Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Louisville looks good (at exhibition game #2)

Thanks to the magic of ESPN3 I just watched Louisville's exhibition game #2. Holy cow, I couldn' believe it, this team looks promising too, with a good chance of a repeat. Harrell is a beast and as Bob V. mentioned during the game, he was a bit of a Tyler Hansbro "Psycho T" in that he never stopped being involved with the game. Chris Jones looked very good too. DJ Ware is back and that is just great news after that horrible injury. And he looks good too. The backcot (Pitino pronounciation) is loaded with Rozier and the other freshman too. Mango looks very promising as well. And this team is still missing Behanan and Hancock. But talent does not always equal results, and the impact of Siva and Gorgui Dieng, team wise, was a lot bigger than numbers and talent and NBA potential can tell.

Short of the 2006 Florida Gators team, Louisville has about as good of a chance for a repeat as any team is probably going to get in the modern era. It's just that this looks like a jam-packed at the top season with many of the big names having championship potential teams (Kentucky, Kansas, Puke, the two Michigans, Arizona, Marcus Smart State, etc), so repeating is going to be harder than it could have been on some other years.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Thoughts on the 2013-2014 Kentucky Dream Team after watching the two exhibition games

So I managed to find the two Kentucky 2013-2014 Dream Team exhibition games on cable TV thanks to the regional Fox Sports stations. With all the buzz around this year's Kentucky dream team and (at least on paper) the best recruiting class of all time, I had to watch. What did I see?

A lot of promise. Both Julius Randle and James Young in their own ways are game changers. James Young, it is so unusual for a high ranked wing to be so interested in defense, and that makes him a game changer. We know of at least one great player who was obsessed with both ends of the court. Does UK has a "Baby Jordan" in James Young?

There are plenty of forwards and centers, so Calipari can mix and match as he pleases. Polson and Hood could be valueable cogs in a championship wheel. They looked better than one would have expected from two walk-on-ish type of players (especially relative to the rest of the high ranked recruits that typically play under Calipari).

But there are risks. The two star returning players are both big forwards. Other than Polson (with limited playing time when it matters), there is no experienced returning backcourt player. An experienced backcourt player can go a long ways when things start falling apart. Situations where it could make or break a single elimination game.

Another risk, there are a lot of versatile players who can play in the backcourt, but there are no short guards. Can this taller team handle a short speedy guard oriented talented team in a single elimination game? Let's not forget, Sharp Dressed Man's Villanova four-guard team almost took out the 2009 North Carolina championship team, and that UNC team had talented short guards.

Other risks: free throws, dealing with pack-it-in defenses, being able to stop high volume scorers (#25 Brown of Montevallo).

Having said all that, this is based on just two exhibition games. Calipari has already done this two years ago with a Dream Team of Super Recruits, so it gives everyone involved more confidence that it can be done again.

I haven't seen enough to make predictions, but it looks like this is going to be an exciting basketball season, in terms of both super-freshmen and loaded talented super teams.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

NCAA, please get rid of the five fouls

I was just watching the Louisville at Kentucky game and I couldn't help get irritated that something silly like foul trouble took out a number of talented players out of the game. All it takes is a bitter old man with an overactive whistle to force the best players to sit on the bench for a lot of the game. Kentucky almost ran out of guards and Louisville ran out of forwards!

And it's not the fouling out that's the problem, it's that when players have 2 or more fouls, their coaches pull them out because they are worried the crazy old man with the whistle is going to give them more.

As a minimum the NCAA should go to six fouls. That's not a good solution but considering how slow and conservative the NCAA is, even that would probably be considered a "dramatic" change.

The game is for the players to PLAY! The best players for each team. Let's not let angry old men with an overactive whistle ruin it for the kids and for the fans!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Watch full Midnight Madness replay action of seven top schools (and ESPNU)

This is kewl! The proliferation of the internets and the bandwidths have added another benefit for hard core hoops fans! You can watch the full Midnight Madness ceremonies at seven different top schools (Kentucky, North Carolina, UConn, Louisville, Syracuse, Puke, and Texas A&M) along with the ESPNU studio coverage! This is all for FREE, as long as your internet service provider is connected with the artist formerly known as ESPN3. Check them all out at ESPNwatch.com.

If you want to watch actual basketball action, the Louisville midnight madness includes a 40-minute full-action scrimmage, with three zebras too, and Pitino miked up and even analyzing the game on TV!

Monday, April 04, 2011

And another season ends, Calhoun sticks it to all the critics

Don't count out Calhoun! He managed to pick three championships spread out in 12 years, in 1999, in 2004 with the dominating Okafor/Gordon team, and this year, in 2011 with the Kemba Walker Show!

Butler deserved to win the 2010 championship against the spoiled rats of Duke, but this year, they were never really in the game, they looked out of place in the Forest of Huskies. You kinda have to score to win!

