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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Big Ten Coaches

The Big Ten Conference just got a whole lot tougher in Men's Basketball with the hiring of Tom Crean at Indiana. With this hire, the Big Ten has what has to be considered the top conference coaches from top to bottom anywhere in the land. For a quick recap, let's look at the numbers:

Todd Lickliter, Iowa: Granted this year was rough, but i could pick up four homeless guys and myself and field a team as 'talented' as Iowa was this year. Anyway, it was Lick's first year at Iowa, but he took his Butler team to two Sweet Sixteen's in the last 6 years and was last year's NABC Coach of The Year. He also was under current Ohio State coach Thad Matta at Butler.

Tom Crean, Indiana: Just named coach of Indiana, Crean has been at Marquette the last 9 years, averaging 20 wins a year. He's been to the Tourney each of the last 3 years and advanced to the Final Four in 2003. He was also named Conference Coach of The Year twice.

Bruce Weber, Illinois: Coach at Illinois for last 5 years, Weber had led the Illini to four straight Tourney appearances before this year. In 2005 they were runner-up, losing to UNC in the Championship game, and Weber was named the Naismith Coach of The Year.

John Beilein, Michigan: His first year at Michigan was a struggle, but like Lickliter at Iowa was left with almost nothing. Look only at his last three years at W. Virginia, where he made the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tourney, and won the NIT Tourney last year.

Tom Izzo, Michigan State: Known for having teams that hit the boards hard, Izzo's Spartans haven't missed the Tourney in ten years. He has four final fours and one Championship, plus another Elite Eight and two more Sweet Sixteen appearances. He also served as head coach of the US Basketball team at the 2003 Pan American Games.

Tubby Smith, Minnesota: Another first year coach in the Big Ten, all Smith did was take a team that finished 9-22 last year and made them a 20-13 team this year. Previously at Kentucky, Smith had not missed the Tourney in 14 previous seasons to this one with three different teams, winning the Championship once, making the Sweet Sixteen 5 times, and the Elite Eight 3 additional times.

Bill Carmody, Northwestern: While Northwestern will never be confused for a basketball powerhouse, Carmody has done a nice job in the 8 years he has been there. He has a particular knack for beating the Hawkeyes EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Not that i'm bitter or anything.

Thad Matta, Ohio State: Previous coach at Butler and Xavier, Matta has been in control at Ohio State for four years. This year was his first in 7 years he did not make the Tourney in which his team was eligible (Ohio State was not eligible for postseason play his first year there). He finished runner-up to Florida last season, and made one additional Elite Eight.

Ed DeChellis, Penn State: Well, they can't all be winners. In his fifth year at Penn State, he has never finished better than 7th (this year). Though he did finish in first or tied for first each of his last three years at E. Tennessee State before coming to State College.

Matt Painter, Purdue: Took over the coaching job at Southern Illinois when Weber left for Illinois, and guided that team to a 25-5 record and first in the conference. Was named the MVC Coach of The Year. Left after one year for Purdue to take over for Gene Keady. In three seasons there he has improved the team each year, leading to 2nd place Big Ten finish this year and back to back years in the 2nd round of the Tourney. Was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year this year.

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin: In his 7th season at Wisconsin, Ryan guides the Badgers to 1st in the conference and the Sweet Sixteen. He has not missed the Tourney since becoming coach of the Badgers. Has been to one other Sweet Sixteen, and an additional Elite Eight in that time. Additionally, he coached his UW-Platteville teams to the NCAA D-III Championship three times in nine years in the '90s.

So there you have it. From top to bottom, i challenge any conference in the country to trot out a more formidable and accomplished group of coaches. I don't think this one can be matched.

Where You Came From

This week we've got visitors from: Canada, Australia, Mexico, and of course the US. My international audience is lacking this week...

Search Terms that brought you here: As always, each search term is copied directly and not fixed for spelling or grammatical errors. I've added my own commentary in the parentheses...

1) Dennis green 8th grade basketball (huh?)
2) Louisville Post Game Press Conference North Carolina
4) celtics march 30 postgame interview
5) shaqtus t-shirts (Twice)
6) A Day in the life of Denny Green
7) hawkeye football (Now we're talking)
8) marwan williams (I didn't know this guy was so popular)
9) shaqtus (Thrice)
10) fuck brett favre (Ha ha ha, that one never gets old...)
11) Kansas vs. Davidson Press Conference (There was seriously about 30 variations of this search term. Did i miss something in this press conference?)

There you go. Thanks for cruising by, and while you're here take some time to look around, leave a comment or two, and visit my sponsors and friends to the right. Thanks!

Weekly Press Conference

Sorry for the lack of posts this week; My family was in town and i've been under the weather so this website got pushed to the back burner. Anyway, here's you bi-weekly press conference, this one an old school flashback to baseball and Hal McRae. The phone he tosses and his pirouette as he does it is classic...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Elite Eight Picks

10-12 in the Tourney. I suck at this.

Texas +3.5 vs. Memphis
I have a feeling Memphis is getting a little too confidant in themselves because their free shooting hasn't cost them yet. I think that will end this game, as Texas is playing some good ball and just crushed a good Stanford team.

Kansas -10 vs. Davidson
Davidson has had a great run through the Tourney, but have not faced a team with the horses like Kansas. Despite Stephan Curry probably going for 30+ again in the game, the rest of Davidson's team just won't be able to hang with Kansas.