Thursday, October 20, 2016

Good for Marquette's Duane Wilson!

In response to the "I'm broke" stunt by Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes:

Wilson tweeted: "Don't say you're broke unless your account says $0.00... I know people that's really out here struggling for a meal yet a dollar."

"It's a shame seeing people do these stunts for social media attention. That's really corny and sad. Our generation so unappreciative."

"I got a son and I'm a student athlete yet I'll never complain or say I'm broke. Where I'm from it's a blessing to even get a free education."

A scholarship is a contract, just like any other. If I sign up to be an engineer for Microsoft and invent a product that makes them millions of dollars, I have no complaint because that is what I signed up to do. Athletes are no different. If they do not want to play in college under those terms, then let them go pro.

No stampede on this trail drive

With six scholarship seniors, two of them redshirt seniors, all with an NCAA victory and the bright lights that go with it under their belts, I would assume that this should be a steady, battle-tested team that will not panic under pressure.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

John Fowler - mathematical proof

I have long maintained that most basketball fans and observers have faulty mathematics: they can add, but they cannot subtract. In 2009, John Fowler proved my point. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the SBC for that season, and the reward was richly deserved. He was one of the very finest defenders it has ever been my privilege to watch. When he locked in on an offensive player, he was in trouble. However, Fowler was not named to the All-SBC First Team. And it was not as though Fowler was a one-dimensional player, because he averaged 10.5 points per game, and 5.6 rebounds. He was more than solid in all aspects of the game. What were the odds that all of the First Team players were even close to being as good as Fowler was on defense? And yet the voters ignored his defensive prowess when the voting for the big prize was done. They could add - but they could not subtract.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Import your big men

It is a pretty good strategy if you can identify them. Rutgers' roster shows 7-0, 7-0, 6-10, 6-9, 6-9, and all but one of them are from a foreign country. Plus a 6-6 kid from Canada.

Three burning questions

1. Will Watkins (or someone) step up to run the team in the absence of Hagins?

2. Can we get by with a lack of sufficient depth up front?

3. Who will emerge as the second and third scoring options to replace Hagins and Woods?

Monday, October 17, 2016

My, how things have changed!

I found this quote from College Sports Madness' preview of Rhode Island: "Iverson is a beast on the glass and averaged 7.1 rebounds per game." Seven rebounds a game makes you a "beast" on the boards? I remember a quote I once read from Oscar Robertson. I can't render it exactly, but he said something to the effect that if a power forward averages 8 rebounds per game these days, he is all-league. In Oscar's day, if he averaged that, he sat on the bench. There are several factors in that change, of course, but it is significant.

Point guard - the unsettling factor

As much as any factor, what will keep a program unsettled is uncertainty at the point guard spot. Several of us have said that you need three legitimate point guards on the roster, and I would amend that by saying that you also need a shooting guard or two who could handle the role in a pinch. If you don't have a point guard who can run the offense and who is a disruptive factor on defense, it is like having a car that is missing: things just do not run right. The team and the staff may know by this point, but as fans the uncertainty at the point guard position is the main thing that tempers optimism about the upcoming season.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The sad lot of linemen

On ESPN's NCAA Football Scoreboard sight, they have a summary of "Top Performers" on the right hand side of the screen: the top passer, the top runner, the top receiver.  Mind you, one of the offensive linemen might be having the single greatest game in the history of NCAA football,  but his name would never be mentioned.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I am not a coach . . . BUT

seeing that Cal State Northridge finished 334th in the country last season in 3PT%, I think even I could figure out where they need to improve. Ouch!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The future looks Biggie

I do not know how much Biggie Goldman will play this year. If his case is typical of most true freshman big men, probably not much. But that is not the main question. How good will he be by the time he leaves Little Rock? That is what interests me. He has some skills, and he has size. The staff will add strength, and if he listens to them, he will add even more skills. Until we see him on the court, it is hard to say, but I think the future looks bright for Mr. Goldman.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Go Scarlet Knights!

I am going to watch Rutgers a little this season. New coach Steve Pickiell says the Scarlet Knights will go with a foundation of defense and rebounding. I like it!

Greatest or best?

Asking who was the greatest player in your program's history is entirely different from asking who was the best player. Take our own Little Rock situation, for instance. Back in the old days we were not Division One. For that matter, if you go far enough back, we were not even a four-year school.

A player who was completely dominant in our early days would not be the best player ever to have played in Little Rock because our talent level was not as good back then - but he might have been the greatest player. For example, the stats put up by Larry Johnson back in the mid-1970s were absolutely astounding. He averaged 14.1 rebounds per game over his career. We have only had three players (he was two of them) to average that over a single season. Furthermore, he had 265 career blocks. Second place is 158. No one is even close to him in two career categories. The best player ever to be in Little Rock? No, probably not by a good bit. But he might just be the greatest player ever.

The Ivy League caves in

The Ancient Eight have had about as much success in the NCAA tournament as any conference at their level in recent years. Maybe, just maybe, that was because they sent their best team to the Dance each year.

But, caving into the pre$$ure of having a post-season tournament, they now have modified their NCAA qualifier to be like everyone else, so that potentially they may be sending their worst team to the Tournament. That ought to really help their success!

Where Athlon picked our non-conference opponents

Idaho - 2nd of 12 Big Sky
St. Bony - 8th of 14 Atlantic 10
Pepperdine - 4th of 10 WCC
Central Mich - 6th of 6 Mid-Am West
UCA - 12th of 13 Southland
Tulsa - 9th of 11 AAC
Pine Bluff - 9th of 10 SWAC
Northern Ariz - 11th of 12 Big Sky
Oral Roberts - 8th of 9 Summit
Florida - 3rd of 14 SEC

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Watkins at the 2?

The interview with Dayshawn Watkins on the official site said that he "will be looked to for minutes at both guard positions." That was a little bit of a surprise to me. I had assumed he was a pure point guard, but evidently not. It does give us that much more versatility, and probably opens up a few minutes for the younger point guards.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Talk about the Royal Three!

(from Rivals)

No program [in the WCC] besides Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s or BYU has reached the WCC title game in the past eight years. San Francisco’s second-place finish in 2014 is the only time any other team has cracked the top three in the WCC standings since BYU joined the league in 2011.

The Jones Indicator

There are benchmarks by which you can measure a team. One of them is the quality of incoming recruits - if there was an upgrade. Watch closely for the playing time of Andre Jones this year. He is the highest-ranked of the incoming recruits. If he does not get much time, that is not necessarily a bad thing given the number of upperclassmen we have. However, if he does get a lot of time, that means we lured in a good one. If he plays with all the veterans we have, then he is pretty good.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Better get started has Moses Moody of Parkview as the #2 player of his class in the state. Since we have definite Parkview connections, we need to get started recruiting this kid right now. Maybe we are.

The devastation that is Rutgers

I have not investigated it, but I am sure Rutgers must be fairly good in some sports. However, they are horrible in football and basketball, and thus their national profile is pretty bad. I assume their Athletic Director has ulcers.

Ah, great fun during college football season

Watching the scores, rooting for SEC teams to get beat.