Giving Thanks in College Basketball

Posted by Henry Bushnell on November 27th, 2014

It’s Turkey Day! For many, that’s just an excuse to gather with family, eat good food and watch football. But it’s also a time to give thanks. So what are we thankful for in college basketball?


Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

The short answer is “a lot.” But here are some specifics:

  • Variety – Why do we love college basketball? Rush the Court counted down the ways in the buildup to the 2014-15 season. But if there’s one word that’s not ‘excitement’ or ‘passion,’ it might be variety. Those 30 reasons conveyed that. Every team has its own identity. There are so many different offensive systems, so many unorthodox players, so many different coaching philosophies, so many distinct home court advantages… I could go on and on. But the point is, you can go to any game between any two of 351 teams, and the experience will be unique. And for that we are thankful.
  • The unexpected – In the NBA, despite it being a mere month into the season, you can all but rule out 20-25 teams from legitimately competing for a championship. You know who is going to be there in the end. On the other hand, the college game is defined by the unexpected. We are thankful for every single upset, whether it’s the Davidson-like NCAA tournament run, the double-digit seed winning its conference tournament, or even just the Eastern Washingtons beating the Indianas.
  • Legendary coaches – Naturally, there is a lot of year-to-year turnover in college basketball. But it’s the everlasting coaches that provide some necessary consistency. Guys like Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bo Ryan and Tom Izzo give you a single entity to which to attach yourself as a fan. And for them we are thankful.

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What Pac-12 Programs Should Be Thankful For Today

Posted by AMurawa on November 22nd, 2012

For college basketball fans, Thanksgiving has quietly become a smorgasbord of fun. It wasn’t all that long ago where Thanksgiving week maybe meant the Preseason NIT, the Maui Invitation, the Great Alaska Shootout and a couple of other one-off games interspersed throughout the schedule. Nowadays, from Monday to Sunday, the whole week is jampacked with wall-to-wall hoops, from the Bahamas to Alaska and plenty of fun places in between. As we gorge ourselves on all the meaty matchups around the land, we here at the Pac-12 microsite take some time to list just what each program around the conference should be most thankful for this holiday weekend.

Arizona – When Lute Olson’s storied tenure in the desert came to a stilted and surprising end, the Arizona basketball program stumbled along for a couple of seasons in search of its new direction. But now, in the fourth season of the Sean Miller era, it is clear that UA has their next great coach to be thankful for. Even in the midst of missing out on the NCAA Tournament twice in three seasons, he’s kept the fan base engaged, he’s killed it on the recruiting trail and he looks like he’s got the Wildcats back to where they expect to be: contending for Pac-12 titles and deep March runs on a regular basis.

After A Bumpy Transition From Lute Olson, Sean Miller Has Arizona Back On The Track To Greatness (credit: Pat Shanahan)

Arizona State – Okay, the Sun Devils probably aren’t very good right now. But with Jahii Carson running the point for the team and with head coach Herb Sendek turning him loose, this is a team that is going to be fun to watch all year long. Though not big in stature, Carson’s elite speed and athleticism make him huge for the ASU program. Last year while Carson looked on, the team struggled without a true point guard on the roster. But now it’s his team and he’s more than capable of leading it. His presence makes the rest of the guys around him better and when everything else breaks down, he’s more than capable of getting his own, something ASU fans and his embattled head coach will be thankful for throughout the year.

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Happy Thanksgiving From the SEC Microsite

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 22nd, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the SEC Microsite.

Happy Thanksgiving


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Morning Five: Happy Thanksgiving Day Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2012

We’re opting against news today in favor of just wishing everyone out there a truly blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone has something to be thankful for, and if you’re like us, more than that. Take the day, sit back, put on the Battle 4 Atlantis, and enjoy yourself on this most American of holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Happy Thanksgiving From RTC…

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2011

Rush the Court would like to wish everybody around college basketball nation a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Now, pass the mashed potatoes, Bilas…

It's a Festive Turkey Day Around the RTC Household (image inspired by TNT's Inside the NBA Goin' Fishin' series)

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Morning Five: Thanksgiving Day Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2010

