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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, February 18, 2005


-- Just when I was about to observe Fred Barakat had gone missing around these parts and google his highness to see what the ACC's associate commissioner had been up to, this happens. You. Must. Click. This. Link.

-- Michael Lewis of the Salt Lake City (UT) Tribune looks at and behind Utah's numbers, quotes several conference coaches to the effect that the Utes are "built" to go deep into the NCAA Tournament, suggests a high seed is critical to Utah's fortunes, and reminds us Giac's club has faced the third-weakest schedule among ranked teams.

-- Eureka! Now I know why Nate Robinson is a near-lock to leave early for the NBA. (Or run for political office).

-- The Greensboro News & Record informs readers of Duke, North Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest's ACC opponents through 2008. I'm glad Duke will play Maryland and North Carolina twice a year, but won't such an arragement serve as a disadvantage to the Dukies in conference play? Wouldn't they rather play Clemson and Virginia Tech...er...Miami twice a year?

-- The Wilmington Star News' Andrew Jones tells readers he is a moneymaker.

I wrote a column two weeks ago suggesting that Duke would likely split its final 10 games of the regular season. At the midway point, the Devils are 2-3 with games at Georgia Tech, St. John's and North Carolina and home dates with Wake Forest and Miami remaining.

-- Eric Olson of the Durham (NC) Herald-Sun explains why Fire Marshal Kenneth Crews is an unpopular figure on campus. Hint: No. More. Bonfires. (After. Games.)

-- CBS SportsLine's Dennis "Just for Men" Dodd (compare pictures here and here) pens today's must-read, a wonderfully honest column on JamesOn Curry. I love watching Curry play.

-- While his CBS SportsLine colleague, Gregg Doyel pens an equally dishonest piece on Lute Olson. Sure, the Silver Fox may have gone a bit overboard in criticizing East Coast Bias, but it is more or less a coach's role to hype his team and his conference before the NCAA Tournament. ACC coaches are guilty of so doing every spring...and fall. Remember Bruce Weber's criticisms of Dick Vitale earlier this season? No worse than Olson's. The difference? Olson's nickname for Vitale -- Dukie V -- was several years back catchy enough to be adopted by the Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse, etc. faithful.

Was Olson wrong to compare Salim Stoudamire's numbers to those of J.J. Redick and Gerry McNamara. Nope. Dick Vitale had gone on national television and declared Redick perhaps the best shooter of all time. Olson wanted to set the record straight and, in so doing, remind the pundits Salim deserves consideration for national player of the year honors.

P.S.: Just because Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl agrees with Gregg doesn't mean either is correct.

P.P.S: Grant claims pundits care little about who wins games. Suggesting he doesn't consider Notre Dame alum Digger Phelps a pundit. ESPN's Jeff Shelman, your thoughts?

Unfortunately, fans think that the writers who cover teams care about their success and they wish ill on their rivals. While that is certainly true with some writers, I think most beat writers do their best to remain impartial. Most care more about their Marriott points and frequent flier miles than they do the outcome of games. I've covered four different D-I programs as a beat writer and I can honestly say I didn't really care how any of them did. You spend so much time with these people, that it's difficult to really root for them. More than once I've wanted a team I cover to lose just to get the season over with.

-- A reader emailed to inquire if I thought Iowa State was worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid. But who cares what I think when Bill Self is praising the Cyclones and suggesting Tasheed Carr, Rahshon Clark & Co. deserve to go dancing?

-- Props to Doyel, however, for dribbling a very interesting note. The powers that (may)be at Virginia hope to replace Pete Gillen with Michigan's Tommy Amaker, George Washington's Karl Hobbs, former St. John's coach Mike Jarvis or former Ohio State and Philadelphia 76ers coach Randy Ayers.

Several thoughts. (1) Why anyone would think of hiring Mike Jarvis (!?!?!) when Josh Pastner is available is beyond me. (2) If Karl Hobbs leaves George Washington, he should give himself an easier set-up than Virginia. (3) What exactly makes Tommy Amaker a hot commodity? (4) After the Abe Keita scandal, why anybody would hire Mike Jarvis when Nolan Richardson is available is (also) beyond me.

-- Bill Koch of the Cincinnati Enquirer profiles Bearcat walk-on Ryan Patzwald. Not quite a member of any all walk-on clubs, Ryan is nonetheless inspiration for 5'11" guys everywhere.

-- The Iowa Presidents' Council on Athletics approved a new athlete code of conduct. Better later than never.

-- Jason Franchuk of the Provo (UT) Daily Herald raises a fun but irrelevant question.

Is it a good thing to put two or three teams in the NCAA basketball tournament, even if they all first-round flop? Or is it best, as what seems likely right now with dominating Utah, to put the league's reputation into one very good team?


-- If you don't have a soft spot in your heart for Belleville, Illinois, you've never been to Belleville East High School...On a college basketball related note, Belleville (IL) News-Democrat staff writer David Wilhelm writes up Bruce Weber's call to Phil Martelli. Packer: Martelli as Vitale: Weber?