College Basketball Nation: Herb Johnson
December, 30, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
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- Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor wasn't the only high-profile college hoopster stuck in the Northeast this week thanks to Snowmaggedon. Xavier's Tu Holloway couldn't get his train in New York City and was forced to ride on a Greyhound bus from New York to Pittsburgh with an overweight dude sleeping on his shoulder. He eventually rejoined his team just in time for a 2 p.m. pregame shootaround, and all things considered, he played pretty well.
- ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski asks the question sure to inspire a thousand Twitter debates: Could the UConn women beat the worst team in Division I men's basketball?
- Harvard has made a concerted effort to improve its men's basketball program, and not just on the floor. This has led to criticism of Harvard's recruiting practices by fellow Ivy League schools, a claim Andy Glocker analyzes thusly: "The non-scholarship league has myriad financial aid rules that allow schools to attempt to match packages offered by a league rival, so Harvard's enormous endowment and liberal grant plans often aren't the key advantages they may seem. The real difference is in who the Crimson are going after, which are much better basketball players, some of whom may have lesser academic profiles than traditional Harvard recruits. That's not necessarily a bad thing. In truth, almost any Ivy League recruit would be the academic envy of most other Division I programs, so the big picture is complicated and tinged with shades of gray. It's about reputation and institutional emphasis in a league that sometimes is embarrassed by sporting success. It's about double standards in what's OK for one program but not another. It's about jealousy and protecting the status quo. Whatever Harvard is doing (or not doing), it's working, and the competitive landscape in the league has changed as a result."
- The Niagara Gazette's Jonah Bronstein previewed BYU's trip to Buffalo Wednesday night by calling BYU star Jimmer Fredette "the best player to ever visit Western New York."
- Rush the Court searches for a message implicit in the NCAA's suspension of Curtis Kelly for six games. Also check out RTC's take on the classic "If college hoops had the BCS" idea.
- Casual Hoya recaps Wednesday night's disappointing loss at Notre Dame.
- California's La Verne Lutheran High has had a rather insane season. The team visited three funerals in a week, then watched as their coach revived a player during practice using the CPR application he downloaded on his iPhone.
- Lost Letterman, moonlighting at The Dagger, highlights the remarkable career of former Tulsa star Herb Johnson, who is still playing professional basketball in Switzerland at the ripe old age of 48: "'I'm grateful for every day that I can run and actually do it,' said Johnson, who plays for the club Villars Basket. 'So if you rack up those years and look at Herb Johnson and say, ‘Hey man, you've done it for three decades,' -- well I'm a soldier, son.'" To put Johnson's endurance in perspective, he was a part of the 1985 NBA draft class that included fellow big men Patrick Ewing, Wayman Tisdale, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, Karl Malone and A.C. Green."
- Rick Pitino writes on his personal blog -- which comes complete with some strange trancey music; I didn't know people still programmed music to play on their web sites anymore -- about the reasons he chose to take the Puerto Rican national team job.
- Speaking of Louisville, A Sea of Blue is spending much of this week previewing the huge UK-UL rivalry game, which tips Friday afternoon in the Yum! Center.
- Big 12 Hoops previews tonight's sneaky-good Missouri-Old Dominion matchup.
- Kyle Whelliston, datelining in Chicago, discusses his run-in with the east coast's massive snowstorm.
- More on the NCAA's defensive statement from yesterday, with some historical analysis from the Quad.
- And, as always, some in-house goodness: Andy Katz talked to Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury about his impending decision on the futures of Hawaii brawlers Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey before discussing do-it-all players with Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan; Katz and Doug Gottlieb have another version of their quality podcast for your listening enjoyment; Dick Vitale chatted yesterday; Joe Lunardi offers up 37 New Year's thoughts; and Florida State forward Chris Singleton blogs about the toughest players to defend in the ACC.