Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thursday rewind!

  • The Pac-10 season opened today, with UCLA comfortably beating Stanford, Arizona's offensive struggles become an advantage over Washington State, as the Arizona defense has been pretty good so far. Cal wins at USC and break's Tim Floyd's 9-game winning streak, but USC could have easily won that game. And no shocker there, Washington gets a W over Arizona State.

  • Parody of the Year? One of the TV talking heads, I forgot who, said this after Dockery's game winning miracle shot to beat Virginia Tech: "My Life, My Card, My Dockery".

  • Who will transfer out of Kansas? There are many talented names there, a rotation of 13 (!), but they can't all play at the same time. My random prediction: Micah Downs returns to his home state @ Gonzaga, wishing to become Adam Morrison II.

  • Monday, December 26, 2005

    Holiday rewind

  • Game of the Week - this Tuesday, Gonzaga at Memphis on ESPN2 with Dick Vitale
  • A Duke game not on national TV? That's a shocker! Duke plays UNC-Wilmington this week and it will only be available on local/regional networks and espn's full-court.
  • You can still make Jimmy V donations at
  • Inconsistent team of the year so far: De Paul: Beats Dayton and Wake Forest on the road, gets owned at ODU by 40, then beats Cal on the road in front of Pete Newell, Pete Carrill and Jud Heathcote.
  • Recalculated NCAA graduation numbers
  • Numbers: Stat leaders in Kenpom's blog

  • Pac 10 Rewind

    In the first of many conference rewinds, we will be rewinding the season so far. First, the Pac-10:

    Arizona: Just like last year, the defense is ahead of the offense. This is a good problem to have. Perhaps their best player (Jawann McClellan) will start playing in a couple of weeks. On the downside, they may have a similar season to 03-04 where barely they got in the NCAAs and lost to Seton Hall.

    Stanford: Surprised a lot of people with their struggles given their veteran trio of seniors and reputation as a cerebral, tough team. Unfortunately for them, the Lopez twins are not coming until 06-07. Can they maintain their NCAA tournament appearance streak? They'd have to have a solid Pac10 season and probably beat Gonzaga in February (Stanford's own Bracker Buster!).

    UCLA: Year 3 of Ben Howland has always been a success. Unlike his boring Pitt teams, this team is fun to watch and runs and guns at times. With all the pieces trickling in, and Josh Shipp just around the corner, this is starting to look like a Sweet 16 team.

    Washington: With only one big game - against Gonzaga (another run and gun team), the Huskies are somewhat of a mystery. They were able to grind a W against New Mexico but we need to see more of them against NCAA-caliber teams.

    Washington State: The Cougars sold their soul to ...Dick Bennett and he is delivering. This team could even make the NCAAs, although NIT is more likely. But it may be impossible for other Pac10 teams to win in Pullman.

    Oregon: The Nike Ducks are continuing to fail to win. At this rate Ernie Kent may find himself on the hot seat by March.

    USC: After a shakey start, the Trojans have a winning streak (!) and beating UNC for the first time in their history bodes well for Tim Floyd and their confidence. An NIT bid is likely, but if they continue winning, they may shock the world with an NCAA bid.

    Arizona State: At least they were not expected to win like Stanford and Oregon, but losing to a former JC team at home, and failing to beat a beat-up Minnessota team at home, in overtime after a game-tying momentum-three-pointer means no NIT. At least they will make the Pac10 tourney - all Pac10 teams will this year.

    California: The Show is back! Great news for Leon Powe(r) and Cal fans. Their perimeter continues to be suspect and Cal fans should wonder what has Ben Braun been smoking up there in Berkeley - the team needed guards the last two years, and guards are a lot easier to recruit than big guys. Yet a former walk-on in their 3rd best guard. Perhaps their "Ivan Radenovic" point guard that just got eligible can save the day?

    Oregon State: A middle of the road Pac10 team that can be opportunistic and fidn itself in the middle of the pac(k) given the disappointments of Oregon and Stanford.

    The secrets of the Memphis Tigers offense

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    Composite national and regional TV schedule has a very comprehensive (but not 100% accurate) composite TV schedule of college basketball games (and other college sports too) on their website. They not only list the national outlets, but they also list local and regional stations and networks. And the link is

    As always, check your local listings for more accurate results.

    ABC Sports:

    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    What's under the Christmas Tree?

