NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.02.11Posted by Brian Goodman on April 2nd, 2011
Throughout the NCAA Tournament, we’ll be providing you with the daily chatter from around the webosphere relating to what’s going on with the teams still playing.
- Butler head coach Brad Stevens is undefeated since he has begun wearing glasses on the sidelines. This should be a non-story, but Butler’s recent success makes one consider the importance of this.
- Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack will be the key players for Butler in their Final Four matchup with VCU. This is not surprising, as Howard and Mack have been the catalysts for the Bulldogs success all season.
- The hands-on cerebral approaches of Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart have been huge in leading their respective teams to the Final Four. This approach has proved to be extremely successful considering the success of the two young coaches.
- Despite being a star player, Butler big man Matt Howard tries to keep a low profile at Butler. This is almost impossible due to the contributions Howard has made for the Bulldogs throughout his career.
- Kemba Walker will not allow fatigue to be used as an excuse, should he and the rest of the Huskies encounter any setbacks during its game against Kentucky tonight. It’s been a long postseason (though in a good way) for UConn, and they will have to be at their best once again.
- Former UConn recruit Nate Miles is open to speaking with the NCAA about his recruitment. Miles enrolled in Storrs in the fall of 2008, but was expelled before playing a single game. An interesting wrinkle here is that UConn has already been issued sanctions for recruiting violations, and, depending on the circumstances, anything Miles brings to light could compound the punishment.
- The new allegations have taken some of the luster off this year’s Final Four, according to Dan Wetzel. It’s hard to disagree, but some may feel the innocence of VCU and Butler cancels out some of the more shadowy aspects.
- UConn fans can contribute to the Kemba Walker folklore by submitting Chuck Norris-esque quips to Kemba Facts.
- The matchup many will have their eye on Saturday night pits Walker against Brandon Knight. Knight’s quickness strikes headaches into defenders, just as Walker’s ball-handling makes him tough to contain when he drives.
- John Calipari believes that UCONN guard Kemba Walker has star power that is comparable to former Kansas star Danny Manning.
- Terrence Jones has drawn some encouragement from his high school coach as the tournament has gone on. Jones has been encouraged to continue crashing the boards and grab rebounds.
- John Calipari has always been known for coaching a line of great guards. Freshman Brandon Knight is a continuance of this line of great guards.
- Kentucky native Darius Miller knows the significance of being on a Kentucky squad in the Final Four. Miller is the lone Kentucky native who garners major minutes on the Wildcats.
- Josh Harrellson has risen to the occasion at many times all season long. This is surprising due to the very small role that Harrellson played on last season’s Wildcats.
- VCU athletic director Norwood Teague will do his best to keep Shaka Smart off the market whenever the Rams’ season concludes. As one mid-major AD noted, if his phone is ringing off the hook with inquiries to speak with his coach, it means his administration is doing its job.
- Experience Shaka Fever in musical form, as a Virginia Beach band pays tribute to the popular coach with a parody of “Hooked on a Feeling.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
- Joey Rodriguez, like many three-point bombers, is a streaky shooter. He’s not alone in that regard, especially on this team. The Rams will have to be hot once again to get past Butler on Saturday.
- The big stage hasn’t quite hit most of VCU’s team yet, but when it steps onto the court tomorrow night, it’ll be a different story. On the other hand, the adrenaline very well may take hold by then.
- Brandon Rozzell is one player who is embracing the spotlight. Adored by teammates and fans alike, Rozzell is known as “The Mayor.” Look out, Fred Hoiberg.