Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Dear Reverse Oreo Followers, that means just you sittingpugs,

I am back from the abyss to rescue you from reading about Wrestle Mania.  Turns out, The Mark still considers it a sport. Anyways, if you know me, a few of the readers do, you know I have been in a dark place this week and half….I saw KU go down to NIU. Although, I will never say WE won the 2008 national championship or WE lost to NIU. I am still a huge fan of my home state team.

This article is about my denial…my denial to listen to The Mark or to believe the elements of the breakdown coming.  Bill Simmons has been the only one to mention this…he beat me to it…it’s the Sherron Collins Affect. Announcers love him, he played tough basketball, he is the winningest player in Kansas basketball history, he led a team minus 6 of the players from the national championship team to a big 12 title and sweet 16, but he is the reason Kansas lost and the reason this years team seemed so disjointed.

Lets break it down…..Kansas wins the 2008 National Title six players leave due to graduation or the draft. 5 are drafted. So whats left for KU is Collins and some what Aldrich. Cole had a great game in the semi-final which gave fans a glimpse of the future, but no one was expecting much from this team in 2009.  So there are zero seniors and one junior to speak of….Sherron…it became his team.  He battles! He carries a youthful team with potential but typically plays like at their experience level. He carries  them so much and so often that in the tournament last year other players are petrified to shoot, and it shows in their percentages and attempts. The role playing white guys (Reed and Morningstar) have no confidence in the one skill that lets them be on the floor (3 pointer) and Sherron only trusts Cole as a secondary scoring option. It was alright against North Dakota State, it was more than enough than Dayton. Then came Michigan State….Sherron muscling down the stretch…missing a key shot, then turning it over, then missing his one free throw. And the year is over.

Sherron and Cole stay, Kansas has an amazing recruiting class, all but one pretty much rode the bench this year, and the young guys have matured. Pre-season number one, potentially 3 All-Americans with depth and Tyshawn Taylor coming off a stellar summer as a leader in u19 international competition. Then the season begins:

-Tyshawn looks uncomfortable on the floor and like he doesn’t quiet fit in to a specific roll. Making him sloppy with the ball several times early and down the stretch.

Explanation:  Sherron has decided to be the team’s leader he must also being the teams point guard. He handles most of the offensive sets and has a high number of turnovers numerous times.

-Cole Aldrich doesn’t look like “Tournament Cole”, you know the one who had a triple double with blocks and a smooth hook shot.

Explanation: Many things a foot injury and family member passing away, but also his touches all year depended on how many offensive rebounds he could get, Sherron’s drive style offense created a ton on congestion in the paint. No room to get Cole the touches needed to wear down teams.

Xavier Henry disappears mid-season, January, making me believe Kansas has a shot to get him back next year. He disappeared so much that in the first K-State game, Self often went with the limited abilities to create their own offense of Morningstar and Reed over him. Giving into “Ok, we played these guys last year, all we have to do is give the ball to Sherron and let him do him.” That team looked like the tournament team from the year before, scared deferring to Sherron, turning the ball over trying to get it to him, didn’t we have two significant lower block threats? and an amazing wing player?  Atleast Sherron came through that time.

Explanation:  Xavier was not allowed to create because of Collins style of drive first-look second. I hope I can Thank Collins for that later.

Collins created all these problems because he had to be the leader, he had to be the scorer, he had to be the go to guy. A lot of people are blaming Self for this loss, for not letting his guys be the athletic guys they were against NIU. But this team was taken from Self a long time ago when it became all about Sherron.

Thanks for the memories, the wins, the good and bad, and for hopefully hurting Xavier’s draft stock enough that I get to see him in a Kansas Uniform one more year.

Notes:

Pre Bracket Final Four:

Syracuse, Kansas, Michigan State, and Kentucky.

The one odd one I pick sticks!

All Americans Still Alive:

John Wall, Eliminated: Elite 8

Evan Turner, Eliminated: Sweet 16

Wes Johnson, Eliminated: Sweet 16

Scottie Reynolds, Eliminated: Round of 32 almost Round of 64

DeMarcus Cousins, Eliminated: Elite 8.

Just saying…..

