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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, November 20, 2004

put your money where your mouth is

dimebetting.com was kind enough to sponsor my first BlogAd. I'm not a betting man, but if I were I'd drop 'em a line. There are few easier means of making rent than betting on North Carolina State and Syracuse or against Charlotte and Mississippi State in November and December.


They Get Letters

Via the Post and Courier of South Carolina.

Good and bad news

Good news: The college basketball season is upon us.
Bad news: Dick Vitale will comment on the games.

I just hope the mute button on my remote still works.

Bud Royal
601 S. Magnolia St.
Summerville


I doubt

Temple's John Chaney would buy-in to Gregg Doyel's argument. But the numbers do give me pause. Despite three lackluster seasons, Chaney is a Hall of Famer.

"We have no 'buy' games. They're all home-and-homes," says Temple AD Bill Bradshaw. "That's unique. If I went to Coach and said, 'This small Division I school will play us for $25,000,' he'll turn it down. I don't even ask him any more."

Chaney is fifth among active coaches with 708 career victories, behind Texas Tech's Bob Knight (832), New Mexico State's Lou Henson (775), Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton (754) and Arizona's Lute Olson (713).

If Chaney scheduled like the four active coaches ahead of him, there wouldn't be four active coaches ahead of him. That's not an opinion but a fact. According to research by SportsLine.com, Chaney is the only coach of that quintet whose record in non-conference games is worse than his record in conference games. And his record is a lot worse in non-conference games.

The winning percentages of Henson and Sutton are almost 15 points higher in non-conference games. Those of Knight and Olson are roughly five points higher. Chaney? His winning percentage in non-conference games is almost 15 points lower. If the ratio between his winning percentages inside and outside conference play was similar to those of Knight and Olson, Chaney would have about 780 victories. If he was in the Henson-Sutton range, he'd be pushing 800.


They Said It

"People love to say, 'College coaches don't do a good job in the pros.' But look at the jobs they get. They give them bad teams and bad situations. You give them a good job in the pros and then see what they can do."
-- Maryland coach Gary Williams


Friday, November 19, 2004

Open Thread: Tonight's Games

Winners in bold.

Your comments on Memphis vs. Syracuse? Vermont vs. Kansas? North Carolina vs. Santa Clara? St. Louis vs. Austin Peay? Seton Hall vs. Richmond? Missouri vs. Davidson? Purdue vs. Miami of Ohio? Cincinnati vs. Valparaiso?


Laurie: Are we

On the same Paige? on the same Paige? Might it already be time for Missouri to rename its newly-minted arena?

According to both chrysanthalbee is me and the Phog Blog, in a little under an hour 20/20 will run John Stossel's investigative report about cheating on campus.

Among John's interview subjects is a girl who claims that Wal-Mart heiress (Elizabeth) Paige Laurie, the only daughter of billionaire St. Louis Blues owners Bill and Nancy Laurie, paid her $20,000 to write all of her papers while she was a student at the University of Southern California.

Paige, a former girlfriend of UCLA star Jason Kapono, is the namesake of Missouri's new sports arena (whose website can be found neither here nor here). After her folks donated a cool $25 million toward the $75 million arena, they had it named after her. Hence the Paige Sports Arena.

For which Paige did the honors at the late October ribbon-cutting ceremony. Despite the objections (here, here, and here, for example) of those who found fault with the university's decision to name an arena after a girl who recently chose to attend a different institution of higher education.

What then, will the critics think of Paige Sports Arena now? If Laurie is found guilty of academic fraud, will -- or should -- Missouri rename the arena?


boston sports media watch

Shalin, Mike. "Smith, Watson uncertain for opener." Boston Herald. Nov. 19, 2004. Pg. 102.

Vega, Michael. "Smith probable for Eagles' season opener." Boston Globe. Nov. 19, 2004. Pg. E14.


St. Mary's (CA) vs. Mississippi State

Foul trouble could be a problem for Rick Stansbury's club...The Gaels are playing aggressively and showing no signs of a loss of confidence from yesterday's setback...Lawrence Roberts has won me over. For the second consecutive game, and despite his restrictive mask, Roberts dived to the floor in pursuit of a loose ball...St. Mary's is playing with impressive patience, waiting and working for their shots...The Bulldogs are slow to get back on defense, suggesting they want this game less...Stansbury was wise to go the bench early in search of a spark...Shane Power should take more shots.


