Thursday, December 31, 2009


At this point in the 1985-86 season, we were 4-9, and that year ended up being arguably the high water mark for the program (the Notre Dame win in the NCAA tournament). Can lightning strike again? Possibly, but in recently years we have been so snake bit that we just naturally assume the worst. We have been the 3rd or 4th best team in the SBC over the last decade and no postseason to show for it. However, hope springs eternal in the human breast. Maybe this is the year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

opponents' A/TO

One stat that may be revealing is our opponents' assist/turnover ratio. They are at 1.16 in the aggregate, which would make most any coach happy if his team could average that for a season. I guess it shows we are not disrupting our opponents' flow of offense very well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I am pretty discouraged about this team, and the program, at this point. I knew this would be a down year, but I did not expect us to be playing as poorly at this point as we are. Our won-loss is about what I expected at this point, but we absolutely stunk up the gym at Wright. I don't know what the problem is. Maybe we are having trouble adjusting to not having Mike Smith. He was one of the leaders of the team.

Shields had better find the answer. I am afraid his job is on the line.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Shields' job

Calls have begun again for Steve Shields to be replaced. I have mixed feelings about it. I like Shields and I hope he makes it. I think he has been good for the program. He has achieved at a high level and has run a clean program. The only hits against him are that he has not been to post-season and that he “does not play an exciting brand of basketball.” Since I prefer more deliberate styles, that last is in his favor, in my view. However, it may be true that the program needs some momentum. The injury to Mike Smith really set this off, which is not fair to Shields, because with Mike the outlook on this year likely would be entirely different.

I just hope we don’t end up with playground ball or someone who brings in a bunch of questionable characters just to put up wins.

In trouble?

I think this program may be in trouble short-term unless Shields can stop the bleeding and get things going this season. We need immediate help badly, and I don't see any immediate help on the way. I am in favor of recruiting freshmen, but I don't think Shields has that much time at this point.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mike Smith's injury

Mike Smith down with torn ACL. Probably his career is over. What a blow! He had worked so hard to get in shape and had been playing well. Bad for him, and bad for the team. This program is just snake-bit!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Buying in

Teams seem to some together when they "buy into" the coach's philosophy, and admit that he knows more about the game than they do. It is amazing how often players don't believe that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

bad shooters shooting

Here is something I do not understand. Central Arkansas' Chris Poellnitz has the second-most 3-point attempts on the team, and since he missed four games has the most attempts/game. Yet he is shooting only 20% from the arc. Why does the coach allow him to blast away. Granted UCA does not have many outside threats, but surely they can find someone who can shoot better than 20%! I never have understood why coaches allow players who cannot shoot to take so many shots.

Monday, December 14, 2009

predictable so far

With the possible exception of Missouri State, the result of every game so far has been what I thought it would be, and that one was only because I had no idea they would be as good as they are. Sagarin has us with the 16th-toughest schedule in the country so far this year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

close, but not there

This team is close to being a fairly good team this year. It could happen before the season is out. But we aren't there yet. We need to plug some holes in some weak areas. Shields is a good coach, and I expect we will improve, but I don't know if we will improve enough to be in the hunt this season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

blocks and steals

This team lags considerably behind opponents in blocks and steals. May be indicative of what our defensive problem is.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


One area where we are weak this year is in blocks and steals. Our opponents have significantly more in each of those than we do.


Better start keeping up with Northwestern. May be one of the outstanding stories of the season in college basketball.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I have been hugely impressed with the shooting of this team this year. There are some definite weak points, and so far I cannot say this team is any better than average, but they definitely can shoot.