It’s hoops season, bitches.
One more week of half-assed posting while I write my “novel.” 40,000 words down; 10,000 to go.
I hit a couple games in the county girls tournament last week. One was a blowout, as expected. It was 10-0 after a minute and never got closer. The other looked like a great match-up on paper. It was a dud. Both teams played like ass. The team that won has a lot of talent, but just play ugly. Their best player, who is a D1 recruit, fouls all the time. They have a couple good guards, another player who is above average at four spots on the court, and a couple shooters. But for some reason they can not run an attractive offense and are forced to win ugly. They ended up winning the tournament in another ugly game. I cover them again this week, and they play a team that was very good last year but lost a ton of talent. I feel an ugly loss coming on.
Speaking of Brandon Rush, I’ve actually watched a few minutes of Pacers basketball this year. It’s still hard to watch them, but the Darren Collison acquisition last summer was the first reasonable move they’ve made in years. It’s not enough to make them good, but at least it’s generated a little interest. My man Brandon got the year started off right with a five game suspension, earned for flunking a drug test three times. THREE TIMES. No one ever accused Brandon of being the smartest guy in the world, but once you get caught twice, don’t you put the weed down until the off-season? Not the best way to start off your make-or-break year in the league. Fortunately, he’s come out playing solid ball so far, and the Pacers even picked up his option for next year. I still contend he should focus on being a lock-down defender who can hit the open three. I just think he’s miscast as a scorer at this level. It’s just not his personality.
The big news of the weekend, at least from my perspective, was the NCAA finally offering a verdict on Josh Selby’s eligibility at KU. He has to sit out nine games and pay some money to charity for some “extra benefits,” but the dude gets to play. KU is going to be very good whether Selby was eligible or not. Not many teams are going to be able to guard the Morris twins, Tyshawn Taylor seems to have his head in the right place, and there are a lot of other pieces to work with. But Selby is a difference maker. The expectations just went up three or four notches, and my stomach began to hurt at the prospect of another Missouri Valley team in our bracket in March.
Oh, and I know every basketball columnist in the country is already working on the “KU deferred to Sherron Collins too much last year and they’re better without him” column. I expect to see them start trickling out in early January. There’s truth to that, but it ignores the fact KU would not have been 32-2 and the #1 overall seed going into the tournament without him.
A bad weekend for football. KU hung around long enough to get me stuck to the couch Saturday before the inevitable ass kicking began. Not looking forward to this weekend’s game. That seems like perfect Christmas tree putting up time to me. Colts go down at New England. I gave up when they went down by 17. I took the trash out and marveled that it was 65 at almost 7:00 on a late November night. I came in, did some things, and checked the score. Down three, with the ball, driving. As soon as I began paying attention, another pick for Peyton. I still don’t think the Colts are going deep in the playoffs – and with the AFC South falling apart I don’t think the Colts miss the postseason – but that performance should give the team some hope. If they can just get healthy and stay healthy for a couple weeks, they could win a game or two in the playoffs. And I watched my first Arsenal game of the year Saturday. Predictably, with a chance to go top of the table, they blew a 2-0 home lead to their bitter North London rivals and lost.
A quick baseball note: rumors are flying about the Royals listening to offers for Zach Greinke. If the offer is right, I say take it. One floated today had the Rangers sending a bushelful of players to KC for Zach. If there’s any truth to the offer, Dayton Moore should jump all over it. Greinke’s value is at its peak and the Royals aren’t going to contend in 2011. But getting the kind of prospects who will be ready in a year or two, and join the flood of young players nearly ready for the bigs, could be the final step in finally turning the Royals around. Which means it won’t happen.