Friday, March 29, 2013

When ADs go begging

I love it when athletic directors at the big money schools swagger out assuming that every small-school coach in the country is going to want to coach there, and come back empty after several tries.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pertaining to Shields' supposed lifetime contract

ADs know that winning in tournaments is a very iffy thing. Shields has had a record in the regular season that is well above average. He is a good (not great) regular season coach. He is a very poor tournament coach, but my guess is that his success in the regular season has outweighed that enough that Peterson has kept him on.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The thing the Belt needs now is stability

Once all this gets sorted out, we need a few years of status quo and let our teams build up their programs, and get some rivalries started.

Investments in big men are worth it

but they do not really pay off until the junior year.

Monday, March 25, 2013


At the highest levels of basketball (and maybe all levels), recruiting could be termed legal prostitution and not miss it by much, I suspect.

Big 10's year

The pundits all season have called the Big 10 the strongest conference in D1, and the tournament thus far seems to bear that out, with four of the Sweet Sixteen being from that conference. A Big 10 team may not win it all, but they do seem to have the most depth.

Healthy big men

One thing that is going to be critical to our success is to get both Will and Gus healthy and in shape. We had not had that the last two years. Both of those guys at full speed would make a significant difference.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I took a chance on Georgetown in my bracket

this year and got burned. Out in the first round (or the second round, as they now call it). I figured Louisville would win it, and I should have gone with my gut feel.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Great quote about Butler

"Being Butler means an absolute commitment to defense – not just the zeal it takes to play it, but the mental investment to learn a complicated system of defending."

from Pat Forde of Yahoo

Why do so many people hate defense?

It is "boring," they say. But you can get to the right total (more than the other team) just as much by subtracting from them as you can adding to you. It is harder work and not as glamorous, but it wins games just the same.

Friday, March 22, 2013

No NCAA teams

Someone said the state of Texas had no teams in the NCAA this year. I have not verified that, but even if true, it is no big deal, since the state of Texas could not care less about basketball. A few years back, though, the state of Indiana was in the same historic situation - and that was a state disaster.

When the tournament is over

is when the real work begins for a dedicated college basketball fan. Recruiting. Trying, by hook or by crook or  by Burn the Horse, to stay in touch with what is going on with the team. Boning up on opponents. Lots to do.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Not hard to figure

If we stay healthy, this team should be a lot better next year IF:
1. Steve can resist the temptation to overcoach during games.
2. He makes better use of Will Neighbour's skills.
3. He can get us to play better perimeter defense.

Do those three things and we win a lot more games.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Sleezipari and his Kentucky Tamecats getting beat by Robert Morris absolutely made my season!

Fool's Gold

So a lesser team lucks out and wins the conference tournament and goes to the NCAA and get waxed as a 16 seed. Do you think that will mean more than the win Robert Morris got last night in the NIT over Kentucky?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Declare Gonzaga the champions

of the regular season. They finished the season at the top of the polls. Now, move on to the second season, the tournament, and award a tournament championship.

What about the Carmody firing?

I could not fault it.  Bill Carmody had a steep hill to climb, but he tried to do it on one leg - meaning his one-dimensional basketball style. If they were not hitting 3-point shots, they were helpless. You cannot expect to win consistently in college basketball without a Plan B, and Carmody never had one.

I was very disappointed at non post-season

I suspect we could have gone to one of the money tournaments if we had pressed for it. I think it would have been very good for the kids.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

SLU beats VCU

Slow-down beats run and gun! Yeah!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big East and the SEC

On Saturday before the tournament, tThe Beast (where basketball matters) has eight teams deemed locks by ESPN compared to the SEC (where basketball does not matter at all), which has TWO.

Friday, March 15, 2013

If Shields can do some real soul-searching

during the off-season, this could be a good team next year. More of what we saw this year won't cut it, though. The players should be better. The competition should be worse, at least in conference play. Whether or not the coaching gets better remains to be seen.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kevin Stallings is a good coach

He has done a great job with Vandy this season, recovering from losing basically everything after last season. They still are not a good team, but they are way ahead of where they were at the first of the season.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Here is where Steve Shields doesn't get it.

From ESPN's Andy Katz: VCU coach Shaka Smart offered this advice for bubble coaches heading to the First Four in Dayton next week after the Rams started their Final Four run their in 2011, "Be aggressive confident and loose. You want to be an attacking team, no matter what style of play.''