This

headline is a tease! (I only wish).

I vote for Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara. Come January, a little mid-major lovin' will be in order.


all clear

Ah, the mink coats -- all fake -- were the property of Joey Dorsey's lady friend, a dancer.


John Gilchrist

on Chris Duhon.

"When I used to watch him on TV, I really didn't have the greatest of respect for him as an individual player," Gilchrist said. "But when I got an opportunity to play against him and see how he controlled everything and the flow of the game...He was the extension of the coach on the floor. He might have been a little bit too unselfish his senior year, but I learned about the leadership ability watching him."


Why? Why? Why?

Is Cincinnati the most-hated, most-reviled, most-demonized college basketball program in the country? The Post explains. But Gregg Doyel steals the show.

"The average basketball fan is also the average American, who believes in 'innocent until proven guilty' and second chances and all that -- as long as it happens somewhere else," Doyel said. "Bring that sort of thing to my back yard, and we've got a problem. That's how people think. Huggins doesn't suspend players because fans or the media demand it. He doesn't back off recruits for PR purposes. He recruits who he wants, and he sticks with them -- and the average college basketball fan says, 'There goes Huggins.' Well, sure, there goes Huggins. Whether he's doing it for basketball purposes or humanity purposes -- and let's be honest; it's probably a mixture -- he's consistent."


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Open Thread: Syracuse vs. Mississippi State

Your comments on the game?


the facebook

This post marks the beginning of the end.

After Lindsay noted Chris Paul accepted her as a friend on thefacebook.com, I put the chimps to work.

Does Channing Frye have an account? Yes. How about Craig Smith? Ditto. Shelden Williams? Check. Bracey Wright? Indeed. John Gilchrist? You better believe it. Josh Boone? Yup. Dee Brown? Likewise. Sean May? Count him in.

I've invited each -- or their (fraudulent) stand-in -- to be my friend. I don't have a photo on thefacebook (and rarely use the site, except to accept friends' invitations), but let's see if any players join my social network.

(Thefacebook, for readers who are out of the loop, is an online directory of social networks among students and alumni of particular colleges and universities. It is similar to Friendster).


not for long

Mike DeCourcy was wrong. Kansas coach Bill Self has elected to start junior walk-on Christian Moody rather than freshmen recruits C.J. Giles, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson.

Unheralded non-scholarship player Christian Moody, who three years ago chose Kansas University over hometown North Carolina-Asheville, Yale and Division Two and Division Three schools such as Montreat, Washington-Lee and Lenore-Rhyne, has earned the right to open the Vermont game next to Naismith/Wooden Award candidate Wayne Simien.

Looks like Moody made the right decision, no? I'm happy for him -- and for the hope his start will give walk-ons and wannabe walk-ons everywhere. But I also urge him to enjoy the playing time while it lasts.

Bill Self may believe his freshmen forwards currently lack the experience and maturity to play productively and unselfishly as members of the Jayhawks' first team. But given time, Giles will win Moody's starting spot. C.J. is much too talented and has much too wide a wingspan to play behind Christian come conference play.


It's not often

a Patriot League coach is tabbed a "recruiting genius."


Duke

vs. UNC.


paperweights

Numerous newspapers around the country have published college basketball previews. Several have included Top 25 rankings. Among them the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Boston Globe, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Tennessean.


They Said It

"If the NBA were on Channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love were on Channel 4, I'd watch the frogs, even if they were coming in fuzzy."
-- Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight


Smashing, darling! Smashing!

To each his own.

High-scoring guard Marcus Walker of Kansas City, Mo., signed a letter of intent with NU on Tuesday, completing a five-man fall recruiting class likely to rank among the top 25 nationally.

Walker, 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, turned down scholarship offers from Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue. He picked Nebraska over his other two finalists -- Kansas State and Duquesne -- in large part because of his academic interest.

