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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I AM Not Happy, Losing Hope, Wait

Yes, the world is coming to an end.

For the first time in my life I am seeing no hope for the future. Everyone is upset at each other, we have people who can't even sit down and have a good meeting, without jawing at each other.

Sports is spiraling out of control and no one seems to care, as long as my team is winning, what the heck, that is what the fans care about.

I am even upset that intelligent people on both sides can't seem to work out an NBA agreement, because as I have always said, the lack of the NBA affects many more people than owners and players.

I am actually even so agitated as I write this that I am pounding the keys on the keyboard of my computer, a rarity for myself.

And back to the top, no one seems to care that the economy is upside down, we take care of the whole world every time they have a natural disaster and when we have a massive hurricane the rest of the world is hiding under a rock.

I also do not buy the fact that the only reason we think that more athletes today are getting in trouble is because we have more media. Baloney to that, ##%$&&&@!) and whatever else you wish to call it. Somebody please take charge and get this young people of today under control.

And please somebody, including myself, get this economy rolling. The economy sucks and what happens, they raise gas prices ahead of the labor day weekend. Another brilliant move.

I love politics, I love sports, it is just getting to the point where I am tired of bad decision making and bad people, making stupid decisions.

But tomorrow starts a new month and my attitude is going to change for the better.

It has to start with myself, but I also think about the great people who write to me about this blog each and every day with both positive and negative comments, always welcome.

I also think about all the great friends I have had and still have in life, plus great parents and a great sister, who all have been there in not only the good times, but more in the bad, which is the sign of a great family and great friends and I have the best anyone could ask for.

I also think about people I have never even met, who post the link to my blog, it is called bloggers, helping other bloggers, for lack of my own creativity. People like Kevin, who writes awesome stuff ( and Jon, who might have the toughest job in all of college basketball, trying to make the Big Sky look better with ( Apologies to one of the best friends I have ever had and the best sports information director in the country, Mike Lund, who holds the whole Portland State athletic program together, for ripping on the SKY.

Actually I am starting to feel better already, I am even feeling so good that I plan to keep writing this blog, as long as my hands allow me.

But please, let's get the creeps out of sports and please let's get this economy moving again someone, both are too great to fail like they have been lately.

And by the way, why are sports important? Sports does provide lots of jobs, lots of second jobs for people who need to work just to survive and it provides lots of entertainment for people who never can afford to go to game, or are literally house bound and it is their only form of contact with outside world.

So, I am really rolling now, September is going to be awesome and October even greater. And thanks for putting up with my rant tonight, but one thing for sure, I do care.

And also, last but not least, thanks to all my friends, who I have forced to read this blog, but beyond, being there for myself always, no matter what the situation.

Now I do feel better.

emails to, please follow on twitter @wchoops

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Like lots of other folks I like surprises as long as I am not surprised.

Several things could surprise me in west coast college basketball this year, but I am not holding my breath on a few and am wide eyed on others.

Will Johnny Dawkins be able to bring Stanford back to respectability? Always had high hopes for Dawkins coming out of the Duke system, but maybe he is another example that the teacher is always better than the pupil. Here is hoping for a better showing for the Cardinal than they have shown so far under Dawkins, it shocked the basketball world when he was given a contract extension this past year. With all the good coaches out there, his performance did not deserve an extension. And they can't even say he graduates players, everyone at Stanford graduates.

Will Jim Hayford be as good in D-1 as he was at D-3? This will be one to watch for sure. I have always been a big proponent that a coach can win at any level, if he is a winner. Hayford had a great run at D-3 Whitworth, built them into a national power. The challenges are much greater at Eastern Washington for Hayford, where he has to worry lots, including making sure his athletes are attending classes. I have always said it does not take much to rise to the top the Big Sky, Eastern has potential to do just that in future years.

Will this be the year that Gonzaga does not win the West Coast Conference? You have to hand it to the Bulldogs, when they are everyone in the league's super bowl, they have withstood challenge after challenge. Mark Few has not been able to get the job done in the NCAA tournament, but just like Stew Morrill at Utah State, but there have not been many programs who have had the league dominance like the Zags  have done for too many years to count. The challenge for Gonzaga will be higher than ever, with BYU now in the league, so this will be fun to watch. BYU is really good in basketball and always will be.

