Nate Watson and the Friars are off to a dream start but Big East battles lie ahead (Photo: PC Athletics)
By BUNKY McCOY
• The Friars can be very good in a Big East that lacks a dominant team, a belief that comes after
Villanova, the longtime chalk of the league, lacks big-time size or depth and got ripped at Creighton in its conference opener.
Like the recipe for your favorite dish, this Ed Cooley team seems to possess all the right ingredients. They are very big, they have experience, they have a certified star in Nate Watson, along with several supporting cast members. Shooters in Noah Horchler and A.J. Reeves, a lock-down defender in Justin Minaya, guard play with Al Durham and Jared Bynum. Do they lack the big-time ath-a-letes to match up with elite teams? Yes, but Lew Alcindor’s UCLA Bruins aren’t walking through that door anytime Bunky.
In short, they should soon be able to play themselves into the NCAA Tournament discussion. In fact, they already have.
• If Bill Belichick needed any more reasons to loathe the media, he got one this week when the
same reporter (representing the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle) twice asked the coach if he had any New
Year’s resolutions that he wished to share. The first time the Hoodie was asked came after
Sunday’s home loss to the Bills, a game that all but ended any hope of the Patriots capturing
the AFC East title. Talk about not taking the temperature of the room, Bunky.
• Kudos to the Big East for removing the word “forfeit” in the event a game can’t be played due
to COVID reasons. It looks like there will be plenty of those.
• Did the MLB players and owners take the holiday off from the negotiating table? Maybe so everyone could fly off to Bimini for a well-heeled vacation? In case you’ve forgotten, there’s a lockout taking place.
• When Rajon Rondo takes the court with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’ll be the eighth team he’s
suited up for since getting traded by the Boston Celtics back in 2014.
• New Year’s Eve was better when Providence staged “First Night”.
• QUIZ OF THE WEEK: What’s the highest the Friars have ever been ranked in the AP Top 25
poll? (Answer near the bottom of the column.)
• LINE OF THE WEEK comes from PC head coach Ed Cooley following Wednesday night’s win
over Seton Hall: “It’s not the new Big East. It’s the Big East. The Big East should be a basketball-
centric league. I’m glad they got rid of the football schools. Those presidents were bright. Those
ADs were smart.”
• There’s no truth to the rumor that even the General Assembly qualified for a bowl game.
Question is, who would start at quarterback?
• The most annoying word in the country? “Whatever,” for the 12th straight year, according to
pollsters at Marist College.
• Kudos to Ch. 12 sports gal Taylor Begley for coming up with a Patriots-related story where the
actual content was not the result of the Zoom media calls orchestrated by the PR machine that
lords over Foxboro. In case you missed it, Begley caught up with Mac Jones’ high school QB
coach from Mac’s hometown of Jacksonville.
• Speaking of Jacksonville, there’s no truth to the rumor that if the Pats don’t win Sunday,
they’ll be looking to join the CFL.
• Rumor has it that Gov. Dan McKee was worried about Wednesday’s PC-Seton Hall game
serving as a super spreader (attendance was announced at 12,069). The next day, McKee went
out of his way to praise the sellout crowd for being mask compliant.
• Memo to The Gov: worry about turning those PCR tests around a whole lot quicker instead.
• As a reminder, the Boston College men’s basketball program hasn’t been to the NCAA
Tournament since firing Al Skinner back in 2010. But the Eagle in the sky always smiles when that ACC check hits the account on payday.
• Quiz Answer: The Friars were ranked 3rd in 1962, ’63 and ’66.
• Still trying to wrap my head around how the KevinMcSports Hour was bumped off in favor of
Santa Claus. Last time I checked ole KMc hasn’t been bumped since the Coventry days.
• The results from the New Year’s Eve college football playoff games offer supporting evidence
that the Southeastern Conference is on a different planet compared to the rest of their FBS brethren.
• RIP to actress Betty White, who was set to turn 100, and former Celtics great Sam Jones. Plus the great John Madden. They all left us as 2021 wound down.
• There’s no truth to the rumor that the Independent Man sat out the annual New Year’s Day
Polar Bear Plunge at Easton’s Beach. He’s had the Covid, after all.
• I’ve got a few New Year’s Resolutions Bunky, but like the Hoodie, I’m electing to keep them
• From Delta to Omicron, it’s clear we’re still a long way away from emerging from the COVID
wilderness. That said, get your shot and stay away from me.