Hey seniors, thanks for the memories

On Thursday night, five seniors will play their final regular season game in Baxter Arena.  Though none of them are 4 years players into the program, they will still leave behind some lasting memories onto the program.  Here are just a few the memories that they gave Mav fans during their time here in the Ralston and Baxter arenas (so far).

November 13th, 2013

In Devin Patterson’s first game, he had 9 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals to help Omaha get their first home win 2013-2014.

November 16th, 2014

In the first game of last season during transition, Devin Patterson had an incredible performance to help lead Omaha to a 25 point win over Central Arkansas.  Patterson finished the game with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.  Randy Reed showed some of his promise with 10 points and 7 rebounds off of the bench, while Jake White  almost had a double-double in the first half before being going to the locker room with an injury.  White’s injury would eventually lead Mav fans to constantly wonder what the season would have been like had White been healthy throughout the season.

November 22nd, 2014

While it was not a home game, Mav fans were left to continuously and gleefully keep reloading the box score on their phones and screamed “HOLY CRAP THIS IS GONNA HAPPEN” as the Mavericks were able to pull off an upset at Marquette.  Patterson led the way with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists.

November 27th, 2015

Another game not played in Omaha, but Mav fans were given the opportunity to watch the game on ESPN3.  Jake White, playing in his home state against Minnesota, was in foul trouble the in the first half of the game.  When the Mavericks were on the verge of making a comeback on the Gophers, Jake White stepped up on offense in the second half before fouling out.  He finished with 23 points with 3 three point field goals, which all seemed to be exactly when the Mavericks needed them.

February 12th, 2015

Tim Smallwood made his first career start after Marcus Tyus’ season ended with a knee injury.  Smallwood was able to show that he was more than just a three point shooter with some key defensive plays against the guards of South Dakota…He finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block.  This game was also the most minutes Kyler Erickson ever got at the Ralston Arena, and he was able to show off his hustle, heart, and enthusiasm to the Mav fan in his opportunity, Erickson had 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block…and I’m sure flexed and screamed at the crowd at some point.

February 19th, 2015

In what would be the last game at the Ralston Arena, the Mavericks were almost able to pick up an upset in a 3 point loss to Oral Roberts.  Patterson led Omaha with 23 points and 3 assists.  Randy Reed really brought some energy off the bench that game with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 2 blocks and played really good defense against Korey Billbury while on the court.  Jake White was appearing more healthy at that point and had 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks; yet you could see he was still a little slowed down with injuries.

November 13th, 2015

The first home game after transition, and first official basketball game in the Baxter Arena, was probably the most anticipated game this century for the Mavericks.  The game turned out to be an offensive struggle for the Mavericks, shooting 35% from the field and 3-of-22 on threes in the game.  Randy Reed was able to provide a huge spark off the bench in the second half with a couple of key dunks, and he finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds.  Jake White also had a moment where he was knocked to the ground and quickly got up without the help of any of his teammates, probably to show Mav fans that he was healthy once again…at least that is what went through my mind.

November 17th, 2015

The Mavericks had to force overtime to make a comeback win against UMKC with the help of three seniors in double digits.  Devin Patterson had a key play at the end of the game where he broke by his defender and forced a UMKC player to foul him and send him to the line for the opportunity to send the game to overtime.  Jake White finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds; Devin Patterson with 19 points and 2 assists; and Tim Smallwood with 11 points and 4 rebounds.  The three seniors combined for 24 made free throws.

January 1st, 2016

Another game where the Mavericks had to come from behind to win in the 2nd half to pick up a win.  Western Illinois was ahead by 16 in the 2nd half, but then Tim Smallwood hit a couple of threes and Devin Patterson scored 7 points as part of a comeback run in the second half.  The Mavericks were able to force 9 turnovers in the final 8 minutes of the game, led by Smallwood who had 5 steals.  Smallwood ended with 14 points and 4 threes; Patterson ended the game with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals; and Jake White ended the game with 20 points and 5 rebounds.

January 16th, 2016

IPFW’s Max Landis was close to impossible to guard, and the Mavericks had to comeback to force overtime before losing to the Mastodons.  Devin Patterson and Jake White combined for 50 points in the loss; White as also able to grab 11 rebounds.

January 30th, 2016

Another game that Devin Patterson and Jake White were able to combine for 50 points to help the Mavericks cruise to a win over South Dakota.  Tim Smallwood also added 12 points; and Randy Reed had 9 points and 5 rebounds.

February 10th, 2016

Kyler Erickson was just selected to the NABC Good Works Team and was honored before the game, and rewarded with his first career start.  Erickson played quality minutes and made huge hustle plays on defense to help the Mavericks pick up their first win over a team with a RPI in the top 50.  Jake White scored hit 4 threes in the game to help him reach 18 points on the night, after being limited with foul trouble in the first half.  Devin Patterson added 15 points and 4 assists; Tim Smallwood finished with 7 points; and Randy Reed had some high energy plays to give him 6 points.

February 13th, 2016

With most of his team appearing gassed after their win against South Dakota State, Jake White put on a show with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, he also had 7 rebounds to lead the Mavericks to their first win over North Dakota State in Omaha and their first season sweep of the Bison.  Kyler Erickson finished with 7 points, and had a huge dive for the ball to grab possession for the Mavericks.

The seniors will have one final run at home when they meet Obi Emegano and the Golden Eagles, though it is possible that the Mavericks could host a post season game at home.  All 5 players were incredibly essential to the growth and success of the men’s basketball program.  I wish them good them good luck on their senior night, The Summit League tournament, and on whatever future plans they have.


Here are how the seniors stacked up in the since transition stats, and they still have at least two games to go.

By the way, if you’re sitting around like: this guy is an idiot to keep these stats like this…what a loser…he has too much time on his hands.  My wife is working on her PhD and is on a research project that requires her to work from 8am to 10pm everyday of the week.  I was so bored last night that I watched the movie “Dutch” and then backed it up by watching the third Terminator movie…well I was in and out on the Terminator film, and I was really just watching it to remind myself of how terrible it was…the point is, yes, I do currently have time on my hands.  And “Dutch” didn’t hold up like I remembered it as a kid.

Points

3rd Devin Patterson                      1137

7th Jake White                                  651

14th Tim Smallwood                      279

16th Randy Reed                              250

17th Kyler Erickson                          151

Rebounds

7th Jake White                                   361

8th Devin Patterson                         231

14th Randy Reed                                134

15th Tim Smallwood                         118

17th Kyler Erickson                            86

Assists

2nd Devin Patterson                         303

13th Tim Smallwood                           40

14th Kyler Erickson                             36

17th Randy Reed                                  26

20. Jake White                                      19

Steals

1st Devin Patterson                        169

11th Tim Smallwood                         38

16th Randy Reed                                25

17th Kyler Erickson                           21

19th Jake White                                   15

Blocks

7th Randy Reed                                   18

10th Jake White                                   14

18th Tim Smallwood                            6

19th Kyler Erickson                              5

3 Point Field Goals Made

2nd Devin Patterson                        104

7th Tim Smallwood                             55

11th Kyler Erickson                             24

14th Jake White                                    22

25th Randy Reed                                     4

Double-Doubles

2nd Jake White                                         6

Games Started

3rd Devin Patterson                             87

10th Jake White                                      32

15th Tim Smallwood                               7

17th Kyler Erickson                                 4

Points-Sophomore

3rd Devin Patterson                             323

Rebounds-Sophomore

5th Devin Patterson                               85

Assists-Sophomore

1st Devin Patterson                              106

Steals-Sophomore

1st Devin Patterson                                57

3 Point Field Goals Made

2nd Devin Patterson                              32

Points-Junior

5th Devin Patterson                             317

10th Jake White                                     146

11th Tim Smallwood                              113

13th Randy Reed                                     104

17th Kyler Erickson                                 63

Rebounds-Junior

6th Jake White                                        112

11th Devin Patterson                             76

12th Randy Reed                                      52

13th Tim Smallwood                               51

17th Kyler Erickson                                29

Assists-Junior

3rd Devin Patterson                             104

12th Tim Smallwood                              23

14th Kyler Erickson                                14

16th Randy Reed                                      12

17th Jake White                                          9

Steals-Junior

2nd Devin Patterson                               59

10th Tim Smallwood                               19

14th Randy Reed                                       11

16th Kyler Erickson                                 10

18th Jake White                                           6

Blocks-Junior

5th Randy Reed                                            9

7th Jake White                                              7

11th Tim Smallwood                                    3

13th Kyler Erickson                                      1

3 Point Field Goals Made

5th Devin Patterson                                   27

9th Tim Smallwood                                    18

12th Kyler Erickson                                       7

14th Jake White                                              4

15th Randy Reed                                             2

Points-Senior

2nd Jake White                                            505

3rd Devin Patterson                                   497

9th Tim Smallwood                                    168

11th Randy Reed                                           145

14th Kyler Erickson                                     100

Rebounds-Senior

2nd Jake White                                             182

7th Randy Reed                                              83

9th Devin Patterson                                     69

13th Tim Smallwood                                     62

14th Kyler Erickson                                       57

Assists-Senior

1st Devin Patterson                                       93

9th Kyler Erickson                                         21

11th Tim Smallwood                                      18

13th Randy Reed                                             15

16th Jake White                                              10

Steals-Senior

1st Devin Patterson                                       51

8th Tim Smallwood                                       18

11th Randy Reed                                              14

13th Jake White & Kyler Erickson                9

Blocks-Senior

6th Randy Reed                                                 9

9th Jake White                                                   7

10th Kyler Erickson                                          4

12th Tim Smallwood                                        3

3 Point Field goals Made-Senior

3rd Devin Patterson                                       46

5th Tim Smallwood                                        37

9th Jake White                                                 18

10th Kyler Erickson                                        17

15th Randy Reed                                                2

 

 

Omaha played Mizzou last night, and I still hate Mizzou

Man, I freaking hate the University of Missouri athletics.  It is the Nebraska football fan in me, dang it I hate the booger eater Chase Daniel.  They are the one athletic program, that if they have a game on television, I will tune in just at the prospect of watching them lose a game.  One of my wife’s best friends and high school teammate played softball at Alabama and I jokingly give her crap about Alabama, but we gain a bond that cannot be explained whenever Bama plays Mizzou in softball.  Actually, it can be explained, I just love watching Mizzou lose things, and she likes the 2 days a year that I kind of pretend to like Alabama.

Combine my Nebraska fan hood with my roots of my family being planted all around the state of Iowa.  I have learned over the years that Iowans hate all states that border them.  Actually, I have never gotten into a conversation with an Iowan about people from the state of Illinois, but I just assume they hate them too.  Myself, I do really like Kansas City.  I am a Royals fan, I enjoy the downtown area, I liked the Power and Light district maybe a little too much in my early twenties; but even Kansas City has to claim some of the state of Kansas to balance itself out.

I have a theory that places can not have great quality Mexican restaurants and have great Italian restaurants at the same time, it is typically one or the other.  My friends in New York City miss Mexican food and my friends in Texas completely miss Italian food.  Missouri though, I assume has both equally terrible Mexican and Italian restaurants.  BBQ is so great they seem to think they need to combine it with everything.  Oh, instead of marinara sauce, we put in some honey barbecue sauce into the angel hair pasta…trust us, it’s good.  Instead of using a Tex Mex mix for our taco meat we used some pulled pork for these tacos…actually that doesn’t sound that bad.  Our sweet and sour chicken comes with barbecue sauce instead of sweet and sour sauce…so you mean it is chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce?  No, get out of here you crazy liberal hippy.

Wait, where the hell am I here? I was feeling good about the Mavs going into this game.  Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins were both on a roll, and obviously Devin Patterson was as well.  I cooled the pint glasses in the freezer for the Nebraska Brewing Company beers.  I made my wife some guacamole…my wife just spent the last 3 months writing a grant that may have taken 5 years off of her life and now she has to grade 60 or so 5 page papers…so you’re welcome UNO students for putting her in a good mood before grading your papers that I assume most of you procrastinated until the night before.  Oh, I also learned that my wife has trained me like a puppy.  Every time I get up to pour myself a drink; whether it is a beer; water; or a mixed drink; my wife will ask me to pour her a drink the second I sit down.  Then I have to get back up and pour her a drink, but now I have reached a conditioned point to where I will ask her if she wants a drink before I sit down.  Any woman that uses this trick…well played.

Missouri was a young team…it just seemed like this was going to be the Mavs’ night, but by the end of the game I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and being set on fire.  Maybe the Mavs would have won this game if Montana State on Sunday was a home game, and they did not have as much traveling under their belts.  Not that I am bitter or anything.  They won…seemed like part of the plan was to force Tre’Shawn Thurman out of the game and to force the Mavs to take jump shots, and they did a good job of that in the first half.

This is probably the Tigers' new alternate logo.
This is probably the Tigers’ new alternate logo.

The SEC commentators called the Mavs a great defensive team, which is great because this is the first time I have heard anyone say the Mavericks are a good defensive team since the transition.  They said some really nice things about Derrin Hansen and the Omaha basketball program, which I feel indifferent about because I hate the SEC.  This was also the most time I ever spent watching the SEC Network.  At the beginning of the game they called UNO “the Mavericks of Omaha” and my wife made fun of them like they were trying too hard to make the game seem like some old western film.  She really wanted me to add this in here…she’s cute.  The other night she suggested that the NBA give goody baskets of treats to the first team to beat the Golden State Warriors.  I am still pretty proud of that comment.

Tra-Deon Hollins is at a point to where when I watch I am just expecting a near triple-double, like, I know the night is coming that he gets a triple-double.  Just like whenever I watch the UNO women’s team, I know a 45 point, 17 rebound, 7 assist performance could be coming from Mikaela Shaw.  It is coming and I cannot miss it.  Hollins did not have his best game, he missed a few close lay ups, but so did everyone else in the game, and he only had 3 steals.  Yep, just said a guy “only had 3 steals.”

The first half of this game was odd.  The Mavericks looked like they had problems getting the ball inside and there was no real flow to the Mavs offense.  The Mavs did not get to the free throw line for the first 15 1/2 minutes of the game.  The only points in the paint in the first half I completely recall were from Kyler Erickson, Tra-Deon Hollins, and Daniel Meyer.  Erickson played great in the first half.  Lots of energy, and he kept beating his man off the dribble and keeping his player in front of him on defense.  By the way, Nebraska and Creighton played each other…Omaha played Mizzou…and it’s like no one cares that UNK is 4-3 right now.

Jake White was playing great in the second half, he scored 12 straight points for the Mavericks and the really classy Mizzou fans were chanting “Jake White Trash.”  Way to go Mizzou fans, way to step out of your comfort zone there.  Jake White appears to play better when he is pissed…when the reason for him being pissed is not foul trouble.  Can we get Ben Kozitske and Marcus Tyus to talk smack to White in timeouts?  Just say terrible things about him and his family and cuss him out…then watch Jake White go off for 40 points, all while he is glaring at Kozitske and Tyus.  Jake White could really be the best big man in the Summit League right now…go ahead look around and argue who else is better.

Serious question, how long does it take to recover from elbow tendinitis…and did I spell tendinitis correctly?  The team needs JT Gibson back for another 3 point shooter on the court.  The Mavs were 5-22 from three last night.  I know it is ridiculous to talk stats in December as there are so many outliers, but the Mavs are 307th in the country in three point field goal percentage.  The best three point shooter on the team is Jake White, and it probably wouldn’t be the best to just stick him on the outside as he’s incredibly efficient in the post.  The Mavs’ three point shooting is there pair of 8s against three clubs showing after the river.  I have a gambling program, and I have talked about beer in this post…it’s amazing I lasted as long as I did in the state of Utah.

The Mavs do have a counter to the bad three point shooting.  The free throws.  In the year of the free throw, the Mavs have become a much better free throw shooting team.  Again, really dumb to talk stats in the first half of December…The Mavs are currently 32nd in the country in the free throw percentage, and of the teams in front of them, the only two teams that attempt more per game are Xavier and Tennessee Tech…that’s my way of saying the Mavs attempt a lot of free throws and make a high percentage of them.

They were not joking when they said the non-conference schedule was tough.  Not just the competition, but the traveling the Mavs have had so far.  To Colorado, come back to Omaha, then back to Colorado, then to Minnesota, then back to Omaha, then to Montana, then back to Omaha, then to Missouri, then back to Omaha, then to Arizona…it goes on.  Derrin Hansen said he really liked this team going into conference play if they are healthy.  He said that before they really put the redshirt on Tyus, and before Gibson’s tendinitis…and there are still a few more weeks to go.  Hopefully Gibson can come back in time for Western Illinois and IUPUI for some more depth.

I think the Mavs played St. Marys, so I made some inane comments

I did not go to last night’s game.  It is not that I did not want to go, but it seemed impossible for me to convince another human being to go to this game with me, especially with the Chiefs-Broncos going on at the same time.  I thought of finding the one person I have a connection with that knows the least about college basketball, but also fills out a bracket each year just because their work forces them to; and I would just convince them that they beat that St. Mary’s team that is always in the bracket and winning a game or two.  I ended up not doing that.  I watched the game from home.

