Wednesday, March 31, 2010

strange feeling

I will be in the strange position this weekend of rooting for Duke, but I will not root for Huggy Bear.

Bo and Izzo

The two best D1 coaches in the country just may be in the Big Ten. Tom Izzo and Bo Ryan. They get it done every year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

difficult task

I think sometimes people underestimate the difficulty of going to the NCAA tournament in our situation. If my memory is correct the total of the combined trips to the Dance among all the non-Fayetteville D1 teams in Arkansas over the last 20 years is - two. How many SBC teams have ever been to the Dance in this league? Five, I think I saw someone post here lately. That means that the remaining seven teams have never been. The average SBC team goes to the NCAA once every twelve years (assuming no at-large bids). It is a tough hill to climb.

internal issues

This team was better than our record. I am convinced of that. I have to wonder if there were not some chemistry issues.

So close

Steve has not led the team to post-season, but he has come so close. Very frustrating. Looking at the records of the teams in post-season this year, it is very perplexing that we were not there last season.

Monday, March 29, 2010

progress?

We were a bad team this year. I feel sure that even with the same roster we will be a fair team next year (.500). With a competent addition at post, we might be a pretty good team (20 wins), although that might be a stretch. Past that I am unwilling to predict. The talent on this team was better than 8 wins, and that is what bothers me.

Shields' weakest performance

I have been a big Steve Shields fan, and remain so. I hope he gets to stay another year so he can have a shot at the all-time UALR coaching wins record.

I thought Steve did an outstanding job the two previous seasons, but no so this last year, which probably was his poorest coaching performance so far. True, he was hindered by the injury to Mike Smith. Still, Steve proved unwilling to adapt to the changed circumstances that were forced upon him.

I am not a fan at all of gunning away from the 3-point range. I like an inside post-up style, but what strength there was on this team was our variety of 3-point shooters. We had almost no post-up game. Steve should have taken more advantage of that strength. Instead, he continued to play to his weakness, and it absolutely killed us. He badly needs to review his mistakes from this season and learn from them. He cannot afford to repeat them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off season work

The off- season, which is hard upon us, is the time I study stat sheets and recruiting write-ups - and articles on basketball history. It isn't as much fun as the season, but if you do your homework, it can be enjoyable.

Butler

Butler is the only team that I follow closely that is still in the NCAA tournament. Their win over Syracuse was a real pleasure for those of us who root for the little guys. One more win and they are in the Final Four.

Friday, March 19, 2010

casual fans

This time of year really brings out the casual fans of college basketball - those that do not really follow it, but just enjoy the hype of the NCAA tournament. Sadly, seemingly the entire sport is geared for those casual fans. The dollar rules.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Oh by the season"

I know I am an oddball about this, but we are now into the "oh by the way" season. The real season - the part that really counts - is over. Now we go into the circus, the cotton candy, the hype, the time when one team can get hot and end up with something it really has not earned over the course of whole season.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

bad joke at UCA

UCA's firing of Rand Chappell and hiring of ex-Hog Big Nasty was a farce. Chappell was forced to try to win during the probationary period when they could not go to post-season, and then, after he had done the dirty work, they fire him and bring in someone with zero D1 coaching experience. Cheap Shot! I just became an ex-UCA fan.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A dispassionate observation

I am not too concerned about whether Shields stays or goes. He has had a good run, and it might be time for a change.

But the make-up of the camps is interesting to me. Those calling for Shields' dismissal generally like up-tempo and put all or most of their eggs in the post-season basket. Those who wouldn't mind his staying seem to put more emphasis on the regular season and don't particularly like up-tempo.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trivia questions

Trivia questions:

How many Trojan head coaches have had 20 win seasons?
Herman Bogan
Ron Kestenbaum
Mike Newell
Wimp Sanderson
Steve Shields

How many Trojan coaches have had back-to-back 20 win seasons?
Mike Newell
Steve Shields

How many Trojan coaches have had back-to-back 20 win seasons in the SBC?
Steve Shields

rooting for a "winner"

It is not a problem to root for a winning team. Just pick out whoever is ahead and root for them. As long as they keep their noses clean, I am sticking with the Trojans.

I root for quite a few teams, and so I get to enjoy some success every season, but the Trojans are #1 (by a bunch).

Occasionally it works

From Rivals:

Long known as a run-and-gun team that took quick, ill-advised shots, the Irish now employ “The Burn,” which basically means Notre Dame “burns” as much time as possible before screening for a look with single digits left on the shot clock.
The result has been consecutive victories over Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut, Marquette and Seton Hall. All of a sudden a team that once seemed like a lock for the NIT is all but assured a spot in the NCAAs.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The real reason?

I really wonder how much of the dislike for Steve Shields among some of the Trojan faithful has less to do with the won-loss record as it does with the style of play. They just want run and run – period. Same as with the Razorbacks with Stan Heath. Winning 20-plus games wasn’t enough, because he didn’t play up tempo.