- Duke Basketball Report: It’s not often that you will see someone come to the aid of officials–especially those officials as visible and effervescent as Karl Hess (or Ted Valentine, Jim Burr, Roger Ayers, etc.). But “the Playcaller” does a good job taking a step back and writing a very thoughtful piece on Hess. The thesis is worth extending to almost any official you can name. It’s also a good reminder that officiating is really difficult. The primary difference between high-level high school basketball and college is the speed of the game. Players are faster, better coached, and more experienced. That certainly doesn’t make a game easier to call.
- Blogger So Dear: Sitting behind a bench is always a fun experience. You hear things and see things that television cameras miss (nervous tics, profanity-laced tirades and the general “aura” of the team. You can learn a lot from how players leave a game, or how involved the end of the bench is in the game. From the sound of things, Wake Forest is in a decent place. No one likes losing so the positive attitude on the bench is definitely a good sign for Jeff Bzdelik and his staff.
- Winston-Salem Journal: In less ideal news (it’s actually amusing these stories were published at the same time) for the Demon Deacons, Ron Wellman apologized to the Miami fan that Jeff Bzdelik swore at during Wake Forest’s loss last week. The good news is the fan seems happy with the university’s response. The bad news: it’s in the news. Coaches swearing at fans behind their benches isn’t good advertising.
- Associated Press (via Washington Post): Former Georgia Tech great Javaris Crittenton is back in the news. Crittenton was already out on bail for allegedly killing a woman in a drive-by shooting in August. He was arrested this time for speeding and obstructing justice (he refused to get out of his car).
- Cavalier Insider: Jerry Ratcliffe takes a look at the ACC’s bubble. Obviously Duke, North Carolina and Florida State are locks at this point. Virginia is very close to joining that group. But major questions lie in NC State‘s and Miami‘s resumes. Both teams are close, but both need work (NC State needs more than Miami). That’s why next Wednesday’s game at NC State is so huge for both teams.
EXTRA: John Gasaway does a great job looking at the RPI. He looks at its history, both past and present. “The RPI is not the best metric that anyone has come up with so far, but it did represent a great leap forward in 1981.” That’s just it. The RPI was (and still is for many Olympic sports) the best tool available 30 years ago. Now, there are more accurate rating systems. End of story. But you should definitely read this in the meantime. It’s long but worth the time.