Montgomery College - Germantown Student Newspaper



B’s Stories of the Week


Written by Brendan Kapfer

Friends, I never thought it would come to this, but the moment has arrived upon us. I am quitting writing because of what my Auburn Tigers and New York Islanders have done to my heart. We will get to the Isles though as sad as it makes me, and I will act like nothing happened to my beloved Tigers. The big stories of this week include March Madness (men’s and women’s) and our continuing coverage of the final push for the playoffs in both the NBA and the NHL. We have two losers of the week this week, and so many stories to get to. Be on the lookout for my five games of the week on Friday.

Player Of The Week: Richarlison – The Brazilian football star has a hell of a World Cup, even winning an award for the best goal of the year. After the World Cup, his personal life came to a crashing halt. We saw this on the pitch as he struggled to find his form at Tottenham following the World Cup and we now know why. I think most people reading this will relate when I say many young adults find themselves with serious mental issues. There is nothing wrong with that and as we get to it, reaching out for help is the strongest thing one can do when they are struggling.

It is incredibly hard to be strong and open in the face of so many critics in this new age of social media. Richarlison, in the past week, did just that with the eyes of the World on him. Following the World Cup, his form was in a slump, and he was in a bad mental place as he said in an interview with ESPN. In the interview, Richarlison talked about his struggle with

depression and personal life as he became emotional. The most important thing he said was that opening up and reaching out for help has saved lives. I have seen it so many times where people just asking for help with whatever mental crisis, they are dealing with has saved their lives. Because Richarlison is such a famous footballer, his opening up to the world and telling so many of his fans who might be going through something similar, to seek help is the reason he is my player of the week.

Gonzaga Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have now made it to the Sweet 16 nine consecutive times which is a credit to Mark Few for running an incredible program. Over the past couple of years, Gonzaga has been many College Basketball fans favorite to win the NCAA Tournament, but always somehow seemed to fall short. These include losses in the national championship to North Carolina and Baylor, both in gut-wrenching ways. This team always finds ways to bounce back though, and some doubted this team’s ability to see postseason success, but all that went out the window on Saturday.

This past weekend, in what many have described as quite possibly Few’s worst roster in recent memory, beat a stacked Kansas side by a large margin. Kansas was the odds-on favorite to win it all coming into the season and the pre-season #1 ranked team. The Bulldogs were ranked outside of the top ten coming into the season, but that did not matter in the slightest when it came to this season. This game was tied at half-time, but the Bulldogs ended up winning by twenty-one points. This was thanks to great shooting from Gonzaga as they shot fifty-three percent from the field. Gonzaga overwhelmed the Jayhawks and showed that no matter how much hype surrounds a team, all that matters is what happens inside of those ninety-two feet. They will play a red-hot Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday in what will be an amazing game.

Team Of the Week: Houston Rockets – I told you about how well the Rockets have been playing last week. This week, they are sitting one game back of the last play-in spot as they have won each of their last nine games. This young team has found its groove and is looking to take the struggling Warriors playoff spot. When we last spoke about the Rockets, we talked about how they have improved so much compared to last season. This week I want to talk about their success this season and the reasons for their hot streak.

The Rockets are currently fourth in rebounds and ninth in the least amount of turnovers. It is this level of discipline and tenacity that has seen this young team fighting for a playoff spot. Jalen Green has had two forty-plus point games in the past week, in dominant wins over the Jazz and the Wizards. Each of their last six games have been dominant victories and they have won all those games by outrebounding their opponents and punishing teams on the glass. They have won each of their last six games with an average of eighteen points and won the rebound margin by an average of ten rebounds per game. If they get into the play-in-tournament they would have to play a stacked team from the Western Conference, given it has been one of the best conferences in recent memory.

Colorado Avalanche – The Aves have now won eleven of their last twelve and are looking to win their second title in three years. They have won nine in a row, and they are now atop the Central Division which gives them a huge advantage going into the playoffs, meaning the road to the Stanley Cup would run through them. In this amazing run, the Aves are on, they have beaten four Playoff teams and four others who are desperate for a playoff spot.

Among those wins include insane comebacks against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the league’s best Vancouver Canucks. Against the Vancouver Canucks, the Avalanche went down by three goals and mounted a comeback which included a goal scored with three seconds left in the third period. The Aves would win the game in overtime, scoring four unanswered goals. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they would score five unanswered goals, coming back from down four goals to win the game in overtime. This team has the kind of resiliency that Stanley Cup-winning teams have, and considering they have won one recently, do not be surprised to see them lift Lord Stanley this June.

Loser of the Week #1: NCAA – Somebody forgot to tell the NCAA we are done with the 1950s. The NCAA made the Utah women’s basketball team stay in a town in North Idaho that was once synonymous with racism and bigotry. The NCAA had the option of having the team stay in Spokane Washington but instead, they decided to make them stay in a town that at best is not the friendliest to minorities which is also forty minutes away from where they were playing the game.

The NCAA moved Utah’s team to Spokane after multiple incidents of racism in Cour D’Alene but what happened is still inexplicable. In Coeur D’Alene, members of the Utah Women’s Basketball team were met with hostilities from a few people who shouted racial slurs at them in hopes of intimidating them. The perpetrators who some saw, revved their engines loud as a scare tactic and came back with their vehicles outside the restaurant where the team was eating. According to the NCAA, the hotels in Spokane were all booked but I still think for these players to not feel safe when the idea of this happening on the men’s side is unfathomable is frustrating at best.

New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans have been doing well recently, winning nine of their last eleven games. The Pelicans have been one of the biggest surprises in how successful they have been in a stacked Western Conference. Currently, they sit in fourth place in the Western Conference and atop the Central Division. They have the sixth-best three percentage in the league, shooting .380 percent, the seventh-best defense in the league, giving up just 112.5 points per game, and the fourth-best plus-minus (average margin of victory) in the league at 5.17.

Led by Brandon Ingraham and Zion Williamson, this team is finally seeing the production fans of the NBA including myself have been waiting to see. Williamson is averaging 22.7 points and 5.1 assists per game, and Ingraham is averaging 20.6 points and 5.7 assists per game. Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game which is fifteenth in the NBA. The Pelicans also are third in steals in the entire league and have been putting the pieces together

well. With ten games left, they can put themselves in a great playoff position with the postseason right around the corner.

New York Islanders: My Islanders lost six in a row right after winning six in a row and the idea of false hope reminded me of the reality of the Isles situation. The Islanders had just reached a playoff spot and all they would have to do is be consistent enough to win four of their last eight games and they would still have a playoff spot. The Isles won just one of those games because why would a team want to make the playoffs two seasons in a row? They lost all but two of their last eight games by three or more goals which is the emphasis mark of this season for the Islanders. It is not all bad news though, as the Islanders are just eight points behind the last playoff spot and have played two fewer games than the Philadelphia Flyers who they are trailing. Knowing them though, will not mean much given how well all the other teams vying for the last Wild Card spot have been playing, but that will not stop me from being hopeful.

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