Rushed Reactions: #12 Kansas 78, Washington State 41

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 20th, 2012

Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and correspondent. He filed this report from the second semifinal of the Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic Monday night.

Kansas throttled the Cougars in an even more impressive fashion than was expected coming into Monday night. Some key takeaways:

  1. Message Received By Jayhawks After Early Bumps: There’s no shame in losing to Michigan State on a neutral floor in Atlanta, but the Jayhawks needed an injection of tough love from Bill Self after falling behind to Chattanooga at home later that week. KU responded in the second half last Thursday and kept the momentum rolling from the opening tip against Washington State Monday night. The Jayhawks shot their way to a 50-point first half with a scorching 64% clip from the floor. Kansas clicked on the glass as well, rebounding five of its nine misses for an incredibly efficient start. Staked to a 29-point lead at the intermission, Self substituted freely throughout the second half, and as a result, his most important players should benefit from the rest with a one-night turnaround. In addition, the extra reps for players like Anrio AdamsAndrew White and Naadir Tharpe will serve the team well in the long run.
  2. Role Players Emerge For Kansas: While it wasn’t surprising to see KU perform well in front of a de facto home crowd, not many predicted the role Travis Releford would play Monday. The senior came into tonight’s contest shooting a bone-dry 26.1% from the floor, but made his first six shots, including a pair of threes, on his way to a game-high 17 points against the Cougars. Defensively, Kevin Young made good on his first start as a Jayhawk. The senior transfer starred alongside Jeff Withey and the two combined to fluster Wazzu in its attempts to penetrate. For KU to keep a lock on its conference championship streak, it needs consistency from its complementary players in addition to Withey and Elijah Johnson, who are expected to lead the team on a regular basis.
  3. Washington State Has Too Many Leaks For Ken Bone To Plug: Beating Kansas in its second home is a tall order for any team, but Washington State’s failure to make the game competitive at any point can’t bode well for Bone’s future in Pullman. While his portrayal of a disciplinarian in removing Reggie Moore from the team in September was admirable, Bone has struggled to pick up the pieces. Based on the combined 7-25 shooting night from Wazzu’s backcourt on Monday, the early returns in the quest for help can’t be much more discouraging. Brock Motum‘s international flavor at center is unorthodox enough to throw opposing big men off their games, but if no other threats emerge for Washington State, teams will simply continue to double Motum, knowing they can hedge away from other personnel. Coaches express emotions in several ways, but all Bone could do was shake his head as he watched Kansas make shot after shot. While it’s not advisable to make too much out of one bad game, Bone needs to find answers if his team is to make a run at a postseason tournament bid. The Pac-12 has climbed back to respectability, but Wazzu is still groping for the light switch.
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Breaking Down the Pac-12 Preseason Exempt Events: Part One

Posted by AMurawa on October 18th, 2012

Your average casual college basketball fan knows plenty about March Madness, the whole Final Four and Sweet Sixteen and whatnot. Peel that onion a little bit and the number of people that get really into the conference tournaments is a bit smaller. But it is the true college basketball junkies who get all excited by phrases like “Maui Invitational,” “Preseason NIT,” and, this year, “Battle 4 Atlantis.” We here at RTC know who our readers are, so get ready as we begin to dig through the early season college basketball tournaments and exempt events that will help keep us entertained while the rest of the sporting world is paying attention to silly stuff like college football and the NFL. Today we’ll take a look at where four of the conference’s schools will be playing their exempt events, with additional posts to come in the future on the rest of the teams.

