Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way now…
This guy will not be discussing the Michigan Wolverines in this College Basketball column this week. Yes, there is no doubt 750 words could easily be dedicated to the entire Ann Arbor area. But at this time, Coach John Beilein and his young men will remain on the shelf. We will take that book out and read it in a few weeks to see if the ending has changed.
So with all that being said, let’s jump right into what was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from Week Five of the college hoops season.
That is all.
Now is the perfect time of the year to remind you all just how special this guy is. He has been on the sidelines for the Gonzaga Bulldogs since 1989 and head man since 1999. Under his direction, the Bulldogs have never missed the big dance. NEVER. In all that is 16 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a coaching record of 412-101. That’s more consecutive appearances than the great UCLA Bruin teams of legendary coach John Wooden.
And his greatness is more than just the fact he coaches in the West Coast Conference. Few has forced the entire league to recruit, coach and play better. Some of the best basketball in all of the nation is played in the WCC. Simply because of Few and his good men.
So if you haven’t taken in or watched much Gonzaga besides the postseason over the past 11 years, this guy recommends taking a nap and staying up a little late on Thursday nights. Cause Few is quite possibly the best coach of the 2000 generation.
For the love of Scottie Pippen, the Central Arkansas Bears are just bad. A third of the way through the 2014-15 season, the Bears are 0-8 against the like of the Southeast Missouri Redhawks and the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Not exactly the Duke Blue Devils and the Kentucky Wildcats.
And here is why the Bears need more than to channel their inner-patented Pippen bank three-point shot. Central Arkansas is 204th in scoring at 67 points per game and is 349th in points allowed at 84. Call this guy crazy, but it’s not good when you can’t score AND can’t find away to stop your opponent from scoring either. That’s a recipe for a goose egg every night.
Each year a team flirts with going winless on the season. Keep your eye on the Bears because they are the leader in the clubhouse.
It’s probably a given not many of you tuned into the battle between the mighty Wofford Terriers and the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Sunday. After all it is Sunday and the NFL. But shame on you because you missed some epic ugliness.
First and foremost, it was a painful game to watch (yes, this guy watched every second). Second, it featured the dreaded half-court heave that hit nothing but net sending the State fans bonkers only to have the replay prove a hand was still on the ball as the clock hit zero and the backboard went red. Ah… the joy of winning a game you should have won by 20 only to have it taken away from you by the basketball gods. (my heart is all warm inside)
Seriously NC State? Coming off of Jimmy V Week, the best you can give everyone is a 21 point second half and a loss to Wofford?
The Wolfpack out shot, out rebounded and made five more free throws than the Terriers. Wofford made just one more three in the game, thanks to the overturned call at the end by replay.
So how exactly did State lose again, even though they seemed to have won every statistically category?
All you need to know is six. In six points. That’s all the bench could come up with in 43 minutes.
Ugly for State and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Well the next few weeks are not going to be the lead sport headlines to say the least.
The Connecticut Huskies are traveling to face Duke, the St. John’s Red Storm are hosting the St. Mary’s Gaels, the Clemson Tigers are battling in-state rival South Carolina Gamecocks and the UCLA Bruins are heading to Lexington for a loss against Kentucky.
Other than that, the rest of the college basketball world will be playing a meaningless game trying to work out the kinks before conference play tips off in January.
*Section Photo credit to Ethan Miller, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to James Snook, USA Today Sports.