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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Name, "Good" Coach?

I have always liked great names. I like it when parents name their children with slightly different names than we constantly see, as long it does not cause that child some hardships growing up or later in life.

One of those great names that I like in coaching is Max Good. It just kind of jumps out at you. And as coach of the Loyola Marymount Lions of the West Coast Conference, Max Good occasionally does a little bit of jumping up and down on sidelines. To say the least he can be active and boisterous. He is fun to watch. He is also very quotable, one of his favorites, "prisons and cemeteries are full of people who made bad five-second decisions."

Is Max Good a good basketball coach? I think he is, despite the fact that he had a horrible year with Lions in 2010-11, when many people picked his team to finish second in the conference , then going 2-12 in league play, they did upset Portland in the conference tournament, then lost to Santa Clara in the quarterfinals.

Good became the Loyola coach in 2008-09, when head coach Bill Bayno resigned during the season for  personal reasons. Ironically, Good also replaced Bayno as the head coach at UNLV in 2000-01, when Bayno was dismissed. After that year and prior to coming to Loyola, Good had a great run at D-2 Bryant  University, including losing in the D-2 championship game in 2004-05. In Good's first full year with the Lions in 2009-10, his team won 18 games and he was named WCC coach of the year by the respected College Basketball Insider.

So, to the FUTURE. Loyola has a good recruiting class coming in for 2011-12 and has a players in senior Drew Viney, who is capable of going for 30-40 points on any given night. I personally think that Loyola will be the "shocker team" in the WCC next year, surprising everyone and possibly finishing as high as second or third.

If you get a chance, watch Loyola play next year. They will have an entertaining team, for sure they have an entertaining coach, who often reminds myself of an ice cream store owner who gets all excited to see a family of six pull up, only to see them go into the dry cleaners next door, then drive off and all he can do is slap his head in disappointment and wait for the next set of customers.

And by the way, if you can't see the Lions in person, they have an outstanding broadcaster in Jeff Lampe, give him a listen on the radio and you will not be disappointed. Nothing better than a great basketball broadcast on the radio.

No matter what happens at Loyola, I will always like the name Max Good, Loyola basketball just needs at some point to be better than GOOD.

emails to or comments always welcome

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Honoring Pink Whistles On Memorial Day

Tomorrow, our great country celebrates Memorial Day. While there will be lots of recreating, grilling and family time, its true meaning, as it should be is to honor the men and women of this country's military who have lost their lives protecting us and the freedoms we so all cherish. Quite frankly, everyday we should honor these great heros along with our ACTIVE men and women in the military. YOU ARE REAL HEROS, EACH AND EVERY ONE.

In this column today besides the above, which is more important than any sport or sporting event ever will be, I would like to honor a group of 143 men and women, who you will more than likely never recognize on the street, you might never hear any of their names and they will not be getting any public ceremonies.

Those 143 people are members of the Pacific Northwest Football Association, which covers the greater Seattle metro area and on most Friday nights in the fall are out officiating high school football games for a paltry $50.00 per game.

In case you have not heard this story, last fall, the men and women of this association decided to give back to their community and as well help the ongoing fight against breast cancer. They used pink whistles as recognition of the fight against breast cancer for one night's worth of games and also donated their game checks for the night,  to this worthy cause. To their credit,  they raised thousands of dollars.

Great, well done, awesome and there is nothing greater than giving back and donating money to a worthy cause..

But, as much as there needs to be a happy ending here, there is NOT, as of this writing. Apparently, the PNFA did not get clearance ahead of time or approval  on  this move with the Washington Officials Association, which is the umbrella group for 150 officials' associations,  covering all high school sports in the state of Washington.

The WOA's executive director is Todd Stordahl and it is composed of an 11 member board. Mr. Stordahl apparently felt the need for a power play and got a little miffed he was not consulted prior to the PNFA's decision to use pink whistles or he was left out of the final process.  (For the record, no dress code rule was violated by the group using pink or did their actions in the least affect the outcome or  disrupted the playing of any football game.)

After an initial dust up things calmed down and it appeared the WOA realized that common sense would prevail and the right thing would be done, nothing would come of this and the officials would not be penalized as was being talked about,  for trying to help a worthy cause,  as was feared after this became an issue. FAIR ENOUGH.

While everyone except Mr. Stordahl thought this was over and despite a little public relations cloud still hanging on, it would be done. WRONG. Last week, he decided, despite what has been an international outcry, he would punish the PNFA, by limiting their play-off assignments for the next two years and putting the entire association on probation. (A word of warning from myself to all the 143 members of the PNFA, please do not donate any time at your local food bank, do not help find an Alzheimer's patient who is missing and do not contribute to any charitable causes, unless you consult with Mr. Stordahl first, or you could be fired.)

It is fair to give Mr. Stordahl's reasons for punishing the PNFA. He has said that only one person could make the decision to use the pink whistles (that being him) and he thought it sent a bad example for kids to break the rules. Mr. Stordahl, everyone is the world and probably on the moon and planets beyond are responding the same way. What rules were broken and yes it does set a bad example for kids, but your the bad example, telling kids it is not ok to give back and even on occasion challenge authority.

Ok, let's solve this. Mr. Stordahl, get in closed room with the PNFA, first of all tell them your sorry for all of this, but in the future you would like to be consulted and PNFA, do the same and tell the WOA in the future, we will tell you in advance of our charitable work.

Is it going to happen? My guess at this point is no, so here is even a better solution. Mr. Stordahl, you need to resign and your entire board needs to resign. You are a total embarrassment to all high school athletics, you and your board have as well embarrassed the great state of Washington and more importantly you have shocked every single person that has been touched by cancer or have suffered from this horrible thing we call cancer,  in mine and lots of others' opinion.

For the record, this situation has touched me personally in slightly different way than most. First of all I officiated high school sports, one sport for 25 years (in a different state than Washington). Many of the men and women I officiated with are now my lifelong friends and I know first hand how much officials in any sport care about the job they do and how much they care about people, this should never be debatable. Secondly and equally important, I work part-time in the cancer unit of a major hospital. I see first hand, how positive the patients remain on a daily basis while fighting cancer and what great treatment they receive from a dedicated group of people whose compassion for these patients shines every minute. It is a true HONOR to work with both these patients and super employees.

We all know the true meaning of Memorial Day and to me,  the message is never FORGET. I also am not going to EVER forget the men and women of the Pacific Northwest Football Association, for doing the right thing and standing up for what is the right thing in the fight against breast cancer. PNFA, you have done yourself proud.

emails to

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Soccer School, Which Has Some Basketball History

The Portland Pilots of the West Coast Conference play basketball in a really nice arena, the Chiles Center. Seats about 4,500 and not a bad seat in the house. For years they had some pretty bad basketball, which started to decline rapidly following the resignation of their fine coach Jack Avina  in the 80s, but now are starting a comeback, under outstanding coach Eric Reveno.

Reveno has done such a great job, that when there were many stories coming out following the last basketball season that Mike Brey might leave Notre Dame, you can bet the Irish would have taken a long look at Reveno to replace Brey. (Notre Dame and Portland have a long history in many areas).

The Chiles Center is also part of a great trivia question. What famous person opened Chiles Center in 1984, after the Pilots moved out of their longtime home court, Howard Hall? None other than President Ronald Reagan. Try that one on your friends.

As we approach the start of the NBA finals a famous Pilot graduate will be heavily involved. Erik Spoelstra coach of the Miami Heat,  was an outstanding basketball player for the Pilots and in 1989 was named WCC freshman of the year.

When I got to thinking about the Spoelstra being connected to the Portland Pilots it also got me thinking about some other people who have played basketball for the Pilots, who might be forgotten, but had some pretty good careers in sports after leaving the tiny North Portland, Oregon school.

Ray Scott--- No not the famous Packers broacaster, Ray Scott the basketbal player who had a  good 11 year pro career in the NBA,  mainly with the Detroit Pistons. Scott was so loved in Detroit, after his playing career he was hired as their head coach and in 1974 was named NBA coach of the year. Popularity in coaching does not last long sometimes, he was let go in 1976 and replaced by none other than Dick Vitale.

Cincy Powell---An outstanding player for the Pilots who had a 10 year career in the American Basketball Association with the Dallas Chaparrals. Over his professional career Powell averaged double figures in both points and rebounds, in what is now commonly referred to as the double-double. You have to be good to accomplish a double-double standard.

Darwin Cook--Played in the NBA from 1980-89, most of the years with New Jersey Nets and for years was a starter with them. Known for his sharp passing and and tenacious defense, Cook was one of the best college basketball players ever on the west coast.

Gary Vitti--Gary who? Had to put him in the mix, no he did not play for the Pilots, he was instead their trainer in the early 80s. In 1986, he left the Pilots to become the head trainer of a team you might have heard of, the Los Angeles Lakers. Vitti just completed his 26th year with the Lakers.

Pat Casey--- While Casey did play on the hardwoods for the Pilots, after graduating he went the coaching route, but in his first love,  baseball. Obviously he made a good choice, in 2006 and 2007, Casey's Oregon State Beavers won back to back NCAA baseball championships, one of the greatest sports fetes ever in the state of Oregon and in the history of NCAA baseball.

William Garner----After a great basketball career for the Pilots, Garner was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1968, did not make the team, but did play two years for the Anaheim Amigos of the ABA. Upon leaving the Amigos, Garner found success with the Harlem Globetrotters, where he was dubbed, Bill "The Orbit" Garner for his tremendous leaping ability. Very few players can claim to be a star with the Globetrotters.

