Bleary Eyed Hoops Marathon Aftethoughts

Of all the sights and sounds emanating from 24 hours of college hoops — of which I watched far too much — my favorite moment was the first sighting of St. John’s special assistant Gene Keady.

The former mentor at Western Kentucky and Purdue is one of the nicest guys I’ve met in my short career covering the sport.

But there was always the issue with him, which I’ll simply call: That Darned Combover.

What a delight it was to see him yesterday without That Darned Combover. No hair dye. No combover. The guy has finally accepted his baldness. He looked great, and, frankly, jolly.

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It didn’t take long for Digger Phelps to confirm why I loathe him so.

At one point, the ESPN gang was discussing how UK’s players were generally unaware of the Laettner shot and that game that remains in the craw of the Big Blue Nation. How Willie Cauley-Smith had never even heard of Laettner.

At which point, Digger bristled, “He didn’t even recognize me, didn’t know who I am.”

Which, of course, makes the freshman my favorite Wildcat of the Day.

Oh how I already miss Hubert Davis, who would laugh infectiously in Digger’s face every time Phelps said something stupid. Which was and remains often.

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It was about this time last year when I, among other Cardinal followers, were pissed that The Rick was going to send Jared Swopshire packing despite his continued eligibility.

Well, it turns out Swop wouldn’t have seen many minutes in the Yum!, given the Cards’ deep roster.

So, I checked yesterday’s Northwestern box score. In his first game in purple, Swopshire tallied 9 points and grabbed 8 boards for the victorious Wildcats. Some things haven’t changed. He was ofer beyond the arc.

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Is it my imagination, or are the zebras going to the monitor a lot more this season?

If so, it’s a flow stopping, disconcerting trend.

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The end of Wichita State’s W on the road at VCU was certainly scintillating. Darius Theus coolly drained a triple to tie the score at 51. Malcom Armstead then popped in a jumper, just as deftly, for the W.

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Luke Appling’s drive to the hoop for Sparty at crunch time was most excellent.

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Tommy Amaker’s Harvard Crimson might be shorthanded because of a cheating scandal, but they sure run a nice motion offense.

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Neither Kentucky or Duke looked that good last night.

The Cats need a point guard, and to improve their perimeter defense. That they were in the game until the end is a testimony to John Calipari’s underestimated coaching acumen.

– Seedy K

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