Well, I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Me? Mine had its usual ups and downs. Santa gave great gifts. I got great bills. For Christmas presents I received, there is this ongoing problem. I ask for certain items and instead of getting those items, I get a "variation on theme." For example, imagine walking into a restaurant and ordering fried chicken. The waiter brings out pecan crusted seabass. See, it isn't fried chicken, but it was pan-fried and it does have a crust, but while it isn't chicken, it is "white" meat. Apply that to Christmas gifts: I asked for an FM modulator for my ipod so I can listen to it through my car stereo; I received a speaker so I can listen to my ipod at home through it rather than through my home stereo. This has gone on for years with my wife and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to correct it. I have tried circling items in catalogs, I have tried writing down model numbers; I have even told her where to buy something for the cheapest price.
Anyway, Matt Doherty had a merry Christmas. SMU beat TCU on a buzzer-beater. And Santa brought this:
Now, SMU faces OU in one of its toughest nonconference games of the season. I think Jeff Capel is a good coach and I think OU is a good team. I won't be surprised if OU goes to the NCAA tournament. I remember remarking that I thought Capel was an inspired hire by OU. Sure, he is young and inexperienced, but by all accounts he has a bright future and good basketball mind. It is nice to see a major athletic program willing to do something other than hire the safest choice: a coach from a lower major program.
An SMU win will likely give SMU some well-deserved regional and national attention. However, a win is unlikely. SMU has not played a lot of great teams and as I mentioned after the TCU game, OU blew the doors off TCU earlier this year. This game will be interesting to watch. Undoubtedly, Doherty has a gameplan for winning this game, rather than just keeping it close.
Oh, and TCU's Neil Doherty thinks SMU-TCU basketball can be a great rivalry. He just wishes it could be played later in the year when the students were on campus. I am sure it can eb a great rivalry, too. Too bad TCU whizzed its chance to play SMU twice a year in conference when it bolted for the Mountain West. And not like it matters, Neil Doherty isn't likely to get too many more chances to coach again SMU, anyway. After talking to my TCU and Fort Worth friends, the consensus at TCU is that nobody goes to the games and nobody cares and the basketball team stinks.