No link here, and you can argue me on this if you want, but Dick Vitale is a 100% HALL OF FAMER. You may not like his broadcasting style or ACC loving attitude, but his impact on the game of basketball qualify’s him for the honor. Now, his 24-hour ESPN cryfest yesterday was a bit much, but a great honor for a great representative of college basketball.
My notes on the game last night:
(1) I DONT THINK FREE THROWS COST MEMPHIS THE GAME!!!! This is a pet peave of mine. Why are free throws shot under 3 minutes in a game more important than those shot in the first half? Every missed free show costs a team points. And why is it open layups missed are not more scutinized? They are worth double what a free throw is worth. Memphis misses countless open shots near the basket. How bout open 3-point shots missed? Worth 3 times as much as a free throw. So those don’t matter. The reason people care now is they HATE MEMPHIS. As Matt said, people can’t imagine a bunch of rough kids winning the title. And all year, people criticized the Tigers free throws, only for Memphis to shove it in everyone’s face for 5 games. Then Memphis shoots 63% and everyone jumps back on them. Are they factor? Yes. Did it cost them the game? Nope.
(2) What did cost Memphis the game was their lack of energy and execution in the overtime, and Kansas played beautifully for the last 5 minutes. The title was well deserved for the Jayhawks, as I think they won it and Memphis did not lose it.
(3) The most baffling coaching decision for me was after Memphis cut the lead to 3 with 58 seconds left in OT. Calipari calls a timeout, and then straight out of the timeout, they foul “intentionally”. Why? You play a good defensive set, you get the ball back to tie. To me, it should Calipari’s lack of confidence in his teams defense at the end. It backfired though because Kansas hit the two free throws and Memphis never got close again. On to the links:
1. If you didn’t get to see “One Shining Moment” ,here it is and as CBS had said, they highlighted Bill Keightley as the UK representative. Keightley appears at the :35 mark in the video. Ironically enough, it was the first time I have ever seen CBS use a clip from a non-NCAA tournament game in the montage.
2. I personally hate recruiting rankings, because they generally don’t take into effect a teams needs and style. For instance, Wisconsin routinely recruits guys who fit into their system but dont have lots of stars next to their name, yet they seem to always be a Top-15 team. While Kansas takes as many 5 star kids as they can because they play an up-tempo game that is suited for that type of player. To make a long story short, I get frustrated with people that think Coach Gillispie is gonna start bringing in GREAT talent over the next couple years. I hope he brings in talent that will flourish in his system, whether its a 2-star kid or not. And quite frankly, the top kids in the country are not always the best defenders and thats what Gillispie wants. Perfect example: Scotty Hopson. Is Hopson a great player? Absolutley. Did he choose the right school to go to? I think so, because he is a likely 1-year player with lacking defensive skills. To further this point look at Gillipsie’s last 4 recruiting classes to Texas A&M:
2007: One 5-star, NO 4-star (15th ranked recruiting class)
2006: NO 5-star, Two 4-star (22nd ranked recruiting class)
2005: NO 5-star, NO 4-star (class not ranked)
2004: NO 5-star, NO 4-star (class not ranked)
Whole point is, Gillispie does not have a track record of recruiting huge talent, but rather kids that fit his system well. This years class will be Top 20 in most rankings, but not top 10, and includes 2, maybe three, 4 and 5 star kids. Don’t get caught up in these rankings.
3. Tonight, UK and UL will take the baseball field in Lexington, and what has the be the best player playing will be Colin Cowgill. The star CF was just recently named National Player of the Week, and is batting over .400 this year with 12 homers this season. The Cats also moved up one spot to #9 in the national rankings. It turns out Coach John Cohen wasn’t exactly high on Cowgill coming out of high school.
4. I think Matt may have talked about this on his radio show last week, but it’s a very interesting topic. Dan Lebatard (one of many, many prick writers on ESPN these days) had Jay Bilas on his radio show and the topic of race and the NBA draft came up. And the two, its say to say, have differing opinions on the topic. Let’s just say at one point Bilas says “no offense, but this is just stupid”. What also makes this a classic confortation is the “are we gonna talk about something else” comment by Bilas, at which point Lebetard (in a way only a prick could do) ends the interview. The video is below: