Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"starters returning"

The phrase "returning starters" is pretty flexible. The players that started the most games? Or that were starting at the end of the season? Or that played the most minutes?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Acknowledging the small things

One of John Wooden's rules was that when you scored you always acknowledged your teammates. I hope the team members appreciate and acknowlege the "unseen" parts of a good team - defense, being in the right place, taking charges, etc, etc. And, I hope we as fans watch for them and applaud them, also. Too many "fans" only see offense.

"Home run" effect

When Mark McGwire was setting the single-season home run record, people cheered wildly when he hit a home run. The thing that always galled me was that they did not boo him just as energetically when he struck out with men on base. He was rewarded for gambling by swinging for the fence, but not punished for striking out.

The same holds true with 3-point shooting. We cheer when a player takes a low-percentage shot and makes it, but we don't boo when he misses it. There is a reason that players ought to take good-percentage shots. The 3-point shot rewards bad shot decisions. I wish it weren't there, but at least I am glad they are moving the line back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

starting lineup

I assume (hope) that after the extended shaking-out period last year, the starting lineup will be fairly well set this year. We don't need that degree of confusion again. That having been said, I also hope all of the starters are pushed hard by those behind them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Will MTSU be the pick?

Who will be the concensus preseason choice to win the SBC? I'm guessing it will be MTSU. They have virtually everyone coming back from a good team last season. All the pieces are there, and they are due. However, we may get some consideration for the same reasons, and maybe also ULL.

big men

Ought to be some quality big men in the SBC this season. Russell Hicks. Carlos Monroe. Theryn Hudson. Might throw in a couple of our own guys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ready to go!

I am about ready to roll for basketball season. Sounds strange, I know, with football not even started yet, but the pre-season basketball magazines come out in about six weeks, and that is when the "season" begins for me, since I can get stoked up on information. The roster is posted. The schedules are beginning to come out (two from the SBC so far). Let the speculation begin!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How good on defense?

How good could this team be next season on defense? Eight of our returning players were playing their first games under Shields this past season. All of them will go into the season knowing his defensive scheme, and having had a year of playing together in it. We were very good on defense last year. MAYBE we will be scary good next season?

points per shot

Efficient shooters (most points per FG attempt) usually go to the free throw line a lot, because those points are added into the points per field goal. An example of the opposite is Chris Gradnigo of ULL, who shot fully 44% from the 3-point line, but only shot 29 FT's all year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

basketball and statistical equality

One of the things that I like about basketball is its statistical purity. By that I mean that everyone on the floor can get every statistic. Not so in football, where most of the stats are for backs and receivers only. Not so in baseball, where only pitchers get strikeouts. Not so in hockey and soccer, where only goalies get saves. In that sense, at least, basketball is the most equal of the major sports.