  • Randolph Morris for Kentucky
  • Marcus Williams for UConn
  • Jawann McClelland for Arizona
  • Sean Williams for Boston College
  • Josh Shipp for UCLA
  • DJ White for Indiana
  • EK for the Zags
  • Jensen for Washington
  • Horner for Iowa
  • Darr. Jackson for Kansas
  • Demarcus Nelson for Duke
  • Marcus White for Purdue

    Lots of coaches will be thanking Santa this holiday season :-)

  • Friday, December 23, 2005

    The JP Batista appreciation thread!

    Adam Morrison gets a lot of deserved coverage. Raivio gets a some PR partly because he looks like a little kid but is a solid PG, does very well under pressure and makes 3s. But how about JP Batista? If you watched him play, he is unstoppable deep inside the paint. It is very refreshing to see a player dominate with his back to the basket moves. And did I mention he is over 90% from the free throw line?

    Wednesday Rewind

  • The "Peasant" has crashed the party of superstar coaches? This year's run of the Illini is starting to hint at Bruce Webber as a superstar coach. While there are many "designer name" coaches out there, the unheralded Bruce Webber's team is having a Duke-like run - for the 2nd year in a row!
  • Pete Gillen may not be coaching, but he called at least a dozen time-outs while serving as an analyst on CSTV's coverage of the Pete Newell Classic. Pete Gillen is by the way an entertaining analyst. And since he talks so fast, he probably has the highest words-per-minute among TV analysts.
  • California is pulling an Ivan Radenovic on the Pac-10. Their new Serbian "free-agent" point-guard just became eligible.
  • Question of the Day: Was the recurring high-school coach character on Mad TV based on Georgia's Dennis Felton. There are striking similarities in mannerism! Speaking of Georgia, Dennis Felton has the program going in the right direction. They have five versatile guards and four serviceable big men, most of them have a lot of room for improvement, and they are all coming back next year along with new recruits and redshirts. This team is definately going to the NCAA or NIT in the 2006-07 season. They may even do it this year if the team matures faster.
  • You know you are getting old when the sons of players you were watching are now playing

  • Thursday, December 22, 2005

    Who gets fired first?

    The race is on! Which one of these coaches gets fired first? Will anyone get fired before March 2006?

  • Quinn Snyder @ Missouri: Bad hair-day and bad loss in St Louis against Illinois in the bragging rights game
  • Rob Evans @ ASU: Lost at home to a former JC team. Ouch!
  • Louis Orr @ Seton Hall
  • "Adam" Kennedy @ Cincy (he is an interim coach so a lame-duck by definition)
  • Pete Gillen @ CSTV (okay this is a joke)

  • Tuesday Rewind

  • Most entertaining game of the day: North Carolina at USC. If you missed it, it will repeat numerous times on FSN and Fox College Sports.

  • Someone needs to make a gift bag of hair-gels for Quinn Snyder. The only thing more messy than Snyder's hair was the final score against Illinois.

  • You have to be careful when you use a player's name in a sentence! Rick Majerus's sentence made Steve Lavin laugh on TV. When discussing UConn's Rudy Gay, Rick Majerus said: "I'm not a big Gay guy" - obviously referring to not being a big fan of Rudy Gay's hype because of his inconsistent play, but Lavin parsed that as a stand-alone sentence and LOLed. This happened during a break in ESPN2's triple-header.

  • The Polls are such a joke. They are a beauty contest that takes a life of its own and quickly loses touch with reality. But they do generate debate and discussions.

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    The RedShirts List for 2005-2006

    Since no one else is tracking Redshirts, here is one attempt. This list does not include transfers. In alphabetical order:

    David McClure (Duke) injury
    Ryan McBride (Arkansas) injury
    Kendrick Johson (Georgia) injury
    A. Morrill (ASU) - possible medical redshirt/eligibility reclaimed
    Fendi Onobun (Arizona) development
    *odrick Stewart (Kansas)
    Curtis Sumpter (Villanova) injury - may redshirt
    David Teague (Purdue) injury
    Jesus Verdejo (Arizona)development - has since transfered to Miami
    Weaver (Wake Forest)
    Nick Welch (Air Force) injury

    21-day Rewind!

    And we are back to blogging. Here is an extreme rewind of the last three weeks, broken down by segment:

    The Game

  • Is this the year the Missouri Valley Conference gets national respect as at least the 7th best conference?

  • I have a proposal on how to name the ACC-Big 10 challenge. The winner of each annual challenge goes first in the next year's challenge. So calling it ACC-Big10 challenge was correct the last few years. The Big 11 has to win one before they can whine about it not being "Big10-ACC challenge".

