Monday, March 21, 2005

That's Why You Don't Call Timeout (Day Four Recap)

Hodge knew what
to do with it
All weekend I've been railing about the new trend in college hoops: coaches calling timeout and micro-managing the game. Today we saw Herb Sendek let his guys play on, and the result was a fantastic game-winning three-point conversion by star senior Julius Hodge. Not only were the Wolfpack able to create an advantage by keeping the pace of the game intact, they also got UConn in matchup problems. Rudy Gay was clearly not ready to handle a guy like Hodge (although he was unlucky getting tripped like that), and Jim Calhoun certainly didn't want Charlie Villanueva guarding ANYONE out there (impartial analyst Gus Johnson went so far as to apologetically call him a liability). If NC State calls timeout, it gives the Huskies a chance to get Josh Boone back in the game, and viola! that shot gets cleaned right off the glass and we go to overtime. Great work by Sendek.

Here are other thoughts on the day:

- Sendek's great coaching stole the show from Calhoun, who showed his skill in the most challenging of times. He did a great job with offense-for-defense and he did it early. He wasn't afraid to go to the bench for guys like Ed Nelson. He kept his team attacking and going to the basket. Great job of coaching - too bad no one will remember it since they lost.

- Billy Packer continues to be one of the most vile men in the world. Well, at least in the broadcasting industry. He just can't keep his big mouth shut. Last year it was an open war with St. Joe's. This year he was openly rooting for Duke. There's no other way to put it. He was pleading with the officials for calls, making excuses for the Blue Devils, and carrying on as if he was the AD of the university. It was loud, it was blatant, and it was the ultimate example of unprofessional behavior.

- Louisville looked mighty impressive. I told you that was just a 2-7 game in disguise. Please, please, let CBS show the Louisville-Washington game this Thursday. If I get fed another crappy game because a Big 10 team is playing, I might puke.

- Isn't it weird that last year's Wisconsin team was considerably better than this year's team ... yet they are already a round further this time around? Crazy game.

- Mmmm ... Mamba's.

- Digger's matching tie/highlighter shtick needs to stop immediately.

- Has anyone seen a single minute of a Villanova game?

- Oklahoma State vs. Southern Illinois is the best game that everyone will forget about. The Cowboys had to dig down deep and get a career game from McFarlin (31 points) to get past the gritty Salukis. Great job by both of those teams.

- Have to mention North Carolina (the only team to absolutely roll through the first two rounds), so how about Marvin Williams going for 20 and 15 off the bench? Ladies and gents, there's your #1 pick in the 2006 NBA draft.

See you on Thursday.

1 comment:

Branden Higa said...

I wasn't able to see Friday night's games as I was sitting in traffic on the 405 on my way to San Diego for the weekend, but I did listen to the games. Although I was in anguish the entire time that I couldn't see the Kansas-Bucknell game, I did get to hear the color commentary of John Thompson which was either maddening or absolutely brilliant. But I have to make a shout out about one comment in particular. Thonpson actually called out the KU fans for being 'a bunch of frontrunners'! What a call! I have never heard a commentater drop something like this on the crowd. He even came back to it later in the game saying that they could hanve helped the team win, but failed to do their part. Great work by JT in my book. I hope he keeps it coming.

PS- One other thing about Thompson. I know there were a lot of games going on this weekend, but can we get someone else to conduct post game interviews. Preferable someone who actually gives a damn about what the player or coach is saying. JT, please... if you are not interested, fake it for the sake of the millions of viewers who are excited about what jsut happened. Some passion here!