Hoopaholics Gazette: Hanukkah Week Tidbits

b-ballA nuggetoid of info and/or observation — mostly the latter as usual — for each of the eight days of the Festival of Lights.

And remember, Dinah Shore-ah lights the Menorah.

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I believe I mentioned in my first Hoopaholics Gazette of the campaign that Gonzaga appeared to finally be the real deal, an honest to Jay Bilas Final Four contenda. I feel compelled, at least for the moment, to recant that projection.

The Zags caved — at home — to Arizona in their first major test of the season.

Not a good thing.

Though they did have somewhat of an excuse. One half of their dynamic, demonic, devastating foreign frontcourt crew has some foot injury issues. So bearded Prezemek Karnowski sat sullenly on the bench, as mate Domantis Sarbonis was left to fend for himself in the paint.

It’s early, so I haven’t totally written off the Nor’westers. Just a downgrade.

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Just this morning, I was thinking that it looks to be the most wide open college hoops season in memory. No dominating teams have yet surfaced.

Again, it’s early. But I don’t see any of the better teams forging enough separation to become a prohibitive favorite come March Madness.

Then expert bracketologist (if such a thing exists) Joe Lunardi posted this column, essentially validating my morning coffee musing.1

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Yes, this is traditionally just about college hoops. But, yet again, so amazing are this season’s Golden State Warriors, I must comment again on a simply amazing fundamental.

There’s a statistic called eFG, for effective field goal percentage. What it does is recognize the importance of threeballs, and how hitting 33% from beyond the arc is the same as 50% inside.

The Warriors’ Death Ball Lineup — Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson,
Andre Igoudala and Steph Curry — has an eFG so far this season of . . . 79.5%.

Which means they are hitting the equivalent of 4 out of every 5 twos they take.

Almost as interesting is that this killer contingent has been on the hardwood together less than a hundred minutes so far this season.

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Remember how last year Villanova with its glossy 33-3 record entered the Dance as #1 seed. Then proceeded to lose in the Round of 32 to NC State, not even making it to the second weekend.

Well, they were cruising along, looking feisty and legit. Until they were drowned in Pearl Harbor by Boomer Sooner last night by 23 points, 78-55.

All the Wildcats did, or so it seemed, was bomb away from long range. I mean, Oklahoma’s good, and they play fine defense, but . . .

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I am advised by a distinguished alum, and astute observer of the Indiana Hoosiers, and a fellow with connections to the powers that be, that Tom Crean is indeed on a short leash.

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Remember how some Arizona State students grabbed the We’re Having the Most Fun In College Hoops Award with their Curtain of Distraction.

No? Here’s a refresher:

Well, this year, the title’s been passed to some students, who also happen to be athletes, and spend most of their times during games, on the bench, but insinuating themselves into the action.

That North Carolina vs. Maryland game was mighty fine. Oklahoma looked devastating, when it thrashed Villanova.

But the ongoing Best Performance(s) of the Year have come thanks to Monmouth’s bench. I think I showed you this last time out. It’s worth a repeat:

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The Master of Hyperbole Bill Walton is growing on me as an announcer.

Even though his attention span makes Dickie V appear focused.

In setting the stage for the recent BYU/ Utah game, he seriously proclaimed it, a “battle for the souls of the world.” The Utes won by 8.

An interesting if totally irrelevant aside: the schools are meeting on the gridiron in the upcomng Vegas Bowl.

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Thought I’d check in on some former Cardinals, to see how they’re faring in the NBA?

With the exception of Gorgui Dieng, the correct answer would be “not very well.”

Dieng is averaging 8 points and just short of 6 rebounds, while seeing about 21 minutes of court time.

Terry Rozier is averaging but 7 minutes a contest. 1.9 ppg, on 27% shooting.

Montrezl Harrell, in ten minutes of action per game, is scoring 3.7 ppg, and grabbing 1.9 rebounds.

Russ Smith has seen action in only ten games, about 4 minutes per, averaging 1.7 ppg on 30% shooting.

Mo’ soon.

— Seedy K

2 thoughts on “Hoopaholics Gazette: Hanukkah Week Tidbits

  1. I agree with you on the ‘Zags, Seedy. I’ve rarely believed that a team out West could be a national contender. The competition in the East and Midwest makes the Western Conferences pale in comparison. Villanova is another team that are good, but not a top 10 team. Georgetown could very well take the Big East title.

    The Warriors and Kristaps Porzingus are two great storylines in the NBA. This season has been fun thus far.

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