Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Interesting scheduling trend

More and more "mid-major" conferences are pressing their teams not to play guarantee games they have no reasonable hope of winning. That decreases the pool of easy wins the BCS schools can get. I wonder if the day will come when the only games the BCS schools can get with non-BCS schools are in the SWAC or other conferences that really have no choice from a money standpoint. Probably won't happen, but the trend is in that direction.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm ready!

I know it is still 2 1/2 months until the season begins, but I am ready to go. Thankfully, the pre-season magazines come out in a couple of weeks, so that should help me bear up under the burden.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Southland on the move

I think that the Southland Conference is one of the up and coming basketball leagues in the nation. Keep a close eye on them. They have had some high profile wins in the last couple of years, and several of their teams have become pretty tough. That is significant, because it will put pressure on the SBC teams within the bounds of the Southland (NTU, and the Arkansas and Louisiana schools) to get better or be eclipsed by teams from a "lesser" conference.

new 3-point line

Strange as it may seem, the longer 3-point shot this next season OUGHT to make shooting percentages go up. Coaches ought to now enforce a shooting ban on marginal shooters who have been blasting away from the old, ridiculously-close arc. Now only the true shooters will be shooting 3-pointers, and that ought to make the overall percentage go up. There were a lot of atrocious shooting percentages on stat sheets in the past by shooters who shot a lot of 3's.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The year for disappointment

This is a year to be disappointed. Usually as fans, we dream tall, but keep our expectations in our back pocket so that we won't be too disappointed. We are prepared to say, "Those grapes were probably sour," if we need to. "I didn't really think they would do it."I think this is a year we need to plan to be disappointed. By that I mean, we need to expect high. I think this is a team that can do it, and we need to expect it, and be prepared to be genuinely disappointed if they aren't very good.

Don't have to do everything well

A team does not have to be good at everything to be a very good team. In fact, it is very rare that teams are even above average at every individual aspect of the game. But each team needs to be superlative at some aspect of the game, and does not need to be horrible at any aspect of the game. That is the hub around which their game rotates. This team was very good at perimeter defense last season. That was probably the strongest aspect of their game. I hope they begin there this year and stay at least that good. Can't let down there. But if they take the next step forward, some other aspects of their games needs to improve. I expect it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fuel costs and non-conference schedules

I would love to see a guru on one of the major websites address whether or not high fuel prices has affected the non-conference schedules this season. Surely it has to, perhaps not so much on the crowded east coast, but in far-flung conferences like the MWC, WAC and SBC, their conference travel costs are already horrendous, and I would think they would schedule close to home during the non-conference portion as much as possible.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Improvement with experience

Shooters are probably good shooters when they get to college. I am guessing that factor does not improve that much. However, shot selection may improve. Bo McCalebb from UNO was a case in point. He made himself into a better percentage shooter. Big men usually improve considerably with experience. And, I am guessing that point guards also learn as they go. In some places experience plays more of a role than in others.

Is this the year?

Could this be the year that Fayetteville does not go to the NCAA and one of the other D1 teams from the state goes? Hasn't happened in a long time. We have a good team this year, and Pine Bluff and ASU have new coaches, which should inject some energy into those programs.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Example of why coaches matter

Bo Ryan at Wisconsin matters. He gets good players, and consistently has great teams. Obviously, he is the difference. Great coaches make great teams out of good players, because they get the sum of the parts to be greater than the whole. They used to call it "teamwork."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Patterson and Edwards

I think that Patterson and Edwards will be the keys to how well we do this year. Both will be in their second year in the program, and both have obvious potential to be better than they were last year. If both turn into significant offensive threats, that could solve the big issue we had last year. I'm looking for good things from both of them.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Underclassmen

One concern I have is that of underclassmen getting discouraged because they are not getting playing time and leaving the program. All else being equal, the older, more experienced players are going to get the bulk of the playing time. I am sure the keeping up the morale of the younger players is a big job for the coaches.

Joe and the post men

I can't wait to see the results of Big Joe having two years to work with Bails, Big Ticket and Burton as a group.