“College” basketball?

Hmm, at the very top levels, is it really “college” basketball? Even some of the “perfectly legal” practices are really not what college athletics are supposed to be about.

Certainly, my opinion carries no weight (nor should it). But..since you are reading this, I’d like to see basketball go the way of baseball: let the NBA set up some sort of A-AA-AAA farm system with pro coaches so those who don’t care about academics but want to pursue their dream (and have enough talent to have at least a remote shot at it) can focus, and let the colleges work with student athletes, say the way that my team does. And when the NBA thinks a kid is ready, they can call him up the way MLB teams do. The college kids can still leave but at least this intentional “one and done” farce will be over.

And yes, Bradley’s season is over. I can’t say that I blame BU for turning down the “EIEIO” tournaments. Taking a look at the games: let’s just say that an ordinary MVC conference game has more appeal than those games (that wasn’t always the case). The issue: the NIT now guarantees a slot to every team that wins a regular season conference championship but doesn’t get to the NCAA tournament. So some of the stronger mid major teams in leagues where the regular season champion won their conference tournament get shut out.

This shows a list of who is going where.

Workout notes: spring break. weight: 198.7 before workout (no clothes), 201.3 with shoes. This was after breakfast and coffee. I am still weak and the heel is not 100 percent; slight “burn” during the run..but slight.

rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
bench press: weak. 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (empty gym), 8 x 170
decline press: 4 x 165, readjust, 4 x 165 (empty gym)
incline press: 10 x 135
military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45
single armed rows: 10 x 50 (3 sets)
abs: 50, 24 twist crunch, moving bridge, 10 yoga leg lifts (2 sets), head stand (easy today)
plank: 2:15 (made it!), side plank

treadmill run: 22:57 for 2 miles; talked myself out of going longer. Better to be conservative now.

Not 100 percent yet, either on the heel or from last week’s illness.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | basketball, running, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Now about MY vacation (February-March 2018)

I do this from time to time when my wife leaves on her 3-4 week trips (winter 2016, summer 2017)

So, I’ll do it this time too. I have more to say about my mental state; it is a bit funky, I think due to being unable to do long workouts (running/walking or swimming; more on that in the next post).

11 Feb. (Sunday) partner yoga with VC
13 Feb. partner yoga with VC plus dinner
14 Feb. dinner and BB game with VC
16 Feb. dinner with AG
17 Feb. dinner with TH
18 Feb. BB solo
19 Feb. Dem Dinner with MT
23 Feb. dinner with AG
24 Feb. dinner and BB with TH
25 Feb. partner yoga and lunch with VC
1 Mar. drinks with LD, VC and LK
2 Mar. dinner and concert with VC
3 Mar. bball with VC and sister

Now about today’s Bradley game: ISU overpowered Bradley 53-41 though BU lead at the half. When ISU made their run in the second half, BU repeatedly turned the ball over and fell apart.
Bradley won by 20 in the first meeting, but the teams have done in different directions since then; BU lost 12 of their final 15 games (all in conference) after winning their first 3 conference games on the road.

The men came back valiantly but lost to Loyola in St. Louis (and Illinois State won in overtime vs. Southern; I’ll be cheering for them tomorrow).

It is hard to win when you only score 41 (that was the final total)

Vickie and her sister Linda went to the game with me; it was FUN.

It was senior day; wish they could have been sent out with a win. But there is the tournament and ..well..if only our team could develop the confidence to not fall apart the first time the opposition makes a run and makes few shots. They *should* win their opener. Should. But then…

March 4, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment

Get the Led Out..and the lead out too.

I got home later than usual; Ms. Vickie took me to a Led Zeppelin tribute band concert. It was fun. But I do have a few tasks to do this weekend and I want to work out this morning (some mixture of swimming, lifting and stationary cycling..2 of the 3 would be good)

The campus has a 5K but my foot is not in shape to do it. 3-4 more weeks…

Bradley Basketball (men) had their first “conference quaterfinal” victory since 2010, scoring on a rebound with 1.5 seconds left to beat nemesis Drake. Now, Bradley has defeated every Missouri Valley Conference team it has faced at least once, though it took 3 tries to get it done vs. Drake.