The Portland Pilots are a small school, which has gained its athletic fame from its women's soccer teams, but as you can see has had some pretty good success with its basketball program as well.

I hope once again you enjoyed a little bit of west coast college basketball history.

emails to or comments below the posts always welcome.

When Round Robin, Becomes Square Robin

I sometimes do need to be enlightened.

In case you haven't heard (before lots of emails come in, I know most of you have), on July 1st the Pac-10 will become the Pac-12. Kind of exciting, expansion is always good, the whole league needed a shot in the arm. Congrats to the Pac-10 office for making it happen

But what is not good is the fact in the new Pac-12, when league play starts for men's basketball in the 2011-12 season, the schedule will not be round robin. Puzzling to say the least.

I don't know about you, this to myself makes no sense at all. Rather than going to a 22 league game schedule the Pac-12  league schedule will remain as it has for years at 18 games. I was certain that we kept hearing out of the Pac-12 office, "Change is a brewing", but apparently that change stopped when it comes to basketball.

Now, what would make perfect sense is to say if the Pac-10 would have gone to 16 teams or even maybe 14, then I would be the first to say a round robin schedule would make no sense, but please, 12 teams and your not going to going to play a round robin schedule ??????

Here are four good reasons why I think a round robin schedule makes complete sense.

1. Each year, home fans will be DEPRIVED of seeing two teams during league play. Season ticket holders, you got ROBBED.

2. When it comes to the NCAA tournament time, the Pac-12 teams will get hurt in the RIP and overall league strength of schedule, by not playing a round robin schedule.

3. As fans what if a league game early on goes three overtimes and it is the only time the two teams are going to play because of this unbalanced schedule. We all would want to see the rematch, that is what makes sports fun, ANTICIPATION.

4. I don't know about you, but I want to see Arizona-UCLA play twice each year and see bitter rivals like Washington-Oregon do the same. Sadly if nothing changes, it will not happen in two year cycles when it is their turn to play only once.

Now follow along here,  this is how the schedule is going to work in the Pac-12 for basketball all the way through 2020-21, although I have to think with so many bright minds in the Pac-12 office this non round robin scheduling is going to be evaluated and changed, plus TV might just step in and say it needs to be changed. Below is a 2011-12 example and I used just two teams, so not to bore you or confuse even myself.

In the 2011-12 league season, Washington and Washington State do not play Utah and Colorado at home and do not travel to the Bay Area to play Stanford and California. In the 2012-13 season this flip flops,  with the Huskies and Cougs, playing  Utah and Colorado at home, but not on the road and traveling to the Bay Area for Cal and Stanford, but not getting them at home.

Every two years the teams you play only ONCE on your league schedule will rotate, with the exception of your rivalry game. Not sure if Colorado and Utah, are much of a rivalry, but there going to have to pretend for now.

Pac-12 you messed this up for sure, but the good news is that there is still time to evaluate and change. Hopefully you will do just that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Did Seattle University In One Game Change Basketball History?

As I have written before, (WCC, What You Waiting For?), it is a complete joke that the Seattle University Redhawks are not part of the WCC yet and have not been invited to join the league.

What is not a JOKE, is the history of Seattle University basketball. The history has some fascinating stories to say the least.

Over its history, the Redhwawks, who in their heyday were known as the Chieftains, have produced 27 players who were drafted into the NBA, nine of those players had careers in the NBA which lasted at least six years. From 1953 to 1967, Seattle played in the NCAA tournament 11 times during that time span and in 1958 played in the championship game, losing to the Kentucky Wildcats.

The great Elgin Baylor was the first player drafted into the NBA from Seattle U. in 1959 and the last player drafted was Clint Richardson in 1980. That will change as the Redhawks establish themselves in D-1 basketball after a long absence of playing on the D-1 level. In addition, Johnny O'Brien, in the early 50s was the first NCAA player to score 1,000 points in a career.

There are lots of the 335 D-1 teams that would love to have the above history of Seattle U., but there is more, much MORE.

In 1952, Seattle U. played the world famous Harlem Globetrotters in Hec Edmondson Pavilion, the homecourt of the Washington Huskies. The game was sold out months in advance. The Globetrotters were so talented in those days that two of their players, Marques Haynes and Goose Tatum, were the highest paid players in basketball, making $25,000 per year. (Are you listening and reading, NFL and NBA).

The game was such a big deal in Seattle that Louie Armstrong, the greatest trumpet player EVER was brought in to perform at halftime. Courtside seats were being scalped outside for $12.50 and three people were arrested for scalping tickets.

In those days, Abe Saperstein, the longtime owner of the Globetrotters constantly bragged that he had the best basketball team in the world and while always entertaining, the Trotters played to win and played a very competitive schedule.

The game was close throughout the entire contest, with Seattle U, pulling out the victory in the final minutes, 84-81. The victory was actually cinched in the final minute when the Trotters called a time-out while not having one left, giving the Chieftains a technical foul shot and  ball back in the final seconds. (Michigan Fab Five, your not the only ones who ever made this mistake).

Not only was the Seattle U. victory a monumental upset, but Johnny O'Brien scored 43 points in the game, the most points ever scored on a Globetrotter team up to that point.

But wait, it gets more interesting.

After the game, owner Saperstein was so incensed by the defeat, he canceled the rest of the Trotters benefit games for the rest of the year (this game was played for the benefit of the United State Olympic Committee). Within a week, Saperstein was on the phone to his buddy, Louis Klotz, who was always wanting to be part of the Globetrotters management, but Saperstein would never budge.

Although reports of their conversation differ slightly, the bottom line was that Saperstein and Klotz worked a deal, for Klotz to form a team that the Globetrotters would defeat for many years to come, although to this day, Klotz says the games were never fixed and his team played to win (I guess they were not cause Congress has never held a hearing on the subject) and play on a regular basis and although the Globetrotters would remain competitive, they also would become much, much more entertaining.

Klotz was huge fan of President Dwight Eisenhower, thus he named his team the WASHINGTON GENERALS. Little did he know at that time that his team would be forever part of world basketball history and little did Seattle U. know through one big victory, they might have changed the entire history of the Harlem Globetrotters.

For the record, the original  Washington Generals stopped playing the Globetrotters in 1995, their career record against them from 1953-1995 was 6 wins and 13,033 defeats. By my count, in today's standards the Generals with as horrendous a record as there ever has been in sports would have gone through close to 100 coaches who would have lost their jobs. In actuality, only three men coached the Generals in their 42 year history.

Yes, west coast college basketball does have lots of history and interesting history.

emails always welcome,, or comments as well

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Summit That Will Never Happen, Darn

Since I have zero power, it makes it even more fun to think of things that might help west coast college basketball and to express them to you great readers of this blog.

So here goes. I am calling out all College Presidents, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Assistant Coaches and even inviting Referees, to see how west coast basketball can become better and how it should be MARKETED better.

Quite frankly and this has been an ongoing trend for years, west coast college basketball is getting left in the dust, sometimes fairly and more often unfairly.

In this day and age, this SUMMIT, could be for one day and with technology no one would have to travel, it could all be done by video conferencing and I will even volunteer to moderate. (Boy would lots of people be in trouble.)

There is nothing like brainstorming among great minds, can you imagine the ideas and suggestions that could be generated by such an event.

Is it going to happen? There is probably a better chance of President Obama becoming a Republican, than this ever happening, but at least I started the ball rolling and wish to give a few suggestions and comments.

1. For the most part everyone plays on Thursday and Saturday. Mix it up a little. The last time I checked,  there are seven days in a week. The Big East knows what there doing in showcasing their product and they play on every day of the week.

2. If you spread out your games, you are going to get better officiating. Right now there is a pecking order, which starts with the Pac-12 and works it way down. It also gives the leagues a better chance to break in new officials and pair them with veterans.

3. Right now the Pac-12, WCC and Big Sky play almost all their league games on Thursday and Saturday. This is crazy, all produce a good brand of basketball and are worth viewing. Swallow the pride and egos and, mix up the days you play on and for sure,  your exposure, attendance and TV viewing would increase dramatically.

In most cases, college basketball is one of the worst marketed sports in all of SPORTS. I am not going to hold my breath on any of the comments and suggestions, but at least I am trying.

Us college basketball fans deserve more choices. Please, schools, give them to us.

emails to

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reality Is Greater Than Education

Yesterday the NCAA came out with the APR. In case you missed it APR stands for Academic Progress Rating. You can go to to read more about.

Cal State Northridge was the only west coast basketball team to go on probation because of a low APR.

My take on all of this APR stuff is, SO WHAT. Education is overrated. Yes I really did write the last sentence.

Education today in my mind simply educates you, it for sure does not TRAIN you and train you for life experiences.

That is why I don't get excited when people get upset that college players play one year and then leave for the NBA draft. Quite frankly most of those players should have never been in school in the first place and I wish we still had the old rule that people could come out of high school and go directly into the NBA.

My view on life and it always has been is that there is too much pressure on people to get a college education. College is not for everyone and we seem to be as a nation that is obsessed  if you do not go to college, you are a disaster and your worthless as a person and you will never get a JOB. (There are lots of sixth graders today who know more about computer science than most college graduates.)

If we are serious about education, training people, then here is what we need to be teaching and educating people in today's college and universities. My five CORE subjects.

1. Everyone should be required to take a second language, with emphasis on Spanish.

2. It should be mandatory to take several writing courses and several public speaking courses. (No texting and no tweeting)

3. Your personal health. How to eat properly, how to exercise, how to sleep, down to even how to properly brush your teeth. Your health is your wealth.