Will Dan Altman take the Oregon Ducks to the NCAA? In my mind Dana Altman is going to wind up being the best coaching hire in all of college basketball in the last five years and the Ducks will go dancing this year. He has a deep team, one of the best basketball arenas in the world and nothing but upside and is playing in somewhat of a weak league, at least for now, as the Pac-12 is not very strong. ri. Last year the Ducks had half the talent as rival Oregon State, but managed to pull off a great season, while the Beaver floundered. Soon the whole world will be watching the Oregon Ducks in basketball on the same level as they watch them in football.

Will Gib Arnold be able to bring back Hawaii basketball? Watch out, Gib Arnold at Hawaii has the drive and coaching ability to make Hawaii basketball important. I have lots of admiration for people who want to be in gym, when it is 80 degrees outside, but that is a fact of life when you coach and play basketball in Hawaii, as well as a rigorous travel schedule. Arnold is slowing making some waves in the recruiting of players and in a school that flies under the radar in basketball.

Will Joe O'Brien win five games at Idaho State? Idaho State is overmatched even in the weak Big Sky and as bad as Idaho State has been under O'Brien, this year could be even worse. I think the only thing that could save him from being terminated at the end of the year would be if his team won 20 games and that is not going to happen, winning 10 would be a successful season and that is not going to happen. In the winter in Idaho, people deserve to watch good basketball, or actually at Idaho State it is been so long since they have seen good basketball, would they even recognize it.

Will Arizona win the NCAA championship? Simple answer, YES, awesome talent, a great coach some of the best fans in all of college basketball. CBS, I have a winner, do not even show the games.

emails to, twitter @wchoops

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Could It Be, I Told You So

I see dominance. I see many league championships. I see many NCAA tournament appearances and I even see an NCAA championship.

And no, I am not talking about the UCLA Bruins, nor the Gonzaga Bulldogs or Arizona Wildcats and not even the Oregon Tech Hustling Owls.

Actually I am talking about the Seattle Redhawks men's basketball team.

In case you have not heard, about being rejected by the West Coast Conference several times (still a puzzling a decision for lots people), the Redhawks will join the Western Athletic Conference beginning in 2012-13. After serving the mandatory four year NCCA waiting period for teams that jump from D-2, to D-1, the Redhawks will not only be able to play in a pretty good conference, but they will also be able to compete in post-season play, in 2013.

Even though it is a year out, I wanted to get well out in front of things, so not to be accused of being a frontrunner or bandwagon jumper. All I can say is at least in men's basketball the Redhawks have all the makings and potential to dominate the WAC.

And why would I make what some might consider to be a foolish prediction, well allow me to tell you why, a WHY that considers many factors.

1. Seattle U. is a great school academically, if you get a degree from Seattle U., it means something.

2. They have a president who understands the value of athletics to the overall campus experience. President Stephen Sundborg, S. J., is committed totally to having a successful athletic program, some presidents talk a good game, he knows how to play the game.

3. Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, potential recruits pay attention to that kind of thing. In addition, even if  cross town rival  Washington Huskies took the top 12 players in the Puget Sound area, there would still be plenty of local players to make the Redhawks successful. Seattle is one of the richest places in the country when it comes to talented basketball players, a great advantage for Seattle U.

4. Not only do they have a great president, athletic director Bill Hogan also knows and understands what it takes to build a program and win at the D-1 level in basketball. He is at the right place at the right time.

5. As they have moved to D-1, the Redhawks have also developed a solid fan base and just as importantly an excellent student following. It does help that since they do have to play their home games off campus, they have a beautiful arena to play in, Key Arena.

6. Last but not least, Seattle U. has a rich basketball history, has sent many players in the past to the NBA and can rely on many of those players to get behind the basketball program. The court at Key Arena is named after one of the greatest players ever in the NBA, Elgin Baylor and he is just one of the outstanding players who played at Seattle U, in their heyday of great basketball in the 50s,60s and 70s. Often many of the great players can be seen at games and are totally supportive of the program.

In looking over the WAC in basketball, I am not sure in the next few years who can stop the Redhawks from being dominant. Of course that is why the games are played and paper is just good to look at visually.

