Monday, August 31, 2020

John Thompson- dead at the age of 78

They say this happens in 3s... former Georgetown coach John Thompson passed away.
Link

Thompson paved the way for many other black coaches getting a deserved shot at running a program.

My memories are from the opposition side as I was a St John's Redmen fan growing up... the rivalry between those 2 schools in the 80s was amazing especially when they met in the Big East Tournament.

In the 80s and early 90s if you were a big man you wanted to go through Georgetown as the chances of making it in the NBA (and thriving) were exponentially better if John Thompson coached you (Ewing, Mutombo, Mourning).

John Thompson like Lute Olsen put their schools on the college basketball map. 

We lost another piece of basketball past... rest well coach.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Lute Olsen- dead at the age of 85

From ESPN

I actually consider him one of the greatest coaches of all-time. He literally built a program in the desert and unlike UNLV, Tucson is FAR from a destination vacation. Having been there (3 years ago) I can say Tucson is the semi successful place it is today thanks to Lute Olsen. Without him being there, Tucson (and the University of Arizona) is community school level.

Unlike Jim Calhoun (who I have an unhealthy dislike for), Lute did not have the fertile talent pool to build from. Their stories are similar in regards to building a national program though.

He lived a long time... and his contributions to the school, city, and state will be remembered for the next 100 years. RIP Coach.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

LSU's Will Wade... about to be canceled

Not really shocking if you have followed this the past 3 years, but it is odd that a talent rich area like the NOLA area would need "encouragement."

The investigation involving LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade's alleged bribery of recruits may conclude within an independent group designed to handle complex NCAA infractions matters.

No notice of allegations has yet been sent to LSU. The notice could spell the end of Wade's successful but controversial three-year tenure coaching the Tigers. 

An independent panel could make that ultimate decision if LSU's case enters the Independent Accountability Resolution Process — a system formed in response to a Condoleezza Rice-led commission on college basketball.

Link

Don't think he survives this 2nd look... and he probably shouldn't, but maybe COVID might put up enough of a distraction for him to stay under the radar.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Update: Maui Invitational- I suggest opting out

LINK to the latest news (same as previous post link).

Let me summarize:

- 14 day quarantine through end of September.
- Don't expect to be able to leave your hotel... even less think about inter-island travel
- Good luck renting transportation
- Most beaches/bars closed

That does not sound like a fun time does it? Let me make it worser...

Schools scheduled to play from what I understand have been told to fill the gaps if they can. Meaning... the likelihood of this tournament happening on the Island is slim and none and slim left town.

I fully expect conferences to release limited schedules... in conference games only. Which isn't actually bad if the SEC goes to a 26 game schedule where everyone plays each other 2x... but I will miss the non-conference match ups we get in November and December.

Hawaii seems okay with bankrupting their state so if they are good with that... it is what it is.
When they open back up in 2022 (sarcasm... maybe) they might have to pay the airlines stipends to get people back.

I went ahead and canceled my flight there... while not refundable at least I get the full value back in my account to use elsewhere.

I feel bad for the tourism industry there... 


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Maui Invitational update- from Hawaii tourism

Some of you might be looking to see us play in Maui. Right now... not sure if that happens.
Use this LINK for continued updates. I will summarize below as of 8/4/2020.

If you travel to Hawaii you are required to do a 14 day quarantine. Since this tourney is 3 days that will scare off most from going. Originally this was lifted in July with the requirement of a COVID negative test 72 hours before arriving, but due to rise in Rona numbers in the lower 48 it was extended to August 31st.

What does this mean? I'll bullet point some thoughts:
- Don't book a hotel or condo right now. Chances are you can't anyways
- Flights are dirt cheap there with no change fees. 
- Flight is not refundable, but the full cost will be credited to whatever airline you are flying with for a future trip.
- Assume flights you see now may not be the same as airlines are canceling flights like crazy. Which means you may be booked on a different flight than you purchased.

Any positives? 

From a financial standpoint Hawaii is bleeding money. Tourism is at a halt and they depend on tournaments like this to generate big revenue. They say the Maui Invitational generates over $25 million... and the Diamondhead Classic brings in similar #s. The tourney committees will do what they can to protect that... so they are holding out hope for full capacity.

My thoughts... we are around 3 months from this and right now I don't see how this happens. Hawaii is a little bit different than most states and while the economy needs the $, the state does not see it that way. I suspect in the next 6 weeks this tournament will be canceled and all 7 teams (plus host) will be rescheduled for 2022.

FWIW- if things somehow open up there I plan on being at the tournament. If not... guess I will have to vacation elsewhere.

Monday, August 03, 2020

John Petty Returns to Tide

 Coach Oats and staff were the recipients of some very good news today when Alabama SG John Petty Jr informed the team of his plans to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return for his senior season. The 6’6 “flamethrower” had been scouted as a potential late 2nd round pick but not necessarily a lock to be drafted. One has to think that this is the right decision if John is able to continue his trend of improving his game every season. It was just a season ago that Petty averaged over 14 PPG while also leading the team in rebounds as a guard. 

 The statistical improvements have been obvious but it’s also hard to ignore the intangibles that Petty brought to the team last season. One might argue that when Bama was at its best, it was Petty setting the example with vocal leadership and aggressive defense even when his shot wasn’t falling. Petty already has a year in Oats’ system and his experience will help improve the roster beyond the extra depth he provides. The Tide’s projected starting lineup will now raise a few eyebrows in the SEC as Petty’s NBA Level talent will likely join the likes of Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackleford in the backcourt, and fellow seniors Herbert Jones and Jordan Bruner in the frontcourt. If the Tide manages to find chemistry quickly...it could be a legitimate contender to win the SEC.