Oregon State – 2K Sports Classic, November 15-16, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The Beavers kick off their season with a pair of “regional round” games at Gill Coliseum against Niagara (on November 9, the opening night of the season) and New Mexico State (November 11), a pair of games which, though they’ll count in OSU’s record, don’t have a lick of impact on which teams advance to NYC. Still, NMSU is a team coming off an NCAA appearance (despite losing three seniors from that team), while Niagara is a young team that played its best basketball at the end of last year; both games promise to give the Beavs a good workout. OSU will kick off its engagement at MSG with the matinee performance against a young and athletic Alabama team that was among the best defensive teams in the nation last year. However, Bama has to replace forwards Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, with freshmen Jimmie Taylor and Shannon Hale potentially getting the first crack. If OSU can get past a tough Crimson Tide defense (that’s a familiar phrase), they’ll advance to the championship game to face either Villanova or Purdue, two more teams in the midst of program transition. The Boilermakers are replacing Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson this season, while Villanova lost its backcourt duo of Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek to early departures (both went, predictably, unpicked in this year’s NBA Draft). Still, each team returns plenty of talent, and Purdue introduces four four-star freshmen, while the Wildcats break in a pair of four-star guys of their own. All told, regardless of how the semifinal round shakes out, OSU will get two winnable matchups against good, solid power conference teams. If they come away with two wins, they should be ecstatic, while a pair of early losses would put a damper on their plans, but not leave them completely dead. Still, post-New York, the only RPI boosting game on the Beavs’ non-conference schedule is a tough trip to Kansas City to face Kansas on an anything-but-neutral court.

Eric Moreland, Oregon State

Eric Moreland And The OSU Bigs Will Be Challenged By Alabama’s Young Front Line (AP Photo)

Oregon – Global Sports Classic, November 23-24, Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas continues to position itself as a college hoops destination with the newest generically-named early season tourney in Sin City. Like the 2K Sports Classic, it purports itself to be an eight-team tournament, but really, four teams are already ticketed to the semifinals regardless of the outcomes of the earlier games. And those four teams present a challenging field, as the Ducks are joined by Cincinnati, Iowa State and hometown favorite UNLV. Dana Altman’s squad will officially start play in this event on November 10 when they host Northern Arizona and they’ll wrap up the preliminaries with Jacksonville State on November 19, two games that should be relative breathers for UO. But once they get to Vegas, things get real serious real fast, with the Runnin’ Rebels their semifinal opponent. The Ducks dodge a bit of a bullet in that they get the Rebs prior to Khem Birch becoming eligible, but regardless, Mike Moser, Anthony Bennett and company will provide a stiff challenge for Oregon’s newcoming frontcourt players like Ben Carter and Waverly Austin. Depending on the outcome of the outcome of the semifinal, either the Cyclones or the Bearcats will still provide a good bit of competition in the Ducks’ second game of the weekend, with Cincy in particular expected to field a very talented backcourt. If it is ISU, however, the Ducks will get a first look at Fred Hoiberg’s newest class of transfers, including former Michigan State point guard Korie Lucious and former Utah double-double machine Will Clyburn. Again, like the Beavers before them, if UO gets out of this weekend 2-0, they should be very pleased with themselves.

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Pac-12 Morning Five: 11.23.11 Edition