  • Gary Sharpe accidentally referred to Zach Jackson as Zachson…this is going to have to become a thing.
  • Hollins gets in every passing lane.  He might get 10 steals this game.
  • Can hear Sharpe and Grant Nieland talking over the audio of the commercial.  They’re thinking Omaha will win by 40 or 60.  I love this perk from Mav access.
  • Tim Smallwood is showing some great hustle so far.  Hope he keeps it up.
  • Jake White picks up his second foul, and Hansen is keeping him on the court; because why not?
  • The Mavs seem to be giving up some good looks on the perimeter to St. Mary’s, this could get scary when the Mavs are playing the likes of South Dakota State.
  • Did Tim Smallwood drink some Brawndo?
  • Devin Newsome had this running floater in the lane, that he missed, but I sat here in amazement at what was happening.  I hope he’ll use this aggressiveness in the future.
  • Hey some skinny blonde lady in a bikini just followed me on twitter.  I should give her my social security number.
  • I love the unintentional college football analysis between Sharpe and Nieland during the half time.  Sharpe called Alabama “sick.”  I’m not hip enough to use “sick” as a good thing yet.  You’re using something negative to describe something in a positive form.  I would never say “Alabama is so George Clooney as Batman.”
  • I’m bummed and happy at the same time about the redshirt to Marcus Tyus.  I am scared about this team’s three point shooting.  I think it is a legitimate concern.  I commented earlier how one injury could hurt any team in the standings from 2nd to 9th…so this could really hurt the Mavericks.  I do know that this will be a big help to Tyus’ career and his overall health.
  • The mouse on my new computer is so annoying.  Thank God it has a touch screen.
  • Daniel Meyer has a number of post moves.  It seems like he’s got part A, part B, but just cannot finish on part C of each post move, yet.  Can we just throw the ball to him for last 5 minutes of the game to let him work on that?
  • Sharpe keeps referring to players as a “southpaw” and I have no idea what it means.  I am just sitting here smiling and nodding.
  • I think Sharpe just hit on Bonnie Ryan during the kiss cam…
  • Kyler Erickson with an amazing steal of an inbound pass.  Players work harder when he’s on the court.  When my Millard South friends ask me how he is doing, I tell them he is the high energy guard off the bench.  He makes everyone else on the court work harder.  That’s an important character to have on a team.
  • Number changes sometimes confuse me.  Every time I get a glimpse of Tim Smallwood in his new number, I am just like: what the hell is Rostampour doing?
  • My wife is in the other room and is taking a break from the research she does on all of her grants, and she is watching Gossip Girl and laughing.  I’m just so damn mad right now.  By the way, do you realize how much research goes into a grant?
  • We just gave up 3 offensive rebounds on one play.  Need to work on boxing out on defense.  Newsome is the Maverick that finally came up with the rebound.
  • Meyer with a great baseline spin move to get a basket.
  • Meyer with a three point attempt.  I feel like Hansen might ground him for that one.  I feel like it’s going to be like Major League when Wesley Snipes makes an unnecessary flashy catch and manager has the best line in the entire trilogy to top off the scene.  Actually I am not sure if Major League counts as a trilogy.  Major League 2 is a significant drop off, and you would have a hard time picking between Major League 3 and George Clooney as Batman for something to sit around and waste 2 hours with.  Plus, ML3 has Scott Bakula, and it is impossible to watch Scott Bakula in a sports movie and not lose concentration wondering when the hell Paul Blake made the transition from a college quarterback in his 30s to transitioning to AAA baseball manager.  I would have gone into a coma if Sinbad was cast in ML3.
  • People are leaving a minute early, so they can beat the traffic from the 100 people at the game.
  • Mavs went 8-16 on the cursed basket.  I really think that Remy Davenport and Ellie Brecht broke the curse.
  • I wonder if an outsider is going to look at the stats of this game and say something along the lines of: Tre’Shawn Thurman only had 3 points, he’s having a sophomore slump.
  • Derrin Hansen said he needed to get these three freshmen games, so it was great to get them a game where they could figure game situations out.  All three scored in double figures.
  • This team is deeper than last season.  I know it wasn’t a top opponent, but you want your players to be efficient in games like this, and everyone off the bench played incredibly efficient.  The Mavericks were missing a high energy bench guy last season.  Now they have: JT Gibson, Randy Reed, Kyler Erickson, and possibly Tim Smallwood and Devin Newsome as high energy guys off the bench.

Some random things around The Summit League

  • I thought Wisconsin was incredibly overrated at 17, but losing to Western Illinois…after leading at halftime?  It is incredible to see Western Illinois get this win though.  They were picked 8th or 9th by most in The Summit League.  I thought they would be tougher outs in games because of their experience, but maybe still struggle.  They can be great if Garret Covington has a sidekick.
  • Denver with 3 games in 3 days.  I am still in shock that Marcus Byrd could get 8 assists in one game.  Nate Engesser with 26 points in 27 minutes against Lipscomb.
  • Paul Miller is rapidly rising as a star, as the Bison were expecting.  They were thinking that Kory Brown, Carlin Dupree, and Miller would all have to make up for the scoring loss of Lawrence Alexander.  Turns out that they just need Paul Miller to do it.  Malik Clements is looking pretty good too, the Mavs offered him out of high school.
  • I watched IPFW’s game on ESPN3 when I got home Friday night.  I am still not sold on this team as a team in the top half of the standings in The Summit.  Their highly touted newcomers did very little against Valpo.  Other than John Konchar, he looks good.
  • Oral Roberts with a nice win over Missouri State.  Former Mav, Jalen Bradley, had a game high of 16 points with 4 threes.  AJ Owens had 14 points and 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks to make me look silly.  It’s scary to think that the Golden eagles could get a win while Obi Emegano and Brandon Conley did not play very well.
  • IUPUI with a win at Indiana State…how is that Summit League-Missouri Valley challenge talk looking now?
  • South Dakota also with 3 games in 3 days.  Tre Burnette had 22 points and 16 rebounds against Wright State.

 

Notes about my tears from the Mavericks home opener

So I had kind of a bummer of a day yesterday.  My laptop finally died on Thursday night and confirmed yesterday that it had passed.  It was an ASUS, and I somehow got 7 years out of that piece of crap.  I was hoping to stretch its life out until after Christmas, but I knew our relationship was ending soon, so I had been backing everything up pretty good for the last year or so.  I still lost a few things that I will never get back, but I will not lose the pride in making a cheap hunk of junk last twice as long as it should have.  If anyone wants to go to a field and break it to pieces with my wife’s softball bats and listen to some gangster rap, I’ve got a little spare time.  We can bring the cheapest 40 we can find too.  Why?  Because I think it’s actually a societal norm that if a cop catches you doing illegal stuff in the middle of a field that you need to have a 40.
But there was a basketball game last night.  It was frustrating, there was very little flow to it with all of the fouling.  Yeah, not a big fan of the fouling.  We saw some new faces and some old ones with new haircuts.  The crowd was big, which was great.  The student section was full!  It wasn’t very loud, but they did not have much to cheer for in the first half.  It was just a really odd first half.  Justin Simmons and CJ Carter were both on the sideline to cheer on the Mavs.  I think I may have saw Alex Phillips as well, but I was not 100% sure about it.
  • So my seats got temporarily moved over a section with something to do with hockey that I didn’t quite fully understand but I nodded my head because I am a weak adult, the new seats were not as great of an angle.  I made up for it by drinking a Shock Top Twisted Pretzel ale.  As far as I know, you can only get this beer at Omaha Mavericks and Omaha Stormchasers games.  I am one and done with drinks at sporting events.  I never get these people spending 80 bucks on 10 beers at a sporting event and going to the bathroom every 10 minutes.  You spent at least 100 bucks to pretend to be at a sporting event.  I’m pointing at you CenturyLink Citizens.
  • The pregame for my friend and I was at Ponzu.  Why is Ponzu so bad at wrapping their sushi?  It just falls apart.  We were able to make at least 20 Seinfeld references though.  You cant beat that.
  • As we were sitting there the marching band (or I assume the marching band) came by pounding on drums around Aksarben Village.  My friend and I discussed how it’s actually kind of weird to see school spirit around UNO.  That wasn’t there 5 years ago.
  • So Randy Reed?  High energy guy off the bench?  Damn it, I hope that continues!  He is going to play such a big role in the Summit League, everyone has a 6’5″ or 6’6″ guy they throw in at the 4.
  • I know that Santa Barbara was missing their top returning player, and Omaha was missing Marcus Tyus, but Tyus’ three point shooting was dramatically missed last night.  I still say the basket on the side of the visiting team’s bench is cursed.
  • The fouls got annoying, this is worse than two years ago, it completely took any flow out of the game.  This scares me for a team that needs a face pace and flow to win games.
  • Jake White fouled out, took some contact himself, but he was healthy and that is so awesome.  He had a hard fall to the ground and quickly got up, like it was his way of showing us all that he was alright.  I remember a game last year in  which he fell to the ground and my wife’s coach mind was saying “get up kid, get back on D, what is wrong with him?”  And I sat there like: Careful babe, he might literally break.
  • I feel like Devin Patterson is able to channel this inner Chris Paul thing from time to time, but last night was not that night.  He has taken bad games by him personally in the past and had great bounce back games in the past.  Can he save that for UMKC when he goes up against an All American?
  • Did anyone notice that Kyler Erickson has an entire Millard South section cheering for him?  I think it’s 215 or 216?  His one rebound in the game was fantastic.  It was another moment where I thought the Mavs were giving up another offense board, but then he came flying out of no where to start a break.  He was out on the floor for the last defensive play.  I want to point that out.
  • It was so hard for the Gauchos to find passing lanes with Devin Patterson and Tra-Deon Hollins on the court at the same time, like they seriously could not figure it out.  I’m coining that backcourt as: The Devil’s Gate…whether you like it or not.
  • Hollins is a bandit.  He steals everything.  Remember in Home Alone 2 when Marv is thinking of all the dumb nicknames for him and Harry?  I motion to nickname Hollins as The Sticky Bandit.  It’s also great that this team has two passers that can penetrate as well.  All the kick out threes from the two of them to Tyus and Gibson are hopefully coming.
  • I want to say this about Tre’Shawn Thurman.  He picked up that second foul in the first half, and you could tell he was just angry with himself.  He sat on that bench in absolute Hulk like anger.  He was never more ready for that second half to begin.  When the first half ended, he wasted no time getting up off that bench and running to the locker room.  The fouls did not scare him in the second half, he came out more aggressive on offense and showed off some new post moves.  You could feel his pain and anger at the end of the game as he walked off the court.  He is a leader.
  • Seeing Zach Jackson get the start was a shock for me, especially since Tyus was in warm ups.  Jackson did okay though, he didn’t pass up on his first shot and took it with confidence.  He was not scared.
  • JT Gibson also played with great confidence.  Those two threes in a row got the big crowd back into the game.  He made it a game.  Going to love watching Gibson and Jackson grow and develop.
  • Toward the end of the game, the team bench was dry.  It was a close game, and guess who got the rest of the team to get up and cheer on their teammates…Ben Kositzke.  I think I was sitting near the Ben Kositzke and Alex Allbery fan clubs too.
  • I saw Rylan Murry after the game.  He looked sad.  I wanted to yell “Skinny Love” again, but I had Pandora on Skinny Love at work all day on Thursday and I think I almost cried at the music selection.
  • Did I hear Jon Green say this right on the radio: If UNO Volleyball wins the regular season title, they get to host the Summit League tournament the following year?  Oh my.  I wish this worked to a degree in basketball.  But like, since we beat Marquette last season, they have to come to Omaha to play the following year.  Or if Wisconsin lost to Western Illinois last night, they will have to travel to the fine town of Macomb in 2016.  Why cant that be a thing?
  • IUPUI beat Indiana State.  Oral Roberts beat Missouri State.  North Dakota State beat UC Davis.  How tough is the Summit this year?
  • If the Mavericks are ever on ESPN or ESPN2, or whenever they make the NCAA tournament; I badly want to see Derrin Hansen slowly and dramatically take off his glasses like he is in the cheesiest TNT drama that has ever been produced.