"I want to have my own clothing line and my own business," Walker said. "I'm going to major in fashion design, and a lot of the other schools didn't have that program. It's not ultimately about basketball. This decision came down to my future."


home-and-home

Scott, the son, played hardball with Homer, the father. D'oh!

This season Valpo will take on not only the Bearcats, but also Charlotte, Duke, Illinois, Penn State and Arizona State.

One team they won't be facing is Baylor.

"I told ([Baylor coach] Scott [Drew]) I'd play them home-and-home last year," [Homer] Drew said. "But he said he wanted a four-year deal. And they just signed one of the top recruiting classes in the country, so I don't want to do that."


Going Bass Fishing

After undergoing arthroscopic surgery, LSU's star is feeling and playing better. Randy Rosetta writes that Brandon Bass will be ready for Friday's season opener. As he goes, so go the Tigers.


Who would you

add to these lists of the most and least productive transfers in recent memory?

Save Damien Wilkins (who is already on the list) and perhaps Marvin Stone, I'll nominate the members of Dick Vitale's Top Transfers for the 2002-2003 season as among the least effective.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Were you aware?

While at Kentucky, Wayne Turner got lost on a snowmobile during some down time at the Great Alaska Shootout.


He does research?

I would have never guessed.

Randy Bennett walked into his office Monday morning, sat down at his desk and began to check his voicemail. It was just like any other day for the St. Mary's College men's basketball coach. Yet the routine ended abruptly when an unmistakable, yet totally unexpected, voice came through.

The caller wanted to know everything about the Gaels. Who are their shooters? Who is likely to be in the starting lineup? Basically, what is St. Mary's all about? "Gimme a buzz," the fast-talking caller finally said.

It was Dick Vitale, the garrulous, high-octane voice of college basketball.


A shout-out

to Ryan at Heels, Sox & Steelers (he sure knows how to pick 'em) and Chas at Pitt Sports Blather. Though neither writes exclusively about college hoops, both maintain top-notch blogs.


Mediocre coaches

never retire, they just go coach at Towson.

After denying that they would. (A past offense, but one whose statue of limitations has yet to expire). From the May 1st edition of the Great Falls Tribune.

Contrary to an Internet report, University of Montana men's basketball coach Pat Kennedy says he's not looking for another job. Andy Katz of ESPN.com reported Thursday that Kennedy "was getting restless again" and was a candidate for the vacant Towson University job. According to Katz, Kennedy also had tried and failed to land the University of San Francisco job.

Kennedy chuckled when reached on his cellphone Friday afternoon. "No, there's no truth to any of Andy's rumors," said Kennedy, who has been at Montana the last two seasons. "I've gotten phone calls from four or five schools since the year ended, but there's nothing going on."

Oh, but there was negotiations in progress. As the residents of Montana would learn little more than a week later. From the May 10th edition of the Baltimore Sun.

A coach looking for a change of scenery and a men's college basketball program in search of a much-needed boost have apparently found each other, with Pat Kennedy coming to Towson today from the University of Montana...Kennedy will be introduced at a campus news conference this morning, sources close to Kennedy and the search process said yesterday.

This will be Kennedy's fifth head coaching job, and next season will mark his 25th year as a Division I head coach. His overall record of 416-311 includes eight NCAA tournament appearances.

Kennedy once took Florida State to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but he has seen his success dwindle with eight losing seasons at three schools in the past 11 years.


eager beavers

A year ago, a David Lucas-less Oregon State squad would neither have kept it tight against Siena nor won a close game away from home.

Of the team's 12 conference defeats in 2003-2004, half came by nine points or less. Suggesting that today's 69-67 defeat of the Saints was the result of both experience -- OSU returned all five starters and several key reserves -- and good coaching. Third year floor general Jay John is making progress in Corvallis. But he still has work cut out for him if he is to lead the Beavers to a winning record, a feat they have yet to accomplish since Gary Payton's senior year.


you've got to start somewhere

Ohio State coach Thad Matta grew up in Hoopeston (!), Illinois, a town of 6,000 just miles west of the Indiana border. As a teenager, he starred for his high school basketball team, the Cornjerkers.


mamma's boy

Show Me a man. Or not.

