their way into the upper half of the Horizon League?
I am too, but it was a hit and run... I was due out at Bradley early Saturday afternoon. I'll be back in March, we'll talk. There was definitely some microcosm going on in that city battle... Loyola has great size and their forwards can really get inside and get some strong paint points. But they're losing all these close games in the past two weeks, and they're shooting horribly from the line. Like, 3-out-of-5 bad. Lock 'em in the gym, make 'em shoot free throws until they puke, maybe they can turn this around.
Indeed I am, Mr. Whelliston, and thank you for holding down The Block the past couple weeks. It's great to be back, and in a position to carve out an hour from all the TV-stuffs I've been doing these past few weekends. This weekend is no different, as I greet you today Hoops Nation from the hustlin' and bustlin' city of Chicago!
Now, since it's been a little while, I want to begin today with a story from last night. It involves the Horizon League, and actually a women's basketball game, so please indulge me for a moment...
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon/early evening taking in a women's basketball game between the 14th-ranked and UNDEFEATED (16-0) Green Bay Phoenix and the Loyola Ramblers. To put into context just how dominant Green Bay's women have been in the Horizon League over the past few seasons, they've only lost two regular-season league games in the past 2+ seasons. The first was in January 2008 at Valparaiso... and the 2nd was last night at Loyola, 65-63. The oddity? I was at both games. Safe to say, the GB women's program is probably going to do whatever it takes going forward to keep me out of the building when they play.
From there, I jetted down to UIC and got back into the men's college basketball we all know and love. I watched the Flames host Valparaiso. Valparaiso hadn't won at the UIC pavillion since like 1993, and only once EVER in their program's history. So what happened? Valpo won, of course.
I think I'm making more friends than enemies this weekend... but there's always Saturday, right? Alright...let's get to the questions!
[Comment From Timble in ChicagoTimble in Chicago: ]
Damon - Were you in Chicago last night at the Loyola/Butler game? And, if so, what is your take on the whistle-swallowing non-call when Courtney Stanley and Willie Veasly met like a couple of MMA fighters?
[Comment From Tyler D. (Indianapolis)Tyler D. (Indianapolis): ]
Thoughts on Butler Damon? Can they survive the dreaded 4 game Chicago/Wisconsin roadie undefeated after last night's crazy ending at Loyola?
[Comment From Chris(Proud Bally Winner)Chris(Proud Bally Winner): ]
Matt Howard of Butler...do you have any insight as to why he's playing worse this year than his freshman year? He can barely make wide open layups
Yikes! It seems the Butler fans are itching for some insight after last night's scare at Loyola. Let me try to answer these all at the same time...
I was in Chicago last night, but left the Loyola/Butler game at the under 16:00 timeout in the first half. Had to get to UIC to watch the Flames, so I didn't see the game, or Stanley-Veasley XXVIX during the game. I really thought Matt Howard was going to break out of his season-long slump after going off for 22 against Youngstown State, but Loyola held him in check last night. At the same time, I think his low point total last night was more a product of Butler just never being in rhythm offensively the entire night. I still saw some things (from the game archive video) that I like from Howard. He's definitely been more aggressive the past two games. As for the Bulldogs in general... sure they "can" survive this 4-game roadie. Whether or not they will is another question. Personally, I think they're going through it without a loss.
RTC Live: Butler @ UIC--Rush The Court
Checking in on… the Horizon League--Rush The Court
Friday's Shootaround--Ballin' is a Habit
Butler 48, Loyola IL 47: The Bulldogs were in the lead for most of the night, but couldn't shake the Ramblers, who got a three from Walt Gibler with 46 seconds left to tie the game at 47. After a Willie Veasley free throw, Loyola turned the ball over with just about 8 seconds left. But Shelvin Mack gave it right back by stepping out of bounds. Luckily for the Bulldogs, Loyola took a three off the inbounds that went in and out, and missed a tip in before the buzzer sounded. Gordon Hayward led the way with 12 points.
Who's coming for BracketBuster game?--The Indy Star
Recalling other ugly victories--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Wraps Up Chicago Trip At UIC--ButlerSports.com
BU Hosts Detroit With 2nd Place On The Line--ButlerSports.com
Cleveland State men's basketball team has some interior motives--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Norris Cole's 22 points help Cleveland State men's basketball team blitz Wisconsin-Green Bay--Cleveland Plain Dealer
CSU Starts Crucial Homestand this Weekend--Let's Go Vikes!
CSU’s Cedric Jackson Close to Signing 10-Day Contract With Cleveland Cavaliers--Let's Go Vikes!
Gary Waters Talks About Cedric Jackson Getting Called Up the Cavaliers--Let's Go Vikes!
Cedric Jackson To Sign With Cavaliers--csuvikings.com
Strong Start Pushes Vikings Past Green Bay, 64-50--csuvikings.com
Vikings Top Youngstown State, 57-43, For Fourth Straight Win--csuvikings.com
UDM returns home reeling a bit--The Detroit News
Titans And Raiders To Clash On Homecoming On FOX Sports Detroit--detroittitans.com
Women's Hoops Looks to Extend Winning Streak on Saturday--detroittitans.com
Butler at UIC--The Chicago Tribune
Robbins emerges, but Crusaders too tough--Whoosh!Net
No. 1 Men's Basketball Student Section in Horizon League to be crowned--uicflames.com
Robo Kreps Featured On ESPNChicago.com--uicflames.com
Men's Basketball Battles No. 20 Butler This Saturday--uicflames.com
5 Story lines for Saturday's Chicago College Basketball--ChicagoNow.com
Valparaiso at Loyola--The Chicago Tribune
Ramblers Welcome Valparaiso To Campus For Saturday Matinee--LoyolaRamblers.com
Loyola Looks To Maintain Winning Ways At Home Against Milwaukee--LoyolaRamblers.com
Women's basketball: Today's UWGB vs. Illinois-Chicago preview--Green Bay Press Gazette
Men's basketball: Vikings bury Phoenix early--Green Bay Press Gazette
Second-Half Comeback Not Enough for Green Bay at Cleveland State--uwgbathletics.com
Franklin a hit for Panthers--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Franklin's Key Shots Send Panthers Past Penguins--uwmpanthers.com
Panthers Head To Cleveland Looking For Second-Straight Road Win--uwmpanthers.com
VU seeks first win at Loyola in 35 years--The Post-Tribune
Horizon League stays tightly packed--Off The Mark
Scouting today's VU men's basketball game--The NWI Times
Struggling teams meet at ARC today--The Post-Tribune
Scouting today's Valparaiso University women's game--The NWI Times
Preview: Wright State at Detroit--Dayton Daily News
A different Detroit awaits Wright State--Dayton Daily News
Guins Have Best Defensive Outing in 57-43 Loss at Cleveland State--ysusports.com
Men's Basketball Comes Up Short Falling to Milwaukee, 69-59--ysusports.com
Men's Basketball Scoreboard - Jan. 22--The Horizon League
Women's Basketball Scoreboard -- Jan. 22--The Horizon League
Women's Basketball Scoreboard -- Jan. 23--The Horizon League