My open invitation to Adam Devine to attend a UNO game with me

Dear Adam Devine,

So we have never met, but we are connected by six degrees of separation.  We both attended Millard South High School, but I graduated two years after you did.  I hang out with a few people that were pretty close to you in high school, yet I do not remember if you and I ever actually crossed paths.  You know Bob, right?  Everyone knows Bob, he’s that guy everyone kind of likes but they really hate because he makes terrible decisions and is always late to everything.  He is that character on your favorite semi dramatic-semi comedic show that you keep hoping will get written off the show and move off far far away.  Bob moved to New York recently, life in Omaha has been pretty sweet since then.  You and I were friends on Myspace though, back when I was a “comedian.”  You even wrote a generic comment on my wall once.  That was even before Workaholics, so I guess you are the one that is crazy about me…

Let me cut to the chase.  I know you are a big Husker fan, but the Mavericks are up and coming in division one.  I just bought season tickets for the first time, and if you want to come and have the most awkward blind man date of all time, you just let me know.  You are invited any time to come with.  I will not be weird and try and pitch you ideas for a television show.  Seriously though, wouldn’t a good television show be a parody of The Hills, but instead of a bunch of ritzy 21-25 spoiled kids, we could produce a show called The Bluffs?  The Bluffs would be about some 21-25 lower class dudes trying a bunch of get rich schemes to get the heck out of Council Bluffs.  You get at me about that one.

There is another Millard South alum on the Mavericks team, his name is Kyler Erickson and he seems like he is a pretty cool dude, some may even say that he is even cooler than Billy Zane.  He is a bad ass walk on that really helped the team out many moments last season, and he seems like a quality leader on the team.  I give a first pump in the air every time he scores or makes a scrappy defensive play that leads to a score.  Here is his website.  We can get behind a Millard South guy being awesome.  We should probably appreciate this, because this could be the last time a Patriot is a division one basketball player for a while.  Ryan Curtis could have played division one, wasn’t he awesome?  Don’t pretend like you were too busy to go to basketball games in your junior year.  Don’t even try it.  Oh, I was in the Mr. Millard South show two years after you.  There are so many ice breakers between us.  Being 30 and still talking about how bad ass you were in high school is totally healthy, right?  There is a Millard West guy on the team as well, so let’s not even give him a chance for our claps.  Let’s just assume that he think he’s better than us.

You need to come see the taco cannon.  So far let’s tally this up:  You get to see a basketball game for free.  You get to see a Millard South guy play college basketball.  You get to see tacos being shot out of a cannon.  I won’t even sit there and talk about how Austin Anderson was a better stand up comedian than you.  I will not bring that up once.  I can update you on other UNO athletics as well, things are incredibly different since you skipped town.  The entire campus has changed even.  When I started going in 2004, I constantly felt like I was on the set of a 1980s Michael Douglas film, but everything has been renovated now.  There are more and more dorms, and it is growing with Aksarben Village…parking somehow got worse though.  Oh yeah, Aksarben is a thing again.  There is this place called Voodoo Taco, it’s not owned by the same people that own Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, but they have really good tacos.  Oh, if you haven’t been to Portland either, I can be the world’s worst tour guide there.  My wife hails from the Portland area.

I need to put this out there.  My wife does not really like Workaholics.  I try to watch it and she is just like “why are you watching this?  They had a house full of rats and murdered the rats by throwing them into ceiling fans and other household appliances.”  I guess she just does not get classic humor.  She is in love with Pitch Perfect though, so she has become more prideful that I walked the halls of Millard South with you.  She brings it up to her friends more than I do.  Her friends are like: whoa what was Adam Devine like?  Then I’m just like: High school was weird. I listened to Weezer and ruined my track career by drinking too much soda.  So I didn’t pay much attention to the loud upperclassman guy that thought he was funny.

This is probably why I would not be the weird fan just wants to ask you what being famous is like.  I might ask what Anna Kendrick is like.  I feel like she would get me.  Instead of asking you all of those questions I would ask what alternate routes you found in Millard South when the main hallway was under construction and you didn’t want to go outside.  I am pretty excited about Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates though, and I have not even seen a preview.  It’s a reboot of that Debra Messing Wedding Date movie, right?  Seriously, how cool is it that you’re in a movie with Milton from Office Space?

So check your schedule, check the Mavs schedule, and get at me.  I am a fair guy though, so we can go to a Nebraska basketball game too.  You have to pay for that one though, but I will drive your rental car.  We can play a game too where we go to local comedy shows and sit right in the front row and watch them get super nervous that you are there.  We can have paper and take notes and they will wonder why Adam Devine is taking notes of their performance.  It will scare the crap out of them.

Some observations from the Mavericks’ Midnight Madness

Twice this week I was up past midnight watching sports.  Tuesday night for the World Series, and last night for the Oregon Ducks-Arizona State game.  Today could be rough, but I am still on a Baxter Arena high, so there is that.  Here are some random observations from last night’s Midnight Madness event.

  • Mikaela Shaw informed us that the student section for basketball games will be right behind the visitor’s bench.  I love that, great move.
  • Are the curtains going to be down for most of the sections during basketball games?  Like, I get it.  But what if a visiting team’s fans wants to come in and buy out one of those sections?  We wont turn them down, right?
  • The taco cannon shot a taco right next to me.  I was 2 seats away from a free taco.  I have also realized that I will probably never recognize the person holding and shooting the cannon as a person.  I just see a taco cannon and I do not recognize a person, I just see a taco cannon that is floating around on it’s own shooting out bliss wrapped in tortillas.
  • I saw Rylan Murry walking around and I really wanted to scream “Skinny Love!” into his direction and then run away like I’m a 4th grade girl.
  • The women’s scrimmage was nice.  None of the women had their numbers on the back of their jersey, so every time a new player touched the ball I would have to ask who the heck that was, since there are so many new players.
  • In the Summit League teleconference, Brittany Lange talked about how impressed she was in newcomers Ellie Brecht and Amber Vidal, and they do look very impressive.  Vidal’s point guard skills are fantastic.  Really excited to see her run the team’s offense.  Like, I want to create her as a player in NBA 2k16 and have her run my team.
  • All the women’s team appears to show a lot potential.  The hype in their recruits might be real.  This team could be stacked next year too if they keep everyone together and add in their transfers in 2016-2017.  Incredibly curious how the minutes get divided up though.
  • I am glad that Rodney Rogan is not a professional referee.
  • I was sitting on the side where the men’s team was warming up, so I was watching them warm up instead of the women.
    • The freshman that I have heard the least about, Zach Jackson, looks like he could be a really good player.  I do not think that he missed a shot in warm ups, or even in the team’s scrimmage.  Seriously look up any photo of him though, he might be incapable of smiling.  Looks like he has some pretty good ball handling too, but let’s get a real game under our belts and see whats up.
    • Can we give Zach Pirog the nick name of “The Mile High”?  I watched Zach Pirog take the ball coast to coast and get a dunk, so my life is complete.
    • I was actually really impressed with Ben Kositzke.  I know it is all based on an open scrimmage and warm ups, but he was showing some good stuff:  hitting some jumpers, keeping guys out of the low block, putting on a couple post moves.  Also, I am a Millard South guy, so to be impressed with a Millard West guy should mean something.
    • Speaking of Millard South, Kyler Erickson had a crossover that changed my life.  By the way, when I was in high school I badly wanted to make fake letter jackets that said Millard East.  I would wear it all over town and convince people there was a Millard East High School that was just atrocious and undersized in basketball and football.
    • Daniel Meyer looks like he has bulked up, like he just goes to the rocky mountains and lifts boulders and pushes cars up mountains just for the thrill.  All in blue jeans too.  I also watched him take the ball coast to coast.  Scrimmages, man.
    • Jake White just looks overall healthier, a healthy Jake White could really be a an All Conference player.
    • Marcus Tyus got to play, his knee looks fine.  Boo ya!
    • Tra-Deon Hollins is going to bring great defense, sweet dunks, and another great passer to his team…not a bad thing to have at all.
    • Randy Reed was hitting the three on command in warm ups, and handling the ball in the scrimmage really nice.  Granted, it’s not like Devin Patterson and Hollins were trying to poke the ball away from him constantly, but I can be optimistic about things.  Randy Reed can fly too, he might be a super hero.
  • The shooting competition was pretty fun, but for some reason the basket on the side where the visiting team’s bench is lost every single time.  Jake White couldn’t miss on the other end, but then couldn’t make it on that end.  I am convinced that side is cursed.  The Mavs are going to lose the first half of every game.  By the way, I have been a Celtics fan my whole life.  Even through the Rick Pitino era, so I sometimes scare easily with basketball.
  • The student that shot for free tuition made the lay up and free throw pretty easily, but the three pointer was rough.  Josh White shagged the ball for him for a little bit.  Josh White might be the best passer in Maverick history.  I call for Josh White shagging the ball for every shooting challenge this season.
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman did not have a great dunk competition.  It made me sad.  Tra-Deon Hollins won it (see previous tweets).  By the way, Omaha Central has 4 players from their 2013 state championship team in division one.
Quite possibly the greatest photo ever.
Quite possibly the greatest photo ever.  Photo by Mark Kuhlmann

