Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Akron - another example to emulate

According to Athlon, Akron has won 20 or more games eleven seasons in a row, and are expected to do it again this year. That is a pretty good strategy - just win 20 games and let the rest take care of itself (which it probably will if you win that consistently).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who will the shooters be?

With today's game being weighted so heavily toward the three-point shot, you really cannot survive very well without it. So who will our gunners be? Obviously Johnson. Obviously Osse. Jalen Jackson and Maurius Hill shot pretty good percentages last season, but they did not shoot often enough to get much of a track record. Evan Moorman can shoot lights out, but will he get in the games enough to do so? Past that we are just shooting in the dark.

Monday, September 26, 2016

What have we not done lately?

What statistical categories have fallen on hard times lately? Say, since the year 2000.

No one has made 190 or more FGs

A couple more were close.
Only Stan Blackmon averaged at least 17.7 points per game.
Only Blackmon shot 55.3% from the field or more

Outside of these, every statistical category had at least two entries since 2000.

It can be proven: 3-point shooters are a dime a dozen

Even Division 2 schools have shooters - LOTS of shooters. UAFS shot 39.6% as a team from the arc. Even Division 3 schools have kids that can nail 3-point shots all day long. Even high school kids can do it. Everyone can play HORSE. Finding a post player who can shoot 60% is much more rare than one that can shoot 40% from the arc. And find one who averages 10 rebounds per game, and then compare that to the number of sparkling 3-point percentages. I stick by my statement that shooters are the plain vanilla ice cream of the college basketball world.


Even though my father never golfed, I had a keen interest in professional golf in my youthful days. And one picture that will ever be etched in my memory is that of Arnold Palmer striding down the course in that forceful, intense manner of his. He was not the greatest golfer - not quite - but to me he is the most memorable. Jack Nicklaus won more tournaments and defined excellence in the game, but Palmer was Mr. Golf. He was the heart and soul of the sport. And the battles that were waged by Nicklaus, Gary Player and himself over several years were epic.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another side of Johnson's game

Because he had  such an outstanding year shooting 3s, I have tended to forget that Marcus Johnson was  second in the team in attempted free throws, behind only Roger Woods. And he made 78% of them, which is more than respectable. Since he will be even more of the focus of opponents' defenses this year, expect that he will go to the line even more.

Recruiting vs. development

          Sleezipari can keep Kentucky in the hunt by his rent-a-championship tactics, and under the current environment, it will work year after year. We cannot snag that sort of talent; but a coach who is as good at developing talent as he is at recruiting it can keep his team at a high level IF he can get players to stay, which can be a problem in today's world.
          "You will play if you get better, and if you stay here you will get better."
          "But I want to play right now, even if I don't get better."    
          Sad, but true - that is often the way it is these days. Still, if a coach can recruit the right type of players (with good attitudes), and gains a reputation as a developer of talent, he should be able to get enough of the right sort to maintain a high level of accomplishment.

The evolution of "bogey"

If you read P. G. Wodehouse's collection of comic short stories about golf, you will find that they are mostly set in the time when players made a small mound of sand for a tee; in other words, they are from a long time ago. Another thing you will find strange is his use of the word "bogey." He uses it in the sense that we now use "par," and at first it is tempting to think that he just does not know what he is talking about and is using the term wrongly. However, the website tells us that in the 1890s, course managers began to develop standard stroke expectations for their courses, and called that the "bogey" for each hole. It was not until the mid-20th century that the term "par" began to be used for the expected score for each hole. So, Wodehouse got it right.


Friday, September 23, 2016

We need a few blowout wins

so the younger players on the end of the  bench can get some significant minutes. We do not need to go into next season with a roster as inexperienced as it might  be if that factor is not managed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

WAC is still BIG

Draw a line from Bakersfield, CA up to Seattle, then across to Chicago, and then down to Brownsville, TX. That is the scope of the current WAC. Travel costs still have to be horrendous.

Following multiple teams

I admit that I have overdone it the last few years, but I think the enjoyment of college basketball increases tremendously when you follow several teams closely. In the first place, that gives you an increased chance of having one of your teams be successful in any given year. In the second place, it gives you a  broader perspective on the sport as a whole. After my impending retirement, I doubt that I will be following the sport as closely, but I will still have several teams that I will keep up with.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Where's the height?

We have six seniors we presumably will have to replace.

If is correct, we have three commitments so far: 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. So far we are getting significantly smaller.

Who will get the minutes?

With one or two exceptions, this is not too hard to figure. Marcus Johnson, Lis Shoshi, Jalen Jackson and probably Dayshawn Watkins will get all the minutes they can stand. They will be on the floor a lot. All the upper-classmen will get significant minutes, plus Oliver Black. That doesn't leave much for the freshmen and the rest of the sophomores. Any of them who gets significant minutes (and Andre Jones might), will earn them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What do I say to Officer Black?

Oliver Black is a criminal justice major. Do you know what I would say to him if he stopped my car? "Yes, sir, Mr. Black." He will be an imposing officer.

It seems evident

that this will be a perimeter-oriented team, judging based on the personnel. I hope we have the horses for it, because the fewer dimensions you have to a team, the less options you have.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A pretty good legacy

According to Athlon, during their term at Wichita, Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet played in NCAA Tournament victories over Pitt, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas and Arizona. Not many players at any level can say that over the last four years.

Work down low?

We have three big men on our roster - plenty for our level - but Shoshi likes to do most of his work facing the basket, and it appears that Goldman is a similar type player. That would leave only Oliver Black to do the dirty work inside with his back to the basket, and he may well spend the season as a back-up to Shoshi.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I really, really wish

that the NCAA would get out of politics and stick with sports. I have seen nothing to indicate that Mr. Mark Emmert is such a paragon of moral wisdom that he should have the right to use his financial leverage to foist upon individual states his own personal ethics, or lack of same.

Speaking of Rutgers' woes

Last season they were the worst money-conference team in the country (#267 according to Sagarin). That is pretty awful, especially when you consider that they ranked behind Jackson State from the SWAC, where athletic budgets are miniscule.

Will it generate any excitement?

I will be very curious to see if having a local product coaching the team will generate any additional interest from the local sports fan base. Probably not too much, but anything helps.