Questioning College Hoops
A Commentary by Larry Harris
College basketball questions everyone may have asked; answers that no one probably cared to hear:
1. Where was the warmest place in the state of New York last weekend?
No matter how much ice and snow fell, the ground around Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was hotter than the Sahara sands -- especially after he and his consigned-to-the-NIT Orange players watched pitiful performances by Stanford and Arkansas in the Big Dance.
2. Who should be playing offensive tackle in the NFL instead of college basketball?
Georgetown junior Jeff Green, the Big East MVP, could leave early for the NBA.
(Courtesy of Georgetown Athletics)
The shoulders on Notre Dame freshman big man Luke Harangoty are indeed imposing -- and he can shoot free throws, too. Then there is Joey Dorsey of Memphis, the Douglass High product whose length and strength place him in the category that the late, great coach Al McGuire dubbed "aircraft carrier."
3. Who's the easiest player in the game to dislike?
That's an easy one, but takes a split vote. Duke's Greg Paulus, who took a remarkably short time to become the new J.J. Redick, plays with an obnoxious edge; Syracuse's Eric Devendorf does the same with an insufferable sneer. Unfortunately, both also have a world of talent.
Was that a universal cheer that went up when Virginia Commonwealth ousted the Blue Devils in the first round?
4. What was the biggest surprise in Baltimore college ball this season?
Coaches Pat Kennedy (Towson), Jimmy Patsos (Loyola), Todd Bozeman (Morgan) and Randy Monroe (UMBC) all directed their teams to better records than anticipated, which bodes well for the local scene in years to come. And don't overlook Donald Beasley, who in his second year as boss of the Morgan women was named MEAC Coach of the Year. Then there were Phil Stern, who shockingly put his UMBC women in the NCAAs, and Derek Brown, who got his Coppin women to the NIT.
5. Who's the best shooter in the game?
Acie Law IV of Texas A&M has made more clutch shots than anyone has a right to, but Syracuse's Demetris Nichols, the Big East's leading scorer, is a close second.
And the worst? Every skywalker in the NCAA tournament who dashed down court with nobody in sight, jumped 12 feet in the air -- and bounced the slam higher than a passing jet. There was a surprising number of them in the opening weekend.
6. Who's the oldest teenager who ever lived?
Ohio State's 7-foot monster Greg Oden, at 19, looks older than Bill Russell did at 45.
7. Who's Freshman of the Year?
In most seasons, guys like Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (40 vs. UConn), Ohio State's Mike Conley or UNC's Brandan Wright would get a look, but a Kevin Durant only comes along once in a generation.
8. Who will make the biggest splash in the NBA next year -- Oden or Durant, the Texas wunderkind?
While the pundits are arguing, watch for Georgetown's Jeff Green. If the Big East MVP jumps after his junior year, he will make the transition to the pros smoother than anyone.
9. Who's the most adventurous coach in the game?
If they wanted someone to fly to the edge of the sun, Coppin State's Fang Mitchell might volunteer. Every season, basketball's version of Indiana Jones sends his Eagles into Parts Unknown -- and usually comes away with a couple of unlikely wins.
10. What local team was most impressive?
It may only have been Division III, but Dave Nelson's Johns Hopkins Blue Jays racked up a final 24-5 record. In any league, that's pretty impressive stroking.
Issue 2.12: March 22, 2007