Gang, thanks for a great week. It's busy. It's been fun.
From the "Talks too much" studios, let's get to the good stuff.
It's about time we had another contest. I like to win stuff.
What's your favorite contest, and what will be the prize when I win the First 1 out... thing?
Thanks, and you still talk too much.
Now seeds to be the perfect time to update the "First 1 out, last dog in" challenge.
5-at-10 — Gonzaga/Oregon
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Indiana/Davidson
Lil' 5-at-10 — Kansas/Oklahoma
OrdinaryGuy — Gonzaga/Ole Miss
OrangeGuy — Indiana/Ole Miss
Dawg247 — Kansas/Belmont
McPell — Indiana/Ole Miss
StuckinKent — Kansas/Oregon
BillyinBrainerd — Gonzaga/South Dakota State
OTWatcher — Louisville/New Mexico State
Fred — Kansas/Cincy
ThatIDoKnow — Gonzaga/Minnesota
Tiger — Kansas/Belmont
Weena — Gonzaga/Oklahoma
TomT — Indiana/St. Mary's
TrueFan — Kansas/Minnesota
Hookshot — Kansas/Oregon
Believer — Indiana/Oregon
AReader — Gonzaga/Harvard
WarEagle — Gonzaga/Oregon
TitleChaser — Gonzaga/California
scole023 — Kansas/Ole Miss
chas9 — Gonzaga/St. Mary's
Rustyvol — Gonzaga/Minnesotas
Deboman — Indiana/Oregon
Sportsfan — Kansas/Bucknell
Titanic — Kansas/Colorado
BackupQB — Gonzaga/Oregon
BIspy4 — Kansas/California
If we missed any or have your pick wrong, speak now or forever hold your peace. Or if you own a firearm, speak now and forever hold your piece. Or if you wear a toupee, speak now while holding your hair piece.
Prize will be a Final Four T-shirt or a Masters lid, winner's choice. As for our favorite contest, either this one or the Draft one. We love the draft. You know this.
From several of you (compiled with several angles)....
What did you think about the Shulman decision?
What would you look for in hiring UTC's next coach?
There were so many of these — of the 500-plus emails we normally get, there were roughly 10 percent dealing with this topic — we decided to combine them and go.
As for the Shulman decision, we thought it was time. The program is broken. It can't be fixed with committing to a coach and there's no way UTC could commit to John considering the state of the program.
As we said Thursday, we were very impressed with how this was handled for the most part (high marks for interim AD Laura Herron, especially), and we're very grateful that everyone has for the most part been respectful around these parts sense the decision was announced.
(The one thing we have a hard time buying is John saying "All I ever wanted to do was help young men. Now because I wasn't winning, I can't do that here anymore. How messed up is that?" This is the perfect time for the Hyman Roth "This is the business we have chosen," line from Godfather II. Yes, John tried to helped his players. And yes, there have been a slew of touching tributes about how people liked John. But c'mon, this is college sports. It's about winning. If it was only about helping college basketball players, why did he move up the ladder? Why interview a couple of years ago for other jobs? To help better players and at better jobs? There are a slew of kids out there that need help, and most of them can't dribble, shoot or dunk. This is a business, and the business is winning. Sure, you can lose a coaching job for being a sketchy guy, ask Bobby Petrino. But everyone from the ball boy to the big boys know you have to win.)
As for the next coach, well, we think former UTC coach Mack McCarthy brought up a great point on SportTalk with Quake, Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) and Cowboy Joe. Mack noted that UTC went and landed Murray Arnold, who had small school head coaching experience, and that worked out like a charm. Mack was hired after a successful run as an assistant at bigger schools.
We believe the pedigree is secondary to the person, but we believe the as much experience as possible is a good thing. We think the next coach needs an extreme basketball I.Q. The UTC fan base is a basketball savvy bunch, and they are starving for someone that can win games with a clipboard and a Sharpie. We think that success is not an accident, look for someone that has had a track record of winning.
As for the specific names, well, there's a load of time for that. And we love how the camps have already started circling around their candidate or their guy. (Side note: Be circling around the camps of the AD you want, Johnny or Joanie Mocs Fan. That's the first order of BID-ness and easily the more important hire. And, we completely back Jomo's sentiment that the No. 1-through-5 job requirement for the next AD will be fundraising.)
Above all else — and judging from the response we have received the last two days — we believe the right decision was made for everyone involved, and John may have said it best Wednesday with "It's not fair to me, not fair to our players, not fair to our coaches, not fair to our fans and not fair to the program." We also believe there is real excitement in the fan base for the first time in several years. Even John's backers have shared some feelings of relief that the tug of war and the bickering will stop.
I almost didn't write because I think you try to goad me by saying LeBron this and LeBron that. I know what you are doing.
But you know and I know that Jordan is the best ever. LeBron knows it so just deal with it.
You did ask a question that got me thinking... an all-time NBA redraft. I'd go Jordan, Jabbar, Russell, Chamberlain, Magic, Bird then James.
You only gave us your top 2. What's your top 10?
Rest easy, we're not trying to goad anybody... our day job allows us to irk enough people as it is so when ever possible we look for an easy-listening approach to the 5-at-10. Can you dig it?
That said, James seventh? Really? Who's goading whom here? OK.
