Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Mind Has Wandered...

Super weird political season: Even Danny Elfman is weighing in. Now there is nothing particularly impressive or interesting about a celebrity endorsing Sen. Obama while simultaneously decrying, stridently, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin. But this is Danny Elfman. And I love me some Danny Elfman -- I puy my infant daughter to sleep by singing Oingo Boingo's It Only Makes Me Laugh.

Starting his comments with a reference to departing this country if the election goes one way is unfortunate. I struggle to understand the logic that underlies the threat of flight... but that's not important. The hammer to tank metaphor, on the other hand, resonates. It's why we'll be in West Virginia this weekend. Just a few more hammer blows and well, we shall see...

In any event, while on the Green Line on the way home, I was thinking about Elfman's piece and West Virginia and remembered that I had half-written a post many months ago that I never finished.

So let me reminisce over you...

I've had my love of sports and sporting events reaffirmed over the last few weeks and never more so than yesterday. Packed in the upper deck of Verizon, I had my first opportunity to take in the pagaentry of the NCAA tournament yesterday. And that included Belmont's remarkable run against Duke. Much has been written about the game and I would be unable to add much to the reactions and analysis that have already spilled out over the web. Witnessing the Mountaineer faithful throw their full (and berzerkerish) support behind a christian school from Nashville was a privilege. Watching, over an hour later, the fans at the stadium show their appreciation with raucous applause when Coach Byrd appeared again to catch some of the West Virginia-Arizona game was a treat.

However, what happened after the standing ovation for Belmont's players once they left the floor, after things calmed down a bit and the Mountaineers and Wildcats came out for shootarounds, will probably stay with me just as long as the feelings inspired by seeing the Bruins go toe to toe with the Blue Devils for a full forty minutes. Unfortunately, while the latter experience was largely shared by all but the Duke partisans in the stands, the other spectacle that will stay with me will probably have meaning only for me.

Anyone who's familiar with the University of Arizona is familiar with the school band's unique performance material. I, however, was not. And so for the first two minutes of the band's rendition of Oingo Boingo's Insanity, I was dumbfounded; my ears had to be deceiving me. A university's band was playing a song with the following lyrics:

Christian nation, make us alright
Put us through the filter and make us pure and white
My mind has wandered from the flock you see
And the flock has wandered away from me
Let's talk of family values while we sit and watch the slaughter
Hypothetical abortions on imaginary daughters
The white folks think they're at the top ask any proud white male
A million years of evolution, we get Danny Quayle

And they were playing Insanity before a game with West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament?

It is a great song and beautifully played by the Wildcats' band. It is a particularly nice thing to hear in a basketball stadium (in the Verizon Center) as an unexpected break from the silliness of the tournament.

And the alcoholic bastard waved his finger at me
His voice was filled with evangelical glee
Sipping down his gin and tonics
While preaching about the evils of narcotics
And the evils of sex, and the wages of sin
While he mentally fondles his next of kin
My mind has wandered from the flock you see
And the flock has wandered away from me
And he waved his hypnotizing finger at me

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Turn the page

The Bulls' season opener was an unexpected pleasure. A very competent debut by Derrick Rose and a great game by a focused Tyrus Thomas added to the joy of watching Scott Skiles bomb out at the United Center. Gordon, Hinrich, Deng, and Noce also played well. Suddenly dropping a buck seventy on the NBA package doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Unfortunately, the stupidity of spending $40 per ticket for CONCACAF crap at RFK came to a head tonight. The match was a trifecta of suck: (1) it was cold (and rainy); (2) we were surrounded by Marathon fans that got progressively more obnoxious as the Honduran team blew the game open in the second half; and (3) it was a fantastic display of CONCACAF refereeing. An early yellow on McTavish for a body block and non-calls on elbows thrown to Francis Doe's head set the tone. Santino Quaranta's sending off, based on vigorous dissent at a poor call, was probably deserved, but the calls were ridiculous. So two hours of Marathon players flopping, with a man advantage, at least culminated in Janicki scoring and Doe turning in another excellent performance up front (before destroying a Marathon player in what seemed appropriate comeuppance).