In a development strange even by recruiting's anything-goes standards, Leo Criswell signed with Missouri when he really wanted to play for Kentucky. "He decided to go to Missouri," said Walter Webb, Criswell's coach at Coastal Christian Academy in Virginia Beach, Va. "That's not a decision he wanted to make."

Criswell wanted to play for Kentucky, Webb said. But the player's mother, who lives in the Kansas City, Mo., area, insisted her son sign with Missouri. "He's emotionally distraught," Webb said. ... But he's young. He'll bounce back."

Criswell emerged last week as the object of Kentucky's recruiting desire to find a forward to replace Chuck Hayes in 2005-06. Earlier this recruiting season, UK pursued Tyler Hansbrough, Tasmin Mitchell, Korvotney Barber, Curtis Brown and Uche Echefu.

Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons said he that in their conversation Criswell apologized for signing with Missouri. "You don't have to apologize," Gibbons said. "You didn't disappoint me."

"I'm disappointing myself," Criswell answered. "I wanted to go to Kentucky, but my mom wouldn't let me. I can't go against my mom."


too much time

on Ed's hands.

Wake Forest, ranked No. 2 in the preseason by the Associated Press, has never been ranked No. 1 at the beginning or during the season. Only two schools (Maryland and Louisville) have been ranked second more often without being No. 1 than the Demon Deacons, who have been No. 2 on 11 different occasions.


They Said It

"A lot of people said some mean things. Not even about [Olson] retiring, but that he might pass away."
-- Arizona freshman Jawaan McClellan, commenting on recruiting tactics used to try to steer him away from Tuscon


ballywood

1. Bob Barker of "The Price Is Right" earned a basketball scholarship to Drury College.

2. The Beau Bridges who needs no introduction played basketball for UCLA his freshman year before transferring to the University of Hawaii to pursue acting.

3. After playing alongside Tim Duncan, Wake Forest shooting guard and small forward Marc Blucas filmed his first segment for the big screen in "House on Haunted Hill." But his scene was later cut. No worries. He has since starred alongside Gwynneth Paltrow in "View From the Top" and Katie Holmes in "First Daughter." He also dated Sarah Michelle Gellar on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

4. "Green Mile" star Michael Clarke Duncan played basketball at Kankakee Community College. He has worked as a bodyguard for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, and Notorious B.I.G. ("a friend was supposedly subbing for him the night the rapper was shot.")

5. CBS's Craig Kilborn played college basketball for Montana State. He had the following to say to Maxim about his time as a baller.

I’m a slow white kid with a beautiful jump shot, but I wasn’t that interested in…what’s it called?...defense. There’s an old play called the give-and-go—my version was "give me the ball and go to hell." I shot a lot. And I sat on the bench a lot. Which has its advantages: You don’t have to shower after the game, so you can get out of the locker room and be back in the dorm by the time Matlock comes on.

6. "Jesus" Jim Caviezel not only refused to do sex scenes with J-Lo in "Angel Eyes" and with Ashley Judd in "High Crimes," but he also had a promising basketball career at Bellevue Community College before a foot injury ended his playing days and his passion for the roundball.

7. Denzel Washington studied biology and was a basketball player at Fordham University. Before successfully changing careers. He now coaches one of his children's basketball teams.

8. David Duchovny of "X-Files" fame played one season of junior varsity at Princeton University. I never liked the "X-Files."

9. Wilt Chamberlain played "Bombaata" in Conan the Destroyer (1984). Barnes & Noble continues to sell the movie on DVD and VHS. One at a time, please.

Lifted directly and without remorse from Page 3.


Yes Sirree

Yesterday I noted that Joe Scott left Chris Mooney plenty to work with when he departed for Princeton. More evidence from the Falcons' close loss to Marquette.

