Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Notes from the best time of the year

Sure, the Hoosier men went out with, well, certainly less noise than I thought they'd make in March, and they continue to be one of the few blemishes on my bracket. DJ White battled all year, heck, all his career, and never really got the postseason success that a star senior at Indiana used to see. The Hoosier program seems to have been spinning its wheels since 1994, when Alan Henderson's senior year also ended quietly. Next year doesn't seem all that bright, but we'll see who they get for a coach and go from there. But I'm enjoying the heck out of the Big Dance, and I'll save my bragging for after the tourney, as pride goeth before the fall.

Here's a quick note to fellow Big Ten & Hoosier bloggers when talking about our coaching hires: Mike Davis' big tourney run was after he had gotten a contract. Davis' first club ran to the conference tournament title game, where they barely fell to Iowa, and then the second team nearly choked away the regular season-title before catching fire in the NCAA tourney. I've just been seeing a lot of "Davis got hired after a fluke tourney run, and we all saw how that played out" and it's not quite true. Davis' UAB team, btw, just got blown out in the NIT by Virgina Tech, 77-49.

I don't know where I go for the next IU coach. I wouldn't be direly opposed to Skiles, I guess. His coaching manner seems like it may fit the NCAA better than the NBA, and the fact that he was a NBA coach could work for recruiting. I would like someone young who can win, run a honest program, and graduate his students. Tony Bennett and Sean Miller seem to be the best candidates, and I think I like Tony Bennett best. I doubt the fact that his sister coached and jumped ship for a better program will hurt IU, unless the IU administration was awful to her, which is possible.

Here's a final pre-championship call:
Please, please, no more Billy Packer! That guy is just unbelievably bad. It's a torture to hear him call any game, and he's got a monopoly on calling Final Four games and most of the best match-ups throughout the year. For this, he's the #1 announcer that I'm most looking forward to retiring. Like Dick Vitale, he'll start announcing the game with a preconceived story line that he won't deviate from until the closing seconds, no matter the plays happening in front of him ("Eric Gordon is awesome" even tho' he's shooting 2-16) and even moreso than Vitale, he's consistently just wrong about the action happening in front of him. But hey, at least he's curmudgeonly.
For years Big Ten Wonk was on a crusade to get Packer jury duty, but his best line about Packer was this:

If you're a towering intellect and you go into basketball coaching, you're in the wrong field. Please go where you're needed: Billy Packer job-relocation. We need our best minds working on that as a modern-day Manhattan Project.

Also, here's the online petition . There's a donation link after you submit, which you can of course ignore, if you're not feeling generous.


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