4. Math and I am not talking about algebra and trigonometry. Basic math, needs to be revisited in the college class rooms.

5. History. History dictates the future and is so important.

If we stuck to my five basics above we could see a lot more people in college who would succeed and also could get through school in three years or less, with a degree. Who says it needs to take four years?

Now don't think for one minute that I don't realize we need Doctors, Lawyers (ouch we have too many),  Accountants, Engineers, Teachers  and I could go on and on, but we also need to realize, the real education comes from life experiences, not a college degree. Grad school is and always will be for the people above.

And why is a basketball blog talking about this? I guess I just get sick of always hearing about the term student/athletes and there being so much disparity between these two. Trust me, on the Division 1 level, most students who play sports are athletes first, some just happen to be GREAT students.

I also worry about good people who are just not made to be college students. Are we just going to discard these people, tell them they are worthless and not create jobs for them. WAKE UP AMERICA.

My greatest joy in life outside of being blessed with a great family, is the friends I have in life. Some have college degrees and some do not, but  I have learned so much from all of them and that is why life lessons are the greatest education one can ever get.

And finally to the many teachers on all levels and coaches as well, who read this blog on a daily basis and by your emails, there are lots of you, my hat goes off to all of you. You get  criticized often, but you all are having a major impact on society by teaching people life lessons they will never forget and will help make the world a better place. Sure your subjects and your coaching are important, but they never will be even close to the life lessons you do a great job of conveying to young people each and everyday.

It will be back to college basketball tomorrow, thanks for letting me do a one day venting.

emails to

NCAA, Fix It Please/Part 4

The average length of an NCAA college basketball game has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. As a matter of fact, almost one minute per year, so games are lasting close to 10 minutes longer than they were in 2001.

First reaction? The problem comes from TV. Wrong, the problems comes from the NCAA not realizing they have a problem with their rules of the game and not recognizing unless this gets fixed they will lose fans both as viewers and live attendance.

Golf waited too long to fix its problem with slow play. Now for every golfer who enters the game, close to 1.8 are leaving the game. Golfers who leave say there are two major reasons, 1. The time it takes to complete a round of golf (Slow Play) 2. There is  virtually no place for people to learn the game.

How does this equate to college basketball? While golf may have waited too long to fix their issues, college basketball has the power and time to fix their problems through the NCAA rules committee, but they at times do not seem to get it, instead focusing on rule changes that have no bearing on speeding up the time it takes to play a game.

I have previously written about how time outs could change for the better and speed up the game. Here are three more areas which should happen. While these changes might seem boring, the whole intent is to continue to make the game exciting for fans both in person and watching on TV, laptops, etc............

1. Do not allow coaches or players from the offensive team that scored either a field goal or free throw to call time out. All this does is prolong the game.

2. When teams do not break out of the huddle after a time out, do not let officials put the ball down on the floor, but instead just give the team a delay of game warning and the next time they do not come out it is an automatic technical foul.

3. When a player fouls out, do not allow the teams to go over and huddle with their coach. Time consuming and not necessary.

As mentioned, these might be boring issues, but when the big picture is looked at, if you put all the changes I have suggested both today and in my three other posts on NCAA, Fix It Please, it can help make the game of basketball better to watch and more exciting for all concerned.

The NCAA and its rules committee have never been known as being proactive, always reactive. As a consequence, we might be in danger of losing a generation of fans, if games are not speeded up.

Does pay me now or pay me later come to mind.

emails to

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


For my money, Danny Miles is the best college basketball coach that most people have never heard of and might never will.

Miles will begin his 41st year as head men's basketball coach of the OIT Hustlin Owls this coming season. Oregon Institute of Technology is located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. With all respect, K-Falls is not the mecca of Oregon, most people that live in the state of Oregon have probably never even been there and in a state known for its tourism, it for sure is not a destination spot.

With all that said it makes it even more remarkable the accomplishments of Danny Miles as a basketball coach. If he lived on the East Coast, he would be revered, on the West Coast he is barely a blip on the radar screen, that is why it is such a pleasure to write and tell you about him.

His overall record at OIT is 937-378. Ok, pretty good, but even better, unlike some programs, Miles tenure at OIT keeps getting better the longer he stays. In the last 15 years, his teams have gone to the NAIA Division 2 tournament 13 times. His 2010-11 team went 30-5, including being 19-0 at home and extended the schools home winning streak to 57 straight.

In 2004 and again in 2008, Miles lead his team to the NAIA Div-2 national championship. His team's have accomplished 30 win seasons (10 times) and 25 win seasons (21 times).

But to myself Danny Miles greatest accomplishment is that he stands second all-time on most career wins for all 4-year college and universities who play men's basketball on all levels. Only Harry Statham of McKendree University is ahead of Miles, with 1041 career wins. Putting it in perspective, Miles, in career wins, ranks ahead of Mike Krzyzewski, Bobby Knight, Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Adolph Rupp, all Hall of Fame coaches.

Oh yes, in case your wondering, OIT does not play in a push over league. The NAIA Cascade Conference is one of the best NAIA basketball leagues in the country and with teams in Oregon, Washington and Idaho and is not always conducive to the best travel conditions during the winter for teams going on the road.

Danny Miles will never get the proper credit he deserves as a basketball coach, such is life, but having the court named after him at OIT and the satisfaction of being the head coach at the same school for 40 years, might be all he needs.

Danny Miles, you are a treasure to the game of college basketball and I salute you.

In Case You Have Not Heard

Here are few little nuggets, which you may or may not have heard about west coast college basketball.

Erik Spoelstra----Rising star in the NBA coaching ranks for the Miami Heat, right now is one of the top five coaches in the NBA. But did you know Erik was the freshman of the year in the West Coast Conference when he played for U of Portland in 1989. Sadly Erik was also guarding the great basketball star at Loyola Marymount, Hank Gathers, when he fell to the floor and died, on March 4th, 1990 of heart failure.

Bob Thomason----Did you know that Thomason is the dean of west coast college D-1 coaches. This year will be his 24th season as the head coach at Pacific University. Six times he has been named Big West coach of the year, has won 401 games and at one time was close to taking the Oregon State job in the 90s. Beavers, you should have closed the deal.

UCLA-----While Pauley Pavilion is being remodeled next year, the Bruins will play their 2011-12 basketball schedule in two different locations. They will play 14 games in the Sports Arena and 4 games in the Honda Center, which up to a month ago was to be the new home for the Sacramento Kings, which is now, not going to happen. Look for the Bruins to have a below average year, it is really hard in basketball to play all your games on the road and very few teams have had success, when being out of their home arena for a year or longer.

Seattle U.-----If you took the average attendance for all the Redhawks men's home games last year, it would have ranked second to only Gonzaga, when you rank all Big Sky and West Coast Conference teams in home attendance.  WCC get off your high horse and invite the Redhawks to join the WCC.

Big Sky---In 2012 for basketball, the league will expand to 11 teams, with the addition of Southern Utah and North Dakota. Even more reason to hold the Big Sky post season basketball tournaments for men and women in Portland, Oregon. Get out of the dark ages Big Sky and get away from the season's regular season champion hosting the tournament. Creative thinking has never a strong point of the Big Sky home office.

WCC----You may or may not know that Brigham Young will join the league for basketball starting this coming season. STICKER SHOCK, when the Cougars visit Pepperdine and play before 700 people after averaging 18,000 plus this last year for their home games. The WCC is also considering playing league games on Wednesday night, because of having 9 members now as compared to the easy to schedule 8. BYU will not be a member of the WCC for long, they will get real tired of playing before small crowds and in 2017 will join the Pac-12.

Pac 12---To almost everyone's disappointment, the Pac-12, will not play a round robin schedule in basketball. They have decided stupidly, for some reason, to stick to an 18 game conference schedule thus  depriving home fans of not seeing every team in the league on a rotating basis. In a conference that is getting rave reviews for its upgraded marketing, this grades out as an F for Marketing101.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In my first tidbit,  I mentioned Erik Spoelstra. I have also written extensively about low attendance for west coast basketball teams. Marketing is key, so with that said,  I strongly suggest all athletic departments on the west coast buy the book "Marketing Outrageously", written by Erik's dad, Jon. I will guarantee it will help increase your attendance.

emails to or comments always welcome

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Great Question From A Craw's Corner Reader

A friend of mine who was highly successful in the sports journalism business and who is now retired has always told me sports fans are morons.

I have chuckle each time he brings up the subject, since he always made a pretty good living entertaining those so called "morons". In essence, note: always a good policy, do not bite the hand that feeds you.

My take is that while there are plenty of morons that follow sports, the average sports fans today is so well educated about sports, has so many options available to get information and are highly intelligent. Not for one minute do I think that I know more about sports than the readers of this blog. I know consultants in sports business tell all journalists never to say to your fans, that they might know more than yourself, to that I say, &*$#@%*&%$#@ or you fill in the blank________________________. (One MAJOR EXCEPTION, sports fans for the most part know ZERO about referees and officials, the rules of the game or what is a good or bad call).

With all that said, I was asked a great question this weekend from an avid reader of this blog. "What has been the biggest response you have gotten from your readers about something they knew absolutely nothing about until you wrote it"? GREAT QUESTION.

While I get plenty of comments, suggestions, criticism and praise, the above question is easy to answer.

The post I wrote back on April 30th, "Search Firms For College Basketball Coaches, Why?",  about university athletic departments, specifically athletic directors, using search firms to help them hire basketball coaches, was something that I heard over and over again from readers, "I had no idea that was happening and that is just crazy".

