Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In Case You Missed it...

Austin Knowlin: Your 2007 MVP

The annual Columbia football team awards were announced at the team dinner last night. Here's a quick list of the winners:

2007 Columbia Lions Varsity Football Awards

Phil Fusco Award: JoJo Smith (Sr., CB)

Maniatty-Remmer Unsung Hero Award: Thomas Weldon (Sr., FB)

John J. Cirigliano Ironman Award: Craig Hormann (Sr., QB)

Lou Little Coaches Most Improved Award: Mike Partain (Sr., C)

Ken Germann Freshman Award: Alex Gross (Fr., LB)

Special Forces Award: Jon Rocholl (Jr., P/K)

Most Valuable Offense: Austin Knowlin (So., WR)

Most Valuable Defense: Phil Mitchell (Jr., DE)

Sid Luckman Most Valuable Player Award: Austin Knowlin (So., WR)

Campbell-Murff Captains Award: Craig Hormann (Sr., QB), Drew Quinn (Sr., LB), JoJo Smith (Sr., CB)

It's hard to quibble with any of these choices. I would say that for Mike Partain, the "most improved" award may have been a career-long nod as opposed to marking his performance from 2006 to 2007. Some commenters have made the point that tailback Ray Rangel could be considered the most improved Lion over the past year.

Basketball Saturday

The Columbia men's basketball team didn't look too great in their loss to Lafayette Saturday, but I did enjoy getting back on campus, I ended up doing an impromptu radio interview with Jerry Recco at the half. Anyone listening probably heard my daughter Jordan trying to talk to me during the first part of the interview!

But during the chat, I did get to remind listeners that the next several weeks will be fast and furious as we start to get more info about incoming freshman football players.


At Tue Dec 11, 07:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any plans to post the highlight video?

At Tue Dec 11, 09:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you went to the wrong basketball game. You should have been at the St. Francis game tonight as Columbia played very wel defeating a pretty good St. Francis team by nineteen points 83-64. Ben and K.J. Matsui had great games with 21 points and 17 points, respectively. Also, Ben had an amazing 17 rebounds.

At Tue Dec 11, 11:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Jones made some tremendous coaching moves tonight including starting K.J. Matsui and then keeping him on the floor nearly the entire game along with Ben Nwachuku and the other starters. Joe stopped making massive substitutions and it worked big time as Ben had a fastastic game and everyone around him played magnificently. I really liked tonight's starting five--Ben, John, K.J., Brett and Nikko. Play that group for 30+ minutes and it will many games.

At Tue Dec 11, 04:19:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue is not getting lengthy playing time. For whatever reason, Coach Jones has been keeping players in longer this year than last. The problem is that almost each of them has taken turns being lousy.

At Tue Dec 11, 08:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night Coach Jones played four of the five starters more than thirty minutes and the fifth starter, Baumann, about 27 minutes (two personal fouls in the first half). I don't believe Coach Jones has ever done that before. Keeping the five starters on the floor for most of the game proved to be very beneficial because they played together very well and became an even stronger, more cohesive group as the game progressed. That was a very smart move by Coach Jones and one he needs to repeat to win games. Massive substitutions haven't worked out because the players become confused and lose their self-confidence. Incidentally, K.J. Matsui has looked sharp throughout the year, but has not seen much time until recently, supposedly due to his defensive lapses. However, he's an outstanding outside shooter with a very quick release. Some people have disparaged his defensive, rebounding and ballhandling skills, but not me. I watched him closely last night and he played very aggressive defense and had six rebounds. On offense, I would have liked Columbia to spread the floor on occasion to allow him to go one on one with a defender and perhaps drive to the basket.

At Tue Dec 11, 10:50:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was an impressive win last night, if against a not-too-good St. Francis team that lacks the muscularity of conference rival Wagner. St. Francis was like a playground team composed of agile but somewhat undernourished guys who can shoot but sometimes get so dazzled by their own fancy dribbling that they lose the ball, as opposed to Wagner's well-fed, efficient moose(s?). But that's 2 wins out of three in a week, and Ben played last night with genuine passion. To see him blocking shots was a real treat.

So we have to probably forget about Villanova, and concentrate on the American, Lehigh and NJIT games. Then comes the really hard part, two games in a row against Cornell.


At Wed Dec 12, 02:29:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been complaining about Ben's lousy play all year, and his lack of conditioning, so I will gladly eat my words.

At Wed Dec 12, 05:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw the Wagner/St Francis game on TV over the wkend. That game came down to the wire. Impressive that we handled both teams. We need to put back to back efforts together. Seems they have a good win then lapse, then play well again.As long as we compete in the Ivies is all I care about. We should be pumped up for the Nova game--they are gettable on any given night. I would imagine they give Joe a great effort on his return to the Nova campus.

At Thu Dec 13, 04:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous SFO said...

Forget about Villanova? No way, never concede anything! That's the attitude it will take to reach the next level. No one thought we'd give Ohio State much of a game but we outplayed them for a good portion of the game.

At Thu Dec 13, 09:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sfo, by "forgetting" about Villanova, I meant not letting it become an obsession. Columbia faces three eminently winnable games and one pretty tough opponent before its Ivy season commences. That's simple scheduling reality.

But it is the Ivy season that really matters, that brings with it an NCAA tourney slot. Coach Jones's most and least ardent fans alike know this. This is a pre-Murphy era team completely assembled and nurtured for the last four years by Jones, and it features probably the best all-round player in the league in Jon Baumann.

So while it'd be nice to actually beat Villanova, it's also wrong to be rattled, or even TOO pumped up, at the prospect of playing them. Because the real struggle starts a few weeks later, against a very good Cornell team, and we don't want any sort of post-Villanova letdown, now do we? (Yes, too, Villanova is beatable, but then so were Sacred Heart and Lafayette, neither of which is Ohio State.) Even that most people think Princeton and Penn alike won't be factors in the Ivy race this season indicates how radically different this year's Ivy basketball season truly is from the last several years.



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