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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, August 28, 2004

santa clause

Two bits of great news from Ken Pom. First, Ken promises us a new design for his blog! Second, he highlights a wonderfully creative clause in Western Kentucky's old contract with Dennis Felton:

WKU Athletics Director Wood Selig included a clause in former coach Dennis Felton’s contract that would require any team from a high-major conference that hired him to play a four-game, home-and-home series with the Hilltoppers. That series begins this year at Georgia.

Brilliant. Brilliant.



My Miles Simon/Bo Kimble All-Star Team

Over at ESPN, the Sports Guy mentioned the members of his "Miles Simon/Bo Kimble All-Star Team" for college guys whose pro potential he totally misjudged, including:

Simon, Kimble, Bobby Hurley, Joe Forte, Walter "The Truth" Berry, Fennis Dembo and Eric Leckner, Christian Laettner, Donald Williams, Bootsy Thornton and Shea Seals. That's my list. But the MVP was probably Toby Bailey from UCLA.

My short list? The "DeJuan Wheat/Stromile Swift All-Star Team."

Yinka Dare, Dontonio Wingfield, Joe Smith, Lou Roe, Lawrence Moten, Reggie Geary, Adonal Foyle, DeJuan Wheat, Kenny Thomas, Stromile Swift, Scoonie Penn, Michael Wright, & David West.



true

"In order to win, you must understand what goes into losing."
-- Texas Tech coach Bob Knight


beaten to the punch

just as I was about to write an entry on the number of foreign trips taken by college clubs, Andy Katz steals my thunder. His piece includes a ton of information, but begins awkwardly.

As I noted a month ago, Florida isn't taking a trip to the Bahamas so it can get 10 practices and a few games to start the season. Billy's boys are taking a trip to paradise so the players can get several days on the beach and a few too many drinks before the start of the season.

Given the multitude of clubs taking trips with (semi-)legitimate goals, why did Andy choose to highlight Florida, a notoriously undisciplined team, to start his column?


Friday, August 27, 2004

strange, but true

Katz writes:

Cincinnati will hire Northeastern assistant Frank Martin, not head coach Ron Everhart, according to the Bearcat staff. Apparently, Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins originally called about Martin and then talked to Everhart about the opening. Everhart withdrew, but Martin remained interested.

Gregg Doyel was right, Huggins "suspension" was in name only. As for Everhart, count me among those quite intrigued by his interest in the Cincinnati position. How often does a sitting head coach actively pursue opportunities as an assistant?


can't blame 'em, blame him

The crew over at Pitt Sports Blather has had enough with the Panthers' scheduling practices. The average 2003-2004 RPI of Pitt's 11 non-conference opponents? 184.91.

Wow. Sounds like Jamie Dixon wants to be on the bubble come Selection Sunday.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

off topic

But Jason Whitlock's latest column for Page 2 is exceptional, putting to paper (so to speak) what I've been thinking -- and fearing -- about Americans' collective reaction to the struggles of our Olympic men's basketball team. Go read the unfortunate truth.


done for

Three strikes and Clyde Vaughan is out at Connecticut. Would Calhoun consider tabbing a Northeastern coach as his replacment, much to the chagrin of Bob Huggins?


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

sadness

Oh Rollie.

I thought LoseLavin.com was funny. I support FireQuinSnyder.com. But FireRollie.com crossed the line. Why knock a coach when he's down -- and who better did Cleveland State fans expect to coach their basketball team?


nope

Gregg Doyel thinks Wisconsin will be the team to beat in the Big Ten. But the Badgers lost Devin Harris, their best player, whereas the Fighting Illini lost...Aaron Spears. Last year the two clubs were evenly matched. This year I therefore give Bruce Weber's team the edge. Brian Butch does not (yet) a Big Ten title favorite make.


news you can't use

-- Foolishly, Dee Brown has yet to follow Bruce Weber's advice and take a couple weeks off. Rumor has it that Brown's stress fracture is not 100 percent healed.

