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02-06-17 03:42PM
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BDure
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Feb 2016
Location: Vienna, VA
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2017 USA Curling Nationals

Seeing the webcast schedule (see the other thread) made me realize I'd missed the announcement of the discretionary slots. It's posted here:

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/...hips-in-Everett

Alex Leichter got the men's slot, which isn't too difficult to justify. With Andrew Stopera off to World Juniors, it was either Leichter or Corbett, and Alex's results are a bit better this year.

The women's pick surprised me. It's Becca Wood, who is winless this year as far as I can see in WCT and U.S. competition, with or without Jenn Nguyen as skip. But they didn't have a choice unless they wanted to pick someone who wasn't entered in the Challenge Round. Annmarie Dubberstein, who was fourth in the Challenge Round (top three moved on) is going to World Juniors. And the press release says the Johnson/Rhyme team declined an invitation.

Add it all up, and the women's Challenge Round effectively eliminated no one. They might as well have allowed all 10 teams that entered go straight to nationals, then either gone forward with nine when Dubberstein qualified for World Juniors or scrounged to find a 10th entry. (Melissa Runing or Patti Lank would be interesting.)

Any idea why it happened this way?

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02-07-17 12:43AM
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dbsdbs
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Why does USCA insist on discretionary picks? If HP teams cannot otherwise qualify, then they do not deserve to be in championship.

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02-07-17 02:00AM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

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Hope this inspires more women's teams to participate in the future.

For both men and women, can somebody post the list of teams that might actually represent USA at worlds along with a clear indication what needs to happen for them to be the representative? Thanks.

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02-08-17 11:43AM
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MCC_PE
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On the men's side, if we assume at least one of McCormick, Brown, Shuster or Clark will finish third or higher (pretty likely), then Fenson, Dropkin, Clawson, Leichter and Sobering can't go to worlds, even if they win. That leaves the following scenarios:

McCormick - Finish third or higher
Brown, Shuster & Clark - Win and McCormick finishes lower than third
Birr - Win, McCormick finishes lower than third, and Brown & Shuster both are not in the final

On the women's side, if we assume at least one of Roth, Sinclair or Christensen will finish third or higher (again, pretty likely, if a little less so than the men's because it's three teams instead of four), then Bear, Potter, Clark and Wood can't go to worlds, even if they win. That leaves the following scenarios:

Roth - Make final, OR at least third and Sinclair doesn't win
Sinclair - Win and Roth not in final
Christensen - Win and Roth finishes lower than third
Schultz - Win, Roth & Sinclair finishes lower than third and Christensen not in final

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02-08-17 12:04PM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

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Thank You

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02-08-17 12:35PM
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MCC_PE
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Those scenarios are based on the USCA's OOM standings as of 1/23/17 posted at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/...ampionships/OOM.

The men's side also assumes Clawson will not get a significant number of points for a 4th place finish at Junior Nationals. As long as they get less than 19 points (likely, since their 3rd place finish in the challenge round got them less than 8 points), then the above should be correct.

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02-09-17 09:48AM
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tuck
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I think Jamie Sinclair wins this. Alexandra Carlson (third) seems to be the key. All she does is win.

Unfortunately, I think Sinclair will defeat Roth in the Final. If my guess is correct, that would mean Roth goes to Worlds because of the points Roth earned in Switzerland while Team Sinclair was representing us at the Continental Cup. I hope Vegas was fun because it may cost them a trip to Worlds...where lots more points are available...points to get Slam invites next year.

Cory Christensen appears to be the likely other team in the playoffs, but maybe the most vulnerable to having a bad week. Lots of curlers will be hoping to see a flash of Cassie Potter's best and, if that happens, Cassie could destroy this field. I just don't see it happening. Jessica Shultz would be my longshot pick. I think Courtney George might set things up for Jessica pretty well.

Ben Tucker

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02-09-17 12:31PM
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Hard to get interested in a Championship where the final games may well be meaningless.

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02-09-17 12:49PM
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Heath McCormick got off to a very good start this year and has continued to play fairly well coming up to Nationals. It could be argued that Team Heater towers above this particular field in this particular year. I, however, don't see it that way.

From early November and on, Team Heater has definitively inconsistent. Yes, they did win Duluth and Eveleth; but with some inexplicable losses mixed in. The Eveleth Curl Mesabi final against Shuster was a terrible and sloppy game. (Now 30 years that I've been intimately following USA curling, it still amazes me how often bonspiel finals are poorly played; but they often are.) In the last end, both skips (smart, experienced, world caliber skips) underestimated the hard curl of the inturn and underestimating how very straight the outturn coming home. Heck, Chris Plys accidentally took out their own rock. The shot was supposed to be a freeze, but it was not even close. Face Shuster ends up throwing a runback on his corner guard into Heater's shotrock. Face didn't have to stay; just move it out. Just barely skimmed by. Heater had to feel fortunate to get the win.

