Mavs Cuban: College Hoops 'Ugly, Ridiculous'

DALLAS - The backstory of Mark Cuban’s wealth involves his love for NCAA hoops, which puts a notable twist on the fact that the Mavs owner now says college basketball is 'uglier than ugly' and that it hurts the NBA because its players don’t know 'how to play a full game of basketball.’ That was part of the pregame fireworks from Wednesday's 107-104 win over the Suns. Notebook inside ...



Cuban rips NCAA hoops

"If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they're doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is," Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday night before the Mavs’ win over visiting Phoenix. "Just because kids don't know how to play a full game of basketball.''

In 1995, Cuban (and business partner Todd Wagner) founded Audionet, a company born of Cuban’s desire to listen to Indiana University basketball after moving from Bloomington to Dallas. The idea of “online radio’’ allowed him to start a company called Audionet (which became Broadcast.com) — which, in 1999, they sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock. So it’s fair to assume Cuban’s criticism of the sport comes from a sincere desire to see it healthy.

"You've got three kids passing on the perimeter,’’ Cuban said. "With 10 seconds on the shot clock, they try to make something happen and two other kids stand around. They don't look for anything and then run back on defense, so there's no transition game because two out of five or three out of five or in some cases four out of five kids aren't involved in the play."

"It's uglier than ugly.’'

Cuban noted that when the NBA has run into those sort of dips, it “changed things,’’ adding that new commissioner Adam Silver is proactive in attempting to do just that now with the consideration of a more balanced schedule.

Cuban was himself instrumental in motivating change in the way the NBA officials are managed and judged, behind-the-scenes work he did while at the same time very publicly insisting, in the 2001-02 season, that then-NBA officiating boss Ed T. Rush “couldn’t manage a Dairy Queen.’'

Smile

In an echo of that infamous remark, and in the wake of a controversial call to end this week's Duke-over-Wisconsin national championship game, Cuban added a college basketball criticism of its referees, saying their work is "crummy'' and that they "couldn't manage a White Castle.”

"There are so many things’’ about the college game, Cuban said, "that are ridiculous."

Mavs 107, Suns 104

The 47-31 Mavs held the Suns to a 41 points in the second half and held on at the end to record their only win over Phoenix this season ... but all of it adding up to the clinching of the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

Your All-Access Pass to the win is coming up in a bit ...

Injury update

Chandler Parsons (knee) did some pregame shooting but the Mavs clearly do not intend on rushing him back. He didn't play Wednesday and coach Rick Carlisle said, "We'd like to get him back to play a game or two before the playoffs, if it's possible. But nothing is for sure.''

The Mavs also plan to give Rondo some game-time off before the postseason and Carlisle called it "very likely'' that others would get the same treatment -- a debate over "healthy vs. hot'' and a logical conclusion with Dallas locked in at 7.

Who deserves 'The Dirkie'?

Dirk Nowitzki (19 points) is the man who made the big 3-pointer to put Dallas up 106-102 with 23 seconds left. So he's a logical candidate for "The Dirkie.'' But Dirk himself wants to credit Monta Ellis (20 points), who was responsible for the drive-and-dish assist.

"He made a heckuva play,'' Dirk said. “He dribbled in there hard, drew my defender and I found myself open again. I’ve been in this position for a lot of years and I just stepped into it and let it go and didn’t really think about it. I’m glad it went it, it kind of helped us get this win.”

Additionally, Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 23 rebounds, Devin Harris and Rajon Rondo each scored 12 points, and Amar’e Stoudemire contributed 10 points and six boards in 14 minutes.

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So, you know the drill: The Mavs win the game, and Mavs fans like you choose the Player of the Game. Who deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here!

The Final Word

“The second half was progress. The first half was regress. I like the second half. We’ve got to build on the second half. They scored 63 in the first half, 41 in the second half. Obviously, much better and much more of what we need preparing for the playoffs.” -- Rick Carlisle.

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