|ESPN.com: Dick Vitale||[Print without images]|
There is excitement galore in Saint Louis these days and I am not talking about the Cardinals, baby! They had their share of publicity in winning the World Series.
I know the Billikens lost on Tuesday at Loyola-Marymount. The 6-1 start is still impressive.
Rick Majerus has done a super job with the basketball team. This is a program which won 23 games two years ago and struggled last season. They have already made some noise this season.
Washington is supposed to be one of the premier teams out in the Pac-12. You couldn't tell that to Saint Louis, which raced out to a 25-point lead in a double-digit win over the Huskies. 6-6 forward Brian Conklin had 25 points in the victory.
Then came the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Billikens won the championship by beating Boston College, Villanova and Oklahoma. Beating the Wildcats and Huskies sent a message to the likes of Xavier, Temple and everyone in the A-10 that the Majerus-led team can flat-out play.
Saint Louis is getting solid scoring from Conklin and 5-10 guard Kwamain Mitchell. This team is healthy and the coach is over some of his issues.
You know Majerus can flat-out coach. He has overcome some major adversity with the loss of his mother, as well as health woes. Things are now going in a positive direction. You don't win as big as he did out in Utah without knowing how to lead and coach. The man eats, drinks, breathes and sleeps basketball, drawing x's and o's on napkins at restaurants.
The Atlantic 10 is a league that is looking stronger than some anticipated. Dayton beat Minnesota in the finals of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. St. Joseph's looks like an improved team. Big things were already expected from Xavier and the recent win at Vanderbilt showed why people like the Musketeers. Tu Holloway is one of the elite guards in America as he showed late against the Commodores.
Keep an eye on Majerus and his Billikens. This team will fight, scrap and claw while recording its share of Ws. If you don't believe me, go ask Lorenzo Romar and Jay Wright about the ability of Saint Louis.