5 Statements to debate from the first weekend of MADNESS! Post your comments now to be cooler than other fans!
1: TT made a mistake and should have dribbled to the corner instead of taking the dunk and leaving 2.5 on the clock.
2: T-Rob was flustered/lazy/out of his game.
3: The foul on Kendall Marshall was a dirty play.
4: The Big East has 4 teams in the Sweet 16, and hence, is the best conference out there right now.
5: Officiating this year is considerably worse than it has been in the recent past.
Bonus Statement! KU has more problems with opponents when they play to negate the strength of the opposition (ie, Withy on the pine for a smaller lineup), instead of playing to their own strengths (ie, Withey in the game, taking pressure off T-Rob on both sides of the court).
1: TT actually took the smart play. I watched the replay a few times, and honestly, he “might” make it to the corner, but he’s gonna get caught and fouled regardless with around 2 seconds left. Whomever on the site here that said he could have moonwalked….that was clever. I applaud you. I say you take the 2 points, and make Purdue heave a prayer for a tie. You try and get cute…you dribble it off to the corner, and anything can happen. You can turn it over, you can get fouled and miss the shots…it happens. In my opinion, he made the smart play.
2: I kinda felt more like he was trying to TOO hard at times on the O end, and he’s “okay”, but not amazing on the D end. There’s a few shots I have on TiVo where you see him FINALLY get a good pass when he’s in position to do something, and it’s freaking magic….*poof*, the double-team is now a triple-team, with another guy on the way, and another guy pickpocketing his lunch money, and two guys from the bench have sneaked on the court and are actually grabbing onto his feet to hold him down. Purdue did all they could to negate T-Rob, and they…actually did well. They played him physical, and the ref’s let them play (I’m fine with that), and it was a good game. He’s not Happy with his offensive performance, but…hell, I am. His shots didn’t fall, but he did as best he could with 8 guys from Purdue in his face (yeah, yeah, I know, it just seemed like it, but that’s a credit to Purdue, they played it right).
On the Defensive end of the court, that’s where he was a bit of a liability. I don’t really think it was a lack of effort. Watch the game again, he’s getting down, spreading his arms out to take up all the space he can, and he’s moving as best as he can. He’s got some room to improve there, especially against smaller, faster players. Should I now mention that he’s a National POY candidate, and he can score 8 points in a game, all from the charity stripe, and he’s still better than anyone in the country. It took the best defense that Purdue could play to make him seem “above average”, instead of “out of this world”, and that opened up a lot of stuff for others…so he’s good in my opinion.
3: Watch that play 10 times each from every angle you can find. I find it difficult to call it a “hard foul” much less a dirty play. It was just a foul, that resulted in a fall with a freak injury. I think the UNC fans calling it a “dirty foul” are delusional. I understand that he was in a bad place after the fall, but I also think that Marshall handled it poorly with his statement saying he felt that he was hit pretty hard, but wanted to watch the tape to make sure of it. If he was a savvy, smart, and Classy, he would have said something like, “Physical play is part of the game. It sucks I got injured, but I’m going to focus on trying to get well to help my team in ANY way possible through the rest of this tournament, from the floor, or even the bench if I can’t play”. Of course, he’d have to be Classy to say that, or have a Classy Coach who could mentor him in that respect. It didn’t happen.
4: False, false, and more false. The Big Least sent 10 teams to the tourney, and now 60% of them are watching from home. That’s better than what the Big 12 has done, but that doesn’t mean they’re special. I’d have to say the Big 10 has actually represented themselves very well this year, despite my dislike for them.
5: I’d have to say yes. For some reason, not just this tourney, but this entire year, it seems like officiating has taken a more prominent role in the game over the play last year, or anytime in the recent past. I’m tired of watching ref’s blow easy calls. I’m tired of watching ref’s dance into a call like they’re taunting the teams and the fans. You call a T on a player for hanging on the rim too long, you call a T on a player taunting, but you can’t call a T on a ref for taunting everyone and acting like a clown. Don’t get me wrong, my father (since he retired) pretty much refs or umps or calls any sport he can to stay busy. He LOVES it. But at least he never once decided that he was more important than the game he was calling. I think someone needs to bring these clowns down a notch. I know they try to be emphatic, especially when they’re not “exactly” sure of the result, it seems for definite that way…but I can’t understand why they think they’re the center of the game. Let the players play. If it the game is too physical, call it that way, on both sides, ALL YEAR LONG. Make the change. Don’t make changes to “how” you call games before the NC Tournament. I think the best thing you can ever say about a Ref is this…”He’s consistent, but I don’t know his name”. They should strive for that.
Bonus!: KU beat Purdue, and that’s a hell of a thing to say, since we both played Purdue’s game. (I know they’re still smarting from the loss, but they did a hell of a job). Why do we do that though? Why do we play the game of the other team? Why did we play small vs. MU this year? They’re good, but so is KU. Why does HCBS feel like we need to play to negate the other team, instead of playing to BEAT the other team….make them find some goofy way to try and match up with us instead of the other way around?
So, get this…I know Purdue was on fire, and shot like, 140% for the first half (I know that’s not possible, but it happened!). But, maybe the game would have been different if Purdue continually had to try and match up vs Withey AND T-Rob for more than 5 minutes. Instead of subbing in Teahan for a few bricks, why not add Young to that lineup, and see if Pur
due can guard size! (I would have said Wesley, but we’re all pretty sure that he can’t play more than 20 seconds of game time without fouling…and I’m not sure if that’s not coming from the bench telling him to do that…it’s either that, or he’s been playing T-Rob in practice so long that he thinks that fouling is normal).
We all know that KU has some freaky-big athletes. In fact, our guards are too big to even be guards. But why not try and make other teams adjust to us, instead of us to them? HCBS knows this team better than I’ll ever dream of, and there’s a reason why he’s paid to coach the ‘hawks. One of these days, he’ll have recruited a dream team of crazy-freak-athletes who never miss and will go wire-to-wire to win the NC. As long as he wants to try and do that, he’ll try, and I’d bet on him to succeed. This year, I’m having more fun with a “rebuilding team” than I’ll ever have with that hypothetical team. *cue syrupy-sweet sitcom music*.