Posted by AMurawa on November 23rd, 2011

  1. Another night, another underwhelming set of outcomes around the conference – and that’s me being generous. Let’s start things out in Kansas City, where California got absolutely drilled by Missouri in the championship game of the CBE Classic, losing by 39 points in a game that was equally mismatched in both halves. Not only could the Golden Bears not get anything going offensively, they had no chance of stopping the Tigers on the other end of the court. Mizzou held Cal to a 31.6 effective field goal percentage on the game, posting a 68.6 eFG% of their own, partly a result of some easy shots generated by the 21 turnovers the Tigers forced. Not only was Cal senior guard Jorge Gutierrez harassed into four turnovers and 4-11 shooting, but sophomore wing Allen Crabbe was held to just 1-8 from the field, and the Cal frontcourt was wholly incapable of taking advantage of an undersized Mizzou front line. The Cal loss leaves Stanford as the sole remaining undefeated team in the conference, with the Cardinal prepping for some tough matchups in New York in the NIT Season Tip-Off beginning tonight.
  2. From the middle of the country, let’s head to the middle of the Pacific, where another preseason conference favorite was getting whooped at the hands of another Big 12 school, as UCLA fell by 16 to Kansas in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational. Unlike the Bruins’ first two losses of the year, at least this time out they showed a little bit of fight, coming back from a 20-point deficit to cut the lead to as little as five late, before the Jayhawks woke back up and strode back out to the final margin with ease. Reeves Nelson played 28 minutes, although he is still coming off the bench in the wake of his recent behavioral issues, but showed the good emotion that gets his teammates inspired rather than the negative emotion that helps deflate his teammates. And then there’s sophomore center Joshua Smith who fouled out in 13 minutes of play, scoring one point and grabbing one rebound. That’s an absolute crime for a guy as talented as he is.
  3. The good news of the night for the conference was USC handling Morgan State at home by three and needing last minutes heroics by Maurice Jones and Aaron Fuller to seal a comeback from a 15-point deficit. It was a surprisingly efficient offensive performance for both teams, as each team shot over 50% from the floor, but the difference was the Trojans forcing Morgan State into 21 turnovers. Junior college transfer Greg Allen, a highly-regarded three-point shooter, scored 14 points for the Trojans, including 3-5 shooting from deep, accounting for his first points at the Division I level. With the limited offensive firepower on this USC team, Allen could be an important piece this season for Kevin O’Neill.
  4. Oregon travels to Nebraska tonight for a matchup with the Cornhuskers (6:00 PM PST, Big Ten Network), and they’ll do so without freshman guard Jabari Brown, who quit the team this past weekend. Head coach Dana Altman still maintains the door is open for Brown’s return, with no deadline for a final decision from the youngster. In the meantime, however, the Ducks have a replacement for Brown’s minutes just waiting, as Devoe Joseph, a transfer from Minnesota, regains his eligibility on December 10. The irony that they’ll be replacing a guy who quit on his team in the middle of a season with another guy who quit on his team in the middle of the season isn’t lost on anybody. There was good news for Oregon, however, as X-rays on the injured right ankle of 6’11” center Tony Woods proved negative, and while Woods’ status for the Wednesday night game is still unknown, he at least is well enough to make the trip to Lincoln.
  5. In the wake of Washington’s first loss of the season to Saint Louis on Sunday, head coach Lorenzo Romar plans to clamp down a little on the freedom he gives his players on the offensive end. After the Huskies struggled executing their halfcourt offense, Romar plans to use that game as a learning experience, saying that “offensively now guys probably won’t have get as much freedom… to take chances and experiment.” It’s a fine line for Romar, as his team’s offensive strengths are in an open court, up-tempo system, but at the same time, the Huskies need to make sure they are taking good shots, something that was obviously not the case at times on Sunday. On the injury front, junior wing C.J. Wilcox, who suffered a concussion during the loss on Sunday, did not practice with the team on Tuesday and remains a question mark for Friday night against Houston Baptist.
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Night Line: Four Guard Attack is Working Wonders for Missouri

Posted by EJacoby on November 23rd, 2011

Evan Jacoby is an RTC columnist. You can find him @evanJacoby on Twitter. Night Line will run on weeknights during the season, highlighting a major storyline development from that day’s slate of games.

When forward Laurence Bowers suffered a season-ending ACL injury in an early practice this season, the preseason buzz surrounding Missouri was quieted a bit. Anytime a team loses its second-leading scorer, it’s a big blow, but Bowers was especially important because of his role as one of the few inside scoring threats on the team. He was also their leading returning rebounder and shot-blocker. But Frank Haith’s Tigers have adapted well to his injury, deciding to go with a four-guard starting lineup in order to get their most effective players on the court regardless of size. The result? Mizzou, under its new and somewhat embattled head coach, is now 5-0 while thrashing Notre Dame and California at the CBE Classic to the tune of 29- and 39-point wins, respectively.

