Sunday, April 06, 2008

Final Four: The Day After The Games!

Vitale bullies Bob Knight
During one of the Sportscenter at The Final Four segments, Dick Vitale was sort of bullying Bob Knight. And just like any bully, when they are bullied, they hide in a corner. In this case, Bob Knight moved his chair close to Digger Phelps and starting cuddling! Bullies = Cowards!

Media Watch
Ja(y)son Williams needs to stop eating his own words while speaking on TV. Literally! He tries to speak faster than his body can process the words and it doesn't sound good for someone who is speaking on TV on a regular basis. Will someone from the TV production crew tell him that???

Meanwhile CBS/CSTV had a huge get in Greg Anthony. No doubt a Billy Packer favorite as Greg Anthony is a Billy Packer style analyst, with on-topic comments spoken in clear and concise manner. This of course regardless of whether you like or agree with Packer or Anthony. But Greg Anthony could become the next Billy Packer at CBS.

And speaking of CBS/CSTV, the youngester play-by-play guy, who looks like a snotty brat (or a boyband member), has actually done a very good job at the Final Four as the anchor of the marathon CSTV broadcasts. We are talking about Carter Blackburn. Or in the words of Pete Gillen: Cauter Blackburn ;-) And in his own words at this NY Times sports blog.

Final Four Afterthoughts
Calipari turned around the LA Times stories that said the game between UCLA and Memphis would be a major coaching mismatch. Calipari said after the game: "Don't say that about Ben. I have great respect Ben!".

Ben Howland's horrible job on the bench was only masked by Roy Williams's stubborness to call a momentum timeout, because apparently Williams is of the philosophy that if you call a timeout like that, it is like admitting defeat. One has to wonder how a coach that refuses to look at the scoreboard and refuses to call timeouts is in the Hall of Fame! (hint: 80% winning percentage).

But back to Howland. For one thing, he has had a shooter on the bench that he chose not to play because of defense. His name is Chace Stanback and he could easily fill the role of Afflalo on offense, especially considering he is a few inches taller. However, because he wasn't ready defensively, he rarely got a look, despite the desperate need for shooting. If I was Chace Stanback, I would transfer out to a program that would actually play me!

Howland also had some strange matchups. Rose was having a field day with Collison's defense, yet Howland kept him on Rose for the longest time ever. Perhaps that's why Collison intentionally fouled Rose so he would foul out? (the equivalent of the Samurai falling on his sword?).

Memphis's spread court offense took away UCLA's multiple-fouls-per-possession double-teams by their wrestling forwards, and Ben Howland was unable to compensate.

This perhaps exposes Ben Howland for what he is, a coach that wins ugly and cannot win big games if he actually plays basketball the right way. And they tried to play basketball the right way with Memphis, and they got manhandled.

On top of that Ben Howland got dominated three times in a row in the Final Four as none of his losses were even remotely close. And if you can't even win one Final Four game with Kevin Love, when can you actually win? :)

Imagine if North Carolina had a starting backcourt of Collison and Westbrook. Can you say 120-85 scores? :)

Body Language Segment
It was interesting to note the two sets of Final Four interviews by Seth Davis. In both interviews two of the coaches were aggressive and even touched the other coach. Of those two aggressive coaches, one won (Calipari) and one lost (Roy Williams).

Coaches Gone Wild
"Peas or Corn?" That was Calipari's greatest accomplishment as a volunteer at Kansas under Larry Brown :)

Calipari went on an hour-long monologue during today's press conferences setting up the table for Monday's NCAA National Final.

And a back-handed compliment from Calipari on Howland, describing on how he managed to get away with ugly slugfests under the bright lights of Los Angeles.

Coaching Carousel
Spin spin, spin the coaching carousel! Oregon State is now flirting with Ron Hunter of IUPUI. Apparently the Oregon State AD has not met a mid-major-conference coach he didn't like :)

Traitor-Mike has done it! He's gone from Stanford, to the Golden Gate (State) Warriors, to the California Bears. This puts him in elite company of "traitors", jumping to the most hated rival of their previous team.

Meanwhile not a rumor, but Western Kentucky has gone to the Rick Barnes well, and came out with one of his assistants as their next head basketball coach!

NBA Draft updates
A number of players have jumped into the NBA Draft pool, including Jerryd Bayless, perhaps tired of the coaching drama at Arizona, Ron Steele, Earl Clark, and such.

Taking Comments Out of Context
Jim Nantz doing a Golf promo during the broadcasts: "... those are magnificent holes ...". Nantz by the way ha a new memoirs book coming out in May.

Bob Knight talking about UCLA: "... they made love ...".

Tape-delayd April Fool's Day
You've heard the story of Tyler Hansbro renewing the lease on his house at UNC. Well, our insider sources have told us that Hansbro bought a $10 reloadable gift card at a local coffee shop in January 2008. According to our projections, this is a guarantee that he will return next year, because no one would buy $10 worth of coffee unless he was planning to be around for an extra year to spend it!

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