VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE


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January 26, 2009

HOME SWEEP HOME

January 26, 2009

Blazer fans,

I hope you enjoyed your week at home as much as I and the Blazers did! The Green and Gold put three very, very solid efforts together last week. The win over UL-Lafayette showed the explosiveness of the offense. The victory over UTEP was solid, top to bottom and start to finish. The demolition of Rice was just fun to watch!

The new starting line-up unveiled against the Ragin' Cajuns met with approval from the fans, but more importantly, it provided a spark. The players directly affected by the change all benefited and made strong contributions during the week. It looked like a new Howard Crawford, Channing Toney and Aaron Johnson. I can't imagine coach Davis changing the rotation after the results we saw last week.

The three straight at Bartow Arena is now followed by two straight on the road. I suppose the schedule makers could come up with a more "challenging" week of travel and competitions. Tulsa and Huntington in late January...mmm...nice. Ice pellets are in the forecast for the visit to Oklahoma and the Wednesday night game with the Golden Hurricane. They've backed off the forecast for snow at Marshall this weekend, but you better believe it will be nice and frosty when we arrive on Friday afternoon. The rundown for the travel schedule this week...head to Oklahoma on Tuesday morning...return to Birmingham on Thursday evening...fly to Huntington on Friday morning...back to Birmingham on Sunday afternoon (if all goes well, just in time for kick-off of the Super Bowl). Please understand, I'm not complaining. I love my job and wouldn't trade with anyone...but if someone out there wouldn't mind feeding my cats when I'm gone, I'd appreciate it.

After this week's journeys, the schedule settles down into a more normal routine of home-away-home-away. Let's hope as that part of the schedule rolls around, the Blazers are working on a nice little win streak. The two games this week are HUGE for the Blazers. Tulsa will be very difficult. Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan are a potent duo for the Golden Hurricane, a team that was seconds away from knocking off Memphis earlier this year. Let's hope the Green and Gold are still smarting from the loss at the C-USA Tournament last year. That first-round, overtime loss at FedEx Forum was a rotten way to leave that event, and it sure didn't help the post-season chances. The teams are part of a three-way tie for third place, and it's the only meeting of the season, so it could serve as a tie-breaker down the road.

Marshall, for whatever reason, has been a difficult place for the Blazers. It's not an easy place to get to...it's always cold...and the Herd plays well at home. It would be mighty nice to take care of business this week and pick up two big, big road wins. You can listen to Wednesday's game starting with pre-game at 6:30 PM on the Blazers ISP Sports Network. Saturday's game will be televised by CSS, and we're on the air at 5:30 PM with a 6 PM tip.

Other thoughts on this Monday night as I sit here at the Highway 280 location of Buffalo Wild Wings getting ready for the call-in show...National Signing Day for football is fast approaching, and from all reports, the Blazers are doing well. Best of luck to coach Callaway and his staff over the next week...keep your fingers crossed, and we all may see a vastly improved team this fall...The league office handed out a one-game suspension to Houston's Aubrey Coleman for his flagrant foul in the game at Arizona over the weekend. If you haven't seen it, it's readily-available online, and I think you'll agree the suspension was warranted. I know the University is embarrassed, and it also doesn't reflect well on Conference USA. There's just no room in the game of basketball for something like that...heck, he'd probably get disqualified in the WWE if he pulled that move in a match...it's cold, and I'm sure we'll have another real blast of winter very soon...therefore, baseball is just around the corner. We'll be announcing our broadcast schedule in the near future...we hope to increase the number of radio and internet broadcasts this season for coach Shoop and company, who should also be an improved team this year.

Well, time to start studying up on the Golden Hurricane and getting ready for Blazers All-Access. PLEASE come out and join us on Monday nights...7-8 PM at Buffalo Wild Wings on Highway 280. Coach Davis would LOVE to see you there!

Have a great week, and GO BLAZERS!!!

DC

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