Office Hours: Super Bowl Edition

By David Scott - February 04, 2008


Let us count the ways that we are overjoyed with the culmination of the Super Bowl: No more Spygate talk; No more perfection talk; No more gratuitous shots of Gisele. Okay, scrap that last one. The Professor will take as many Gisele glimpses as we can get.

But most of all, the end of the NFL season signifies the earnest start of the stretch run for college hoops and a time when the nation-at-large begins to focus attention on RPIs, SOSs and S-Curve numbers. Or, if you prefer, Beasleys, Roses and Hansbroughs.

All range of grades today, so sit back and digest The Prof's proffering:

A: John Wooden
He'd been under the weather a bit, but The Wizard was able to make it to Pauley for Saturday night's tussle with Arizona. All is right in the world when Wooden is in HIS house, front and center. Oh, and the Bruins are pretty damn good, too.

A: Lew Perkins, Kansas Athletic Director

He got more air time than Randy Moss because of some fortunate seating in a stadium luxury box during the Super Bowl. Perkins was positioned in front of Peyton Manning and each time FOX went with a brother-watching-brother shot, there was Perkins in the foreground. According to the Kansas City Star Perkins became Manning friendly through a relationship with Gatorade - and we're guessing it was the Gatorade box since Nomar and Mia were also there.

Funny thing is, Perkins is a native of Chelsea, MA (just like our own Phil Kasiecki) so you know Perkins was probably pulling a little bit for the Patriots.

F: Free Throw Shooting
Two glaring examples: In Stanford's 67-65 overtime win over Washington State on Saturday, the game's final 5:21 (five minutes of which were the OT) saw several key misses from the charity stripe. Wazzou was burned by missing three of four at the end of regulation (Robbie Cowgill twice and Kyle Weaver once) while Stanford's Mitch Johnson missed two free throws. In OT, the Cougars managed to hit 7 of nine, but a key Weaver miss that could have tied the game late in OT was costly. In all, Stanford was 62 percent from the line and Washington State was 72 percent, but crunch time free throws were virtually non-existent.

Then, in Memphis's six point squeaker over UTEP, the Tigers missed 20 free throws (21 of 41) and the Miners missed nine (12 of 21). Said John Calipari, whose Tigers shoot 58 percent from the line for the season (323 of 328 teams in Division I): "We can't make a free throw."

The difference is the Tigers haven't had to. Falling-from-the-Top 10 Wazzou certainly did.

A: Penn State
The Nittany Lions 85-76 upset over Michigan State was most likely a minor slip by the Spartans - they're still built for March. But for Penn State, the win was a season-maker. In keeping with the free throw shooting theme, we do need to point out that Penn State (the home team) shot 30 more free throws (51 to 21) than Michigan State. The Spartans were called for 10 more personal fouls (31-21).

C: Kansas State
In a classic let-down game after its wonderful upset of Kansas on Wednesday, the Wildcats fell to Team Turmoil, the Missouri Tigers, 77-74.

"Here's the deal: you want to play Missouri on the road you better not turn the basketball over," said K-State coach Frank Martin. "We turned it over. We had I think either 10 or 11 turnovers [10 in the second half and 16 for the game to 11 for Missouri] in the second half. We do that on offense and then just don't defend; we've got no chance to win."

A: Kansas State Fans' Floor Storm
A nearly perfect execution of the taking of the court that put a colorful end to the quarter-century domination by the Jayhawks in Manhattan. The Professor gets aggravated at unworthy court storms and court storms that involve violence or malice. The K-State version on Wednesday night seemed to be just the right dose of storming and stomping and who knows? The Purple People may still be on the floor.

D: UMass
The Minutemen continued their late January nosedive with their lowest output of the season in a 71-59 loss at St. Louis. Travis Ford's Minutemen have now lost three of the last four, setting up a virtual must-win when they host hot Rhode Island on Thursday in Amherst.

Inc.: Eddie Sutton
The San Francisco Dons' Don, Sutton got his 800th career win on Saturday night over Pepperdine. What it means and the complete hollowness of the accomplishment is up for discussion, but at the very least we will offer a cordial congratulations to the Hired Gun Sutton.

A: Nate Bowie, Central Arkansas
The senior guard from Kansas City had a career-high 39 points on Saturday in UCA's 98-96 double overtime win over Nicholls State. Bowie had 7 o 12 from 3-point land. "Nate obviously made a lot of big plays," said UCA head coach Rand Chappell. "He was going to find ways to score tonight and he did. We got to overtime and a lot of times we had the ball in his hands, with him attacking. He made some really big shots and got to the foul line a lot. It takes a pretty special player to have a night like that, and Nate has been playing extremely well."

Rook Look: Dominic Mcguire, Washignton Wizards.

A weekly check-in with a professional player who was toiling on a college campus last year at this time:

Great stat from NBA.com on McGuire, who was drafted as the 47th pick out of Fresno State: ". . . has yet to crack 10 total assists, steals or blocks for his career yet, but he reached double-digit rebounds in one night, hauling in 10 boards on Wednesday vs. the Raptors."

Information and quotes from school/conference releases, official websites and wire stories were used in this notes column.

Posted by David Scott at 12:55 AM on February 04, 2008
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