Monday, November 28, 2005


Especially if you like number crunching and such, this is a great page to visit:

Huggins and Recruiting

On Huggins and Recruiting:

Endangering the lives of players on the floor...

"Endangering the lives of players on the floor" said Chaney. The same Chaney who sent the "goon" in who broke the arm of a St Joe's player!

Feast Week Tournament Recap

  • Syracuse's Eric Devendork confirmed his "thug" reputation by kneeing an opposing player in a very sensitive spot during a scramble in the Coaches -vs- Cancer. That almost started a fist-fight between the two teams.

  • Gonzaga's injuries: Erroll Knight is down, and now Heytvelt is out for the season. But despite all that and despite a slugish season opener against Idaho, the Zags has shown a lot of onions. After Maui, it is fair to say Pendergraft is starting to resemble a "PJ Tucker Lite" and with Heytvelt out, he will get even more minutes. What happened to that 7-footer from New Zealand that was redshirting last year? Speaking of big men, JP Batista is a very solid college post player. People are focusing on Morrison and the "little kid" at the point, and are not praising JP Batista enough!

  • South Carolina is a fun run and gun team Odom-style. The freshman trio of Marquette means business. And Novak is not the only Marquette big man hitting the 3s! (As Jimmy Dykes put it) Ryan Amoroso may look like a player who is about to commit a foul but he can hit the 3s baby! USC just glued itself to the #10 spot in the Pac 10.

  • The super-sophomores at Florida are delivering as a team. Funny how good a team becomes when it loses two shoot-first shoot-second plays (Matt Walsh and A. Roberson).

  • UCLA showed promise with Shipp and Aboya being injured but the Lavin 7-footers continue to under-perform. Darren Collisson looks like a good get for Ben Howland.

  • UConn's all-stars can win without Marcus Williams. That will get Calhoun even more leverage when dealing with Marcus Williams. And please tell me why isn't UConn the #1 team in the polls? They beat three solid teams in Maui, while Duke needed help from the zebras to beat Drexel and Memphis.

  • Speaking of Memphis, the Mercurial Tigers are in a much better shape this year. The Laurenburg Tigers (oops Memphis Tigers) have a solid rotation of athletic, energetic, talented and seemingly coachable, interchangeable parts. This looks like an Elite 8 team, if not a Final 4 team.

  • It may have looked like Arizona was struggling in Maui but it was the good kind of struggling. The defense was there. The defense was solid. It was the offense that struggled and that is easier to fix with the talent level at Lute Olsen's disposal. And his best offensive player is coming back December 17 (Jawan Mc Clellan). Cool-hand Luke was exposed as a drama-queen when he was throwing fits at the end of the UConn game. And while on the topic of Arizona, is it time to call off the Shakur Experiment? It is Year Three already, with Nic Wise coming in 2006 and Bayless in 2007.

  • I could have told Skip Prosser that Gray is not a point guard. I could have spared him and his star player the embarassment of double figure turnovers. But Skip is to blame. He did not recruit a replacement for Dawson. He lost two point guards last year but how many did he bring to Wake Forest this year?

  • Izzo loves overtimes it seems. But don't feel bad for Michigan State. They did alright after their cramping loss @ Hawaii.

  • Game of the Year so far: Gonzaga - Michigan State with three overtimes at the Maui Invitational

  • Drexel is good, really good. At least so far.

  • The Guardians classic joined the Feast Week rotation this week on ESPN. Three games on ESPN/s and one on the U. West Virginia was robbed of a victory when the zebras favored the big name team (Texas). Kentucky has three 7-footers but Tubby doesn't play them. Iowa is solid and drama-free at the moment.

  • Not to be outdone, CSTV had its feast week tournament at South Padre Island featuring Illinois and Fox College Sports shyly showcased the Paradise Jam in the Virgin islands featuring a solid final between Old Dominion and Wisconsin.

  • It's all about the Zone!

    Zone defense mastermind Jim Boeheim joins the team of US Basketball coaches under Coach K. Good choice here as zones are very common in FIBA basketball. Now imagine what Boeheim can do if he can set up a zone with some of the top level long and athletic NBA players!

    Tark gets his home court, next HoF?

    Saturday: UNLV names the court after Tark the Shark.
    Next step: Hall of Fame!

    More on this here:

    Wins matter most?

    After perhaps seeing his team is not as good inside, and perhaps after not signing solid post players for 2006, perhaps the New Mexico coach decided it was a good time to give rebounding-space-eater Aaron Johnson a second chance. But no scholarship for Aaron in 2006. And he has to videotape practices for this season (!). Having a space-eater inside will be the perfect complement for JR Gidden's next year. How can you blame the coach? :-)

    Need your college hoops fix?

    Need your college hoops fix? This is a great site to read:

    Coaching Records: Include RPI!

