Posted on: August 13, 2009 3:16 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2009 12:16 pm

This is what I'm talking about: Pitino dog-pile

Here's an example of a guy in the media piling on Rick Pitino just ... because.

Pitino's down, this guy fairly clearly doesn't like him, so ... it's time to put on the steel-toed boots and start kicking. I don't care if I'm a bully for singling out this dude from the newspaper in Nashville.

Here it is.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 13, 2009 11:16 am
Edited on: August 13, 2009 12:07 pm

OK, maybe one last media critique. Re: Pitino

You know where I stand on Rick Pitino's job status. He should be safe at Louisville, assuming he didn't lie to his bosses about this escapade or, worse, that there aren't horrible things we don't yet know about.

So in my book, Pitino is safe. You don't get fired for adultery, even as a basketball coach of kids, most of whom -- let's be honest -- have probably lived quite the personal life. If you know what I mean.

If you don't, you're naive. Like this columnist from USA Today who says Pitino should resign. She's shocked -- shocked! -- that a grown man who claims to be Catholic could carry on in such a manner.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, this stuff happens. It happens to Christians and Catholics and atheists.



We can argue all day about whether it should happen, but let's not argue that Pitino has lost his ability to lead the young men ages 18-23 who will come to Louisville to play for him.

This isn't the 1950s. We're 100 years removed from the 1950s, and yes, I can do the math.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 23, 2009 2:30 pm

And this is why the media hates me

Because I'm so darned mean. Even to this guy, who sort of seemed to like the USC hire of Kevin O'Neill.

I can't say for sure, because Plaschke was tough on O'Neill and yet nice to O'Neill. In other words, he couched his opinion -- whatever it is; we still don't know -- in such a way that whatever happens with O'Neill and USC, Plaschke will be able to say he was right. Meantime, I have no idea how he feels about O'Neill. None.

Say what you want about me -- and people have -- but when you finish one of my columns, you know how I feel about the topic.

And because I'm mean, let me point out how much Plaschke loved a recent USC basketball hire.

Damn, Plaschke. You were wrong then on Majerus. You're wrong now on O'Neill ... because you don't have the guts to say what I think you wanted to say. Did you love the Tim Floyd hire, too? I bet you did. That would give you the Wrong Triple Crown.

I'm starting to hate me, too. I'm too mean.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 2, 2009 9:05 am
Edited on: June 2, 2009 10:16 am

New theme: Media critique. You're up, Wash. Post

The blog's new name gets unveiled soon, maybe today. So does my new mug shot! I'm like a seventh-grade girl boy, I'm so excited!

As for the new theme ...

I'm going to start, when I feel like it, critiquing the media more. Why the hell not? I get critiqued a lot, and honestly I like it. So maybe people will like being critiqued by me. Better yet ... maybe they won't.

First up: Sally Jenkins, Washington Post.

This isn't, and won't ever be, a critique of the writer overall. Nope. Just a particular story that caught my attention. And this one caught my attention this morning.

Oh, brother.

Her solution to the NCAA skanks: restoring freshman ineligibility. In other words, let's fight 21st-century cheating by going back to the 1960s! And she cites three "experts" as being on board with this idea: Bob Knight. Dean Smith. Lou Holtz. What do those three people have in common? They're from the 1960s, of course. And out of coaching.

And trying desperately to keep you kids off their lawn.

Freshman ineligibility actually would work, but only in the most limited fashion. It would keep Derrick Rose from going to college, since a player like that knows he'd be in the NBA within a year of high school graduation anyway. Why go to college for one year just to practice, when you're going to turn pro the next year anyway? It's not happening. He'll go to Europe instead. So it would keep out the Derrick Roses of the world, and whatever issues they would bring to college. And that's not bad.

But it would also keep out scores more, the idiot 18-year-olds who think they're one-and-done players, guys who expect to turn pro after their freshman year of college, only to realize as freshmen that, holy cow, they aren't as good as they thought. Are those players -- who don't yet realize their limitations -- going to spend a year in school without being able to get on the court? Nope. They're going to find some sleazy agent or runner or uncle who will pay their bills for a year until they can enter the NBA draft, at which point those kids will go undrafted. They're not good enough to play as a pro, but they've already sacrificed their amateur status. And since basketball was their major in high school, they don't have the grades to get into college.

Worse, what about the kids who finally realize, by their senior year of high school, that they won't be good enough to turn pro at age 19 or 20? But by then, they've sleptwalk through high school to the point where the only way they can get into college is if someone doctors their transcript?

We could sacrifice all of those kids, I suppose, or accept the cheating it would take to get some of them into college after all. Just so we could keep the occasional Derrick Rose out of college.

Or we could forget the 1960s.

