Last night’s win by IU was not a thing of beauty by any means, but I suppose that given the conditions, it’s important if not impressive. I’m not going to go holier than thou on the Illinois crowd for driving Eric Gordon nuts last night. Apart from one minor ‘bead throwing incident’ it seems like the crowd was at clean in their viciousness. I once screamed through a megaphone at a kid shooting a pair of game winning free throws, “YOU’LL BE UP ALL NIGHT THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU MISSED THESE! YOU’LL HAVE TO CALL YOUR MOM AND DAD AND EXPLAIN HOW YOU CHOKED!”. I realized after I said it, that it was kind of hateful, but I’m from the “anything you yell that isn’t profane is fair” school of thought. Gordon was rattled, but came through like a pro (d’oh!-stupid foreshadowing!).
Nothing about that game last night convinced me that Kelvin Sampson knows how to run an offense. This season’s IU team is the perfect example of what’s wrong with college sports. Recruiting is most of the battle (19-3), but skill as a coach still matters to get you over the top. Look, I know the brilliant intricacies of the motion offense aren’t coming back. I know Brian Sloan (anyone remember his awesome screens?) isn’t walking through that door. But for crying out loud, let’s have something better than DJ White valiantly taking on 3 guys or someone jacking up a contested 3 as the shot clock goes off. I don’t know that I’ve seen IU run a decent set to end a half yet. They all end the same way, with a stupid turnover or a contested off-balance three. This team is talented enough on the floor to make a run. I’m just not convinced they have the coach to do get them as far as they could potentially go.
Links: Dr Z has his broadcaster rankings out.
It’s always one of my favorite columns, but I still think he’s being too nice. Network TV is ruining the announcing of games. Do they really think people want stupid easy story lines and idiot guests? Has anyone ever said, “oh hey, Russel Crowe is on! I’ll watch this football game!”? ARRRRGH.
Bill Simmons deals with his grief. I couldn’t be happier.
Brandie sends us these fun photos. I don’t know where they came from, so apologies to the author: