Netwhispers on Hoops




In Los Angeles the nails are being put into the coffin of Steve Lavin at UCLA. This will be the first losing season in over 50 years and the main contenders for the job seem to have dwindled to two. The head basketball coaches at Pittsburgh and Alabama are the chief contenders.  Look for one or the other to be on the sidelines next year in Westwood. The smart money says it will be Pittsburgh Coach, Ben Howland.


Over in Rosehill in the Bronx the sticking point in the replacement of Fordham's Head Coach is the remaining six years on his ten-year contract. Yes, the Rams gave Coach Hill a ten-year deal with a bit over a million dollars still due him.  Maybe one of Fordham's alums will step to the plate and save the Rams from six more years of Hill.


On the flip side of the coaching merry-go- round, Bobby Gonzalez and his Jaspers of Manhattan are gaining some national notoriety with their fine play in the Metro area.  The Jaspers have already knocked off two Big East teams this year. Look for Gonzalez to find the right niche for himself in the next season or two and jump to the Big Time.  His name has already been tied to the Pitt job should Ben Howland head West. For any of you ladies out there that are looking to get attached to a basketball coach, Bobby is still single.


Meanwhile in the Big East, what went on down in DC the other night in the Georgetown/Seton Hall game.  NBC and it's affiliate stations, as well as, ESPN had the sixth man plastered all over the tube. We had it posted that evening but it was based on information from a Rutgers alum in DC.


 I watched the tape several times and I can't believe that none of the players, coaches, or official scorers figured it out. Well, the guy in bounding the ball had to know because everyone else was covered.  Speak about clueless.  What is the Big East going to do about this travesty and what will the repercussions be for the officials involved? Will Art Hyland and Mike Tranghese stand up and speak out or just hide it under the rug? 


At St. Johns former walk-on starter, senior Andre Stanley, is done for the year with a broken bone in his right foot.  He snapped a metatarsal on his power foot going in for a lay-up. He is scheduled for surgery next week. It now appears as if Juco transfer, Grady Reynolds, will soon hit the starting lineup for the Red Storm replacing Kyle Cuffe.  After a slow start Reynolds has been picking up minutes of late. He is still involved in an on going court case with another student at the university.


Up in Storrs all is not perfect in Huskyland. I'm not even talking about the home loss to Boston College where the team in Blue hung their collective heads and gave up in the first half.  The Husky team blew a lead on the road in Miami and lost when Darius Rice let a three fly with no time left on the clock. You've got to feel for junior forward, Shamon Tooles. He's the guy that tried to inbound the ball in the final seconds to Taliek Brown that Rice intercepted and scored on.

 You know, no one person causes a team to lose or win a game. So is the case with Shamon.  The Boys from Storrs blew a lead and the inbounds pass was just the final straw. It was the usual set of circumstances that lead to a last minute loss: poor clock management, poor ball handling, poor shot selection, missed free throws and least but not least a bad in bounds play.


Another Connecticut incident this week was the on campus arrest of former Uconn forward Johnnie Selvie.  The 22 year-old Selvie was charged with third degree assault, breach of peace, and second-degree unlawful restraint. Police had responded to a 911 call from a female companion.


Up in Boston there is Muppet Mania, the Cookie Monster has hit the Big East.  Craig Smith the 6'8" freshman center for Boston College affectionately known as Cookie is making a run at the Big East Rookie of the Year Award.  WVU Coach John Belein said that Craig might just be the best freshman around. He had big shoes to fill since senior Uka Agbai had to redshirt due to leg injury. Craig has exceeded everyone's expectations.  He was a fifth year senior that never hit any of the top 100 lists. He has just exploded and surpassed all expectations.


Finally, in an early vote for Coach of the Year in the Big East I cast my vote for Mike Brey of Notre Dame over Ben Howland and John Belein. Brey is winning with two returning starters and his team is situated in the Top 10 nationally.  Mike Brey may have positioned himself as the front- runner in the heir apparent to Koach K Kontest.



Mike and The Big Dog LLC

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