Saturday, March 15, 2014

Doc Sadler: Iowa State Basketball Secret Weapon

  You see him on the Iowa State sidelines with a loosed tie. He will occasionally bark out instructions from his bench seat or visit with a player after his boss takes him out of the game. Doc Sadler is Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg’s go-to-guy. If Hoiberg is Iowa State’s Batman, Sandler becomes Robin.
  Hoiberg knows how fortunate Iowa State is to have Sadler on the payroll. Sadler was the head coach at two Division I stops—Nebraska and UTEP (Texas –El Paso). Sadler knows all about the rigors of being a head coach in the pressure cooker of college basketball.
  College basketball coaches have egos. But it takes a sure lesson in humility when a head coach falls to the assistant line. Sadler seems okay with it. And it appears Hoiberg and Sadler have a good relationship.
  Hoiberg came to Iowa State a few years ago with zero head coaching experience. Yes, he had NBA player and front office duties on his resume, but like a good CEO, he knew he needed expertise. Bobby Lutz was a great hire as a former head coach. After a few years in between, Hoiberg grabbed Sandler away from Kansas.
  You think Doc had any insight in drawing up a plan to defeat the Jayhawks last night (Friday) in the Big 12 Tournament?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Coach Basketball Coaches and Referees

I decided to revisit my blog writing again even if only on a limited basis. We’ll see. There has been much talk this college basketball season about coaching behavior on the sidelines. I did read in an article however that coach’s technical fouls are actually down over a year ago. But maybe coach’s antics are up causing the added attention. Both coaches and referees are at fault for this matter, but it’s largely the coaches’ problem. I understand isolated events, but when a coach has repeated bad sideline behavior, it’s a problem. One solution is to have the athletic director sit the coach down and have a little talk on the behavior problem. Another solution is placing restrictions on coaches’ access to the referees. Does the coach really require moving up and down the sidelines like a rooster ‘working’ the officials for calls? That answer: is no. Does the coach really need to yell instructions to players from the coaching box? No. He could sit on the bench and holler. Now for the referees and what they can do. Referees need to quit socializing with players and coaches before the game. I understand they want a good working relationship with the participants, but they are there to do a job not win friends. College basketball is a great game. But this problem detracts from it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bill McCartney: Great Coach, Great Man

I was thrilled this week to learn that former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney has been election to the College Football Honor of Fame

Coach Mac and I have been long time friends.

McCartney has the most wins of any coach in Colorado football history. He led the Buffaloes to the 1990 National Championship.

He created excitement in the old Big 8 Conference. Nebraska was the kingpin in those days and McCartney’s teams often rose above the kingpin.

Two things described McCartney the coach: recruiting and motivation. He consistently recruited black athletes to come to the Boulder school and it resulted in a pile of victories. He was a master motivator. The guy could get players to buy into the team concept. And he preached accountability.

Coach Mac left the sidelines 20 years ago. Like most successful coaches, he developed a head coaching tree. LSU’s Les Miles is the most noticeable of that group.

But McCartney was more than a successful coach. He helped found the Christian men’s movement Promise Keepers. If you ever heard the guy speak at an event, McCartney reminded one of a fiery preacher who had a real message.

Coach Mac was and is a man of conviction. And a man of God. Those two attributes are rare these days.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

All About College Sports: Spring Cleaning

In this part of the world there is an annual ritual this time of year: spring cleaning. But in parts of the United States, it doesn’t even feel like spring. Cold, rain and snow are making the weather news.

But it’s time to perform a spring cleaning of my blog “All About College Sports.” College football and college basketball produce the most interest of any college sports and those playing seasons are over. Consequently, I will limit my blog posts considerably in the next few months. From time-to-time, I will see write blogs on the “hot news” items, but it’s time for a break.

I have been doing this blog since 2008. It’s been an opportunity to produce fresh content for my readers based on the wonderful world of college sports. I consider myself a college sports junkie. It’s fun following the sports and the personalities. Sometimes I take winning and losing a little too seriously but that’s part of being a fan, I guess.

