Predictions: Your 2018 sports year

Some of these you can book now
The University at Albany men’s lacrosse team will be celebrating more than an America East crown this spring.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The University at Albany men’s lacrosse team will be celebrating more than an America East crown this spring.

Categories: College Sports, High School Sports, Sports

A little more than two weeks ago, a staffer submitted our daily high school roundup for publication. Buried in the series of games was Glens Fall vs. Amsterdam boys’ basketball, in which Joe Girard III exploded for 60 points.

“Do you think that belongs, I don’t know, a little higher?” I asked.

“But it’s not much more than his average,” the clerk countered.

He had a point. For Girard, regularly scoring in the 40s, 60 is not totally mind-boggling. He has already passed legend Jimmer Fredette on the Glens Falls scoring list. In 2018, he will pass Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn and the Indiana Pacers and become New York’s all-time leading schoolboy scorer.

And he is a junior.

That prediction was easy. Here are some others for 2018 — some good bets, others not so much:

The L.A. Rams will upset the New England Pat­riots in Super Bowl LII.

The 1998 Rams went 4-12. The 2016 Rams went 4-12. The 1999 Rams won the Super Bowl with a quarterback who developed out of nowhere. The 2017 Rams … you see where this is going, right? The Patriots finally lose a Super Bowl to a team not quarterbacked by Eli Manning. (More on him in a bit.)

Union’s Tucker West will earn an historic medal.

The 22-year-old Union College sophomore from Ridgefield, Ct., will make history by becoming the first American male to medal in the single luge competition. Book. It. Now.

The Dutchmen will make a run at the the NCAAs (but fall short).

After a horrific 0-5 start, and this past weekend’s hiccup in Nebraska, the Union men’s hockey team has found a balance of goaltending and scoring. Considering the Dutchmen lost two transcendent stars from last year’s team in Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo, and are now fighting injuries, getting back to the NCAAs would be a monumental feat. 

And the Dutchwomen will win 10 games.

Why would that be significant? The hockey program has had only one double-digit win season in its history — 2002-03 — the year before it joined ECAC Hockey.

Siena men’s basketball will fall in the MAAC tourney, but 2018-19 looks bright.

The Saints were a mess to start the season, primarily because of a glut of young talent and an uncertainty over rolls. But Siena will continue to improve in a down year for the conference, just not enough to make to the NCAAs. Next season is another story.

UAlbany will avenge its America East final loss to Vermont in the AE final — and at SEFCU.

UAlbany is off to a 12-3 non-conference start, the best of its Division I era. With three bona fide scorers (David Nichols, Joe Cremo and Travis Charles), and a shutdown defender in Devonte Campbell, they will again go toe-to-toe with the loaded Catamounts.

The Albany Patroons will be entertaining. But don’t expect a packed Washington Avenue Armory.

The signing of former Siena star Edwin Ubiles was smart. Now if they can get the rest of the 2000s band back together — Kenny Hasbrouck, Alex Franklin, Ronald Moore and a few others — then you have something. You can even hire Tay “Firefly” Fisher to entertain at halftime. But as for drawing a crowd, not everyone loves the ’80s.

Arena football will not get off the ground in Albany.

It was a good move to go after arena football at Times Union Center, since no other multi-date tenant made sense, But now that Tampa Bay has cease operations, the league is again back down to four teams. Four is not a league; it’s barely a poker game. The league needs to recruit more facilities/communities in order to be considered viable. (And, yes, I would watch again.)

The New York Giants and Jets and Buffalo Bills will all draft quarterbacks in the first two rounds.

The caveat is Kirk Cousins, the Washington Redskins QB who will likely be a free agent. Where will he land? It won’t be D.C.

Other stars will find new teams.

In addition to Cousins, others include Eli Manning, Muhammad Wilkerson, Dez Bryant and … Odell Beckham Jr.

There will be an NCAA national champion crowned from the Capital Region.

And that team is UAlbany men’s lacrosse. If you are not a lacrosse fan, if you have never seen a game — if you don’t know what lacrosse is — make it a point to see the Great Danes this season. At times on the field what you will see is where sport and art intersects.

The NFL will finally realize the catch rule — whatever it is — is stupid.

Control of the ball, two feet down (or one hand/foot, or your butt), and that is a catch. That’s it. No continuation of the catch or going to the ground. No physics. Then we can all move on and find something else to argue about.

Troy High football will lose a game.

Considering it hasn’t happened in two years, that is actually going out on a limb.

Holy Trinity football will again contend for a sectional title.

But you can’t expect a return to the Dome, not with losing your entire offensive line.

There will be another ALCS Game 7 between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.

But this time it will be won on a home run by arguably the most valuable Yankee of 2018: Didi Gregorius. The Yankees will then beat the Washington Nationals in 5 to win the World Series.

I will get my first hole-in-one. Because I’m, um, due.

Yeah, that’s it, due. Just like my Mets. And Jets. And, oh,  Knicks.

Well, there’s always 2019. I guess.

What are your sports predictions for this year? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Reach Executive Sports Editor Mark McGuire at 518 395-3105,[email protected] or @MJMcGuire on Twitter.

 

CORRECTION: Tucker West would be the first American male, not American, to medal in singles luge. Erin Hamlin medaled at Sochi in 2014.

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