I also posted that Rod Barnes was in for a long season at Mississippi. More evidence from the Rebels' lopsided loss to Illinois State.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

san diego vs. arizona

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Too bad for Arizona, as the Wildcats did not play well, or as a team, tonight...Whoever cast a preseason number one vote for Lute Olson's club in the Associated Press poll should have their voting rights rescinded...Salim Stoudamire was awfully quiet tonight. A leader, he is not...Josh Pastner acts and looks a coach...Channing Frye should get more touches...Brice Vounang took full advantage of his fifteen minutes of fame...Hassan Adams needs to score for the Wildcats, but not because Arizona requires additional offensive production. Rather, Hassan's scoring will encourage and enable him to be the team leader, a role Arizona desperately needs to fill...Mohamed Tangara did not live up to expectations. But it is much too early to draw conclusions about the power forward's promise.

Also, I'll second Jay's comment in the response thread to my first post on tonight's game.

Frye is a beast and they just haven't been pushing the ball to him at all. Adams has been sluggish and uninterested. Stoudamire has been keeping his arms down at his sides -- posing instead of defending.

On the other hand, I'm very impressed with Radenovic's progress as a player and with Shakur's obvious excitement to be playing. Shakur, though, really needs to start grabbing players by the ear.


arizona vs. san diego

Ivan Radenovic is playing as a member of a team, while a couple Wildcats are playing as individuals...Mike Jarvis' inexperience as a commentator is apparent...Mustafa Shakur is playing with significantly more confidence than he did last season. But a half of hot shooting shouldn't disguise his continued inability to distribute the rock in a manner that makes his teammates better...Jawann McClellan will be a special player at Arizona...Channing Frye doesn't touch the ball often enough on offense...Lute Olson is as active and involved as he's ever been. If he retires from Arizona in the next couple years, it won't be for lack of ability or vitality.


a little birdie told me

A source -- I now have real, legitimate sources -- tells me that Zam "Buck" Fredrick is unhappy at Georgia Tech and that he and his father are considering a transfer.

You heard it here first.


jinxed!

Rashad McCants is all but done for. The North Carolina star was chosen to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2004-2005 college basketball preview. And, as fans are prepared to remind him, he's already used his "get out of jail free" card.

Comparing the magazine's rankings to those of other pundits, I'm surprised SI echoed Gregg Doyel's sentiment about the OSU Cowboys. Earlier, he and Blue Ribbon alone held Sutton's squad in such high esteem.

As for Charlotte's web, the 49ers certainly have the talent to be among the nation's best. But buyer beware. Martin Iti is already halfway to the NBA. If Curtis Withers is thinking along Iti's lines, I expect Bobby Lutz's club to lack focus and disappoint. (Though I also give myself about an equal shot of being wrong, fabulously wrong, on this call).

SI's Preseason Top 20

1. North Carolina
2. Oklahoma State
3. Wake Forest
4. Kansas
5. Georgia Tech
6. Syracuse
7. Connecticut
8. Kentucky
9. Illinois
10. Maryland
11. Duke
12. Louisville
13. Pittsburgh
14. Michigan State
15. Arizona
16. Mississippi State
17. Washington
18. Texas
19. Charlotte
20. Alabama


akward

The writing, the photo of Trent Johnson...the whole nine yards.


copy that

I would like an advance copy of Stories from the Big Time, Paul Westphal's forthcoming book. But until the Pepperdine coach completes the bestseller-to-be's final 15 percent, I guess I'll have to settle for snipets from interviews.

He never dreamed he would coach in college. Not again. His first two coaching positions had been at tiny schools in Phoenix, and he had enjoyed himself immensely, but big-time college basketball didn't appeal to him...

"The main thing I was afraid of was, I didn't want to be in a position where I'd have to cheat to get players," Westphal said. "Some of the schools that are out there, it's pretty hard to get good players. Let's put it that way. I'm not saying they cheat everywhere -- I know they don't. But I don't want to lose players to teams that are tempted to get...creative."

SportsLine.com had to ask: Was that another way of saying he had stayed away because he feared he might turn to recruiting's dark side? Midway through the question, Westphal was shaking his head.

"I want to win. I'm as competitive as anyone," he said. "But I think it's demeaning to have to go to high school kids and show up with a bagful of money. I'm not going to do that. At some places, the impression is, if you don't do that you're not going to get players. And if you don't get players, you're not going to win. And if you don't win..."


this will

come in handy.


how appealing

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit just reversed a lower court's decision holding that the NCAA's college basketball "Two in Four Rule" violates Section One of the Sherman Act.

