The RTC Podcast: Feast Week Hangover Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 3rd, 2013

Here’s hoping everyone out there in College Basketball Nation had a tryptophantastic Feast Week of hoops, hops and holiday cheer (please, take the keyboard away from us now). With so much great action around the western hemisphere last week, the RTC Podcast crew (hosted by Shane Connolly (@sconnolly114)) had a lot to catch up on this week. We think we did our best, as you can see below with the long laundry list of topics that we tried to cover.

Dan Dakich Joins Us on This Week's RTC Podcast

ESPN Analyst Dan Dakich Joins Us on This Week’s RTC Podcast

We also welcomed ESPN analyst Dan Dakich to the Rush the Takes segment of the show this week, as he gave us some takes on Feast Week as well as some of the upcoming Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-ups set to tip off later tonight (he’ll be in Syracuse for the Orange and Hoosiers). The rundown is below if you’d like to skip around to the most interesting parts. Make sure to add the RTC Podcast to your iTunes lineup so that you’ll automatically upload it on your listening device after we record. And feel free to contact us through Twitter or email — we’re listening.

  • 0:00-4:10 – UConn Beats Florida/Feast Week Excitement
  • 4:10-5:41 – Villanova wins the Battle 4 Atlantis
  • 5:41-6:42 – Arizona Downs Duke At the Garden
  • 6:42-7:46 – Syracuse Validates Their Rank in Maui
  • 7:46-8:35 – Wichita State Wins Pulls Some Quality Under The Radar Wins
  • 8:35-9:42 – Memphis Gets Revenge
  • 9:42-10:31 – Dayton Makes a Statement in Maui
  • 10:31-11:21 – UMass Still Getting Love For Early Tournament Win
  • 11:21-12:35 – San Diego State: The Only Winner in a Messy Wooden Legacy
  • 12:35-14:05 – Creighton Lets Down After Good Start In Anaheim
  • 14:05-15:11 – Marquette Still Can’t Score
  • 15:11-16:41 – Arizona State Goes From Good to Bad to Worse
  • 16:41-17:44 – Oklahoma State’s Flaws Finally Show
  • 17:44-18:47 – Gonzaga’s Missed Opportunity in Maui
  • 18:47-20:39 – Kansas and Andrew Wiggins Backlash Part 2
  • 20:39-22:14 – Duke Can’t Get Their Statement Win
  • 22:14-32:27 – Rush The Takes With Dan Dakich
  • 32:27-34:18 – Memphis Wants Randy’s Respect
  • 34:18-36:47 – UNC????
  • 36:47-38:49 – Atmosphere In Early Games
  • 38:49-41:19 – Ranking Villanova After Their Great Week
  • 41:19-46:27 – Big 10/ACC Challenge Preview/Wrap
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Three Thoughts From Indiana’s Televised Practice on ESPNU

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on October 15th, 2012

Indiana head coach Tom Crean did not enter the Assembly Hall on a motorcycle. He neither dressed up as a superhero nor did he set up the first official practice with thousands of fans in the arena. He did, however, have the TV cameras rolling as he held the first practice with arguably the best college basketball team in the nation last Friday. ESPN’s Brian Weinstein, Jay Williams and Dan Dakich were present in Bloomington for Indiana’s practice and it was aired on ESPNU. You can catch the replay of the practice on ESPN3 right now if you’re so inclined.

Tom Crean opened up Indiana’s first practice to ESPN on the eve of Midnight Madness.

Crean was his usual self marching up and down the court, brimming with energy, a sight that Hoosier fans have been accustomed to for four years. He had a microphone attached and went through several drills while the ESPN crew discussed Indiana basketball for the upcoming season. The following are a few observations/thoughts from the practice:

  1. Maurice Creek: Every Hoosier fan and even Big Ten fans are eager to see guard Maurice Creek back in action this season. Creek couldn’t play much over the past two seasons due to knee injuries and he practiced with pads on both of his knees. Creek was supposed to help Verdell Jones III during Crean’s earlier seasons to revive IU basketball but he has been consistently sidelined with injuries. Creek was shown on the telecast running some pick-and-pop situations to display the quick release on his jumper. Along with returning guard Will Sheehey (8.6 PPG), Creek will be one of the primary scoring options off the bench. His conditioning may take some time to get up to par but there is enough depth on this squad for him to catch up by the middle of the conference season. Read the rest of this entry »
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Boom Goes The Dynamite: Mid-Afternoon Games – 12.11.10

