Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Hall of Fame members?

Some are emotional favorites like Lou Henson and Gene Keady. Some are tainted unfavorites like Tarkanian and Eddie Sutton?

What exactly is the definition of a Hall of Fame coach? Is it on the court achievements only? Is it just Wins and Losses? Is it winning championships? Is it off the court achievements as well? How about the RPI/SOS of those wins and losses? Jim Boeheim can certainly relate to that: sitting in upper state New York in November and December and picking up a handful of guaranteed cupcake victories each year will no doubt boost the numbers of wins per year.

Until someone from the Hall of Fame clears that up, it will be highly debated...

Majerus is boldly going...

Majerus is boldly going where no ESPN analyst has gone before:
Ashley Judd, adult videos, Vitale and Sean McD sharing the same bed and combing each others hair!

Send It In Jerome!

Last night (January 25) was the anniversary of that 1988 game when Jerome Lane shuttered the backboard and Raftery uttered the classic "Send It In Jerome!". (Yes, it was featured in ESPN's "This day in basketball history" during one of the 30 second timeouts).

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Coaches on the Hot Seat!

Down in the ACC, Pete Gillen is always on the hot seat. An 0-5 start in the ACC after a promising preseason, will fan the flames. Eight years at NC State, and Herb Sendek is back on the hot seat. Will making the NCAA be enough to save his job? Will not making the NCAA be enough to let him go?

The Big East is getting bigger and the coaches headaches will too. Jay Wright was on the hot seat until he dethroned West Virginia and Kansas. But the team has to be consistent throughout the season, otherwise the seat will heat up again

In the Big 12, Quin Snyder is on the Watch list, and for sure, if he wasn't a Coach K disciple he would have been coaching in the NBDL by now. Not on the Hot Seat, but on the Watch List are Patton at Colorado, Woolridge at Kansas State and Collier at Nebraska.

Down in the SEC, Billy Donovan should be on the Hot Seat but he is not. An NCAA bid or a strong finish in the NIT may be the only things that save Buzz Peterson at Tennesee. The Tulsa coaching factory myth is starting to unravel. First John Philips and now Buzz Peterson are proving not to be of Tubby Smith and Bill Self caliber. John Brady must have sent USC a recommendation letter for Tim Floyd, but just because Tim Floyd is not available it doesn't mean Brady is safe at LSU. This season may determine his future. But LSU has a good incoming class next year, so that may save Brady for another season. Rod Barnes should be safe at Ole Miss as he has a huge recruiting class coming in next year.

In the Pac10, Rob Evans is on the hot seat because the team has not been able to capitalize on having Ike Diogu for three years now. Perhaps an NCAA bid or an NIT final four will save his job.

Everyone seems safe in Conference USA, but we should not understimate the firing power of the ADs.

In the Big Eleven, Mike Davis is on the Hot Seat, even though he got the team to the NCAA finals just three years ago. Steve Alford is too, especially if this season ends in a meltdown. An NIT bid would not be enough. At Purdue, Gene Keady would have been on the hot seat if he wasn't retiring already. More trouble in the Big Eleven, as Dan Monson has yet to deliver, but to his defense he inherited a troubled program with loads of NCAA sanctions and restrictions. At Michigan, Tommy Amaker should be on the Hot Seat, but he won't be (yes, being a Coach K disciple has many benefits).

Elsewhere, Steve Lapas is on and off the Hot Seat at UMass - depending on what day of the week you look at. Destroying UConn was huge, but losing to lesser opponents on a regular basis won't get this team in the NCAA. To his defense, he has played a tough non conference schedule this year.

Current Head-Coaching Openings: Tulsa, New Mexico State
Available Coaches: Majerus, Lavin, Jarvis, George Karl, Nolan Richardson, Fran Fraschilla, Matt Doherty, Mike Bibby, John Philips

The 2004-05 Gonzaga team

Gonzaga started the season quietly with lowered expectations because so many experienced players had graduated: Stepp, Violette, Bankhead, Skinner and Fox. Doudney was lost to injury. Their first few games verified that. Then came the Illinois game; a wake-up call perhaps? After that, they have played great, beating Oklahoma State on "neutral court" in Oklahoma (!), Georgia Tech in Vegas, UW at home, and UMass in Seattle (essentially home game).

