Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bench in perspective

In basketball the bench is important, and since so many games are decided by a few points, it can be crucial. However, we need to keep it in perspective. I picked five teams at random, and their starters averaged playing 71% of the minutes per game. So while the bench might make the difference, it is the starters who are going to win it or lose it for you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mid-major fan

When the little guys are all out of the NCAA, I just lose interest.

Good news, bad news

The bad news: Kentucky and Louisville both made the Final Four. The good news: We will get to see one of them lose.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Juniors and freshmen

If you are wanting to see which teams might make a leap forward next season, count the numbers of juniors and freshmen on the teams. Juniors will be providing the senior leadership in their final years, and so they have the mental pressure to step up to the mark. Juniors (juco) and freshmen have been in their first D1 years, and very often it is the second D1 year when a player makes the biggest improvement.

Home court advantage

A real home court advantge is not related to the size of the arena. It is how well the crowd fills the arena, no matter what its size, and how involved they get in the game. Often the smaller arenas are more of an advantage than the large ones.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bill Russell

In the 1956 NCAA tournament championship game, Bill Russell of San Fransisco had 26 points and 27 rebounds. He had 50 rebounds in the two Final Four games. He is one of only five players to have averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds over his college career.

I do not care what era he played in, those are hugely impressive numbers.

Drexel attendance

Seating 2300 people, Drexel's current basketball facility is quite small by D1 standards. However, they averaged home attendance of 2185, so they got a lot of mileage out of what they had.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Marginal teams may get into the NCAA tournament and even occasionally win some games, but it is extremely rare for them to get to the Final Four, or especially to win it all.

Greatest player in basketball history

The greatest player in college basketball history and the greatest player in NBA history happened to be the same person - but different names. In college he was Lew Alcindor; in the NBA he was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And please do not mention Michael Jordan.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bad for the game

Have I mentioned how much I dislike the 3-point shot?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Northwestern national championship

Much has been made of the fact that Northwestern is the only Big Six team never to have gone to the NCAA tournament. That is pretty amazing, given the fact that one would think the law of averages alone would dictate that.

However, few people outside the Northwestern program may realize that they do have a national championship to their credit. For many years from 1901, the Helms Foundation picked a national champion, and Northwestern was the national college basketball champion in 1931.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Non-fan time

It is time for all the pseudo-fans to come out of the woodwork. They pay attention to college basketball only during the NCAA tournament, when the bright lights are on. They are not fans. Few of them pay much attention to the games until the tournament.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Limiting yourself

When your game is as completely one-dimensional as Northwestern's is, you limit yourself to being hot from the arc. That is the situation you put yourself in when you refuse to do the dirty work in the middle. I do not feel sorry for them.

Funny faces

There really are some interesting facial expressions in the still shots taken in the heat of baskeball games, aren't there?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where's the coach?!

Nicholls State lost 20 games this year. Want to know why? Here is one reason. They took 38.7% of their shots from behind the arc, despite shooting only 31.7% as a team. Their tallest players were two 6-7 guys, so obviously they were hurting in the post. And yet the player who shot the most 3-pointers on the team was one of those 6-7 players. Now, that would not be too bad if he shot 40%, but he did not. He shot a paltry 30.3% from 3-point range, and yet the coach allowed him to blast away from the perimeter instead of being down underneath doing the dirty work that post guys ought to be doing. They deserved what they got.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Our first-year class this year was strong. Better than most we have had. Most of our classes have not included an All-SBC player. If the next class is as good, or even close, we have taken a significant step forward. Recruiting in years past has been spotty.

Not an awful season

Not a great season, or even a good one. But we did win the division title, which I certainly did not expect. And we probably were a couple of games ahead of where I expected we would be in the regular season. So, I suppose you could say that we are ahead of schedule. Now, if we can just get everyone healthy for next year . . . .

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Don't deserve it

As pathetically as Northwestern rebounds, they do not deserve to go to the NCAA. I hope they do, but they don't deserve it.