Forget abstinence, which is what freshman ineligibility is. It's basketball abstinence, and it would be as effective as abstinence education in real life. Which is, not effective at all.

Cheating will always happen. Going back to the 1960s might sound good, but only on the surface. It would create more problems, legal and otherwise, than it would solve. Look, Pandora's box has already been opened. Forget about make-believe options like freshman ineligibility. Let's spend our time looking for real solutions. Good solutions.

Like what? What's a good solution? I don't know. I just know a bad one when I see it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 27, 2009 9:12 am

Calipari cleaning house ... and I'm OK with it?!?

Kentucky coach John Calipari is doing something I normally would hate. He has recruited well beyond the NCAA maximum of 13 scholarship players allowed for a single season, and by doing so he is having to cut loose a handful of players. Just yesterday, three UK players were "allowed" to transfer, or graduate early, or whatever lingo you want to call it. Kentucky is still one player over the limit, and if Jodie Meeks drops out of the NBA draft -- and I expect he will -- the Wildcats will have to shed two more players.

And I'm OK with it.

And here's why.

Calipari isn't doing this in Year 5 of his tenure at Kentucky. He just got there, and he was brought there to clean up Billy Gillispie's mess. Kentucky didn't hire him to maintain the status freaking quo. Kentucky hired him to kick some ass. So, he's kicking it.

He brought in the best recruiting class in the country. He welcome back Patrick Patterson after Patterson's NBA draft dalliance. And as a result, he's way over the scholarship limit.

So he gets a free pass from me. Kentucky didn't hire him to be nice. Kentucky hired him to win. And really, let's be honest: Shame on those crappy players who came to Kentucky and thought they were good enough. They weren't. So go find your level, kids. It's not Kentucky.

And shame on the previous coaching staff(s) for bringing you to Kentucky in the first place.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:39 pm

Pitino breaking some news on BJ Mullens?

Louisville coach Rick Pitino broke some news Saturday -- or spread a bad rumor -- when he made the following statement about 7-foot Ohio State freshman center B.J. Mullens:

"I heard last night that B.J. Mullens was going to go pro," Pitino said.

Wow. Really? Mullens had a decent freshman season -- 8.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 63.4 percent shooting from the floor -- and would figure to have a monster sophomore season. But at 7-0, 275 pounds, he has the size the NBA craves right now. His feet are good, too. If he turns pro, he's definitely a first-round pick. That's just a guess, but I'm right.

Would Pitino really know Mullens' plan? Maybe. Ohio State was in the same building as Pitino's Louisville team on Friday, and they would have played Sunday had the Buckeyes beaten Siena. So maybe Pitino talked to an OSU staff member.

Or maybe he reads one of those OSU message boards. 

Pitino then tried to discourage Mullens from actually leaving school so soon.

"Be the worst move the kid could ever make," Pitino said. "He's going to be a terrific pro, but sitting on the bench during the course of the season, you're trying to get ready. If you're an NBA coach you're not worried about that 10th, 11th or 12th man, developing him. You're worried about winning and surviving as a coach. That young man doesn't improve -- like Donte Green of Syracuse."

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:28 pm

Siena-Louisville ... gonna be fun

Every game in the NCAA tournament is fun. There are no bad NCAA tournament games, especially now that Illinois and Minnesota are gone.

But this one's going to be a lot of fun.

Siena runs, and Louisville runs, and both teams play three or four guards at all times, and it's going to be a blast.

"We're two up-tempo teams," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "And obviously we're going to try to turn each other over."


And it should be fun for 94 feet. Louisville presses the whole court, and Pitino says this is the best pressing team he has had yet at Louisville. Siena uses a three-quarters-court trap, and the Cardinals were marveling Saturday at Siena PG Ronald Moore's speed.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Louisville, Siena
Posted on: March 21, 2009 3:42 pm

I got your key for the Pitt-Oklahoma State game

It's the press, people.

Pittsburgh looked bad against East Tennessee State's pressure, what with Pitt PG Levance Fields (perhaps) still battling his groin injury. Fields said Friday, and repeated Saturday, that his groin is OK. "I told you yesterday I'm 100 percent," he said Saturday. "So I'm 100 percent today."

He better be. And he better be better than he was against ETSU, which forced him into five turnovers and eventually forced the ball out of his hands. Pittsburgh went other routes to handle the ETSU pressure -- and the Cowboys are quicker and stronger than ETSU.

"I expect them to see a press," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said of his players. "A 1-3-1 is what (OSU) has shown. We've handled presses well throughout the year. And ... we handled it much better in the second half of the last game."

Right. When Fields stopped handling the ball. Weird.

There's your key to the game. You're welcome.


Category: NCAAB
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