Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maine - port of entry

The Maine team has players from Canada (2), Finland, Scotland, Germany (2) and Serbia (2), plus one named Dimitry Akanda-Coronel who shows being from Massachusetts, but must have foreign connections.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Poor SEC

Only one ranked team. Only one other team getting votes. And the team that was ranked just got beat.

The NCAA is wide open this year.

There are no Superteams, or any close to it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

About there, but I would like another win or two

We are about where I expected us to be, but I would like another win or two to finish strong. I don't expect us to do much in the tournament. We are young, and Shields has not proven himself to be a good tournament coach.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Something is wrong - but let's get the right answer

Something in wrong in Little Rock. We have lost five out of six. Granted, several of them were games we would not have expected to win, but we looked awful losing, and that is never good.

The knee-jerk reaction by people who do not like Steve Shields is, "Fire the coach!" Well, maybe it is time to change the coach. That is not my decision. I don't worry about that too much.

My point is that a while back we had won 6 out of 8, including wins at North Texas and at Western Kentucky. If the coaches were good during the wins, they are good coaches now. If they are bad coaches now, they were bad coaches then. Things normally do not change that much that quickly.

I want to get back to whatever we were doing when we won 6 out of 8. If the lack of a healthy Taggart Lockhart has been the problem, there was nothing we could do about that. And that may have contributed, but I doubt it was the entire problem. We just need to identify the problem and fix it - if it is fixable.

I suspect it is time to tighten up the rotation a little bit. That may be one problem.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It isn't what. It's why.

I am not overly concerned about where this team stands, because I did not expect much better from a team this young. I am concerned about why we are playing like we are.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valuable lesson: write it down

Saint Louis went to ranked Butler's storied Hinkle Fieldhouse and beat them. Look at these stats:
Butler shot better overall, from the arc and from the line. They had nine more rebounds than SLU. So how in the world did SLU win with numbers like that? They had only four turnovers.

You cannot beat the other guy if you beat yourself. If you do not beat yourself, then you stand a chance of beating the other guy. Write it down!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Little Rock's epic victory over Notre Dame

Courtesy of Burn The Horse:

Freshmen will be freshmen

With few exceptions, freshmen make freshman mistakes. And it costs. It is unreasonable to expect that a team at our level is going to be able to recruit a class that comes in and dominates the league, like Kentucky did last year. Even Kentucky could not do it two years in a row, because this year's freshman class is having its problems. We had a good class - undoubtedly one of the best in recent school history. We have been a fair team, not even a pretty good team at this point. But there is every reason to suppose that these freshmen will be considerably better next year. And they were not bad this year.

I cannot be too disappointed

I picked us to finish around .500 this year, and that looks like about where we will finish. At points in the season it appeared we might be able to better that a little, but we seem to have run low on gas here late in the season. Still, not too bad, all things considered.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wherever we finish this year,

I want to see us finish strong, with some momentum for next year. Leave the kids hungry for more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

OK or pretty good?

We fall somewhere in that range this year. We definitely are not good, and are not bad. Somewhere in between. At least OK. Maybe not quite pretty good.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This is Middle Tennessee's year in the Belt

They might not win the tournament, but they are the best team by a considerable margin.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Babe still holds the record

As far as I am concerned, Babe Ruth still holds the single-season home run record. Maris took too many games to do it, and the rest are totally tainted by steroids.

Little Rock vs ASU

Just about the best in-state sports rivalry around. Great fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Very nice tribute to Bill Carmody

from a message board:

I can certainly debate positives and negatives about his coaching, but I can't recall nearly a single time in 13 years where I felt he was anything less than 100% class.  In a day of constant self-promotion--twitter, facebook, 24 hr media--and ego-maniac coaches, he is just a rare breed, imo.

Vandy is down, but they will be back.

They had a big drop-off since last year's good team. But all five starters should be back next year, and their last three losses have been by four points or less, two of them on the road.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I do not look for us to be a good tournament team

this year due to lack of experience. BUT, sometimes it works the other way. Our kids have not been there and so they may not have any fear. Hope not.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

MT and USA are clearly the two best teams

in the SBC. The battle for third is going to be fierce in the coming games. No gimmes here. We will earn it if we get it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ben Brust's shot to tie Michigan

Just a great shot. I still say Bo Ryan is the best coach in Division 1.

Friday, February 8, 2013

If Gus Leeper is beginning to pick up steam

that is good news for Trojan fans. You remember what happened last time he came on strong late in the year.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ben Dillard

If he completes four healthy years in Little Rock, just mark it down that we will be saying he was a special player.

Just win what we ought to

If we will just win the games that RealtimeRPI says we ought to win, we will finish the regular season with 18 wins, which would be HUGE.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Isler and Fowler: that look

When they are/were focused on an opponent while they are on defense, John Fowler and Leroy Isler literally have the same intense look. Sort of like a cat waiting to pounce on a snake.

Doctoral dissertation?

Someone pursuing a doctorate related to sports should do a case study on Butler under the current coach. Really. It would be fascinating to know exactly what the components are to his approach.

Turnover during games

Steve Shields really does run players in and out of games at a high rate of speed. He is a good coach and knows what he is doing, but I wonder about that sometimes. Especially with all the media timeouts, stamina cannot be that much of a problem for college athletes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is there progress?

With a young team, progress is what you are looking for. Are we getting better. The improvement likely will not be constant, but over any three-game stretch, have we learned something? Are we ironing out the mistakes. Are we more consistent?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Taggart's value

Taggart Lockhart is a junk player. And that is a compliment. He does a lot of things pretty well, and helps the team in a lot of ways. Hustle is one of them. But one things he does exceptionally well for a 3 is take care of the ball and dish it out. He has 32 assists against only 23 turnovers. Very good numbers for his position.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Poor SEC

We are halfway through the conference season and the SEC is still ranked 7th by Sagarin - behind the Mountain West.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Will (Neighbour) to win

We have a lot more weapons than usual this year, but Will Neighbour is without doubt the focal point of the team. He leads us in scoring, in rebounding by a bunch, is third in blocks, second in steals, third in assists. I would not say that as Will goes, so goes the Trojans, because we have had some exceptions to that; but I would say that is hard for us to win if Will is not having a good game. He does not have to lead us in scoring because he does so many things well, but he needs to be contributing in a big way.

Not too shabby

Here we are headed into the last third of the conference season, and we are tied for second in the league with a bunch of freshmen. Not too bad.