So what makes this year's Zags team tick? Turiaf, Adam Morrisson and S. Malon were known quantities before the season started. How about the unknowns?

  1. JP Batista has been impressive. Even though he was regarded as one of the top JC players, it does not always translate into a good Division 1 player *cough* Robert Whaley *cough* Nate Daniels *cough*. JP Batista probably exceeded everyone's expectations.
  2. Raivio. He looks like a little kid. But he got game and he can shoot. Yes, there are many areas he needs to work on, but he too has exceeded expectations.
  3. Erroll Knight. He brings energy, intensity, defense and athleticism to this team. He causes the team chi to flow. Without him, they looked flat and lost to USF.
  4. P-Mac and Pendo both have contributed and would contribute even more if they got more PT.

Unless they have a meltdown and end up with a losing WCC record, Gonzaga will be in the NCAA and will probably get a good seed. How will this team do in the NCAA tournament? The last two years they have been Gone-Zaga, in the 1st and then 2nd round, beaten up physically and mentally by Wyoming and Nevada. How would they fare this year when playing a tough talented team? Will they have a meltdown like the Illinois-game or will they play to the level of the competition like the OklahomaState/GeorgiaTech/Washington games? March is just around the corner :-)

Jason Williams debuts on ESPN2

Last weekend Jason Williams made his broadcasting debut on ESPN2 as the analyst of the Memphis-UAB game. It looks like Jason/Jay Williams did his homework and "watched tape" as he used phrases like Billy Packer's "that was a good play on his part", and he had his version of the Brad Daugherty "hoo hoo hoo HOO!". Speaking of Brad D. where is he now?

Phoenix Rising Part II: Oregon State (- Washington)?

Last season, Washington started its dream run to the NCAA by making a wild comeback and beating Oregon State in overtime. That was Phoenix Rising Part I: Washington, and it got started at the Washington - Oregon State game.

This year during the Oregon State - Washington, it is perhaps Oregon State's turn to play "Phoenix Rising". They had a major scare when Coach Jay John had to be taken to a near-by hospital at half-time. They didn't come back to win the game, but the they got a solid W against ASU in their next game, and had a good game against the hot Arizona Wildcats. Will this year's Oregon State - Washington game result in Phoenix Rising Part II: Oregon State? Only time will tell!

Must read: West Coast Recruiting

This is an in-depth article on West Coast Recruiting, mainly the 2005-06 class.
The first part analyzes the University of Washington, while the second part (which would be of interest to a broader audience) goes through the Top classes in the West/Southwest. The third part ranks the players in the Puget Sound area. You can read it right there: 2005 Recruiting at

Digger's Dagger

One of the ESPN analysts commented that the refs missed a call or something like that. Digger Phelps interjected by throwing a dagger: "they are always missing it". Onions!

College GameDay thoughts

Overall I think the debut of College Game Day for Basketball was a great success for ESPN. I would like to see more in-depth coverage and more special features, but other than that, it was great.

Please Fire Dick Bennett!

Not because of his job performance. Not because he flipped the UW fans.
Because his style of play is U-N-W-A-T-C-H-A-B-L-E.

Prediction: Maryland will upset Duke

And here is a prediction for you: Maryland will beat Duke!

Why? As we all know the Duke - Maryland rivalry is very intense. I predict that the Maryland team will be reborn from its ashes and get it together and beat Duke at Cameron Indoor on Wednesday in a close game.

I cannot predict whether Dookie Vitale will start crying after Duke loses :-)

A Tale of Three Seven Footers

That's not an NBA starting line-up. That's the Colorodo State team. The three seven-footer line-up got some national exposure last night as the Mayor of the Mountain West, (and college football side-line reporter, and dog-show play-by-play guy (!!)), Jimmy Dykes called the game on ESPN's Big Monday.

