Rainmen lose to Vermont, 105-103

It was a really, really good game.  Close and down to the wire and both teams played well.  Some thoughts in bullet form:

 – Four Vermont fans made the trip up and they were awesome.  They were older than me, but probably much louder.  Every time the Heaves scored there were cowbells, and there was even more cowbell during Halifax free throws.  They definately love their team (13+ hour drive in the snow!) and they were really friendly.  We had a lot of back and forths and they were good natured.  Their cowbells defeated our negativity tonight.

– Vermont sent their radio announcer up for the game and you can listen online here.  The game itself doesn’t start until about the 28 minute mark.  I also saw the Frost Heaves fans with a video camera.

– Halifax played well and were much more consistant than in previous games.  No big runs by Vermont.  Box score is online here.

– Vermont are very good.  Great even.  The main thing is that the have incredible depth.  Their whole bench got a significant amount of playing time and everyone contributes.  They’re also very well coached and Coach Voigt is intense as all hell.  I gave him a hard time about it, but I really respect a coach that cares as much as he does.  He also has a lot of good players buying into a system which works.  I can’t wait to watch another Vermont-Manchester game online.

– The crowd was small.  I’d say it was another 800 person night.

– I appreciate the Rainmen’s efforts, but I don’t get what this Ladies Night promotion was… no one knew what it was and everything was the exact same.  Give the Weather girls a night off and get some dudes breakdancing, make the 13th man some sort of local heart throb, advertise that it’s ladies night, or something.  I also am sort of sick of the 20 minute intro at the begining of the game.  Just keep it short.  We don’t need every single bench player announced, we don’t need so much video stuff, etc.  People just get bored.

– In today’s paper Coach Lewis said that he was hoping Anderson would take more shots and make more risky passes… that was a pretty terrible strategy.  He took way too many contested shots, particularly in the fourth quarter.  He is a great pass first PG, and we have good scorers at every position (including Silverhorn who can do nothing except score).

– Lewis also let Silverhorn guard Konare all night.  It was a bad idea.  I was surprised Konare didn’t rip him to shreds, but he did cause havok in Halifax’s defence.  While I am complaining about coaching:  God, we need more plays.  It is driving me nuts.  We only have one inbounds play and three halfcourt plays (and we run the same pick and roll every time).  I just want something else… anything.  We have a lot of scorers on the team, lets give them a chance other than just going down low and hoping the defence collapses or they just let Crookshank dunk.

– Vermont press really, really well.  I was shocked that Halifax didn’t turn the ball over more.  Vermont don’t just run a single press but have at least three distinct full court presses that they switch up pretty regularly.  I can’t imagine having to play against that, it would be hard to read.  Fortunately, we have Anderson.

 – ABA reffing is really bad.  Not really biased… just plain bad.

– Dennie Oliver is by far the best Atlantic Canadian player.  He plays much bigger than 6’6 and is a great offensive player.  He has great range and is efficient (7-11 shooting).  He’s also reasonably good at handling the ball and helped us break the press a few times.

– The Rainmen were down by 4 with 4 seconds left when Konare missed two key free throws, and Crookshank threw a football pass to Anderson who laid it in with 0.3 seconds left.  Don’t these guys know the ABA’s rules?!  We still could have tied this with a halfcourt shot!  It’s worth 4 points!  It’s the ABA! 

– oh yeah!  I almost forgot!  During introductions, when Lantrice Green was announced the image and the name on the jumbotron was HARDY RILEY.  It was awkward as all hell.

Chad Lucas’ thoughts on the game are up on his blog on the Herald website.  He makes a particularly good observation in this post:  this loss was more impressive than either of Halifax’s wins.  He came up and introduced himself before the game and we talked about my blog and the Rainmen in general for awhile.  He’s definately a good guy and I think we share a whole lot of the same views about the ABA as a league.  One thing about the Herald is that the have excellent, excellent beat writers.  Lucas is a great basketball reporter; Rick Conrad who was their old education reporter (now doing online stuff and still writing his pet column!) was probably the best reporter I’ve ever met, he was knowledgeable, fair, and did his research; and Stephen Cooke is probably the best music reporter East of Montreal (to be fair, I consider Cooke to be a friend, so I may be biased).