I will not bore you with the whole story again, you can go back to April 30th and read it, but in a nutshell in these days of deficits and tight budgets in athletics, some universities are going out and spending between $75,000 to $125,000.00 hiring search firms, to help them find a new head coach.

Key points were:

1. With no money, this is a total waste of money.

2. ADs should be able to do this themselves, that is a major part of their job description, hiring coaches.

3. Search Firms do not have a good track record.

4. There is a scammy, smelly and seedy part to all of this.

Obviously the question I was asked was not only a great one, but it also gets mine and many others' juices going. Your time is valuable, but I hope you will go back and read "Search Firms For College Basketball Coaches, Why?, in my opinion it will be more than worth your time.

emails always welcome to

Basketball Through The Ears, Not The Eyes

We all have stories about going to bed and listening to sports events on the radio. Even with all the great technology of today, for myself there is nothing like listening to sports on the radio. It has been a major staple of my life and will be always. For myself it was Chick Hearn, Bill King, Bob Blackburn and Hot Rod Hundley, all who worked for stations I could pick up at night in my hometown. (For people who never had the honor of listening to the above people, just google them).

I have always been fascinated about how someone can paint a picture of an athletic contest, without the people there doing it for, being able to see one single part of the action, only hearing it.

What does go into the broadcast of a basketball game?  For the answers I went right to a great source. I have known Tom Hewitt for 30 years. Tom is the longtime voice of Portland State Vikings' basketball. He is not only a great broadcaster, but he is even a better person.

Unlike some radio play by play people, who have an engineer, stat person and an analyst, Tom works alone on his broadcasts and keeps some running stats himself, but does have access to a computer which updates stats continually.

For those who can listen to Tom on a regular basis, we get a real treat, but many of us never do get to realize what is takes to make the broadcast, fun, entertaining and meaningful. When your in sports broadcasting, you just don't walk up to the microphone and start talking.

For each game, Hewitt usually puts in 3-4 hours of homework on both teams playing, that time does not include watching video as well. This can be extremely challenging if the games come back to back, cutting down your time for prep work. Portland State plays in the Big Sky, which plays their league game for the most part on Thursdays-Saturdays, which Hewitt finds as an ideal situation to do his homework. He also really likes in season tournaments, as it gives him a chance to see a team he might be broadcasting play live.

Once the game begins Hewitt has some standards about how to handle a couple of delicate issues for broadcasters these days. He tries to avoid criticizing players as much as possible, but sometimes to paint that all important picture, it becomes a necessity. Hewitt is also not afraid to criticize officials, always a hot button issues. When there is an obvious call that is missed on the floor in his opinion, he will tell his listening audience, but is always careful to explain why the call was missed and what should have been called.

After the game is over Hewitt loves the post game time, when he feels he can really get into the head of players and coaches, explain the game that just took place and give his listeners some insights that help make the broadcast even better. There are lots of listeners who like the pre and post games shows equally to the game and Tom realizes fully, the responsibility there that he has to his listeners.

In conclusion, this post is not only a salute to Tom Hewitt, but a salute to all those outstanding play by play broadcasters of basketball, especially the ones who put on a great production, but do not have the amenities of the big time broadcasts. Tom Hewitt is one of those examples, he does so much on his own, but he always makes the games sound like he has a staff of 20. My hats off to all of you.

As an added note, I always think about sports broadcasts on the radio and positive impact they have for so many people who are home bound, perhaps vision impaired, not able to afford going to the games or having to work and not being able to attend. BROADCASTERS, lots of people we never think about are counting on you each and every night, so please keep up the GREAT WORK.

emails always welcome, or comments as well in the comment section below the posts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NCAA, Fix It Please/Part 3

In my ongoing efforts to make the game of college basketball even more exciting and not stagnate, from time to time in Craw's Corner I will be suggesting and commenting on rule changes.

Of course the NCAA rarely listens to people who know the game as well as people like myself, but I am not giving up. And as I said before the most popular sport in America is the NFL and they constantly change their rules.

1. The ARC---This is going into college basketball next year. A circle in front of each basket which will supposedly help referees in some people's mind make better calls on block/charge and is currently in the NBA. BAD IDEA. Referees do not referee the FEET, this is going to make it harder for referees and this call in the NBA is often missed, as many replays show. I am a strong advocate of not giving referees more to watch than they already have too. Coaches who think this is great are soon going to find out this is not so great of an idea for college basketball and referees will hate it. Does anyone ever consult with referees on these changes? Apparently not.

2. Dunking---- Bring back the dunk in pre-game warm-ups. It was stupid to take it out, the players love it and so do the fans. Now, if a player hangs on the rim, just like in a game, give him a technical. If you allow players to dunk in the game, let them dunk in warm-ups as well. Some say it is a safety issue, safety also is a good cop out when you have a stupid rule. This is such an easy fix to make the game better, it is a shame for it not to be changed immediately. A no-brainer change.

3. Jump Balls---- Bring back the jump ball and eliminate the alternate possession. The jump ball is exciting, it brings lots of anticipation and is a major part of the history of the game. The old adage that referees can not make good tosses of the ball is just wrong. Referees today are doing a great job with the opening toss. Plus, this will eliminate the problem of teams making a great defensive play and creating a jump ball, only to lose out by not having the alternate possession arrow be in their favor.

I know the rules, I study them and I also know when it it time for a  change or correction.

If you disagree, post a comment or keep those great emails coming to Thank you.

When Craw's Corner Gets Shocked, IT IS SHOCKING

Even a hardened college basketball fan like myself, occasionally gets shocked and this week I did for sure.

In looking over college basketball attendance figures this week for 2010-11, as I love looking at attendance figures in all sports, the west coast attendance for college basketball, was, well there is no other way to put it, BAD.

To give some perspective and fairness. The west coast basketball teams have fewer people to draw from than the east coast and in most cases, their arenas are much smaller. Even more, outside of UCLA and Arizona, there is not a lot of tradition, with that said it all comes back that the figures are BAD.

There are 335 teams that play D-1 basketball. Once again, Kentucky lead the nation in average home attendance with 23,600 per game. The Big 10 had the best league average for all teams of 12,826 fans per game. If you take the overall average of every home game played by the 335 teams,  that figure is 5,025 per game.

Here is a breakdown of the league average  attendance for 2010-11,  for the six leagues that have teams that play on the west coast.

1. Mt West-----------------9,122

2. Pac-10-------------------7,808

3. WAC--------------------4.856

4. WCC--------------------2,888

5. Big Sky-----------------2,288

6. Big West---------------1,924

Basketball fans, those above numbers are NOT good. To make matters a little worse, you can even say the  figures are a little skewed by the fact that BYU and San Diego St, ranked 1 and 2 for all 335 teams in overall increases from the previous year, BYU's home attendance increased by 4,685 fans per game and SD State's increase rose by 4,441. (Thank you Jimmer and thank you SD St., for winning 34 games.)

Of all the teams out west, BYU's average home attendance ranked 6th nationally at 18,714 and the only other team to crack the top 20 was Arizona, with an average of 13,680 per home games.

You have my commitment never to bore you with stats, but in this case the numbers DO tell the whole story.

What stands out:

1. There is no way the Pac-10 should let any other west coast leagues beat them in basketball attendance, period, end of story.

2. Four of the west coast leagues as you can see were below the national average.

3. The WCC attendance is pathetic, with four outstanding teams this last year in Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Portland, Santa Clara and a fifth team that was predicted to be good and wasn't in Loyola, yes pathetic.

4. If you take out Arizona from the Pac-10 (I realize you can always play with numbers on this) then the Pac-10 attendance is as pathetic as the WCC, comparison wise.

Larry Scott, Pac-10 commissioner, you can jump up and down all you want about the new TV deal, (rightfully so,  possibly. I will have something to say about this subject in the future), but unless you get your Pac-12 numbers up for basketball attendance, your teams' arenas are going to look awfully foolish in HD TV and 3D and your next deal might not be so sweet.

There is one small silver lining for the west coast basketball teams. The average attendance for all 335 D-1 women's teams in 2010-11 was, 1,624 fans per game, so every west coast  league beat that, what a badge of honor and what a way to end this story on a high note. (See, I don't throw out low blows, I throw out accuracy.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is It The Tip Of The Iceberg Or Just Good Business??

While lots of people talk about the many and varied uniform changes of the Oregon Ducks football team, the Oregon basketball team has a few different uniforms as well. (Quite frankly, I could care less, one way or another, but the kids love it.)

Of course these uniforms all come about because of some creative marketing by Nike and its founder Phil Knight. I know you have never heard this before, Knight is an Oregon graduate and he LOVES the Ducks.

As a matter of fact, because of Nike and  Knight, the Ducks have become the most disliked athletic program in the Pac-12, their new arena floor has been reviewed by everyone in the world from artists, to architects to basketball experts. (Oregon you have a great new arena, please just paint the center line, as I have written about before).

But, is that dislike of the Ducks going beyond just fans and influencing business decisions by other members of the Pac-12.

In a move last week that flew under the radar, the USC Trojans signed a 10 year agreement with SSM (Silver Star Merchandising, a company owned by Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys fame) to become the official maker and distributor of all USC apparel and brands. Nike will continue for now to be the outfitter of USC uniforms.

USC athletic director Pat Haden is as sharp as any person in the game today. It is well known in USC circles that he was receiving a tremendous amount of pressure from USC boosters and fans to move away from Nike, who many perceive has made the Ducks into a rising athletic powerhouse and why should the Trojans support Nike and in turn, it comes full circle in helping the Ducks and in lots of Trojan supporter's minds, coming back to hurt  Trojan athletics in the long run.

