The Dean's List
We've got two theories to explain Maryland's inconsistencies this season
It's taken a while, but it's now clear Tubby Smith's move from UK was genius
Greg Robinson thinks he can do better ... we know he couldn't do worse
Welcome to this week's Dean's List, where Los Angeles is on fire, the stock market is ice cold and Sharon Stone is once again single. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
Go ahead and try to figure out the University of Maryland football team. Like sneezing with your eyes open, it's pretty much impossible. The Terrapins are capable of losing to Middle Tennessee State and, as they proved on Saturday, beating North Carolina. There are two plausible theories to explain the team's erratic nature. Theory One: The better the competition, the better the Terrapins play. After all, this weekend they beat North Carolina, 17-15, knocking the Tar Heels out of the top spot in the ACC Coastal Division. Maryland has also won a school-record six straight games over top 25 competition. Theory Two: Maryland plays really well at Byrd Stadium. The Terrapins are unbeaten at home this year and UNC hasn't won in College Park since 1997.
Often, it's only after time has passed and events have played out that one can look back and discover a decision's true sagacity. Well, it's now been a year and a half since Tubby Smith left Kentucky to coach Minnesota's hoops team, and it's time to declare the man a genius. When he left for a less prestigious program, a lot of people thought Smith was taking a step backward professionally, but coaching in Lexington, especially for an entire decade, is no picnic. Sure, Kentucky has a rabid fan base, but such loyalty comes with debilitating pressure. Tubby weathered this pressure for 10 seasons, winning one national championship before the finicky fan base dubbed him "Ten-Loss Tubby" and essentially ran him out of town. Now, Tubby is bringing in top-25 recruiting classes at Minnesota while his replacement, Billy Gillespie, falters under the pressure. Kentucky lost to VMI in its season opener on Friday night and Gillespie has gotten so desperate for talented basketball players that he's recruiting eighth-graders.
Bloomsburg University's train has been stuck in Domination Station for a few years now, and I don't think it's moving any time soon. The Huskies' field hockey team beat UMass-Lowell 6-2 to win the 2008 NCAA Division II field hockey championship. It's Bloomsburg's third straight title and its sixth in the last seven years. Jamie Vanartsdalen, the Huskies' all-time points leader, scored three goals and had one assist, leading former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly's alma mater to its 15th field hockey title.
It's not easy being the coach's son. Every time you come to the bench, there's dad, ready to tell you what you did wrong. But it doesn't seem to bother Rhode Island's Jimmy Baron. The 6-foot-3 guard is URI coach Jim Baron's elder son, and a ridiculously good shooter. In the second half of the Rams' game against Duke, Baron was unstoppable. Hand in his face, blind fold on, smothered in peanut butter -- it didn't matter, Baron couldn't miss. The coach's son scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half, all of them on long-range threes, a foot behind the line, with a hand in his face. Yet, despite hitting a career-high eight 3-pointers, Baron's shot abandoned him in the final minute and URI lost to Duke 82-79. Oh, Daddy, that hurts.
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