Here's our top 10 if the NBA had an all-time re-draft with this disclaimer: We undervalued centers. If you waited until the third or fourth round for a center, is getting Hakeem Olajuwan or David Robinson really all that bad. Center is the deepest position because the difference between a Kareem or Russell and Hakeem or The Admiral is no where as great as the difference between Jordan and say Ray Allen or LeBron James and Alex English.
4) Larry Bird
5) Kobe Bryant
6) Oscar Robertson
7) Tim Duncan
8) John Stockton
9) Isiah Thomas
10) and then run on centers starts
Again, this is not the best players, there would be several centers on that list. This is our re-draft board, and we would put heavy value on the differences between the top two or three and then say No. 10 at each position.
From First Timer 1 (which is the name of unsigned questions)
Maybe you could use this in your mailbag... You like the draft, so who would you take first in fantasy baseball?
Thanks, and I love the 5@10.
First Timer 1,
Thanks and feel free to swing by any time, don't cost nothing. (And even if it did, feel free to swing by anytime.)
We do have an affinity for the draft, this is true. You may have heard about that.
As for fantasy baseball, well, we kicked that habit several years ago. Fantasy sports takes a commitment, and it's a chunk of time that we currently do not have. We could not be one of these casual fantasy guys. You're either in or you're not. You either get better or worse, you never stay the same. This Mr. Miyagi moment was brought to by the TFP. The Times Free Press, where sports are sports and never the twain shall meet.
For those of you who think this question is easy, and that stat-sheet-stuffing super stud Mike Trout is the easy No. 1 overall pick, well, you're 100 precent wrong. Mike Trout is an AL player, the only fantasy baseball recognized around these parts are the NL-only leagues. Sorry, we're elitist like that. (Side note: If you are in a both league league, hard to argue against Trout. He's money.)
As for the NL, well, we'd draft Dan Uggla last. (Kidding, mostly.) Matty Kemp has to be 1. Pick and choose guys that can help in as many categories as possible. The Uptons and Jason Heyward have value but around these parts (i.e. Braves territory) people may overpay for those with the cursive 'A' on their hat. The first pick in truth is not as important as overall strategy. Load up on a single category — steals and saves can be the easiest to monopolize — and use the extra wealth to address weak areas midway through the season.
From First Timer 2
I love March Madness like you love the draft. What's your Rushmore of March Madness memories. My favs are Jordan's shot, NC State winning and Villanova beating Georgetown. Wow that was some great basketball, huh?
No doubt that was a great time for college hoops. From 1979 (Bird-Magic) to the 1992 tournament when Duke notched back-to-back titles, every year was great for something. Follow along:
79 — Bird and Magic
80 — Louisville and Dr. Dunkenstein (wickedly underrated nickname) Darrell Griffith
81 — Isiah Thomas
82 — Jordan's shot
83 — NC State
84 — Georgetown wins in Seattle
85 — Villanova's huge upset
86 — Never Nervous Pervis
87 — Keith Smart's game-winner over a Syracuse team that was loaded
88 — Danny Manning and the Miracles
89 — Glen Rice goes NUTS
90 — UNLV has arguably the best team ever
91 — Duke
92 — Duke and Laettner's UK dagger
That's big time stuff right there. The only teams in recent memory that could make a dent in that is last year's Kentucky's one-and-done brigade, Florida's back-to-back champs and that supremely talented Carolina team a few years ago.
As for our Rushmore of NCAA tournament moments: Danny Manning winning it was cool (we had Kansas winning that tournament and won the office pool at 5-at-10's Sr.'s workplace. It was for entertainment purposes only of course); Laettner's shot is on that list (sorry 9er); Villanova's unbelievable upset; and as far as stunning, probably Chris Webber's timeout. (The Jordan moment was overshadowed for us by Fred Brown throwing the ball to James Worthy and we were heartbroken when NC State won because we loved, Loved, LOVED that Phi Slamma Jamma Houston team.)
If March Madness is this big, how big will the college football playoff be?
March Madness is a monster because of the brackets and office pools (for entertainment purposes only of course). Period. And for those of us who grew up on college hoops and may hate to admit that, well, it's 100 percent true. If you did not have a bracket, how much of the tournament would you watch?
This is not a problem for the January Jamboree that will be the college football playoff.
And when they go to eight teams and then to 16 teams in a college football playoff and incorporate brackets.... HOLY TRINITY OF SPORTS EXPLOSIONS. There's no ceiling on it and the football bracket/title game will eventually make the leftover bowl games into the football NIT and propel college football title game to No. 2 behind the Super Bowl in the American sports culture.
From Bill T.
Just started reading you column on the computer. It's pretty good.
Wonder why you don't like Bobby Knight? He's one of the best coaches ever so he knows the game.
I like his announcing. I don't like those lingo guys that never stop talking.
"Lingo guys that never stop talking" huh? We resemble that remark.
And yes, Bobby Knight was a great coach. He's a dreadful announcer, however. Share your basketball knowledge. Don't breakdown the video like it's a scouting tape. And sweet buckets of throwing chairs, mix in a smile every third broadcast. We've seen more grins and heard more giggles at an insurance seminar.
And why does it have to be one or the other. Serious or silly are not the only two options. As far as basketball goes, we'll take Bill Raftery against the field and we like our chances. In the studio, Bilas is aces. We actually like Doug Gottlieb pretty good too.
They can't all be Vin Scully mind you, but they don't have to act like it's college-level calculus either.
Feel free to discuss any of the topics above or if we missed your question, list it below.
Thanks and thanks for another great week.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...