The move has been made by USC, the big question is will other Pac-12 schools follow?  We all know that none of this will ever hurt the bottom line at Nike in the least, they will be part of the sports culture forever and they have sustained the test of time over and over, but a move away from Nike does for sure send a symbolic message about supporting the "enemy" in the eyes of lots of Pac-12 fans.

As I have always said, sometimes the business of sports is much more fun to watch than even the games.

emails to   or comments always welcome

Going Out On A Very Short Limb

Predictions of anything are dangerous, sometimes annoying, but when it comes to sports, they are for sure two things: CONTROVERSIAL AND FUN.

So here goes a big one for next year. The ARIZONA WILDCATS will win the NCAA men's basketball championship next April.

For years now, the two dominate teams in west coast college basketball have been Arizona and Gonzaga. West Coast basketball next year will be improved, but no one will be able to top the Wildcats. The reasons:

1. Sean Miller is the best coach west of the Mississippi and gets better each year. One thing to watch, how will he function without his trusted brother Archie Miller being on the bench with him this year.

2. The Wildcats have the best recruiting class coming  the entire west coast has seen in years.
Guards---Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson
Forward--Sidiki Johnson
Center---Angelo Chol

3. Jumping from high school to college in basketball is so much easier than jumping from college to the NBA. Today's high school players are so well trained and play so many games, some can even come in and dominate, as some of the above will.

4. MoMo Jones, a solid player for the Wildcats, apparently saw the handwriting on the wall and announced on Monday he is leaving the program. When solid players leave a program, often it means, a depth chart drop, as would be the case here.

Josiah Turner is so good that he will be the best guard in the Pac-12 next year. Angelo Chol is so good that this year as a senior in San Diego, he averaged 23 points, 15 rebounds and 9 blocked shots per game. In league that lacks for big men, Chol will dominate the middle in the Pac-12.

Sure Derrick Williams, is gone and will be one of the top three players chosen in next month's NBA draft, but the Wildcats have not missed a beat.

Write it down, Arizona over North Carolina, to win the 2012 NCAA men's basketball championship.

emails to

Monday, May 16, 2011

Some STORMS Are Not Bad

I personally hate urban snow, wind storms and thunder and lightning. THEY ALL CREATE TRAGEDY.

But boy do I like it when the students at college basketball games,  STORM the court after a big win.

Of course the key here is a "big win". It is fun to watch, it usually means that something special has happened and to my knowledge no one gets hurt. When the students charge out on the court, it just seems like a really special moment at the conclusion of a basketball game.

It also sure beats some of these complete IDIOTS who go out and rip signs down, turn over cars, beat people up and cause thousands of dollars in damage after their team wins a big game. Heck, 90 percent of these people do not know whether a basketball is stuffed or pumped.

A note of caution "ON STORMING THE COURT". "Big Win" is critical here. It has to be something like beating the number one ranked team in country or beating someone you have not won against in 20 tries, or above all going to the "Big Dance" for the first time in several years. BE SELECTIVE STUDENTS.

"Storming the court", great pep bands, watching a game at Utah State, all of which make the great game of college basketball really special.

emails, crticism, comments always welcome.

Craw's Email Bag/Tribute To You Great Readers

Time to give all you great emailers some credit.

For sure college basketball fans are passionate about the game. I hear from great fans, coaches, referees and even basketball timekeepers. The good and the bad are always accepted.

Sometimes the posts I make, get no response, other times, it takes me three days to read all your emails.

Nothing creates a greater response from the readers of Craw's Corner than my effort to make the game better through rule changes. Four changes I proposed have stirred the pot the most. You can read my entire comments on these changes in past posts, but in a nutshell here are some of my proposals and the responses. (I do not use names for responses, I will always respect people's privacy.)

1. Put back dunking the basketball in the pre-game warm-ups. Responses:

"Dumb idea, there is enough dunking during the game, it is all for show and not part of the game."

"Great idea Craw, not enough is done for the fans as it is, this would be a great move, thanks for bringing it up"

"I am a basketball timekeeper, the last thing the game needs is someone breaking the backboard, causing myself and many others to have to stay longer, games last too long as it is."

2. Dropping the 35 second shot clock down to 29 seconds. Responses:

There was not one negative comment out of 73 emails. Sounds like I hit a home run here. I WILL TAKE A BOW, fully realizing your only as good as your next performance.

3. Eliminate the alternate possession, bring back the jump ball. Responses:

"Bad idea, this was the best rule change ever put in the game."

"I have never seen a referee yet who can throw the ball up straight, no change necessary."

"You have been watching too much Dick Vitale, stupid idea, stupid."

"This will create too many injuries, not a real bright idea, but as you have said, you are making us fans think about making the game better."

4. Eliminate the second overtime if necessary and go to a free throw shoot out. This caused the most passion of any post that I have written in the months I have been doing this. You can read the whole post, which was written on May 15th.

"Love the creativity, but a bad idea. Overtimes are huge part of the game, don't mess with this one."

"On paper this looks dumb, but give me more time to think about it."

"Crawscorner, I love this idea. I want to see how many people really choke on the free throw line."

"They need to put you on the rules committee, about time someone stepped up to change things."

I will continue my quest in future weeks to bring you awesome readers some 40 rule changes which I think will impact the game for many years to come and make it even better than it is.

Will They Make An Impact?????

There are three new coaches next year in west coast college basketball, that have a great chance to make their programs much better. We will only know come next March, but here are the three programs to watch where the impact of a new coach has the POTENTIAL  to give the programs big upgrades.

Larry Krystowiak, Utah--- The Utes have been a poor program as of late, but have a rich basketball history. With Krystowiak coming on board three players have left the program, so it appears now his job will be one of rebuilding, especially with Utah coming into the Pac-12 next season.

Montana basketball was highly successful under Krystowiak in the early 2000s, so he does know how to coach winning programs. He also is a fiery guy, with lots of energy, which can work both ways with today's modern players. My grade on this hiring is a C, it would have much more of a buzz if the job would have gone to Randy Bennett, the highly successful St. Mary's coach, but that is water under the bridge now.

Since there are really no great expectations for the Utes next year in basketball, perhaps they will surprise a few people and do really well. It will be fun to watch what happens with this program.

Jim Les, U.C, Davis---- This was one of the most under the radar hires in all of college basketball. Actually, many people said,  who the heck is Jim Les? Les had an above average career at Bradley before being fired at the end of last season. He knows the Sacramento/Davis area well, being an ex-King player and his son will be playing for him this year.

I have often thought  Davis is a sleeping giant as a basketball school, but they have always made bad coaching hires. It is a school with great academics, it has nice facilities and the Sacramento/Davis area has many fans who know the game of basketball and will support a winner. Playing in the Big West will not hurt as well for Les, it is a league where you can always move up quickly with a talented team. I would give this move a B-plus.

Jim Hayford, Eastern Washington--- Not a school with a rich basketball history, but a school which has potential. Hayford was more than successful for the last 10 years at D-3, Whitworth, in Spokane. Can he carry over a highly successful program to the D-1 level. The transition is not always easy, especially when it comes to recruiting, but a winner is a winner, no matter what level.

Eastern won the FCS football championship this past year and history says a championship in one sports often rejuvenates an entire athletic department. The Big Sky is not the best D-1 basketball league in the country, far from it, but it is always competitive and always brings some surprises. I would rate the hiring of Hayford, a B.

In basketball it is always fun to watch new coaches. Sometimes the first year tells lots, other times it means nothing. In this day of money drives everything, patience has gone out the window, so each of the above need to start their programs in the right direction, much quicker than we use to see. GOOD LUCK.

You can email us at or leave a comment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let's Really Think Outside The Box/No Second Overtime

There are many reasons why I write this blog:

1. To bring attention to college basketball and often more specifically west coast basketball.

2. To make myself think and hopefully you as a reader think.

3. To  entertain, educate and highlight history on occasion.

4. And often to make people laugh at my thoughts.

In the past month I have written three different posts on potential rule changes to make the game better and I will continue to write on the subject from time to time as I have about 35 more suggestions.

My continuing efforts to keep the great game of college basketball from being stagnate and boring often makes myself think of some out of the box ideas, some might love and some might think they stink.

Here goes one idea, I have thought about for a long time in college basketball.

On May 13th, I wrote about the lack of teams improving their free throw shooting going as far back as the 60s. Would this help teams concentrate on free throw shooting?

My proposal would be that if teams are tied after one overtime, instead of going to a second overtime, go to a free throw shootout. Here is how it works.

1. Before each game, each head coach submits his list of five shooters who would participate in the shoot out.

2. Each end of the court would be used, with the visiting team choosing which end they want to be shooting from.

3. If the scores are tied after the first round of five, start again in sudden death, but start in reverse order, with the fifth shooter starting first.

4. The final score would be one more point for wining team after the score of first overtime. Example, 79-79 after first overtime, final 80-79.


1. The pressure and excitement in the arena would be UNREAL.

2. It would make teams practice free throw shooting much more and players individually do the same.

3. Often the second overtime creates lousy play and lousy officiating. Fatigue sets in.

4. This method works great in hockey and great in world cup soccer (apologies for mentioning soccer.)


Ok, what do you think ? You suggestions and emails are always great and often so thought out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Too Much?? Not Enough?? Who Knows??

The salaries of athletes and coaches is long going to be debated.