Nevertheless, while freezing my rear off and thinking about how I can possibly justify giving a thousand dollars to this team for season tickets for next year, I found myself getting agitated not about the circumstances of the game but about Professor Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University. Sen. McCain's campaign lost its moral bearings some time ago, but the efforts to demonize Prof. Khalidi are a new low. In a blog post for Harper's, Scott Horton succinctly sets out the intense dishonesty of the McCain campaign's new gambit. Setting to one side the loss of integrity here (which McCain seems to be comfortable with), this is a twofer for the moron conservative movement. Not only does Prof. Khalidi's name sound Arab (and thereby dangerous), but he is also a tenured academic at a respected Ivy League institution. Where others, like myself, might see the realization of the American dream -- meritocracy unbound -- nimrods cloaking themselves in the rich tradition of conservative intellectual thought perceive conspiracy and treason.


Prof. Khalidi will survive the pathetic efforts to debase his life's work. Indeed, perhaps, the attention will help the good professor sell more books on subjects of importance to those who care about our country's foreign policy.

And the support of Sen. Obama from conservative quarters makes a little more sense. Professor Charles Fried, a brilliant libertarian resident at Harvard Law (and author of the very good extended essay Modern Liberty: And the Limits of Our Government -- only $6.99?), will vote for Sen. Obama because Gov. Palin was a terrible choice as wingman. Another Ivy League professor, Jeffrey Hart of Dartmouth (formerly of The National Review), has also decided that Sen. Obama, and not Sen. McCain, is his choice for President. Double Harvard grad (BA and JD), Gov. William Weld has enthusiastically endorsed Sen. Obama as well.

If the choices are, on one side, Andrew McCarthy, the rest of the folks at The Corner, and Rush Limbaugh and, on the other, Prof. Fried, Prof. Hart, and Gov. Weld, then great, I'm on the right side. But what do I know? I have some books on Lebanon and Palestine to buy...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have not been thinking much about sports lately and doubt that any one could fault me under the circumstances. Two weeks ago, a Bears team that I once loved played its most brutal game in my lifetime: a 48 to 41 debacle at Soldier Field against a staggeringly incompetent Vikings squad. DC United lost a heartbreaking game on Sunday against the Columbus Crew that keeps them out of the post-season. And Charlton, well, Charlton is terrible. Listening to the game on Saturday, the shock of Luke Varney's failure to slot home a horrible mistake by Burnley's back line two minutes from time had me in total shock (and wondering how many times the young man will fail before Izale McLeod or Chris Dickson is given a chance up front next to Todorov or Gray). Charlton is now two points ahead of Southhampton. Oh well, basketball season is coming up -- Vinny's Bulls open up tomorrow at home against Skiles' Bucks... the Derrick Rose hype has already begun. And Gtown's basketball season starts in a few weeks (7th in the Big East preseason poll?).

So, instead of sports, I am way, way too focused on the upcoming elections. We've spent the last two weekends in West Virginia volunteering at a phone bank and canvassing in the Eastern panhandle for the Obama campaign. With thousands of volunteers from the DC/Maryland area heading to Virginia, we headed west to where there were significantly less carpetbaggers. It has been an honor to support the incredibly nice and committed folks in Jefferson County that are the backbone of Obama's campaign out there. Good times had by all.

