In case you missed the debut of CRAWFACTS last week, it is an attempt to bring you great readers of this blog, some information you might have missed about west coast college basketball, sports and even a little more.
1. Congrats to an avid reader of this blog. Dale Scott, is one of the great umpires in major league baseball. He has been in the league for 26 years and has served as a crew chief since 1999. Scott has been selected as the crew chief/home plate umpire for the MLB All Star game in Phoenix on July 12th. Way to go Dale and it could not have happened to a nicer person, who always has time for everyone, no matter what your status is in life.
2. The West Coast Conference has reached an agreement with the ESPN family of networks to extend their coverage of doing men's basketball games through 2018-19. Unlike the Pac-12, which flashed the numbers around of their new TV deal, the money part of the WCC deal with ESPN remains silent. Two details of the extended agreement do standout. Each team will get at least one national telecast during the season (I can hardly wait for Pepperdine at San Diego, I apologize, but I had to get that in) and ESPNU will televise the quarterfinals of the WCC tournament, for the first time.
3. Gonzaga is looking for a replacement for Craig Ehlo on their television broadcasts to work with capable play by play announcer Greg Heister. Ehlo earlier this year accepted an offer to become an assistant coach on the staff of newly hired Jim Hayford at Eastern Washington. I have a suggestion.
Francis Williams does a really nice job on Root Sports as a basketball analyst. He is prepared, knows the game and has a style that comes off well to viewers. Of course, almost anyone would be an improvement for Ehlo, who was lost on many broadcasts and there were times you almost felt sorry for him with his lack of preparation.
4. Ben Howland has filled out his coaching staff at UCLA by hiring Korey McCray, a move that kind of flew under the radar, but a move everyone who follows Pac-12 basketball should be watching. McCray last coached in college in 2004, but he has run a successful AAU program in Atlanta and has many NBA players he has been a personal coach too, including Dwight Howard. The big thing to watch is the fact that McCray was the AAU coach for Shaq Goodwin, who many consider to be at the top or near the top of recruits for the class of 2012. This was a shrewd hiring by Howland, his national recruting presence will take a big jump and look out.
5. Speaking of the WCC, their post season tournament will be extended by one day next year, starting on Wednesday and ending on the usual Monday time. Out of respect for new member BYU, which does not play sporting events on Sunday, it will be an off day now, as compared to in the past the day of the WCC semifinals. BYU is taking its entrance into the WCC for basketball seriously. The much watched BYU-TV network, which shows all aspects of the school, not just athletics, sent a TV crew to Moraga, California at the end of last season basketball season to document the WCC rivalry between Gonzaga and St. Mary's in men's basketball. I am sure it made for good TV, but as I stated before, there is no real rivalry when one teams dominates as Gonzaga has done over the Gaels.
6. I have learned that a few Pac-12 coaches at the very least are going to advise their players not to tweet during the basketball season. (I am sure the ACLU will weigh in). Of course it was tweeting that has gotten more than one athlete into trouble as of late. It is a great communication tool, not as good as Google, but still great and I would have to think that the different conferences will eventually have some sort of policy about Twitter. After all it would be no different than the policies most leagues have in place about commenting on officiating, which despite all the moaning that comes from people, is a good policy and helps keep some sanity to athletics.