What’s Trending: Holiday Cheers and Jeers

Posted by Matt Eisenberg on December 17th, 2018

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Matthew Eisenberg (@matteise) is your weekly host.

Gonzaga’s Mark Few did not mince words when talking about NCAA President Mark Emmert, going so far as saying, “Emmert needs to step up and be a leader and make some quicker decisions.” Few continued: “there’s a lot of teams who do it right – the National Champions two out of the last three years. There’s a lot of great things. This thing is worth saving.” While Few later went on to say his championship comments were not a shot at North Carolina’s Roy Williams, it was still interesting timing ahead of Gonzaga’s weekend game against North Carolina (which the Zags lost).

On the topic of Emmert and the NCAA, the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have partnered on a new rule that limits the players that coaches can watch during the month of June. Limiting access of coaches to players in this way is not a step in the right direction.

While action on the court was limited this week because of final exams, it did include a few noteworthy moments. Midweek action included Villanova’s trip to The Palestra to take on Penn. While the Quakers ultimately came out on top, credit should still be given to Jay Wright for playing the game. High-major programs willing to play true road games at mid-majors is always good for college basketball. 

After losing to Penn, Villanova’s Jahvon Quinerly took to social media with what became a very controversial post. Quinerly, a five-star recruit who originally committed to Arizona, posted the following:

After the hysteria surrounding Quinerly’s post, the freshman responded with the following note explaining his regret for the situation. While this could have been swept under the rug as a “hack” or just not discussed at all, Quinerly addressed it and took it head on. 

The following series of tweets by Jeff Goodman do not even do justice to the start of the season for the Pac-12.

On the court Saturday, Indiana and Butler delivered quite the finish. Just as Indiana fans were beginning to pull out their hair and prepare for overtime with a final possession that was seemingly going nowhere, this happened…

UCLA had missed 11 of its final 14 free-throw attempts, yet still had a one-point lead over Belmont with under 20 seconds to go. After being picked apart on back-cuts for much of the game, Belmont went to the well one more time… (paging Princeton…)

If the result of losing to Belmont was not bad enough for UCLA head coach Steve Alford, postgame quotes from some of his players did not help his cause.

“It was bad defense on our end. The coaches did not tell us to do that. 

Prince Ali on Belmont’s backdoor layups at the end of the game

“It had nothing to do with finals. We came out here and didn’t play hard. [Belmont] played hard the whole 40 minutes and we just got beat.”

Kris Wilkes on if the team felt flat because of finals

While most teams will lose a game they probably should win during the season, upperclassmen not doing as they are told to do in crucial situations or team leaders admitting to not playing hard is inexcusable. Alford’s position at UCLA was already tenuous before the season began and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see him surviving much longer.

Matthew Eisenberg (80 Posts)

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