Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – January 8, 2014 Edition

By Jack Scheuer                    January 8, 2014 Edition
Since more and more games are being televised, more and more analysts are being used as we see former players and coaches popping up on campuses everywhere.  Some are good, some  just fair, and some I won’t mention.  Sometimes it takes a while before you finally get used to a new face/voice, but for me, I still am partial to two guys who have been on the scene for quite a while.  In my opinion, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas are far and away the best in the business  and it’s not even close.  Raftery is one of those guys who have never changed, despite his celebrity status. He knows the sport, has a great sense of humor, and talks like you’re right there with him at the game.  Bilas is a little more serious, but certainly not unfriendly, really knows what he’s talking about, and has a flawless delivery.  As for some of the others, Mr. Vitale is still on the scene. Loudly, I might add. But  he is a very nice man who gets carried away on occasion, well, on many occasions.  He might pick seven different teams as “the best in America,”  but just turn down the sound and know that he truly loves basketball.  Dan Dakich and Tim Welsh are two former coaches who do a nice job, and then there is Bob Knight, who has the same sense of humor and charm as he had as a coach.  None.  If you disagree, tell me if you or someone you know has had ever seen him smile.
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The NBA should announce, right now,  that the Sixers Brett  Brown has been named the Coach of the Year.  Defeating the Lakers, Denver, Sacramento and Portland  in successive games, all on the road, is a tremendous accomplishment, and should be recognized no matter what the team does for the rest of the season.  And I’m only half kidding.
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Trivia Time: Who is the only Penn Player to be named the team’s MVP four straight years. Answer at the end of the column.
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This and That: Larry Brown has his SMU Mustangs  playing well and drawing big crowds. He also has one of the best high school point guards in the country, Emmanuel Mudiay, (Dallas Prime Prep) coming in next season….Drexel’s Frantz Massenat has made 110 consecutive starts, the top streak in the nation….Jerrell Wright, LaSalle’s underrated center, has made 55 of his last 81 shots. (68%)….The Explorers have a tough game tomorrow night when they host greatly improved George Washington featuring former Villanova big man Isaiah Armwood and Indiana transfer Maurice Creek…..Meanwhile, St. Joe’s is at UMass tonight.  Paced by Chaz Williams, the Minutemen are nationally ranked for the first time in several years….St.Joe’s Prep  product Steve Vasturia played 22 minutes and hit three 3-pointers in Notre Dame’s 79-77 victory over Duke…. Villanova showed their impressive defense again in trouncing Providence. The top scorer in the game played for the Friars. Otherwise they had nothing but Cotton.
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Answer to Trivia Time: Starting in 1996-97, Michael Jordan won four straight MVP’s.

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