I listened to the game on the radio as I worked in my office.

Today the Bradley women’s team hosts Illinois State; Ms. Vickie *might* go to that with me (she is an Illinois State graduate).

Heel progress: oh-so-slightly sore,; my guess it is from the 4 mile walk yesterday.

We ate early last night; I took Ms. V. on a mini campus tour. This is outside my office.

At the concert…

Micheala got this one of me in our box.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , , , | Leave a comment

Tough weekend for Bradley Basketball (so far)

Last night: I had dinner with a dear friend and drove home to catch most of the second half of Bradley at Drake in women’s basketball. Though Drake is going through their second season of being undefeated in league play, Bradley fought hard and lead until the middle of the 4’th quarter or so. They went down 77-71 but played valiantly.

Today, I took Tracy to the Indiana State at Bradley game. Indiana State, lead by a 45-29 rebounding advantage (17 on offense, and a 16-8 edge in second chance points), lead most of the way, though BU took brief leads in the second half. And it WAS tied until a 15 seconds to go or so when ISU scored on..what else, a put back off of a missed shot.

That made it 66-64, which is how it ended. Bradley faces Drake on Friday at 2:30; Drake is the only MVC team that BU hasn’t defeated at least once. Conference record: 9-9, 5’th out of 10..and that is a MAJOR step up from where BU was over the past several years. ISU seemed to want is just a bit more; if they won they would not have to play in the Thursday night “play in” game, whereas BU had either 4’th or 5’th wrapped up.

Still, it was an exciting game and Tracy was fun company, as usual.

Two shots of the high drama. 7800 of the season.

Good Middle Eastern food afterwards.

February 25, 2018 Posted by | basketball, Friends | , | Leave a comment

Gray day…

We have an unusually warm day for February and hence, rain instead of a blizzard. So..that is a bit of a mixed bag.

Bradley Basketball:

The men’s team lead Valparaiso by 10 late in the first half when Valpo started to attack the basket. BU’s defense didn’t adjust, but the offence kept them in the game for most of it; Valpo got the lead with 7 minutes to go but BU rallied and lead by 4 with 5:56 left to go.
The next 4:30 or so saw Valpo go on a 21-0 run to lead 77-60 and they won going away 77-64.

That was on the road.

Next day: went to see the women host Indiana State: the women have won 6 conference games, all against the bottom 4 teams in the conference (4 against Evansville and Valpo). BU lost by 15 at ISU-blue.

So, Bradley raced out to a 31-16 lead early; ISU had open 3 point looks but missed.
They stopped missing in the second half and BU fell apart and trailed in the 4’th quarter. BU still pulled to 71-70 with 18 seconds left but ended up losing 74-70. ISU is no. 4 in the MVC right now. BU is now 6-9 in MVC play but still has a home game against Illinois State, a team that they beat by 20. BUT…that was some time ago; ISU-red has improved.

Workout notes
It was weird..I slept a long time last night…too much?

usual pt
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 …not as peppy as I’d hoped but I got them problems.
bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 4 x 185 (not my best, not nearly my worst though)
incline: 10 x 140 (ok)
military: barbell: 8 x 95, 10 x 85 (good), 10 x 90 (each arm) machine
rows: 10 x 110 3-sets (machine)
goblet squats: 10 x 53, 10 x 62 (to the window sill)
abs: 2 sets of twist crunches (50, 24), yoga leg lifts (10), moving bridge (10)
headstand: ok..a bit frantic getting into it but I calmed down
side planks, 2 minute front plank (that went well?)
bike: 35:27 for 10 miles (about 1 minute slower than last Wednesday)

heel: some whining …

I just feel a bit..well, not quite light-headed but not quite right either.

February 19, 2018 Posted by | basketball, bicycling, Peoria/local, weight training | , | Leave a comment

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