BGTD: Early Games AnalysisPosted by rtmsf on February 5th, 2011
It’s college basketball Saturday, and we’re back in action with this week’s Boom Goes the Dynamite. We’ll be periodically briefing you throughout the day on the goings-on with various games, players and happenings throughout the nation. The schedule doesn’t appear to be all that great on paper, but we’ve found through a number of years of watching this sport that it will always surprise you just when you think you’ve got it all figured out. Sit back, relax, and enjoy…
- Marshon Brooks Nearly Beats Georgetown By Himself. Only in the Big East would you find a player averaging nearly 24 PPG that nobody talks about, but that’s generally been the case with Providence’s Marshon Brooks this season. He’s having a spectacular individual year but PC has been brutalized by the ridiculous conference schedule, and even though he’s very likely a first-team all-conference guy, he gets no press. Well, maybe he’ll get something after today’s 43-point performance where he nearly beat Georgetown all by his lonesome. Using a variety of drives, jumpers and aggressive plays resulting in trips to the line, Brooks took over the game with about eleven minutes to go, scoring 19 points down the stretch and putting a big-time scare in the Hoyas who had been comfortably ahead. On the last play of the game, Brooks was stripped by Chris Wright as he came upcourt, but it doesn’t take away from the scintillating day he had that represents just another weekend afternoon in the rugged Big East.
- Who Decided a 10 AM Local Start is a Good Idea? We’re not idiots and we certainly understand that television drives scheduling, but who decided that playing a west coast game at 10 AM local time was a stellar idea? The St. John’s-UCLA game tipped off in the mid-morning hours in Westwood and we’re trying to remember a non-gimmick game that started so early locally. The question is why? The players are used to practicing early, but the fans in Pauley Pavilion were clearly still shaking off the effects of Friday night, and it took until the last five minutes of action for them to wake up. CBS could have easily shown Illinois-Northwestern in the 1 PM slot, and UCLA-St. John’s in the 3 PM slot instead of putting them opposite each other — why didn’t they?
- CBS Needs to Make Other Options Available. Which brings us to our other complaint… if you’re going to split national coverage between two games, how about providing the rest of the country in non-blackout areas an alternative channel through which to watch the other game? It’s not like this is the NFL and the only way to see the AFC or the NFC is through a single channel. College basketball games are on fifteen different networks, and outside of say, NYC and LA, the interest in those two schools is relatively low. CBS recognizes this viewing problem and provides an alternative during March Madness; we think it would make sense for them to do so for regular season games as well.
- Lavin Bowl: UCLA and St. John’s are Both Dangerous March Teams. All of that said about the television coverage, and we certainly don’t want to overstate this, but if we’re a #5-#7 seed and we see either UCLA or St. John’s opposite us in our first round matchup, we’re not very happy about that slotting. Both teams are capable of causing significant problems to a favorite in a single-game matchup. UCLA, with its bruising front line, and St. John’s, with its long athletes and pressure defense, are not easy teams to prepare for (ask Kansas and Duke). Neither team is a threat to make the Sweet Sixteen, but to win a single game over a “better” team is entirely possible.
- The Middle of the ACC Is a Steaming Pile of Doo Doo. With Clemson’s road win over Georgia Tech, Maryland’s home win over Wake Forest, and BC’s win over Virginia Tech this early afternoon, there are now four teams tied at 5-4 in the conference race. And we’re not sure any of the Tigers, Terps, Hokies or Eagles are worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid. We’re sure that the tiresome ACC defenders will tell us that all seven deserve to be invited, but other than beating each other, can you find a quality win on any of these four team’s resumes? A single one? Can one of them at least beat North Carolina or Duke once?
- Rashad McCants’ Dad Lashes Out. A lot of folks have had differing opinions as to how demoted point guard Larry Drew II handled his exit from the UNC program last week. James McCants, former Carolina star Rashad McCants’ father, wasted no breath in voicing his opinion of the matter on a Facebook post recently. This is particularly interesting because, of course, it’s not like McCants the Younger had a bad career in Chapel Hill — he was one of three stars who led the Heels to the 2005 national championship, and arguably it was the arrival of Roy Williams that allowed that team to flourish. Interesting stuff from within the Carolina family.