All I'm saying is that this Men's Nationals is far more competitive than it might appear on paper. Heater looks like the best team and Heater has had, by far, the best year. However, they are not yet giants playing against midgets.

Face Shuster has not had a very good year. Still, they did get invited to the latest Slam (lots of Euros passed because of scheduling conflicts at home...Face must have been pretty far down the invite list) and they did qualify. Qualifying at a Slam is no small feat. It shows that, giving full focus, they can be the dominant team they were last year and a serious threat to win this.

Brady Clark's team flew to Florida (?) last year and molly-whomped this nearly-identical field to get the gold. However, last year needs to come with an asterisk. It was all about directional sweeping and no other team was nearly as proficient and practiced at carving a curl as The Brady Bunch. Now they get to have Nationals in their backyard. Sleeping in your own bed and having the crowd support is a big edge. Is it as big of an edge as carving? No. No, it's not. That being said; how do you discount this accomplished home-team?

Craig Brown has quietly put together a very good year. There is no reason for them to fly into Seattle with anything but confidence.

Pete Fenson has a very good team in front of him. Their results this year have been consistantly mediocre...but he's Pete Fenson with a good team at Nationals. Note that they have played a very good schedule and won at least a few games every weekend. Check their record and their linescores and you'll see they are serious contenders. (As a sidenote, I can't wait to see Alex Fenson start skipping. He's smart and has a great touch. He could be something special. He will probably have to commit his father to the Old Folks Home to get his chance, but I want to see what Alex can do.)

Todd Birr has done even better this year than Fenson. They, too, played a pretty good schedule; but they cashed more often and almost always came away with 3 or 4 wins. Does Boo Boo have a legit chance? Dang right he does.

So I see a very competitive field. I see Dropkin and Clawson winning some games. Heater may be hot, but this field isn't cooked.

All that said: Heater wins this and does extremely well at Worlds.

Ben Tucker

Last edited by tuck on 02-09-17 at 03:23PM

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02-09-17 03:17PM
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I changed my mind. Face wins this. They were much the best last year until directional sweeping swept them in the wrong direction. Qualifying in a Slam proves they still have "it". They will bring "it" and they will win.

If someone gives you long odds, Brownie is the bet. My money is on Face, but I could see bookies placing Brownie behind Heater, Face and Brady. If you can't get a sucker to give long odds on Brownie and still want a longshot, take Boo Boo.

Ben Tucker

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02-09-17 04:13PM
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misty1
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my picks to win are shuster and roth. which, in that case would mean roth and mccormick go to worlds.

mccormick's performance in events with higher ranked teams this year hasnt been great..they went to a grand slam and went 3 and out and got slaughtered twice. getting a medal would depend a lot on who's there. we can assume already that edin and ulsrud will be there

o dont see roth getting a medal. she's had some good wins but she hasnt been able to string many good wins over top teams together. again , it would depend on who's there.

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02-09-17 04:39PM
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BDure
Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Feb 2016
Location: Vienna, VA
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quote:
Originally posted by dbsdbs
Hard to get interested in a Championship where the final games may well be meaningless.


Look at it this way -- the NCAA champion doesn't get to go to a World Championship at all!

On another note -- why is John Shuster "Face"?

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02-09-17 04:40PM
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Registered: Mar 2016
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Thumbs up

Agreed, in general. Though, I wouldn't undermine the junior teams. Bear and Clawson have nothing to lose, they might as well play well. I have a feeling the two will pick up a decent amount of wins.

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02-09-17 04:41PM
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biterbar
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Tuck, Tuck, Tuck. I was going to give you props for having nailed the prediction and then you go and second guess yourself.

McCormick wins this beating Craig Brown in the final. Birr and Clark also make the playoffs. Face is having an off year and uses this time to regroup and reinvigorate himself for the next run at the Olympics. He will be in the fight next year, but don't be surprised to see a shakeup in the roster.

No, this Cheesehead has no inside information, just my prediction.

I think Roth wins and goes to Worlds and does well. My second pick to win is Christensen. They are an extremely young and talented team. I see them in the Olympic run as well.

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02-09-17 04:42PM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

Registered: Mar 2016
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quote:
Originally posted by BDure



On another note -- why is John Shuster "Face"?



I guess because some might argue he is the "face" of USA Curling?

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02-09-17 04:44PM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

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quote:
Originally posted by biterbar
. My second pick to win is Christensen. They are an extremely young and talented team. I see them in the Olympic run as well.


Yes, I agree the Olympics are very attainable for Christensen. She has won over every other women's team out there.

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02-09-17 05:17PM
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quote:
Originally posted by curlinglove


I guess because some might argue he is the "face" of USA Curling?