Posted by jstevrtc on December 11th, 2010

A Dentist’s Dream in Pittsburgh: As we were watching the early portion of this game we were hoping the Consol Energy Center had at least installed a blood bank somewhere in the wings. This was one heck of a physical battle from the opening tip, but we have to give respect to players from both sides, here. Already this year, we’ve seen a few physical games in which, as often happens, emotions got stirred up and something like a mini-scrap or at least a big verbal exchange happens. Not so, in this game. Both teams took what the refs gave them and it never got out of hand. No elbows, no punches, no shouting matches, nothing. There was one intentional foul in the first half (correctly called) and a tiny exchange of words in the second half, but nothing ever escalated.

Smacked Panthers: Please call the UT basketball offices if you find Scotty Hopson’s mind. Because he lost it agaisnt the Panthers. Everything the guy did (27 points on 10-13 shooting, including 3-3 from three point range) was gorgeous on Saturday. Powerful dunks, aggressive drives and finishes, silky outside jumpers from range…he found a groove that Miles Davis would have been proud of. Just as amazing was that, in the face of such a performance, Pitt showed little fightback and little interest until about 37 minutes had passed, as if the Panthers were just devastated by the Dave Wannstedt resignation.

Badgers Value the Rock: We wonder what Bo Ryan talked to his team about at halftime? First half…three offensive rebounds; second half…TWELVE?!? That’s an unreal glass-crashing effort on their own end. And efficiency, thy name is still Bo Ryan. Wisconsin’s first turnover of the second half didn’t happen until there was only 3:39 left!

Hard on the Huskies? There’s been a lot less talk about Washington over the last couple of weeks, mostly because they lost two games in Maui. They were to Kentucky and Michigan State…not exactly a couple of bran muffins. Right now they’re in a battle at Texas A&M, an incredibly tough place to be a visiting team. If they can pull this one out against the Aggies, look for the chatter to rev up for the Huskies again, and deservedly so.

Hoosiers Rising: The improvement in Indiana is obvious. They’re only down one at the half at Kentucky, though the Wildcats aren’t exactly helping themselves in the shot-selection department (1-7 from three). Indiana fans have been very patient, and the rewards are coming, we promise. What really irks us is that we heard that Scott Van Pelt was at Rupp Arena tonight. We were in Lexington last weekend and in Louisville on Wednesday, and we’ve been hoping to run into that guy on our travels at some point.

Primary Color Commentary: Dan Dakich’s breakdown of late-game strategy in the Wisconsin vs Marquette game was further evidence of why he’s a fantastic color guy, as everyone now knows. And we couldn’t agree more with Jay Bilas‘ mention, when speaking about Scotty Hopson, of how it’s actually OK to give a hot-shot high school recruit a few years to mature and develop his game at the college level.

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05.16.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 16th, 2008

Finishing out your week with a bunch of meaningless links – enjoy!

  • OJ Mayo claims he never took nothing from nobody!  Apparently Mayo’s HS in Ohio (North College Hill) will keep its two titles from 2005 and 2006 – the OHSAA only gives you six weeks to contest a violation of any kind! 
    nvr1983 update: I prefer the actual LA Times article/interview. Even though I know it is normal for athletes to get rather large gifts from agents before the draft (rtmsf and I witnessed it in 1998 with Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison and a tricked out Navigator), the last sentence is a classic.
  • UNC’s Alex Stepheson announced that he is transferring closer to home for family reasons (SoCal). 
  • USC may lose a major recruit for 09 in the fallout of the Mayo scandal.
  • UConn guard Doug Wiggins is transferring to UMass – oh, to reminisce on what an uproar this would have caused ca. 1994. 
  • Indiana’s former assistant coach Dan Dakich got bought out for $185k. 
  • BYU’s Trent Plaisted signed with an agent and will stay in the NBA Draft.
  • Here’s Shawn Siegel’s most excellent ratings of the top ten players at each position in this year’s draft class (PGs, SGs, and more to come…)
  • Yes, kids, testing the waters can end up pigeonholing you and hurting your future draft position.
  • Jay Bilas indicts everyone and anyone related to the stink emanating from the business of basketball (and we largely agree with him).  (insider only)
  • Gary Parrish talks about how teams are stealing players from programs going through coaching changes (Duke and UCLA are the latest beneficiaries). 
  • If this isn’t IRONIC in the wake of Huggins’ stint at Kansas State (one-and-done), we don’t know what is…
  • Andy Glockner reports that the mid-majors are getting hit hard by the glut of early entries these days too.
  • Is college basketball being unfairly singled out for additional enforcement (vis-a-vis football) by Myles Brand?
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East Regional Analysis

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2008

As I stated earlier during my live blog of the selection show, the East Regional definitely seems likely the toughest of the four regions, which seems a little unfair to #1 overall seed UNC. I also included links to the team’s ESPN pages that includes schedules and rosters.