Thing to Watch Now:

The Pacific

The selection and post-selection shows are finished and the brackets are all over the net waiting to be printed.  By the way, if you’re in the States and you need help with your picks, make sure to pick up a copy of the Monday USA Today.  They always, in my opinion, have the best coverage and analysis before the tournament.  It gives me a headache to watch all the shows talk about the tournament.  Most talking heads are vague enough that they can always be right later in the tournament.

If I were back in Chicago I would have already filled out ten brackets just as a precursor to all the information I will devour in the days before the tournament.  Don’t disregard that first bracket you fill out “just for fun” because sometimes your gut is better at picking games than stats.  Sometimes too much information is bad information.  When all is said and done and the information has been absorbed, I fill out my final bracket and that’s the one I use.  I’m not Multiple Bracket Guy.  I hate that guy.  Don’t be that guy or any of these guys.

I'll miss you most of all Jim Nantz

The tournament has been very lucrative for me over the years.  I’ve won a pool on five occasions.  In 1994, while at Eastern Michigan, I nailed the tournament for four large.  While everyone was drooling over the Duke roster of Grant Hill, Cherokee Parks, Antonio Lang, Chris Collins and Jeff Capel, I put all my chips on Arkansas with Scotty Thurman and Corliss Williamson.  The other times I’ve filled out a bracket the story was always the same.  I’d kill round one (28-4, 29-3) and then my brackets get busted in round two.  So, by the end of the first weekend I’d already be out of the running.

Thanks Scotty, I owe you big time.

This site doesn’t promote gambling but it’s not discouraging it either.  If you’re in college, find your campus bookie (every school has them) and become friends with him.  He’ll automatically be the most interesting person you know.  If you know what you’re doing, you can make some good money in college.  If you’re just looking for a quick, big score then stay away.

Guys of his ilk will be the most interesting people you ever know

I’m not going to bore you with my (lack of) insight on the greatest three weeks of sports because I haven’t been able to really follow the season as a whole here in South Korea.  I know the rankings, I’ve seen box scores and I’ve even been able to watch streams of some games but that’s not enough that you should care what I think.  I will give you my Final Four and winner but feel free to disregard it.  I’ll just do it for posterity.  You’ll probably get some insight later in the week from The Bearded Guy and The Blasian.  To be honest, forget everything The Blasian tells you about the tournament.  He still thinks the Memphis Tigers were in the 2008 National Championship game against Kansas but we all know that Memphis went winless in the 2007/2008 season.  Yes, Kansas did win the tournament that year but I can’t remember who they played.  The NCAA can be confusing sometimes when it comes to records and history.

I know Mario Chalmers hit a big shot in 2008 but I can't remember against whom

With the time difference, the lack of coverage in the ROK and the fact that North Carolina and Eastern Michigan are not in the tournament, I don’t have much to say about March Madness.  This will be the second time in my life that I won’t be in the States for the tournament.  In 2003 I was in Hong Kong and it sucked not being able to see any games.  I don’t know if there was something like justin.tv back then.  You can’t get psyched about it by reading recaps and message boards (remember them?).  Somehow Malcolm Gladwell became a huge fan of the NBA as a child by only reading old issues of Sports Illustrated and never seeing an actual game in his native Canada but Gladwell must have some gene I’m missing because I need to watch the games to get excited about them.  Maybe it’s not a gene, maybe it’s a Canadian thing.

Malcom Gladwell - Genius and Canadian. That doesn't sound right.

My favorite memory of the March Madness was back in 1996 when I travelled with a bunch of other Eastern Michigan students to Indianapolis for rounds one and two of the tournament.  Eastern beat Duke in round one and it was the greatest sporting experiences I’ve ever had.  The Eastern fans were hot and it was nice giving it back to the Dukies.  Plus, Greg Newton told me to fuck off as Duke was leaving the court at the end of the half.  Good times.  Unfortunately, we lost to Ray Allen and UCONN in round two but we had so much fun over those four days.

What I think might happen:

Final Four – Kansas v Pittsburgh, West Virgina v Duke
Final – Kansas v West Virginia
Champs – Kansas

I’m sure you’re gonna be hearing a lot about John Wall.

Try to watch any games Gus Johnson is doing because you’ll be in for a wild ride.

