Hoopaholics Gazette: Feast Week Leftovers, #1 vs Best, and More

Cruising the social mediums over the weekend, I came across an entry from a pal, former C-J columnist extraordinaire, green thumbium maximus Bob Hill. He was lamenting that he’d “been watching too much basketball.”

To which, I, ever the hoopaholic, responded, “I can’t conceptualize that. It doesn’t compute.”

At any rate, I recall a situation that happened at a Hoopaholics Anonymous meeting years ago. A newcomer, when introducing himself, verbalized that common plaint, “I watch too much basketball.”

To which an old timer shared his experience, strength and hope in this manner, “You need to lean into it.”

I need to share that with Bob.

 * * * * *

I watched a lot of b-ball last week. Doah.

Morning, noon, and night. Thank you Greek God of Hoops, Naismithius.

Even looked for worthwhile games on Saturday, the biggest football day of the regular season. (Fortunately there were but a few total and none that rang my bell.)

And, speaking of hoopaholics, I had a constant companion.

Seth Greenburg.

The ESPN studio expert was, I swear, on TV every day, all day. Morning, noon, and night.

The pregame shows, the halftime shows, the post game shows. All Seth. All the time.

The moderators would change. Seth’s expert companions would change. But Greenburg was omnipresent.

Does he have, like, a bedroom right beside the set in Bristol? Gotta be.

Need to get him to an HA meeting pronto.

 * * * * *

So I tuned in the Iowa State/ Michigan game for a couple of reasons. Beyond my addiction, that is.

As mentioned before I love the Cyclone’s Tyrese Haliburton. I also wanted to scout Louisville’s Tuesday night foe in the ACC/ Big 10 Challenge, Michigan.

The first thing I noticed about the Wolverines was rookie head coach Juwan Howard, standing on the sideline during play, holding up an 8×10 glossy of some baller.

The next thing I noticed was: Michigan is really really good.

They had great spacing and movement with the ball, and effective rotations on D. They run sort of a spread, with lots of perimeter passing, but players looking to bust moves to the paint, take it to the hoop or kick out for a trey. They can drive and dish. They can defend. They can shoot.

Turns out the photo Howard holds up is PJ Tucker, because he’s shown his team a video of how Tucker communicates so well on defense.

When I finally got to the TV for the Wolverines vs. the Tar Heels, the Maize & Blue were up 60-36 and Roy Williams, dash gummit, looked mighty disturbed. Like he’d ordered just water, but served instead the staple of the south, sweet tea.

So, yeah, I have joined the crowd. Not only do I believe Michigan has the best resumé in the land, they’re playing the best hoops I’ve observed. Which means they’d get my #1 vote, if the AP cared what I thought.

 * * * * *

Thus Tuesday’s matchup at the Yum! is veddy veddy inttterestng.

Louisville is the team ranked #1, at least in the AP and ESPN Power Poll. And I’m sure elsewhere. Ken Pomeroy has them #2. While Michigan is #2 at the World Wide Leader, #4 in the AP (They got 9 astute 1st place votes), and #10 at KenPom.

Best vs. “Best.” Which one is which?

That’s why they play the game. Am so blessed that I’ll be in the gym.

U of L is the only school of the top 9 in ESPN’s preseason poll which hasn’t lost yet. Let’s hope it’s still that way Wednesday morning.

 * * * * *

By the by, former Wolverine mentor John Beilein’s Cleveland Cavs are 5-14 as of Monday afternoon.

 * * * * *

If the question is what would make you long for Mr. Foremost Authority Jimmy Dykes to be doing color on the game you are watching, the answer is . . .

. . . Dickie V.

Both were doing games from the tourney in the Bahamas. Vitale, as he gets longer in the tooth, is more insufferable than ever. If that’s possible. And the evidence is abundant, it is.

Dykes, by comparison, seemed calm and listenable.

How messed up is that?

 * * * * *

I’ve mentioned Flavor of the Month Obi Toppin here before, but got a chance to really watch him during the Dayton’s breakout performances in Maui.

He is all that. And so are he and his mates as a team. Anthony Grant’s Flyers are To Be Reckoned With.

Which makes me smile. The rust belt city is a great hoops town. The school has a nifty arena.

Plus I like them strangely because the Flyers were U of L’s biggest rival when I came on board in the early 50s. In fact, the Cards topped higher rated Dayton thrice in the ’56 NIT title campaign, including the championship match at the world famous Gahhhhhhhhden.

It was pretty impressive for this sub 10 year old to see a 7 footer like Bill Uhl, walking out for warmups, like all his teammates, in a full length blue and red team cape. True.

Plus Dayton in that day had a player with arguably The Best Nickname Ever.

John “Vertical Hyphen” Horan.

 * * * * *

When S. A. Austin bested the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor, the team connected on only two threes.

The Lumberjacks from Nacogdoches, Texas did score 64 in the paint.

 * * * * *

Every time I see Lance Thomas on the court, wearing a Memphis State uni, I think, the Cards could really have used him . . . last year. If only as another warm body.

 * * * * *

My least favorite play in basketball: A showboat windmill slam on a breakaway or follow shot, when a simple putback or layup off the glass will do.

Those things can haunt a team in March.

 * * * * *

J_Perry, one of the snarky regulars of the commentariat at my posts at cardchronicle.com, uses a term that I love and am going to adopt. It’s a new category of player rankings.

Six Game Guy.

Meaning a player that will consistently be there for his team and contribute fully throughout the NCAA tourney on a run to the national championship.

Remember where you heard it second.

 * * * * *

OK, I’ll close out for this week with this.

Jay Bilas did one of those 94 feet interviews with Bill Self in Maui.

He asked the beleaguered Kansas coach who his main influences were?

After mentioning his father as number one, his list was Leonard Hamilton for his recruiting prowess, Eddie Sutton for “putting it all together, ” and Larry Brown.

At least one of the three hasn’t played loosey goosey with NCAA rules. That we know of.

Influencers indeed.

— Seedy K


3 thoughts on “Hoopaholics Gazette: Feast Week Leftovers, #1 vs Best, and More

    1. Early season movement is all predicated on preseason rankings. In the AP anyway. Michigan lost three top scorers and Beilein, hired a coach who’d never been in the first chair and never coached in college. Unranked. Did you watch them play last week in the Bahamas? Not only do they have the best resumé, they’re playing the best basketball of any team right now. They should be ranked #1. Louisville is #1 because the teams ahead of them lost, and they moved up. There are any number of teams that are playing better than the Cards. Kansas. Dayton. Gonzaga. To name three I’ve watched most recently.

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