Very exciting week and a half of basketball. Had to wait until today to post cause I have been very busy. So let's get to it. Fantastic games on ESPN last night. Michigan St. uses another late shot from Kalen Lucas and what a performance from Devan Downey last night in South Carolina's upset of #1 Kentucky.
Game of the Week- Hard to argue with the South Carolina win. Very exciting game start to finish.
Player of the Week- Downey gets it. He scored 36 of USC's 56 in a last second loss to Florida and was nearly unstoppable last night, scoring 30 in the Gmaecock's upset of Kentucky.
Team of the week- Michigan St. Starts 7-0 in the Big 10 for the first time since Magic was there. Two buzzer beater finishes as well, on the road vs. Minnesotta and vs Michigan last night. They are a serious threat to return to the Final Four. Great head coach in Izzo, great leader in Lucas and the kids buy into the style and always play 40 minutes of basketball. I'm usually a Big 10 basher, but you have to take the Spartans seriously
Disappointment of the week- Pitt. I threw the curse on them with my last post. A loss to Georgetown, which broke their home winning streak, followed up by a sloppy performance in a loss at Seton Hall.
Who should be #1?- My vote goes to Syracuse, but if Kansas beats Kansas St. on Saturday, the will likely move up to #1, but then again it doesn't really matter. This isn't the BCS. I just feel out of all the teams I have seen this year, which is pretty much all of them, that Syracuse is the best I have seen.
Time for my seeds if it started today. #1's would go to Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas and Villanova. #2's would be Michigan St., Texas, Kansas St and WVU
Be on the look out for a couple of very hot basketball teams. Take notice of the Pitt Panthers, led by sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs. After a slow start, Gibbs has helped lead the Panthers to an outstanding start in Big East Conference play. After being unranked most of the season, the Panthers are quietly off to a 15-2 start, including 3 straight road wins at Syracuse, Cincinatti and Connecticutt. Add to that a big overtime win against Louisville on Saturday and the Panthers are off to a 5-0 start in the Big East. The Panthers currently are ranked #9 in the AP Top 25
The style is the same. Tough defense and team basketball. After losing Dejuan Blair, Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs from last seasons Elite 8 team, the Panthers were picked to finish 9th in the rugged Big East. Believe me, this is a solid tournament team. Without the star power, they may be even more dangerous. They share the ball more and are very athletic. This is not a team that many want to deal with come March.
Another team that could pose problems come tournament time is the Ohio State Buckeyes. At 13-5, the Buckeyes have crept back into the rankings at #21. The Buckeyes had been struggling somewhat, but led by Evan Turner, they captured wins over two top 25 teams last week in Purdue and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have problems away from home, but winning at Purdue was a huge win. I still don't think the Big Ten is one of the Top 4 Conferences, but the Buckeyes could easily find themselves the second best team in the conference behind Michigan St.
With the accomplishments of Gibbs and Turner in the past week, the recieve my first awards as my co-players of the week
Well Volunteer fans, I bet you hate this picture. It seemed like yesterday that Lane Kiffen was introduced as the new leader of Volunteer Nation. It seemed like yesterday that Kiffen injected some life in a Volunteer program that it surely needed. It seemed like yesterday that Kiffen started throwing shots at Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier. Wait a minute. It was yesterday.
Kiffen, pictured to the left with his smoking hot wife, recently dumped the Vols after one short season to take the USC job and return home, where people can actually tolerate him.
In all seriousness, the NCAA absolutely has to do something about the college coaches jumping ship at will. Do contracts mean absolutely nothing? Apparantley not if you have been paying attention to college football for the last decade. Now I'm all for a coach improving himself and taking a "dream job", or a coach from a small program moving to a bigger school, but the NCAA needs to start implenting a set of rules for this garbage.
Kiffen leaving effects everyone of his former players. Now I know these players are "student athletes" and playing football should be a priveledge no matter who the coach is, but who are we fooling in the big money sport of NCAA football. Is a coach to discipline a player for breaking team rules when that said coach can't even honor a legal contract? Sounds like a hypocrite to me.
Now when Kiffen took over at Tennesee, if Jonathen Crompton or Eric Berry didn't want to play for him and wanted to transfer to a different school, each player would have to sit out a year. Now when a coach essentially transfers to a different school, he faces no penalty what so ever. The NCAA needs to fix this situation now, It is out of control.
What is one of his new USC players doesn't want to play for Kiffen. Yep, one year away from football.
Is it me or is anyone else wondering what everyone sees in Kiffen anyway? What has he ever done as a head coach? He was a good offensive coordinator as Pete Carroll's lackey. That's about it.
Maybe he's smart though. He knows he wasn't a good enough coach to win in the SEC so he put his tail between his legs and ran away from the challenge. Great example to set for your players Lane.
It's not just football either. John Calapari dumped Memphis for Kentucky. If you don't want to stay at one place for a decade, then don't sign a ten year deal.
The NCAA needs to get with the program and start setting some rules here. There are plenty of good qualified assistant coaches that also deserve a shot. If a coach under contract wants to explore another job, then the school should grant the permission. If not, tough luck, you signed the deal in the first place. be a man and honor it.