Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big 10 basketball, again

A lot of folks don't like Big 10 basketball. I do. And, in case anyone did not notice, the Big 10 was the top conference in the nation last year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pine Bluff

Although I am a huge UALR fan, I have also enjoyed following UAPB. About five years ago they were the worst team in D1 basketball. They have improved considerably since then. I expect they will be picked in the top third of the SWAC this next season. Life is tough in the SWAC. They have to be paid punching-bags in the non-conference season to pay for the athletic budget.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

class act

Steve Shields has seen every player graduate during his tenure as head coach who has exhausted his eligibility. That is pretty remarkable given the fact that they have won 4 division titles and are third in the SBC in wins during his tenure. That is doing it the right way. Winning with class.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pappy's NCAA Plan

If I were running the NCAA, here is what I would do. I would move all post-season tournaments to pre-season. Then, I would eliminate all conference tournaments, and make the NCAA tournament to include all qualified D-1 teams. This would eliminate the griping about who gets into the tournament, and prevent the continued watering-down of the meaningfulness of the tournament by expanding it.

If you are going to expand it further, then expand it completely. The regular season is almost meaningless now, anyway, since the NCAA gets all the publicity and so many so-called fans only follow the sport during the tournament. So, make it a little season all to itself and then perhaps, in contrast, the regular season will mean a little more.

My goal in all this modification is not to put more emphasis on the tournament, since “making the tournament” means very little to all the teams that stand a chance to win it, anyway. Then, the conferences can do what they need to in order to put the glamour back into the regular season conference championship and the conference tournaments, which are relatively meaningless except to allow teams to make the NCAA which don’t deserve to be there, will be de-emaphasized.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This waiting to see if Will Neighbour actually is going to be on the team is very frustrating to say the least. Probably the biggest high school recruit we have had in years, and we don't know if we have him or not. He is on the posted roster, but all the information we can get is that it is not a done deal until the NCAA clears him through officially.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bring back the 18 foot jump shot

Some coaches speculate that moving back the 3-point line a little (only a little) might open up the area between the lane and the 3-pt line for more pull up jump shots. We'll see. That is an aspect of the game that is just about gone the way of the dodo. Dunks and 3-point shots are all you see any more. Even with the line going back, the 3-pointer is still way too easy. It should have gone all the way back to the pro distance.

Monday, July 13, 2009

short jumpers

One of the most underrated skills in basketball today is the ability to be money in the bank on short, turn-around jumpers and put backs. From 3 feet in. That ought to be automatic, but in today's game it sadly isn't. We only look at the 3-point shooter who hits 40% plus of his shots, and forget about the big guy who shoots 60% on the short stuff. And, quite often, gets fouled. Not a glamor part of the game today, but I am sure coaches would give the shirts off their backs for someone like that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

big class coming up

On the just released roster, assuming it holds, we have seven juniors. Huge recruiting class coming up a year from now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Big 10 basketball

I love Big 10 basketball. Tough defense, bona fide big men, under-control offenses. I follow Northwestern and Wisconsin, but I admire some of the other programs, like Michigan State. You can have the Fancy Dan playground stuff. I like basketball that has dirt under its fingernails.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


To me, Zack Graber remains the standard for point guards, at least of the ones that I have seen play in person since I have been following Little Rock. He was little, and was not blazingly quick, and did not shoot much at all. He just got the job done. When he was on the floor, you had the feeling things were under control. I am hoping that the two we will have this year will be in his mold.