Thursday, February 24, 2005

I'll be strokin...

Some very good college basketball action in each of the past two nights with Tuesday featuring an entertaining Texas-Texas Tech matchup as well as a last minute thriller btween LSU and Alabama.

Texas-TTU: This was a very fun game to watch. I have sworn off ever, ever betting on a Bobby Knight coached team in the NCAA tourney but I am seriously thinking about going against that this year as TTU has two very solid guards in Donald Ross and Jay/Jarious Jackson. Ross is a very heady point guard who seems to always make a good decision with the ball while also having an automatic 10-12 foot floater. Jay/Jarious Jackson is a scorer, pure and simple. He doesn't do one thing exceptionally well but he finds a way to get to the hoop while also being a farily consistent jumpshooter (extending out beyond the three point line). I always thought his name was Jarious but the announcers were calling him Jay all night so I just assumed I was wrong. Later in the evening, Chris Folwer was calling him Jarious Jackson. I am thoroughly confused at this point and don't care enough to look it up. His last name is Jackson, thats enough for me. As for Texas, losing PJ Tucker to grades could prove to hurt them significantly in two ways. (1) Tucker was the clear go-to-guy on this team and their only consistent interior scoring threat. Without him, the team has fallen off considerably and probably won't make the tourney. (2) Because of Tucker's absence, freshman PG Daniel Gibson has been forced to take on a larger role. Gibson is an immense talent who should be starting in the NBA within a couple of years. I don't think he would've even entertained thoughts of entering the Draft earlier this year, yet since his role has expanded he's getting alot more looks by NBA people, and deservedly so. Personally, I think he should stay one more year but I don't think he will. If Gibson does decide to stay next year, Texas will be scary good and should be in everybody's preseason Top 5.

LSU-Alabama: I only watched the last three minutes of this game but if the rest of the game was anything like those final three minutes then this should be playing on ESPN Classic within a couple of weeks. The best part of this game was the sequence that led up to LSU tipping in the game winner at the buzzer. Alabama banked in a three with about 15 seconds left and LSU decided not to call a timeout. Here where it gets interesting: Power Forward Brandon Bass (probable SEC player of the year) received the inbounds pass and advanced the ball upcourt. Once he crossed halfcourt, he refused to give the ball up to a guard. Basically, he was saying "I'm the best player on this team, I'm taking the final shot." Bass clearly ignored two different LSU guards during this sequence and then drove into the middle of the lane and put up an off-balance shot that missed and was subsequently tipped in at the buzzer. LSU wins and the players go nuts. I bet that guys like Len Elmore and Jay Bilas were smiling form ear-to-ear the entire time leading up to Bass's final shot as just about every big man in recorded history has wanted to waive off their smaller teammates when it came time to create the final shot, though I doubt few, if any, of them ever had the balls to actually do it. Lucky for Bass it worked out in his favor.

Last night UF played Vandy, Boston College took on Villanova and Duke played Ga. Tech. In keeping with my policy of not discussing Gator basketball in this space, I will only say that the University of Florida was triumphant and that they are still in second place in the SEC EAST.

Duke-Ga. Tech: I didn't watch alot of this as I was taking in the Gator victory but I did notice that Shelden Williams didn't start the second half. Evidently, Coach K uses the same bogus motivational techniques as my high school coach, the only difference being that they work for Coach K. One more thing: I am going to travel to Sarasota and shoot Dick Vitale if he continues to blather on and on about Lee Melchionni being a walk-on. The guy had a scholarship to Duke that he willingly gave up in order to allow a higher rated player to join Duke's recruiting class with the agreement that he would receive a scholarship as a sophomore. Technically he is a walk-on, but in reality he was/is a recruited Duke athlete who is on scholarship. This isn't some kid who went to open tryouts and is now contributing valuable minutes on the court. Stop trying to embellish things all the time Dick, the only peole who think your schtick is anything other than complete and total crap are 6th graders and girls who claim "to love sports". Why couldn't he have had a stroke recently instead of Tedy Bruschi...and for clarifications sake, a real one not like that half-stroke that Bruschi had.

WOW. I really am going to hell. Oh well, I heard its nice around March.

Work is calling, be back with more crap to talk about later.

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