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College Hoops Reflections

January 9, 2010
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A few observations from a Saturday morning, before the NFL Playoffs start:

I) It shouldn’t be surprising that Tennessee kicked Tyler Smith off the team for being charged with a felony, but you can still color me shocked.  Pearlstein said that he was considering playing the four suspendees against Charlotte on Wednesday or against Kansas today, but that’s clearly not in the works.  I guess congratulations are in order for Tennessee’s moral fiber, although I doubt their shot selection will improve as a result.  They are definitely this century’s first “Worst Shot Selection” dynasty.  I’m interested to see how long they can keep it up.

II) The Dores got a win in a defense-less shootout against Florida.  Brad Tinsley’s minutes were seriously curtailed today, mostly in favor of John Jenkins, who had 14 on the strength of four threes.  Say what you want about Tinsley (he is the second-best ball handler on the team and has a reputation as a good three-point shooter), but he had zero points and zero assists in 16 minutes today.  He just does not produce enough to warrant extended minutes because of the constant risk that he’ll turn it over.  Beal needs to be playing 40 minutes.

Andre Walker is the most valuable player on the team.  He had 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists (leading the team in that category), and came up with a big play virtually every time he needed to.  Even though FeZz missed all of his free throws, he contributed in the way the Dores need a secondary big man to contribute.  A.J. Ogilvy may have had the best game of his career, even though he still managed to get pushed around and rebound poorly.  His frailty as a big man is probably what gets him to the line so much (he was 10-12 from the stripe), but if Vandy is to accept that he’s not going to be any kind of force inside, guys like Lance Golbourne and Steve Tchiengang need to be seeing more minutes to make up for the lack of rebounding.  Walker can’t get every single one of them (Jeff Taylor had just two today).

III) Is Duke the whitest team in the past ten years to be ranked in the top 5?  At any given time, between three and four of their players on the floor are white boys.  Everybody has known for a good while that they’re perennially the whitest good team in basketball (code word: unathletic), but this team is chock full of honkies.  Their matchup against George Tech today could potentially be called “The Battle of the Races”, given that Paul Hewitt’s team hasn’t had a white guy come through their program in years.  It’s like “Glory Road”, except Georgia Tech’s head coach is black, it’s not the national championship, and segregation is nonexistent.  Okay, so it’s not like “Glory Road”.



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