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Thursday, February 19, 2009

League Commish's Description of Academy of Art Hoops' Debut Season: 'Extraordinary.' Let's Check On That, Shall We?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:59 AM

click to enlarge You take the good, you take the bad, you take what's left, and then you have ... Academy of Art athletics
  • You take the good, you take the bad, you take what's left, and then you have ... Academy of Art athletics
We were surprised the other day to read a post on the sports Web site Deadspin -- yes, the site that induced a protracted, profanity-laden tirade by Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger -- about our own hometown Academy of Art University men's basketball team. The squad was described as "not that terrible" and even described -- perhaps cheekily -- as a "Division-II power."

Bob Hogue, the commissioner of the Pacific West Conference, concurred. He told SF Weekly that the Urban Knights -- that's their nickname -- had done "remarkably well," the team's first season was "extraordinary."

Did we miss something? This team is 4-21. That's four wins and 21 losses. Of those 21 losses, 18 were by double digits. At one point, this team lost 16 consecutive games. Its quartet of victories have been obtained via a pair of wins over Oakland's Holy Names and American Sports University -- the "nation's only four-year university dedicated to educating the future leaders of the sports industry."

In short, if you can't call this team terrible, then the word has no meaning. Not that there's dishonor in that -- this is a first-year men's basketball program. It's supposed to be terrible. This isn't a judgment of the men's character, intelligence, or worth. But when it comes to putting the ball in the basket and keeping the other guys from putting the ball in the basket -- they're terrible.

It makes one wonder how the school's other teams did. So we checked. Here are the results:

Women's basketball: 6-19 record, only around a dozen losses by double digits. Not nearly so terrible.

Men's soccer: 5-8-4 record, 18 goals for, 23 goals against. Really not terrible at all.

Women's soccer
: 2-14-1 record, 9 goals for, 42 goals against. Sorry, terrible.

Softball: 5-7 record so far, outscored 35-12. Amazingly good won-loss record, considering. Plucky.

Baseball: 0-3 record so far, outscored 21-2. Well, it's a long season, right?

Cross Country: The men's runners from Kenya outcompeted some Division-I rivals and took five of the first seven spots in the league meet. Tip of the cap.

Women's volleyball
: 17-12 record. No ifs or buts about it, a great season.

So, what have we learned? Some teams lived up to low expectations, others far exceeded them. But to pretend a 4-21 team is anything other than terrible is infantile. You can't acknowledge that the women's volleyball team did great if you don't admit that many of the other teams didn't.

Anyway, the men's basketball team plays its final contest of the season at Kezar Pavilion on Saturday at 7:30 vs. Notre Dame De Namur. It promises to be a night of ... well ... we don't know. They're going to play basketball. And one team is going to win.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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