Off The Boards
By Jack Scheuer
November 27, 2013 Edition
You wouldn’t ever believe that John Calipari would be
under any kind of pressure, but the Teflon Man might just be under a bit of rare scrutiny should his Wildcats not come up with a very successful season. There was a little bit of grumbling by some of those Kentucky fanatics at the end of last year when the team failed to make the NCAA’s. So, when you have the “greatest recruiting class ever,” you’re expected to finish at or near the top, especially in Blue Grass country. He most certainly wouldn’t be in danger of losing his job, but he’d take some heat, and a lot of basketball people would love to see how he’d handle any criticism. In fact, that narrow escape against Cleveland State earlier this week, at home, probably raised a few eyebrows.
Then there is the strange decision of Travis Ford coach of nationally ranked Oklahoma State. The team is sparked by Marcus Smart, a bona fide All-American and a candidate for Player of the Year honors. Well, the Cowboys led Memphis by 32 with 6 minutes left in the game, so it was a little surprising that Smart was still on the floor. Wait, it gets worse. Finally, with 1:34 to go, Smart and 3 other starters are removed. Not only do you risk your best player getting hurt, you’re ignoring your reserves, and you’re obviously running up the score. Fortunately for Ford, he’s not scheduled to face Memphis again this year.
Trivia Time: Who holds the LaSalle record for most points in a game? Answer at the end of the column.
This and That: Raise your hand If you saw Michael Carter-Williams play in college and knew he would be this productive (You’re not telling the truth)….Those Temple guys keep popping up overseas. Marty Collins and Juan Fernandez are both playing in Italy…. Former Villanova big man Marcus Kennedy is one of Larry Brown’s pupils at SMU….Right now the Big 5’s Most Improved Award would probably go to Temple’s Will Cummings or Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard….Things look promising at Drexel. The Dragon’s strong defense will keep them in a lot of games this year, and it’s just a matter of time until Chris Fouch hits his shooting stride…. St. Joe’s talented freshman, 6-6 DeAndre’ Bembry doesn’t play like a first-year performer. Calm and collected….LaSalle seems to have to move the ball a little more. Only 10 total assists against Northern Iowa including just one by Tyreek Duren…. Mystery of the year: How did Spencer Hawes become Dirk Nowitzki?….Penn’s Tony Hicks is the first Parade All-American selection to play for the Quakers.
Answer to Trivia Time: In a game against Loyola of Illinois on Feb.4, 1995, Kareem Townes scored a school record 52 points.