Now there has to always one thing that can deter progress. Cameron Dollar is the coach of the Redhawks. I would have to say with total accuracy that the verdict is still out on Dollar as a head coach. Becoming a member of the WAC, means much more than just being in a league, it will help with recruiting, gives the players some added goals and means so much to athletes to be part of an actual league, so the pressure is on for Dollar to produce. Rest assured he has to produce more than he has done so far.

But, no matter who is coaching the Redhawks, for the reasons listed above and looking over all the competition, the WAC is there for the taking for Seattle U. basketball to totally dominate the WAC conference. It is just going to be a matter of time, before other WAC members say " why in the world did we ever invite them into this league".

As I always say,  it will be fun to watch, but just remember, "I told you so".

Please feel free to follow myself on twitter @wchoops or emails always welcome,

Friday, August 26, 2011

It Is TIME To Move

Since people know I love basketball and college and professional, people often like to take shots at myself about how boring the college game has become. They often reference  timeouts as one reason and blame the media.

I do agree with this to a point, but I do not blame the media. The timeouts for college basketball games are far from the media's fault, after all,  there are many people who can't attend games in person for various reasons and it is important for these games to be on tv and radio and many times streamed.

There has to be a way to pay for all of this, thus media timeouts are important and critical to the success of keeping college basketball going.

But, I do agree the timeout structure is long overdue for a complete makeover and actually this can be pretty simple in my mind. Coaches will not like my solution, but I often see coaches,  over coach, especially down the end of games and in my mind this would make coaching even better, with what I have to propose.

Quite simply here is the way the timeout structure should take place in college basketball.

There should be four (4) timeouts per half, plus each coach would get one 30 second timeout per half. The timeouts would be 90 seconds for full time and of course the one 30 second would not change.

These timeouts should take place on the first dead ball periods, under the 16:00, 12:00,8:00 and 4:00 minute mark. Everyone knows in advance what is going to happen with timeouts. No more each team gets so may per half, mixed in with media timeouts. Except the 30 second timeouts, which can only be called by the coach, the other four per half would be generic.

Yes this seems so simple, but many times, simple solutions help solve a major problem and in NCAA college basketball timeouts have become a problem and are killing interest in the game by many fans.

emails to or follow on twitter @wchoops

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CRAWFACTS/Edition 10

Appreciate all you great readers allowing myself to take little time off in the month of August and no, I was not on vacation, just had some other responsibilities, but as we get closer to the start of practice for NCAA teams, you will see this blog on a frequent basis, close to everyday actually.

I would appreciate all of you telling other people about this blog, plus if you use twitter, please follow myself @wchoops, to pick up even more information.

And very soon, I will have a huge announcement about this blog, so stay tuned for that. So to start my new run of blogs, which will not end anytime soon hopefully, here is another edition of CRAWFACTS, which is news, notes and anything else for your enjoyment.

Thanks----I want to start out today, by once again thanking Tim Marsh, who helped me set up this blog with all the technical stuff. Tim is a good friend, who would do anything for anyone and I also want to congratulate him on his retirement from Washington State U, where he had a great career and now he can get some sleep.

Want to also thank Kevin, who writes what I consider to be next to my blog, (just kidding), the best college basketball blog in the country and trust me, I read them all,, it is always fresh and always important info, plus Kevin has often referenced my blog and it is not forgotten and greatly appreciated. Too many bloggers think their you know what does not stink and are not willing to recognize other people. So thank you Kevin and keep up the awesome work.

Pat Summitt--- Of course our thoughts are with us as she battles just a horrible disease, dementia and alzheimers. But, what bothers me is why does it take a celebrity to bring this to our attention. Dementia is the fastest growing disease in this country and we should be discussing it everyday and ways we can hopefully prevent it or find a cure. I do not like bandwagon jumpers, who the only time they mention something about horrific diseases or health issues, is when a celebrity is involved. As I write this there are thousands of caregivers, both in the health profession and families who are taking care of people and to me are real heros. Pat Summitt, get better, but readers, at the same time, don't forget all the people in this country who are afflicted with horrible health and battle things everyday.

