Saturday, February 11, 2012
The First Day of School
With Nebraska's basketball team traveling to Happy Valley for the next installment of Kenneth Sadler's death sentence as head coach, PYB couldn't help but find this song fitting. Surely, Jerry Sandusky will be watching these strapping young men in tank tops and shorts, since the elementary school by his house will be closed Saturday. We wonder if he is yet to feel any guilt for effectively murdering Joe Paterno?
Can we analyze this game? Penn State is favored by three points and looked like the worst shooting team in history when NU dominated them in Lincoln a month ago. PYB doesn't think the Huskers have flat-out quit on Sadler; we just think it's hard to score without a player over 6'4" that can make a layup. (This comes on the heels of Brandon Ubel doing his best Jason Glock-versus-Oklahoma impression in the Michigan game.) Dylan Talley looks robotic. Brandon Richardson is back in his timid shell after his great game in Iowa City. Toney McCray is clueless and terrible. And Bo Spencer faces three defenders 25 feet from the basket nearly every possession, making getting a good shot impossible.
That said, should bettors go big on the Nittany Lions today at -3, or will NU find a bit of relief away from the toxic Devaney Center--where the fans show up and sit on their hands and cannot wait to quit on the team? It is certainly one of the worst environments in college basketball. Never before have we seen a place where the home team can hold a 10-point lead and then, if the visitors make a couple baskets to cut that lead to four, the fans act put out and quit cheering. A disgrace, to be sure. These supposed best fans in college sports should be ashamed, and are more than 50% of the reason for NU's sad state these days. Imagine a recruit coming to a game to watch this embarrassment: no energy, no noise, no spirit. Hello, Iowa!
PYB also finds it rich that all the fans who haven't seen an NU game in five years are calling for Sadler's head. We're not opposed to a change, because things ain't working. But those who know nothing about the program and haven't paid their dues by watching this shitty program over the last 20 years haven't earned the right to complain. Either way, NU administrators better have a fucking LONG-TERM plan if a change is made. Making a change just for the sake of change will waste another five years and set the program back another 10. They better not fuck up the seating or design at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. They better get it right, or just cancel basketball altogether.
Do we have confidence they will get it right? Hell no. Ninety percent of Nebraskans don't understand basketball and never will. This includes the buffoons at the NU AD running the program. Traveling to a few NBA arenas and mimicking the timeout songs and contests and then having the nerds in the student section jump around like the Duke nerds at Cameron Indoor doesn't qualify as creating a gameday environment. Take, for instance, the 'thought' that went into the current court: at least three different fonts in the lettering....an N a midcourt the size of Texas, splotched over an old Big 12 logo that they were too cheap to remove. Classy touch. And some say we're a bit too negative, but we still contend that the kid that dresses up like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz every game doesn't strike fear into the hears of Big 10 opponents.
--OK, let's get to some good stories. Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks for one. NYK's new starting point guard put up 38 points as Mike D'Antoni's squad beat the Lakers last night at Madison Square Garden. Lin moves quite a bit like Steve Nash as he drives to the basket and surveys opposing defenses off the dribble. D'Antoni has to hope this is the point guard he's been waiting for, or his time in New York will certainly be short. Biggest question is: will Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire ruin the newfound chemistry the team has founce once they return? The likely answer is probably, since they're stand-in-one-spot and get-me-shots guys, and Lin and D'Antoni's games rely on motion, passing, shooting and teamwork....you know, all the things you're supposed to have!!!!
On another note, MSG is one of the few legitimately exciting sports venues left. Name another transcendent venue that remains? Where fans feed off the players as much as in New York and can almost will them to awesome performances once they get momentum rolling. Top it off with the Garden's organ and defense cheer and it's unbeatable. The fact that there will be no Big East tournament there after this year is a fucking joke.
--By the way, nice job Creighton. Can the 'Jays find another way to blow the MVC and miss the field of 69 or whatever it is these days? Can't wait....by the way, you can't outrun the SI Jinx.
--PYB watched Murray State lose for the first time this season on Thursday night, at home, against Tennessee State. The Racers had countless opportunities to tie and win the game, but piss-poor decision making, coaching, game management and clock management cost them their undefeated season. Both teams were fucking horrible, and the fact that Murray State was ranked seventh in the country tells you all you need to know about the state of college basketball. That said, MSU will probably make the Elite Eight next month.
--"Those aren't pillows!!!" Welcome to the Big 10, Nebraska, where sexual deviancy outweighs fielding a quality product on the field/court.
--A funny thing happened on Nebraska fans' bandwagon rush to find a rated team to support. More losers showed up for the women's game than fans attended the men's game the night before.....only problem was that NU choked and got blown out by an unranked Michigan team. Keep searching for a winner, Husker fans. Haven't you learned that female teams always blow it? Or was it the free tickets your daughter got at her Read to Achieve class that compelled you to go?
Good luck to the Big Red in State College today. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Early contenders (from what our sources tell us) to replace Sadler if he is axed are: John Wooden, Red Auerbach, Steve Mariucci, Phil Jackson, Dana Altman and John Calipari. Keep in mind Nebraska AD Tom Osborne has zero proven track record hiring coaches. Frank Solich was a flop and ruined the AD's bell cow program. The jury is still out on Bo Pinelli, who's made no headway as far as winning anything that matters. And Darin Erstad is in his first season as head coach.....perhaps paying a search firm is worth the cost?
Have a good weekend...now bend over, spread your cheeks and give us two good coughs....