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>Butler’s Hayward Heading to The NBA

14 Apr

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The word on the street is that Butler’s Gordon Hayward is going to the NBA Draft

I enjoyed watching  Butler’s run to the championship game.  Hayward was certainly a big part of that.  I just don’t see him surviving in the NBA.

Granted, I haven’t watched an NBA game in about four years.  Admittedly, half of that game was spent in the  bar that is under the stands at Conseco Fieldlhouse.

Has anyone else been there?  I have to admit, it was pretty cool.  You can sit there and have a beer and watch the players go by as they head to the locker room.  The NBA…..it’s FANTASTIC!

It would be fair to state that my knowledge of what makes a good NBA player is somewhat limited. Regardless, I’m just not seeing it.

First, he looks like he is twelve.  I halfway expected his mom or dad to pull him halfway through the championship game because it was late, and it was a school night.

Secondly, I see him getting absolutely punished by the much larger and stronger players in the NBA.  

Finally, he plays at Butler.  I am as impressed with their program as the next guy.  However, these players are supposed to be system guys.  No one wanted them because they were not athletic enough to play at North Carolina, Duke, or Kentucky. 

What’s changed?

I could be way off.  After all, Hayward can hit a mid-range jumper and is fundamentally sound.  Both of these attributes are lost arts these days.

Bring on the “next Larry Bird” comments.  Right Adam Morrison?

>Take a Page From Their Book Please

2 Apr

>I read a post on Bleacher Report that summed up something I have been talking about for years.  Too bad I wasn’t blogging then.  The article discusses why Butler and Boise have become perspective power houses in basketball and football.

To summarize for my Cliffs Notes’ friends out there, Butler and Boise have created a system in which they hire a fit to their program, rather than hiring a coach with a new system.  It is shocking how many division one programs continually overhaul the entire works every time a new coach comes in.

I don’t think it is possible to succeed when you change all aspects of your program every five years.  And when I say all aspects, I mean from the rooter to the tooter.  The complete overhaul ranges from the type of offense and defense they run, to the type of furniture in the coach’s office.  When did maple desks and the color of the paint on the walls become so critical to winning? 

Here’s a quick blueprint for those hungry programs out there….Chirp! Chirp!

1.  Take a look around–  Examine where you are geographically and get an understanding of what strengths high school players in your area have. What kinds of offenses and defenses do they thrive in?  Find a coach that understands this and has a system that will utilize these strengths.

This does a couple of things for you.  First, it identifies a system that is more appealing to local athletes.  Second, bringing in local athletes helps to create a fan base that can identify with your program.  It is their sons, neighbors, and friends that are playing for you.  They’ll probably be more willing to come to the games. The last time I looked, generating revenue is somewhat important these days.

1A.  Plan B-  If the cupboard is bare in your kitchen or you refuse to look inside it, then look for the B list athletes that fit your system.  Face it, it is rare to land a five star recruit when you are competing with the perennial powers every year. 

2.  Patience-  This advice goes out to all the Ants out there that want national championships RIGHT NOW (I just stomped my foot on the ground like an upset three year old).  Be realistic.  There are only a few select programs that can turn it around in one year similar to what  Kentucky has done.  Creating a powerhouse doesn’t happen over night.  Let’s stop crying in our beer when our team consistently finishes with a winning record, but doesn’t bring home the championship trophy.  You have to crawl before you walk.  The first step is putting together a string of winning seasons so you can climb out of the cellar.

Take my BSU Cardinals for example.  I am starting to read and hear complaints about Coach Taylor and the basketball team.  He has taken a program out of the toilet and  has improved every year.  The last three years look like this:  6-24, 14-17,  and 15-15.

I see this as progress and I am confident that the 15-15 mark will be improved upon.  Have a little faith my fellow Cardinals.  We are not Duke or North Carolina.  Let’s stop whining and appreciate what we have, an intelligent coach that runs a clean and respectable program.  Someone that seems to appreciate the Ball State community.

3.  The Importance of Transition-  Once the program has been realized, and success starts to be obtained, the coach will certainly fly the coop for a bigger program.  I can’t blame them either.  I would classify someone as certifiably insane to turn down the money being thrown at coaches these days.

Side noteI don’t have a lot of patience with people that cry about coaches leaving for huge pay checks.  Every single one of us would do the same thing, if someone offered to triple our salary.