To make games more watchable, it would be really nice if they did away with the five-foul limit, or at least increased it to six!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

VCU, V for Victory!

This was a great NCAA tournament so far with lots of drama and excitement! And not one but TWO mid-major teams in the Final Four! And one of the two is guaranteed to play in the Championship Game! That's right!

Meanwhile, Bill Self is once again exposed for his inability to defeat theoretically inferior opponents in the NCAA tournament. If it wasn't for the two epic Carolina and Memphis meltdowns in 2008, he would have been on the hot seat. But a championship can cure a lot of complaints!

Speaking of complaints, Calipari got his karma back at Kentucky as he managed to get to the Final Four the year after he was supposed to. And who knows, he may actually win his first title this time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Derrick Williams, Arizona DESTROY the Duke Hype Devils

Derrick Williams and the Arizona Wildcats just DISMANTED the overhyped, over rated and spoiled brats of the Duke Pukedevils! Take that Ratzilla! :) This EPIC dismantling of the Dookies serves as revenge for Xavier's Elite 8 unfair zebra-induced loss to the Dookies. And "revenge" for Arizona's 2001 NCAA championship loss.

This was one of the best games EVER! Epic Duke Loss! :)

As far as the player of the year, how can you give it to Nolan Smith or Jimmer, when you get epic performances like this from Derrick Williams??? Maybe Kemba Walker, but no one is more epic than Derrick Williams! #1 NBA draft pick 2011!

And big props to CBS/TBS for finally having someone in the studio that like the one and only like the Charles Barkley who doesn't parrot the never-ending ACC/BigEast worship service that we get on ESPN, CBS, and traditional print media.


PS. According to a statistic shown during the Friday games on CBS, Duke's margin of loss (16 points) was the LARGEST in the Sweet 16 for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament history. Oh my!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Big East epic collapse in the NCAA tournament

The hype machine at ESPN propelled the Big East as THE college basketball conference of 2011, but the reality of the NCAA tournament did not agree with them. Eleven Big East teams were selected in the Field of 68. Of the 11, only two have made it to the Sweet 16, but there is a big asterisk there. BOTH Big East teams that made the Sweet 16 did so because they beat ANOTHER Big East team! There were that many of them!

So if we take out those two "guaranteed" spots, none of the remaining seven Big East teams made it past the first weekend of the tourney. That's just crazy considering all the Big East hype. As The Chuckster said, the Big Least.

Granted, the NCAA tournament is about matchups and there is always randomness, but still, only two out of eleven teams, and two had a GUARANTEED spot in the Sweet 16 because they were playing another Big East team.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Zebras take-over Butler vs Pitt, try to undo whistle-damage

The zebras almost screwed up the Pitt vs Butler game, but they ended the game with a second crazy whistle in the last few (nearly) milliseconds of the game. It came down to free throws, and Butler won! Right now, the co-ordinator of NCAA officials is discussing this on CBS with Ernie Johnson.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NCAA tries to "sell" opening round by using their "Elite" broadcasts

The NCAA and CBS/Turner are trying to "sell" the opening round games are "significant" and as a first round, not just an afterthought round sent to Dayton, Ohio. To stress this point, CBS/Turner have sent their top team of broadcasters, Clark Kellogg, Jim "Golf" Nantz, Steve Kerr and Traci Woofson.

Will it convince more people to tune in and "consider" it part of the "real" March Madness, and not "the game that used to be on ESPN" as a warm-up?

Needless to say, the media wants more expansion, so you bet they are taking special care of the opening round, now officially called the "1st round".

Shortcut for watching March Madness games online

If you are planning to watch March Madness online, live or replays of games you may have missed, be sure to bookmark this url that takes you directly to the March Madness On-Demand Console. From there you can begin watching games right away!

Already available for replay are the CBS Selection Show from Sunday, and the National Bracket Day from Monday with the one and only Marques Johnson. CBS, please add Marques Johnson to your West Coast/P10 coverage. Having that complete and total idiot (Bob Wenzel) doing Pac-10 games is completely ridiculous.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

National Bracket Day on Monday at noon EST (free online!)

Turner Sports will be working with the NCAA to produce a live show broadcast online for free at NCAA.com starting "Bracket Monday" March 14, 2011 at 12pm EASTERN (9am PACIFIC) that will talk about ...brackets and filling brackets and the whole madness about the madness.

Meanwhile, if you missed some of the ESPN action or you are away from your cable/satellite box, the ESPN YouTube channel has clips from the never-ending ESPN bracketology with Bilas, Digger, Dookie Dookitale, and friends.

There's also an interview with selection cmte chair Gene Smith at the ESPN College Basketball Nation blog.

I think we need more OPENNESS in the selection process. Just like the Courts write long-winded explanations on how they reached their decisions, the Selection Cmte should also justify in an open manner how they pick and seed the teams! Someone needs to file a FOIA? :)

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