A New Year’s Resolution

dave@friarblog —  December 31st, 2008 5:14 PM
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Guest post by Brian Hodge

Tearing away a month of the calendar, revealing fresh art, blank weeks, clean afternoons and evenings is a small, simple pleasure. The unveiling of a new calendar year is infinitely better – a whole new year, unveiled in a single turn of a page. With these blank dates come blank slates. Fresh wishes, dreams, and aspirations.

Change breeds optimism (see: Barack Obama) and new college basketball coaches – especially young, prescient ones – tend to stir up the most hope. When Keno Davis arrived with his stable of assistants and national Coach of the Year trophies, it was the ringing of a new era in PC hoops history. Somewhere, champagne was no doubt uncorked.

Which brings us to the calendar New Year, a time where, in college basketball, those dreams either materialize or disintegrate into more “wait til next years.” The Friars begin with their own clean slate of an unblemished record in conference play – a chance to declare NCAA tournament resolutions in the form of statement wins and upsets.

Much like the rest of us, however, those resolutions will be tough to keep. The very mention of the talent and depth in the conference inspires breathless exultations. In a sense, some new years resolutions have already been made for the Friars: No more cupcakes. No more procrastinating, no more snoozing.

And make no mistake, Davis’ Friars are set up for a long year. A mismatched, undersized smattering of Tim Welsh’s spare parts, Davis will be forced to adapt his style to fit the players. The Friars will rely heavily on 3-pointers, a particularly tricky endeavor considering the Friars’ veteran shooters have already struggled with the new distance. Last year, a season which coast Welsh his job, PC knocked down 38% of their three-point attempts.

This year? Try 28%.

So when the clock strikes midnight and unabashed hope rains like the confetti in Times Square, PC’s first Big East contest will be in the books. Win or lose, temperance is encouraged. For with a new coach and those gilded glimmers of hope, come healthy doses of reality. Namely, that this team does not have enough talent.

And after all, someone has to clean up all that confetti.

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