College Basketball Nation: Howard Moore

Kitschy group dances can go in a handful of directions. There's the Chicken Dance, which should never, ever happen, even if you're trying to win a free pizza on an arena Jumbotron. (I like pizza, too, but have some self-respect.) There's the Electric Slide, a favorite at weddings the world over and which is inoffensive and mostly fun. There's the Macarena, which I remember my traveling soccer team's parents dancing to in the mid-1990s; the memories haunt me to this day. And then there's (what I would propose is) the granddaddy of them all: The Cha-Cha Slide.

The Cha-Cha Slide has everything: Simple moves, an emcee providing helpful, simple directions, a chance to actually do a bit of dancing, and, of course, the oft-sampled "Everybody clap your hands," at which point everybody claps their hands. Who doesn't like clapping their hands really fast with a bunch of other people? The Cha-Cha Slide is pretty awesome.

Illinois-Chicago coach Howard Moore knows what I'm talking about. Via the Flames athletics staff comes this video of Moore getting his Cha-Cha Slide on at the school's Freshmen Welcome Dinner on Wednesday night:

I love this video. Usually, getting a college basketball coach to dance publicly requires some sort of zany Midnight Madness costumed affair. Moore just looks like a guy who couldn't pass up a chance to do a little cha-cha-ing.

He acquits himself quite well, too. I might even have to take some pointers and put them to use at a wedding I'm attending this weekend. I won't be submitting any video footage, though. Better for everyone that way.
1. The USA men's U18 national team that will play in the FIBA Americas championship in Brazil later this month cut its roster down from 23 to 14 Thursday and there are a few names that fans will come to know next season. The incoming freshmen who will be instant hits on this roster -- so far -- are: Rodney Purvis (NC State), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Shaq Goodwin (Memphis), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), James Robinson (Pitt), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Jake Layman (Maryland) and Joel James (North Carolina). The coaching staff was most wowed by Smart, but the most memorable name when this tournament ends could be Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes. Stokes should star for this team -- and for the Vols next season. He’s the only player on the squad who is currently in college.

2. The early departure of Butler to the Atlantic 10 has forced teams in the Horizon League to scramble in non-conference scheduling. Illinois-Chicago coach Howard Moore said Thursday that the Flames and other teams are searching for two more games at this late date. The Flames actually need four more games. One of the games the Flames had already secured is the opener against UC Riverside. Why is this significant? The Flames have Joey Miller -- who transferred from Eastern Illinois after his father, Mike Miller, was fired as head coach -- eligible immediately. Well, Mike Miller has now joined the Riverside staff and will be in Chicago for the opener, coaching against his son.

3. Former UConn wing Jeremy Lamb said he has been in touch with Ryan Boatright since his departure and that he has no doubt the perimeter of Boatright, Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun, with whom Lamb said he has played, will shine next season. Lamb also said he anticipates that Tyler Olander will be the anchor inside and can handle the chore of being the focal point in the post. No one should expect Lamb to trash his former team, but he was overly confident about the Huskies surviving the attrition that has hit the team since it was handed a postseason ban.