Monday, November 21, 2005

Louisville Revisted

I'm developing this nervous tick, which I attribute to Louisville.

The 76-75 loss to Texas was one of the more frustrating and painful losses in recent memory. You can't fault the coaches or players for the loss, because if you are pointing fingers, you point them at Kevin Pittsnogle and Joe Herber. They make mistakes, sure, but they also got you to the point of being in position to beat No. 2 Texas on a neutral floor.

I have no real opinion on the final play, other than its one of the best plays I've ever seen with 3 seconds left. To work the half-court pass to Herber, get a couple of dribbles with the option to shoot or find a man cutting to the basket. It was beautifully drawn up. It worked, I think. The call just didn't come, and the basket wasn't made. I don't know if I would've called a foul in that situation, in a live situation. Everyone is better when we can see 8,000 replays.

If I have any criticism to dole out, its to Erin Andrews' courtside report late in the game. She noted how passionate Beilein was and how he told his players to play like it was their last game. I'm all for pumping up the players and trying to keep them hungry, but thats an awful lot of pressure to put on the team in a late November game. I believe that tension showed late in the game on the free throw line.

Kudos to the team for a well-played game. I just can't take an entire season of those kind of endings. It's too painful. I'm using Mountaineer athletics as a refuge from the daily rigors of my current lifestyle, where I have less than two dollars in my bank account (seriously) and I have no idea how I am going to make it through the next two months without any income. Tonight, while enjoyable, didn't help me out too much in feeling better about other aspects of my life.

The Greatest Week in Mountaineer Sports History continues tomorrow night.

WVU vs. Kentucky or Iowa.

  • P.J. Tucker of Texas was a one-time John Beilein recruit a couple years back. Beilein was in the mix for the highly-touted prospect, but didn't get his hooks in him when Tucker visited Morgantown. Tucker participated in the summer basketball tournament held at the Student Recreation Center.
  • I've always followed Rick Barnes' career since his days at Providence. Barnes, if you remember, recruited Jason Williams to the Friars out of high school, when WVU head basketball coach Gale Catlett took a pass on the mercurial point guard. After the commitment, Barnes bolted for Clemson, which led him to the Texas job. Jason backed out of his verbal, ended up at Hargrave, then Marshall with Billy Donavon, whom he followed to Florida.
  • I caught wind that Joe Alexander had been slacking off in practice and in academics because of the company of a lady-friend. Alexander looked fine tonight, however. Although he's not quite big enough, I'd much rather see him in the game spelling Pittsnogle than Rob Summers, who is about as worthless as some type of Michael Ayodele-Jerrah Young hybrid, with a couple of inches in height, of course.


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