Shields has his teams tight and tenative.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

South Florida cannot score worth cornshucks

but they will absolutely beat you to death on defense.

Make the reglar season mean something!

It is interesting to see that at least a couple of the “experts” on the major college basketball websites are strongly endorsing the idea that automatic qualifier NCAA tournament berths ought not to be decided by the conference tournaments. One thought the regular season champ ought to go. Another suggested that if the regular season is not the same as the tournament winner, then there should be a one-game playoff to determine who goes. In any case, at least it is a small step toward making the regular season more meaningful, which right now is NOT meaningful.

College basketball has a good thing going in the big stage which is the NCAA tournament. However, for the rest of the season, they are rolling over and playing dead in front of the football juggernaut by allowing their season to be irrelevant until football has evacuated the stage and courteously allowed them one slim month to do their thing. Basketball needs to push back. They need to tell the world that if you are going to follow basketball at all, then you are going to have to do it for more than just one month a year. One big step toward that is making the regular season mean more.

I will suggest one other step: some major entity (maybe the AP poll?) needs to declare a regular season champion. Just do it. Don’t ask the NCAA’s permission – just do it. Make the basketball season be two distinct seasons. Declare a national regular season champ, and then let the NCAA have a tournament champion. Just a thought.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ironic, isn't it?

The two teams in the finals of the Belt tournament had the combined record of an overwhelming 21-19 in conference play this year. It is easy to see why all these fans are falling over themselves proclaiming them to be "great coaches."

The plight of basketball assistant coaches

They have much less effect upon the final outcome than offensive/defensive coordinators in football,  but yet their fate hangs upon the head coach's performance.

I expect Shields will return next year

I am not sure that is a good thing, though. Not that he is a bad coach. I think he is a good coach, but he certainly is not a great one. And I think he is a very slow learner as a coach.

The problem is that, whenever we do make a coaching move, the probability is at least 50/50 that what we will get will be worse than Shields. But that is life. At least it will give us something to talk about.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why I do NOT like conference tournaments

Liberty lost TWENTY GAMES this year, and still they are going to the NCAA tournament because they got hot at the right time. That is ludicrous and ridiculous and a total farce!

Season is over

Not a horrible season, but a horribly disappointing season.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just for the record

I am a neutral in the argument as to whether or not Steve Shields should be retained as head coach. He has been here a long time, and he may have out-stayed his usefulness. I think the team was respectable this year, which was an accomplishment given our youth. But Shields is a very poor tournament coach, and that always bites us - and unfortunately basketball is a tournament sport.

My gut feel is to give him one more year to see what he can do with the kids a year older, but it will not bother me either way - and I doubt the outcome will be much different. And it is not my decision, anyway, so I do not spend time worrying about it or using up my emotions over it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

If Kentucky does not make the NCAA tournament

then this season will have had real meaning. Coach "One and Done" Sleezipari staying home. Beautiful!

Will college football fans even care

if college sports as we know it is destroyed by the greed for TV football dollars? I doubt it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Let's keep the roster intact

If we do, it probably will be the first time in my tenure as a fan, but I hope we can. I do not see anyone I want to get rid of.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

No fear, freshmen!

All but five of this group have never been to college D1 post-season before. Sometimes that translates into stage fright, but sometimes it is just the opposite because they have never experienced it and so have nothing to fear. Let's hope it is the latter with this group.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Better tournament team?

This could be a better tournament team than some we have had. The defense is solid, although not as impressive as some teams we have had. We do have a lock-down defender in Isler. Plus, we have another Bozeman-type player in Gillon, who can create his own shot, hit the three, and also make a high percentage from the line.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gongaza !

It is always great to see a non-power conference team as #1.

Tiger Woods is not news any more

He is just another golfer. I am sick of hearing about him.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I hope ESPN goes broke.

I really do.

We have at least two more games

and if we win one of the two, we will have matched the win total I expected (wanted) us to have. Not great, but a nice year for the roster we had.

When Will Neighbour is hitting 3's

our offense tends to run fairly well. When he is not, it is just difficult for us to get going. We do not have a post-up game right now, but if Will is opening things up from the arc, we at least have that advantage.