  1. We’d like to start off today’s Morning Five with a trite but true statement about some of the many things that we’re thankful for here within the RTC family.  The growth of the site to become one of the leading voices in the college basketball community is (trust us) well beyond what we ever imagined possible here.  We’d like to thank you, the faithful readers, who continue to push us with ideas for improvement, challenge us if we print half-baked thoughts or incomplete analyses, and generally keep us on our toes to the point where sleep schedules for the editing team from October to April are pretty much nonexistent.  We might complain about it if we didn’t love this stuff so much.  We’d also like to throw a special thank-you to our many contributors, who have similarly grown from a few to several to a bunch, and in our efforts to corral the absolute best minds thinking about and discussing this sport on a national level, we feel that we are well on our way to reaching a sort-of hoops nirvana.  Finally, a shout-out absolutely must go to our families and friends — the wives, parents, pets, colleagues and buddies who we’ve had to continually bail on so that RTC can live to see another day.  The sacrifices these people make to remain close to us are not something that we’ll overstate — after all, it’s not like we’re fighting wars here — but it does have a day-to-day impact on those relationships to the point where mere choices between an extra half-hour behind the computer screen or a walk with a loved one is a quandary fraught with potential pitfalls.  We’re thankful for all of these things, and we want to wish everyone out there in College Hoops Nation the very best of Thanksgiving days wherever you are in your lives, and hopefully you too can find the happiness that we all get from making this thing happen.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
  2. Iowa State received the bad news on Wednesday that Minnesota transfer Royce White’s appeal to become eligible to play this season was denied by the NCAA.  The troubled player never played a game as a freshman for Minnesota in 2009-10 due to a Mall of America incident that left him in trouble with the legal system, so his eligibility request was based on that lag.  The NCAA didn’t buy the argument, however, choosing instead to impose the standard one-year transfer redshirt rule with White as it typically does any other transfer player.
  3. Mike DeCourcy answers some reader (?) questions, and the lead query asks which coach among the heavy-lifters (K, Izzo, Calipari, Donovan) would he choose to win a one-game scenario.  His answer won’t surprise you (K), but it reminded us of a solid question we received last week in a similar vein.  If we had to choose one coach and player to currently build a program with — who would it be?  We assumed a four-year window, but our choice was Butler’s Brad Stevens and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger.  Who would you guys start with?
  4. Luke Winn’s weekly in-season power rankings just might be the best read you’ll get on a regular basis during the season.  If RTC ever gets that creative on something, we’ll know that we’ve arrived.
  5. Thanksgiving was once all about that sport with the oblong ball and a 100-yard field of grass.  And yeah, we suppose that there are NFL games that actually matter, but the only college football game on today involves a 5-6 Texas team taking on an 8-3 Texas A&M team as the battle for seeding in the national tournament in an exercise of utter meaninglessness.  Good luck with that.  Or, you could watch the 76 Classic and Old Spice Classic, both of which begin today and even though March Madness is still over three months away, these games today actually have meaning.  The meaning might be marginal in scope, but it’s more than zero; and zero is what you get by watching late November games involving Texas schools going nowhere fast in that other sport.
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Morning Five: Black Friday Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 27th, 2009


  1. So instead of fighting the mobs of penny-pinchers today angling for that last 1080p LCD on the shelves, we recommend a relaxing day watching more live hoops than you can possibly handle.  During the commercials, fire up the Youtubes for each and every one of the games listed here (and yes, we’re extremely bitter we didn’t think of this…).  With respect to the #1 game, we’d recommend throwing in two other games from the best E8 weekend of all time: 2005 Michigan State vs. Kentucky and West Virginia vs. Louisville.  Each game was seemingly better than the last that weekend (UNC-Wisconsin was the only stinker).
  2. In case you were busy filling your face with non-avian bird flesh yesterday, you might have missed that West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks suited up but did not play for Bob Huggins’ team in their blowout win over Long Beach State.  Gary Parrish came right out and said what this actually is — not a problem of “personal issues,” but a suspension for some undisclosed reason.  So depending on how close today’s game against Texas A&M is, we may or may not see the preseason all-american in the lineup.
  3. How bad was the ballroom setup at the Cancun Challenge?  According to John Calipari, pretty terrible.  Gaps in the floor big enough to lodge a foot in, warped areas of the hardwood, chandeliers hanging a mere 29 feet above the floor…  just wait until the year some star player blows out an ankle or a knee because this venue can’t or won’t upgrade its facilities.
  4. Misleading Headline Theater.  This article by explains that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner has done something that not even John Calipari could do, which is ink the #1 class in their recruiting rankings at Memphis.  Well, sure.  Technically.  But if Calipari had stayed at Memphis, he would have had John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Xavier Henry — assuredly the #1 class in America.  The only reason he didn’t get one at Memphis was because he left there; not that he couldn’t do it.  The other thing that bothered us about this article was a quote by Josh Pastner: “You look at the last four years, and it’s the greatest run in the history of college basketball and may never be done again.” Josh, Coach Wooden and his seven national titles in a row is on line three for you…  Greatest run in the history of CUSA?  Yes.  College basketball?  UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, and many, many others say hello.  Spare us with the hyperbole already.
  5. Finally, since we were all giving thanks yesterday, Jeff Goodman gave us the ten things that he’s thankful for this year.  Right there with ya on #1, Jeff.  Right there with ya…
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