The assistant coaches are crucial.  Smart administers will  ensure that they are hired as a replacement option.  They should be groomed to take over the system once the head man leaves for a bigger pay check.

So many programs allow their coaches to hire whomever and do whatever they want.  I suggest being more hands on with the hiring of assistant coaches so they can step into head man’s office once he departs.

There you have it.  Three easy steps to creating a powerhouse.  Up next for me, settling the health care debate.

>The NCAA Version of The Noon Crew

23 Mar

>My adopted Buckeyes, or better yet The Ohio State Ants, are steam rolling through the NCAA Tournament.  By now, you have probably proclaimed to the world “Average Adam is so wise!”.  Everyone’s favorite pick, The Rock Em Sock Em Jayhawks, are at home wondering why they didn’t get my endorsement.  

Now that I have had an opportunity to observe the Buckeyes, I have formulated an opinion on what makes them my favorite to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.  I couldn’t quite place it for the first few games, but I finally realized that they reminded me of an intramural team I played against in college.  They were called The Noon Crew.

The Noon Crew consisted of six or seven balding, middle aged, faculty/staff members.  See the resemblance already?   Everyone always gave them the “something doesn’t quite fit” look as they entered the gym.  They would then proceed to lace up their old school Chuck Taylors, chomp onto their mouth guards, step into their Moses Malone knee pads, and proceed to wipe the floor with all of the college aged studs they faced.  All while wearing shorter shorts than Britney Spears on a Friday night.

What made them so good?  Some could shoot, others could handle the rock, or rebound.  All of them knew how to hold a jersey, work the officials (whine), and set devastating screens.  They even knew the director of recreation programs on campus, which they were quick to point out when they worked the officials.

Most importantly, they happened to play pick up ball together three times a week on their lunch break.  Have you figured out how they came up with their name yet Walt, my residential Alabamian?

They knew where each other would be on the court at all times.  They knew exactly where each other liked the ball, where the ball would go on a rare missed shot, and what kind of cut to make when the point guard gave a certain look.

This brings me back to The Ohio State Ants.  Thad Motta only uses six or seven players each game.  They have shared an unusually large amount of court time together.  It appears to me that during this time they have grown very comfortable playing together.  They have almost reached a Noon Crew level of court awareness. 

Fortunately for Buckeye fans, their current lineup is a bit more talented then the middle aged warriors I faced on the intramural basketball court.

I have no doubt that Jim Carey used The Noon Crew as a source of inspiration in The Cable Guy.

>Expanding The NCAA Tournament

17 Mar

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Expanding the NCAA Tournament has been a hot topic lately.  What is the intent in doing so?  If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.  Right?

M-O-N-E-Y.  It’s as simple as that.  I don’t really have an issue with expansion.  It makes complete sense for a business to look to increase revenue. The NCAA, athletic conferences, and coaches can fill their pockets and we get a few more games to watch.

It’s a win-win scenario. Especially if we add  more mid-majors in the mix to try to create additional opportunities for the little guys.  This could give my Cards a greater chance of dancing. CHIRP! CHIRP!  Maybe I wouldn’t have to adopt a team to follow anymore.

The problem is, no one will come out and admit this is the sole reason. We hear talk about allowing more deserving teams in the tournament. Coach K even thought outside of the sport.

The NCAA has to look at, for the good of all college sports, what might be there. That’s a part of the equation. I don’t think it’s the only part, but it is part of the equation, how do you make enough money to fund all the things that you want to fund? If you just looked at basketball, singularly, you wouldn’t have to make that decision on it because we make enough to fund ourselves, but it’s about funding everything else.

The majority of coaches would absolutely love it.  Thirty-two more bids equals job security in their eyes.  Right, Coach Dambrot (Akron)?

Our jobs are hard, man. It’s tough to win and harder to be good every year. And even if you are good and you don’t make the tournament, people say, ‘Well, he’s no good.

Where is all the talk about the STUDENT athlete?  Expanding to ninety-six teams surely results in additional travel for these scholars.  Why haven’t I heard anything about how the extra travel will hinder the players’ academic pursuits?  That Bunsen burner isn’t going to light itself in the biology lab.   It’s funny how this seems to be a factor for not creating a playoff in football, but no one seems to feel this is an issue in basketball.

I won’t let them pull the wool over my eyes.  Just give it to me straight.  I’ll respect you more for it, NCAA.  I promise.

