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Sunday Conversation: 3/30

Yup, talking about this guy again.
Yup, talking about this guy again.
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Joel:

Okay, so let's talk Semaj. We've had some time to ruminate on his announcement since he decided to jump to the pros. I still don't like it for him or for the program. Either of you guys feel compelled to change my mind?

Brad:

6.4/3.7/3.4 is Rajon Rondo's line on .437/.207/.647 shooting. I honestly think tht Semaj can do that if he gets the same 23 minutes per game of opportunity. He's blazing fast, he can jump, and he's fearless. I think he'll succeed, so I hate to "tell him" that he should stay in college.

Joel:

Where the frick are you getting that line for Rondo?

Brad:

That's his rookie line, not this year.

Joel:

Gotcha. I think the point stands as made; the limitations people pointed out in Semaj's game are the same ones they pointed out in Rondo's. No jumper, no left hand, et c. Semaj is a little bigger than Rondo, but Rondo is (as it turns out) apparently a fairly special player. I think Semaj is the same type of player, but there's a difference between being the same type and having that kind of ceiling. I think Semaj's game could have used another year in school.

Beyond all that, though, he has a chance to fulfill a life-long dream and make a pile of money doing it. If he lands in the first round and gets a guaranteed contract, this was the right choice. If he falls to the second round and runs the risk of getting cut in camp, I think it bit him in the hind end. I want to see the kid do well, get his bank roll, take care of his mom, and the whole bit. I just think he has a better chance of doing that if he stays in school one more season.

Bryan:

I really don't like this move for Semaj. As I pointed out in the comments of the article, I felt like Craw was more ready for the jump and has struggled since entering the league. I just think he needed another year to get stronger, try to fill out a bit more (Rondo is 3 inches shorter and 4 lbs lighter), and work on his shot.

I think we are more ok with Semaj than Semaj is without us. The attack next year may lack a "go to" but that is also the knock on Florida and, frankly, a stupid thing to have a problem with.

Brad:

I think one more season would have been a better choice as well, but I can't fault him for it. I think he goes in the first round because some very good team can let him develop. I hope he does, he seems like a good kid.

Can we also touch on the utterly moronic idea that refs should not call fouls late in games? It's just stupid to call that the ref deciding the game. Don't want called for a foul? Don't commit one, same as the other 39 minutes when the mindless masses are apparently ok with officials existing.

Joel:

The old "you've gotta let the players decide the game" thing is stupid if you think it's okay to penalize the players who try to decide the game while remaining within the confines of the rules. The refs have done a lot wrong this tournament - going to the monitor every 14 seconds to destroy late-game flow leaps to mind - but having the guts to pull the trigger on those two calls was absolutely correct.

Brad:

I think on Saturday the Wisconsin player initiated the contact and left himself off balance. I'm in complete agreement with your point though.

Bryan:

I wasn't in love with the call against Arizona. Actually I loved it, I just thought it was wrong. Gasser was pretty clearly initiating contact there. Tennessee fans being mad is ridiculous. If that isn't a charge, literally nothing is.

Joel:

While we're talking tournament, it is probably worth pointing out that an RPI-based selection process favors teams from big conferences with a few crappy teams. As long as you handle your business, all of your other conference games will look better by virtue of the winning percentage boost that comes with having a handful of garbage programs on the conference schedule. I love having tough games every week, but diluting the conference talent pool might help our tournament chances.

Brad:

I wouldn't mind adding Dayton, but who else comes to mind? Boston College? You can't grab truly low ring teams, and most of the eastern seaboard is spoken for. Poach the MAC? For strictly personal reasons, I'd love to add Akron. There you go, Dayton and Akron. Down a tier, but not Fordham or LIU Brooklyn.

Bryan:

The only problem I would see is getting non-football schools who are also major players in basketball. Dayton would be close, but there aren't a lot of others that spring to mind. St. Joe's? Right now the conference is fairly high quality and had two usual powers in Marquette and Georgetown have down years. Not getting a team out of the first weekend isn't ideal, but also not a disaster. I would love to see expansion, but only slowly and for the right teams.

Joel:

I really like the symmetry of a ten-team league. I like getting a home and home with everyone and having everyone playing equal conference schedules. I like knowing almost every conference game is going to be a battle and a chance to get a resume win. The problem with the RPI is that a win over an 18-10 Big East team is not that much different than beating a 25-7 SoCon team or whatever weaker conference analogy you choose. I'm inclined to hope they keep the conference intact and keep flicking Vs at the committee, but I'm also aware that is cutting off your nose to spite your face. In the end, I think they'll probably expand, it will probably be a good thing for X, and I probably won't like it.