It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume IPosted by rtmsf on December 6th, 2010
Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC contributor. In this piece he’ll spend each week reviewing the five things he loved and hated about the previous week of college basketball.
The Five Things I Loved This Week
I LOVED..…that the Big Ten announced Sunday it’s not looking to expand in the near future. This recent movement between conferences has been fine and dandy, but I’m all for reeling things in a little bit now rather than continuing to strengthen/expand the big boys. We like conferences in college basketball for a reason – their identities. Teams in the ACC get up and down, the Big East is super physical… etc. Let’s keep expansion under control and preserve that uniqueness.
I LOVED…..a coach with no filter. Yes, Bruce Pearl, we’re talking about you. You were always one to let fly with a zinger once you got to UT. You spilled the beans about the rules you broke recently, and when given the chance, you had no problem lining up a zinger at a former UT employee.
“I’ve made mistakes, I clearly did, but what I was hoping for was that some other dumb%#& would get on the front page and take me off the hook,” Pearl said. “I miss Lane Kiffin.”
Thank heavens you’re still around Bruce, because we’d miss you.
I LOVED…..legacies getting into the act. On one hand we had Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus, making noise with his 18 points in a Central Florida upset over the freefalling Florida Gators. That sure beats making the headlines because you refuse to wear anything but Daddy’s shoes.
Then there’s Tyler Summit at Tennessee. The son of legendary UT women’s coach Pat Summit, baby-faced Tyler stepped onto the court — named after mom — during garbage time and promptly nailed a three. Sure he dipped his knees all the way and hoisted it up like he was ten years old (a distinct possibility), but you can’t argue with results.
I LOVED…..watching the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and all interconference challenges for that matter. It’s great for a number of reasons. One, it gives us monster matchups like Duke-Michigan State, and is great for the fans. Two, it tests teams early on and makes them play in hostile environments, even if their coach would prefer otherwise (yes, Coach K, we’re talking about you and your affinity for neutral court non-conference games). And three, it gives us a decent way to peg different conferences early in the year – like how the ACC is down again.
I LOVED…..two big-time teams coming to play in a big-time game. For some reason, when two top-tier squads get together I reminisce back to the #1 Memphis-#2 Tennessee matchup a couple years ago. You know, the one where you averted the eyes of your 6-year-old son so he wouldn’t think the goal of this game was to clank shots off that round orange thing.
It seems that with big games, you often get guys who are too amped up to stay in control (read: sloppy). But with Duke-Michigan State you got near 50 percent shooting, solid marksmanship from downtown, athletic D and a fun tempo. Here’s a vote for more of that this season.
The Five Things I Hated This Week
I HATED…..that TCU basketball is joining the Big East. SI’s Luke Winn documented exactly how awful this group is as they head into one of the country’s strongest conferences. Sure they’ll be right near the top during football season, but there’s something to be said for having a program be competitive in all areas before it makes the jump. Can anyone imagine Butler football joining the SEC? Yes, it would also be kind of funny. OK, really funny.
I HATED…..that this was a story. We have major rules violations left and right, so let’s just admit that a coach trying to send shoes to U.S. soldiers and making a procedural slipup could probbbbably be left out of our news cycle. Wouldn’t want to write a story on how that program is helping our troops overseas or anything……
I HATED…..dumb announcing moments that detracted from the games. First there was Dick Vitale’s ridiculous segment in the second half of Duke-MSU that looked like one of his DiGiorno commercials (and let me supplement that with the fact that I usually do enjoy Vitale). Still, enough’s enough, baby!!! We’re here to watch the game, not you.
And then there was ESPN’s hilarious attempt to film a piece of paper while Bobby Knight drew up a diagrammed play during Virginia Tech-Purdue. I, for one, was excited about getting some X & Os from the ol’ coach, but it was a disaster. Not only did the angle make it nearly impossible to see anything, but Knight drew just three players on the page, scribbled some illegible lines and then confused everyone by jotting down a random X in the middle. Go figure.
I HATED…..refs deciding a big game on a call that was questionable at best. Anyone who didn’t see UCLA-Kansas on Thursday, take a look here. Referees everywhere, repeat after me: If there is a 50-50 loose ball in the last two seconds, there better be blood before that whistle makes a peep. Give us five more minutes of good basketball, and then you can go home. Yuck.
I HATED…..that the basketball gods continue to have it out for Purdue. The Boilermakers have been dealt another blow with the news that sophomore guard John Hart (#3 on the team in scoring) has a stress fracture in his right foot. Robbie Hummel’s knee was a big enough disaster to start the season, and this just makes it worse as Matt Painter’s group tries to set itself up for a good seed in the tourney. This could have been a heck of a team, but Lady Luck is doing her best to drag it down into mediocrity.