Most people are smart enough to see this for what it is, a money grab.  It’s okay. I’ll gladly watch more games, and buy more tickets because its an exciting product.   Just don’t insult my limited intelligence trying to convince me it is about anything else besides extra cash.

>Average Adam’s Buckeyes To Face the El Guapos!

14 Mar

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Another day, another win for my adopted Buckeyes.  Once again I had the misfortune of missing the future national champs in action.  My absence can be attributed to one of the busiest Sundays in recent history.

I would like to thank T. Ford for the score update.  According to him, the Buckeyes looked like “world beaters”.

My response to that? Of course they looked like world beaters.  The Average Adam official endorsement is a huge boost to a team’s confidence.  You’ve heard it here first, my endorsement will take this team to the top.

I would say this win silenced some critics.   Right, mtank?  They outscored the Golden Gophers by 26 in the second half.  Visit ESPN.com for the game summary

Up next, the UCSB Gauchos in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  If you are like me, the first thing that went through your mind was, what the hell is a Gaucho?  

I aim to please, so I took the liberty to Google Gaucho for you.  Here’s what Wikopedia had for me:

Gaucho (ga├║cho in Portuguese, gaucho in Spanish) is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Region, Brazil. In Brazil, it is also used to designate people from the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
The word gaucho could be described as a loose equivalent to the North Americancowboy” (vaquero, in Spanish).

Check out their mascot.

I’m not going to lie to you.  I am intrigued.  The fact is they really wanted to call themselves the El Guapos but couldn’t get permission from Orion Pictures.

>Average Adam’s Buckeyes 88, Illinois 81

13 Mar

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I have to confess that I wasn’t able to watch today’s game.  It looks like I missed another exciting contest as it took my adopted Buckeyes two overtimes to beat Illinois.  Go to ESPN.COM for the game summary.

To be honest, I don’t feel so bad.  My wife and I took our kids to see Doktor Kaboom instead.  The reality of the situation is that my real kids are more important than my adopted Buckeyes.  There are a lot of people out there that wouldn’t admit that, but I’m a straight shooter.

Adopting a team has some perks.  I didn’t worry at all about the score when I was out.  Stress free living baby.

Next up, Minnesota or Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament Final.

>Average Adam’s Buckeyes 69, Michigan Wolverines 68

12 Mar

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Does anyone  doubt my choice now?   My adopted Buckeyes opened up the Big Ten Tournament today with a last second shot win over Michigan.  That Evan Turner guy is pretty good.

Don’t worry, I am not going to break the game down.  Frankly, I don’t know enough about basketball to sound intelligent.  I will, however, give you an Average Adam breakdown that includes random things that I picked up while watching the game.  

Quiet Whistles:   What a refreshing change (see my post about a recent Ball State Basketball).  There was a little bit of contact throughout the game but it didn’t slow things down.  The players had to earn their points. 
 
Somewhat Awkward:  Close to the end of the first half, Dave O’Brien and Steve Lavin decided to have a strange conversation about Christmas presents as they were covering the game.  I’ll admit, I didn’t catch the whole thing because I tend to tune out poor to average commentators. I was trying to figure out what shaking presents under the tree had to do with the game.   This was a questionable analogy to begin with, but they decided to drag it out.  Lavin ended things when he decided to whine about getting used books from his dad who was an English teacher.  Really Steve? I’m not sure this was the best time to start talking about your daddy issues.

Favorite First Half Moment:  Michigan had possession of the ball and was having trouble crossing mid-court when Ohio State deflected the ball out of bounds.  There were 24 seconds remaining on the 35 second shot clock. Thad Motta pointed this out and it then took three minutes for the referees to figure out that more than 10 seconds had gone by.

I give the officials some credit here.  At least they got it right.  This is much better than trying to cover up their original mistake with an off base excuse.  I was waiting for them to explain to Coach Motta that there had been a possession change on the deflection.  

Steve Lavin Drinking Game:  I’m not sure if this has any relevancy past today’s game but I could easily come up with a new drinking game based on how many times Steve Lavin used the phrase  “house money”.  He also liked to come up with different ways to talk about getting the ball to a team’s best player.  In Lavinese, it is  “riding your best players”.

ESPN Is On To Something:  There was no sideline reporter  for today’s game, so therefore NO IRRELEVANT SIDELINE INTERVIEWS!!!!  Music to my ears. 

You Don’t See That Every Day: Michigan was actually called for carrying the ball.

Next Up, Illinois.