ATB: Karl Hess Isn’t Invited to Our Thanksgiving Dinner EitherPosted by rtmsf on November 26th, 2009
Sean McDonough Rips Karl Hess. Rarely will you hear an announcer publically call out an NCAA basketball official by name for a terrible call, but during the second half of the Vanderbilt-Arizona game tonight in the Maui Invitational, ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough ripped Karl Hess a new one for calling a bizarre quick-trigger technical foul on Arizona coach Sean Miller for protesting a cheapie on one of his players. Another blog gives a much more detailed take than we will here, and we’re not really buying the gambling angle they suggest, but McDonough’s comments were without question incendiary and had us thinking that he might even face some sort of internal administrative censure for going after Hess so vigorously. McDonough’s specific comments were that:
Karl Hess, he was involved in the 54-foul game the other night, and he’s one of these officials, unfortunately, who always finds a way, it seems, to be at the center of the action. You don’t come here to watch him officiate, but more often than not, he finds himself at the center of attention. And here he goes again over the scorer’s table to try to sort something out…
We found a video of the situation and posted it below — the relevant parts begin after the 2:00 mark, but there are comments throughout leading up to it.
OT Exotica. We head into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a couple of nice overtime battles in exotic locations for tournament titles. Both were unexpected for completely different reasons.
- #5 Kentucky 73, Stanford 65 (OT). Even with Kentucky’s apparent growing pains in terms of defense and turnovers, nobody could have predicted that a team picked tenth in the Pac-10 that already has losses to San Diego and Oral Roberts would be able to hang with John Calipari’s stable of Wildcat stars in the finals of the Cancun Challenge — even for a half. Yet there was Johnny Dawkins’ Cardinal with a chance to seal the game away at the line as Jarrett Mann stepped to shoot two with under fifteen seconds remaining. Problem is… and we see this with struggling teams all the time, Mann missed both. That gave Kentucky wunderkind John Wall (23/4/5 assts) just enough of an opportunity to slice through the Stanford pressure to get into the lane for a foul and two free throws (which he nailed) with 2.4 seconds left. This clutch performance came on the heels of another Kobe-style icewater jumper from the right side with thirty seconds left that had tied the game at 61-all. In the overtime period, Stanford predictably fell apart and Kentucky’s other star freshman guard Eric Bledsoe hit a dagger three to salt the game away with 33 seconds to go. The Cardinal should be proud of its performance, especially Landry Fields (23/13/3 assts/4 stls), who often appeared to be the best player on the court in this game (yes, just a mirage), but it’s now exceptionally clear that all the squawking Calipari has been doing about how far his team has to go is truth-speak. The talent for this team to become something special is there, but it’s also painfully obvious that his Cats often rely on God-given abilities (especially on offense) rather than an actual understanding of strategy or the sets. Decisionmaking by some players, especially DeMarcus Cousins, is also troubling in their naivete and youthful indiscretion. For example, back to back horrendous decisions by Cousins late in the game to shoot a three (not his shot) and later to purposefully miss a FT attempt in a misguided attempt to get his own rebound only to foul Stanford in the process, exhibits these characteristics. Kentucky has a chance to be very, very good, and when you have a release valve player like John Wall to cover up mistakes, that can go a long way, but there’s no doubt that UK has a lot of work ahead of it to reach its goals this season.
- Gonzaga 61, Cincinnati 59 (OT). The other really good game tonight was in the Maui Invitational finals, where those plucky little Zags from Spokane once again proved to the world that we should never take them lightly regardless of who they lose from year to year. Mark Few’s team won its first Maui Invitational title behind a balanced scoring effort among its starters — Robert Sacre (14/5), Elias Harris (13/7), Steven Gray (13/7/4 assts), and Demetri Goodson (12/2). The Zags’ supposed best player, Matt Bouldin, contributed the least offensively (6/11 on 1-7 FGs), yet the others stepped up and held off a very athletic and gritty Cincinnati team that looks nothing like the disaster that Mick Cronin inherited there a few years ago. The Bearcats’ starting five is extremely athletic and talented, and nobody is going to want to face this team as it continues to develop together (remember, Lance Stephenson is brand new and Cashmere Wright is essentially so). We were already high on Cincy but now we’re even moreso. One tiny complaint, though. When Cashmere Wright decides to take the game into his own hands as he did on the final drive in regulation, Born Ready needs to be ready to get to the rim for the putback and not stand around at the three-point line pouting that he didn’t get the ball. Just sayin’…
Upset of the Night. San Diego 76, Oklahoma 64. A late score that came in from the Great Alaska Shootout gives us our upset of the night, but right now we don’t have much in the way of details other than we know that Tiny Gallon spent most of the second half sitting next to Jeff Capel and the OU offense was borderline horrible (this comes from OU fan message boards). Could all the travel and different time zones over the past few days have gotten to the Sooners tonight?
Preseason NIT/RTC Live.