Teams
#1 UNC: Despite all the hype that the analysts are giving UCLA, I still think UNC is the team to beat as they have Hansbrough, the most reliable player in the nation on a team that doesn’t have a #2 guy who lay a 0-for-14 in a big game, a very good if not great yet perimeter player in Ellington, and one of the best PGs in the nation in Lawson (still unsure when he will be back to his prior form). They also have Roy Williams, who despite his record of losing tournament games with superior teams has also won a national title before so at least he knows how it is done. Schedule/Roster.

#2 Tennessee: Out of all the #2 seeds, the Vols definitely got the short end of the stick. For all the talk of Wisconsin being cheated out of a #3 seed, I would almost prefer to be in Wisconsin’s position rather than Tennessee’s. The Vols have one of the most exciting/athletic teams in the country, but sometimes they just don’t show up. I’m still waiting for Chris Lofton to turn into the potential national POY that he was hyped as coming into the season. Even though their first round game should a cakewalk, the second round will be a challenge as they will end up with either Butler (much, much better than its 7th seed) or South Alabama (the game is in Birmingham, AL). This is a pretty rough bracket for the team that most would consider the best #2 seed especially since Wisconsin didn’t even get a #2 seed. Schedule/Roster.

#3 Louisville: Despite their horrendous early-season start, Rick Pitino (and the team recovering from injuries) turned the season around and has Louisville at a very respectable seed. While they lack the star power of some of the top teams, Louisville makes up for it with their depth. Their most explosive scorer (Sosa) comes off the bench and they also have solid (if somewhat anonymous) play out of the backcourt to compliment Padgett, Character, and Palacios, who actually started on their Final 4 team. Normally, I would give this group a good chance to make the Final 4, but with UNC and Tennessee in their bracket they will be hard-pressed to make it to San Antonio. Schedule/Roster.

#4 Washington State: It’s hard to believe that earlier in the season this team was ranked #4 and now they are probably getting the 4th most hype out of the Pac-10 teams in the tournament. With tons of experience and solid play from Kyle Weaver and Derrick Low, the Cougars should be competitive with almost any team in the tournament, but their lack of firepower and depth will probably cost them if they get deep into the tournament. I’m sure that all of you are also looking at Winthrop as a potential Cinderella based on their prior performance so the Cougars also have that to worry about. Schedule/Roster.

#5 Notre Dame: Led by Big East POY candidate Luke Harangody, the Irish were one of the big surprises for us out of the Big East. We didn’t get to see them play much, but when we did they looked very good. Part of their success seems to be related to their home-court winning streak. It’s too bad for the Irish the tournament isn’t played in South Bend. They play the 2006 Cinderella George Mason in the first round, which should be an interesting matchup (we’ll leave the Irish/Cinderella commentary/jokes to someone else). Like Duke, the Irish rely on the 3 although they are not completely lacking an inside presence. This makes them dangerous on a given night, but also subject to an early upset. Schedule/Roster.

#6 Oklahoma: It looks like that whole Kelvin Sampson leaving thing didn’t turn out so bad for the Sooners. Somehow they ended up a higher seed than Sampson’s more recent previous team. The Sooners are led by Blake Griffin who managed to put up big numbers (15.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG) despite injury both knees this season. Jeff Capel has done a good job replacing Sampson on the sideline while staying off the cell phone (we hope). The Sooners aren’t a force offensively so they have to rely on their defense. While that normally is a good thing for a team, we wonder how far this team can go with all the offensive firepower in this region. Schedule/Roster.

