Random Thoughts: This and that

Coach Roy ruminates on Roundball Recruiting, the start of Lacrosse, Softball and Baseball, and a player's comment on NU fan turnout..

Rumors Flying around:
Someone I trust posted a query on the board about possibly another "big man from Croatia" committing to NU.

The guys who know don't comment on this stuff, but some other guys I know tell me that there's just one big Croatian, and he's been reported in the Trib and Herald so...

If you Google Nikola Baran you learn he's played on the Croatian National team, Cibona VIP, and Kaptol Zagreb. He's listed most places as a 6-7 forward. But I've also heard he plays some Center.

Now something wild - Some academic competition pages with his name and school also come up - my ability to read Croatian is pretty bad, but they appear to be something like our science fairs.

Anyway, he appears to be a smart kid who plays decent roundball, and who can actually sign a Letter of Intent in April.
The start of the Lacrosse season
Probably the hardest thing is sports is to repeat as a champion. In college, the run through the NCAA process requires you to win up to 6 or 7 games in a row which is difficult during the regular season, much less against the top teams in your sport.

So here comes the very confident NU Lacrosse team, the 2005 champs, who stunned the lacrosse world by beating everyone they faced to become NU's first champion of the new millennium.

The Cats start their 2006 season in Maryland, right in the middle of the College Lacrosse world, with a game scheduled for noon at College Park. Forget that the weather forecast is for snow this weekend - the Cats are used to that - Maryland is all pumped up to be playing #1.

In addition, two of our coaches played at Maryland, the present Maryland coach used to coach NU back in the 80's. Maryland is used to playing top teams early - they lost to Duke in their opener last year.

NU's win streak is at 21 - if they even play Sunday, I expect that streak to be at 22 Monday morning.
The Crack of the Bat
Holy Cow!

Do Baseball and Softball actually begin play this weekend?

I mean, the groundhog saw his shadow last week, Little League signups are still going and even the Pitchers and Catchers [of the major leagues] don't report until next week some time.

As always, there's a lot of hope this time of year, and everyone knows that we all start in first place at 0-0. Paul Stevens' Baseball Cats and Kate Drohan's Diamond Girls are looking for even a better year than last.

Go get 'em Cats.
Fans at Basketball games
I'm glad somebody, besides Daily Northwestern columnists, finally gave it to the students about support of the athletic teams.

Tim Doyle, who's one of the more outspoken Court Cats, really gave it to the NU fans who didn't make the trek over to Welsh Ryan for the game with the Hawkeyes.

What our students don't seem to understand is that its the attitude of the student section that makes a basketball court "our house." For example, nobody likes to play on the road in Wisconsin.

The Badger fans have made Kohl their house, and nobody goes up there and wins, much. The Izzone at MSU and that sea of red or gold in Indiana or Michigan, are also almost equivalent to having a 6th man on the court. NU needs to get that kind of support.

Tim Doyle nailed it - and if the Cats expect to play post season this year, we're going to need these 4 home wins to pull it off. A few more fans in the stands won't hurt.

Bring back the Welsh Ryan Rowdies!
-- da Coach

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