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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Monday, December 13, 2004

On Bias

I really expected to be blogging more. I feel like I'm not holding up my end of things. Unfortunately, Pitt let its football coach walk to cause some distractions. So, I haven't even come close to the posting I have percolating. I'm going to throw something else out there in the meantime.

A friend gave me a call during the Pitt-Memphis game to talk about what we were seeing. He works under the insane impression I have a lot of knowledge about basketball. Personally, I feel like I can hold my own at a times, but then I look at what Ken posted regarding stats in basketball. (Great stuff, by the way. Much like in football, schemes and strategy make a more varied use of personnel. So that it becomes difficult to compare a point guard from one team with another, unless they are running similar offenses or defenses.) Not to mention the stuff from the Big Ten Wonk, and I know where my limits are.

The point is, as we were talking I got a brief glimpse at my own biases about basketball. What I mean is the kind of game I like. I didn't play HS basketball, never mind anything more advance than some intramural/rec-league stuff in college and beyond. I'm short (not to mention bald) and not much of a shooter. What game I have is on the defensive end. I can take a charge, pester, get guys annoyed, actually force guys out of position inside and I'm willing to dive for balls.

And that's the kind of basketball team I like. The teams that stress defense first. (Very convenient, since that has been Pitt's approach in the last 5 years.) I'm not talking thug basketball like what Riley and the Knicks did in the 90s. I'm talking about sound, fundamental game where you make the other team work to find a good shot.

I always attributed it to watching a lot more Big East teams than ACC (not to mention because Vitale is almost always calling an ACC game on ESPN), Big 11, Big XII, SEC and other conferences when I can.

I appreciate and can enjoy a wide-open, up and down game, but I find myself noticing how out of position, the mistakes on defense and the things that led to the easy buckets.

So I'm curious. What kind of game do/did you play? Do those biases still influence what teams/players/styles you like to watch? To what extent? How aware are you of these biases?