The ruling.

The reaction here, here, here and here. But not (yet) here.


better than the bodog girls?

Ashley Judd, UK alum

Ashley Judd: She'll make a Kentucky fan out of you yet.




Well Said

Via my friend Kyle.

The Magnificent Spitlers: USA Today profiles four brothers who all gained spots on Division I basketball teams (Saint Peter's, Stony Brook, Canisius and Holy Cross) the walk-on way. Says Chris Spitler, "What's amazing to me is that all of us could be mediocre enough not to get a scholarship."


a devil of a delay

Seth Davis is hot on the trail of Greg Paulus, the two-sport star who had orally committed to playing basketball at Duke rather than football at, say, Notre Dame.

Just when decision time has officially arrived, it appears Paulus has suddenly decided he is undecided. He has not, in fact, made up his mind -- unless he has.

Paulus, a 6-foot-2 high school senior from Syracuse, N.Y., is widely regarded as one of the top point guards in his class. But he's also seen as perhaps the best quarterback in his class, evoking comparisons to Joe Montana.

During the summer before his junior year, Paulus committed to Duke. Yet Greg has yet to sign a national letter of intent.

The fall signing period for high school seniors ends tomorrow. If Paulus fails to fax Duke his letter, expect to read several more columns sepeculating about his decision. Perhaps including a quote from a very frustrated Mike Krzyzewski who, taking Paulus at his word, has not recruited another point guard in two years.


Big East Timeline

1995
Men's basketball splits into two divisions known as Big East 6 and Big East 7.

1998
Men's basketball goes back to one division.

2000
Men's basketball splits into two divisions knon was East and West.

2003
Men's basketball goes back to one division.

2005
Men's basketball retains one division.


They Said It

"If I had a preference, I would rather go to the NCAA Tournament."
-- St. Mary's (CA) coach coach Randy Bennett, on his team's trip to New York for the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic


Monday, November 15, 2004

badda-bing

badda-boom.

Michigan struggled mightily against Binghamton tonight. Binghamton! Kinks or no kinks, the Wolverines' performance against the Bearcats was inexcusable.

Though Al Walker's club has four starters back, his team is in only its fourth year of Division I basketball and was picked to finish fifth in the America East. I'm guessing both Kent State (Friday, November 19th) and Syracuse (Saturday, December 11th) will have an easier time with Binghamton.


missing the mark?

Air Force demolished Ole Miss tonight, 60-36, suggesting that (a) Joe Scott left Chris Mooney plenty to work with when he departed for Princeton and (b) Rod Barnes is in for a long season at Mississippi. Any SEC club that can, on a neutral floor, muster only 36 points against an MWC opponent has a lot of work to do before conference play begins.


How many spots

is Lawrence Roberts worth in the rankings?

Plenty, according to the kind folks who have a say in the Associated Press poll. Despite Mississippi State's Roberts-less struggles against Fairfield and Birmingham Southern, the Bulldogs held steady at number 12 in the AP's latest Top 25.

I would have dropped MSU like a rag top. Any team as bad as the Bulldogs without Roberts won't be a Top 15 squad with the All-American. Remember, Rick Stansbury's club lost point guard Timmy Bowers and low-post threat Branden Vincent from the 2003-2004 edition.

Props to Rick Cleveland for foreseeing the Bulldogs weaknesses and suggesting Mississippi State was overrated.


Chavis

Remember hearing about Raymond Felton's one-game suspension for playing over the summer in the Chavis League?

Following the paper trail led me to another broken link. Folks, don't try this ("NCAA Certified Men's Summer Leagues") at home.


tp

ESPN The Magazine




Would they Sooner use their hands?







Keeping it

real. Senior Jeremy Craig's affinity for Maryland Terrapins basketball games is, er, history.

