It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume I

Posted 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.

Twelve is Apparently Enough

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.

Meet the 17th Member of the Big East

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.

rtmsf (3773 Posts)


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8 Responses to “It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume I”

  1. I have a very simple question to pose: Am I the only person who loves Bob Knight as an analyst?

  2. Andrew says:

    I like Bob Knight as an analyst. He’s not perfect, but the thing I love about him is that he actually talks about the game that is going on. He’s not going to get caught up in talking about the game that happened last night or who his final four favorites are or his PTPer list or how such and such a player rates as an NBA prospect. He actually talks about the game that is going on, and often offers actual insight into the game that is all too rare among the platitudes and cliches offered by too many other color guys.

  3. JR says:

    He talks about the game and not other stuff, like Vitale, and gives great insight into what is going on but he seems to talk about the same things over and over again. Zach Hayes pointed this out to me, but he is always talking about shot fakes and ball fakes.

    I enjoy him but the repetitiveness of his points can wear on me after a while.

  4. rtmsf says:

    I’m mixed on him b/c sometimes his insights are well beyond what an average analyst can provide, but I agree he can become repetitive. I’ve also noted at least three times in the past year where he’s clearly misunderstood time/score in his end-of-game commentary. Everyone is afraid to criticize him for that b/c he’s won, oh, about a 1000 games, but he should know better and it makes him look foolish to condescend to the audience and then make such profound errors.

  5. Andrew says:

    On the ball fake thing, yeah, that’s gone a little overboard. The over/under on the ball fake reference for any Bob Knight-called game is at least a dozen…

    And, I’d agree that he can get old after awhile, but then again, after a month of hoops, now is the time of the season that I wind up watching most of the games w/o the blather of the announcers.

  6. Kevin Doyle says:

    Knight is 50/50. Some nights I actually learn a few things listening to him, but other nights you have to turn the TV on mute. Although it is the NBA, the best commentating team out there is Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy…they somehow make the NBA a little fun to watch.

  7. Lynn Hayes says:

    Rush The Court » Blog Archive » It's a Love/Hate Relationship …: I LOVED..…that the Big Ten announced Sunday i… http://bit.ly/hDe5Bi

  8. He does get repetitive sometimes, but I do find it really interesting to hear the things he harps on. I’d really like to listen to him call a Texas Tech game sometime, just to see what he’d have to say about his son’s team.

    To me, Knight’s perspective is something unique as an announcer. He always ran a fundamentally tight team at Indiana, something the modern game often leaves behind. He’s kind of a relic in that regard, but those fundamentals can still be effective.

    I do like how he is unafraid to speak his mind and his focus on the game at hand.

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