Thursday, January 21, 2010

College hoops musings

- Last Saturday I watched head coach Pat Knight and the Texas Tech mens basketball team watch the introduction video at Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas--home to the nation's longest home court winning streak. At the time I thought, "boy, that's a mistake." Usually, coaches bring their team into a tight huddle during the video and player introductions for KU. Well, last night, Baylor coach Scott Drew tried something totally different--he took his team off of the floor during the video and intros. KU head coach Bill Self didn't like it and neither did his team. While it was an interesting ploy by Drew, my reaction is "man up, coach!" Staring down the video and the Phog mystique is the way some team will eventually snap this 53 game winning streak in Lawrence.

- The words "North Carolina may not make the NCAA Tournament" were actually uttered on ESPN's Sportscenter this morning. And, it's true--the Tarheels are losers of three straight and have a record of 12-7, 1-3 in the ACC. The good news is that UNC doesn't play again until next Tuesday. The bad news is that they play at rival North Carolina State--the same team who beat Duke last night in Raleigh. Poor guard play, injuries and lost confidence are all major reasons for the current skid by Carolina.

- How good a coach is Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh? The Panthers, in what was regarded as a rebuilding year, were 11th in the country heading into last night's game against Georgetown. Pitt lost, thus ending their 31-game home winning streak, but Dixon has done a tremendous job given the number of starters lost from last year's Elite Eight team.

- At Iowa State, Lucca Staiger left the Cyclones to head to Europe immediately to play professional basketball in his native Germany. And, that caused Texas Tech's Knight to utter our quote of the week. Said Knight, "To get up and leave like that doesn't show much respect for his coaches, his teammates, the fans and the university. He's being selfish, leaving his team. Everyone wants to blame the coach too much. You need to start holding these kids accountable. To leave a team like Staiger left Iowa State--when they have a chance to do some good things in the league--is unheard of." The Cyclones next opponent is Kansas, this Saturday, in Ames.

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