The problem, however, is that I am ostensibly a Republican and while I have been a relatively proud RINO for the last five years, the level of my disloyalty has now reached absurd heights. Nevertheless, at this point, I am comforted by the thought that there is little question that the party has left me as much as I have wandered a bit astray. Earlier this month, we had the misfortune of being in Clearwater, Florida when the first major rally featuring Gov. Sarah Palin took place in the town. Moving past the rally's attendees, we were shocked by the level of anger and frustration radiating from the group and were not terribly surprised by Dana Milbank's take on the event. Since that day, I have been stunned by how the McCain campaign appears to be stoking the irrational fears of people who desperately want the country to turn around for them. The scenes from Palin-McCain rallies have been almost uniformly marred by vitriolic hate and stupidity spewed by some comically imbecilic people that would struggle to be taken seriously at 9/11 Truth Movement meeting. As Senator McCain, a man I greatly admire and the only member of Congress that I have ever personally lobbied (taking my mother along for the experience), continued to fuel the fires of this insipid lunacy by loudly, frequently, dishonorably implying that Sen. Obama had a soft-spot in his dark heart for TERRORISTS, I swallowed hard, gave the maximum amount to the Illinois Senator's campaign (well after firing off a pointless e-mail to Bill Burton months earlier swearing that I would give nothing further to the campaign after the primary) and agreed to help my wife with any volunteer activities she wanted to participate in. Sen. McCain is unquestionably a national hero; completed copies of Citizen McCain and Worth the Fighting For sit on my bookshelves in the basement; I get and accept this premise. But the scurrilous campaign that he has allowed to be waged in his name, aimed at inflaming divisions in America, and provoking anger from the populace has been shameful.

The most amazing thing of all, however, has been the nomination of Gov. Palin, an unforgivable act proving that even the Peter Principle is insufficient to predict the levels to which incompetence can rise in this nation. The presently offered conventional wisdom excuse that the economy doomed Sen. McCain's campaign might have worked if not for the stunning way that the Alaskan Governor has galvanized opposition to Sen. McCain's campaign by simultaneously energizing scary crowds with quips of brilliance about who Sen. Obama pals around with and bewildering duplicitous media types who elicit from the candidate the conclusion that a right to privacy exists in the Constitution (through gotcha questions like "do you believe there is a right to privacy in the Constitution?," but if not for that infernal media filter, everything would be just hunky dory).

Check that, Gov. Palin is an irritating sideshow in this mess, the most amazing thing has been the fact that, at long last, there are those in my party who are finally willing to speak what could only previously be whispered: The Emperor has no clothes (whether from Neiman Marcus or elsewhere).

When Gen. Powell made his preference known to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press two Sundays ago, we were sitting in a diner in Charles Town. I fought back tears surrounded by dudes in Redskins jerseys when the good General decided not only to back Obama but repudiate the bile that has characterized the McCain campaign throughout October and capped his criticism with the following:

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

Gen. Powell's stand comes nearly two months after the person who probably is more responsible for my party affiliation than anyone else broke with the Republicans and gave a brilliant (though greatly under-appreciated) speech in Denver to the Democratic National Convention where he offered the following terse and unquestionably accurate rebuke of his party:

The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us to war with a country that did not attack us. The party that formerly led the world in arms control has moved to undercut treaties crucial to the defense of the earth. The party that prides itself on conservation has abdicated its responsibilities in the face of global warming. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts.

Now, others have similarly come un-moored. Francis Fukuyama, once the darling of the neo-conservative movement turned outspoken apostate, recently endorsed Sen. Obama in the pages of the American Conservative. Prof. Fukuyama opined:

McCain’s appeal was always that he could think for himself, but as the campaign has progressed, he has seemed simply erratic and hotheaded. His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was highly irresponsible; we have suffered under the current president who entered office without much knowledge of the world and was easily captured by the wrong advisers. McCain’s lurching from Reaganite free- marketer to populist tribune makes one wonder whether he has any underlying principles at all.

Christopher Buckley, two weeks past, added his voice to the cacophony of those so troubled by the Republican voter-suppression/country-dividing/Palin lovin machine (and alternatively enthralled(?) with the purported brilliance and poise of Sen. Obama) by lending the Buckley name to the Obama movement.

What will the party do in response? Apparently, per Rush Limbaugh, celebrate the departure of the moderates. Wonderful. A party run by know nothings for know nothings. Ladies and gentlemen, the platform of the minority party in 2010: Taxes bad! Government bad! Expertise bad! Excellence in academic achievement bad! Science, insofar as it makes me question my deeply held religious views, bad! Different people bad! Environmental protection bad! Endless, pointless wars good! Unregulated super corporations good! Stunning inequity in resources amongst the American population good!