#7 Butler: Seriously, this is unbelievable. 29-3. Ranked #10 or 11 depending on which poll you believe. They’re a #7 seed?!?!? Normally with a balanced attack (4 guys average double figures), experience (a Sweet 16 trip last year), and several impressive non-conference victories, we would expect the Bulldogs to outperform their seed, but Committee Chairman Tom O’Connor must think Butler head coach Brad Stevens looks like a bitch because. . .well you know the rest of the line. This is one of the all-time great screwjobs. They play #10 seed South Alabama in the first round in Birmingham, Alabama. If they survive that, the Bulldogs will likely face Tennessee, the best #2 seed in the tournament. Schedule/Roster.

#8 Indiana: Honestly, this is the most surprising seed that I can remember. I wouldn’t have pictured the Hoosiers as anything lower than a 6. It’s amazing that the team with the Big 10 POY (DJ White) and possibly the best freshman in the nation (Eric Gordon) along with a host of other solid players could be a #8 seed. I realize they lost 3 of their last 4, but one was in OT and the other was on a last second miracle shot (I wonder if Tubby got the idea after hearing about it so much while he was at UK). We would pick the Hoosiers to go deep in the tournament, but they have lost to every elite team they played this year (Xavier, UConn, and Wisconsin). Perhaps, Dakich can work some of his magic or Dick Vitale will be calling for the return of Robert Montgomery Knight. Schedule/Roster.

#9 Arkansas: Led by new coach John Pelphrey (look for him in the background of rtmsf’s favorite March moment), the Razorbacks have had an impressive season after a few bad non-conference losses. Much like Nolan Richardson’s teams (although not nearly as good), the Razorbacks like a quick pace. After a nice run to the SEC tournament finals, Arkansas might be a trendy pick to make a run, but they have a killer draw (Indiana then UNC if they want to make the Sweet 16). While this stat won’t help you make your picks, watch for how the Razorbacks start the game for a hint at the outcome. During the regular season, they were 18-0 with a halftime lead and 2-10 when trailing at the half. Schedule/Roster.

#10 South Alabama: After failing to win the Sun Belt tournament, South Alabama was on the edge of not making the tournament. The good news: they’re in and their pod is in Alabama. The bad news: to make it out of the sub-region they will have to be Butler and Tennessee. If they are going to make a run, they will have to feed off the home crowd and need a big performance out of star Demetric Bennett. Schedule/Roster.

#11 Saint Joseph’s: Led by Pat Calathes (older brother of UF star Nick Calathes), the Hawks made the tournament by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament. It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, St. Joe’s was on the verge of a perfect regular season and almost made the Final 4. It’s also hard to believe that Jameer Nelson and Delonte West played at St. Joe’s at the same time. If Phil Martelli wants to survive the opening weekend, the Hawks will need to step up their defense. Fortunately for them, they start off with Oklahoma, a team that isn’t know for being high-scoring. Schedule/Roster.

#12 George Mason: The Patriots (Final 4 Cinderella in 2006) are back and they start off against Notre Dame. We don’t see the Patriots making a deep run this year, but then again we never would have imagined they could beat a loaded UCONN team back in 2006. Schedule/Roster.

#13 Winthrop: If the Eagles are to pull off another upset, they will need a big night out of Michael Jenkins (14.3 PPG). Before you go out and make the Eagles a Cinderella you should realize this is a different team, which is most noticeable when you see they have a new coach on the sideline.Schedule/Roster.

#14 Boise State: It looks they know one thing at Boise State and we’re not referring to the hideous blue football field that makes you try to adjust your TV every bowl season. Like the football team, the basketball Broncos can light up the scoreboard averaging 81.2 PPG (12th nationally) and shoots 51.5% from the field (2nd nationally). They are led by first team All-WAC Reggie Larry (19.3 PPG and 9.1 RPG) along with 2 other forwards who average double figures. Side note: We loved watching replays of their Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma (didn’t see live because I had to be in the hospital at 4 am for an orthopedic surgery rotation) and would love for them to meet in the 2nd round of the tournament so we can root for that. Schedule/Roster.

#15 American: I’m not going to put much time into this because well they aren’t going to be spending much time in the tournament. They like to slow the game down and they shoot 40.9% as a team from 3. Unfortunately, both of their starting guards are under 6′ tall. The result is that they might hang with the Vols for 10 minutes then it’s over. Schedule/Roster.

#16 Mount Saint Mary’s / Coppin State: Honestly, we don’t know anything about either of these teams except that Coppin State is the first 20-loss team to ever make the tournament. Nothing against either of these teams, but a detailed analysis of these teams isn’t really worth the time since they will likely be gone 5 minutes into their game with UNC. Mount Saint Mary’s Schedule/Roster. Coppin State’s Schedule/Roster.