I was a fan of Terrapin men's basketball, and as it happens, a damn good one. I camped out for tickets to the Maryland-Duke game in 2002. I went to every game that season in Cole Field House...I'm done for a lot of reasons. I'm done because of commercialism. For those of you who never experienced the atmosphere at Cole Field House, I can't describe its magic. It had soul. The Terps now play in a corporate "center" instead of a "field house." I'm done because of "Rock and Roll, Part II." For better or for worse, that was a tradition that defined the university and energized the crowd.

I'm done because of the new ticketing system. You're telling me I'm a senior who has been to every game this year and I can't even get into the game against Jackson State? I'm done because of the security staff telling me I have to sit down in the student section because I'm blocking someone's view. Are you kidding me? I'm sorry I support the team enough to stand and cheer...

I loved Terps men's basketball. It was a big part of my college experience. But I'm done. Maybe nobody in Maryland athletics will mourn the loss of a fan who didn't dish out money to the "M Club" and who drank water from the fountain to avoid paying $3.25 for Aquafina. Maybe that's because they've forgotten who the Terps play for.

I'd heard a lot about a student backlash against the administration's decision to uphold a ban against the controversial "Rock and Roll, Part II" cheer. But I excerpted Jeremy's piece because his critique runs deeper and should serve as a warning about the impact of certain reforms on collegiate athletics.


Going Long

Ken Pomeroy published the first blogger interview (of which I'm aware) with a college basketball coach. I found Mike Gillian quite well-spoken.


broken (espn)

Go here. Then click on "COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Men's."


Sunday, November 14, 2004

a night @ the movies

Ever wonder how Jay Bilas got his lucky break?

While playing pro ball [abroad], he was told of a TV commercial he should audition for when he was home in Los Angeles in the offseason. The producers were looking for a tall, athletic guy to play one-on-one with a child while a woman took pictures with a Minolta camera. Thirty other men were there when Bilas auditioned, but he got the part.

He starred in more commercials before his agent called to ask him to audition for the part of an alien police officer opposite Lundgren in the Columbia Pictures action film "I Come In Peace." The whole idea sounded dreadful to Bilas, but he didn't expect to get the part so he went ahead with the audition. Incredibly, he got the part, a starring role big enough that his name was featured prominently in the film's promotional material.

Bilas' hair was trimmed for the part, and he wore contact lenses to make his eyes appear milky white. "It was as much fun as I have ever had," he said. "Now I get calls from my friends at 2 in the morning, and they say, `Hey, your movie is on.'"


Musik zu meinen Ohren

(German for "music to my ears.")

Remember when David Hasselhoff was number one in Germany? Ugh.

Fortunately, Americans will soon export a much more important cultural product, college basketball. The next time you're in Germany, plan to watch your favorite club on the North American Sports Network.


My First Ad!

As opposed to a writer, a professional writer is one who is paid for their work.

Today I received a request for and published my first advertisement, an invitation to bet on college hoops at DimeBetting.com.

Can I speak for the product? No(t yet). But am I very excited? You bet!

(Pun intended).


"It's a lot more fun."

Michael Lewis asks if there is life after Rick Majerus. After reading the article on this year's Utes, I would think so.


Woah

First, the NitBlog. Ok. Great. Then Penn State Hoops.

In other words, I'm no techie. (If you hadn't noticed).


Law & Order

Two thoughts come to mind after reading Gregg Doyel's column on the NCAA's pursuit of AAU coach Mark Komara and the ruling body's de facto suspension of Texas freshman Mike Williams.

First, where there's smoke, there's fire. The NCAA has already nabbed Komara for paying for a player's plane ticket and (in an unrelated affair) noted that the Hunstville, Alabama promoter and the Auburn coaching staff exchanged more than 1,100 phone calls between 1999-2001. The NCAA is making its list -- and checking it thrice -- because, sooner or later, they're going to nail this guy.

Second, if the gloves don't fit, you must acquit. The ruling body doesn't currently have enough information to suspend Jackson or fine Komara. In the popular television show "Law & Order," the police often don't have the evidence necessary to hold a suspect. The result? They let him or her go after several hours of interrogation. So should the NCAA. Mike Williams ought to be cleared to play for the Longhorns.


They Said It

"I like those guys. They're guys who have ridden for four, five, six hours in a van, eating a cheese sandwich."
-- Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, speaking of junior college players