Monday, November 26, 2007

Washington 84, Long Beach State 67

Last night I had the pleasure of checking out the big Washington vs. Long Beach game, thanks to FSN-Northwest, and it was really not all that entertaining.

Washington won by 17, not covering the 22 point spread, but really should have won by about 30, if not for their swiss-cheese like defense and Ben Wallace-like free throw shooting.

It was nice to watch Long Beach, as they had several issues that may be familiar to other fans of a certain formerly Dan Monson led team: Inability to handle a pressure defense they should have been prepared for (18 TOs), running a trapping defense - without knowing where and how to trap the ballhandler (only 5 steals), and a complete and total inability to defend the three (Wash 11-19).

What helped out LBSU, was the fact that I'm not entirely sure Washington knows how to play defense, and their coach made a curious decision to abandon the press. Washington was up 15 midway through the first half, and had been using pressure defense to cause havoc amongst the LBSU guards, and then just went away from it, allowing them to catch up and actually tie the game with about ten minutes left.

I kept waiting for Washington to assert their dominance and destroy the 49ers, but it never happened and that's when I realized - maybe Washington just isn't that good. I know they lost to both Texas A&M and Syracuse in the preseason NIT, but those are good teams, and I didn't take that to mean anything. I know they lost Spencer Hawes to the NBA, but with guys like Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, and Quincy Pondexter back along with some good newcomers, I thought they were being underrated as a middle of the road Pac 10 team. It looks like I was wrong. They allowed a team that was shooting 24% from three previously to come in and shoot 55%, and watching the game, the 49er guards were getting to the rim pretty much whenever they wanted. The guards couldn't stop them, and the big men weren't keeping them out either. Washington is lucky that they are such a crappy team, because a team with better guards would have destroyed them last night.

Three other little interesting tidbits from last night's game were:

1. LBSU called a timeout and Monson actually talked to his players. It looks like he's learned and moved on from the whole "call a timeout but then ignore my team and don't tell them how to adjust" school of thought.

2. At one point the announcers called the 49ers a "blue collar" kind of team. That just means they suck - and they do.

3. The announcers also said that Dan Monson "instills confidence in his players." I can't think of a single time that happened ever in his 25 years at the U or whatever it was. In fact, I think he shattered more players' egos than helped them. (see Tucker, Rico aka the Jesus of Basketball).

Additionally, I found some video of recruiting expert Van Coleman talking about the Gophers. It's old, like before Joseph signed, and there's only about a minute of Gopher talk (such as "Minnesota would not have signed Sampson if Tubby wasn't there), but here it is anyway. You have to watch a commercial first, and then he starts talking about Oregon and fat Josh Crittle who we didn't want anyway, but it gets there eventually.

(I had the video right on this page, but it plays automatically when the page loads and that's really annoying. So here's the video.)

Finally, Bogart and I used to bet on college basketball together before opening our separate accounts, and he was nerdy enough to keep track of our all-time record as well as the 2005-2006 season when we bet on every single game where a line was offered. I am very proud to share with you all that in that season we were 1,721 - 1,650 (.511) and for our career together we were 2,862 - 2,715 (.513). I'm also pretty sure I was more like 60% but he was like 42%.

Virginia -14.5 vs. Northwestern
Minnesota +8 @ FSU
Duke -8.5 vs. Wisconsin
Georgia Tech +10 @ Indiana
Northern Iowa PK @ Iowa St
Purdue +10 @ Clemson

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