Two weeks until college basketball.  Two of the longest weeks of the year.  It will be like when you drive from Denver to Omaha and it all goes pretty quickly until you get to Grand Island and time slows down because it hates you.

2015-2016 opponent preview, Game 2: Kansas City

This is where I could have done a preview of the Mavericks’ second opponent, St. Mary’s from Minnesota, but they play in Division 3 and on top of that St. Mary’s lists the game as an exhibition.  What fun would that be?  It does feel good to actually have 100% confidence in these games though, it is not like in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 when you just were not really sure what UNO would do against these teams.

So we move on looking at the UMKC Kangaroos.

Last year I heavily debated of going to Kansas City to watch this game.  I do not recall why I did not go, but it was more than likely because I had no one that wanted to brave the exhausting three hour drive with me.  Seriously, you have to drive through Iowa for part of it.  I listened to the game on the radio, but found myself screaming like I was Krusty the Klown screaming at the Washington Generals for just watching the Harlem Globetrotters spin the ball on their fingers.

tumblr_lzxzoyDrxN1r8yo2fo3_1280

The Mavs were getting Jake White back into the lineup after being injured in their home opener against Central Arkansas.  UMKC was playing without probably their best post player, former Bradley Brave, Shayok Shayok.  I was not feeling like it would be an easy win, but I was still expecting a win that day.  The Mavs ended up losing to the ‘Roos with a 20 point performance from CJ Carter and a 19 point and 8 rebound performance from Tre’Shawn Thurman.  You can pretty much completely attribute the loss to a season high 26 turnovers.  26!  That is scary!  That is sick, and not the good kind of sick that all the kids are throwing around now a days.  The kind of sick you feel when you find out that person you hate at work is getting their cubicle moved right next to you.  That Mavs even outrebounded UMKC by 14 on the day.  This is still the one game of the 2014-2015 season that I look back most and say, if they replayed that game, UNO wins the game.

This loss, in my opinion, was more embarrassing than any other Mav loss on the year.  More embarrassing than Chicago State.  Even though the Kangaroos beat Missouri earlier in the season, the Mavs were a superior team but could not handle the ball.  The game was right there.  UMKC took their decent back court and attacked UNO’s poor perimeter defense.  Martez Harrison, who became the first D-1 All American (Honorable Mention) that UMKC has ever had, dropped 25 on the Mavericks.  Frank Williams Jr, doubled his season average with 16, these 6’4″ to 6’6″ wing players always seemed to have out of body experiences against the Mavs last season.

Martez Harrison was also the 2015-2016 WAC player of the year.
Martez Harrison was also the 2014-2015 WAC player of the year.

The obvious hope this upcoming season is that this will not be a glaring issue anymore.  Tra-Deon Hollins is expected to help with this perimeter defensive issues, and in my opinion, Randy Reed should hopefully get a little more playing time to guard against those 6’4″ to 6’6″ wing players that gave the Mavs fits last season.

In that wing position, the ‘Roos have sophomore Darius Austin, who averaged 4.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 20 minutes per game.  He did have 9 points and 8 rebounds against the Mavs last season.  There is also junior Broderick Newbill, who averaged 4.2 ppg and 2.1 rebounds per game in about 12 minutes a game last season.  He had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals against the Mavericks last season.  UMKC will also be adding a 6’3″ junior college transfer, Deshawn King, who averaged about 12 points per game, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.  King was not a tremendous threat from long range being that he made 33% of his threes in in his sophomore season, but he only attempted about one three point shot a game.  He also only shot 60% from the field.

My perception (actually this blog is pretty much 100% about my perceptions) is that one of the Mavs top two strengths this upcoming season will be their post game.  The Mavs lost crazy inside force Mike Rostampour, and that will hurt, but how good can the post look with a hopefully healthy Jake White and a stronger and more experienced Tre’Shawn Thurman?  Not to mention, Daniel Meyer is sounding as if he has improved his game a tremendous amount, based on the Mavs Euroblog.  The Mavs have a good three headed monster down low, and maybe even a 4 headed monster if freshman Zach Pirog is ready to play.  But if the Mavs have 26 turnovers again, or hell, even 25 turnovers, it is not like they are going to have enough opportunities to get the ball down low to the triple dragon.

With that in mind, the Kangaroos do not have much of a post game.  Can Shayok play this year?  He is basically their entire post game, but only played in 8 games last season.  UMKC will also be adding former Youngstown State forward, 6’7″ Kyle Steward, to their post game.  Steward spent his sophomore season at Butler Community College, who is pretty much good all the time (they went 29-4 last season), where he averaged about 13 points per game and 5 rebounds per game.  Steward can also step out and hit the three, so he can really help open things up for UMKC.

UMKC is a team the Mavs are kind of used to.  The proximity and somewhat equal size which has made this a little bit of a rivalry, it seemed like UNO-UMKC was going to create a nice little rivalry as Summit League members.  It would make sense for UMKC to come back to the Summit League and make it an even 10 teams, especially since UMKC does not have one conference opponent in the WAC that they do not have to fly to play.  Until they man up and face the reality that they have to come back to the Summit League, it will probably be a regular thing to play UMKC once a year.

The Kangaroos were the first team that UNO got a Summit League regular season win over, and the first team that the Mavericks swept in the regular season.  Okay, maybe that is why they do not want to come back.

It is definitely a good thing that this game will be played in Omaha.  Last season, for their conference schedule, the Kangaroos were 6-1 at home and only 2-5 on the road, so they are not that great away from the state of Missouri…but they did pick up a win in double overtime at Indiana State in their non conference schedule.  The Mavericks will have two games under their shorts at the Baxter Arena, and things are starting to look pretty good in Mavtown as it is, so hopefully a good crowd can make it out to this Tuesday game.

One difference with the Mavs as compared to last season is that when the Mavericks traveled to Kansas City, they were really still trying to figure things out.  The team was already trying to figure out where the additions of Tre’Shawn Thurman, Randy Reed, Tim Smallwood, Rylan Murry, Daniel Meyer, Kyler Erickson, and Devin Newsome were going to fit into a rotation.  That is even with trying to figure out what to do with Jake White, who was coming back with an injury at that point.  This season, there is not going to be a lot of process trying to figure those things out, and the Mavs will be trying to figure out how to add just three or four players into the mix (Gibson, Hollins, Pirog, and Jackson).  The team has had a trip to Italy and more practice to figure out rotations, so it will not take as long for the Mavericks to figure out who everyone is.  The team is going to be slightly deeper this season, which makes since now that they are a full fledged member of division one now.

So how are the Mavs’ chances against the Kangaroos this November?  The Mavs can hopefully take better care of the ball and be able to edge out UMKC this season.  Really, how could they not take better care of the ball this time around?  This is not the same Kangaroos team that Omaha swept in their first year in the Summit, really either are the Mavericks…the only player they still have from that team is Marcus Tyus.  This game can still be as close as last season, but with better defense the Mavericks will look to better contain Martez Harrison.

 

Where I assume the Mavs are getting summer jobs, based on basically nothing

So the UNO men’s basketball team is taking a summer trip to Italy.  How cool is that?  Foreign trips are typically very beneficial for basketball teams.  I am sure there is a great deal of bonding off the court, but it also means a few more games of playing together and working some things out on the basketball court.  Kentucky coach, John Calipari, has stated that he would like the NCAA to change the rules so teams could take a foreign trip every two years, instead of four years, for the great benefits it can bring to a basketball team.  I was literally not sure that Calipari knows the percentage of his basketball team that stays for two years.

