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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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Saturday, July 03, 2004

A News Story Because?

John Wooden's thoughts on whether Krzyzewski will or will not join the Los Angeles Lakers do not a legitimate story make. Particularly because, as the Associated Press itself notes in the second sentence, "Wooden has not spoken with him [Coach K] about this matter."


Friday, July 02, 2004

Blue in the face

Earlier this summer I included the Duke Blue Devils in my preaseason Top 10.

8. Duke. The bad news: With Livingston following Deng into the Draft, Duke will be down to eight scholarship players. The good news: Six of the eight were McDonald's All-Americans. This team will struggle at times, but because Krzyzewski returns, so does the Top 10 ranking.

But what if Coach K sells out for $40 million? Will the empire crumble?

Next year, you'll think so. Shelden Williams, Shavlik Randolph, J.J. Redick, Sean Dockery and Daniel Ewing are as an average a starting five as you'll find in the ACC. Demarcus Nelson is an impact addition, but without Coach K, I'll bet the Dukies drop out of the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls by mid-December or January. They won't have the firepower to compete in a talent-laden conference or the experience to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road.


Dukie V

Thinks Coach K ought to stay at Duke. Is anybody surprised?


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Grateful Dead

Seth Davis returns from a three month hiatus to suggest Coach K will turn down the Lakers' offer. But besides citing his previous decisions to rebuff offers from the Celtics and Trail Blazers, Davis provides no substantive reason why Krzyzewski would turn down an offer at this moment in time.

Also, last I checked, Seth was a Sports Illustrated writer. Why then did the magazine's online division begin his latest piece as follows?

SI.com caught up with Seth Davis...


Nonsense

Dave Sez Coach K is bored. Excuse me? Krzyzewski may be the game's best, but he's no Wooden. College basketball (recruiting) isn't a game where you can rest on your laurels. Coach K is challenged by his competitors and his players, day in, day out.

That perfect program he built may have gotten too easy. Sure, it's still competitive and every year's different, but what does he have to prove? He could drop dead tomorrow and be ranked as one of the three or four best college coaches of all time. You could make an argument that he's #1. And he's still rolling; there's no end in sight to the Duke dynasty. For a guy who likes to fight, that may not be exciting any more.


Fox > ESPN

ESPN's instapunditry on the Coach K story pales in comparison to that of Fox Sports. Tsk, tsk.


In His Own Right

Mike DeCourcy's hypothesis defines Laker disrespect. Coach K should be hired on his own merits -- not on Kobe's recommendation.

The reason the Lakers are pursuing Krzyzewski is simple. This is what Kobe Bryant wants. He has told the team K is one coach he definitely would play for, and the organization has demonstrated its clear intent to appease him, to quench his every desire.


The Other Shoe

May Soon Drop.

Coach K is in "serious discussions" with the Los Angeles Lakers about their head coaching vacancy.

A couple years ago, Krzyzewski would have said "Thanks, but no thanks." But after several of his players left early for the NBA, he's a bit down on the college game.

Needless to say, this would be the biggest move of the offseason. The last time Coach K was absent from the Blue Devils bench, the Dukies were absent from the NCAA Tournament.


Light Bulb!

Steve Lappas leaves the University of Massachusetts for Ohio State.
-->Nolan Richardson assumes head coaching duties.
---->Refuse to Lose returns.

Alternate Scenario

Steve Lappas leaves the University of Massachusetts for Ohio State.
-->Josh Pastner assumes head coaching responsibilities.
---->The Minutemen return to Atlantic 10 dominance.


Kicking Them When They're Down

Gregg Doyel isn't looking to make too many friends in everybody's favorite swing state.

But I am. When it's all said and done, Ohio State will welcome a surprisingly accomplished coach to its ranks. Even if Rutgers coach Gary Waters (?) is unavailable.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Lost Lobos

Remember when New Mexico was an NCAA Tournament mainstay?

How the mighty have fallen. Justin Benson just became the fourth (!) player to leave New Mexico basketball since season's end, following the departures of Lenny Miles, Collins Ferris, and Mikal Monette.

A darn shame. A trip to "The Pit" used to be among America's most difficult games.


Tuesday, June 29, 2004

No More Stalling

Ohio State's Andy Geiger has come out of a coma in impressive fashion. The lone coach to which he has spoken about his school's vacant head coaching position is Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings -- a great fit for the now integrity-focused Buckeyes.

In five years time, Stallings has built a respectable program at Vanderbilt, an SEC school where academic ability is at least considered alongside athletic promise during the recruiting process. Last year, he directed the Commodores to a 23-10 record and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Stallings knows how to recruit and how to win (within strict ethical boundaries). How to motivate and make the most of limited resources.

But by virtue of Vanderbilt's (laudable) academic standards, he's more or less locked into faring no better than a Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight. At Ohio State, however, Stallings could pursue a championship.


Sympathy

for Darius Rice.


Employment

Is the New Unemployment.

In other words, on Monday I started at a new job. Hence the light posting.

But don't worry, as I adjust to the new environment, I should be able to blog much more frequently.


Monday, June 28, 2004

Knowing What's Coming

Andy Katz argues UCLA's Trevor Ariza was one of draft night's big losers. I disagree.

For some reason, Trevor liked his chances from the get-go. He knew what was coming. Shortly after announcing his intention to leave UCLA, he signed with an agent. Without getting a first-round guarantee. Or having unrealistic expectations.

Ariza had declared after a mediocre freshman year on a mediocre team. His play in pre-draft practices and camps, however, impressed scouts. His stock rose in the two months leading up the draft and he surpassed consensus first-team All-American Ryan Gomes on most draft boards. On draft night, he went 43rd to New York.

Ariza wanted out. He got it. And -- given his unremarkable year in college -- an impressively good shot at the NBA.


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Learning Organizations

NBA Execs are getting wiser. They've learnt collegiate experience is more valuable than pre-draft high schooler hype. Or so says Mike DeCourcy, noting that "eight of the first 10 players chosen were products of U.S. colleges."

Yes, this year's lottery was heavy on proven ability and light on "potential" and international "upside." But no, there is little reason to celebrate. Several years back, having only two four-year collegiates selected by the NBA's worst teams would have been cause for alarm. How our standards change...