Kim English

Guard Kim English is Excited About Missouri's Hot Start (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Saying that Missouri has been impressive through five games is a massive understatement. They just stomped on unbeaten No. 18 California, perhaps the best team in the Pac-12, by 39 points. No, that’s not a typo; thirty-nine points. How’d it happen? For this team, when it rains, it pours, and the Tigers have been liquid from the perimeter all year. Coming into tonight’s game, Mizzou had already been one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation, averaging 84 points per game while shooting 50% from the field. Those numbers will improve even more after the 92-53 beatdown they just gave to Cal. During the ESPN2 telecast, Dick Vitale noted that the Tigers truly love sharing the ball. There’s nothing that makes a guard-heavy attack run smoother than such a trait. If selfishness could slow the Missouri offense down, unselfish passing makes it go. And Missouri is in full ‘go’ mode early on this season.

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RTC Live: CBE Classic Consolation & Finals

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2011

After a night of convincing victories in the City of Fountains, we’re back for the consolation and final rounds of the CBE Classic. Join us for the conversation tonight, after the jump.

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Pac-12 Early Season Tournament Round-Up/Preview

Posted by AMurawa on November 22nd, 2011

It’s a great time to be a college hoops fan. This week in college basketball is arguably the fifth best week in the season, you know, right behind the three weeks of the NCAA Tournament and the week of the conference championships. We’ve got a chance to see teams, often for the first time, matched up with other schools from disparate corners of the country in tournament play, with the opportunities for teams to snag resume-boosting wins in rapid-fire fashion. Sure, we’ve already got a few tournaments wrapped up, and there are even a handful that come along later, but for the most part we’re right in the wheelhouse for the early season tournaments. So, we’ll take a quick look at all the Pac-12 teams and either preview or review the early season tournaments that each team is participating in.

  • Arizona – The Wildcats got things started right off the bat with an appearance in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. After dispatching of Valparaiso and Duquesne in the first week of the season, they rallied from behind in the semifinal against St. John’s to advance to the championship game, but folded down the stretch there, losing to Mississippi State.
  • Arizona State – The Sun Devils are in Orlando over the Thanksgiving weekend for the Old Spice Classic. They’ll get things started with Fairfield, expected to battle Iona for the MAAC title this year, before facing either Dayton or Wake Forest on Friday.  Texas Tech, Indiana State, Minnesota and DePaul make up the other side of what looks to be a relatively weak bracket, but given ASU’s poor start to the season, expecting them to do much damage in Orlando seems to be a pipe dream.
  • California – The Golden Bears are in the middle of the CBE Classic tournament in Kansas City this week, where they will play Missouri tonight in the championship game at 7 PM PST. They got to the final by demolishing Georgia last night 70-46, after handling George Washington and Austin Peay with ease in Berkeley last week.
Brandon Smith, California

Brandon Smith And The Cal Bears Take On Missouri In The Finals Of The CBE Classic Tonight

  • Colorado – A seventh place showing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off wasn’t what Buffalo head coach Tad Boyle had in mind, but that’s exactly what he got last weekend, after dropping the first two games of the week to Wichita State and Maryland in relatively close games before taking care of Western Michigan to avoid a winless trip to the tropics.
  • Oregon – The Ducks spend their tournament time in something called the Global Sports Hoops Showcase, December 20-22 in Eugene, with games against North Carolina Central, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin doing absolutely nothing to help their at-large chances. Read the rest of this entry »
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Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week One

Posted by AMurawa on November 14th, 2011

With one (relatively short) week of college basketball in the books, it’s time to hand out our weekly honors. Every Monday throughout the season, we’ll hand out a Pac-12 Player of the Week, Newcomer of the Week and Team of the Week award for the best performances from schools within the conference. Let’s jump right in with this week’s picks.

