A remarkable first week and basketball game

Once again, Barbara has gone on a lengthy winter trip; if memory serves she has done this since 2015. It isn’t a bad time to go as she gets to miss 2-4 weeks of the Illinois winter and one of the more hectic parts of my academic year.

And interestingly enough, instead of being mostly alone, I’ve been more social than normal. Yes, I am dealing with a heel injury, but I’ve also returned to swimming; a long lost friend. I am also getting more into yoga; last Tuesday I had a double class (yoga for the back, then partner yoga) followed by dinner with my teacher.

Then came Valentine’s day.

Ok, that wasn’t exactly true this year. Yes, it was a couple of days after some snow:

Then I went out to dinner (ok, burgers and fries) with my yoga teacher and then to the Bradley vs. Illinois State basketball game. Ms. V. is an ISU alum and I took her to that game last year, where Bradley got blown out.

This year, Bradley is improved and ISU had one starter out and one hobbled with a sore knee. Therefore, Bradley held ISU scoreless for about the first 6:30 of the game and, built the lead to 16 points. ISU fought back gamely but Bradley won 70-58.

Ms. V. wore her ISU shirt with pride…but as the game wore on, she threatened to make me walk home. 🙂

Early action.

This was Bradley’s second best crowd (7700 or so) for the season; but this wasn’t the sell out that this game used to be. Then again, ISU won the previous 8 games in this series so..maybe this might become a genuine rivalry again?

Two days later (Friday): I went to dinner with a dear friend. Afterward, I went to catch the second half of the Bradley women’s game vs. Evansville. The first game (at Evansville) saw BU build up a 60 point lead (not a misprint) and coast to a 117-59 win.

When I turned on the radio…Evansville was a head and lead 31-30 at the half!

In the second half, Bradley upped the defensive pressure. Still, the first 4 minutes of the second half were very competitive. But eventually the short handed Evansville team wilted under the pressure and BU went on a 25-2 run, getting open looks at 3’s, uncontested lay ups, steals etc.

BU outscored the Aces 42-14 in the 3’rd quarter (10 minutes). The Braves emptied their bench in the 4’th but still outscored EU 20-2 in the final quarter (EU was running on fumes).

I was happy for Bradley but I also remember Evansville having a competent women’s team last year. This year has been a nightmare of injuries for them. Oh well; Bradley (both the men and women) had to fight through such adversity in previous seasons.

Today and tomorrow: dinner with Tracy tonight; then tomorrow more partner yoga and lunch with Ms. V.
Somewhere I should get some work done, I suppose. 🙂


February 17, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends, Personal Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Partner yoga..

Last night we did the partner yoga workshop; or rather my yoga teacher did and I was the “other person” prop. It was embarrassing at times, as my teacher is, well, much better at it (more flexible, etc) but still fun.

So yesterday was a “swim/AMT/” in the morning; “2 hours of yoga” in the evening.

This morning: did not sleep that well (due to eating late) but still did a workout: weights plus 10 miles (34:40) on the stationary bike.

weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), usual PT
incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 155, 9 x 145
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 180 (90 each arm) machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm.
goblet squats: 10 x 45, 10 x 50, 10 x 62 “to the sill”
Then the bike.

Heel: not 100 percent by any means, but it stung less when I walked in the morning..probably due to warmer weather.

Bradley hosts Illinois State in basketball and I am taking my yoga teacher to the game. Go Braves! Oh, she is an ISU grad. Bradley is favored, in part due to ISU being down 3 players (2 starters). But…they played us back when we had a team manager logging minutes so…

February 14, 2018 Posted by | basketball, bicycling, yoga | , , , | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball weekend: 1 out of 3

Well, Bradley started out well on Friday night. The women hosted Valparaiso and raced to a 35-14 half time lead, holding Valpo to 16 percent shooting. The second half was a different story; Valpo cut the lead to 6 points before Bradley won 69-58. That was a sign of things to come. But that completed the season sweep..a very good thing.

