CRAWFACTS is news, notes, and whatever else readers wish to call it.
Lorenzo Romar---I was told by a great source yesterday that if the Minnesota Timberwolves were to approach Romar he would still listen about their vacant head coaching position even at this point. Of course being at the school where he starred and graduated from is Romar's dream job, but sometimes the grass is greener, as in the green we use to pay for our groceries. Romar is one of the most liked and honest coaches in all of college basketball. Romar's name was one of the first mentioned when it was obvious that Kurt Rambis would lose his job with the Wolves. He has denied he would be interested, it is unlikely the Wolves are looking at him as of right now, but he would be an outstanding NBA coach, with his people skills. In my opinion he will not finish out his coaching career at Washington, he is a wanted coach by many people.
U of P/Portland State---About six weeks past a strong supporter of University of Portland basketball told me the Pilots would not be playing Portland State this year in basketball. After getting over the mild shock, I decided not to write about it, thinking this person could not be correct and even if he was at the time, this would change. It has not, no Vikings/Pilots game for the first time since 1998-99.
For all the great readers of this blog outside of Portland, Oregon I can understand you saying "who cares". But for people inside the city of Portland and even Oregon and SW Washington this is a big deal. It is the only college basketball rivalry around and quite frankly these two teams should have been playing twice per year, as compared to the one time that has been happening since 98.
On a much, much, much smaller scale this is the equivalent of UCLA not playing USC. I am getting hammered by fans from both sides on this issue and all I can say is your right. In one of the poorest college basketball towns for its size in the country, Portland, Oregon deserves this game each year.
Besides the rivalry aspect, it is a 20 minute bus trip between the schools and obviously a money saver in an age when both schools are not cash rich with their budgets. The game was also starting to become popular and drawing some "decent" crowds at both home sites.
I hope this is not true, but I have been told it was U of Portland that did not want to play the game. If that is the case, I can only say that the real reason is that Portland State has won four out of the last five meetings, which the Pilots were obviously embarrassed about. It is easy to talk about scheduling conflicts as the Pilots have done, but the bottom line is that this game was good for college basketball fans and they will be the losers. Shame on you University of Portland. This did not have to happen.
Fighting Sioux---Will North Dakota enter the Big Sky on July 1st, 2012 with the nickname Fighting Sioux, or will be something else like "come to our state and turn left to get to Regina, Canada". In case you have not heard, the NCAA, with one of their 10,000 or so rules, has declared the Fighting Sioux to be an abusive nickname and ordered them to drop it. The school said fine, but that did not end things. The North Dakota legislature in a formal vote have ordered North Dakota to keep the name. If they do keep the name, they will in ineligible to host any NCAA championship events and their mascot will also be banned from NCAA events (darn).
On the serious side, nicknames that are offensive is a touchy subject. The Sioux Tribes in North Dakota have long wanted the name changed, but there also is the other side who argues for keeping tradition. For sure, this is an interesting case and the outcome will be watched by many in sports. I actually went to a high school which I loved and still love, Cleveland High School, which changed its nickname about 20 years past from Indians to Warriors. Puzzling, in that to me Warriors was a step backwards in the offensive category from Indians.
Brandon Davies----It is 99 percent certain Davies will return in the fall and be eligible to play basketball for the Cougars after sitting out his suspension for breaking the BYU honor code. Of course this is bad news for the West Coast Conference opponents of the Cougars. Easily even without Davies returning, the Cougars would have been projected in the top three of the WCC, now that might move to contender and top two. BYU, coach Dave Rose has also made it clear, he wants to even up the tempo more in Provo on offense, so with that style and the great BYU national following, conference road games for the Cougars should sellout almost every game.
Blogging----I am not complaining in the least, I love writing this blog, it is all about you great readers which keeps me going, but it is not as easy as it might seem. It takes research, keeping your ear to the ground and hard work. While some in the "mainstream" media pooh pooh bloggers and for sure lots of sports information directors do, to myself bloggers in sports have made everyone better writers. As I always say, there is a reason that McDonalds and Wendys are always close to each other, competition is what makes America the greatest country in the world.
Two blogs that do a great job of covering the Big Sky and the Western Athletic Conference are:
http://parsingthewac.blogspot.com and www.bigskybball.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: I will return on Friday, of this week.
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