Player of the Week

Allen Crabbe, Soph, California – In two games this week, Crabbe has established himself as the Golden Bears’ go-to scorer, something we already suspected after his play during the conference season last year. After opening the season with 24 points, including four three-pointers in 30 minutes in a win over UC Irvine, Crabbe upped his efficiency by going for 21 points and five threes while knocking down eight of his 14 field goal attempts in a Sunday night blowout of George Washington. Crabbe posted a 68.1% true shooting percentage this week, knocking down nine of his 17 three-point attempts. While he has yet to fill up other areas of the stat sheet (he didn’t get to the line once in either game, and only posted seven rebounds, two assists and one steal combined between the two), Crabbe has added some solid man defense and figures to be a constant contender for these honors throughout the season.

Allen Crabbe, California

Allen Crabbe Has Got His Jumper Going Early For The Golden Bears

Newcomer of the Week

Dewayne Dedmon, Soph, USC – While the Trojans needed every minute Friday night to edge Cal State Northridge, Dedmon got his college basketball career off to a flying start. Starting just his fourth year of organized basketball, the rumors of Dedmon’s raw skills have been making the rounds for more than a year now. But the 22-year old junior college transfer from Antelope Valley College got a chance to show off his stuff for real this week. Just a couple minutes into his first collegiate game, he took a no-look pass from point guard Maurice Jones and jammed home the first of his three dunks on the night, winding up with 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots, all while missing just one shot on the night. While Dedmon still has a long way to go and USC has plenty they still have to work on, it was a great opening night for a great story.

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week One

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 14th, 2011

Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew and I have compiled after the first week of games. Here we go!

1. California, 2-0: The preseason favorite Golden Bears rolled in their first two games of the season. On Friday night they faced an overmatched and undertalented UC Irvine team where Allen Crabbe led California with 24 points. Last night they faced George Washington in the regional round of the CBE Classic, thrashing the Colonials for an 81-54 victory. Up Next: 11.15 vs Austin Peay

Crabbe led all Golden bears with 24 points in Friday's win (credit: Jeff Gross)

2. Arizona, 3-0: After a loss and a closer-than-comfort win in its two exhibitions, all eyes were on Tucson this week to see how the Cats would perform in their first three games. They didn’t overwhelm any of their mid-major opponents by any means, but eight-, nine-, and ten-point victories over some reasonably solid competition earns them the second slot in our power poll. Up Next: 11.17 vs St. John’s in New York City

3. Washington, 2-0: The Huskies have won the first two games of the World Vision Classic and will go for the sweep tonight. Shooting guard C.J. Wilcox has led the team in both of its victories, going for 22 points against Georgia State and 19 points against Florida Atlantic. Combo guard Tony Wroten, Jr., as expected, has led the plethora of newcomers with 12.5 PPG. Up Next: 11.14 vs Portland

4. USC, 1-0: Despite only defeating a bad Cal State Northridge by seven points on Friday night, the Trojans come in at fourth in our power rankings. Three players, Aaron Fuller, Dewayne Dedmon, and Maurice Jones all led SC with 16 points a piece. Dedmon had the most impressive performance though, adding eight blocks and three rebounds to his stat line. Up Next: 11.14 vs Nebraska

5. Stanford, 1-0: The Cardinal gave Central Arkansas a rude awakening in their first game as a fully eligible Division I team, drilling the Bears 91-52. Aaron Bright led five Cardinal players in double figures with 16 points and four assists. Up Next: 11.14 vs Fresno State

T6. UCLA, 0-1: UCLA had a terrible loss to open up the season, a 69-58 defeat at the hands of Loyola Marymount at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The Bruins looked inept on offense but the defense was even worse, letting LMU shoot 66.7% (10-15) from behind the arc. If the Bruins want to live up to the expectations that have been set for them, they need to improve that perimeter defense. Up Next: 11.15 vs Middle Tennessee Read the rest of this entry »

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RTC Live: CBE Finals

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 23rd, 2010

Games #29-#30.  Another night of outstanding games at the CBE Classic tips off with a ridiculous top five matchup.

