Boom Goes The Dynamite: Wednesday 1.13.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on January 13th, 2010

There are some REALLY good games on tonight and many of them will be somewhere on the tube, so we figured tonight we’d step up with a special edition of our weekend live-blogging feature.  To start off, we’ll be checking on Boston College at Duke (ESPN), Pittsburgh at Connecticut (ESPN2), and Cincinnati at St. John’s (ESPN-U), and we’ll branch out to other networks as well throughout the night.  We want to know what you’re watching, as well.  Keep hitting that refresh button and we’ll see you in the comments section.  It’ll all start off momentarily…

7:03 pm ET: Wow, where to start?  This is a ridiculous night of hoops.  SO many games on, which is why we’re here.  The first thing I notice is the wardrobe symmetry between play-by-play man Rece Davis (?!?) and Bobby Knight.  Both in the v-neck sweaters.  Is it good when Bobby Knight is influencing your wardrobe choices?  I guess Rece can make it work.

7:07: Yeesh.  Not exactly a good trip for Nolan Smith.  A missed dunk and then a missed 10-foot jumper from almost behind the backboard.  Meanwhile, over on the Big Ten Network, Minnesota is keeping up with Michigan State early; MSU has a 24-21 lead at the under-4 TVTO.  I’m especially fired up for this UConn-Pitt game.  Can Pitt continue this ascent after being basically forgotten about in the early part of this season?  Up on the Huskies early in Storrs…

7:20: UConn looks like a YMCA club team.  They’re straight up on defense, if you can call it that.  At this point they seem severely uninterested.  Pitt has guys moving on offense without the ball, talking on defense, etc.  That’s how you build an early ten point lead on a team in their own house.

7:23: Maybe that Jerome Dyson dunk will get UConn going.  UConn’s strategy is obvious, and that’s to run Pitt into the ground.  UConn scored on four straight possessions so it looks like they’ve finally shown up mentally.  But what’s this?  Interesting score…South Florida up at home on West Virginia 23-12 over on ESPN 360 with about 7:00 left in the first.  Virginia has an early lead on Georgia Tech and BC just got a NICE dunk by Reggie Jackson to go up one on Duke.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Knight’s Calipari Remark — Let It Go

Posted by jstevrtc on December 18th, 2009

No doubt by now you’ve heard about Bobby Knight’s return trip to Indiana last night to speak at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the lick he got in on Kentucky head honcho John Calipari.  Just so we’ll have it in front of us, here’s what the General said:

“We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching.  You see, we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching.  I really don’t understand that.”

That’s from the report on Knight’s trip to Indianapolis for his speaking appearance.  The initial reaction for most people is going to be to question Bob Knight’s definition of integrity.  They’ll reel off a laundry list of Knight’s transgressions and try to discredit him in that fashion.  They’ll assault his character and call him all kinds of nasty names.  Much will be written about the irony of Bob Knight accusing another man of a lack of integrity.

Forget the slam...does he have his facts right?

Forget the slam...does he have his facts right?

Of greater importance to us, though, is the actual content of what the guy said.  Everything you read is going to focus on his slam of Calipari (though he didn’t actually say the name, for some reason), but we think any examination of the statement should start with a much more basic question:  is what he said factual?  Were things really “cleaner” back in the good ol’ days of Knight’s time of prowling the sideline?  And did John Calipari really put two schools on probation?

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Bob Knight Decides To Go Back To Indiana

Posted by nvr1983 on November 20th, 2009

Just two weeks after turning down Indiana University‘s invitation to appear at his induction into the school’s Hall of Fame Bob Knight has announced that he will return to the Hoosier State for a fundraiser benefiting the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, which is different than Indiana University’s Hall of Fame. Knight will be the featured speaker at the event, which will take place on December 17th. While he hasn’t commented on upcoming ceremony, he has noted that he did not take part in Indiana University’s ceremony because he did not want to detract from the other inductees (a fair point given all the coverage leading up to his decision not to go to the ceremony). Although we are not typically fans of these types of dinners unless Michael Jordan is going to take the stage, this is an event we would love to be at just to hear what Knight will say. We suspect that he will find a way to be calm and respectful, but given his history of entertaining press conferences we wouldn’t be shocked if he gave a pretty entertaining talk. For those of you in the Indianapolis area, tickets go on sale to the public on November 30th for $30 (kids under 12) or $50 (for all others) with a table of 8 going for $400.

Share this story

Buzz: Indiana, Bob Knight Doesn’t Want Your Money

Posted by nvr1983 on October 28th, 2009

When we brought you the news that Indiana intended to bring back Bob Knight to induct him into their Hall of Fame on November 6th we told you it probably would not turn out well. Still some boosters hoped that it might be possible to essentially buy his “forgiveness” to the tune of $75k. To the surprise of no one with the exception of that booster the ploy did not work. Knight said, “In all the years I coached at Indiana and elsewhere, I never accepted a thing from alumni and I don’t intend to start now. This issue is with the university, not with the alumni.” Now we are 9 days away from the ceremony. The ball is in your court Indiana. . .

