Emails in on college basketball
The new emails are in, and lots of talk about college basketball, and let’s start with the women.
Roger wrote about Andrea Riley: “I am somewhat taken aback by some of the things you write about Andrea Riley. I believe you have better judgment. Anyone else who would play the game in the manner in which she does, you would be on them like a hound dog on a t-bone. She appears to have very little if any concept of team play or appreciation of others. For example, in the next to last game of the Big 12 Tournament, she took 47 shots (10 of 30 from the field and 17 free throws) scoring 37 points. Most games are similar. You taught me those are very bad statistics and not conducive to team play and a winning effort. She is lauded for being such a scorer. Of course. Anyone who shoots that much is bound to get a few in the basket. No big deal. How many more games might have been won if her abilities had been coached into a team concept with other girls being more involved using their talents instead of one person throwing up 30-plus shots a game making 30 percent or less?”
Do you know how many assists Andrea Riley averages? 6.2. She averages 6.2 assists a game. I’ve never heard of a ballhog who averages 6.2 assists a game. Yes, Riley shoots 36 percent from the field. But when she’s missing shots, that means OSU is not committing turnovers and it means the Cowgirls have a chance at an offensive rebound. In women’s basketball – in some men’s basketball – a missed shot is not a bad thing. And some of Riley’s 36 percent shooting is on 3-pointers. So she’s actually scoring at more like a 40.5 percent rate. If you had a 40.5-percent shooter, averaging 26.6 points and 6.2 assists a game, you’d have one heck of a player. And that’s exactly what Andrea Riley is.
Kent, an OU basketball fan, wrote about OSU basketball: “Andrea Riley, OSU will be better off without her. Whoever heard of a woman getting suspended for hitting another player? Ridiculous! The only thing worse is two teammates going at it. Oh, they did, Pilgrim and Moses.
If I was an OU basketball fan these days, I think I’d be talking And after watching OSU struggle without Riley, then rally to win, I think we end all talk about the Cowgirls being better off.
Leonard: “Amanda Thompson has always been a physical presence on the OU women’s team. But I thought she really showed some talent with her leadership, scoring and defense over the last part of the season. It leads me to wonder if the OU offense over several previous seasons, geared as it was to the sisters Paris, failed to really showcase, develop and promote the shooting and playmaking skills of a player like Thompson?”
Possibly. But that’s a trade you make every time. It wasn’t like the Sooners weren’t good with the Paris sisters. They got some things accomplished. And what you say about Thompson is even truer of Dani Robinson. The Parises slowed her down.
Jim: “I usually enjoy your columns, but I think you were a little overboard in comparing Brittney Griner with Kermit Washington. There are three major differences. 1. Rudy Tomjanovich was not involved in the play with Kermit Washington. Jordan Barncastle had pushed Griner just before Griner punched her. 2. Washington was an adult in the NBA; Griner is 20ish and a college student. 3. Griner broke Barncastle’s nose; Washington almost killed Tomjanovich.
I’ll give you No. 2. Not 1 or 3. The broken nose/almost killed difference is not of intent. In fact, Kermit Washington was less guilty. Rudy T. ran at him; Kermit reacted. Griner sought out Barncastle. Barncastle had pushed Griner in the flow of the play. Not in some kind of fracas.
Don: “When you write Cowgirls, we know the gender of your subject. When you write Sooners, we don’t. How about Soonerettes? Or Lady Sooners?”
How about Alpha Sooners, to describe the OU men. Seems to me Sherri Coale’s squad has done more to honor the Sooner name than has Jeff Capel’s.
OK, on to the men. Mike: “Why, when the police are involved with a student-athlete like Marshall Moses, Steven Pledger and Andrew Fitzgerald, these issues are handled internally and the NCAA never seems to get involved. But when two players take a swing at another in the heat of battle with thousands of fans screaming and egging them on, suspensions are invoked by the NCAA? Why were these not handled internally?”
Because smoking pot and stealing shirts is not against NCAA rules. I assume the NCAA figures any lawbreaking would automatically be well-handled by schools. And it might be difficult to write and enforce rules for all kinds of off-field issues. But on-court stuff is much easier to monitor. I guess it’s no more complicated than this. It’s just part of the game rules. Like two technicals means automatic ejection. But it’s an interesting question.
Jason wrote about my NCAA Tournament predictions: “Robert Morris almost blew a giant hole in your bracket.”
And Paulette Goddard almost got the role of Scarlett O’Hara.
Doug wrote about Tiny Gallon: “This is bad for Jeff Capel. He deserved the raise last year and hey, he can recruit. But if he’s bringing these punks in, he’ll ultimately face the music. Be a hell of a lot different story if he won 22 games this year. I hate the fact that he may end up like the multiple other Dukies who have underachieved with their own teams. I thought he’d break the trend. I’m really surprised by this season; he’ll be gone if they do this next season.”
I don’t think so. I don’t see how a coach can be canned merely for two bad seasons. I think the line of demarcation is three years. Not two. All kinds of coaches have consecutive bad years. But three is a trend.
Renaldo: “This could be your next article. James Anderson, Xavier Henry, Willie Warren. Second thoughts about the NBA; are they really ready?
Warren’s not ready. Anderson most definitely is ready. I haven’t studied Henry enough to know. But Anderson, he’s ready.
Jeff: “Have you seen any of the televised NCAA action from OKC? The camera angle is from a lot higher perch than the one used for Thunder games. Reminds me of the one used in the old Gallagher-Iba. Harder to watch.”
I don’t know what the deal is. CBS chose to televise from a higher angle than the NBA, and you’re right. It stinks. CBS said they wanted to avoid fans standing and blocking the view, but I haven’t seen a Thunder crowd get in the camera’s way in two years.
Jason: “In your Final Four blog, you state that if Sampson had stayed in Norman, Reynolds and James would be there but no Blake Griffin. Why do you state that? Blake wanted to play with his brother at OU. I don’t think it would have mattered who was the coach unless you know something that we all don’t know, like Blake didn’t like Kelvin.”
I don’t know whether Griffin like Sampson or not, but the story we always heard was that Blake wasn’t all that keen on OU if Sampson was the coach. I don’t know if that means Taylor Griffin would have transferred or not, but the odds of OU getting Scottie Reynolds, Damion James AND Blake Griffin seem remote.
Don: “Conference champions deserve more reward. They have proved their ability, so I think they should be excluded from having to participate in the conference tournaments or should be given an automatic bye to the finals.”
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