Thursday Hoops Report: Cards, Cats, Boeheim Blisters, Rams Rock & Mo’

While you are busy perusing every inch of Kate Upton’s bodypainted “swimsuit” in the the throne-room-only slobberfest known as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, allow me to fill you in with the latest on our other annual winter’s delight. Otherwise known as the World of College Hoops.

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ESPN’s Andy Katz turned into Jim Boeheim’s whipping boy last night, after the coach’s Orange spit out the bit at UConn.

Seems Katz chatted up academically reinstated James Southerland during ‘Cuse’s shootaround, learning from the ultimate source that the suspension snafu was over a couple of paragraphs — one would assume plagiarized — in a term paper. Katz dutifully reported it.

When Katz asked Boeheim a question in the post game presser, the coach called the reporter “stupid” and “disloyal” and “other things” and refused to answer his question.

Tough luck, Andy. If you had done the same thing to a Louisville player, you wouldn’t have had to worry about a public dressing down. Many times, Rick Pitino doesn’t even show up to face the press after a bad loss. Like last Saturday night in South Bend. 

Plus there may be stuff simmering unseen underneath the surface with the long time Syracuse coach. On the one hand, he’s receiving kudos over all those career Ws. On the other, there was that Bernie Fine thing. Plus, perhaps, “other things.” I recall a conversation with a member of the national media early in the season, somebody plugged in to the hoops scene, who advised the shit’s gonna hit the fan after the season, which could well be Boeheim’s last.

According to that source, news will leak about failed drug tests through the years, and a systematic sweeping of that problem under the carpet.

Stay tuned. Especially to Katz. If something along those lines does indeed break, I trust Andy shall be the first to report it.

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It was with some sadness that I read Russ Smith’s cybergalactic retort to his critics, who have been dissing his performance at crunch time against Notre Dame.

I’m one of the guilty parties.

While I’ve used some harsh words, I’ve tried to make it clear that he isn’t the main culprit.

It was his coach that gave him no in-game direction. Over and over and over and over and over again. It was his coach, who apparently hadn’t properly schooled his ball handlers and others on the floor about late game situations and how to execute. It was his coach who didn’t call any timeouts to set up possible game winning plays.

I trust you know the mentor of which I speak. Hint: He’s the one who didn’t show up to answer questions after the game.

As for Russ, keep on truckin’, dude. Try to learn from your mistakes. Raise up your head when you’re full throttle to the hoop, open your eyes, you may have company wearing the same uni with an easier shot than you.

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The Flavor of the Month is Jim Larranaga and his Miami Hurricanes.

Last evening, the U won a tight one in Tallahassee. It may be the most telling W of the year, given it was over a tough league rival on the road, while riding a heretofore unknown wave of national adulation.

Seems Luke Hancock’s former coach is a technocrat. Loves Ken Pomeroy’s statistical analysis of the college hoops scene. Feels it is the only true measure of performance.

Miami ranks 8th at kenpom.com.

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Which brings me back, as these discussions always do, to my Louisville Cardinals.

If you’ve clicked that link, you will note our homies, despite five losses, rank 3d.

To paraphrase grannie, “from the computer’s mouth to God’s ear.”

I hope it is a true assessment, but, as I’ve admonished before, computers don’t measure the will to win.

If you think the Cards would get the better right now of Michigan State or Indiana or Florida or Duke, raise your hand. I do not.

That negativitude stated, U of L does have a perfect slate to get well in the coming weeks. The Johnnies and Seton Hall at the Yum!. South Florida and hapless DePaul on the road. Then season-ending tests at Syracuse, and back home for the Bearcats and what history says will be an overtime season capper with those nettlesome Fighting Irish.

Last year, U of L finished the regular season, 2-4. The Cards have lost 4 of their last 7 this campaign. Let’s hope they kick it into gear . . . now.

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You gotta feel for Nerlens Noel.

This is an unassuming kid with the classic “upside.” He never woofed. Always played hard. Improved steadily from game to game.

You gotta wish him a speedy and full recovery. And I do.

It will be fascinating to watch what develops for the Cats?

UK is still 18th in the Pomeroy rankings, but will surely drop out of the human polls.

The Cats are now 50-1 in Vegas to win it all. Lunardi has them a #9 seed. Some pundits, like Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, have them nip and tuck to make the dance. Their RPI is in the mid 40s.

UK travels to Tennessee (in new Nike unis), Arkansas and Georgia. The Cats host Mizzou, Mississippi State and Florida before the SEC tourney.

Can this diminished group get their act together?

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I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to former Cardinal Jared Swopshire.

He also suffered a season-ending knee injury. In Swop’s case, it is also career-ending. Unless you count a Thursday night beer league at the Y.

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The World Wide Leader made an interesting production decision last night.

Jay Bilas joined Dan Shulman and the ever hyperbolic Dickie V in the booth for Carolina at Duke.

It calmed down The Voice . . . somewhat. But . . . not nearly enough.

The Blue Devils came back to win the rivalry tilt. Hate Coach K and his teams all you want, rarely do they not perform to their maximum capacity.

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Before I’m outta here, my dark horse report.

Larry Eustachy’s Colorado State Rams are 20-4 in the really tough Mountain West.

Last night, they bested San Diego State, 66-60. The Rams are ranked in a human poll for the first time in 59 years.

– Seedy K

5 Comments

  1. fred
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    During Duke-NC, for a moment I thought I had hit nirvana. The audio went dead. For a few delicious seconds, no Dickie V. It was like I was at the game where no one is telling what I did or did not see. But alas, production was on it and sound was restored. My guess is while lots of folks, me included, like Dick Vitale the human being, we are getting a bit tired of his Dickie V schtick. You may recall the other night that Schulman and Bilas did a game together and it was great. I like Bilas. He’s informed and insightful. It’s no coincidence he has a huge Twitter following. Perhaps Schulman, the best on the air, is tired of leading the Vitale Show by himself.

  2. fred
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Re Boeheim: I heard on radio that bad feelings between Boeheim and Katz preceded the Sutherland thing. Something about Katz asking Boeheim for an interview and telling him he wouldn’t bring up Bernie Fine…then the second question from Katz was about Bernie Fine.

  3. Birdie King
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    It’s past time for both Dukie V and Boeheim to go !

  4. Birdie King
    Posted February 23, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Seedy, is that the same Larry Eustachy that would have been our coach if The Don had not accepted? Wow!

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