I check the interwebs everyday in fear of finding out that one of the Mavs will be transferring.  I feel like it would have been announced by now, but you never know.  I just hope no one on the team is leaving.  I am not sure how much of a per diem the players get for food, or if any, so I assume some of the players need to take up a summer job to buy some souvenirs and whatever weird funny European stuff college students can find.  So here is where I assume the Mavs players will take some summer jobs for a little extra cash.


Tre’Shawn Thurman

Family Fun Center

I have not been to Family Fun Center in a long time, but I had some hipster friends that worked their during college.  They were not exactly hipsters I guess, but they loved to play Street Fighter, so whenever it was slow, you could find them playing Street Fighter.

One of the first things my wife said when she took notice in Thurman’s game was “number 15 has so much length.”  It is true.  Thurman could use his long arms to grab the really cool stuffed animals that kids have to spend their entire summer allowances on to finally earn.  I mean, he does not even have to officially work there I suppose, he could go over to the basketball machine and just go drop the ball in the hoop about a million times so he could win those giant stuffed animals and sell the stuffed animals to the kids.  This reminds me, how much fun would be if a casino had something that you could shoot a basketball and make money off of it?  I feel like that would be where you would find every college basketball player once they turned 21 to make some money.  Would that be break some NCAA rule?  Kids could also spend all their summer money at Family Fun Center and tell Thurman they want the stuffed animal on the very top row, but he has to do a 360 jump in the air to grab it and pull it down.  Oh, by the way, I am really thinking we can get Thurman in the dunk contest his senior year.  How bitchin’ would that be?


Marcus Tyus

Anywhere that needs a fry cook

Tyus is recovering from a torn ligament in his leg, so he has to get some shots up over the summer anyway that he can.  Some restaurant just needs to let him grab all things that can be deep fat fried, stand about 20 feet from the fryer and let him make it rain.  He could multi-task for sure, standing at the prep table cutting everything that needs to be cut, then toss in some crab rangoon when needed.  It would be constantly be raining fryer grease.  I hear restaurant kitchens love it when fryer grease is flying all over the place.


Kyler Erickson

With a career goal to be a translator for a professional sports team, he could piggyback off of Tyus here.  If you ever work in the restaurant business, you will find out that there is always someone that speaks a total of 25 words of English.  He can get some practice being next to Tyus to interpret everything that is said.  Also to commentate all of Tyus’ shots into the fryer…en fuego! Yes, he will be needed to inform someone that Marcus Tyus is not literally on fire.


Rylan Murry

Whole Foods Cashier/Game Stop/Comic book shop dude

If he had some incredibly lame tattoos and world’s worst beard, he could really make Whole Foods work.  I love going to Whole Foods and the cashier always asking me how my day is going.  It usually goes like this:

Cashier:  How is your day been going?

Me:  Not bad, I got a morning run in, getting some veggies and bison for dinner later.

Cashier:  You check out that new AFI album?

Me:  Who the hell is AFI?  I really like the new Mumford and Sons album though.

Cashier then puts their head down in disgust and tries to bag my groceries as fast as he/she can to get me out of their store.

Seriously though, who the hell is AFI?

About once every three months I will go check out Legends Comic Books on Leavenworth, I will get a Tony Stark White Mocha or whatever it is called and catch up on Batman and Nightwing comics, and sit there and read while I enjoy my coffee.  While sitting their, the comic book shop employees will rush over to the coffee shop part while they have no customers at the counter, to meet their friends and try to trade some Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering, and other stuff that I assume makes their parents proud.  Then the employee gets some dude that brings his son in to buy an action figure and I just hear the employee whimper out an “ah shit” and run back to the counter.  The dream is for that guy to be Rylan Murry.

I also list Game Stop, where I assume he would get fired from pretty quickly.  For either playing all the games and not helping customers, or for making fun of customers’ video game choices.


Tim Smallwood

Customer Service Agent

This is not the most glamorous thing that one could think of.  People call in, and they whine about stuff that no one should ever give a crap about.  Omaha is filled with customer service jobs, and they are mostly terrible, but I am basing this off of my impression of Tim Smallwood.  Based on his tweets, Smallwood appears like he just always has a positive attitude, or at least he does not post a bunch of negativity online.  Smallwood seems like he could calm down a pissed off Jim Molinari.


 

Devin Patterson

HyVee

How many times have you been at HyVee and an employee asks if you are finding everything alright, you tell them you cannot find something, so they guide you to that item instead of just telling you where it is?  With Patterson’s speed, he could ask you what you are looking for, and then go sprint for it and bring it back to you at a much quicker rate than you having to walk to the item.

The problem is that Patterson could get that really dumb manager that does not use his skills effectively and just uses him to go get all the carts in the parking lot all the time.  An incompetent manager at a grocery store?  That would be the world’s first.  Every time I am in a HyVee they will have 1000 carts ready for use and I will see a manager whine to the one employee that looks competent to go get the 15 carts that are in the parking lot, like it is much more important than getting customers through the checkout lanes as fast as possible.

Actually, can Patterson be the manager?  Hey kid, go get the carts, never mind, you are too slow!  Sprints out and gets the carts, comes back, checks out a few customers in record time.  Hey kids, you are all fired, I got this.

Wait, can Devin Patterson be The Flash?  Never mind, he needs to go work in a science lab of some sorts, preferably with a lot of chemicals and lightning.  Trust me, I have read a comic book before.

So this is what happens when nerds talk sports ball…


Randy Reed

Per his profile on the team’s page, his career goal is to be a personal trainer.  My wife hires personal trainers, and they get recruited to play on our dominant softball team, in which I am seriously the worst player out of both the males and females.  Actually the team is full, one more member would mean that I would not have to play anymore, that would actually be kind of sweet.  Anyway, personal training is a great way to make money.  Even if you are just looking to do it part time, it can be pretty flexible with your full time school or full time work schedule.


Devin Newsome 

There is still not much known about Devin Newsome at this point, so can we get him a job at Voodoo Taco to learn as much as he possibly can about the new Taco Cannon and be the unofficial Taco Cannon Reporter?  Voodoo can come out with a bunch of local commercials with Newsome hanging out with the Taco Cannon, both getting to know each other.  The cannon talks, right?


Daniel Meyer

Also HyVee

There is also very little known about Daniel Meyer.  You would have to think with the graduation of Mike Rostampour that Meyer will see his minutes go up with a need for a man in the middle.  His post player teammates, Jake White, Murry, and Thurman, have all had more on the court time or in practice time getting a timing down with Devin Patterson passing them the rock.  It would be great if he just followed Devin Patterson around all summer to get some of that timing down, or followed Newsome as well.  Essentially, if there is a way to make money as a non-violent stalker, I would love it if that is what Meyer could do.


Jake White 

So with Bo Pelini no longer in the state of Nebraska, I have realized that the state of Nebraska needs a weird cat guy representative.  No idea if Jake White likes cats, or hates them, I do not care.  Jake White needs to get a job at the Nebraska Humane Society or some pet shop and become one with all the white cats.  Try to think of something more awesome than the UNO men’s basketball team having a Christmas card that is just a portrait of Jake White, trying to be emotionless but still trying to look like a hard ass, with 12 white cats all in Christmas sweaters and possible elf hats.  We would win the internet with that.


 

 

While a great game, senior night did not end the way we wanted, and Devin Patterson is the boss

It seems that the Mavericks have had the same story to each loss so far this season.  Mavs get off to a great start, Mavs turn the ball over a bit and let the other team into the game, game gets close, CJ Carter and/or Marcus Tyus do what they can to keep the game close, Mavs miss some key free throws while the other team becomes incapable of missing free throws, and then I leave home sad.  Even though last night’s game ended with a loss, it was refreshing to see a little bit of a different story.

The Mavs did not get off to the greatest start in this one.  There were some poor decisions in the beginning, bad turnovers, bad luck, bad shots, and a lot of fouls.  Then they fought to get back into the game a bit, kept it at a close game, got down by a few possessions, then cut it back down to a position, and even take a lead.  It became a back and forth game, rather than watching than a runaway bride game.  Jake White, Randy Reed, and Kyler Erickson all came off the bench to give the team a much needed jump start.  Each played with great energy that has been needed of the Mavs bench all season, we saw a few lineups that we had not seen all year due to Tyus being out, Mike Rostampour in foul trouble, and CJ getting stitched up.

I brought my wife to the game, my wife does not get to many games due to a busy work and school schedule, but it is like having the world’s most critical commentator next to you.  I have gone to sporting events with women in the past and they point out the things that you do not typically see as a dude, like, hey that player has stupid hair, he should cut his hair.  My wife on the other hand played basketball for several years and is also coaches high school, so yes it can be emasculating at times.

