Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DVR notes: McCamey and Coverdale

Finally caught up and watched a few games that've been sitting on my DVR. Notably, I managed to watch the Illinois game in full. And Illinois did truly push their way to victory in the second half, being the far more physically aggressive and yet still managing a 21 free-throw-attempts advantage. I'm not here to criticize the refs in general, as Indiana made a lot of silly errors and just lacked composure down the stretch, But boy, that McCamey kid came off like a real jerk. He & Hulls dive for a ball, looks like a completely clean tussle on the floor before McCamey gets the time-out, and then Hulls extends his hand to help McCamey up and McCamey gives him a really good push while having some choice words for Jordy. Sure, maybe Hulls was a little naive, but if it had been the other way around, with Hulls pushing McCamey- I'm pretty sure Hulls would've gotten a technical. And don't give me that old chestnut about bad blood because of the Gordon situation argument- McCamey wouldn't be at Illinois if it weren't for Gordon's departure. He's got no reason to hate on Hulls and the Hoosiers, other than Weber's petulant poisoning.

Anyway, the game at Illinois is coming up, and I'd be surprised if Indiana pulled off the upset, but I'd also be surprised if they're as flat as they were to open the Iowa game. I suspect that a few key Indiana players will pick up a several fouls when they check-in, and it'll be a scrappy loss for the Hoosiers. But who knows, maybe they get that win back. Maybe.

I watched the Iowa at Indiana game from 2003, and man, I miss Tom Coverdale. Also, Indiana got whistled for a lot of fouls in the Mike Davis era. Crean does a better job of working the refs to this point, but so did Sampson I suppose. Really, I liked Mike Davis and loved rooting for his teams, but the obvious lack of development that his players exhibited over their careers made him the coach of UAB. Where he's doing quite okay at now, and good luck to him. But back to the positive, Coverdale was just a joy to watch- not in the same way I enjoyed the grace of Cal Cheaney or that I currently the acrobatic hustle of Jeremiah Rivers, certainly. But that dogged determined look that Cov would get as the clock ran down, and he'd survey the defense and take something from them. He wouldn't just take what the defense gave him, he'd make them pay for laying off him as he stuck the three, or for stepping on him as he'd get into the lane, or even for playing him straight up while whisking a pass into the post for Jeffries or Newton to finish. Occasionally, he'd even break down the defense with a little ball-handling and a step-back fadeaway. Last I heard, he was an assistant coach for Louisiana-Monroe, but I always remember him as the unlikely assassin who brought fear into the eyes of Big Ten opponents. Good luck, Tom, wherever you are.


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