College Basketball Nation: Bruin Den
January, 22, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
Have a link you want, um, linked? A new college hoops blog you'd like to share? An interest in sending me recipes so I can stop eating Hot Pockets for dinner? Follow me on Twitter, send me your stuff, and accomplish all three. Now, links:
- Imagine my shock last night as I learned, via a Twitter friend, that UCLA students had rushed the court after a one-point win over Washington, a mediocre team in a bad conference likely headed for a one-berth postseason. Scandalized, I emailed Diamond, who was actually at the game, and he said students sort of half-rushed the court before they were stopped by Pauley Pavilion security personnel. Hooray for security personnel! UCLA is the most storied program in all of college basketball. It is having a down year, but just two years ago it was riding a wave of pro talent to one Final Four after the next. Had this court storm occurred, it would have gone on record as the worst, least-deserved court storm of all-time, and this is coming from someone that more often than not doesn't care about court storms. (My latest post on the topic might insinuate the contrary, but really, I usually don't care.) Bruins Nation was likewise upset, writing, "It was definitely exhilarating moment. Apparently too exhilarating for bunch of folks in the Bruin Den to lose all perspective and attempt to rush the court. Come one people, show a modicum of respect to the banners hanging in our rafters. Don't act like a D-2 program which is all excited about beating a mediocre, NIT-bound Washington team which still hasn't won a single road game this season. It makes our student section look pathetic and embarrassing. Thankfully the security turned them away." UCLA fans: High five your Pauley security guard next time you go to the arena. They're heroes, you know.
- Rick Majerus is not happy in the Atlantic 10. According to Majerus -- whose St. Louis team is having a pretty solid year so far -- the flights are too long, the East Coast cities are too expensive, and the academic situation too difficult on his players, who he says are "in peril" from missing so many classes when the Billikens fly to play their A-10 counterparts. It's not often you hear a coach openly campaign for a conference switch (Majerus makes it clear the he wants to be in the Missouri Valley, which makes more sense geographically), but hey, this is Rick Majerus. Rick Majerus says funny things sometimes.
- The Cleveland Plain-Dealer posts video of Evan Turner's visit to his boyhood home in Chicago, where Turner taught himself to hoop in an alley behind his house. That sound you hear is thousands of over-involved sports dads abandoning expensive basketball camps and sending their sons to the back alley with nothing more than a basketball and a crate. If it worked for Evan Turner, it can work for you! Now SHOOT. And stop crying!
- Storming The Floor takes a revisionist's look at the Trent Johnson-John Brady-Johnny Dawkins coaching carousel, and how it's worked out for each school.
- It's not just ISU fans that are ticked at defector Lucca Staiger, who left ISU this week to return to Germany to play professionally. Gary Parrish is irate, too.
- Luke Winn hits your face with another batch of his patented power rankings, which cram more information into each team's blurb than your brain can probably handle in one sitting. Kentucky ranks atop the board, as you might imagine.
- Rush The Court acknowledges Winn's ranking (really, where else would you put the Cats?) but also mentions Kentucky's low KenPom rating -- the Wildcats are No. 11 in adjusted efficiency margin thanks largely to a soft perimeter defense -- as reason for slight concern. Calipari's teams are typically not this soft defensively, and giving up too many threes is not a vulnerability you want to take into the NCAA tournament.
- Frank Martin is in line for a raise. That sounds about right.
- Some controversy on the last play of Louisville's loss to Seton Hall last night. Matt Norlander explains the situation and says the Cardinals were "jobbed" out of a chance at overtime. Rob Dauster isn't quite so sure.
- Gasaway looks at UConn's situation both on the court and off it, and on the court, UConn is shooting a drastically low number of threes. This is not, despite what your high school basketball coach might have told you, the most efficient way to run an offense.
- Speaking of Gasaway, here's a longer, in-depth look at what seems to be plaguing the North Carolina Tar Heels this season.
- FanHouse's Terrence Moore declares Indiana's undefeated season unmatchable. Sure, the college basketball landscape is different now -- more games, more pressure, better competition -- but never sure seems like a long time, doesn't it?
- Rivals pinpoints some "under the radar" seniors worthy of your attention. Yes, there are still seniors in college basketball. Who knew?
- Oh, and speaking of power rankings, here's SB Nation's blog poll, which combines the votes of the network's college basketball bloggers in the same way as the AP poll combines media members' votes. Always a fun comparison.
- And last but not least, some guy named Dick Vitale weighs in with some of his favorite home court advantages in college hoops. Clemson, stand up!