Alright, SLU vs VT is right around the corner and a busy weekend of games is ahead of us. I’ve been trying to write an article every day of the week and it seemed like a good time to do a SLU mailbag. It ended up being more of a mini-mailbag, but, hey, we gotta spend our time watching the games tomorrow, so it works out.
What’s the single most important aspect of the game on Friday? Also, spread is currently at -10.5. Think that’s correct or where should it be?
SLU’s defense is the most important aspect of the game tomorrow. Virginia Tech shoots just under 40 percent from the three point line; they’re eighth in the nation in three point percentage, and they’ll be looking for revenge after we shut them down in Madison Square Garden last year. If SLU’s defense can hold stout, then the Bills have a good chance of winning a rockfight. As for the spread, I don’t really know anything about gambling, but it seems a little high to me. I’d have it more around -8.5, but, again, I really know nothing about gambling.
How do you project the starting line up for next season?
That’s a tough one, especially since so much talent is coming in and Ford isn’t done recruiting yet. I think it’s safe to say that Goodwin, Thatch, and French are starting. Beyond that, I think it depends whether Ford secures a grad transfer who he can slot into the starting lineup. I think he will get one, so let’s assume Unknown Grad Transfer will be one of the starters. The last spot will go to whoever stands out most in practice between Terrence Hargrove Jr., Gibson Jimerson, and Javonte Perkins I think.
What does the blueprint look for an upset Wednesday?
The usual blueprint for the Bills should do the trick: outrebound, play strong defense, make over 60% free throws, and don’t have any egregious scoring droughts.
What player could be the X-Factor?
It’s DJ Foreman. Foreman is capable of being a really great player, as we saw in Brooklyn, where he was the unsung hero. At Barclays, Foreman played great defense down low, rebounded, boxed out, and finished his layups. However, he can be prone to inconsistency. If Brooklyn DJ shows up, SLU has a much better chance of winning.
Why is the Billiken the best mascot in the history of college basketball, and maybe all of sports?
I think it comes down to the fact that no one really knows what a Billiken is, or why it looks like it does. The Billiken can be whatever you want to be. It can be terrifying and nightmare inducing, like this guy:
photo from slu.edu
Or it can be chubby and adorable, like the U. High version:
photo from sluh.org
The Billiken is a blank slate onto which we can project our fears, our desires, our joy, our sadness, whatever we want. Ultimately though, the Billiken is the Imo’s pizza of mascots. It’s weird, it’s bizarre, people don’t get it, and will be very vocal about how they don’t get it and think it’s dumb, but we know how great it is regardless of what they say.