It is rather surprising that this Colorado State team has been able to recruit three seven footers, but they have not been able to recruit guards to compliment them! Usually it's the other way round with most teams :)

A Tale of Two Meltdowns

That could describe last night's Syracuse at Rutgers game. Syracuse had a defensive meltdown in the 1st half, while Rutgers started the 2nd half with a textbook meltdown crumbling under pressure.

"oafense" is the new offense

Thanks partly to Rick Majerus and partly to the ESPN in-studio analysts fascination with the Majerus/Wisconsin pronounciation of "oafense/offense", "oafense" is the new official word for offense this year!

Andrew Bogut is rising

With Utah not being on national or regional TV a lot, Andrew Bogut's performance has been flying under the radar, until people started realizing that he is having an All-American season and he is rumored to be not just a lottery pick but a potential #1.

What's even more impressive about his numbers is that Utah is a slow-down team, so he gets those numbers in fewer possessions that the average college basketball team.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Too many cupcakes Alert!

Teams with Very High RPI and Significantly Lower Strength of Schedule (SOS):

  • Illinois #9 RPI, #67 SOS. Any more cupcakes Mr Webber?
  • Boston College #4 RPI, #44 SOS
  • Syracuse #11 RPI, #70 SOS. Cupcakes taste better at home Mr Boeheim?
  • Charlotte #49 RPI, #125 SOS
  • Domers #33 RPI, #74 SOS
  • Louisville #25 RPI, #86 SOS
  • A few mid-major teams but that's mainly because of their conference RPI

The Brave Ones
: They'll play anyone anywhere anytime: Higher SOS than RPI:
  • Purdue #2 SOS, #131 RPI. Gene Keady wanted to go out on a bang, but not this kind of bang!
  • Temple #3 SOS, #42 RPI
  • Missouri #8 SOS #43 RPI
  • Indiana #9 SOS, #36 RPI
  • UMass #15 SOS, #52 RPI
  • Clemson #16 SOS, #56 RPI
  • East Carolina #18 SOS, #167 RPI

These teams overdosed so badly in cupcakes their Stregth of Schedule is over 200:
  • New Mexico
  • South Florida
  • Baylor
  • Southern Miss
  • St Bonnies

These teams overdosed so badly in cupcakes their Stregth of Schedule is over 150:
  • Virginia Tech
  • George Washington, Xavier, Dayton, Rhode Island
  • Oregon State
  • Fresno State, La Tech,
  • Pacific
  • Air Force

The numbers were taken from this excellent website:

Friday, January 21, 2005

College basketball is rising!

I just counted the number of LIVE TV games on TV tomorrow (Saturday): 22 live men's college basketball TV games on ESPN, ABC, CBS, FoxSports, FoxCollegeSports, Comcast SportsNet! And three hours of ESPN Gameday. Add to that the replays and the classic games. Add to that the Women's games. Add to that the games available on FullCourt. College hoops are HOT again! Maybe people are tired of professional sports, prima donna athletes and $greedy$ owners/players.

Kent dynasty at Oregon

Ernie Kent is the coach. His son Jordan is on the basketball team. His daughter is a cheerleader. And another son is the leader of the student cheering group known as the Pit Crew. Building a dynasty :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Conference Realignment Recap

As you all remember, there was a big soap-opera played out the last few months with lots of universities changing conference affiliation. So now, half-way into the 2004-05 season, how do the new conferences project into 2005-06 and beyond?

Big East: As many others have said, the new Big East is going to be tough! Since the schedule will be far from balanced, one would have to break down individual schedules/games to figure out the best teams there. How many NCAA bids will they get out of 16 teams? An 8-8 recrod may not be easy even for an NCAA-bound team. A strong out of conference schedule will become a must if teams want to differentiate themselves from the other competing Big East teams. This may force Syracuse and Pittsburgh to play tough games and play road games or at least get outside their state for neutral court games. South Florida who cames in mainly for football looks like it's gonna be the only cupcake - at least on paper until they can catch up recruiting-wise. But then Miami and Virginia Tech were supposed to be cupcakes this year in the ACC, but they are clearly not! Geographically this conference is not just East anymore; they should change the name to The Big Sprawl.