Sometimes it is fun, maybe even sad, to look at the salaries of college basketball coaches. Are they too high? Oh yes compared to the average worker. Are some coaches for what they accomplish, underpaid? Oh yes.

The highest paid coach in country at present is Rick Pitino. He makes 7.5 million per year. Louisville, so far you are not getting your money's WORTH.

There is no question that the two best basketball leagues over time have been the Big East and ACC. As you might imagine, the highest paid coach in the ACC is Coach K. at Duke, coming in at 4.1 million per year and Jim Calhoun tops the Big East coaches at 2.3 million.

Moving westward, Thad Matta tops the Big Ten at 2.4 million, while Bill Self as you might expect is the highest paid coach in the Big 12 at 3 million per year.

When you get to the West Coast things really get interesting. The soon to be Pac-12 is lead by Sean Miller at 2.3 million, Ben Howland makes 1.5 million and the three lowest paid coaches in the Pac-12 are Craig Robison, Oregon State and Ken Bone, Washington State, both at $750,000, with Tad Boyle at Colorado  bringing up the rear at $590,000.

For sure all americans could live on those kind of wages for quite sometime.

In comparison, there is REALITY and there also are some people who should be getting more by today's standards.

Wayne Hinkle one of the best coaches on the west coast at Montana, HE makes $160,000, that is half of what the average coach in the Western Athletic Conference makes. There is always talk of Montana moving to the WAC.  Tyler Geving who has done a really nice job at Portland State, considering the mess Ken Bone left the program in,  makes $117,000.

Randy Bennett at St. Mary's and Eric Reveno at U of Portland are both terribly underrated coaches and being at private schools it is tough to get accurate numbers on their salaries, but it is more than common knowledge both of these rising stars in the coaching ranks, with just one move upward,  would more than double their present salaries.

In conclusion, the average head coaching salary of the 68 teams that made the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2011 was 1.4 million.

Coaches out west need to catch up, some coaches are tremendously overpaid and you be the judge on whether all of this is FAIR?

emails always welcome at crawscorner and just hit the comment button to make your comments public

Friday, May 13, 2011

Free Throws, Can We Set Them Free????

Basketball is improving greatly all around the world, both on a professional and amateur level.

But one thing that is not improving in college basketball is the players' ability to shoot free throws.

Sometimes stats can be so boring, but when it comes to free throws, the stats tell a great and dismal story when you look at the numbers on free throws.

Averaging all NCAA teams since 1963, the average shooting percentage for free throw percentage each season has been stagnate at around 69 percent. It hardly ever moves, the lowest average being 67 percent, while the highest average has never gone above 70 percent. In 1965, the average was 69.1 and this past year, the average was  68.9.

Enough on the stats as you get the picture. But when everything else has improved dramatically in the great game of college basketball, free throw shooting has for sure NOT.

Several theories abound, some which might be true and others contain no merit. I once had a top flight coach tell me his team shot free throws at rate of close to 10 percent lower in a game, than his team did in practice. Makes sense, less fatigue and for sure less pressure.

Is standing all alone, 15 feet from the basket with no one guarding you that difficult? It apparently is as many have tried to address the problem and many have failed. There are so-called free throw shooting gurus running around all over the place. Obviously their efforts have worked about as well as HOV lanes on the freeways.

To myself, the problem is two fold:

1. Lack of Practice---- Teams simply do not spend time on free throws and when they do, it is so hard to simulate games situations.

2. Mental Preparation---I think this has so much to do with the lack of improvement in free throw shooting. Much like putting in golf, good free throw shooting and good putting are one in the same. It starts with your head. If you think you are going to make it, you probably will.

Free Throws, Can We Please Just Make Them.

emails always welcome to or comments under the post.

When Bigger Is Not Always Better

Someone asked me the other day....... "What is my favorite place of all time to watch a college basketball game"?

It really is a good question and I would be very interested in getting emails from all you great readers to this question.

Here is my answer.

Warner Pacific College;

Warner Pacific sits nearly in the center of Portland, Oregon. Full disclosure, having grown up in a large city, I am always prejudice to an urban environment. I like the fact at Warner Pacific, you might have to look for a parking spot, you might have to stand in line to get in the gym. For sure, the place is loud, it might seat, well I don't know how many people it seats, but for sure it is under a 1,000.

The concession stand is at the end of the gym, popcorn dominates the smell and I am pretty sure that the menu has not been expanded in a few years. There might be some reserved seating or season tickets, if so, this area looks like an old time hockey rink's penalty box.

I love all these things about Warner Pacific, but I also love the fact they have great basketball teams each and every year and they play in one of the best NAIA leagues in the country, the Cascade Conference.
Longtime highly successful coach Bart Valentine retired this past season from Warner and he will be succeeded by his son, Jared.

Sometimes I am old school, sometimes new school, but when it comes to basketball, the old arenas and the old gyms are really special place and my hope this stirs some memories for all of you as well.

One last thing about Warner Pacific, they have a rising star in the sports information business in Cody Harrod. Besides doing a great job, he answers emails and returns phone calls, a rare fete these days in the sports business world.

Emails always welcome,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Forgotten Name In The Coaching Ranks

When you think of outstanding west coast college basketball coaches, some names immediately pop into your head.

John Wooden, Ralph Miller, Lute Olson and Mark Few. (Ok, ok, you great readers of this blog, you can fill in the names of others, when I miss a something you always do, with your great emails).

But a great coaching name that is seldom mentioned, but always should be mentioned in Phil Woolpert. Phil, who?

What Phil Woolpert did as a coach is second only to the great John Wooden in the history of west coast basketball.

Woolpert was the coach of San Francisco Dons when they won back to back NCAA championships in 1955-56. His Don team finished third in the NCAA championships in 1957. (There was a time in the final four, when a third place game was placed).

But there is more. He is one of only six coaches to win back to back  NCAA championships. At 40 years of age, he was the youngest coach ever to win an NCAA men's basketball championship. His San Francisco Dons team won 60 straight games at one point, which held as a record, until the great UCLA teams won 88 straight. He coached two hall of fame greats at San Francisco, Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.

Mr. Woolpert left San Francisco and went on to coach at the University of San Diego, as well as in the fledgling professional basketball, the American Basketball League. He retired  from coaching in the late 60s.

But the story does not end there.

Mr. Woolpert after retiring from coaching, still needed to make an income, so he took a job for years driving a school bus in Sequim, Washington, before passing away of cancer in 1987. If he had the same accomplishments today in the coaching world today, Mr. Woolpert would be a multi-millionaire.

Rightfully, Mr. Woolpert is in the basketball Hall of Fame and rightfully he should never be forgotten as a GREAT coach in west coast basketball history.

Comments in the comment section always welcome, as are emails to

The New West Coast Powerhouse Resides In ??????

San Diego has the best weather of any city in United States.

But more importantly it is the home base for many men and women who do such an awesome job of protecting us each and everyday serving in the NAVY.

It also has the best Zoo in the world. And for sure it has two D-1 college basketball teams which are headed in the opposite directions.

The San Diego State Aztecs are quite possibly becoming the new POWERHOUSE of West Coast basketball. While you might expect them to go a little backwards from their 34 win season this past, most teams would, the Aztecs could easily be just as good next year.

If the Aztecs win 20 games in 2011-12, which is almost automatic that they will, it will be the seventh straight year accomplishing the fete. They have a Hall of Fame coach in Steve Fisher. They  play before large crowds every home game and they will not have to put up with BYU, as the Cougars are moving to the West Coast Conference.

But last but not least, the Aztecs will be just as good next year because they will have the best player on the west coast in Chase Tapley. He can do it all, shoot, pass, make his teammates look better and play great defense. San Diego State is one of those must see teams.

Sadly, the other side of town is a basketball program, not on the rise and quite possibly the worst basketball team on the west coast. The San Diego Toreros were bad last year and will be even worse this year. The school is reeling from having their best all time player involved in an alleged betting scandal, Brandon Johnson. Coach Billy Grier came into town with high expectations, but he has not been able to get the Toreros to level everyone expected him too and the future is much dimmer than the San Diego sun.

The town of San Diego has always been a spectacular basketball city. The fans supported the NBA San Diego Clippers, the ABA San Diego Conquistadors, who at one time were coached by the best basketball player of all time, Wilt Chamberlain and always drew great crowds for an ABA team and now the Aztecs pack them in each home game. Toreros it is time to catch up, unfortunately there is little chance of you doing such.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Social Media Become Social UGLY

Mike Parker is well known to west coast basketball fans.

He is the 12 year veteran voice of the Oregon State Beaver basketball, he succeeded a legend in Beaver broadcasting,  Darrel Aune.

Yesterday instead of instead of telling us the story, Mike Parker became the story.

An ugly video on You Tube was made even more public yesterday as Mike Parker admitted he was the person in the video. In essence and I will not go into detail the video shows an ugly moment of Parker's struggle with alcohol. In the state of Oregon today, it is the most talked about story in sports. (I refuse to watch the video, another person's struggles are not something I have and never will make light of).

Full disclosure, I have worked with Mike Parker before. He always treated myself with class and dignity. I respect him for that and I also respect the fact he is taking  his problems head on, getting help, realizing he has problems with alcohol and he will come out of it as a much better human being.

I don't respect a certain amount of people who seem to want to gain from Mike Parker's problems with alcohol. A talk show host in Portland, Oregon even posted the video on his website, which anyone with any journalistic morals would never do and certain Oregon Ducks (a small, small, small minority) have made comments about just another typical Oregon State Beaver getting in trouble. People in glass houses should not throw stones, even if Oregon and Oregon State are bitter rivals.