UPDATE: Knight will not be attending the ceremony via Dick Vitale‘s Twitter account.

Share this story

Knight Needles NCAA

Posted by jstevrtc on October 6th, 2009

Good ol’ Bobby Knight.  The guy never disappoints. 

In Duncanville, Texas, earlier today, the winningest coach in men’s college hoops made an appearance at a facility to which he’s lending his name and quite likely his time — specifically, a space in the southern Dallas-Fort Worth area to be used for youth basketball and volleyball leagues and other programs meant to foster academic skills, life skills for both kids and adults, etc.  It’ll be called Bob Knight’s Fieldhouse and is slated for a February opening.  Hey, sounds good, right?  Like him or not, the guy’s a legendary coach, to say the least, and of course he’s known for graduating almost 100% of his players.  Knight also has a small financial consideration in this undertaking and he’s not exactly known for getting into that many business ventures, so no doubt he’s serious about this and perhaps he’s the right man to get something like this going.  So, while we still think that shot back in 2000 on Jeremy Schaap was pretty cheap, we’re impressed with his involvement in this project.  And we’re sure Coach Knight is glad that we’re impressed.

But the other reason we’re mentioning this is the dig that Knight got in on the NCAA during his appearance at the facility.  In the AP report (via it isn’t mentioned who asked the question, but whoever it was set him up beautifully.  Knight was asked whether the NCAA was going to have any involvement in this project.  His response:

“If the NCAA had anything to do with this, the roof would leak, there would be no locks on the doors, and the court would only have one basket.”

The guy never misses a chance, does he?  And in the very same appearance, he notes that he hasn’t ruled out a return to the college coaching ranks and therefore the chance to once again be ruled (so to speak) by the organization he hates and at which he is still tossing verbal grenades.

Ah, the enigma that is The General.


Share this story

Boom Goes the Dynamite: Regional Semifinals Day Two

Posted by nvr1983 on March 27th, 2009

dynamiteWe’ll be doing a full BGtD today so you won’t have any interruptions in coverage tonight. Honestly, last night’s games were kind of disappointing. PittsburghXavier was entertaining, but that was the only game that I would say was memorable from a pure basketball standpoint. Now the other games did have their own interesting subplots. UConn rolled over Purdue in a game that was close at points in the 2nd half, but I never really got the sense that the Huskies were in any danger of losing. I was particularly impressed with how the Huskies played despite the media circus that is going on around them. Missouri‘s victory over Memphis was entertaining although for me it was marred a little by the atrocious free throw shooting. As we mentioned last night, I really wonder what John Calipari does, if he does anything, for his team’s free throw shooting. At this point, I’m convinced J.J. Redick would have shot 70% from the free throw line if he had gone to Memphis. Also, what happened to vaunted Memphis defense. Missouri has a good offense, but they shouldn’t be able to hit triple digits in regulation against a team that went into the game with the #1 defense according to the Pomeroy numbers. I’m sure some of you took great pleasure in watching Villanova pick apart Duke leading to another early March exit for Coach K, but the game wasn’t exactly exciting if you didn’t have a rooting interest for (or in most people’s case against) a team.

The line-up for tonight should give us a couple of interesting games:

  • 7:07 PM: #12 Arizona vs. #1 Louisville
  • 7:27  PM: #3 Syracuse vs. #2 Oklahoma
  • 9:37 PM: #3 Kansas vs. #2 Michigan State
  • 9:57 PM: #4 Gonzaga vs. #1 UNC

We’ll be back around 7 for the start of tonight’s action. Leave your comments/questions and we’ll respond to them as soon as we start.

6:55 PM: A couple quick pieces of news to pass along in the midst of this Billy Gillispie madness and these somewhat important games tonight. Clemson‘s star forward Trevor Booker will return for his senior year. The news out of Iowa isn’t as good after Jake Kelly, Jeff Peterson, and David Palmer announced that they are transfering, which means that Todd Lickliter will need to replace 2 starting guards and a reserve forward.

7:10 PM: Chase Budinger makes a great play to temper Louisville’s great start. He’s going to need to have a great game tonight. If both teams use the press tonight, we’re going to get a blowout (and I think it will end up going in Louisville’s favor).

7:12 PM: I should warn you that I’m a big Chase Budinger fan so you’ve been warned. I haven’t seen a lot of him this year (stupid west coast starts), but I think he has the makings of a very solid NBA player.

7:14 PM: That’s not a good stat for Arizona. Only 6 Wildcats have scored in the NCAA tournament.

7:19 PM: Great play by Edgar Sosa feeding it to Preston Knowles. This pressure is going to kill Arizona if they only go 6 deep.

7:28 PM: I don’t think it will matter tonight, but I hope you paid attention to that FT statistic. Louisville shoots 63.8% as a team (307th out of 334 teams). That will come back to bite them. Just ask John Calipari. Actually he probably wouldn’t admit it because his team was just as bad last night. . .