P.S. Kelvin Sampson must love this region with his two former teams in it. I wonder how much he will be mentioned during their games. We know it’s pretty much impossible, but we would love the possibility of an Indiana-Oklahoma Elite 8 match-up.

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Monday Wrap

Posted by rtmsf on February 25th, 2008

Since we just continue to get slammed by work and life in general, we can’t even find time to post new Erin Andrews pics (so a video will have to suffice today)… but here are a few things that we enjoyed from the weekend’s events.

#1 v. #2. This was the only game we got to see this weekend, but it looked a lot like we had expected. Seriously, who didn’t see this one coming after Memphis’ recent struggles? To paraphrase Luke Winn today, Memphis looks like the same team of athletes that they always have – a bunch of guys who can’t run a halfcourt offense or make a clutch foul shot under any circumstances. When John Calipari came onto PTI last week and said that his players traditionally were clutch at making FTs down the stretch, we almost fell off our chair in hysterics, considering the Tigers’ pathetic performance in the last five minutes of the game (1-8) last week at UAB. We still don’t love the Volz come March, but they seem to be a lot tougher mentally than the previous renditions. Major trap game upcoming for UT at Vandy on Tuesday night.

EA v. BP. What coach hasn’t been romantically linked to Erin Andrews at one time or another? After Saturday night’s halftime interview goosing at the hands of Bruce Pearl, we think it’s safe to say that EA isn’t busily canoodling with the Tennessee coach in her spare time. Ok!

Kelvin No More. So there was no player mutiny at IU over the weekend, but there may have been one on campus had the Hoosiers actually dropped their weekend game at Northwestern, currently winless (0-14) in the Big Ten. How will interim coach Dan Dakich handle what are obviously bruised player egos and emotions? The Hoosiers could be looking at a crash-and-burn in a big way here if he can’t get their buy-in very soon.

Other Games. A few other scores caught our eyes this weekend…

  • Oklahoma St. 61, Kansas 60. There is absolutely no excuse for KU losing to this OSU team.
  • Drake 71, Butler 64. Battle of the mid-majors involved Drake going to Hinkle and showing they’re going to be heard from in March.
  • Arizona 65, Washington St. 55. The strange and curious middle of the Pac-10 continues to confound us.
  • Miami (FL) 78, Maryland 63. Last week the Canes just made themselves relevant.
  • LSU 69, Ole Miss 49. Ok, so Andy Kennedy still had a good year in getting Ole Miss to the NIT.

Only four more days until March, people!!!

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Mutiny on the HMS Hoosier

Posted by rtmsf on February 22nd, 2008

We had to come out of our work-induced hibernation for a brief passage on what’s being reported from Indiana today.  This is getting juicier than Lindsay Lohan’s tenderloin on display in New York Magazine. 

Mutiny

Mutiny on the HMS Hoosier

Luke Winn is reporting that the IU players are on the verge of a full-scale mutiny if Kelvin Sampson is fired, as many are expecting his termination today.  If assistant coach Dan Dakich is promoted, Winn writes that the players may walk out on the season in unison.

The source said that in meeting with Hoosiers players on Thursday night, IU athletic director Rick Greenspan informed them of the likelihood that Sampson would no longer be their head coach — either as a result of a termination or suspension Friday.  The players’ response, according to the source? “If Sampson isn’t our coach, we’ll quit.” The source said this was the unified sentiment of the whole team, but was first expressed by the Hoosiers’ senior leadership in a smaller meeting earlier Thursday. Greenspan and the players reached a stalemate in the second meeting, with the athletic director reportedly asking them if “the whole season should just be canceled.”

We’re sure something like this must have happened at some point in college basketball history, but we certainly cannot remember something like this happening at such a high-profile program such as Indiana.  Just thinking back in our lifetime, did the Michigan players in 1989 threaten to walk when Bill Frieder was fired?  Who else?

Right now, though, everything is just speculation and talk.  Players often threaten to transfer and/or cause problems unless a certain coach is fired/promoted/hired, but eventually emotions settle, reality hits home, and the players acquiesce.  Put simply, we would be completely and absolutely shocked if the Indiana players actually followed through on this threat, considering the team they have and the possible March run they could make.

 

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