Even  Oregon State University put out a media release which I had some issues with, stating in a portion of the release that Mike Parker wants to continue to do Oregon State games. In support of Mike Parker, broadcasting Oregon State games should be at the bottom of the priority list and it was in poor taste for Oregon State to even bring that up in the media release. Life is forever, sports are temporary.

I had trouble writing this, I even wondered if I should write it at all, but I did, because I feel for Mike Parker right now, I feel for all human beings who struggle with alcohol and any other health issues. We hear about Mike Parker because he is a public figure, we often do not hear about others until it is too LATE.

I always say, the sign of true friends is too be there in the bad times, as well as the good. Mike Parker we are thinking of you and we are also thinking of the thousands of others who face major issues in their life each and every day.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big Sky To Portland Oregon, Why Not ?????

If reports are correct, in May, the Big Sky will address the possibilities for tweaking their men's and women's post season basketball tournaments and possibly seek a permanent site for their post season championships.

At present the winner of the regular season hosts these tournaments. One idea being floated around is moving the tournaments to Las Vegas. BAD, BAD idea.

I personally think Las Vegas is one of the great cities in America, but for sure they do not need one more post season basketball tournament. Already the West Coast Conference, Mt. West and WAC  conferences play their post season  in Las Vegas. While it is always sexy to think about having any event in Vegas, a fourth entry into an already crowded field will NOT work.

So always being one for alternatives, how about Portland, Oregon? To muddle the picture even more, Portland is not a good sports town, it has turned it back in many ways on college basketball, it has political leadership that does not know whether the ball is stuffed or pumped and it does rain in March.

Throw out the last PARAGRAPH please. Portland, Oregon would be an awesome permanent site for the Big Sky. The Rose Garden or even Memorial Coliseum  would be great for viewing and great for the teams and its fans. Portland has great hotels and great restaurants, lots to do for visitors.  Many people have told me Portland, Oregon is their favorite city to visit. It has the a  moderate climate in March and is  the largest media center of all the Big Sky cities. Plus, under the direction of Mike Lund, renown SID at Portland State, their game management staff is as good as anyone in the business. The tournament would be run like clock work.

My last sentence might be the stumbling block. The Big Sky has never been known for its creative thinking or marketing outside the box, so I am sure they would never let a team in the league be a permanent site for their championship. But yet the Mt. West, of which UNLV is a member plays their tournament in Vegas and it has worked out fine.

Perhaps I just wasted my time here and more importantly yours, but I do like outside the box thinkers and doers and Big Sky basketball in under appreciated and does need a new permanent  home for its post season. Portland, Oregon would be a great starting point.

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When Leverage Becomes Sewage

College basketball coaches have tough job, winning ball games, recruiting, keeping their players out of trouble and often dealing with administrations that know little about the importance of athletics.

Should people ever feel sorry for coaches? No, when for the most part they are paid the dollars they get, it would be hard to do so, but to be fair the pay is relative to what they might bring in economically for their respective school.

What I don't like about a minority of college basketball coaches is when they interview for other jobs and actually have no intention of taking that job, using the interview as leverage to solidify their present position and then sit and tell their fans and the public they never had any intention of leaving or blaming other people for not getting the facts right about them potentially leaving.

As I have stated before Sean Miller is a great coach and will continue to be for some time to come.

What I didn't like about Miller was the way he reacted after his strong flirtation with the Maryland job.

On his part to act like he never intended to leave Arizona for Maryland. Well then, why did you even interview in the first place with the Maryland AD if you never intended to leave? You wasted lots of people's time Coach Miller and you also got people really excited about you coming to Maryland, by when your own account you had no intention of becoming their new coach. Coach Miller no one got the story wrong, you just tried to fool all of us and you did not succeed.

Coaches should have every right to interview for any job. After all their position is always under scrutiny  and always in danger of being fired, but please to do not try and make fools out of everyone, by interviewing for jobs with no intention of leaving your present job, but only for the purpose of getting a better contract, more pay for your assistants or better facilities and then come back  to tell everyone they got the story wrong, this is where I wanted to be all the time and it was bad reporting on the entire story.

Coaches please be upfront, do not posture and do not leverage to the point it becomes sewage.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Here We Go Again, Dominos??????

With Mark Turgeon accepting the Maryland job tonight, do the dominos come back out on the table.

My sources have told me, Turgeon has recommended Tad Boyle, the present Colorado coach to replace him. Before you say no way, Boyle and Turgeon were on the same staff under Jerry Green, when Green had the great run at Oregon.

Who was the AD at Oregon during that time? It  was Billy Byrne, now the AD at Texas A&M, the man who now has to replace Mark Turgeon.  Then who goes to Colorado, which joins the Pac-12 next year and is a rising power in college basketball.

Oh I hate to annoy you, but the fishing is great in Colorado. Does Mark Few like to fish? Does Eric Reveno finally get the shot he deserves and get out of a place where he is never going to get enough credit. Or does Larry Brown return to college coaching. But then again it might be Blaine Taylor, probably the most underrated college coach in the game today. Mike Montgomery never recovered when  Taylor left his staff.

I apologize, this is all speculation, but one again boy is it fun.

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College Basketball Officiating, Compared Too?????

Dwight Jaynes the famous sports columnist in Portland, Oregon, often tells his readers to basically "shut up" and stop blaming referees in basketball  for losses of your team.

I, personally,  get people all the time coming up to me saying, oh those basketball officials were so bad they cost us the game, the games are "fixed", or this guy has it out for our team.


Professional basketball has the best officials in the world. College basketball is working its way towards getting better, with the help of some highly skilled people in certain areas of the country who are now observing and working hard to train people to be better.

So next time you think about blasting some referee in basketball just realize how good that person really is and how much better of a job they do than say some other sports and actually how spoiled we are to have great officiating.

Example: MLS, in case you don't know, Major League Soccer.

Every game and I am not fabricating the story, there are "major" issues with MLS officiating. I did not know this and you might not know, the MLS referees, unlike every other major sport that is based in the United State and Canada, are not employees of the league, I repeat, are not employees of the league. They all work for FIFA, the governing body of world wide soccer. How in the world  can you call yourself a major sport when your on field officials are not even your own employees?

And while basketball continues to develop and enhance their officiating, i.e, adding a third official to games in the last 15 years, soccer continues with one referee, trying to cover what is the same territory as a long par-4 in golf.

You probably will never see me talk soccer in this blog again, but I just wanted to give an example of just how good basketball officiating is and with some more training, will get even better. Hold the criticism and think as a basketball fan how good you have it with the people who you sometimes love to hate.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sean Miller To Maryland ? Get the Dominos Out.

The last time I checked this is Saturday, May 7th, not typically a day in college basketball where you might be writing about coaching changes, but we are.

With the surprise announcement of Gary Williams retiring from Maryland, suddenly one of the best jobs in all of college basketball is now open.

And to no one's surprise Maryland has its eyes on Sean Miller the outstanding coach of the Arizona Wildcats. Miller might be one of the brightest coaches to come along in west coast basketball in many ages. But he might be the shortest bright spot as well, if he goes to Maryland.

He is meeting soon with the AD from Maryland, who also has its eyes on Tubby Smith. Would Miller leave the Wildcats for Maryland? He so far has not said NO.

Several things to watch here. About Miller, he has one of the top five recruiting classes in the country coming to Arizona next year. He loves the east coast though, grew up in Pennsylvania and would have no trouble recruiting the east coast. On a side note, his wife has been tweeting lately about her allergy problems in the desert. Wives do have an impact on their husband's coaching future.

I recently had two people with strong ties to the University of Oregon basketball program tell me they would love to see Miller out of Arizona, because they do not want to have to recruit against him and they also feel he is a great bench coach.

Could Miller leaving create a domino theory on the west coast? Possibly.

Mark Few turned the Wildcats down once. This time in my opinion, he would leave. While Few is loved  my most of the Gonzaga faithful, for the first time there are some rumblings he might be wearing out his welcome with the Zags by not getting the Zags further in post season.

An open Gonzaga coaching search, would for nothing else,  be fun to watch. It still is one of the premier jobs on the west coast for sure.

Yes this is all speculation, but also has lots of facts and is going to be fun to follow in the next week.

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Teams With A Big Upside

It might not happen, but here are some west coast basketball teams that have a big upside for 2011-12 season and teams that I personally am looking at to make big strides. As we all know, games are not made on paper and talk is cheap. I broke it down using the 6 basic leagues that teams on the west coast play in.

Pac-12-- Arizona State. runner-up, Oregon State

Big West---Pacific. runner up, UC Santa Barbara

Big Sky--- Sacramento Sate. runner up, Eastern Washington

WAC---Hawaii. runner up, New Mexico State

Mt. West----Boise State. runner up, Nevada

WCC---U of Portland. runner up, Loyola

I have based my comments on how the teams did this year, who they have recruited and who the head coach is of these teams. Two rising stars in the coaching ranks are Leon Rice of Boise State and Gib Arnold of Hawaii, people to watch.

West Coast basketball is on the rise and do not let anyone tell you different.

Comments are always welcome and please keep the emails coming, the response to this blog is terrific and than you very much.

Happy Mother's Day

Tomorrow in case you missed it is Mother's Day.

I have often said, Dads are great, Mothers are awesome.

Not everyone has had the honor and greatness of having two great parents. It is the greatest thing that ever happened in my life.

