Monday, March 11, 2013



Indiana coach turns a great moment for Hoosier basketball into an embarassing and childish glimpse into the boy that is Tom Creen blog article link

Indiana basketball has been in a strange place in the college basketball world for a long long long time....they have been in basketball purgatory  scandals, sanctions, blowout losses to teams that shouldn't even dream of winning a game against the great Hoosiers, early tournament losses mixed with seasons over before the tournament even begins. Following the debacle that Kelvin Sampson was as both a coach and con-artist the Indiana basketball program looked as sad and the future as bleak as anyone could have imagined such an illustrious and storied program could be.

In my lifetime it somewhat reminded me of what the Kentucky program looked like after Tubby Smith left and prior to John Calipari arrived. Chaos mixed with extreme disappointment would be great words to describe what fans felt.The high standards and expectations that go with such big-time and storied programs were failing to be maintained and fans could only look on in disbelief. When Tom Creen was hired at Indiana some questioned the hire, some took a wait and see approach and some spoke up and said this is a great man for this great job and he's going to bring honesty and integrity back to the program at a time that it was needed more then ever. 

Creen has done a remarkable job both recruiting and coaching. The Indiana basketball program is back to where it should be in the college basketball world, somewhere near the top. While I don't particularly like the Hoosiers, I do respect their illustrious history, it's good for college basketball when Indiana is good. It just doesn't feel right when teams like Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina etc are finding themselves out the the NCAA tourney. Indiana fans should be proud of what the Hoosiers have accomplished this season, they won the regular season league title for the first time in over 20 years. Think about that for a second. 20 YEARS since the powerful Indiana Hoosiers basketball program won the Big Ten title. That's a long time. Too long for a program with as much rich history as they have. 

The thing is, I've heard much more talk about this pre-school pissing contest then I have about the actual game. That's sad. It's sad for Indiana university, Indiana basketball, sad for Coach Tom Creen himself but most of all it's sad for these players. These kids took a chance on Indiana, took a chance on coach Creen himself and have played their asses off to earn themselves a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney and now the supposed "Leader" of young men lets his emotions get the better of him at a time when he should have SO SO SO MANY other much more important things on his mind. Do we reallllllly know the whole story about what his comments towards assistant coach Meyer were about? No. Does it really matter though? No. We expect him to hold his players accountable for their actions on and off the court. We applaud when coaches discipline players who get into a fight. It doesn't matter if the other person said something first or not, they are expected to be the bigger man, expected to think about their teammates, their brothers in that situation.....we'll I say let's expect the same from Coach Creen. He's taken the spotlight off a fantastic game, played by two teams with national title hopes and put the focus on his little outburst. article link

NFC West gets stronger with the addition of Percy

ESPN.COM article link

Look out San Fran your competition for best looking in your division just got a little tougher as the defensive minded Seattle Seahawks are on the brink of acquiring speedy receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings. The teams have agreed in principal and the Seahawks are expected to give up their 1st round pick at the least but the deal won't be finalized until Harvin passes the physical today and then works out a contract extension to stay in Seattle. The Seahawks don't plan on dealing away their valuable first round pick even in this years somewhat down draft for a rental player, Harvin has 1 final year remaining on his rookie contract he signed with the Vikings after coming to the NFL from Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.

While I still believe that the Seahawks strength lies in their extremely talented, tough, smash-mouth defense, I think giving quarterback Russell Wilson, who will be entering his second year in the league, a fast and explosive play-maker in multiple facets of the game is a great addition. Quarterbacks in the past have struggled in season two often when opponents have had an entire off-season to dissect game tape and study tendencies. A perfect example of another dynamic quarterback who had a breakout rookie campaign followed by that "sophomore slump" is Cam Newton. Hopefully, giving Wilson another above average option in the backfield as well as down-field can take some of the pressure off and allow him to continue to improve. 