We’re set for a pair of outstanding matchups in the final day of the CBE Classic in Kansas City here on RTC Live. The top-five tilt that has fans licking their chops features #4 Kansas State taking on #1 Duke, though a feisty Marquette team will square off against reeling Gonzaga in the undercard. The Golden Eagles gave Duke a few scares, tying the game in the second half before a decisive Blue Devils run sealed the win. Unfortunately for Buzz Williams’ team, they missed several opportunities to move ahead and pull the upset. There was a lid on the basket as Marquette misfired time after time in the opening half. For Gonzaga, Elias Harris struggled to get going with his heel giving him trouble all evening, and it’s hard to see him being a major contributor Tuesday based on what we saw Monday. With two losses already in the young season, Mark Few needs to find a way to make his remaining pieces, including Steven Gray, fit together in a hurry. As for the championship combatants, the Blue Devils propelled themselves to victory behind a career night from Mason Plumlee, who chipped in 25 points and 12 boards. Despite the win, ballhandling was an issue for Duke as they itched to get ahead in the transition game. The Wildcats will look to combat Duke’s uptempo attack with a swarming defense that forced 17 Bulldog turnovers. After Kansas State’s big night from the perimeter against Gonzaga (46% from deep in a surprisingly collective effort) Monday, it’ll be interesting to see how much they have left in the tank with a one-day turnaround. Join us live Tuesday night for a Thanksgiving-sized helping of hoops!

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RTC Live: CBE Semifinals

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2010

Games #25-#26.  RTC Live is pleased to announce our presence at these two games, which are without question the best group of the young season.

RTC is at Sprint Center in Kansas City for a spectacular two-day course of games in the CBE Classic, with a field that resembles late March rather than late November. The first semifinal features #1 Duke tipping off against Marquette, while #3 Kansas State and #11 Gonzaga provide the nightcap. A meeting between top-five squads awaits tomorrow if the Blue Devils and Wildcats handle business tonight. Duke has rolled through their first three games as expected, pounding Princeton, Miami (OH) and Colgate at Cameron Indoor. They’re loaded with NBA talent, and are playing away from Durham for the first time this season. There are plenty of ways Duke can beat you: Kyle Singler gets well-deserved attention for his shooting touch and high basketball IQ, and they man a lethal guard core of Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Seth Curry. For Marquette, Jimmy Butler is a veteran leader while Jae Crowder and Vander Blue have provided fresh blood. The Golden Eagles, at 4-0 so far, are off to a running start.

With Manhattan, Kansas, just a couple hours away, the Wildcats are the local draw of the event. AP Preseason All-American Jacob Pullen drives the bus for Frank Martin’s Wildcats, and the bench was a key factor in handling Virginia Tech last week with Pullen in foul trouble. On the other side of the court, Elias Harris, Gonzaga’s star forward, is still achy from a foot injury sustained in the Bulldogs’ setback against San Diego State. If he can’t go, the Zags will still have a solid frontcourt duo in Robert Sacre and Sam Dower. Senior guard Steven Gray has exploded for 25.7 PPG in his first three games of the season, accounting for more than 25% of the Bulldogs’ scoring production. Still, make no mistake – Harris’ availability (or unavailability) could end up being the difference this week.  Join us this evening for what should be a great couple of games in Kansas City.

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Morning Five: 03.05.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on March 5th, 2010

