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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, January 10, 2005

back in the saddle

-- With Keith Langford in uniform against Kentucky and his mom in the stands cheering him on, a burglar broke into the family home in Fort Worth, Texas, stealing Keith's two Final Four rings, two Big 12 championship rings and NCAA tournament and preseason NIT watches. For shame.

-- New Mexico forward Danny Granger underwent surgery today to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. The University's press release described the procedure as "minor." But any operation on Granger, a legit All-American candidate and pro prospect, is of major importance to the Lobos' future. An SAT analogy, if you will. Granger: New Mexico as a)Villaneuva: Connecticut, b)Gomes: Providence, c)Stoudamire: Arizona, d)Jack: Georgia Tech, or e)Vitale: ESPN. (The correct answer is b). Without Granger, UNM is bound neither for the NCAA Tournament nor the NIT.

-- I'll sort out the impact of this weekend's games in later posts. You can expect me to adopt both a contrarian opinion on the PAC-10 (the sky is not falling) and the consensus view on the Kansas Jayhawks (I'm in the Moody of praising Giles).

-- Damon Bailey remains a legend in the State of Indiana. Where is he now? Living just outside of Bedford, the town whose high school team he led to the state title, with his wife and three children. "Babyface" owns a business that provides supplies to coal mines.

-- Of all the columns I could have linked to about the big game between Kansas and Kentucky, I chose Chuck Woodling's piece for the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World. Do the math.

-- Via the Huntington (IN) Herald-Press, a note on Paul Michelson catching the Austin (TX) American-Statesman red-handed. (If you can't find the error in the first reading, rinse and repeat).

Ironically, [Tom] Penders received inspiration from a former referee, Pete Pavia, who had died of cancer in 1991. Pavia fought the disease for 13 years, adhering to a strict lifestyle of exercise and nutrition that allowed him to return to refereeing and eventually work the 1996 Final Four in Dallas.

-- The Eugene (OR) Register-Guard titles Nicholas Geranios AP's piece on Ronny Turiaf "Tower of Power" while the (Olympia, WA) Olympian titles the article "Gonzaga's tall drink of water." Under either heading, a pleasant read. I'm glad to see the AP branching out to feature pieces on non-major conference stars. (Even if Turiaf hardly qualifies).

-- Former Missouri player Wesley Stokes makes good. Or not.

-- Only in (North) Texas would a school's basketball coach air his weekly radio show live from El Guapo's.

-- Corky & Steve on Arizona's demise. Both writers will author more thoughtful pieces given a few days to respond to the 'Cats collapse against the Cardinals.

-- John Perrotto of the Beaver County (PA) Times expresses his frustration with Duquesne basketball. Every year, fans utter "wait 'til next year." Kyle, your thoughts? Mine? 1918. In other words, John, suck it up. Others have had it worse.

-- Darn it. In late November, ESPN's Reemer asked for input on how to improve ESPN Insider, the network's pay-for-play service. I emailed him a length response, noting, among other thoughts, that I would be willing to pay for premium content -- e.g. the work of Andy Katz or the Sports Guy -- but not for columns by the "worldwide leader's" less eloquent authors. The result? (I hope not. Ugh). ESPN today put Katz behind the veil of exclusivity. From now on, his Daily Word will be available to paying customers only. Shoot. Me. Now.

-- Bart Fisher of the New Britain (CT) Herald authors a column you should not emulate. That former Senator Everett Dirksen is "quotable" is not just cause for Brett to quote him four times in a single piece. Particularly when a third of the column is an excerpt of a College Basketball Partnership press release.