It may well be that the angry, ranting denizens of the hard right inhabiting the fantasy black/white world of conservative talk radio take control of the party after this election. But what will they do once in control? Out secret Muslims? Construct a new communist threat from whole cloth? Identify those of us who hold non-pro-American views?

Until the day the hard-right takes control and purges the disloyal moderates, its not their party. Until that day it is still my party and, if those folks think they are going to simply take the party of Lincoln and bastardize it into the party of ditto-heads, they at least ought to be aware that we're spoiling for a fight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back in Black

RFK was rocking tonight. I had forgotten how much fun United matches can be and this evening, this night was a blast.

Where did this come from? When the match started, we surveyed the field and saw a backline of McTavish and Burch moved from the center to fullback positions and Greg Janicki and Gonzalo Peralta -- no Namoff (red card in the Dynamo match)? no problem. A diamond midfield with Clyde Simms and Santino at the south and north and Guerrero and Khumalo at the west and east, with (what's this? two strikers?) Luciano and Francis Doe up front. And everyone in the stands knew that DC United was trying to win the game.

The squad was dynamic, threatened constantly, and kept a frenetic pace. A goal was always in the works, it was just a question of when. By the time I was back at my seat with a phenomenal carne asada plate from the pupusa stand for the start of the second half, my expectations were high even after Janicki had to make way for Gonzalo Martinez after a knock (sliding McTavish back inside).

The goal by Taylor Twellman on what seemed to be a horribly blown offsides call dampened enthusiasm a bit, but a score seemed to be always in the works, and five minutes later Doe knotted things up. But there was true joy in Whoville when Doe popped home the game winner ten minutes from time. Santino Quaranta compensated for an otherwise poor game with a flick on from a nice launch by Crayton allowing Doe to shrug off a Revolution defender, put the ball expertly over Matt Reis, and start the party.

I have all kinds of concerns about how Soehn has handled the team over the last two months, but leaving Doe up top by himself and letting him get battered by two center halves on a routine basis certainly has improved his game. Doe was amazing. He held the ball up well, touched it back well, and, when the opportunity presented itself, gave United's moribund season some hope. That Doe made himself the story of the match is particularly impressive given that the second half saw the introduction of Jaime Moreno and Fred (what season ending injury?) for Gonzalo Peralta and Boyzzzz. But the bottom line is that United now has two legitimate forwards: Emilio and Doe.

It is only a shame that the season is ending, but things are shaping up for a great end of the season match between United and the Crew in Columbus at 5 pm on the 26th.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Maryland-Lehigh match tonight was certainly entertaining, but also implausible. Lehigh has dropped games so far this season to Presbyterian and Farleigh Dickinson, and was statistically dominated tonight -- Maryland had 15 corner kicks to Lehigh's 3; the Terps had 24 shots on goal, Lehigh had 7, Lehigh committed 14 fouls and Maryland 6, Lehigh was issued 4 yellow cards and a straight red (all deserved), and Lehigh's keeper Jonathan Nydell made seven saves (including parrying a Jeremy Hall penalty kick) while Zach Macmath made 1. And yet, with 84 minutes played in the game, Lehigh led by a goal. A rocket low shot taken at least ten yards beyond the goal box off the foot of Omar Gonzalez deflected off of a Lehigh defender and into the back of the goal. After that ridiculous goal, Lehigh was beaten and the inevitable was confirmed seven minutes into extra time when a nifty back heel in the box from Jeremy Hall was hammered home by Casey Townsend.

The Terps have to find some way to convert their opportunities within the box. Townsend has 8 goals on the season, but Jason Herrick has only added another two... and Hall seems to be the only other major threat to score until Omar Gonzalez is allowed to venture forward. Beyond the frustration with Maryland's inability to score, the most notable event of the evening was watching diminutive Lehigh defender Jordie Ciuffetelli knock down Rodney Wallace in the box, Wallace seek to make a meal of the light foul and go to ground, and Ciuffetelli standing over Wallace exhorting him to "get the f))k up!" Game was a wee bit chippy.

