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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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Sunday, February 13, 2005

the no frills edition

Was too busy watching Connecticut-North Carolina to (heavily) comment on the news. But enjoy the day's links.

-- The San-Francisco (CA) Chronicle's Ray Ratto considers the impact Dan Grunfeld's season-ending injury, a torn anterior cruciate ligament, will have upon the Stanford Cardinal. The "Gang Of Eight Plus One" has little room for error in upcoming games against USC, UCLA, and the Oregon and Washington schools.

-- Rick Pitino's wife is a critic of the 2004-2005 Louisville Cardinals. Heh.

-- Mike Zhe of the Portsmouth Herald pens a long article on Phil Rowe's troubles at the University of New Hampshire, arguing that "another shaky season has Rowe on hot seat." Indeed. I think he's done.

-- Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes-up Chris Taft's (many) failings. He also minces no words as a would-be NBA talent scout.

Maybe Taft didn't work as hard as he needed to in the offseason. Or maybe he got caught up in the NBA hype. This much is certain: He looks a lot less ready for the pros now than he did last season.

-- Copley News Service Chicago sports columnist Mike Nadel still hasn't decided if Deron Williams is bound for playing time in the NBA, but he does believe Williams is the collegiate point guard most capable of leading his team to an NCAA Tournament championship.

-- Will Mike Davis' dismissal from Indiana be more or less a public circus than was Bobby Knight's? More, if the Hoosier State Press Association has a say.

State lawmakers are trying to close a loophole in Indiana law that allowed Indiana University's trustees to meet without public notice to discuss basketball coach Bob Knight's fate shortly before his firing.

Bills are advancing in both the House and Senate that would prohibit what critics call "serial meetings" - separate gatherings of less than a quorum to discuss the same subject.

Such meetings are currently permitted under Indiana's Open Door law.

-- Hubert F. Grim III (think he's a local?) of the Staunton (VA) News Leader suggests Virginia may be back on the bubble after beating North Carolina State at home and Florida State and Virginia Tech on the road. With an RPI of 43, perhaps. But at 4-7 in the ACC, I doubt it. Particularly because, to secure a 7-9 conference record, Virginia would have to beat North Carolina State and one of North Carolina (on the road), Maryland (at home) and Wake Forest (on the road). And even then they'd still be less than a sure shot.

-- Despite Arizona State's recent struggles, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl still believes Ike Diogu is the national player of the year.

-- Following the Hoosiers' victory over the Golden Gophers, the Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal's Rick Bozich believes Indiana can still receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Yes, and pigs can fly.

-- The Las Vegas Review-Journal gets letters!

To the sports editor:

I believe Reggie Theus, currently an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville, should be UNLV's basketball coach, not Lon Kruger.

I attended a UNLV game the other day and realized I had forgotten a brown paper bag to wear over my head. Does Kruger want to win? Why have a coach who just collects a paycheck instead of a leader who has Rebel red pumping through his heart?

For those who don't know, Theus was one of the greatest players ever at UNLV and was the catalyst on the 1977 Final Four team. In his 13-year NBA career, he became one of only six players in history to produce at least 19,000 points and 6,000 assists.

Should we all be forced to watch yet another season of losing UNLV basketball? Let's put some pride back in the program and hire a coach who genuinely cares about seeing UNLV win.

Paul Lyons

-- Woah. UNLV overcame a 10-point deficit with less than 29 (!) seconds left in regulation to defeat San Diego State in overtime. More here, here, here and here.

-- Think facilities don't matter? Think again. Playing for the first time at the all-new Agganis Arena, Boston University upset Vermont, putting a chink in the Catamounts' at-large armor.

-- Duke University officials may soon make illegal basketball victory bonfires following the destruction of a few too many benches after a win over North Carolina.

-- Mike Waldner of the Torrance (CA) Daily Breeze argues timing has been everything in Lute Olson's career.

-- Frank Dascenzo of the Durham (NC) Herald-Sun writes Wake Forest must prove they're worthy. (They are). Lenox Rawlings of the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal takes a different tack, suggesting Wake Forest has learned from last year's tournament loss to Saint Joseph's. Offense wins games, but defense wins...

-- Dave Hickman of the Charleston (WV) Gazette notes West Virginia may have played its way back onto the bubble. Wishful thinking. But with an RPI of 64, the Mountaineers aren't entirely out of the running.

-- Former University of Minnesota basketball star "Sweet" Lou Hudson suffered a stroke yesterday. May he recover quickly and return to good health.

-- Gregg Doyel of CBS SportsLine offers the Fighting Illini a few suggestions: stay angry, stay together, stay aggressive (you too, James Augustine), and find more playing time for Rich McBride. In other words, stay undefeated.

-- Rick Snider of the Washington Times notes the best cheer ("No one knows you"), the best sign ("Devil with a blue dress on" alongside a photo of J.J. Redick in a blue dress), and the best fan anecdotes from yesterday's Duke-Maryland game.

-- George Mason, George Fox, what's the difference? More on "Coach Carter" inaccuracies here.

-- In Friday's Daily Word, ESPN's Andy Katz reported a few interesting notes from the NCAA selection committee's two-day meeting this past week. Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest look to be in separate regions. Boston College could play in Worcester, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City, Arizona State in Tucson, and Kentucky, Louisville, and Cincinnati in Indianapolis.

-- Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes Kentucky is five wins from becoming the first school to notch 1,900 wins. The Cats are 1,895-576-1 all time.

-- Two columns from the Hardin County (KY) News-Enterprise. Adam Pruiett argues Louisville must play with more passion while Chuck Jones suggests Kentucky didn't look like (even) a Sweet Sixteen team in dismantling Georgia on Saturday.

-- Yesterday's scores: Syracuse beat Villanova, Arizona defeated UCLA, Pittsburgh beat Notre Dame, Missouri upset Oklahoma, Texas needed two overtimes (!) to beat Kansas State, and Iowa State surprised Texas Tech. Oh yeah, and Maryland beat Duke.

--John Bohnenkamp of Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye reviews Iowa's victory over Northwestern, a "must-win" game for the Hawkeyes.