Afternoon Links: Colorado takes a breath
December, 10, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
What we're reading Tuesday afternoon. Submit suggestions via Twitter.
- Give Tad Boyle credit for smart scheduling: Between now and Dec. 21 -- when his Buffaloes play Oklahoma State at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas -- Colorado has just one game, a home tuneup against Elon. (And there's just one more fixture, Dec. 28's home visit by Georgia, between now and January.) That presents Colorado with a healthy amount of space in which it can dig down and make real improvements. Boyle already has a few in mind.
- It is worth remembering (or knowing, if you didn't already) that Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid has been playing organized basketball for exactly three years. The thought of Embiid with a lifetime's worth of full-time skill instruction is almost as frightening as the thought of him after three more years of development. (He's already really good.)
- Could Wichita State run the table? John Gasaway, in his Insider mid-major rankings, explains: "Instead of surprising you with an off-the-wall choice for the top spot, allow me to explain why tapping the only mid-major currently ranked in the AP Top 15 is absolutely essential. Wichita State has one of the best defenses in the nation, period. Every opponent except one this season has been held under a point per possession, and the exception to that rule, DePaul, trailed by 13 or more for the entire second half before losing by 18. [...] If Wichita State were to prevail at home against Tennessee this weekend and then win at Alabama next week, the moment will have officially arrived to start speculating about this team running the table in the regular season. Those odds would be long, no doubt, but with Creighton now safely tucked away in the Big East, the Shockers may have a shot."
- Florida basketball fans may not have the most intense reputation, but they are _in tents_ before Tuesday night's game with Kansas. (Ha! In tents! I apologize for nothing!)
- “I don’t think they know how to put socks on. Yesterday, I taught them how to huddle at the free-throw line. Yeah, they didn’t know how to huddle at the free-throw line. Well, how could you not know how to huddle? ‘Because I never played that way. If we got fouled, I was thinking my thoughts and he was thinking his thoughts and he’s thinking his thoughts.’ This is all new. There's just things that, to become a good team, they don't know yet. Some of it I expected, and any time I expect them to know something, I'm wrong. I'm wrong. ‘Well, they'll know this.’ I am wrong.” That's Kentucky coach John Calipari on his young, promising, frustrating team ahead of Tuesday night's home game versus Boise State. Classic stuff. Also worth keeping an eye on.