One other quick note: I was saddened to read in the Chicago Tribune the news of former Cubs' pitcher Kevin Foster's death from renal cell carcinoma. Foster pitched for the Cubs while I was in college in Iowa and spent a little time with Iowa Cubs in AAA during my tenure at school. I cannot vouch for Foster's character and have no knowledge about his life off the field, but his performance on the mound as a Cubs pitcher made me proud to be a Cubs fan. Foster started 82 games for some pretty weak Cubs' teams and managed a 32 and 28 record. He was a solid back of the rotation performer who did everything he was asked. And he passed away way too early.

Monday, October 13, 2008


It may not bring out the best in me, nor be real "sport," but I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday's World Cup CONCACAF qualifying match between the US and Cuba at RFK. The U.S. was clearly going to be moving past the group stage and the quality of the opposition has not been high. Nevertheless, the U.S. soccer team has neither been an entertaining nor dominant team thus far in the qualifying rounds. In the first match with Cuba, the U.S. was totally unimpressive.

Not so Saturday night. DaMarcus Beasley drilled home two, Landon Donovan scored again, Brian Ching netted a goal, and Onyewu finished off the scoring. And the standard, comfortable starting XI of the U.S. team looked dynamic and dangerous.

But the story of the match was Bob Bradley's bench, which featured former Terp Maurice Edu, former United star Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, and debutant Jose Torres. The latter three joined the game as subs and for those concerned about the future of the U.S. team, well, the future looks pretty bright. Torres did not waste much time taking a good screaming shot on goal. Adu set up the final goal with a cross to the head of Onyewu. And Altidore was awesome. On his first break on goal, Jozy shrugged off a Cuban defender, but failed to score. On his second break on goal, Jozy showed a flexibility that Kenny Cooper could not, Altidore broke down a defender, dinking the ball off his right foot while juking the defender to his right and then laced the shot near post under the sprawling Cuban keeper.

The 18-man team for the away game against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday promises yet more new blood. Brad Guzan is joined in goal by former United keeper Troy Perkins, who did not make the cut for Saturday's game. Charlie Davies and Robbie Rogers will buttress Altidore's play up front. And Jonathan Bornstein, Marvelle Wynne, and Michael Orozco may also earn their first caps in a World Cup qualifying match.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bush League

Earlier this week, John Kass penned a curious piece for the Chicago Tribune that argued that if Senator McCain wanted to effectively sow seeds of doubt about Senator Obama, McCain would push on Obama's failure to take on corruption in Mayor Daley's machine in Chicago. Kass titled his editorial "A presidential debate, the Chicago way" A few days later, the Republican National Committee took Kass's advice, and has now released an ad ingeniously titled "Chicago Way"

Mr. Kass has his reasons for taking shots at Obama; they are not terribly compelling, but there are reasons. So I cannot question his motives. And it is also possible to set aside the mythical quality that Mr. Kass assigns to himself -- as the intrepid, incorruptible reporter turning the screws on the hypocritical pol that had been given a free pass by his spineless, fawning colleagues. But what makes Kass's hit job so impressive is the stunning, improbable naivete of the outrage.

Chicago is, unquestionably, a town plagued by corrupt politics. But, in context, Chicago is the Kane County Cougars of political corruption -- it is bush league.

We moved to Washington DC in 1997 and over the last decade have enjoyed a first row view of venality perfected, political corruption unbound. Much of the staggering misappropriation of the public trust has come at the hands of the leadership of my political party, personified by the misadventures of Jack Abramoff and cultivated by Rep. Delay's ingenious K Street Project. The culture of corruption in this city has become so pervasive that few find self-dealing and blatant derivation from the public interest by our public servants to be worthy of extended comment or, gasp, protest.
Witness, for example, the brief coverage of the Department of Interior Office of Inspector General's stunning takedown of the Minerals Management Service -- and only because it described tabloidish escapades of sex and drug use. Otherwise, the work of Inspector Generals throughout federal agencies and the hearings of Congressional oversight committees is routinely ignored by the American public. And that is too bad, because what they almost universally describe are government bureaucracies run amok, fed by a cynical, destructive theory of governance that holds that government service is, by definition, something to be denigrated -- all that matters is the creation of wealth.