ACC: In comes Boston College from the BigEast, after the in-and-out drama. It would be really funny if BC goes on a streak next year in the ACC, just like they are doing on their way out of the BigEast. Al Skinner has been able to find diamonds in the rough but being in the ACC will only help recruiting even more. 12 teams and unbalanced schedule means more traditional home-and-home rivalries disappear. But with FSU, Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson on the rise, and BC already there, the ACC will give the BigEast a strong run as the super conference in basketball.

Mountain West. In comes TCU and more importantly it gives the rest of the MWC teams a backdoor into the very fertile recruiting grounds of Texas. I'm guessing this was a football move, but TCU fits just fine in the MWC basketball-wise. They do have an odd number of teams (9) but i dont think that's an issue.

Conference USA: Out of the 14 current teams, 8 of them eject to other conferences next year, leaving just 6 behind. But 4 new teams come from the WAC (3 from Texas), and 2 football schools with mid-major basketball programs (UCF, Marshal). A total of 12 teams in 2005-06 and C-USA looks just a step above the other powerful mid-major conferences. Memphis and the FedEx forum are the jewel of the crown, but UAB, UTEP and Rice are solid programss. Willis Wilson at Rice is becoming the new Mike Montgomery/Stanford. Two other high profile coaches, Turnaround Tom Penders and Larry Eustachy have a very good chance to build C-USA powerhouses at Houston and So.Miss now that the Louisville, Cincy, Marquette, and Depaul are gone. Any other year Tulsa would have been seen as a solid program, but they clearly have to rebuild now. Tulane, East Carolina, SMU, UCF and Marshall will fight among themselves for conference tourney bids and perhaps NIT bids.

WAC: Poached by C-USA who was poached by Big-East who was poached by the ACC, the WAC added three new "mid-major" teams (Utah State, New Mexico State, Idaho). Both Utah State and Lou Henson's New Mexico State are solid basketball programs. Utah State has probably lost 2-3 NCAA bids over the year simply because it played in a smaller conference. Going to the WAC should help. It looks like another round of realingment with the Mountain West is not unreasonable, as west coast and mountain teams are split between the two conferences. On the rise is Fresno State with the new Savemart arena, and Nevada . Hawaii is consistently solid. Utah State and NewMexicoState are probably going to be competitive from the get-go in the new WAC. Boise State gets a natural rival in Idaho. Louisiana Tech is Paul Millsap at the moment. If it wasn't for football, San Jose State would not be able to compete in basketball in the Big West, let alone the WAC. And nobody's buying SJSU's "silicon valley" excuse, because Santa Clara (SCU) is just 2 miles away and they are doing much better! Another conference with 9 teams for 2005-06. Clearly the WAC is weakened by the moves.

Atlantic 10: (aka Atlantic 14) Adding the underrated Charlotte program really helps. Charlotte gets a chance to shine by escaping the shadow of the Big 4 in Carolina (Duke,NC,WF,NCSt) and the shadow of the Big 4 in C-USA (Cincy, LVille, Memphis, Marquette). St. Louis looked good on paper at the time, but now this looks like a boring slow-down team. But that's not the biggest problem. There are 2-4 teams in the A10 that are ruining the conference's RPI and they should be sent to the regional mid-major conferences. St Bonnies and Dusquene come to mind first, while Fordham and LaSalle are not far behind. At 14 teams the A10 is already overcrowded and will have even more unbalanced scheduling. If those four teams are dropped, A10 would have ten solid teams: Temple, Xavier, Charlotte, UMass, St Joe's, George Washington, Richmond, Dayton, St Louis, and Rhode Island. That looks like a tough league that would be able to maintain a high RPI during the conference season. But until then, it's the Atlantic 14 :)

Big 10: Well no changes here, but they should REALLY change the name to Big 11.

Turn Back the Clock is cool!