Next, the men, overconfident off of a hard fought home win against Loyola, hosted Drake. Drake had won a hard fought 66-64 game at home in the first meeting. The second game appeared to be on its way to being a good one; it was 36-33 at the half. But Drake kept knocking down big shots outside (41 percent from 3 point range; 47 percent overall) and their star guard lit us up for 32. Though Bradley closed to 3 points at times, Drake answered every won and won going away 78-68. Bradley shot 37 percent overall and 19 percent from 3 point range; when BU doesn’t hit its 3’s it isn’t a good team. We just don’t have the balance to overcome a bad shooting night.

Then this afternoon, the women hosted Loyola. It was close at the half 29-26, though Bradley shot poorly, shooting 34 percent overall, and 26 from 3 point range for the game. And yes, Loyola played good defense. Loyola pushed the lead to 58-38 before Bradley rallied to cut it to 7 with 2 minutes to go. But BU gave up many key rebounds and turned the ball over and Loyola won 71-61.

Well, I can say this: I’ve gotten used to BU winning its home games; weekends like this one USED TO BE the norm. No longer.

Note: the men drew 7800 or so, which is the best crowd in a while.

February 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

Bradley 69 Loyola 67: BU no longer an “easy win” (at least at home)

Loyola still leads the conference, but last night, Bradley stepped up and won 69-67. BU started strong and lead by as many as 13 during the first half and lead 37-29 at the half. In the second half, Loyola would make a run (and come within a single point at times) but each time, BU would rally. Though BU only made one field goal in the final 6 minutes, BU made some key free throws to hang on.

Through the night, BU hit 3 point shots AND had an inside game; it was a balanced attack.

To be fair, BU did get away with one goal tend in the second half.

In the first meeting Loyola won by 16 in Chicago.

About 5700 attended the game..and that figure more accurately represents those who showed up.

Now, of course, this was at home and while BU won at ISU-blue, (Indiana State) BU has yet to play this hard on the road. Still, this is a massive change from where Bradley has been since, oh 2010 or so. It has been awhile since Bradley was legitimately in contention for MVC honors. And just 3 years ago, we were playing with basically a JV team.

Dare I think….”postseason play”…NIT even?

Note: prior to the game, Loyola and Bradley had the highest RPI ratings of all college basketball teams in Illinois, which includes, yes, the University of Illinois. Now to be fair, BU would not hold up well versus a Big Ten schedule…but hey, this is progress!

February 2, 2018 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Mixed weekend for Bradley Basketball…

Ok, the women had a tough weekend. After an incredible 117-58 win against an overmatched Evansville team on the road (EU had not lost this badly to anyone until this game..then got bombed by Valpo)…The Braves struggled badly on offense in a 51-40 loss to Northern Iowa at home. The first quarter score was 12-6 and at the half it was only 26-20. Though BU’s defense was good, Northern Iowa’s was smothering.

Then on Sunday, BU hosted the best team in the MVC: Drake. And Drake’s lead was up to 19 points in the second quarter and 15 at the half.

But BU fought back valiantly and cut the lead to 3 with 6 minutes to go in the game. It was to end 84-75 though; BU was in a position where they had to play perfectly in order to win, and that is a bad position to be in.

The reason I said it was “mixed”: the Bradley men won at Indiana State 81-73, its first MVC road win on the season. That was huge. ISU-blue is not a great team, but the did blow out ISU-red by 30 a week ago or so.

Of course, shooting 61 percent from 3 point range..that really help (and will not happen often).

January 28, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

Bradley rolls at home 72-52 over Missouri State

Ok, Missouri State was short handed 1 player before the game and their best player got into foul trouble early. Still Bradley raced out to a 12 point lead in the first half, only to see the lead dwindle to 29-28 at the half.

Second half: much better defense, better ball movement, better rebounding and Bradley pulled away.

Just over 5000: still, this time, these were actual people rather than “half of the announced crowd were empty seats”.

We are where the white arrow is.

Looking good at this point.

Stop and say “hi” to us!

workout notes Up early anyway.

weights (went ok): pull ups (5 sets of 10, went ok), usual PT
incline presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 8 x 150
military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell
rows: Hammer Machine: 3 sets of 10 x 200
abs: 24 twist crunches (each leg, 48 total), 10 yoga leg lifts, moving bridge, 1:45 plank (though for me…pathetic)

treadmill: walking today; just didn’t feel like running: 2 minute froggy starting at 4.0; 14:19, 27:09 (14:19, 12:50).