Sort of, he was in "Faces in the Crowd" in Sports Illustrated. That's my understanding anyway.

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02-09-17 05:18PM
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chapnlie
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"Face"

quote:
Originally posted by BDure


On another note -- why is John Shuster "Face"?



I thought it goes back to his long-ago appearance in Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd"

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02-09-17 06:02PM
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Harvey Hacksmasher

 

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When making your predictions for National Champion, keep in mind that in the three years of the HPP and rules for advancing to the World Championship, NO HPP women's team has ever won and only Fenson's team in 2014 won.

I think the effort to change recent outcomes was to add an HPP team to both the men's and women's program this year.

So I'll make two non-HPP team picks.
On the women's side, I see Schultz and Potter. I'll take Potter cause she's been there before.
On the men's side I see Brady and Birr. I'll take Brady as the home team.

Can you imagine if that happened!!!

I'll actually be shocked if a non-HPP doesn't win both men's and women's, so these were just entertaining picks!

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02-09-17 06:42PM
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SmokeyJoe
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Re: "Face"

quote:
Originally posted by chapnlie


I thought it goes back to his long-ago appearance in Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd"



Sports Illustrated February 23, 2004

http://www.si.com/vault/2004/02/23/...es-in-the-crowd

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02-09-17 09:11PM
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AK267
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quote:
Originally posted by dbsdbs
Hard to get interested in a Championship where the final games may well be meaningless.





ditto

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02-09-17 10:38PM
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IN-OFF-FOR-2
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agreed

quote:
Originally posted by AK267





ditto



I know it's different in Canada for the Brier but somewhat similar for Olympic qualifying. The Brier winner goes to worlds regardless of where they qualified. For the Olympics it could be the number 1 qualifier for the trials or the 8th qualifier for the pre-trials. 14 teams. But it's still the WINNER that goes. Best example is Jacobs the last pre-qualifier won the trials and won the gold medal.

I can see the top point earners in U.S. getting a bye spot at nationals, but surely the winner must go to worlds.

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02-10-17 01:46PM
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I hate to present the argument for the USCA and the HPP because I don't agree with it. I firmly disagree, but I'll put forth the "other guys" logic; and it's not without logic.

The stakes for USA curling at Worlds have risen dramatically with the advent of curling as an Olympic sport. Massive growth (the only real growth in curling worldwide) comes every four years when TV shows curling during the Olympics. It is viewership (not coverage) that drives growth.

Therefore, they believe it is critical that we have teams qualify to play in the Olympics. Since countries are allotted spots from finishing well at Worlds, there can be NO chances taken and we simply must send the teams to Worlds with the best chance of finishing well. The stakes are too high.

Now I know their logic is flawed. Growth in the USA might be OK with curling televised while our teams sit at home. High placement at Worlds might even be better if we simply send the National gold medalists. I know this. I hate to rehash everything again; it's just that some people posting and reading here may have yet to read the pages and pages of previous arguments.

Anyway...Jamie "The Savior" Sinclair and John "Face" Shuster to win. Things do get MUCH more interesting if Nina and/or Heater don't make the playoffs. Can I find it in my heart to wish for that? No, I can't. Both teams are too good and have some very nice people on the rosters.

Ben Tucker

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02-10-17 01:50PM
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Re: agreed

quote:
Originally posted by IN-OFF-FOR-2


I can see the top point earners in U.S. getting a bye spot at nationals, but surely the winner must go to worlds.



Nope... and don't call me Shirley!

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02-10-17 03:19PM
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quote:
Originally posted by MCC_PE
On the men's side, if we assume at least one of McCormick, Brown, Shuster or Clark will finish third or higher (pretty likely), then Fenson, Dropkin, Clawson, Leichter and Sobering can't go to worlds, even if they win. That leaves the following scenarios:

McCormick - Finish third or higher
Brown, Shuster & Clark - Win and McCormick finishes lower than third
Birr - Win, McCormick finishes lower than third, and Brown & Shuster both are not in the final

On the women's side, if we assume at least one of Roth, Sinclair or Christensen will finish third or higher (again, pretty likely, if a little less so than the men's because it's three teams instead of four), then Bear, Potter, Clark and Wood can't go to worlds, even if they win. That leaves the following scenarios:

Roth - Make final, OR at least third and Sinclair doesn't win
Sinclair - Win and Roth not in final
Christensen - Win and Roth finishes lower than third

Schultz - Win, Roth & Sinclair finishes lower than third and Christensen not in final




Correct me if I am wrong(and its very possible that I am), but wouldn't Face or Brownie go to worlds if they win because they were in the top 25 OOM on Jan 23. So the points are not relevant at that point.

The same for Roth.

Last edited by Burned_Broom on 02-10-17 at 03:22PM

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