ESPN Classic's "Turn back the clock" is a really cool idea. For those not familiar, they broadcast LIVE games on ESPN Classic every Wednesday night, using the attitude, style and graphics of the earlier days, and using announcers/analysts/guest-analysts from the earlier days such as Jim Simpson, Jud Heathcote, Rollie Massimino, and the one and only Bill Raftery. This year they are doing nine consectuive Wednesday night games.

Boston College keeps on ticking

The fact that Boston College is undefeated is a surprise. The way that they have managed to remain undefeated is even more surprising. Don't look now, but this is starting to look like a team of destiny.

And what a great way to eject from the Big East after last year's in-and-out drama with BC and the Big East conference. I bet the Big East commissioner is very happy that BC is the flag bearer of the conference :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Recruiting Wars

Recruiting is a lot like the stock market: Lots of speculation, millions of possibilities, nothing is really certain. With the stakes being higher and higher every year, and with the NBA always an option, there are many twists and turns on recruiting.

Things are rather quiet at the moment, but they'll heat up in just a few weeks. Believe it or not, it's January 19th already, just 7 weeks away from conference tournaments.

The 2005 class does not seem to have many NBA caliber talents, so there won't be as much suspense as last year on who stays or who goes to the NBA. The majority of the 2005 top players have already committed but if the coaching carousel starts spinning like the summer of 2003, people will be moving around. For example, Arizona can thank the coaching carousel (Nolan Richardson and Arkansas drama) for getting Iguodala.

This blog will have increased commentary and analysis on the recruting wars in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Why did ESPN2 include Paul Westphal?

What's the deal?
During the half-time show of one of the games on Tuesday, ESPN2 showed a list of successful NCAA coaches who made recent jumps to the NBA from the college ranks and did not have similar success. Yes, they included the likes of Pitino, Calipari, Leonard Hamilton, Lon Kruger and ....Paul Westphal! But they did not include Tim Floyd (or Mike Montgomery).

Why was Paul Westphal included?
1) First of all he had a winning record in the NBA both regular reason and playoffs and reached the NBA Finals:
2) Second, his college coaching career before becoming an NBA assistant and coach was just three years in the small college leagues (which included an NAIA title in 1988). That's not even recent. That's Larry Brown era!

Where can I see the latest RPI/Team Rankings?

  1. Lots of numbers, and free:
  2. CBS Sportsline publish their own RPI but they dont break it down
  3. Some free content, but the detailed analysis requires an annual fee:
  4. ESPN's InsideRPI but you have to be an Insider which requires a monthly or annual fee
  5. Free stuff but detailed content for pay:
  6. Sagarin ratings (not the NCAA RPI), at
  7. Not only RPI and SOS ratings but more unique statistics all for free:
If you have any other sites to recommend, please let me know and I'll add them!

Instant classic: WakeForest at Florida State

Wake Forest was supposed to be in an Instant Classic. They were hosting North Carolina. Two of the hottest teams in the country. Last year's games between those two (especially the first one) were great. But instead, Wake Forest found themselves in an instant classic three days later on the road at Florida State.

Speaking of Florida State, they continue to show flashes of a great team when they play at home. Now if they can be consistent and do that on the road... They have 11 players who play significant minutes. They can wear opponents down, run up and down, and they have potential breakout stars in V.Wafer, Al Thornton and T.Galloway.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Majerus taking shots at Billy Packer?

During the ABC Sports telecast of the UCLA-Arizona basketball game, Rick Majerus was commenting on Dickie V saying "everybody loves Raymond" referring to Raymond Felton of North Carolina and using the name of the long running CBS sitcom by that name. Rick Majerus essentially called Dookie V better than Billy Packer! Since Dookie V does just about everything but analyze a basketball game during his telecasts, this looks like a shot at BP!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Historic compromise in USC head coaching decision

The USC Athletic Director(s) had to make a difficult decision in selecting the next coach. The main trade-off was whether to (1) hire someone that was available NOW or (2) wait until the end of the season and go after both current and former head coaches.

