Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quick Kyushu Basho 2013 Thoughts

Overall, this basho wasn't a real great one. From the first few days, it seemed obvious. The main problems affecting it were that the field was pretty weak. Kotooshu and Kotoshogiku both were out, Endo was hurt, setting the stage for either an easy Yokozuna win or a surprise victory. The last few days were exciting though with Harumafuji, Hakuho and Kisenosato.

Harumafuji got a well deserved win and did pretty good this basho. He only lost to Harumafuji and snuck one out on Hakuho. After his bad few months,  12 wins would have been enough yet alone a basho win. I had counted him out but I think just in general he gets hot then gets really cold. The pressure is off of him for a while and I wouldn't expect to see any until the summer unless he drops below 11 wins.

Hakuho was good as usual but blew it in the last two days with losses to Kisenosato and Harumafuji. I can't recall ever seeing Hakuho lose in consecutive days but there's no real explanation except he lost. Haruma needed it and Kisen really wanted it. I'll still pick Hak to win next time around and I'm sure he will.

Next to Harumafuji, the real story was Kisenosato. He took down both yokozuna in consecutive days and had a great basho. He came in 2nd place and he seems to get closer every basho. The next one really should get him a victory and he looks like he is ready to make the next step. The Japanese would go nuts for it and I think he could be Yokozuna with only one title, which I don't agree with.

My other favorites all had a rough go of things. Osunaarashi got close to getting the KK but lost on the final day due to a bad henka attempt. He did pretty good all things considered but this basho was proof that he needs more than just power. He needs a lot of work but he held up pretty good against the lower guys.

Takanoyama may get back up to Juryo but I'm not really impressed. He only went 4-3 in Makushita and it's hard to envision anything but a losing record in his return to Juryo.

Shohozan had a pretty bad basho which matches his usual one good basho followed by one bad basho formula. I'm sure he will do better next time but he should have done better with a weaker field.

Tochinowaka still made the same mistakes he always does and didn't do much for me.

Goeido blew his basho completely. He was making a shot at an Ozeki run and with a bad 8-7 record, it's over. There's no excuse for him not winning more and at this rate, he probably won't be an Ozeki in 2014.

Jokoryu did so bad he's going to get demoted.

Overall, it wasn't a must see basho but I do recommend checking out the last few days with Kisen, Hakuho and Harumafuji. They all put up good performances and were the only real highlights of this basho.

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