- #7 Duke 64, Arizona State 53. Arizona State jumped out to an early 15-7 lead on Duke as freshman Trent Lockett had 11 quick points. But the Devils’ defense really tightened up over the last 35 minutes as Arizona State had trouble finding an offensive source outside of Derek Glasser. Glasser, who is your stereotypical college point guard, finished the game with 13 points, including 11 of the Sun Devils’ first 13 points in the second half to keep Sendek’s kids in the game. Kyle Singler struggled through most of the first 30 minutes, but about midway through the second half, after a 7-2 ASU spurt that tied the game at 43, Singler scored back-to-back buckets to spark a 9-0 Duke run that sealed ASU’s fate. He was 1-10 from the floor at the time. Jon Scheyer continued his fantastic play, as he scored 16 points and had 6 assists. He also had his first two turnovers of the season, but Duke will move on to the PNIT finals to try to win the event for the fourth time (1985, 2000, 2005).
- UConn 81, LSU 55. UConn dominated LSU from the opening tip. The Tigers just didn’t have the size, the strength, the athleticism or the quickness to hang with the Huskies. Kemba Walker and Jerome Dyson both provided 20 points and 5 assists for the Huskies, while Sticks was typical Sticks, going for 14 points, 11 boards, and two blocks. But the difference in this game was UConn defensively. They absolutely shut down Tasmin Mitchell and Bo Spencer, who combined to go 6-27 from the floor for 14 points. As good as UConn’s big three are, the two guys that are going to determine the Huskies’ fate this season are Alex Oriakhi and Gavin Edwards. Edwards is the same Gavin Edwards of the past two seasons. When he is playing with confidence, he can give you the 15/9/3 blks he had tonight. Oriakhi has a much higher ceiling. With his long arms, his toughness, and his go-get-it attitude on the glass, he is Jeff Adrien plus two inches. Give that kid a back-to-the-basket game, and he’s a regular double-double. UConn moves on to face its old nemesis Duke in the finals of the PNIT on Friday evening.
Other Games of National Interest.
- #1 Kansas 89, Oakland 59. Kansas dominated from start to finish against the Summit League favorite despite relatively ‘off’ nights from all-americans Cole Aldrich (4/9/3 blks) and Sherron Collins (9/7). It’s a testament to how deep and talented KU is that the Jayhawks can still rip a good team to shreds with others — Xavier Henry (19/5) and Marcus Morris (19/11) — picking up the slack.
- Wisconsin 78, #22 Maryland 69. Greivis Vasquez had his best game of the season thus far (18/4/2 assts on 6-13 FGs), but it wasn’t enough as Wisconsin rode hot three-point shooting to the third-place trophy in the Maui Invitational. Jason Bohannon (20/3) in particular caught fire from outside, hitting four of his five attempts from deep. Maryland can’t be happy with this trip, heading home 1-2 with the one win over Chaminade.
- #24 Vanderbilt 84, Arizona 72. Vandy used a scorching (69%) second half to turn a five-point deficit into a commanding win as everybody seemed to get in on the action, especially center AJ Ogilvy (20/7/4 blks) and Jermaine Beal (18/5 assts). But we want to say this about Sean Miller’s Arizona team after seeing bits of the Wildcats over three nights. They’ll finish in the top four of the Pac-10 and be knocking on the door for another NCAA Tournament. They’re clearly shorthanded, but the core of Nic Wise, Solomon Hill, Derrick Nelson and Jamelle Horne is good enough in a weakened league to win 8-10 games. Mark it down.
- Pacific 71, San Diego State 63. Pacific moved to 5-0 in this interesting intrasectional battle, getting 16/5 from guard Terrell Smith.
On Tap Turkey Day (all times EST). The Old Spice and 76 Classics should have you on your couch watching roundball all day long.
- Creighton vs. #15 Michigan (ESPN2) – 12 pm – nice Old Spice matchup that Creighton would love to get for its RPI rating.
- #8 West Virginia vs. Long Beach State (ESPNU) – 2 pm – WVU tips off the 76 Classic with the return of Devin Ebanks.
- Marquette vs. Xavier (ESPN2) – 4 pm – our first view of two teams who lost a ton of production from last season.
- Alabama vs. Baylor (ESPN2) – 6:30 pm – LaceDarius Dunn (name and game – 25 ppg) alone is worth the price of admission.
- #16 Minnesota vs. #10 Butler (ESPN2) – 8:30 pm – on a day with many good games, this one is the most exciting to us.
- #19 Clemson vs. Texas A&M (ESPN2) – 4:30 pm – Clemson, as you know, is virtually unbeatable in November, but they’ll be tested here.
- Florida State vs. Iona (ESPNU) – 9 pm – FSU got decimated by the Gators earlier this week, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Noles respond.
- Portland vs. UCLA (ESPN2) – 10:30 pm – UCLA will likely have all kinds of trouble with this disciplined team – upset alert.
- Houston vs. Oklahoma – 11:30 pm – OU got oblitered tonight by San Diego, so they’re going to have to find some offense against Houston.