Welcome | St. Bonaventure 97, Binghamton 80

Welcome to Bearcat Country.

My name is Chris Strub. I'm a 22-year-old college kid, on the verge of graduating from Binghamton University, home of my beloved Binghamton Bearcats.

I write for my school's student newspaper, Pipe Dream, having covered our men's basketball team since the fall of 2004. I'm also a columnist for the Press & Sun-Bulletin, the local newspaper of choice for hundreds of thousands of readers around the Southern Tier of New York. I've been at the Press for just over a year now.

As I find myself on the verge of graduation and the inevitable entry into the so-called "real world," I realized that my passion for writing about my school's sports isn't fading. I'm an avid Bearcats fan, a close follower of many of the university's Division-I athletics --- but with graduation just around the corner, I've just about exceeded my eligibility at the school paper. The weekly column I write allows me lots of freedom to speak my mind --- but just once a week, and certainly not about sports.

So, after years of resistance, I'm finally leaping into the world of blogs, giving anyone interested a chance to follow the Bearcats - and their brand new coach, Kevin Broadus - through my eyes.

But be forewarned: this blog will also serve as my way to vent, my primary means to voice my opinions about our squad. I'll let you know right off the bat: I've been classified as cynical, sometimes overbearingly so, since my very first commentary about the 'Cats.

But I try my best to tell it like it is, and now with several years of covering the team under my belt, I hope that you find my thoughts insightful and interesting. If you don't like my style, well, sorry.

So how will this work? At this point, nothing is set in stone, but I plan to post at the very least after each game, through the end of the collegiate season in March. I'll be able to provide more insight to the home games, as I will see them live, but I'll do my best to analyze live video/audio of each away contest as well. That process will begin tonight with some commentary on our season opener --- @ St. Bonaventure 97, Binghamton 80.

... Without the luxury of seeing the action tonight, I've got to say I'm extremely disappointed in our team's defensive effort. Sure, it's just the season opener, and a team should not be judged by just its first game --- or even the first handful of games --- but to give up 97 points to a mediocre-at-best Bonnies squad must be a huge embarrassment.

If KB hopes to out-gun other teams Phoenix Suns-style this season, we're in trouble. Without a doubt, Richie Forbes would love to get out and play that street-ball style that emphasizes fast breaks and Swiss cheese defense. It's a style that, despite his obvious talent, kept him benched by Al Walker last season --- and for good reason.

Even at his best, Forbes is a subpar defender. By the time he realized he had to improve his defense to make a positive net contribution to the Bearcats last season, it was much too late. Now in his final year of eligibility, Forbes had better learn --- now --- that there is no Nick Billings inside to help when people blow by him --- Giovanni Olomo led Binghamton last season with just 15 blocks on the year.

Don't put all the blame on Richie though --- giving up 97 points, to anyone, is an obvious failure on all defensive fronts. Binghamton gave up 101 points at Syracuse in its first year of D-I play in 2001; I believe this was the most points scored by an opponent since then.

And this was St. Bonaventure.

Next game: Wednesday night, 11/14, home opener vs. Quinnipiac.
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