Anyway, at her first game my wife sits down and asks “who is their best player”?  I tell her that each of the key players brings something different that puts them in as the best at something on the team.  Mike Rostampour is the best post defender and rebounder, Marcus Tyus is the best shooter, CJ Carter is the best slasher at getting to the basket, and Devin Patterson is probably just the most important player.  If he has a 2-7 shooting performance, the Mavs are not going to have a good time.  If he gets into foul trouble or rolls his ankle, the Mavs are not going to have a good time.  26 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists at Marquette, the Mavs had a good time.  2 of 8 with 7 points and 7 turnover against Kansas State, the Mavs did not have a good time.  MmmmK.  Things got bad for the Mavs this season when Patterson basically had to sit for 2 and a half games due to injuries, and you could tell he was still at least a little bit slowed down after that for a number of games.

My wife was a point guard, and her number in high school and in college was 3, so she has an instant respect for the junior point guard.  The coach in my wife points out every miscue by the Mavericks:  they are not moving, that was not the best shot available on that play, that player needs to figure out how to box out, that asshole does not want to play defense, I hate players who cannot catch the ball, but not as much as I hate players who pass an uncatchable pass, that idiot keeps dribbling the ball into traffic and he has three turnovers because of it.

So a lot of that was from the South Dakota loss, my wife did not have all of those complaints on Thursday against Oral Roberts.  Mike Rostampour picked up three quick fouls and you can tell some energy is taken out of the crowd.  Rostampour is the energy provider, best post defender, and it is also his senior day and he has to go sit down for 16+ minutes, so yeah there was some energy taken out of the crowd.  Jake White comes in and provides some energy, but Randy Reed really brought it last night.  My wife asks, we did not see him against South Dakota, why does this guy not play more?  I have no answer, I do not know why really, I have felt he has needed more minutes all year.

With Rostampour limited with foul trouble, and already with no Marcus Tyus, and with CJ Carter only having 4 points at half time, many of the fans around me felt like the game was over.  If you have watched the Mavs all season and seen that the story is much of the same game after game, I could see people feeling that, but this was not the typical game.  The game never got so out of hand that you could see the players giving up, they fought through everything, even though the game did not end the way the Mavs wanted to, you have to proud of the effort and the fight.

I think the most frustrating thing as a player in a close loss like that is after the game you will find yourself sitting there thinking, if I would have just not turned it over on that one play, or missed that one shot, or driven right instead of left on that play with a few minutes to go in first half, we could have won that game.  I can think of one play that me thinking, had that gone down differently, maybe they could have won that game.  With much of the team returning for next season, the team can learn from these moments and fix a lot of the mistakes.

I never like to the blame the officials for a loss, and I still do not blame them for last night’s loss, but they were confusing and knit picky at times last night.  Mid-major officials being inconsistent?  Get out of here, that never happens… The Summit League officials seem to always want to keep Mike Rostampour in check, which they should do with any player, but at times it seems like they are singling him out.  A double technical foul in the game AND a double foul of a block on the defender and charge on the offensive player tells you that the refs are afraid to look like bad guys.  I officiated basketball for a few years, you can tell the refs that do not want to be the bad guy and the guys who do not care what you think about them.  The refs that don’t want to be the bad guy call make up calls, and it makes people want to punch them in the face.

Refs are people too, they typically do not like being yelled at, and it is not like they get to explain themselves like an annoying Customer Service agent with some BS lingo.   You want the refs who forget about what a player did five games ago, the Summit League has officials who want to make sure the players know they have things in check.  Take Garth Algar’s advice on wanting expensive guitars, LIVE IN THE NOW!  They do not look at it play by play, they look at is as Well This Guy Was a Jerk Last Month, I Will Give Him a Foul For Rolling His Eyes at Another Player.  Don’t get me wrong, if some player caused a huge fight a month ago, yeah you want to make sure that guy does not do that again.  Rostampour has not been out there punching dudes, there is no reason to “keep him in check” just because he plays like he cares.  You want the refs that take thirty seconds of their life to proactively tell a player that they will call a foul if do that one bad thing again,  there is a reason why Karl Hess is now only officiating basketball games at Nazi Summer Camp.  Watch an Atlantic 10 game some time, ALL of their refs are Look at Me and I’ll Cut You refs, their players are basically not allowed to play with emotion, a guy like Mike Rostampour would only play 5 minutes a game and average 5 fouls a game in the Atlantic 10.

Mickey Gordon wanted to be the first to say farewell.
Mickey Gordon wanted to be the first to say farewell.

My wife and I were in Kansas City for a UNO at UMKC game in 2012-2013 and we sat directly behind the UMKC bench…we were even seen in the picture that UMKC used as the photo for the presser of the firing of Matt Brown.  Anyway, there was one ref, and Matt Brown would have a complaint and try and talk to the guy, and the guy would come over and make some stupid joke and have a stupid shit eating grin on his face every time and laugh like it was the appropriate time for his failure of a comedy routine.  I wanted to yell at this ref for Matt Brown.  How much would that mess up that ref?  He’s incompetent and trying to be a comedian for a pissed off coach, and the guy sitting behind the bench with the opposing team’s shirt gets up and calls him out as an idiot?  I have not seen that ref work a Summit League game since that year, and I watch a lot of them thanks to ESPN3 replay options.  If he got promoted I will be really upset.  Mild mannered Derrin Hansen was even out at center court yelling at the refs that game because they were unorganized and messing things up.  Comedy Ref stood there with incompetence the entire time, he just wanted to be everyone’s buddy.  The Mavs won that game, I think it was their first Summit League road win, but they won that game partly with learning to deal with incompetent refs.  This reminds me, why the hell is UMKC in the WAC?

A three paragraph tangent about refs might be a new record for myself.  Where was I?  Last night, yeah that’s right.  It was a frustrating loss, but what loss is not frustrating?  The most frustrating are the ones where you realize you deserved that loss due to not working hard.  The ones like last night, you can actually learn something and move one, so we will do that, we will move on.  We will lose two great seniors that helped set the ground work for division one, and who will not be forgotten.  Last night when both were sidelined, we were shown that we will be in great hands in the future.  The seniors to be, and sophomore Tre’Shawn Thurman, showed great energy and that they are ready for next year.  We are in great shape because of what the two of them provided.

I say that Devin Patterson is the most important piece of the team, and that is because he keeps things moving (among other factors).   Not only on offense, but on defense he can great so many bad situations for the other team.  My wife averaged 4+ steals a game as a freshman in high school, and her favorite thing about basketball was being “the little girl” but also being able to install so much fear into her opponents that they would shit their pants.  I have not verified if she made anyone literally shit their pants, but those were her words.  Devin Patterson does that for the Mavericks, he creates fear for the opposing team and they try to keep the ball away from him, but they cannot do it.  We can see that Mike Rostampour brings energy and gave the Mavs heart when they desperately needed it, and Devin Patterson brought that too when he came to Omaha.

At one point the Mavs were literally not moving, just four dudes standing around (while one picked up his dribble) like they were in a Jurassic Park film trying to not be seen by the T-Rex.  You could see Patterson yell at them after that.  I am not sure if he was scolding them for not moving, but they started moving around more and more after that.  I have seen him yell at players before for making poor choices, and they typically listen and respond, or end up on the bench for not listening to what he had to say.  He had this just ridiculous array of moves for the Mavs first basket last night, most NBA players would not have been able to defend it.  My wife who was frustrated by the first few minutes of the game, instantly put down her drink and clapped for him with respect.  Post game, she said “I can completely see what you mean by saying he is the most important player on the team.”  When things got bad, he made things happen for the team last night.

So after last night’s performance, even though it did not end up as a win, I hope that Carter and Rostampour can feel confident about Patterson, White, Tyus, and the rest of the crew to carry on what they worked hard to help build as a positive future for the Mavericks basketball team.

Don’t forget though, they still have three games left.  One game is even on ESPN3

A little bit of preview for UNO versus Oral Roberts and IUPUI

After playing the two teams in the Summit League with the best defensive field goal percentage, the Mavs will now have to play Oral Roberts, who has the 4th best defensive field goal percentage (Western Illinois is 3rd).  Then they have to play wildcard IUPUI.

The Mavs came close to North Dakota State and not so close to South Dakota State last week.  They know they need to move on, but now they have a road test against, historically, one of the best teams in the Summit League.  The coaches and players know and feel that they were a couple plays away from starting out conference play at 3-0, and Mike Rostampour is just pissed, and the senior leader should be.  Nothing comes easy in any conference and after starting league play at 1-3, now is the time to make those plays that would have put the Mavs at 3-1 now.  It is not the time to press the panic button.  NO BODY PANIC!  Actually, I’m not really sure if there is a panic button.  Other than possible CBI and CIT seedings and births, there is not really much of a difference if the the Mavs finish this year in the Summit between placing 2nd and 9th in the standings.  If the Mavs win the regular season, they do get some hardware, but it is not like they are going to get a participation medal for coming in 9th in the conference.  Mom, this is literally a medal for sucking.  But morally, we want to prove ourselves, that we know we belong here.  We’re not quite at the point of trading away all of the assets and tanking for the draft.  I am sorry, I am a Celtics fan, so I am bitter about some NBA things at the moment…  


Oral Roberts

Okay, I am going to throw something at you here.  The Mavs are going to have to go deep into the bench in this game.  Why would the Mavs have to go deep into the bench on a team that has the worst field goal percentage in the entire Summit League?  The Golden Eagles get to the line more than any other team in the Summit League, they shoot nearly 26 free throws a game.  They have the second worst three point field goal percentage in the league at 32.5%, so they are a team that needs to get to the basket, and with two of the best wings in the Summit League, they get to the basket.  Mike Rostampour will pick up a foul in this game, maybe even two, or maybe even five…  So the Mavs may have to get Daniel Meyer, Rylan Murry, and Randy Reed on the court more than they usually get out there.  In case you are curious, when the Mavs win Murry shoots 57% from the field, 55% from downtown and in their losses he shoots 35% from the field and 25% from long range.  So he might actually be a little more of an X-Factor than you might think.  Just saying.