What probably led USC to option #1 is that at most 4 players are returning next year. It may be less if some of them decide to transfer or become ineligible. Hiring a coach now and using him as a recruiter until April when he takes over completely allows the new head coach to go out and recruit both HS and JC players and perhaps bring in some of the available transfers that would be eligible for the 2nd semester of the 2005-06 season. This probably gave Tim Floyd the edge over George Karl, as Tim Floyd is more familiar with the insanity of NCAA recruiting rules, even though George Karl is a bigger name. George Karl would have probably needed a former college head-coach or seasoned veteran assistant as his #2 to help him catch up with NCAA rules, regulations and violations.

If they went with option #2 and a new coach hired in March/April, he would have a hard time filling up the roster, let alone field a competitive team in 2005-06.

The AD probably wants to have a competitive team when the new arena opens up so they can fill up the seats.Getting a coach now essentially salvages the 2005-06 season and saves them from one year of rebuilding.

But it is rather ironic that the last two USC coaches are former UCLA people, while the former USC super-star and SoCal coach Paul Westphal was not even given a chance! With the two high profile SoCal jobs now filled, Westphal may look into getting a "BCS" job, probably in the west/southwest. As always, some jobs will come up this summer. This is all speculation but having the Arizona connection (being a former Phoenix Suns coach), Westphal may find himself at ASU next season, or perhaps at U-of-A in Tuscon if/when Lute Olson decides to retire.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

lifting a redshirt in January!

This is filed under interesting developments. After a lot of deliberation it was decided that Kirk Waters was to be red-shirt this season. But apparently Lute Olson has not been happy with his bigs, and I guess not happy to use Hot Sauce and McClennan as PFs, so they decided to pull Waters out of the redshirt and throw him into the fire at the USC game last Thursday. So this is the 2nd year of eligibility that Waters is using when he was supposed to be redshirting! But on the plus side, if he is as good as Lute thinks he is, he may be the 2nd best big man on the team before long.

The Mercurial Memphis Tigers

The Memphis Tigers have a lot of raw talent and multiple NBA first round picks on their roster. But do they have a team? A team is what John Calipari has been trying to create. The impact on team chemistry of Jeremy Hunt has been under-rated. He is a glue-type of player that can play either guard position and get things done. His recent injuries and off-court allegations have kept him off the court and Memphis has not done well without him.

Another thing that Calipari is discovering improvement by subtraction. Without Banks in the line-up, the Tigers were a much better team against the over-stuffed with cupcakes Marquette team. Obviously Banks is a very talented player and if he can get back with the program so to speak, Memphis will benefit. But until then, it looks like they are better off without him. But then again, part of the improvement is the adjustment, maturation and improvement of guard Darius Washington. This year may end up looking like a re-run at Memphis: An NIT championship and freshman guard that bolts to the NBA (just like the D. Wagner year).

Obviously Calipari's recruiting strategy has something to do with the current sitatuation as he goes after a lot of high profile recruits and he is willing to give people 2nd chances or take players that need help academically. It's a high risk strategy, but if the pieces hit, he could end up with Top 5 teams. If they don't, then they'll struggle like this year. The other side-effect is that the team can end up under-manned with injuries and non-qualifiers. Having a solid group of walk-ons is a must for this high-risk strategy. A strategy that Rick Pitino has been using until recently, as he gambled on Telfair when he could have had Rondo or Lofton

Take this year for example: Shawne Williams, Robert Dozier, the 7-footer (Cooper I think), and the local PG Andre Allen did not qualify and they are all in Prep school. How good would they be if they qualified?

Next year is even more of a puzzle as a number of those players may or not qualify or want to play in Memphis and some of his current high talent players may bolt for the NBA. It looks like a feast or famine situation is a possibility.

ACC now: 6 NIT bids, not 6 NCAA bids

Before the season started the ACC looked like a 6-7 bid conference and some people were even discussing that it would be unfair that with 7 bids one of FSU or VA would be left out.

Well, at this very moment it looks like there are 4 solid NCAA teams in the ACC (NC,WF,GaT,Duke), and 7 ...NIT teams! Maryland, NC State and Virginia are struggling, while Clemson, FSU and Miami all look like they are heading for the NIT. Virginia Tech seems to be the lone team with a losing record.

