CRAWFACTS is news, notes and anything else you wish to call this, about college basketball. Enjoy
Roy Williams---On recent recruiting trip, it was a smart move for Williams to take a look at the USS Carl Vinson (the ship that dumped Osama bin Laden's body at sea) where Williams' North Carolina team will play Michigan State on 11/11/11, it what will be the first ever college basketball game played on an aircraft carrier and of course on a great day when we all pay special tribute to our nation's military.
What was not a smart move, was the first comments by Williams about the game following his tour of this historic ship. Roy Williams by a lot of people's accounts, is not always the soft spoken, gentlemanly guy we see being interviewed on TV. He can at times be quite caustic and sometimes does not think before he speaks. Good example, following his tour was the fact that instead of talking about the importance of this game and the true meaning of why it is being played, Williams seemed more concerned how his tall players would navigate the narrow hallways and corridors on the ship, prior to going up to the flight deck.
Gee Roy, do you know anything else besides basketball? Naval ships are famous for their small quarters, we have all studied that in history, the meaning of the day is what counts here and deal with it, your players will get over it.
I might also add, as I have written about before, it is an embarrassment that a west coast team is not playing in this game and it seems like if you go to effort of all the logistics it takes to pull this off, why not play a doubleheader. Navy vs. Air Force, plus why was not San Diego State, asked to play in their hometown or Washington or Arizona. Do I dare say, once again an east coast bias.
West Coast Conference---I recently asked the most famous person in college basketball, Dick Vitale, about the men's basketball coaches in the west coast conference. Dick, who never lets the facts get in the way of his constant self promotion (he is a great guy and does care about people), likes the group of coaches and called them "a passionate group". I was kind of looking for a little more out of the self proclaimed guru of college hoops.
Dick, this group of coaches is far beyond passionate, they are the best coaches for a league its size in college basketball. You have Mark Few, who despite his dismal post season record, has been a more than consistent winner. Randy Bennett, who every post season is mentioned in almost every job opening that comes up and add on some of the great rising stars in the coaching ranks in Eric Reveno, Kerry Keating and Rex Walters, who all in the next few years will be coaching at big time programs, if not head coaches in the NBA.
Last but not least, Dave Rose, he not only has churned out big time teams at BYU each year, he has done it battling pancreatic cancer, enough said.
So my message is that Dick Vitale, get to know these coaches even better, know all their names, cause they are all and will be in the future, huge successes.
Pac-12---It is obvious that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott recognizes the importance of basketball to his league and realizes it needs to be promoted and recognized on a much higher level. More power to him.
On the other hand, sometimes when you have huge success like Scott has had you need to slow down. Many a businesses have failed horribly by expanding too fast and over extending. The new TV deal with ESPN and Fox, was great for the conference and for the networks, but I am concerned about the Pac-12 network and the regional concept which was rolled out this week by Scott and his staff in NewYork.
What is troubling, unless I am missing something really big, these regional "networks" are going to take a long period to develop a major profit stream and will drain monies from the original deal signed with ESPN/Fox. Outside of a parents, a few friends and really, really Pac-12 fanatics, I am not sure who is going to be watching these regional channels.
Sometimes success, breeds greed, I am hoping this is not the case with the Pac-12 and they did not try and one up themselves, with all the new media deals.
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