RPI wise, Oral Roberts had the best win of the season against Tulsa to open up their season.  Maybe similar to the Mavs, they realize this was a long time ago, and now that they are 8-8, they have something to prove themselves.  Maybe the Mavs should not run the typical Mavs pace in this one.  The Golden Eagles average 65 points per game (not including their win over Haskell).  When Oral Roberts gets above 65 points they are 7-1.  Maybe UNO does not need to slow down the pace, but clearly, they need to play strong defense for all 40 minutes.

Obviously the Mavs need to shoot better coming off their two worst shooting performances of the season.  Oral Roberts may be in the top half of the league as far as defensive field goal percentage goes, but they have had a few poor shooting nights themselves so far, so here is an incredibly generic thing to say.  The Mavs need to play better on offense and defense.  That’s simple.  Well we are done here.

Here are some other random Mav numbers for you (not counting Iowa Wesleyan):

  • The Mavs are 5-1 when they hit more threes than their opponent, only loss to North Dakota State
  • The Mavs are 1-6 when they hit less threes than their opponent, only win to South Dakota
  • The Mavs are 0-3 when they hit the same amount of threes than their opponent

Hey, remember how Oral Roberts has the 2nd worst three point field goal percentage in the League?  They have also made the 2nd least amount of threes in the Summit League.  But again, they get to the line, A LOT.

  • The Mavs are 0-4 when 40% or more of their field goals taken are three point field goals

So it’s not exactly like they should just start jacking up threes, especially after a 1 of 16 performance, but they need to hit the open shots that they found against South Dakota State but could not convert on.  Seriously, how generic sports talk can this get?

With the talent they have, I am not even sure if they could beat Kentucky right now.  Crap, I am thinking about the Celtics again.

The Mavs do need to contain the wings for Oral Roberts.  Obi Emegano in his last five games has averaged 23 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists,  3.6 steals, and he has shot 50% (36-72) from the field.  He has also made 10 threes overall in the last 5 games after going 9 games in a row without a three.  Korey Billbury in the last five games has averaged 17 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and shot 39% from the field.  Billburry also made a total of 9 threes in the last 5 games, after only hitting a total of 5 in the Golden Eagles’ first 11 games.

This game is a homecoming for Tim Smallwood, a Tulsa native, so maybe he will play better.  Is that dumb to think that?  Seems like guys play better in situations like that, or on their birthday.  Seriously, you should see my career averages on my birthdays.  I was a quadruple 2 guy my whole life, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game.  On my birthday, I averaged about 14 points and 5 rebounds a game.  Not to brag, okay I am bragging, but in intramurals at UNO, I had to guard a guy that had played at Midland University and he was about 5 inches taller than me, but I had 17 points with 5 threes that game.  It was literally my birthday.

Like Opponents?

Lost 72-66 to North Dakota State in Fargo.

Won 66-57 at Western Illinois


IUPUI 

Seriously everyone was sleeping on the IUPUI Jaguars before the start of the season, and many still are trying to wipe the morning fog out of their eyes.  They lost 6 in a row at one point, but now have gone on a win a game, lose a game pattern for their last 7 games.  If they continue the pattern, they would lose to South Dakota State and win at UNO.  That is how stats work, right?  They are 2-1 in the Summit with a wins over preseason league favorites IPFW and Denver, so this should have caught the attention of people…who pay attention.  They also took that team I was just talking about, Oral Roberts, to overtime.

There is not much size to the Jaguars, nor is there much experience, and their best players are currently sitting out due to transfer rules.  They do not make many threes, they have made the least amount of total threes in the conference, and they have the worst three point field goal percentage in the league.  They are just a little better than UNO at free throw percentage at 70% to UNO’s 69% but they do not get to the line nearly as much, UNO shoots 27 free throws a game, while IUPUI shoots 18 per game.  They average the second least amount of rebounds per game, after Denver who they defeated, but IUPUI has picked up more rebounds as of late.  The Jaguars also average the most turnovers in the league, so UNO who averages the most steals in the conference should be licking their chops.  Is licking chops still a saying?  What are chops?

None of their wins have been a beat down.  Of their 6 wins, the biggest amount of points they won by was 6 points to South Alabama.  One thing I have noticed about the Jaguars as compared to other Summit League teams, they have not played an opponent that was not division one.  So that whole thought process of In Order to Get Better You Have to Play the Best Competition might be coming together for IUPUI, as they are finally starting to pick up some wins.

One thing I notice while looking at all 6 of their wins, a low amount of threes taken.  Their three point attempts on wins, 10.6 attempts per game.  Their three point attempts on losses, 17.2.  Clearly, with the poor percentage and total number of made three point field goals, it is an area they struggle in, so they desperately need to get to the basket.  The Mavs need to keep them on the outside, just let them take threes.

UNO has yet to lose to IUPUI as Summit League opponents, and if the Jaguars pick up a win against the Mavericks this year, given how bad their roster is, I may just lose it.  They defeated IUPUI by 28 and 22 points last season.  CJ Carter has averaged 15.6 points, 4 assists, 2.3 steals, and has shot 19-30 in 3 career games against IUPUI.  In his sophomore season, Marcus Tyus averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, and shot 12-22 against the Jaguars.  Mike Rostmapour has 18 and 9 in his first meeting against IUPUI and 9 and 8 in his second match up with IUPUI, and he also shot 9-13 on those two games.  Devin Patterson averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.5 steals, and shot 9-18 versus IUPUI last season.

For real, why do they think tanking for the draft is a good idea?  Has it ever worked out for them before? Drafting players is not their thing, draft day trades is their specialty!  Aw crap, sorry, the Celtics, they are getting to me.


A suggestion from a guy that has no business giving suggestions to a college athletics program:

Bring Marcus Tyus off the bench.

Okay, I hate the idea of it too.  I think Marcus Tyus has been the Mavs most efficient player this season, and has been huge.  It is nothing personal against Marcus Tyus, in fact, I hope this is a compliment.  Really, it should not matter to a player if you start the game or come off the bench, as long as you are on the court at the end, or your team has won.  This team does need a high energy guard off the bench, and Marcus Tyus is definitely a high energy player who can bring a spark off the bench.

You can not really put Patterson on the bench because of his ball handling ability, and for his control of the offense.  No one wants to put Carter on the bench, who has started all but three games in his career, and is the teams’ top scorer.  So unfortunately, Tyus is the nomination.

The 2013-2014 season, the best season for the Mavs so far in division one, Marcus Tyus came off the bench for half of the season.  With injuries to Justin Simmons, Tyus got the nod to start, and he played great, there is no question of that.  Last season, UNO was 8-8 with Tyus coming off the bench and 7-7 with Tyus starting, so it’s not like any of this makes sense with that in mind.  Four of the losses that he came off the bench though:  @ Iowa by 8, @ UNLV by 3, @ IPFW by 4, vs. IPFW by 1.

Whether Jake White gets back into the starting line up or not, the Mavs will have either he or Tre’Shawn Thurman coming off the bench in the post for a key role, but the Mavs do not really have a guard to come off the bench that has produced enough for that second wave of energy and activity.  If Justin Simmons was starting last season, Tyus and Phillips were both coming off the bench.  If Simmons was hurt and Tyus was starting, Phillips was still providing some energy off the bench.  Matt Hagerbaumer was always providing defensive energy in the post off the bench.  Reed and Smallwood have not produced as advertised, Rylan Murry has slipped in the last month, and walk on/great guy Kyler Erickson has been the guy to step up off the bench.  I am not sure who to start between Reed, Smallwood, and Murry.  Reed or Murry would provide more height, and the Mavs could start the game contesting the shots other teams’ 6’4″ – 6’6″ wings a little better, then BAM, Marcus Tyus off the bench for 8 quick points.  I am not saying this is a big time solution to anything, it is just a thought.


Some milestone notes:

  • Marcus Tyus is 11 points away from 700 career points
  • Mike Rostampour is 18 rebounds away from having the 2nd most rebounds since transition
    1. Matt Hagerbaumer – 401
    2. John Karhoff – 384
    3. Mike Rostampour – 366
  • Marcus Tyus is 4 steals away from having the 3rd most steals since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 128
    2. Devin Patterson – 90
    3. Caleb Steffensmeier – 73
    4. Marcus Tyus – 69
    5. Justin Simmons – 69
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman is 22 points away from having the 2nd most points in a season by a freshman since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 303
    2. Marcus Tyus – 185
    3. Tre’Shawn Thurman – 163
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman is 3 rebounds away from having the most in a season by a freshman since transition
    1. CJ Carter – 105
    2. Tre’Shawn Thurman – 102