In this week’s Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Chris Drabik, asks our panel of experts three questions: Is shutting down Carmelo Anthony a good move for the Knicks, how large of a role will A-Rod play for the Yankees this season and which team is most likely to upset Kentucky?
1. Is shutting down Carmelo Anthony for the season the right move for the New York Knicks?
George: Carmelo needed to be shut down. Unit 89341764782001 alias Carmelo “Melo” Anthony has been an obedient android so far, but he has been growing awfully sentient as of late. Insiders in the Tyrell Corporation have told me disturbing stories of Melo pretending to be human and refusing to accept existence as a replicant. As of late, there have been a number of replicants acting human. This is bad, of course — machines are machines and humans are humans. No one, machine or man, should be able to cross that line, not even Carmelo Anthony. What the Knicks are doing with Carmelo Anthony, Unit 89341764782001, is a step in the right direction in my eyes — when machines go out of line, they need to be shut down. Who knows, maybe this’ll even help them win a game this season against a team that isn’t the Lakers.
Josh: Is this even a question? It is absolutely the right move. The Knicks have been exceedingly bad this season. They have only recently achieved double-digit wins while closing in on 50 losses on the season, partially thanks to their current six-game losing streak. Even with Melo, they were able to lose 16 straight earlier this season. They are not anywhere close to challenging for a playoff spot, so there is no reason to rush him back. Come back next season with a healthy Carmelo and hopefully a revamped roster.
Kevin: Melo shutting it down for the season is a great thing for the Knicks. The Knicks are flat-out terrible. They’re not making the playoffs. The only hope for the rest of the season is that they try to become as terrible as possible and get the number one pick and Jahlil Okafor. With Melo not playing, it’ll also open up more playing time and shots for players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Langston Galloway so they can develop some confidence if they are indeed part of the Knicks’ future. This has been a lost season for the Knicks. Melo should’ve shut it down earlier, but I’m sure he wanted to be a good host for the All-Star Game in the Big Apple.
Kevin gets 3 points for looking at Jahlil Okafor. Josh gets 2 points for pointing out how poor the Knicks are, and George gets 1 point for recognizing Carmelo as a cyborg.
2. What role will Alex Rodriguez fill this season for the New York Yankees?
George: I believe with utmost certainty that Alex Rodriguez will wind up playing the role of team mom this season, especially since Jeter won’t be there to carry out those duties. Sure, A-Rod has a reputation of being a bit of an arrogant prick, but if you look carefully at his performance over the past few seasons, they clearly foreshadow a future as the Yankees very own team mom. A-Rod’s been spotted at games in an old minivan, sometimes carpooling with other teammates. He also reportedly gave Masahiro Tanaka a spare peanut butter and jelly sandwich (no crust— exactly how Tanaka likes it!) from his own private stock. Who besides a team mom has a private stock of sandwiches with and without crust? There are rumors that A-Rod even continued his domestic hobbies into the off-season — this fall, Mr. Rodriguez was spotted participating in bake sales and sweeping the dugouts at Yankee Stadium.
Josh: This is such an odd situation. A-Rod has only played 44 games in two years and will turn 40 in July. He will most likely be the right-handed counterpart to Garrett Jones at DH. While he may get some at-bats at third base, I don’t see that happening very often, if at all. The acquisitions made this off-season by the Bombers seem to have lessened his importance to the team. I would not be surprised if he ended the season playing 3B, and by that, I mean third bench.
Kevin: I think this season A-Rod will have a decent season for the Yanks. He’ll be mainly a DH but will get some time in the field to go along with a solid bat. He’ll probably bat fifth or sixth in the lineup. He’s not going to be anything special, but he’s playing with house money this season (along with about $30 Million). The spotlight on the Yankees this season will be much dimmer now that Jeter has retired. The expectation of the Yankees and A-Rod this season are both pretty low, and A-Rod has performed his best when the expectations have been low. I can see A-Rod hitting .260 with 20 homers and 80 RBIs while trying his best to stay out of the news (even though that probably won’t happen).
Kevin gets 3 points for pointing out A-Rod’s contract. George gets 2 points for saying he’s best team mom, and Josh gets 1 point for suggesting the Yanks are burying A-Rod on the bench.
3. Which school has the best shot of upsetting the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament?
George: It’s a long shot, but I’d like to see Gonzaga be the ones to beat the Wildcats. I like them because they have a name that sounds like a fancy Italian meat — I’d definitely order a pizza topped with Gonzaga — whatever that is. Most importantly though, Gonzaga has been having what is possibly the greatest season in their program’s history. They have already gone toe-to-toe with another top-10 Wildcat while enduring tough on-the-road conditions in Arizona. While Gonzaga lost that game, they were in control all throughout its duration and only lost in overtime after a few stumbles. On top of that, you have former U.K. player Kyle Wiltjer, who’s shooting nearly 47 percent beyond the arc and just might make a dent in Kentucky’s defense.
Josh: I hate to pick the obvious choice, but I believe No. 2 Virginia has the best chance to take down the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats. The Cavaliers have an experienced roster made up of multiple seniors and juniors. Virginia also plays a game well suited to throwing the Wildcats off-balance. Their offense is fast-paced, and their defense is stifling. During this season, Virginia has the lowest points-per-game against with 50.4. Kentucky is currently just inside the top 50 in points-per-game. Virginia could be the team most likely to topple the mighty Wildcats come March Madness.
Kevin: In my opinion, Kentucky is far from unbeatable. Kentucky is a great defensive team, but they’re not a great offensive team. I wouldn’t say they have a true go-to scorer, and they don’t have enough offensive chemistry to compensate for that. They’ve struggled to beat many mediocre SEC teams (Texas A&M, LSU, Ole Miss). The team that I think matches up the best with Kentucky is Wisconsin. They have one of the best bigs in the country in Frank Kaminsky along with gritty forward Nigel Hayes to battle in the paint with the bigs of Kentucky. They also have tons of outside shooting, including Kaminsky, to spread the floor as the team that beats Kentucky will need to hit some outside shots.
Josh gets 3 points for pointing out Virginia’s defense. Kevin gets 2 points for crediting Kaminsky, and George gets 1 point for recognizing Gonzaga’s historic season.
Kevin wins Around the Dorm 8-6-4.