7:30 PM: I think that any Blue Devil who mentions that they made the 1994 title game should put an asterisk by it on their resume saying that they rode Grant Hill‘s coattails there. If you don’t agree with me, see what happened the next year even if Coach K missed the last 2/3 of the season.

7:31 PM: It looks dead in Memphis. What do you guys think? I’m guessing it’s only 20% full. UNC fans must have bought up most of the stadium.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Book Club: “When March Went Mad”

Posted by nvr1983 on March 26th, 2009

With today being the 30th anniversary of the 1979 national championship game, I figured I would finally release my long-awaited review of “When March Went Mad” by Seth Davis. Seth and his publisher were also nice enough to grant us an interview which is right after the review.

If you are a regular reader of our site, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the 1979 NCAA championship game, which featured Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and is widely cited as the seminal moment out of which modern basketball was born. Although I don’t profess to be a scholar of that game, I always thought my knowledge of the major moments in modern college basketball history (since the 1960s) was pretty respectable so when I received an e-mail for an advance copy of a book about the topic I wasn’t particularly excited (outside of the fact that I had never received an e-mail like that before). When I read through the e-mail and saw that Seth Davis, one of my favorite college basketball writers and a regular reader of Rush the Court (about 2/3 the way down), had written the book I became a little more intrigued so I decided to give it a shot.


One of the first things I realized when I started reading the book was that despite the significance of the game there has not been a lot written about it. The game and the events leading up to it lack the literary canon of some of the other important events in college basketball history such as the John Wooden era and the Texas WesternKentucky game. In fact, most of my knowledge from the game comes from watching documentaries about Bird and Magic that make the actual championship game seem more like it was simply foreshadowing their great NBA careers rather than the spectacle that it was at the time. In the book Seth Davis goes into detail discussing the lives of both legendary players and provides the reader with background information that helps explain a lot about their personalities and the way they approached the game. Davis traces Magic’s life story including details about how he ended up at Everett High School instead of his original school (and preferred choice) J.W. Sexton High School as a result of busing mandates in East Lansing, MI. He also examines details of Bird’s life that the casual fan (or one outside of Boston–hard to say since I live here) might not be aware of such as his distrust of outsiders and almost pathological shyness early in his career.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Notes from the East Region Open Practice

Posted by nvr1983 on March 25th, 2009

Because of the NCAA’s refusal to give us a media credential (or discuss the issue and our side of the case), we were forced to go to today’s open practice to get an up-close look at the teams. As an aside, if anybody has extra tickets for the games in Boston for the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8 (in case your team gets cheated by the refs), send me an e-mail at and I might be able to take them off your hands.

The guys who don't want me covering the game

The guys who don't want me covering the game

Let’s get one thing out of the way. The East Region open practice might have been the most boring 5 hours of my life (not counting lectures). There’s a reason the NCAA makes this event free (outside of the fact that they more than make up for it through the $8 programs, $5 Cokes, and $23 baseball caps). The crowd was 95% white males in their mid-30s or above along with a handful of kids chasing autographs from players who they were looking up during the practices checking to see which ones had the best stats. My favorites were the old guys sitting behind me who kept on commenting on how good Gary McGhee and Brian Zoubek were (the tallest guys on the court) and what outstanding pros they were going to be. Anyways, here are my thoughts and pictures (some pictures are from my iPhone because I forgot to charge my digital camera) from each team’s “practice”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Packer & Knight: Still Here for the NCAA Tournament

Posted by nvr1983 on March 11th, 2009


After months of hype (scroll to bottom), the much-talked about March Madness hubsite featuring Billy Packer and Bobby Knight was finally unveiled to the public today. [Ed. Note: In the interest of full disclosure, RTC is an affiliate of Fantasy Sports Ventures, the company that owns and operates the Knight/Packer site.] The site, which promises to feature analysis from two of the most well-known (and controversial) figures in college basketball history, is still in a little light on content right now, but it should be one of the more interesting sites on which to follow the NCAA tournament (after your morning stop to Rush the Court, of course).  Fwiw, we got 38 right on the trivia challenge, doing well on the seeding questions but less so on the historical records of points scored, etc.

While some people may detest the existence of both individuals, we’re actually looking forward to hearing what they have to say about the NCAA Tournament in an unfiltered medium as they are probably two of the more knowledgeable college basketball analysts in recent years (I can’t remember either leaving the likely #1 overall seed off their preseason top 25). Honestly, Bobby Knight might be one of my favorite college basketball personalities. Some people may think he went over the line at times as a coach, but I have no issue with anything he did and I respect the fact that he ran a clean program (remember that Indiana fans?) and graduated his players. As for Packer, sure, we’ve had our issues with him in the past (ok, maybe more than a few issues), but we’re not sure what March would be like without some authority figure taking shots at the Cinderella.  Somebody has to be the bad guy, right?

Share this story

03.02.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2009

We have a weekend full of links for you today as I was sort of busy over the weekend. On Saturday there was the RTC Live from Storrs, CT on Senior Night/Day, which was followed by RTC Aftermath that recapped the event. On Sunday, I was busy running Boom Goes the Dynamite and making some new friends from Duke (see the comment section).

Share this story