    Coaching records are looked upon with a lot of reverance. However, there is one important aspect missing from the numbers: the quality of the wins! Some coaches (not to mention names) play loads of cupcakes, and sometimes they don't even leave their state (cough Boeheim cough) until conference season begins. So to be fair, the weighted RPI should be accompanying each coaches's record. If nothing else, it may encourage coaches to play more competitive ...competitors :)

    Play by play clones

    Not just Kevin Harlan and Marv Albert, but how about Tim Brando and Rod Thulin (sp?) of Fox Sports Net?

    ESPN takes 30-second timeouts!

    ESPN has just started to take 30-second timeouts during the games. At least they are not taking -every- 30-second timeout like CBS does.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Season Preview Magazines

    Despite increased Internet coverage of previews and more TV shows on digital cable, the preview magazines continue to live! And there's plenty to choose from.

  • Blueribbon Yearbook
  • Sporting News
  • Athlon
  • Street and Smiths
  • Lindy's
  • CBS Sportsline
  • SI - NCAA preview issue
  • ESPN - NCAA Dickie V's preview issue (which is actually just this week's issue of ESPN the magazine)

    The Blue Ribbon yearbook costs $20+ and has the most in-depth coverage. The rest of the magazines are in the $5-$7 range. While they all attempt the same thing, there are differences in the scope and depth of their coverage. Check your local newstands/bookstores for comparisons.

  • Boeheim now selling shoes?

    The TV commercial for Carmelo Anthony's brand new shoe "Melo" features a quick cameo by Jim Boeheim. The HoF coach is turning into Al Bundy!!!

    ESPN analysts and ... body parts

    There is a new trend on ESPN: body parts! Majerus and calves, and Lavin and buns. At least Majerus wasn't talking about p-ing in the shower again.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    UNC Wilmington does it!

    In a group of four, three teams came big name conferences (Charlotte, Northwestern, and Wyoming). UNC-Wilmington was the only mid-major. Guess who won? UNC-Wilmington!

    ESPN ratings nightmare!

    ESPN and the NIT cmte hoped for a Princeton - Missouri quarterfinal on Thursday at 8pm EST. But they are getting neither! They are getting Drexel -vs- Sam Houston State. This is great for those two schools and conferences and for all the mid-major programs around. But it won't the ratings, given that one of these two teams is going to MSG next week to play two guaranteed games on TV! Meanwhile the very exciting game of Temple-UCLA will be shown on ESPN-U, which very few people have access to. And one of Memphis/Alabama is not going to make the trip to MSG. And yes they are both Top 25 teams!

    ESPN/NIT screwed up big time!

    UCLA Run and Gun?

    Yes, UCLA played run and gun last night against New Mexico State in the first round of the pre-season NIT. Ben Howland may have been notorious at Pitt for slow down, pound it in style, but his NAU team was dropping 3s all the time.

    At one point UCLA had three point guards on the floor at the same time! (Farmar, Bozeman, and Collison). Granted the team was missing Shipp and Aboya, so it had to play smaller. If it wasn't for LR Mhab Bhute (sp?), Bozeman would play full-time PF like Dijon did last year (bad idea).

    Andrew Wilson of FSU is not the only six year player: Janou Rubin was just granted a 6th year and played a bit.

    UCLA has been unable to recruit big bigs, perhaps because they were worried that they would be behind the two 7-footers (Fey and Hollins). There is promise for 2006 with James Keefe signing on the dotted line. Oregonian super-big Kevin Love (2007) was visiting UCLA, but can they get him to sign?

    On a totally unrelated note, it is no secret that the two Lavin 7-footers (Fey and Hollins) are total busts :-) Ironically Lavin sort of tried to defend them in-studio!

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    The Princeton Offense Invitational

    The Princeton offense and its modified/sped-up derivatives are picking up momentum! Here are some places where the classic Princeton offense (or a faster version of it) are employed:

  • NC State (is this Sendek's last year?)
  • Vanderbilt (they played NC State in the 2004 NCAA tourney!)
  • Georgetown
  • Princeton
  • Air Force
  • Richmond

    Perhaps someone needs to sponsor a new pre-season tournament: The Princeton Offense Invitational!

  • Monday: Not without surprises

    Sam Houston beating Missouri at "Paige" arena? A big surprise, although not a shock to those who follow the Misery program with Quinn "one foot out the door" Snyder.

    Mild surprises:

  • Northwestern, despite their defections, managed to beat Charlotte
  • Air Force and new coach Jeff B. got their first big win over Miami
  • Drexel was not lulled to sleep by the Princeton offense

  • Monday, November 14, 2005

    CBS buys CSTV (not a surprise)

    CBS needed to capitalize on college sports and particularly on their exclusive deal to cover the NCAA basketball tournament. Getting CSTV only made sense. 300 million dollars later CSTV is in an ever greater position, both in terms of expansion and in terms of infrastructure.

    How does this help CBS?