  • As if two lossess were not bad enough for Texas, Dion Dowell decided to transfer

  • Many teams are looking forward to the new semester. So many talented players becoming eligible: Marcus Williams @ UConn, Jawann McClelland @ Arizona, Sean Williams @ Boston College

  • Seven footers are not all that. Kentucky has three of them but they rarely produce proportionately to their size. Little Saint Mary's of California has two seven-footers, but they rarely produce. UCLA has the two Lavin 7-footers but they have fallen in the depth chart behind two true freshmen, and a wild sophomore. So having 7-footers, as rare as it may be, it's not all that!

  • Six year seniors are increasing in numbers. Andrew Wilson of Florida State, Adam Boone of Minnessssootttta, and quite a few more

  • Random prediction: Jamal Boykin will transfer back to the west coast by July 2007 because of lack of PT. He doesn't play now and they are without Demarcus Nelson.

  • Was the Oklahoma at Villanova game the battle of the overrated? Oklahoma does not seem to be a top 10 team, while we have yet to see how Nova does when their guards are overmatched with talented bigger players.

  • How about the preseason experimental rule changes? I like the longer 3, I like the block/charge semi-circle, and I have no problems with a wider lane.

    The Coaches
  • Recruiting Violations? Coach K is blatantly recruting future Dookies in his American Express TV commercial. Yet no one cares. TV analysts keep repeating that Bob Knight was the only coach in the gym watching Martin Zeno at a basketball camp when Zeno was in high school. Violations perhaps? The NCAA doesn't seem to care :)

  • Jim Harrick resurfaces! The former Pepperdine coach was actually the analyst for the Pepperdine home game on the SoCal FSN, but also broadcast nationally on FCS-Pacific. He is back!

  • Tubby's recruiting is a constant whine in the bluegrass state. And the whining is not without merit. Take the 2006 class for instance. One of the deepest classes of recent years, and what does Tubby have? Apart from very underrated Derrick Jasper, what else?

  • Rick Pitino needed some carbs, so he scheduled a lot of cupcakes. Obviously it is not his fault his team was ranked so high, but at the moment they are definately a work in progress. On the other hand, the bad rep they got from the loss at Kentucky is unfair, since Padgett played only 2 minutes in the first half, and that's when they got 0wned by Rajon Rondo and KY. Do you think Rondo forgot about being left waiting while Pitino hopelessly waited for Telfair not go to the NBA?

    The Analysts and Broadcasters
  • CSTV should add more Memphis Tigers basketball games to their national schedule. This team is fun to watch when they are clicking on all cylinders! And Carney is a highlight show on his own.

  • Memo to Seth Davis: Penn State @ Pittsburgh is not a conference game. He seemed puzzled a couple of Saturdays ago doing highlights during a CBS Saturday broadcast: "Why PennSt and Pitt would play a conference game so early?". Perhaps because they are not in the same conference? They are just in the same state, Seth!

  • TV Basketball analysts seem to have a poor understanding of prep schools and the difference between a freshman straight out of high school, and a freshman "hiding" at a prep school, coming in as a 19/20+ year old.

  • It is only a matter of time before Rick Majerus gets ESPN in trouble. Last year's classic moment was "peeing in the shower". His biggest "violation" this year is probably rating Josh McRobert's mom and grand-ma as 10s. While Dick Vitale can get away with just about anything he says, no matter how inappropriate or self-promotional, I don't think Majerus or anybody else can get away with it.

  • Another violation: Jimmy Dykes considers his wife and kids as "possessions"? At least that's how it comes out when he tells his story from a coaches perspective of "besides my wife and kids, the ball is my most valuable possession". Ouch!

  • Someone please teach Fran Fraschilla and Dick Vitale the meaning of the word "dilemma". They seem to think it's a synonym to "problem" or "trouble". They dont' seem to know about its binary nature!

  • Speaking of Dick Vitale, his persistent prediction that Cincy will fail to make the NCAA tournament is more of an homage to Bob Huggins than anything else. But "Adam" Kennedy, the interim Cincy coach is using this to motivate his team before every game.

  • I have nothing against Bob Carpenter, but his voice is very very annoying

  • The CoachSpeak segment on the FSN ACC and SEC season previews was a great idea. Three coaches (Bobby Cremins, Perry Clark and Eddie Fogler) breaking down each team was a brilliant idea at FSN! On the other hand, FSN seems to insist on the idea of "ACC Sunday Night hoops" on Fridays or Saturdays. The last time I checked Sunday was not Saturday!

  • Bill Raftery doing a game on Tuesday, and the next day, he is doing a live NBA TV show. He is everywhere! Of course it does help that the NBA TV studio and his residence are in the same state!

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