Of course things will probably change when the rest of the ACC games are played. Maryland has been having Gilchrist issues, NC State can't get a win, and Virginia is a ...Pete Gillen team. Don't look now but if Miami continues to win like that they may start thinking not just NIT, but NCAA bubble!

But in all likelihood the ACC will have at least 5 teams in the NCAAs, probably 6, and perhaps 7 if a bubble team wins the ACC tournament.

Friday, January 14, 2005

master of the obvious in-game statistics

Some of the in-game statistics that are thrown around by the broadcasters are downright funny of the master-of-the-obvious variety.

Some exaggerated examples:

  • every time team X shoots 80% FGs, they are 12-0.
  • every time team U gets 30 more rebounds than the opponent they are 22-1
  • every time team Y commits 40 turnovers they are 0-11
  • every time team Z scores more than 100 points they are 14-1
But the most obvious of them all, which I must admit I have yet to hear on a TV broadcast:
"Every time team X outscores its opponent they are undefeated!"

Andy Katz is now premium

First Andy Katz's semi-Daily column stopped posting its archives, and now it has became a premium feature (insiders, for pay) item. I'm not sure the subscription model is the best way to go on the internet. ESPN has played/tweaked different types of "Insiders" over the years. What they don't realize is that there are dozens of other websites, blogs and message boards fans can get news and inside info...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

limited number of Gmail invites available

If any readers of the blog want to get a Gmail invite, let me know! I have a few of them available at this time!

weekly college basketball recruiting show

As Rick Pitino said basketball recruiting is the #2 sport in Kentucky. And I will argue that it is probably the #2 sport among die-hard college hoops fans.

For those not familiar, there's an internet-based two hour college basketball recruiting "radio" show hosted by Clark Francis of HoopScoopOnline every Sunday night. The show is also archived so you can listen to it days or even weeks later (and more importantly "TiVo" through it if you like). More details on the show at HoopScoopOnline or Broadcast Monsters.

The two hour show (with 2 minute commercial breaks every 20 minutes or so), usually has a couple of guests from the world of basketball/AAU/HS/recruiting. There is occasional d-r-a-m-a as well! At times, it can get long-winded and such, that's why I listen to it "tape-delayed".

Fran Fraschilla is _rising_

It looks like Fran Fraschilla has become the ESPN Big12 Analyst of Choice. I have not seen Jon Sundvold yet. And I must say that while Jon Sund. was a good analyst and had experience as a player, he was the extreme opposite of Dookie Vitale. I want to use the word monotonous here...

West Virginia is a fraud!

And that's before they lost at home to Marshall.
For one more time (the joke they call) "The Coaches poll" kept West Virginia in the Top 25 despite their thrashing @ Villanova. Of course the people voting in the Coaches poll probably did not know that West Virginia's SOS was above 200! Above 200!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

silly chant by St Mary's fans

St Mary's fans showed that they are rather ignorant by calling Gonzaga overrated.
If Gonzaga had played a cupcake schedule and had a 12-1 record and was in the Top 25, I would agree with the overated chant.

But Gonzaga beat Oklahoma State in Oklahoma, Ga Tech in Vegas, and Washington @ home. Nothing over-rated here St. Mary's fans :-)

Speaking of St Mary's if they had all the players eligible they would've probably beaten not only Memphis but also the overrated overstuffed with cupcakes Mississippi State. (Of course had they beaten Memphis, they would have played Syracuse in the final)

Isn't it ironic?

Three of the top 5 teams in the country are coached by coaches who did not recruit most of their players! And even more so, they are all linked to Ole Roy!

Ole Roy is coaching mostly Matt Doherty's players in North Carolana.
Bill Self is coaching mostly Roy's players in Kansas.
Weber is coaching mostly Bill Self's players at Illinois!

Which could make a cynic wonder...

ole Roy has recruiting edge over Coach K?