ESPN--- It was a great idea three years past to open the college basketball season with an ESPN 24 hour marathon of college games from around the country and this year is no exception. It is also nice to see that ESPN does not forget the west coast, three Pac-12 teams will be involved in this opening day extravaganza and two West Coast Conference teams, as well as WAC member Hawaii. The highlight game involving west coast teams, features Washington State visiting Gonzaga. I am already thinking this could be an upset by the Cougars. The other west coast teams playing game will be St. Mary's, Stanford and Cal. Randy Bennett's team will host, Northern Iowa, of course Randy Bennett will open the season with his great 10 year contract extension, so he might just be with the Gaels for awhile.

Oregon State---No one will say it, but I have to think that this might be a make or break year for the Beavers' coach Craig Robinson. The Beavers at best have been average under Robinson and at some point he can't continue to rebuild the program and wait for next year. The Beavers have some depth and they have some really good players. With their schedule just announced today, they should come out pre-conference play with a pretty good record, as they play teams at home like Montana, Idaho and Howard which they should beat. Attendance for Oregon State has sunk to some all time lows as of late, some wins might cure that, hopefully.

emails to and please follow on twitter @wchoops

Thursday, August 18, 2011


CRAWFACTS, is info, need to know and anything else you would like to call it.

Summer Games---I think it is great that NCAA teams get to travel and play internationally during the summer, but the past two days have been a disaster for a couple teams. First, in case you have not seen it, the brawl that Georgetown got into while playing the Bayi Rockets in China was one of the worst on-court basketball fights that I have ever seen and I have seen a few, both in person and on TV. It is a miracle that no one got hurt in this brawl. Kind of interesting that prior to the game, Georgetown met with visting VP Joe Biden and newly appointed ambassador to China, Gary Locke, now I am certain they did not talk about diplomacy.

Also yesterday a serious injury took place to one of the best players in the Pac-12, when USC point guard Jio Fontan, tore his ACL in a game the Trojans were playing in Brazil. Fontan will miss the entire 2011-12 season. Without question he would have been the best player on the Trojan roster and quite possibly the best point guard in the Pac-12. For sure he was the most improved guard in the conference last year and this is a major loss for USC, which would have struggled this year, even with Fontan.

Pre-Season---I for one enjoy the pre-season in basketball maybe even more than the conference games. I love some of the match-ups, especially when west coast teams cross-over into another west coast league.

Two games of interest for myself will both be played on Sundays. On November 20th, Washington State will travel to play the University of Portland. While the game will not get much national attention, it will tell all of us how these two teams which both have to rebuild, will rebuild and should be an outstanding competitive game.

The second game I will have some interest in, is when Santa Clara visits Washington State on December 11th. Kerry Keating, Santa Clara head coach is a rapidly rising star in the coaching ranks and playing against a Pac-12 opponent that they can beat on the road, is a game to watch.

Of course there will be many more games to watch in pre-season, but quite frankly this is the slowest year I have ever seen, for schedules being posted on schools' websites. There are many reasons that are given for the slowness, but it seems like there is one thing forgotten, fans of basketball and these teams would love to know key match-ups  and of course critical dates. I think sometimes that all  college sports forget that they are in the customer service business, people like to plan ahead of time, not have a basketball schedule which starts in November, come out in the middle of September. It will never make any sense to myself and it is a shameful way to treat fans.

Danny Miles--In my continuing campaign to get Oregon Tech basketball coach into the basketball hall of fame, I am wondering after watching last week's hall of fame ceremonies, if we will see Miles in the hall of fame next year. In my mind he is one of the top ten people in the world that is not in the hall of fame,  that deserves to be there. And for all the new people reading my columns and it is growing all the time, I have never met Coach Miles, would not know him if he walked past me and have nothing to gain by my support, except for the fact that his merits both as a coach and as a human being,  document totally why he should be in the basketball hall of fame.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mr. Regular Season

Stew Morrill is one of the best basketball coaches in the country...... during the regular season.

When it comes to the NCAA tournament, he would not be considered a good coach with his record.

As the head man at Utah State, Morrill's record during the regular season is second to none. There is an obvious reason why the Aggies just extended his contract to 2016-17, at which time Morrill will turn 65. Every year Morrill's name comes up for open jobs and every year he stays with the Aggies. Not only do teams love Morrill for his record, but in these days when the pressure is on academically more than ever, it is no accident that people take note of the fact in his 13 years at Utah State, 85 percent of his players have obtained a degree.