Gus Johnson is excited about everything

Back in the day, Craig Bolerjack and Ian Eagle would always be in The Pit in New Mexico, Boise or some other out-of-the-way venue and I couldn’t wait to see where CBS shipped them off to.  It was like they were being punished or paying their dues.  We use to actually have bets on where they would show up.  Now that Bolerjack and Eagle have moved up the pecking order, who are the announcers CBS sends to the Siberia of March Madness?

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!!!!

Too Bad, It's Over!

Now that the Olympics are over it is time for me to officially start my commentary on the NCAA basketball season. In our group it has been discussed that there is not a clear cut group of number ones and even more so, number twos. Based on the rankings right now (which seeding is not based on), Ohio State would get a 2 seed with 7 losses, that’s right seven, and West Virginia would get the final one with 6 losses. Really? There’s something for The Blasian to write about right there.  Ohio State lost to North Carolina, Minnesota, and Michigan (plus their quality losses). Wow they deserve to be in the top 10 like I need to be treated for anorexia.

This season does not make sense, pre-season we had Kansas at one (ok they are still around there) and Texas and Michigan State at two depending on the poll. Texas fell apart! 17-0 and since? 6-7.

Michigan State  at 22-7 also lost to North Carolina to add to their 16-14 record, apparently they had two quality wins out of their 16. I will take them over the Buckeyes in the rematch.  But that’s the Big 10.

Pac 10? Are you out there? There is a chance that everyone in the conference could have double digit losses. A stretch maybe, but still a possibility. I guess Cal gets in, but it depends on who wins the PAC 10 Tournament, they might only get two teams in.  Is this really the conference that has: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, and USC?

Count on him down the Stretch!

SEC basketball is back, kind of, not really, but they have Kentucky and Tennessee. Do not count on Kentucky when it matters though, I mean they have Calipari, the worse close game coach around. He called a timeout the other day giving the opposing team a chance for a shot to tie or win. Afterwards, Calipari said “It’s the dumbest Timeout, I have ever called!” (True) but what about timeouts you haven’t called  JOHN?!? He’s bad on both sides of the decision making.

Now I am not going to fill out a bracket and post it on Reverse Oreo. Come on, some secretary is going to fill out a bracket based on colors and mascots and get 75% correct.  So I am going to take my likely final four, before the bracket is out and after its out.

Pre-Bracket Final Four

Kentucky – out in the final four because of Calipari

Syracuse- They have been pretty consistent

Kansas- They have two big games to wrap up the season before the Big 12 tourney (KSU and @ Mizzou).

Michigan State- They are mature and the held Purdue to 44 pts over the weekend

All I care to remember from the KBL

Korean Basketball:  We have talked about how terrible KBL guard play and wondered out loud why they haven’t brought over a foreign player to run the show. This is further confused by the history of the league that once banned foreigners over the height of 6’8″, which has since been abolished. Yet they have never shown an interest in guards from outside Korea. Still a foreign concept here, and I am left more confused after watching the daily games.

I leave you with this video, enjoy

Salute

The Bearded Guy

Since there is no “Simply RiCOCKulous” article for this week, I decided to hit you with something a we can all relate to…b/c we all have gotten these emails at work!  You know what emails I’m talking about!  The one from that really close “Personal Friend” (You know the one that you grew up with and gave your kidney to last year and the same one that would never do anything to harm you in any way) b/c you can always trust them!!……Yea, that buddy…so  you open the email at work and all of a sudden, a picture or short video of 2 COMPLETELY NAKED  Women (or Men) playing twister while covered in chocolate pops up on your screen!…(See now you know what I’m talking about) And sometimes if you are lucky like me, it is at that exact moment that your boss decides to walk by and pay you a visit.  Well THIS poor fellow has it much worse b/c his email was opened on live TV on a major financial network….Poor Bastard! But still quite funny!

Another future casualty of the Economic Downturn! Or simply stupid!

Anyway this is primarily a Sports Blog so let me go ahead and say a couple words on something sports related…..

1) Arsenal of the EPL is NOT who we thought they were! That’s right the Gunners lost AGAIN to another big team this week!  Actually getting crushed 3-1 at home by Manchester United!  Yet, the Young Gunz can take some solace in the fact that they have had an impressive season so far given that most thought, they would finish out of the top 4 given their age and inexperience!  However quite to contrary, b/c as recently as last week the ARSENAL was at the top of the EPL standings (if only be it for a couple days). But if they really want to make it to the next level they are going to have to at least win at home against the Man Utd’s and Chelsea’s of the World!

"THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE"

2)  Apparently Being ranked #1 in College Basketball is an Automatic Loss Manufacturer this season!  Since the cupcake portion of the season ended (around Jan 4th),  All 3 teams that have been ranked #1 coming into the week (Kansas, Texas and Kentucky) have promptly lost after being bestowed with such Honor.  And due to this, I’m not sure if I feel that anybody is a clear cut favorite to win it all this year. Here’s hoping the next #1 ranked team can at least keep the rating for a week!

3) And am I the only 1 that thinks Tennis is getting totally boring?  Serena and Federer won again at the Aussie Open!!  Where’s the new blood??? Who is suppose to be challenging these guys?  Murray and Roddick are definitely not living up to the hype and  Nadal still really can’t beat Federer either!  At least Serena takes brakes from dominating her opponents to make clothes, jewelry and music videos or whatever!  But you can’t deny that when she’s focused nobody can beat her, (including her sister)!  I mean I’m all for Great Champions and all but would love to at least see some more promising competition for these two!

This is all too Common! (Pun intended!!)

– Kennedy Wong aka The BLASIAN

This post is slightly delayed. I was given a surprise week of vacation at school as my Winter camp was over and I was what they call “Desk sitting.” I don’t think students ever go to school in Korea. Anyways I was away from my computer, but I am back to talk about the anti-climatic ending of Jersey Shore and the weekend in sports, although it is technically still going on.

First off, how terrible was the ending of the shore?

It almost killed the series. There was no drama, no fighting, and a lot of Snookie looking for a date that was not to be found, which was the main emphasis.  Of course this was not a new theme for Snookie, even some of her homely hook-ups* from the past month were not vibing going on a real date with her on her final night at the Jersey Shore. It was pretty embarrassing, to see her throw her self at everyone including The Situation and come up empty. Which prompted her to respond in the reunion, about how she had on beer goggles some of the time and regretted her decisions.  Really? Seems like they did as well!

The highlight of the finale was the reunion! In which Ronnie “…cuts girls like barbers,” over some never before seen footage.  The show was filled with more awkward moments as the cast is stuck in limbo between fading to obscurity, while still being at the peak of what their lives will become.  Would you really hire any of these guys, besides at a screen printing shop on a boardwalk? The answer is yes, only Ronnie though, and only as a cage fighter in an untested MMA league. MTV needs to release a 2 hour long dvd of the fights of Jersey Shore with interview commentary, it would be a cash cow! Tell me you wouldn’t buy it or at least download the torrent.

Sadly I bid farewell to the show as it probably will not be returning for a second season, “Thats one punch kid” to pop culture.

In an interesting week, Kentucky held the number one spot for roughly a day before falling to Devan Downey. Obama must have really jinxed them, as he called in them to congratulate them on becoming number one. I appreciate Prez. Although, as I said before, I am not worried about Kentucky too much, as soon their season will be stricken from the record books, they will fall under 2000 wins and North Carolina and Kansas will beat them to the milestone. Got to love Calipari.

Because there is never anything to do on a lazy Saturday

On a side note, I have to say ‘Com on’ to K-State fans and their Sport Information Department. The Octagon of Doom is ridiculous. Of course,  ESPN had to run with it cause their is nothing else to talk about in the area, the stadium lacks character and history, so hopefully the fact that it has 8 sides will carry College Gameday had to be their thought process. Granted, the fans were loud, especially a certain male clarinet player, but when you have lost on your home floor to Kansas 25 of 26 times, who is the team that is suffering from being in the octagon of doom?

The Bearded Guy: What is K-State!

Trebek:  Correct, now moving on to your NFL lines…..

About my picks, technically I won both games last week. Picking against the spread, the Colts covered thanks to a nice second half, and so did the turnover ridden Vikings who seemed to have the ball the whole game but continued to give it to the Saints.  Still they covered the 3.5 for which I am thankful.

Great Season All Day

Great Season All-Day

In reality, I picked the Vikings to flat out win. So I was really 1 and 1. It might be time for some one in the media to call out Adrian Peterson. He has gotten a ‘pass’ long enough, two lost fumbles one at the five yard line to score right before half.  Why does not anyone talk about the clutch-ness of Running backs?

