As a coach, have you ever had the feeling during a game that no matter how your team plays there just isn’t a way you’re going to win? No matter how much you prepare, get ready and warm-up before the game, you just know you don’t have it that night? Last night we went on the road to Flint, Michigan to take on Mott Community College, one of the best teams in the State. We took it on the chin 96-65. Our best player stayed home with the flu but I’m not making excuses (we lost to Mott two weeks earlier by 40 with him). Mott is loaded and well coached. We battled, but were totally outmatched up front. Our kids fought hard, but we just couldn’t break through. We start conference play Jan 6, 2010 so we have a few weeks to get things in order in time for league play. It’s a great time of year because I can watch some film of our team and see what we need to do in order to get things right.
Michigan State and Texas men’s basketball in a huge showdown tonight at 7Pm on ESPN 2. (I hope Dick Vitale is not doing this game) I’m really looking forward to this one. Longhorns are #2 in the country, MSU #9. This may be Rick Barnes’ best team since he’s been in Austin. Dexter Pittman is unreal-this guy is a monster. I watched him against North Carolina and came away very impressed. Interesting to see Texas has 3 solid point guards. Most people know how important it is to have a guy who can run your team. The point guard who can bring the ball up the floor, get your team into the offense, spread the ball around, not turn it over and of course, make open shots. Tom Izzo will have MSU ready to play-Kalin Lucas, State’s point guard needs to come strong as well as Raymar Morgan.
The Spartans go to the Final Four last year. Sports Illustrated names them best college basketball team of the decade and this morning some guy on sports talk radio in Lansing calls in and complains they need to recruit better. (Laughing Out Loud!)
When was the last time you saw a college basketball player receive a technical foul for arguing with a ref during a game? I’m trying to think of the last time I witnessed it. But, Tracy Smith of N.C. State was suspended for one game for comments he made after the game about the officials in their loss to Wake Forest. Smith mentioned the officials called too many touch fouls and favored Wake Forest. As for me, a coach, I enjoy discussing calls with officials during a game. If I think they missed one, I will not go crazy like a lot of people do; I just try and see their point of view and tell them what I thought, discussing it rather than screaming. Hey, these guys are human. Players and coaches have off nights, why can’t officials? By the way, Rasheed Wallace of the Boston Celtics has 10 T’s this season.
I love Ben Howland. His teams play hard, they defend and play the right way. I have been a fan of UCLA basketball since Howland took over. Imagine how their fans must feel this morning? The Bruins are 3-7 including losses in 6 of their last 7. I pull for Howland and wish them luck the rest of the way.
Loyola of Maryland goes into Bloomington tonight to square off with the Hoosiers. Keep an eye on both coaches who are probably two of the most energetic and passionate guys you will ever see on the sidelines in Tom Crean and Jimmy Patsos.
The Miami Herald on Pat Riley, D-Wade and conditioning.
`He’s not there right now,” Riley said. “So I get out of my president’s chair and into my coaching chair — I know he’ll probably say I’m nitpicking. His efficiency is down. We’ll address what it is we can do to help you maintain that lean, mean scoring machine you were a year ago.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Wade.
“He was simply in freakish shape coming off the Olympics,” said Spoelstra, drenched in sweat after a one-on-one workout with Wade on Wednesday. “Guys who reach that level have to live up to that standard of play. Those are the expectations of greatness. He set the bar for himself and for the team.”
In his rap hit ‘Basketball’ from back in the 80′s, Kurtis Blow asked, ‘were you in the joint, the night Wilt scored 100 points’? No I wasn’t but I was in the joint at 33rd and 7th the night Bernard King of the New York Knicks dropped 60 on the New Jersey Nets. You know what? The Knicks lost. That’s right, my main man Michael Ray Richardson scored 36 that night to help the Nets overcome BK’s offensive explosion. Howard Beck of the NY Times recently caught up with the former FT. Hamilton high school standout.
“It doesn’t matter what the game plan is, doesn’t matter how you draw it up. People have to show up, people have to put performance on the floor.”