-- Wisely, Bill Self will soon redshirt one of Kansas' guards this season. Smart money is on Stephen Vinson.

-- Sadly, the last show Sean Sutton watched regularly was "Beverly Hills, 90210." Some days he drinks 15 or 20 Pepsis, other days 8 or 10. Nobody knows how many soft drinks he had the night he and Eddie spent in the White House when Bill Cinton was president.


They Said It

"Dean Smith at North Carolina didn't recruit, he selected. Duke is at that point right now."
-- Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons


off and running

Larry Eustachy is successfully implementing his plan. But can he keep the ladies at bay?


fyi, 2004-2005

Must See TV (a random 42), By Date
11/27 Gonzaga vs. Illinois 01/22 Wake Forest @ Cincinnati
11/30 Michigan @ Georgia Tech 01/27 Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech
12/01 Gonzaga @ Washington 01/27 Washington @ Arizona
12/01 Wake Forest @ Illinois 01/29 Texas @ Kansas
12/04 Kentucky @ UNC 02/02 Duke @ Wake Forest
12/05 Arizona vs. Mississippi State 02/05 Georgia Tech @ Duke
12/18 Arizona @ Marquette 02/05 Stanford @ Arizona
12/18 Gonzaga vs. Georgia Tech 02/08 Florida @ Kentucky
12/18 Kentucky @ Louisville 02/09 Duke @ UNC
12/18 Texas @ Wake Forest 02/10 N.C. State @ Wake Forest
12/21 Manhattan @ Arizona 02/13 Georgia Tech @ N.C. State
12/28 Gonzaga @ Oklahoma State 02/17 Oregon @ Arizona
01/01 Georgia Tech @ Kansas 02/19 Mississippi State @ Kentucky
01/08 Arizona @ Stanford 02/20 Wake Forest @ Duke
01/09 Kansas @ Kentucky 02/23 Duke @ Georgia Tech
01/10 Georgia Tech @ Maryland 02/26 Arizona @ Washington
01/11 Maryland @ Wake Forest 02/26 Kentucky @ Alabama
01/12 Georgia Tech @ UNC 02/27 Oklahoma State @ Kansas
01/15 UNC @ Wake Forest 03/02 Georgia Tech @ Wake Forest
01/16 Georgia Tech @ N.C. State 03/06 UNC @ Duke
01/20 Arizona @ Oregon 03/06 Wake Forest @ N.C. State

More games to come. Suggestions welcome.



Tuesday, August 24, 2004

lawyer jokes

Gregg Doyel recently wrote a very good column on the absurdity of several lawsuits filed by former head coaches.

But while Jan van Breda Kolff and Jim Harrick were fired for cheating, Nolan Richardson was asked to leave for whining. All three lawsuits were unnecessary, but only Nolan's was to be expected. Only the ex-Arkansas coach's suit was a natural extension of the conflict that led to his departure -- a very public spat was likely to find a new and very public arena. I am therefore not surprised Nolan spent a cool $500,000 in legal fees to air his, and the school's, dirty laundry.

How does the proverb go? Peace begets prosperity; Prosperity begets pride; Pride begets prejudice; Prejudice begets war; War begets poverty. Think about it.

Richardson is appealing a lower court's dismissal of his lawsuit. Oh well. I had hoped poverty could now beget peace and Richardson would be hired to a big-time head coaching job.

Or, as I earlier suggested, at least to lead UMass.


a matter of time

I was promised a blog.

With all due respect to Kansas assistant Bonnie Henrickson, one entry a week does not a blog make.

Grmph. That being said, it is only a matter of time until a men's basketball coach or player goes up with a blog. Anything USC Heisman hopeful Matt Leinart can do...


skipping over experience?

The Old Gold & Black captures the sentiment in Winston-Salem. Pundits, Wake Forest students, and Prosser's posse are looking forward to the Deamon Deacons' November 15th season opener.

Before he skipped town, Skip impressed me at Xavier. (As his life story, "the road less traveled," continues to impress me now). I'm am a Chris Paul fan. I'm on board with the club's pre-season expectations (ranking Wake third last May). But I can't help but wonder if Prosser has the experience to guide what will surely be a talented club to the promised land.

