Unfortunately shoddy wireless means I can’t get a screenshot, but the elation at the end of the Maui championship game between Duke and Kansas came through the TV. Even Coach K was jumping up and down after Tyler Thornton hit the biggest shot of his life. Twice. Austin Rivers was as active as any of the Duke players on the bench (save Marshall Plumlee, whose level of enthusiasm is insane). It’s clear Duke isn’t a dominant team by any meaning of the word, but it’s a really fun team to watch. And the Blue Devils, as always, know how to win.
- Washington Post – Cavaliers Journal: Virginia is a defensive team this year. Or at least it is without senior Sammy Zeglinski, whose playing time is currently limited by a nagging ankle injury. And Tony Bennett sounds OK with that. He pointed out that the team is “a possession by possession team,” which probably explains why the Cavaliers savor each possession so much (there are only four slower teams in D-I). One has to expect the Cavaliers’ outside shooting will come around eventually, but until then they’ll have to continue relying on their defense.
- Indy Week: Since 1945 only two coaches, Press Maravich and Les Robinson, were older than Mark Gottfried (who’s only 47) when they took the head coaching job at NC State. The article also provides a nice introduction to the individual roles, many of which have changed since Gottfried arrived, of each major contributor on the team. The final line is still the biggest question that remains:
While Wolfpack partisans still loudly applaud Gottfried’s name during pregame introductions, all honeymoons come to an end. Ultimately, the question is whether Gottfried is the next big thing… or just next.
- ESPN: Florida State takes to the Bahamas this week for the Battle 4 Atlantis where the Seminoles will start out with UMass, an undefeated team that just throttled Boston College on the road. To be fair, the Minutemen were picked twelfth in the A-10 before the season started. Should Florida State win that game, it will probably face mid-major upstart Harvard in the second round and defending national champion Connecticut in the championship game. This is a pretty good primer for the tournament, which has plenty of interesting storylines and will be Florida State’s first true test this season.
- Duke Basketball Report: One of the biggest questions facing Duke is who will run the point. Duke Basketball Report has a fairly exhaustive article looking at the history of the point guard position and its use in both Roy Williams’ and Mike Krzyzewski’s offenses. Essentially, the conclusion is that Duke’s backcourt needs to share the responsibilities of a point guard, rather than putting everything on one player. I think the article under-appreciates Quinn Cook’s point guard abilities; then again, I don’t think Cook will be the main option at point until at least conference play and, more likely, next season.
- iSportsWeb: North Carolina 2013 commit Isiah Hicks is already struggling with eligibility issues. It sounds like there are some missing records from his old school district. If the records are just missing from his previous school district. But if there are red flags at the high school level, there will definitely be red flags at the collegiate level. [In more upbeat North Carolina news, the Tar Heels are slashing prices on tickets to men's games against Evansville and Nicholls State by 40% for Black Friday.]
EXTRA: Per The Daily Telegraph, several gentleman’s club owners have gotten together in hopes of taking advantage of the NBA lockout and starting a topless basketball league. So far there are 23 teams including ones in Minnesota (may I suggest the Minnesota Bimbowolves for a team name?), Miami and New York. I’ll be sticking with college basketball, but the title of this article was too good to let go unnoticed.