Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rants from Last Night: What you Missed

by John Huffstetler

Saturday March 9th

Melo and Amare would probably be more helpful
on the Sesame Street squad than the Knicks
Knicks cruise without Melo and Amare- The Knicks spanked the Jazz last night without their two most high-profile and most overrated players. The remaining Knicks held the Jazz to 84 points on 38.5% shooting, allowing just 38 points in the first half. This trend of improved defensive effort without Melo or Amare in the lineup has been noted over the past few seasons, but it is worth reiterating. The Knicks are simply a better team without them, and imagine the salary cap space they would have if these two weren't under contract. The true star of the Knicks is Tyson Chandler, who dominates defensively and facilitates his teammates offensively. With Amare's latest injury looking long-term, the Knicks will easily wrap up the Atlantic division and earn a top 3 seed in the East.

Gonzaga survives 1st-half scare, still doesn't deserve a #1 seed- The Zags pulled away late to beat a dreadful Loyola-Marymount team late last night. The Zags have played exactly 3 legit teams since New Year's (Butler, St. Mary's and BYU), yet Dick Vitale and Joe Lunardi seem to think they deserve a #1 seed. The West Coast Conference is incredibly soft this year (10th best in conference RPI), and the Zags have padded their wins based on this softness alone. This does not mean they can't have success in the tourney, but they shouldn't be rewarded for playing in an easy conference. Their non-conference wins over Baylor, Oklahoma St. (on the road), Kansas St., Davidson, and Oklahoma are impressive, but not enough alone to warrant a #1 seed. Give them a 3 or 4 seed this year.

Murray St. Head Coach Steve Prohm
Poor coaching and major choking dooms Murray St. in late loss to Belmont- Up 58-51 with 2 minutes left against Belmont, Murray St. looked poised to return to the NCAA tourney once again this year, but they forgot to finish the game. Belmont cut the lead to 2 with 1 min left, but the Racers answered with two free throws to put them up 62-58 with 48 seconds left. Belmont hits a jumper with 37 seconds remaining to cut the lead back to two. Here's where terrible coaching took over for the Racers. Belmont obviously must foul or be left with 2 seconds on the clock to tie the game, yet head coach Steve Prohm does not choose to get his best free throw shooters on the court. He keeps Ed Daniel on the court, whose 61.1 free throw % ranks 10th on the team! Belmont's pressure forces a pass to Daniel and, shocker, he misses both free throws. An inexcusable mistake by Prohm, and I hope Murray St. fans are questioning this poor decision-making today that allowed Belmont to force overtime.

Check back tomorrow for more rants.

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