Super Bowl pick is still the same I will take the Colts.

Korean Sports:

Dudes Volleyball last night and….no cares.

Handball highlights, This ones for Brian!

This might be the only time anyone has said this,  FEAR CROTIA!

Korean Pop Culture:

The long awaited sequel is here! Attack the Gas Station 2. Spoiler alert: Dumb criminals get bored and rob the gas station again. Impersonating workers they pump peoples gas and keep the money! Apparently based on real events! Don’t miss it!

*Snookie technically only made out with the guys, nothing more. Not her choice!

Salute

The Bearded Guy

I just saw that UTEP ended Memphis’ 64-game conference winning streak.  This left Memphis tied with Kentucky for the all-time Division I conference winning streak record.  UTEP won 72-67, at the FedEx Forum no less.  But wait, how does Memphis even share that record with the great Kentucky teams of the 1940’s?  I thought they vacated all their wins from the 2007-2008 season, including their 16 wins in Conference USA.  Doesn’t that mean their streak ended at 29 games?  That’s how many consecutive conference games they had won at the end of the 2006-2007 season.  Sorry Blasian.  Is the NCAA different from other sports when it comes to handling CHEATERS?

In the Olympics, if someone is caught CHEATING, they’re stripped of their medal and it’s given to someone else.  That person doesn’t continue to call themselves a gold medalist and an Olympic champion.  Their name is stricken from the record books.  In the Olympics, CHEATERS never win and winners never CHEAT. 

Not the 1998 100 m Olympic gold medalist in Seoul. Also, not the 100 m record holder either. The IOC cleared the books of him.

In Italy when Juventus was found guilty of wrong-doing in 2006 Italian football scandal, they had to vacate their Serie A title.  The record books show that Inter Milan won the title in the 2005-2006 season, not Juventus.  That seems fair.  Why should Juventus call themselves champions when they were obvious CHEATERS?

Sorry, you can't keep that. Please give it to Inter. They didn't CHEAT.

Now, I know there will be at least one angry person reading this but rules are rules.  Without rules, there would be chaos.  Without rules, a coach can’t tarnish two programs and still be allowed to coach at a prestigious school like Kentucky.  Wait…..   When will the NCAA wise up and strike Memphis basketball from the record books for most consecutive Division I conference wins? 

Sorry Derrick! No SAT, no wins.

If you’re a point guard who can dribble, who can sort of see the floor and who can stop at the three-point line and pass the ball without ever getting a look at the basket, then the Korean Basketball League is the place for you.  If, on the other hand, you can dribble, command the floor, dribble penetrate and get multiple looks at the basket, then please go elsewhere.  Guard play if frowned upon in South Korea.  They don’t need you pretending to be the most important player on the team, scoring 30 and dishing 20.  Let the big guys and the three-point specialists handle the scoring.  All you’re supposed to do in Korea is take the ball over mid-court and dish the ball of to someone bigger than you as soon as possible. 

A guard with any kind of game would have a field day in Korea.  Stephon Marbury, as crazy as he is, would score a minimum of 60 points a night here in the KBL.  There’s not a lot of defense on the guards here.  They only worry about the bigger forwards and the centers here.  That’s why a guy like Samaki Walker, who should be killing the other team for at least 30 a night, isn’t dominating like he should.  As soon as he gets the ball, there are two or three guys on him in a second but the guard has nothing to do but watch. 

Let’s say that John Wall, instead of walking out on Memphis and instead of going to Kentucky, decides to go overseas to play for a year before going pro.  Let’s also say that he doesn’t go to Europe but for some reason decides to ply his trade in South Korea for the SK Knights.  This is what his box score would look like:

John Wall – 70 points, 25 assists, 15 steals

That would be every single night.  Plus, Samaki Walker would also have 30 points and all SK games would end something like 130-70.  Guaranteed!

I don’t know who’s in charge of the KBL but someone needs to tell the coaches to let the guards do their thing.  Maybe a foreign coach is needed to show them how to handle guard play.  Kelvin Sampson, instead of being an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks, could do well here.  He wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky NCAA recruiting rules.  C’mon KBL, give me some guard play.  I’ll watch more, I promise.