It looks like it's going to be that way. Ole Roy plays a fun fast paced run and gun style (but with emphasis on defense). This is clearly something a lot of players like to do. With the extra possessions players get more touches, more fast breaks, more dunks, etc, etc.

On the other hand Coach K, fresh off his flirting with the NBA that gave him a lot of street-cred and NCAA-cred, is playing with an under-talented and under-manned team. He is still winning but the emphasis is on frenzied defense and slow down in the 2nd half. Not as much fun as run and gun!

Obviouisly Duke's recruiting class next year will probably change that, but also keep in mind that now Ole Roy is willing to recruit the whole country. (When in Kansas he tried to avoid going head to head with "Carolana" on east coast players)

Boston College says goodbye to BigEast with style

Boston College is making a splash being one of the last 4 undefeated teams in the country in its Big East farewell tour. Not only that, but they beat UConn on the road. That's should add fuel to the fire!

But despite all that, BC is not getting a lot of love. They did have a few close wins, and had to make furious comebacks to beat some teams, but a win is a win is a win!

The Return of the West Coast

Don't look now but the Pac10 is 2nd in the RPI and 2nd in the SOS conference rankings. A great improvement over last year.

The West coast conference is also making bold statements at #8 in the conference RPI, and St Mary's beating Gonzaga helps them get more than 1 team in the NCAA. In fact the conference should instruct its refs not to "help" Gonzaga on toss-up calls (*cough* the games at @SCU and @StMarys *cough*)

Polls are drunk especially Coaches poll

I know college basketball polls are beauty contests for entertainment and debate purposes, but some of the things people vote are just crazy. And it shows how closely they [do not] follow the game!

You get a much better picture by looking at the RPI and SOS rankings of teams. Quite a few teams out there with gorgeous records with 10+ wins and 1-2 losses, but look at their SOS, it's way above 100! Cup cake city!

will Verne Linquist do his homework?

Verne Linquist kept mixing up the players with the same numbers on opposing teams @ the Kansas - Kentucky game. This shows two things:

  1. He didn't do his homework
  2. He tries to recognize players by their number and he is sitting court-side! That's such a sad thing for a seasoned play-by-play veteran. Again, he didn't do his homework, didn't watch film (or pay attention to it) in preparation for the game!

they need more PT!

These are some players that need more Playing Time (PT):

  1. Tim Morris (Stanford) - well, now he is AI, so next year :)
  2. Pendergraft (Gonzaga) - he makes things happen!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Gene Keady is having a Joe Pa season

poor Gene Keady is having a Joe Paterno-like season in his last year @ Purdue.
Can't even beat the pesky but under-manned and under-talented Baylor team @ home...

Saturday, January 01, 2005

One thing that annoys me about analysts...

One thing that annoys me about analysts is that they liberally use the cast system on players.
The "Stars" -vs- the "Role" players. While that may be true in some cases, especially in the college game, the roleplayer-to-star spectrum is more of a continuum.

lots of College hoops on TV (and that's great!)

There are so many college hoops games on TV nowadays. That's so great!

Not only we (the viewers) get games on the traditional places (ESPN,ESPN2,FSN,CBS,ABC, local stations), but a large number of new options is available:

  • three regionally-aligned and localized Fox College Sports stations
  • college sports TV (CSTV)
  • Comcast Sports Net (lots of games)
  • MBC
  • ESPN Classic (will be broadcasting some live games later this year!)
  • ESPN Full Court (but costs extra)
  • 20+ regional FSN affiliates (for satellite viewers)
  • coming soon around 3/4/05: ESPN U: a college sports channel by ESPN

clueless in studio host during Zags-Mizzou on ESPN2

During the Gonzaga-Missouri, the in-studio host (I forgot who it was) equated NC State losing to unranked St.Johns to Alabama losing to unranked Wisconsin. How stupid is that? Do these ESPN in studio hosts actually watch or listen during the games? Do they even listen to what the in studio analysts are saying?

How can you consider that Wisconsin and St Johns are of the same caliber simply because they are unranked? How stupid is that! Not to mention that Wisconsin has a long @home winning streak.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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