  1. Eddie Sutton made his first public comments about the charges and the future of his son Sean Sutton in an interview with Tulsa World yesterday.  Sean Sutton was arrested back on February 11th and charged with attempting to possess controlled substances, and soon after admitted an addiction to pain killers.  The elder Sutton expressed confidence in his son, saying “He’ll be all right because he’s a strong person who just made a mistake.”
  2. Santa Clara sophomore Troy Alexander is impressive.  His stats this season: 1.1 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG in 30 games.  Ah, but his most meaningful stat is found in the “Lives Saved” column.  He’s been raising awareness about the malaria epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and has been raising money via Facebook and Twitter to buy mosquito-repellent nets for children’s beds.  The nets are draped over the beds so the kids don’t get bitten and contract the disease while they sleep.  The cost of one net?  Ten lousy bucks.  A life saved.  If you don’t think malaria is a big deal, there are some studies out there that say malaria has actually killed one out of every two people who has ever lived.  Alexander initially wanted to raise $1,000, but has already tripled that.  He does this through the Nothing But Nets campaign, an organization jump-started by everyone’s favorite punching bag these days — Rick Reilly.  We won’t post Troy’s Facebook page, but we will link his page at NothingButNets.net.  Bravo, brother.
  3. According to the 49 responding journalists in AnnArbor.com’s final player of the year poll, Evan Turner is widening his lead over John Wall.  Interestingly, Turner was the only player named on every ballot.  Three voters didn’t have Wall ranked first, second, OR third, and 32 of them didn’t name Wesley Johnson anywhere.  Wow.
  4. The host schools — that is to say, the teams that automatically advance to the “championship rounds,” win or lose — have been announced for next season’s O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas CityDuke, Kansas State, Gonzaga, and Marquette will be the sites for the regional round games from November 14-17, and then will move on to the Sprint Center on November 22-23 to play each other in matchups to be determined later.
  5. Are referees working too much?  It’s been a big topic for some time, and especially this year.  Conference bigwigs and coaches may think refs are overworked, but the referees seem to disagree.  ACC referees’ supervisor John Clougherty, though, feels the critics might have a point, saying of his refs, “They are independent contractors.  I can’t tell them how many times to work.”  Interesting piece by Ray Glier of the New York Times.
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Iowa’s Todd Lickliter Has Carotid Tear Repaired

Posted by jstevrtc on December 9th, 2009

Iowa head coach Todd Lickliter underwent placement of a stent to one of his carotid arteries on Saturday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, according to reports from ESPN and from The Hawk Eye.  Lickliter had evidently complained of severe headaches while coaching his Hawkeyes in the CBE Classic in late November, and upon evaluation and testing on Friday, a tear in one of his carotid arteries was found.  This led to the decision to access the carotid and place a stent, a small semi-rigid mesh-like tube, into the artery to keep it open and intact.  He was released on Tuesday and was told to chill for a week before resuming his coaching duties (probably not in those terms).  As if that matters, considering the rest of the above paragraph.

Most folks have heard of “stents” when talking of heart disease, like when a doctor puts a stent in one of the arteries that suppies blood to the heart, so that the blood will keep flowing through it and you won’t have a heart attack.  Yeah, I’m talking to you, there — the guy dipping potato chips in lard.  Same concept here.  The carotid arteries (you have one on each side of your neck, and you probably knew that) help supply blood to a little organ we here at RTC like to call, “the brain,” which we learned in 8th-grade health class as having a great deal of  import.  Putting a stent in one of them makes sure that blood keeps flowing through that vessel like John Wall through your 2-3 zone, so that you don’t have a “brain attack.”  Also known as… a stroke.

From the information available in the various reports about this (including the two above), and after talking with the guys over at Rush The Court’s Vascular Surgery wing — fun group, by the way! — it doesn’t sound like this was a matter of actual flow through the carotid that got repaired, but rather an issue of a tearing of the artery wall itself.  If this is the case, what happens is — because your artery walls have many layers in them, like reinforced garden hose — one of the layers begins to weaken and bulge, which can not only disrupt blood flow to the brain (badness!), but can also result in further tearing (extreme freakin’ badness).  If it was a matter of true lack of flow through a clogged carotid artery, most likely Lickliter would have had something called a carotid endarterectomy.  This involves not only a year of medical school just to learn how to say that word, but also involves cutting open the neck from the outside, cutting the artery from the outside, and pulling out, as I believe Bill Walton once said, “a big tub of goo” from the artery so blood can flow all smooth-like. 

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