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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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Friday, July 16, 2004

PR 101

Assuming the Bearcats knew from Day One that they wanted to keep "THuggins" on board, Cinnanniti could not have handled his arrest better.
1) Suspend coach and refuse to even suggest to recruits or the media that his return is a surefire conclusion. Give the impression the school is seriously reviewing his rap sheet (and the program's rap sheet) and considering different options.
2) Wait a month, as the scandal subsides and public attention turns elsewhere.
3) Re-instate coach to a warm welcome from the Cincinnati Post.

Gimme a Bearcat Hug

"THuggins" will be reinstated at Cincinnati at the end of August . Today's official announcement should help the Bearcats' recruiting, an effort that had taken a hit with the uncertainty surrounding Huggins' arrest a little over a month ago for driving under the influence.
To date, recruits had been a little edgy, concerned coach might not be invited to return. Now that he's back, they're more likely to sign on the dotted line.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A Good Deal

for both Jimmy Collins and Illinois-Chicago. Collins, a great coach whose taken the Flames to the NCAA Tournament two of the past three seasons, gets a pay raise as part of his contract extension and additional job security. Illinois-Chicago rewards one of its own and increases the likelihood -- however slightly -- that Collins won't fly away if a school from a major (or mid-major) power conference comes calling.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Raising Arizona

Over the past couple months, I've made no effort to hide my allegiance to University of Arizona. I've been a Wildcats fan for each of the past thirteen (or so) seasons and hope Olson's crew wins the national championship, year in, year out.

But just because I'm a booster doesn't mean I'm a bonehead.

Despite Josh Pastner's rosy assessment and Andy Katz' nice write-up of Arizona's prospects, I'm not sure I believe the 'Cats are a legitimate national title contender. Not unless Salim stops pouting and starts leading.

Hodge Podge

Dave Sez he'll have to see it to believe it, but I think a Beefed-up Julius Hodge is among the summer's most important stories.

After several months of weight-lifting, countless protein shakes and numerous dietary supplements, Hodge weighs in at 205 pounds, a far cry from the wire-thin 189 pounds he carried last season.

The extra weight -- mostly muscle -- will enable the Wolfpack slasher to play more physical down low. He'll last longer in games and wear out would-be defenders with greater ease. And an improved Hodge makes Herb Sendek's bunch a serious contender for the ACC (and national?) title.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Graphic Design

This has the potential to be disastrous.

Illinois will bust out all orange uniforms in celebration of 100 years of basketball when the Illini play host to Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in December.

Eighty-six percent of the time, specialty uniforms are "fugly." Illinois-Wake promises to be a tremendous match-up. Let's hope bad uniforms don't ruin a great game.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Graduate

From the AP:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It didn't take long for Thad Matta to reap the benefits of his new job. Matta, formally introduced as Ohio State's basketball coach on Friday, said his mind was wandering during his drive home from the airport on Wednesday after interviewing for the job. "I was driving 58 mph in a 40 mph zone and a police officer stopped me and let me know that," Matta said.

The officer asked Matta why he was driving fast and he explained that he was preoccupied because he was thinking about changing jobs. She asked what he did for a living and he told her that he was the basketball coach at Xavier. "She said, 'Really? I went to Ohio State,"' Matta said, a grin spreading across his face. "I said, 'I just took the job!' And she said, 'Have a great day."'

Read Between The Lines

According to Andy Katz, "Florida is taking a trip to Nassau, Bahamas, Labor Day weekend so it can get 10 practices and a few games to start the season."

Yeah, right. According to College Ball, Florida is taking a trip to Nassau, Bahamas, Labor Day weekend so the players can get several days on the beach and a few too many drinks before the start of the season.

Kansas is also taking a trip on Labor Day weekend...to Vancouver. Which coach, Bill Self or Billy Donovan, has his team's best athletic, as opposed to personal, interests in mind?