Early in the basketball season, I questioned whether I wanted to continue this blog. There are tons of sports voices out there seeking to be read. Mine frankly is pretty small. But, I guess that’s okay.

I would enjoy hearing from my readers as I wrestle with my decision. What do you enjoy about my blog? What don’t you enjoy? What kinds of things should I write about? It would be great if you flood my blog with comments. I will read all of the comments.

Numbers are sometimes interesting. According to the numbers, the best read blog has been in a landside “Bobby Petrino’s family. That was an extremely sad story. Interestingly, No. 2 is “Vanderbilt’s Basketball Court.” The set-up is unique and so cool with the benches behind the baskets. Another surprise is No. 5 with “Dave Diles-College Football Scoreboard.” Like me, you folks must have keen memories of Diles reading those scores each Saturday.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to read those blogs, I invite you to take a peak.

Thank you for your faithful readership. Again, I would enjoy hearing from you in the comments.

Best, Paul

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NCAA Basketball: It's Over

The college basketball men’s season is officially over and I don’t know if I’m happy or sad.

Louisville took the title last night (Monday) defeating Michigan in an entertaining game. Michigan became the 67th and final team to become disappointed in the NCAA tournament.

College basketball is a long season. Someone said once that college basketball coaches have a sense of humor (as opposed to the football coaches) because of the season length. Without humor, the coaches probably wouldn’t survive.

But frankly, the season isn’t really over just the games. Basketball is a 12-month sport now with the 24-hour news cycle fueling it. One of the next phases are more players declaring for the NBA Draft. And already one guy’s Top 25 for next season came out today. Please…

I have seen enough basketball. It’s time to rest my eyes and enjoy another season. That would be baseball.

Friday, April 5, 2013

NCAA Basketball: This Guy was Major Iowa Pain

Outside of Iowa and Baylor fans, limited interest was generated by the NIT Final. Only about 5,000 people were in attendance at Madison Square Garden and who know how few watched the game on ESPN.

But going into last night’s (Thursday) game, this figured to be an interesting game. These two squads had only met once before.

I thought Iowa would win the game. The Hawks were on a roll and seemed too powerful for the Bears. Baylor had an up-and-down year and I didn’t know what team Baylor would display in the contest.

But wow, it was blowout city for Baylor.

Hawkeye players will have bad memories of one particular Baylor player—Cory Jefferson. In no disrespect to the Thanksgiving meal, Jefferson carved Iowa up. The guy was impressive. He scored 23 points on too many dunks. He rebounded, he played defense.

Jefferson, a junior, had a great year. He played sparely in his previous two years and even took a redshirt year in his sophomore year. Jefferson played behind three future NBA players, so it wasn’t like the guy had major minute opportunities. He could have transferred but he stayed and collected the fruits this year.

Baylor fans hope he returns for his senior season. His pro stock definitely went up during Baylor’s postseason. Iowa players would agree with that.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NCAA Basketball: Strange Coaching Hire

Sometimes I just shake my head at my neighbors in Minnesota.

After the University of Minnesota fired basketball coach Tubby Smith, the Gophers needed to make an impressive hire. But apparently nobody wanted the job. I do know the rumor that one of the student managers even turned down the job isn’t true.

The Gophers welcome Rich Pitino to the job. Yes, Pitino is the son of the famous Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Yes, the guy has good blood lines but can he mold a so-so Big Ten contender into something better.

Kid Pitino had one successful season at Florida International. He will be doing on the job training in one of the toughest basketball leagues in America. Remember, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State isn’t Florida International.

Minnesota took forever to make their selection. As the process played out, you knew others were making their selection not to take the Gopher job.

If you are Kid Pitino there is little risk. If you are Minnesota, there is great risk.

The Gophers haven’t exactly been making waves in the money sports of football and basketball lately. This hire may continue the tread.