Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I am and have been a big proponent of redshirting incoming freshmen. Maturity is a big factor in a young man's life at those ages, and I can remember that college freshmen are notoriously immature (at least I was, and most of the ones with which I went to school). The difference between boys and men, actually, comparing 18 and 22. And, that is one thing schools at our level can do to help themselves upgrade their talent against the money schools, who can get the four and five star recruits. Not only are they more mature, but usually they are considerably physically stronger across that time span.

Monday, April 28, 2008

That big recruit

Back in the 1970's Western Kentucky signed Jim McDaniels, who had grown up locally and had been a WKU fan all his life. Some other All-Stars came with him, and three years later WKU was in the Final Four. Sooner or later we will get that really special recruit.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Perimeter defense

Not only did the Trojans lead the SBC in 3-point % defense, but the quality of their play in that regard can be seen in the fact that fully a third of their opponents shot at least ten percentage points below their season 3PT average against us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Recruiting thoughts

While we certainly did not hit any home runs, I have to think that we helped ourselves in the incoming recruiting class. The post positions looked to be one of our strengths in the next few years with Mike Smith and Derrick Bails, and the addition of Wayne Burton for two more years can only make the competition that much more intense. Solomon Bozeman is an experienced point guard who has played two seasons at the BCS level, which should mean we will not take a step back at point when Patterson graduates. Solid class, but not a great class. The next class needs to be a great class.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bogus end-of-the-year polls

The final college basketball polls of the year are virtually meaningless because they kowtow too much to the NCAA tournament. The NCAA is NOT a test of the best team in the country. It is only a test of the hottest team over a six-game stretch. If that is all the polls are supposed to indicate – who could beat whom at a given point in time – then maybe they are fairly accurate, but to me the polls ought to be saying who has had the best season to date, and that is very frequently not the teams that did best in the tournament. To me, the college basketball season needs to be looked at as two distinct seasons – regular and tournament. Too many people, in my opinion (so-called basketball “fans”) only really follow college basketball during the NCAA tournament, and therefore that is all they care about. To me, what a team does over a 30-game season means a whole lot more than what they do in a six-game tournament, even though the tournament is a lot of fun and certainly should be continued.

Friday, April 11, 2008

JJ - still a great story

We need to get that "cause" feeling back

North Carolina State Coach Jim Valvano before they played us in the second round of the 1986 NCAA tournament: "You don't like playing a team with a hyphen in their name. They tend to have a cause. . . . They're playing for all the little people in the world."

Well, how about it? Do we have that feeling? Do we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulders? Time to get the swagger back!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trojans in the SBC record book

Steve Shields is now 18th in career SBC wins with 43.

We were 12 for 12 from the FT line vs. Southern Ark. in 2003 to tie for best % in one game.

Rashad Jones-Jennings holds the single game rebound record at 30. (I was there for that one.)

JJ has the most rebounds in a season at 392.

Muntrelle Dobbins has the most rebounds in a careeer at 1010. JJ is 23rd at 721.

Dobbins is tied for 17th in career blocks with 158.

Derek Fisher is tied for 18th in career steals at 184.

We have three players in the career 3PT FG Made list, Alan Barksdale at 5th with 255, Nick Zachery in 8th with 236, Malik Dixon in 19th with 199.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Deandre Eggins is leaving the Little Rock program. I will miss him. He was a solid contributor for three years. He had some physical issues, and was distracted by some tragedies in his family one season, but he definitely one of our better players over that period.

Season over

Well, the college basketball season is over. I mostly lost interest after the teams I follow bowed out. Pretty unique that all four #1 seeds made the final four, but in another sense, there wasn't much drama. Lots of basketball talent, but no Cinderellas. I had expected North Carolina to win it, or maybe Memphis. I really had not expected UCLA to win, because they had not played well down the stretch. Kansas would have been my third pick, so they surprised me a little.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Recruiting defense

You hardly ever hear of a player being recruited because he is a great defensive player, and I think there is a logical reason for that. In the first place, players in high school who are good enough to go to D-1 schools are usually vastly better than their peers, and so they don’t have to work hard at defense, and really have little motivation to do so. In the second place, the defensive schemes in college are much more complex, and so there is little to which high school defensive abilities can be compared. So, college coaches recruit either for offensive skills or innate basketball instincts or athletic ability, and teach their defensive schemes and philosophy to the player in college. There are exceptions, of course, but that would be by far the rule, I’m thinking. Also, great defensive TEAMS are not just, or even necessarily, great individual defensive players, but they know how to make their team defense work and each person buys into the philosophy and does his part. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, so to speak. That is one reason that really great defensive teams often come (these days) from lower-level schools where players are not leaving for the NBA, and where you see a lot of fifth-year seniors.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Four

From my perspective, this is a pretty boring Final Four. I know the supposed best teams are all there, but when things go according to the book, there just isn't much suspense. I like to root for the underdogs. No underdogs this year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Long summer

For die-hard college basketball fans, it is a long spring and summer. But stay tuned. Check in from time to time, because I will be posting here on a regular basis. Lots about the Little Rock Trojans, but also lots about college basketball in general.

Incidentally, I heard a sports talk show host say no one had ever heard of Mr. Curry of Davidson before this year. I was amazed. Anyone who follows college basketball closely had heard of him.