I think the 49ers still have the better team at this point and with so many picks in the upcoming draft have the option to do a variety of things to improve. The back of their defense is the spot where they may have a weakness and with a player like Revis coming back from a bad season ending injury with the Jets the Niners can quickly improve by packaging some of those picks to the Jets. The money is where the 49ers may be more hesitant. DO they really want to give up several picks to acquire a player that may not ever get back to playing like his old dominant self? If they do decide to just go all in and make the trade then exactly how much money is Revis going to want in a new deal? He's already said he wants to be the highest paid player in football! Not DB's. Not defense. Football! Revis is an INCREDIBLE PLAYER, I'd love to have him on my team and would absolutely say pay the man like he deserves to be paid. He deserves to be the top paid DB in the NFL....not the top paid player. 

It's your move San Fran....whatcha gonna do now?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

North Carolina getting another pair of 5 star recruits

Bleacher Report Justin Jackson article

I probably, most likely, think that I am pretty straightforward in my alliances to North Carolina Tar Heel basketball. My feelings and love for UNC will never change, players, coaches, wins, loses and championships can only make my love grow stronger(If that's possible). It is a nice feeling whenever I read about another top recruit making an early commitment to the Tar Heels though. Those early commitments make a coach's job so so so much easier when it comes time to make decisions on scholarship offers, which other players to scout and where to spend that ever so important face time with possible recruits. With so little time available for a head coach to physically go and watch a possible recruit relative to the number of players that they would typically want to see in person, it's a HUGE bonus when North Carolina now has two players rated in the top 15 for the class of 2014 committed. 

Coaches have the responsibility to balance the number of players on a current roster, number of scholarships available currently, along with balancing the different scenarios of losing players through taking their talents to the NBA/overseas professional basketball, academic ineligibility, transfers or any other situation. While the commitments are not "binding" per se, it's a rarity for a school such as North Carolina to have players have a change of heart after making that early commitment. With the signing of two 5 star recruits such as Berry(PG) and Jackson(SF) North Carolina is now looking extremely strong with nice depth at the PG position for years to come. They already had a 4 star PG Nate Britt signed who is coming in for next years class along with Isiah Hicks who himself is a 5-star PF and Kennedy Meeks who is a 4-star C. 

It looks like good ol coach Roy is probably going to lose James Michael McAdoo to the NBA which in my opinion isn't going to be much of a loss. He's played weak in big games, showed poor leadership, and really has been a huge disappointment in my opinion. For a guy that came into Chapel Hill with SO MUCH HYPE it's been beyond disappointing to see such a lack of emotion from someone who is supposed to be the leader on this team. Conversely  I think PJ Hairston has really started to show why he was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school, stepping up and hitting some big shots since being inserted into the starting lineup. When Roy went with this smaller starting group is really when UNC started playing their best basketball and I just hope it carries over to the big dance.

ESPN.COM Joel Berry article

How important is a player rated #1 in the 2013 class when your a team like UNC that already has several top recruits committed in the next 2 years???

Bleacher selling points for Wiggins article

Bleacher Big time recruit, Big time visit article

Some would say that no one player can truly dominate the game in the way that it really doesn't take a so called "team" to win. At schools like UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana and the other top caliber collegiate basketball powerhouses most years recruiting classes include more then 1 Mcdonalds all-american. You'd think that with so many highly touted players flooding in, mixed with the other so called "veteran" players that no one player could be greater then the sum of its parts as they say.

The NCAA and their "expert" commentators like to talk about this so called parity that exists in the 2013 world of college basketball. They point to the number of #1 ranked teams that have been knocked off week after week throughout the regular season. Here's the thing....there has not been a team that won the national title and finished with less then 30 wins since 1997. That's 16 years. When we really look at what teams are going the distance and cutting down the nets yes of course there are always a few feel good Cinderella moments, many upsets and unknowns making a name for themselves now that they are in the national spotlight, but in reality, Goliath usually does beat David.

As for that question about the value of landing that #1 player coming into college who often spends less time worrying about homework then my 3 year old nephew during their 1 year detour on the expressway to "The League"....ask Kentucky coach John Calipari about what that #1 recruit means. The wildcats had the best recruiting class in the country coming off a national championship and STILL have been on the ESPN first 4 teams out list until their win over Florida last night put them into the projected field and into the last 4 in category. They struggled throughout the season but managed to lose in a embarrassing fashion in the first game without superstar Nerlens Noel(#1 rated recruit). They have played more like a team without an identity then any other team I can think of since losing Noel to that season ending injury.