The ACC will be brutal. As the Deacons take their hits -- and they will -- will coach be able to rally the troops, making sure a still-young core learns from its mistakes?


odd son out?

Brian Smith, Tubby's youngest son, yesterday signed with Ole Miss. G.G. and Saul, Tubby's other sons, both played for pop (at Georgia and Kentucky, respectively). Why'd Brian stray from the pound?

My best guess is that he didn't want to play for Tubby. Or perhaps he wasn't likely to get much playing time at Kentucky. Brian averaged only 12 points and six assists per game at Fork Union Military Academy.

Also, a quick media critique. ESPN titled the article "Brian Smith follows two brothers into SEC." Insignificant. A more accurate title would have noted that Brian chose not to (follow his two brothers and) play for dad. USA Today took the time to get it right, "Kentucky coach's son signs with Ole Miss."


humility

Tom Crean isn't just a rising star in the coaching profession, he's a humble talent. Speaking of his experience as a member of Kelvin Sampson's staff on the USA Basketball's under-20 team in the FIBA Americas World Championship, Crean said the following:

It was like being in a 19-day graduate school of basketball. It really was...Being involved with a guy who is one of my closest friends (Sampson), actually seeing day-to-day why he's such a great coach. Working with Dan Monson, working with the entire operation of USA Basketball, you see why it's successful.

And I see why Crean is successful. Because he's always learning from his experiences and the experience of those around him. Under his direction, Marquette basketball has a bright future.


Monday, August 23, 2004

and tyler too

After signing sharp-shooter Marcus Ginyard and hot-shot Bobby Frasor (a top 10 nominee according to Seth Davis), Roy Williams today inked Tyler Hansbrough. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound, Missouri native will be a huge addition to UNC -- provided he doesn't decide to turn pro this fall.

"I don't think anyone can be naïve about it and say they're not looking into the NBA," he said. "All basketball players dream, probably, of making the NBA, and if they come calling and say you can go lottery, you are going to have to look into it, big time."

Dave Sez Williams might be setting himself up for dissapointment. I agree.


let's get it started! (woo hoo)

Kansas basketball is up and running, having practiced for the first time this past Thursday.

I. Can't. Wait.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

easy as pie -- thanks Trey!

I earlier suggested that if you give me six degrees, I could tie Brandi Chastain to college basketball. With Trey's help, I tied the knot with several degrees to spare.

According to Aly Wagner of the US Olympic Women’s Soccer Team, Santa Clara basketball standout Steve Nash came to the women's soccer Final Four in 2001, the year Santa Clara won the national championship, practicing and playing with Wagner and the team. Santa Clara's assistant coach at the time of Nash's visit? Brandi Chastain. The school's head coach? Brandi's husband, Jerry Smith.


fyi

Recent Pundit Rankings, By Date
Andy KatzGregg DoyelYoni CohenAndy KatzDick VitaleDime MagazineEqually Valued*Weighted**
04/0504/0605/2407/1908/1208/1208/2208/22
Wake Forest76314131
Kansas112132322
Georgia Tech32247213
North Carolina614421544
Connecticut121678965
Duke248109856
Syracuse111110511487
Illinois575912778
Arizona2010138166109
Michigan StateNR5715514910
Oklahoma State191817613101311
Kentucky232315123131412
Maryland1019141410151213
Louisville1615201317111514
Wisconsin4391718NR1115
Mississippi State1220181122121616
Notre Dame1516211614181817
Memphis1813111923161718
Texas21824216NR1919
PittsburghNR17231815172220
Alabama1121192019202021
North Carolina State142212NR20212122
MichiganNR916NRNRNR2323
Cincinnati17NR25NR21242424
GonzagaNRNRNR22NR19NR25


*The "Equally Valued" poll gives every pundit's rank equal weight.
**The "Weighted" poll gives the three pre-NBA Draft rankings half as much weight as the three post-NBA Draft rankings.