Over the last two years, I have sat at a banquet celebrating a high ranking bureaucrat's service to a federal agency, hosted by the industry regulated by the bureaucrat's agency, where the public servant openly lobbied for a position representing the industry before his employer -- after, of course, he spent the necessary time outside of government to meet ethics restrictions. While my stomach turned, my colleagues shrugged their shoulders. I have watched government officials ask, without embarrassment, for help finding jobs in the private sector moments after the bureaucrat was asked to do his or her job. (At the same time, I have also run across a substantial number of government officials that love their jobs, love serving the public, and do a tremendous job despite laboring under this administration). Our local Congressman, Rep. Al Wynn, paid back his constituents for losing a 2008 primary by quitting Congress effective in June of this year to join the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro, thereby allowing him to lobby his former colleagues six months earlier than had he served out his full term. Rep. Wynn is hardly the only member of Congress to take this route, but since we frequently shop beside him at local stores, his decision to put country, well, way down on his priority list hit home.

Thomas Frank's recent book, "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule", is the single best account that I have read of the current environment that defines our nation's capital. Frank ably describes the rise of lobbyists and the massive wealth transfers that have corroded our government over the last decade. In our city, work is not done under the Capitol domes unless the right palms are greased or significant contributions to reelection efforts are made. Every crisis facing Americans is quickly perverted into a vehicle to push some hare-brained initiative that benefits a particular special interest. And all of it is just "the way things are done."

In this context, Mr. Kass's lecture is quaint. It is cute that he has the intestinal fortitude to decry the shenanigans at City Hall. But Mr. Kass misses the bigger point. Because if you want to talk about corruption, you need to look east to comment on anything of consequence. And while some might be distracted by the narrative of historical machine politics, the story that Mr. Kass misses is the culpability of those that sat idly by, at worst, or failed to prevent, at best, the corruption of their party leaders. Mr. Kass can explore Sen. Obama's ties to the underbelly of Chicago all he wants to, but it does not make the narrative any more relevant. On the other side of this election is a man that has been in Washington since 1993. And in our town, Mr. Kass, we offer an American hero inside a nice suit, the Washington way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back on a winning path...

Cubs collapse, DC United is collapsing, but I would rather spend a few moments tapping out a note about the Maryland-UNC Charlotte match we attended last night. Having spent the weekend in Florida, I had not read much about the Terps' opponents and, in result, was surprised to learn that Charlotte was ranked in the top 25 of men's collegiate soccer. Maryland dominated the match, but was not able to convert numerous opportunities on goal. The Terps constantly threatened with set pieces and corners, but there was underwhelming quality in the headers that met Kassel's passes into the box.

Charlotte scored first, shortly after the break, on a long ball that the 49ers' striker, Evan James, ran onto with AJ Delagarza desperately pleading with the linesman for an offsides call. James finished one of the very few chances that Charlotte had on goal with soft ball lifted over Zac MacMath. James' expert touch stood in stark contrast to Maryland's performance before the net -- Maryland's first goal, scored by Jeremy Hall, was hammered into the goal after several other thunderous touches were repelled. We walked out at the end of regular time (prior to the Terps' victory) after yet another Maryland striker attempted to score by blowing a hole through both a center half and the keeper (failing miserably).

Ultimately, what matters is that Maryland rebounded from a terribly disappointing loss to Clemson. And while I would otherwise dwell on frustration with Maryland's continued failure to convert good chances on goal, there were moments in the match, particularly in the second half, where watching Jeremy Hall and Rodney Wallace on the left flank was a thing of beauty. There are many quality players on Maryland's squad -- Kassel's great; the entire backline of captain Costanzo, Delagarza, and Gonzalez (in addition to Wallace) is impressive; freshman Kaoru Forbess is getting more playing time and making the most of it -- but when Hall and Wallace are tuned in and rolling.

Three more regular season home games left: Lehigh; Evansville; and UNC Chapel Hill.