  • Each weekend CBS broadcasts national and regional games. CSTV could pick up the out of market regional games, and also show repeats of the CBS games.
  • CBS can't afford to rebroadcast NCAA games, but with CSTV on board they can replay games at night or at a later date, show out of market games live, and add pre-coverage and post-coverage shows.
  • With the power of CBS/Viacom it is gonna be easier for CSTV to get picked up by more cable systems and move up in the digital cable packages.

  • Team previews on Fox College Sports and regional FSNs

    Check your local listings! Fox College Sports along with regional FSNs are producing 30 minute preview shows. They mainly cover SEC and ACC teams, but not exclusively. Kentucky got two previews: One from FSN and one from the Big Blue Sports Network.

    Why is it so interesting? Each preview concludes with CoachSpeak: Bobby Cremins, Perry Clark and Eddie Fogler discuss and debate each team among themselves!

    Overall these are solid productions, and they clock in around 20-25 minutes without commercials.

    Preseason NIT committee screws up big time!

    It only took the NCAA a few weeks to screw up the preseason NIT (now known as NIT Season Tip Off). They wanted so badly to get Duke -vs- Missouri at MSG. So they screwed up Alabama and Memphis, two top 25 teams, now have to play each other in a regional final! Why so? So Missouri (renamed to Misery right about now) would simply walk over Sam Houston State and then walk all over Princeton/Drexel and get to New York and play against Duke. Coach K against one of his former players/assistants? High ratings!

    But this backfired for the NIT cmte, and now the winner of Drexel and Sam Houston state will get a trip to the NIT Final 4 in MSG. Great for one of these two, but at the expense of Alabama/Memphis, not to mention Temple (having to travel to the other side of the country to play UCLA), and Seton Hall. Each one of these teams deserved a better schedule. But no, the NIT selection cmte wanted Missouri. And what bites even more, Princeton didn't win either!

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    And so it begins...

    Cornell - Syracuse
    Syracuse got a scare from Cornell but managed to pull through. Those of us without ESPN-U were able to watch pieces of the game through ESPNews live look-ins. Eric Devendork has the potential of becomign a great compliment to G-Mac. Potential... Is this the year the 2003 Syracuse recruiting class delivers? I don't think they'll get as maligned on a national level as the Michigan State group (Anderson, Hill, Tolbert), but I am sure they will be murmurs at the Carrier dome.

    Sonoma State - Arizona
    This one was on FSN-Arizona and Fox College sports pacific. This didn't count (exhibition game). Arizona showed a lot of depth and that's without McClelland who is ineligible for the fall and Jesus Verdejo who is going to redshirt this year. The rotations throughout the game were set in this fashion:
    Two Bigs: Any two of Radenovic, Fox, Walters, Tangara, Brelmaier and Onobun
    Three smalls: Any three of Adamas, Rodgers, Shakur, Dillon, M. Williams, Prince, Bragga.

    It looks like Prince and M-Williams will compete and grab minutes. Tangara has physical abilities and could surprise. Versatility and flexibility are keys for this team.

    The Arizona squad will get a good test in Maui where they can put their depth to the test after three days of humid run and gun and press.

    Those with ESPN-U have already had the chance to watch a few games from Coaches vs Cancer and such. I do not get ESPN-U at the moment.

    College basketball TV listings

    Here are some reference urls:

    Searching all the Fox channels (FSN, FCS, etc) - the search and scheduling is a bit flaky, and the FCS schedules are always changing.

    Yahoo TV search

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    The new season officially starts tonight!

    The new season officially starts tonight with the Syracuse bracket of the Coaches -vs- Cancer pre-season tournament. Unlike the exhibition and intra-squad scrimmages, these two games count! Those with ESPN-U access can watch these two games live!

    The biggest question for the Syracuse game is not who will win, but will Coach Boeheim get ejected again? :-)

    Online Live Game Coverage offers live games on audio (and some video). While most of the games are for subscribers, there is plenty of free stuff as well. Yahoo College Basketball Broadcast

    CSTV offers different levels of online/internet coverage (audio, video, game tracker)

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Most underrated freshman (pre-season award)

    Joe Krabbenkroft of Wisconsin. His game is ideally suited for Bo Ryan's style of play. You heard it here first!

    ESPN announces TV schedule

    The ESPN family of networks will show a total of ... 475 games during the 2005-2006. This is a big increase from 340 during last season. This is partly because ESPN-U will carry 144 games in its debut season, and a lot more repeats. The total includes ESPN, ESPN2, ABC Sports, ESPN-U and ESPN-Classic. At least 185 Division I teams will make an appearance on the ESPN family of networks! 130 of those games will be on HD. ESPN Full Court is apparently renamed to Homecourt Advantage, and the Guardians Classic is added to the early season exempt tournaments.

    ESPN announcement

    There will be seven College GameDay specials visiting the campuses of Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida, Gonzaga, Syrcause, Texas and Duke (vs Carolina!).

    The detailed schedule has not been posted yet.

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