I’m sure right now you’re asking yourself, “who the hell is this dude I’m looking at?” The answer is, that’s a guy named DJ Tay James, in case his t-shirt didn’t give that much away. He’s a graduate of Hampton University, Syracuse’s opponent today in the second round of the 2K Classic. And my god, you should hate him. I should hate him. We all should hate him and, by extension, Hampton. Why? Because that jerk is Justin Bieber’s DJ.
So, I think we’re all in agreement that we need to filter all of our pent up rage and hatred toward Bieber, through his longtime DJ, and into his DJ’s alma mater’s basketball team. It’s settled. It’s time to kick the crap out of the Pirates.
But who are the Pirates? Well, Hampton is a school located in Hampton, Virginia – shocking, I know – and they compete in the MEAC. The MEAC also features schools like Coppin State, Florida A&M, Morgan State, Howard, Norfolk State, and so forth. North Carolina Central, which played surprisingly well against UNC, is also a MEAC team.
Don’t expect Hampton to play Syracuse as tough as NCC played UNC, however. How can I be so sure they won’t? For starters, because Hampton just got absolutely spanked by Iowa, 90-56, on Friday. The Pirates struggled to shoot the ball against the Hawkeyes, hitting 33.9% from the field and 22.2% from the three point line. They also got completely worked on the glass, falling 48-32 in the rebound battle, and turned the ball over 17 times.
This is going to be the first time that Syracuse and Hampton have ever played, but the Pirates have played ACC teams in the past. Unfortunately for Hampton, they’re only 1-13 all-time against teams currently in the ACC, with their only win coming against North Carolina back in the 2001-2002 season. And to paraphrase Rick Pitino, I’m sorry Hampton, but Tommy Adams isn’t walking through that door.
The Pirates were blown out by Iowa, but it should be noted they were picked to finish second in the MEAC behind NC Central. Of course considering their preseason first team All-MEAC selection, Deron Powers, was held scoreless by Iowa it doesn’t bode well for the foresight of the MEAC coaches.
The three top performers in the loss to Iowa were Dwight Meikle, who scored 14 points; Quinton Chievous, who scored 12 points, grabbed nine boards, and whose mom I really, really hope people refer to simply as “Miss Chievous”; and Brian Darden, a preseason third team All-MEAC selection, who came off the bench and scored 10. Chievous is actually a transfer from Tennessee in his first season with the Pirates, and while he was playing for the Vols he proved himself a quality outside shooter, hitting 45.3% of his long range attempts on 43 career tries.
A couple of the big differences in the game against Iowa, other than the rebounding margin and dismal shooting by the Pirates, was the point differential in both points off of turnovers and second chance points. Combined, Iowa outscored Hampton 43-17 in those two categories. Considering how big and athletic Syracuse is, particularly across the front line, points off turnovers and second chance points should be major factors. After all, those are two areas where the Orange get a ton of points, so it should again prove a massive advantage.
To make matters worse for the Pirates, Michael Gbinije should be back in action today, giving the Orange another weapon to deploy. Considering he’s from Richmond, let’s all go ahead and pretend he’s got some massive grudge against the city of Hampton and is just waiting for his moment to unleash years of rage on the poor, helpless Pirates.
The game is on ESPNU, and I think it’s all safe to assume that the entire country will be watching and totally not checking out the Eagles versus Packers game instead. Because in the words of Ralph from A Christmas Story, “Football? What’s a football?”
In closing, I think we can all agree: screw Bieber. And screw anyone associated with him. Sorry, Hampton – but that puts you squarely on the list. Maybe you should consider retroactively denying DJ Tay James admission?