Many athletes and basketball players today because of varying circumstances have been raised totally by their mother or grandmother and they have done a great job in doing so.

So to myself, every day should be Mother's Day.

Take some time each day to salute your mother and parents.

It is one of the great treasures in life, if not always the greatest treasure.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Updates on previous posts/Some new info as well

1. Gus Johnson will not be back with CBS next year during March madness. Johnson did a terrific job on the games and was so refreshing, but he broke off contract talks with CBS today and we will more than likely never see him announcing NCAA games again.

2. The question has been answered. Cal-Davis has hired a new  coach and the wait might be worth it. Jim Les, former Sacramento King and for the last 10 years the fine coach of the Bradley Braves before he was fired this past, has accepted the men's head coaching job today. It is a program with much upside and worth watching in the future.

3. As I requested, of course the power of Craw's Corner is international, ESPN will be a big part of the Pac-12, for the next 12 years, starting in 2012-12, when it comes to basketball on television, with the new media contract now in place.  This is good news as no one does it better, Sean Farnham and Dave Fleming, two rising stars on the network will no doubt have a bigger role in their Pac-12 telecasts. (Just like Trump, I am taking credit for this).

4. My excellent sources have told myself there might be some movement in bringing Seattle U, into the West Coast Conference. I have been told, some league members want to reassess their position. This for sure will be something I will keep you posted on. As you know I wrote about this extensively in April.

5. I have long said to myself, cause sometimes nobody listens, that Eastern Washington and Portland State are sleeping giants in the Big Sky. A big tip of the cap to Eastern Washington for doing a basketball caravan this next month with their new basketball coach Jim Hayford. Caravans have long been successful in pro football, major league baseball and college football, but you never hear much about them in college basketball.

6. The new proposed rule changes in NCAA basketball are none that I suggested. Of course not, mine made too much common sense and would have improved the game way too much. Sadly and I will get into the new changes in another post, but the new rules for next year do nothing to improve the game and the product. (As I did with previous posts, I will continue to write about great rule changes for NCAA basketball).

7. West Coast college basketball is on the rise. The group of young players next year is the best crop overall in the last 10 years. Fox Sports and Disney, are not idiots, they realized what talent exists out west. otherwise you would not have seen such a lucrative new TV deal for the Pac-12 and this is going to carry over to the rest of the leagues, including the Mt. West, which should really be strong next year.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Attention: Oregon State Beavers

Oregon State Beaver basketball, your fans have put you on notice: "This is the year".

Talk about the history of west coast basketball, the Beavers at one time were at the top of the mountain in basketball and they have fallen as hard as it gets in recent years.

You can talk lots about the reasons why. Bad coaching hires, a facility that is in desperate need of repair and lack of recruiting great Northwest area players. But where there is a gym and ample basketballs there is hope, but it needs to come this year in the 2011-12 season and no later than that. Constant rebuilding does not cut it and talk of it is even worse.

The Beavers have a very good group of players on their roster for the 2011-12 season, but something in the past few years is lacking. I do think Craig Robison, the Beavers coach,  needs to loosen up the reins and let the athleticism of his team show by playing a more up tempo style.

For those of you who were not born or don't remember, the Oregon State Beavers for a long period in 1980 were the toast of the nation, were ranked number 1 in the country for many weeks and before that time and after under Ralph Miller had outstanding basketball teams. Then it went south in a hurry and has never come back.

Oregon State basketball, with such a rich history is an important cog in making west coast college basketball prominent again. I would say this past year on paper their talent was much better than their neighbor to the south, the Oregon Ducks, but yet Oregon had a much more successful year.

If Oregon State can will two national championships in college baseball in the 2000s, the why not some success in basketball.

For all us old timers, there was never anything greater than hearing their former awesome radio voice Darrel Aune say "holy jumping up and down martha".

It is the hope of Craw's Corner that martha will soon be return to the building and that the sea of empty orange seats in Gill Coliseum will turn to a sea of orange shirted Beaver fans.

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West Coast Basketball, It Needs To Get Better

I am sure by now you can tell that I love basketball, but even more, I love west coast basketball, mainly because I live on the west coast, it often gets short changed when it comes to attention and it is the home of UCLA, which set the gold standard for college basketball, under the John Wooden years.

But, telling it like it is, in the last 15 years, times have been tough on the west coast for quality college basketball teams. Gonzaga and Arizona have carried the torch, but the depth of quality teams is probably the lowest it has ever been.

Like everything else, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but here is some of my suggestions and some great suggestions all of you have written in, for both some short and long term solutions.

1. Keep local high school players home. The Washington Huskies have done a great job with this, others need to follow their example.

2. Play a brand of ball the modern player likes. The game is becoming too slow, in previous posts I have written extensively how to solve this ongoing problem.

3. Facilities need to be upgraded in most places and that only comes from the support of a school's leaders and a strong athletic director. Proactive beats reactive every time.

4. TV helps and and schools need to be constantly trying to get their games on local TV.

5. Bring back the history of the program and bring back players who were part of the previous success. This sounds so simple, but it takes some effort and time.

6. Pay your coaches what they deserve. Overall coaches on the west coast in D-1 basketball are underpaid. This has to change to sustain a program.

This post might not be the most exciting reading in the world, but it is for sure when you break it down, important information on how west coast basketball can improve as it needs to in the worst way.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Top Shelf (7)

Always dangerous, always controversial, but as I have mentioned before, always so much FUN.

Here are my top seven college basketball analysts/play by play people I have ever heard. You can add to the mix, but these are MY choices. As I like to write mainly about west coast basketball, the list has a strong flavor and history  to the area. I stuck strictly with TV, radio, oh there is nothing like radio, will come later.

1. Dan Shulman ------- He  is the best play by play sports announcer I have ever heard period. He simply has it all and he could make sand castle building interesting. ESPN has a gem here and I have a feeling they will never let him go. Could work with anyone and make them better, the sign of a true pro.

2. Dick Vitale----- Say what you want about him, he has sustained at the top of his game for nearly 30 years. He is Mr. Basketball when it comes to the media and his sharpness never waivers. If you ever meet him, he treats you like your favorite next door neighbor, a lost art.

3. Ron Thulin---- Ron has a smooth delivery, is always prepared and gives you just enough to keep you interested in the game, but never too much. Ron also will never get enough credit for being one of the pioneers of the NBA cable games on TNT in the early 90s. You can now often see and hear him on the Fox  national college TV game. Smooth as silk and great enthusiasm.

4. Jimmy Dykes---- I hope ESPN realizes what they have here in Dykes. He is the successor in my opinion to Dick Vitale, not Jay Bilas. As prepared and as passionate as any basketball analyst you will ever get to hear, young people if you want to get in the business, a great guy to study and copy.

5. Dick Enberg----Too bad today's young people never got to hear him call UCLA games live. A total flow to his work, another guy who can make any sport interesting, as evidenced by his work on tennis,(is tennis still a sport, woops) but he is and always will be a top shelf college basketball play by play announcer.

6. Dan Belluomini--- The dean of west coast basketball analysts. As prepared a person as you will ever hear on a broadcast, Fox made a HUGE, DUMB, error in taking him off their regional team two years past. Plus, Dan never gets caught up in ripping officials, as many of the clowns do today on broadcasts. He exudes class.

7. Rob Closs--- Some of you down in Texas, are saying who? Well since you only get to hear Rob on Oregon Ducks television broadcasts, you are missing a treat. Straight forward, funny when he needs to be, but you will never see him lost or out of touch with the game, as he does his homework and brings it each and every night.

Ok, take your best shot, of course I am never wrong, lol, but at least this list should get you thinking.

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Oregon Ducks, What you waiting for?????????

In 1891, Dr. James Naismith posted the first rules of basketball on a bulletin board at Springfield College, because he wanted to promote physical education on a higher level.

In 1892, the first games were played and naturally they were a far cry from what we see on the court today, so for all the millions of basketball fans around the world, once again Dr. Naismith thank you very much, your game is awesome.

But what is not awesome is the Oregon Ducks not having a visible center line in their great new arena, dedicated this year by Phil Knight, named after and in honor of his late son.

Ducks, you have done yourself more than proud with the new arena, you have a gem in new coach Dana Altman, but for sure you have not honored the great game of basketball with the lack of a visible center court line. You say it is there, but not even SUPERMAN can see it.

Creighton could not see it in the final game of the CBI tournament, twice during the year you had an over and back that was missed, once right in front of veteran referee David Hall, it was obvious he could not see the line and for sure with a new TV deal coming up for the Pac-12. unless you do something Ducks, the new will be old, as the line will still not be visible on TV, thus making the games at Matt Knight Arena, almost unwatchable for many TV viewers.

Rumblings are that the NCCA and the Pac-10/12 have talked to the Ducks, but nothing has happened yet. I wrote the an email in a very professional and courtesy manner  to the Pac-10 about this and of course got no reply. (Heck two giants in basketball, Jerry Colangelo and Jerry Reinsdorf, much more important basketball people than anyone at the Pac-10 office return my messages on different subjects, so I guess the Pac-10 does not care about this issue).

The center line in basketball was first introduced in 1932, then the other boundaries and dimensions of the court came in 1933, six years before the "Tall Firs, of the University of Oregon, were crowned the winners of the first D-1 men's champions in college basketball.

So Ducks, with your history, your prominence becoming more each day in NCAA athletics, it is ok to be edgy, but for sure it is NOT ok to dishonor and disrespect the great game of basketball. What are you waiting for ????. Just give us a visible center line and show us you have some Class and respect for Dr. Naismith's great game.

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