January 24, 2018 Posted by | basketball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Bradley’s good weekend vs. Evansville

Yes, it ended well; in fact BU raced to an early 14-2 lead..let the lead diminish, opened it to 10 at the half, let Evansville back, then pulled away at the end.

Every Evansville rally was stopped; BU played great defense (6 blocked shots) and spread the ball around on offense..and actually hit some open shots.

The Jesse White Tumblers performed at halftime and they are always excellent.

Then, today, the women went to Evansville and raced out 27-0 lead and lead 40-7 early. It was 62-26 at the half and the lead eventually extended to…60 points (not a misprint) and it ended 117-59. I watched the game from the second quarter on ESPN3 and could not turn away. And yes, BU played everyone, early. It was just one of those days where Evansville did nothing right and Bradley did nothing wrong.

January 22, 2018 Posted by | basketball | , | Leave a comment

to blog or not to blog

I am thinking of starting a blog for our complex variables course. I like the book I am using, but there are a few things I’d love to explore further (e. g. the roots of unity, the group structure of S^1 , etc.

We’ll see.

Last night: we went to Illinois State and saw Bradley lose 70-57 in a game that was tighter than the final score might indicate. Still, it is hard to win when you are shooting 33 percent..then again, some of that..ok much of that, it great defense by the Redbirds.

Workout notes: Yes, it is warmer but the roads are kind of slushy. So it was the treadmill for me:
50 minute froggy (0.5 incline, 4.9 start, up .1 every 5 minutes) 23:48 at 2) then at 50 minutes, upped it to 6.8 then 6.9 to make 5 miles in 54:56, then 1 mile of walking. That 5 minutes at a “faster” pace just about killed me. I handled it ok but…

January 18, 2018 Posted by | basketball, mathematics, running | , | Leave a comment

Cold walk; hot shooting (for a half)

It was 9 F when I started, 17 F when I finished with icicles in my beard.

It was an 11 mile plus route in 3:14; W. Peoria to Bradley Park (two excursions to the portopotty) and 2 out and backs; then one mile back home. I’d guess a 16:30 mpm pace average. It was cold but clear and I was bundled up.

Then we watched the women scrap but lose to Missouri State 71-65; Bradley had the lead at the half and held brief leads in the second half. But what kept BU in the game was torrid first half shooting (50 percent overall, 50 percent from 3); there was a balance of 3 point shooting and slashing drives for lay ups.

But overall, it appeared to me that Missouri State had a bit more depth. BU had started out conference play 3-0 (all on the road) and lost to Southern Illinois (who lost to Illinois State today…and Bradley beat ISU) and Missouri State at home.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | basketball, walking | , | Leave a comment

20 pence “I cannot feel my face” run

Last night: the Bradley women’s team lost to Southern Illinois 63-62, though Bradley did rally from being down 30-15 in the second quarter to take the lead a couple of times, late in the game.

Early on, it appeared that SIU was outworking Bradley and that situation reversed itself. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start. And to be fair, while BU had won its first three MVC games (all on the road), SIU brought in a 3-1 conference record, with only a loss to a strong Drake team; they had wins over Northern Iowa and Indiana State. So this was a step up in conference competition for the team and BU almost measured up! Almost.

Like the men (who got crushed 81-65 at a game that was even worse than the score might suggest), the women are not a top 2-3 MVC team. BUT, they are a respectable “middle of the pack” team which is a step up from where they once were; they have a serious chance of having a winning conference record. There is very visible progress.

About the title of the post
I slept in too late and did not start my “run” until 10 am. It was a slow 1:21 shuffle/slog in 10 F temperatures; sunny day, clear roads. Course: Bradley Park 5.1 plus an extra “upper to lower” hill, plus an extra segment on Bradley Ave.

I had a sweat icicle hanging from my beard:

And near the top of Bradley Park, I found a British 20 pence piece.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running | , | Leave a comment