– Newspaper links: Chris Kallan at the Daily news with a game recap (of course some jack ass made a non-funny comment about the ABA in the comments section… shocking).  Kallan also interviewed Rainmen owner Andre Levingston for another article.  I am always impressed with Levingston and his commitment.  I think he was definately committed to losing money in the first year, but that the sketchiness of the ABA did take him by surprise.  I think that if anyone has the guts to start up an alternative circuit, it will be him.  Lucas’ article in today’s Herald is also online.

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19 thoughts on “Rainmen lose to Vermont, 105-103

  1. I really wish I could have made it tonight. I listened to the game and I was still in to it. We ARE a good team.

    That sucks about the crowd. Halifax isn’t pushing it’s promotions as well as they should. They could have played “the defending champion” card more as well. But really, it’s too bad, they should be getting more support than they are. I want this team to stick around and they put on a great show.

  2. Yeah, concerning Anderson. WHY WOULD YOU WANT HIM TO JACK UP SHOTS? He is what you want from a point guard, pass first, makes people around him better, he only scores when he has to keep the defence honest. We have PLENTY of scorers, he doesn’t need to score. Don’t screw with his game, he plays EXACTLY how he should and he’s great at it.

    God, I hate Lewis.

  3. The Hardy screen shot was a terrible gaffe, although hilarious (sorry Hardy, you deserve better).

    As for the Weather Girls, I wish they would do some cheer leading too. I know, I know, they say they are only dancers, but come on! Also, more than three dance routines would be nice but I guess it would be embarrassing for the dancers to have more plays than the actual team…

  4. Re: the Weather Girls

    I spoke to Jessica, the head WG tonight. Apparently, there are fewer WG’s right now because some of them are writing university exams and I am non-ironically congratulating them right now for putting their education first and Rainmen second. I guess not everyone is blowing off studying to post on a blog… although I suspect you don’t need to study very much.

  5. Funny story about cheerleading vs. dancing:

    At one of the last few games the stage manager of the between play stuff comes over and asks the Weather Girls if any of them can go out and get people to cheer and throw some t-shirts he says they don’t to or anything and all of them but two gave him the worst, bitchy “We are NOT cheerleaders… we’re dancers!” looks and he just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head walking away.

    I know you’re not cheerleaders, but neither are the fans. If they want to be able to keep dancing they need to do whatever it takes to draw people into games, and part of that might be trying to get more people into it.

  6. I have an 8:30 exam tomorrow moring but I was still there and IM paying to be there not getting paid. Riley glitch was bad. Frast’s fans were awesome and even though we were riding the coach he aknoledged us after the game. and Im sad I have to miss 3 of the next games. good luck to all. I will try and get info on them. Lucas is awesome and we need more plays. I dont think new guy played becasue he hasnt been in town for 24 hours and needs time to learn our 3 plays.

  7. Couple things
    -Lantrice Green needs to think defense first, flop second. If this basketball thing doesn’t work out I hear TNA wrestling is having tryouts. He needs to get used to the east coast officiating. There was a couple of times where his flopping was going to cost them.
    -Dennie Oliver as the sixth man is a perfect role for him. This is not to say I don’t think he could start, because he could, however he gives awesome energy off the bench and you can count on him to make plays.
    -Three plays and we still hear Lewis yelling his players aren’t in position….
    -Weather Girls should take a look at a few old videos of the Laker girls, The Florida Gator girls (Erin Andrews of ESPN alum), and a few other dance teams. The more they can interact with the game and the fans the better they will be at being part of the on court product. They’re like valets in wrestling, the more they work the crowd the more over they will be.
    -excellent point on the chance to tie with 3 seconds left on the half court shot, god knows after playing NBA Jam for years half court buzzer beaters happen 75% of the time. It would have been more exciting then an uncontested lay up to end the game.
    -again you guys are great heckling both teams, standing ovation for a Rainmen timeout, (you guys could probably hold your own at Knicks games with Isiah) Chris ‘It’s not like he’s dead’ 902 – good facebook comment.

  8. The Rainmen should get name plates. It would help the crowd identify with the players. It would be pretty easy to do as well. I don’t think ABA teams do this though…

  9. So i just saw a preview for a new movie with will farrel about the ABA and a team that doesn’t have enough money and might fold. It is called semi-pro Chris you should put up a post about it. and everyone should go see it.

  10. funny story about the ABA movie as part of the marketing for the movie they set up the Tropics ticket hotline at 1-800-TROPICS. It’s Will Ferrell giving his run down on what comes with your Tropics season tickets. Rainmen should take note.

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