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Classic City Classic 2010

November 11, 2010

Another Fall, another Classic City Classic. Most teams have made their cuts by now, and getting so much talent together gives everyone a chance to check in on where they are as they head into Winter and prepare for the Spring. Wisconsin won’t be back to attempt a four-peat, and there’s no Pitt, Notre Dame, or Michigan either. But even if the field is a tad bit down, there are a lot of teams that have been looking forward to being in Athens for quite some time, and while Texas and Illinois of 2008 along with Michigan of 2009 remind us that a bad CCC has never really spelled doom for anybody, a good one is usually predictive of more strong results to come.

So if you have any feelings about CCC, let’s talk about them. It’s healthy. And while we’re at it, let’s pour out a little for my fallen homie: the Atlantic Coast Region.

Here’s what I got:

  • The chances of Florida doing well are pretty good. They’re the defending National Champions, and despite their reliance on a very top-heavy rotation, they do a good job of teaching fundamentals to everyone. Everyone on their roster knows how important it is to play defense and avoid cheap turnovers, and that makes for a solid college squad.
  • The chances that they really won’t care either way are even better. If the past five seasons are an indicator, Florida doesn’t show up to Fall tournaments all that intent on winning. At UOA Fall 8s last year, Brodie didn’t even cleat up on Sunday, and at CCC 2008, a number of their top guys were walking around barefoot once they hit the consolation round. Look for the Gators to take a “teach first” approach, putting more value on giving their inexperienced guys some burn. In the past, this has been a smart strategy: it helps when your bottom of the roster guys really know how to play together against top competition, and playing them a lot at tournaments like this is one way to get there. The transition from Brodie to Cole is going to be call for more strategy adjustments than Kurt to Brodie did, so maybe they’ll run the starters out more than usual. But I kind of doubt it.
  • On the re-building note, I think that any team that made Nationals last year is going to have some leftovers whose experience and know-how will at least cover up some of what was lost when key guys graduated. UNC-W losing Rusty and Georgia losing Peter Dempsey certainly stick out, and I’m among those that are curious to see what their teams bring to the table at the start. Both have very strong programs, with coaches Greg Vassar and Tully Beatty doing quite a bit to guide the Seamen while Georgia typically retains a few graduates that stay and help out. Unlike Florida, my guess is that they’ll both be playing to win this weekend, and even though it’s the Fall, their results could tell us a lot.
  • Georgia Tech will be as good as Nick Lance plays. Last year’s team featured Nick doing pretty much whatever he wanted while the rest of his team got open for re-sets, caught his hucks, and played hard defense. If he’s on, they’ll have a good weekend. If someone does a good job of covering him (easier said than done), Georgia Tech will turn it over on forced hucks and break throws.  I know nothing about this year’s Texas team, but if this were two years ago, a Lance v. Presley match-up would be a whole lotta fun to watch.
  • Despite their poor showing at the ACC 8s, I’ve heard good things about UNC. It has to help that Noah Saul and Thomas Sayre-McCord played with Ring of Fire, and these guys typically do a good job of coming together as a team and squeezing a lot out of their role players. Is Lucas Darden playing with them last year? It was a bummer that he took last season off, as he was one of the region’s toughest covers as a sophomore. Also, I’ve heard they have a beast freshman. Anyone got any word on this?
  • On paper, it looks like Michigan State will be good. I count four seniors on their Spring 2010 roster, and they made it to both the Finals and the game to go in the Central last year. Of course, I don’t know just how big a role those seniors played since I don’t know Michigan State names/faces all that well, but the team impressed me at the Tally Classic last year. Chriso Ferguson’s a hard cutter to guard, and they isolate him pretty well. I bet they take Pool B.
  • I suppose I’ll keep an eye on Virginia , maybe just a little bit…
  • That Phil Brock and Chris Mullinix are back for Tennessee is a good thing. They’ve had a fast and fairly talented roster for the past couple of seasons, it’s just a matter of learning to make strategy adjustments and bring it in the games that actually matter. It’s CCC, so nothing actually matters, but I think they could do well.
  • Other teams and players of note: Florida State picked up a new coach this year, none other than Peter van de Burgt himself. Also, Nick Fletcher has some serious talent… Tree is gone from Kennesaw State The Atlanta Braves might make some noise… Clemson graduated Ben Slade, who was one of the best college players I’ve seen play. I have a feeling he’ll be on their sidelines though… Alabama’s Tim Brady picked up some great experience with Tanasi, and was one of their grittiest players when I watched him in Sarasota. Wasn’t there another Alabama guy on Tanasi…? James Madison is probably underseeded at 18.
  • What’s up with the seeds? The first four make sense: 1-3 are the only 2010 Nationals teams in the field, and Georgia Tech finished 4th at Regionals last year. But Texas at the 5? They had an awful CCC last year, and didn’t make Nationals. UNC at the 6 after no Regionals in 2010? Oh well. It really doesn’t matter since it’s a Fall tournament, but those two are just kind of baffling.
  • Aguilar’s been doing a great job with his CCC coverage, so check him out if you haven’t already. His latest is on Georgia Tech, but I imagine there’s a few more to come before the weekend.
  • Going back into the archives, here’s the 2006 CCC page, which features a sick picture of Beau on the Colorado profile. Can anyone find the link to the 2005 CCC page?

That’ll do for now. Hopefully I’ll have some more stuff up in the coming week.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Aguilar! permalink
    November 11, 2010 7:57 am

    Thanks for the props man.

    Tree still at Kennesaw. I’m very upset about this. At least KSU isn’t in our pool.

  2. neeley permalink*
    November 11, 2010 8:09 am

    You are correct. The 1-2 of him and Prime Time could definitely cause some trouble.

  3. BJones permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:28 am

    Gritty is exactly the word I would use to describe Tim Brady. It is a joy to watch him play.

    • neeley permalink*
      November 11, 2010 10:41 am

      Definitely. He just plays hard every point, and is always trying to get better. I had the pleasure of playing at Solstice with him when we were both out in Seattle a couple summers ago. Tim’s just a good dude.

  4. Mimmo permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:10 pm

    2005 Colorado CCC picture was a good one…

  5. Anonymous permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:26 pm

    Texas, as well as Georgia Tech lost the game to go at Regionals on DGP. I see no problem with either of those teams being seeded where they were…

  6. neeley permalink*
    November 11, 2010 12:47 pm

    You’re definitely right about Texas, I shouldn’t have said that. And I have no beef with Georgia Tech at the 4. UNC at 6 is really the one that I find puzzliing.

    Mimmo, you are correct.

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