The numbers for Morrill in his 13 seasons as head coach in Logan are staggering to say the least.

All his seniors who graduated this year,  did in their four year career were to go 70-1 at home, in which that group went to the NCAA three times and NIT once. That alone,  is envious for any college program, but there is much more under the guidance of Morrill.

In his 13 seasons at Utah State his teams have won 324 times, losing only 103 times. Over that period at home the Aggies have gone, 193-13. As I have mentioned often, it is no wonder that Utah State is the best home arena atmosphere anywhere in the country and a must visit for any college basketball fan.

With that sterling record, the last 12 straight years, the Aggies have won at least 23 games in the season. Only three other teams in the country can match that statistic over the same time period. Obviously with those stats it has paid dividends for post season, with eight NCCA appearances and four NIT visits.

Finishing up, in conference games under Morrill the Aggies are 167-49 and in conference tournament games the Aggies have once again dominated with a 25-7 record. Stats do not always tell the whole story, but in this case they tell a lot, the Aggies under Morrill dominate regular season, end of story.

A couple of down notes. For some it might not mean anything, but for others it will mean a lot. The success of the Aggies in NCAA play has been dismal, they have never made the sweet 16 under Morrill and the sad part it might reflect with some, in their thoughts about putting Morrill in the greatness category of college coaches, despite his regular season record.

Just like the fact that rivals Portland State and University of Portland will not play each other this year (which is a joke), for the first time since 1943, Utah State will not play Utah this year. So sad on both accounts and hopefully something that can be rectified in both Utah and Oregon.

Most people do not even know who Stew Morrill is, but hopefully they will eventually find out that he is a pretty darn good basketball coach, who continues to win and continues to produce quality human beings. Just hoping he can have some success in post season, because we all know the Aggies will get there many more times.

please follow on twitter @wchoops and emails always welcome to

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back Door, Front Door, Side Door

I have written my thoughts before about the NBA lockout, I do think it will affect all of basketball, but I do have some thoughts about not only how to solve this, but also how all of college basketball can capitalize off this mess.

1. Every college team should try and play a game in an NBA arena where it is logistically possible. And make it even better, NBA teams should pay for the game to be played there, if they do not own the arena. If I was an athletic director, I would be working on this right now. Even better make it a doubleheader and have the first game, being a D-3 game or NAIA game. It is all about the experience and the players would love it and fans would attend, plus on the public relations side it takes a little of the sting out of what is sure to be a nightmare public relations issue for the entire NBA. One last thing, if I was an NBA player outsmart your team,  rent the arena for the teams, it would be a great move and that player would have friends for life. (Just hoping that the NCAA is not going to ban my blog for two years, because some of the above is against the rules.)

2. If I was every college basketball team in the country's decision maker, starting right now I would double the basketball marketing budget and put some teeth into the opportunity to gain some new fans. College basketball marketing stinks as a whole in this country, plus in-game promotions need a huge upgrade. I know universities and colleges do not like to spend money, but it is proven over and over no matter what level and what league, if you market properly, it will more than pay for itself. College basketball needs a shot in the arm and I could not think of a better time to make gain, off the pain.

3. Once again, decision makers, try and get your teams on TV a little more locally in your area, somehow and some way. There is nothing like exposure, TV will be looking to fill some hole if there is a lockout and once again, take advantage of a situation to make your product more visible. There is a golden opportunity here, the door is open.

4. Lastly, my advice here is free, it is also very good and you do not even have to give me the credit, just get it done.

Of course I hope none of this applies, as I do hope there is an NBA season. Most schools will not take advantage of the ideas I have presented, instead they will as many do, just ring their hands and ask where  are all the fans.

My one last piece of advice, President Obama, you are already running for second term, you love basketball, so put the full force of the government behind the efforts to solve the lockout. This goes beyond the economics of sports, it goes to the real people issue, including the youngsters, americans love their sports, it is a great release for many people who lives are not always the best, but sports are really something to always look forward too for everyone, no matter what their age. Sports mean more than we would admit.

I hope my advice will help, free is a very good price always.

please follow me on twitter @wchoops and emails always welcom,