That’s Debatable: New Year’s ResolutionsPosted by rtmsf on December 31st, 2010
That’s Debatable is back for another year of expert opinions, ridiculous assertions and general know-it-all-itude. Remember, kids, there are no stupid answers, just stupid people. We’ll try to do one of these each week during the season. We’re fairly discerning around here, but if you want to be included, send us an email with your take telling us why at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Topic: You have one New Year’s resolution to make and you can choose it on behalf of any figure in the world of college basketball. What is that resolution and who is it for?
John Stevens, RTC editor/contributor
I’m going to take the low road and use this space to tell everyone what I they think they should do, because I know people love hearing that, especially when it’s unsolicited. But as I visit various gyms and arenas in my travels around this part of the country doing RTC Lives or whatever, I will beg as many college basketball fans as I can to resolve to come up with a NEW AIR BALL chant, if there really has to be one, and to abolish the “overrated” chant. Everyone knows why “overrated” is ludicrous. But the air ball chant is about 30 years old, and it’s time to upgrade. I tweeted about this a few nights ago and got GREAT responses, so I’m confident that a better idea exists out there. There are a few student sections who tout themselves as the best in the nation — Duke, Xavier, Utah State, Kentucky, this means you — and I specifically challenge you to rise to your claims and come up with something new and humorous, but doesn’t involve insulting the shooter’s mother or use a “clap, clap, clap-clap-clap” at the end (liked those responses, but there are too many of those). Send your proposals (or insults) to me at JStevRTC@gmail.com, or just use them during games. I’ll be listening. Happy New Year.
Danny Spewak, RTC contributor
Here’s a New Year’s resolution for Randy Bennett: get over the hump in 2011 and knock Gonzaga from the West Coast Conference throne. The Bulldogs’ streak of 10 straight league titles is the second longest in the history of college basketball. In six of those seasons, Gonzaga finished either undefeated or 13-1 in the WCC, and it hasn’t lost more than three conference games since 1998. St. Mary’s has established itself as the Zags’ main rival, though, with three straight second-place finishes. If they can ignore the scary numbers mentioned above, the Gaels may have a shot to win this league. They’ve got great guards to lead their efficient, unselfish offense, and former San Diego forward Rob Jones is a valuable frontcourt contributor with NCAA Tournament experience. St. Mary’s may not have many quality wins, but its only losses came at San Diego State and in the final seconds to BYU. Despite an 8-5 record, Gonzaga’s probably still the favorite to capture an 11th straight regular season championship, especially now that Elias Harris appears healthy and more comfortable on the court. But it’s a brand new year in 2011. The gap in the West Coast Conference is quickly closing– and St. Mary’s will need to take advantage of the opportunity.
Tom Wolfmeyer, RTC contributor
This year’s New Year’s resolution is reserved for Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones. Be smart about your future. There’s about a 99.9% chance that the NBA is headed for a long impasse beginning next summer, and if you decide to take your chances with the June draft, you’ll certainly be rewarded with a high selection. But you won’t play (nor will you get paid a dime) until well into 2011 in what would have been your sophomore years. Please don’t listen to the agents who will tell you that they’ll float you financially until the lockout ends or that two months of a season is better than no season at all. The last time things looked this ugly between ownership and labor, nobody played a professional game until February, and there’s no guarantee that this dispute will be shorter this time around. Do your due diligence, of course, but if it looks as if both sides are settled in for a long negotiation, head back to college and continue to develop your games in a college hoops season that would boast the most talent among its players in the last fifteen years.
Brian Otskey, RTC contributor
My New Year’s resolution is for Tennessee’s administration. It’s time to move on and fire Bruce Pearl. They should have done so immediately after he admitted lying to the NCAA and Pearl now faces an eight game suspension handed down by the SEC with his team clearly sputtering after a hot start. Add in the specter of more NCAA sanctions to follow and the distraction becomes bigger the deeper Tennessee digs this hole without any resolution. He is twisting in the wind without a contract and even admitted he might not survive this episode. Firing Pearl now would be good for both parties. The coach can move on with his life, trying to rehabilitate his reputation without dealing with this sideshow day after day, while Tennessee can take a good look at their options for a new coach following this season. Pearl put Tennessee basketball back on the map and they’ll have no problem luring a top coach to Knoxville. As Jay Bilas pointed out in an article two weeks ago, Tennessee is waiting for the NCAA to come down on Pearl, clearly “trying to have it both ways.” Tennessee is postponing the inevitable, putting the potential to win in the short term ahead of what is right.
Ned Reddick, RTC contributor
I would make a New Year’s Resolution for all coaches to get more restrictive cell phone plans. Some of the limelight has been taken away from this issue because certain players and/or their families have done some pretty brazen stuff lately, but it still seems like there are a lot of violations involving cell phones and text messaging. I don’t think it is feasible for compliance departments to monitor coaches on a daily basis, but they need to find a way to take a more proactive approach rather than reporting stuff to the NCAA a few months or years later. As it is the rules regarding this issue aren’t particularly useful because nobody enforces them in a timely manner so coaches often don’t feel the consequences or relate them to the offending action because the lag is so large that the coach has often left the program by the time the program has to deal with the penalties. In the larger scheme of things it is a relatively minor issue, but I would rather have a resolution that has some chance of happening instead of a big resolution that has no chance of happening like the NCAA getting its act together and creating a set of fair and equitable rules.
Kevin Doyle, RTC contributor
Maybe it will be Florida State. Or, maybe it will be the surprising Boston College Eagles under Steve Donahue. Better yet, maybe it could be the team on the other side of Tobacco Road in North Carolina. Whoever it is, I just hope that some team from the ACC steps up and challenges Duke. I can’t remember the last time the ACC was having such a down year, and it definitely would be pretty boring to see the Dookies roll right though ACC play. Even without Kyrie Irving, it is hard to see another ACC team posing a significant challenge, but maybe Harrison Barnes and Carolina will continue to progress and live up to that grossly overrated ranking at the beginning of the year. I simply cannot bear the thought of Duke going into the NCAA Tournament with an undefeated record, and having to listen to the ESPN analysts talk about the Blue Devils being the first undefeated team since Indiana in 1975-76.