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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, February 07, 2005

Coach (o)K

-- Winning solves all problems. Losing? It creates them. The latest from Michigan State? Too many members of "Izzone," the Spartans' student section, are missing games. The club has responded by threatening to transfer tickets to students who will take full advantage of the cheap but centrally located seats. Current members, however, aren't too keen on the idea.

-- Writing in the New York Post, Peter Vecsey makes the case for Coach K to direct the United States' Olympic Basketball team. An intriguing proposition -- and one that, if acted upon, will get the rumor mills going.

-- College Hoops Extra researcher Mark Simon of the WWLIS is up with his weekly column. In which he argues Patrick Sparks is the key to Kentucky's success, takes a look at Stanford's recent victories against Arizona, and gives Coastal Carolina guard Pele Paelay some love. Paelay is "one of only eight players (all in mid-majors) to be ranked in the top 10 in their conference in points, rebounds, assists and steals." Perhaps more significantly, he has this season increased his offensive production from 5.5 to 18.3 points per game.

But Simon's most important contribution to college basketball commentary comes from his spotlight on four of the nation's highest-scoring clubs. Take a look at the table below. Note that while Louisville is the team most reliant on threes, Washington is the least. And while North Carolina is the club most dependent on free throws, Washington is, again, the least. In other words, the Huskies are masters of their own March destiny. Difficult referees and long-range shooting troubles are less likely to do Washington in than they are to undermine other elite teams. Live by neither the free (throws) nor the three, die by neither the free (throws) nor the three.

Point-scoring distribution

PPG% from 2% from 3% on FT
North Carolina92.751.1%26.4%22.5%
Washington87.457.6%23.0%19.4%
Wake Forest86.150.6%27.5%21.9%
Louisville85.242.7%35.1%22.3%

-- Coach K is ok after collapsing onto the court before Duke's game against Georgia Tech.