Monday, January 12, 2009

Looks like preseason number one for 2009 is settled

I'm not sure why Florida's athletic department felt it was the right decision to hold the national championship celebration so quickly rather than give fans a week to plan to be there, but they did. The big story of the day was Tim Tebow's announcement that he will return for his senior year. This is undoubtedly the right call for Tebow and obviously works out well for Florida too. Any kid has the right to make the choice he thinks is best for himself, but unless you know you're a first round choice or have physical limitations that will keep you from improving your draft stock (Jacquez Green wasn't going to get any taller, for example) you're much better off sticking around and getting better. Cornelius Ingram is the worst case scenario, but I suspect he'll still get drafted about where he would have last year as long as the reports I've heard about his rehab progress prove accurate at the combine. That same Sun report says Percy Harvin's leaning toward staying as well. I find that hard to believe, but sometimes guys surprise you. He's obviously incredible, and it would be fun to see him ever stay healthy for a full season.

UF basketball won their first SEC game, but it is going to be a bumpy ride this season. Four offensive rebounds will not get it done against most conference opponents. The amount of rushed, poorly chosen three point shots I saw in the second half against Ole Miss was alarming. At one point, Nick Calathes took a three with:

1. 32 seconds on the shot clock
2. his feet not properly set
3. all five Ole Miss players between him and the basket and not a single potential Gator rebounder up the court yet

That's bad basketball. Late in the game, a three was attempted with 18 seconds on the shot clock while up three posessions. Again, bad basketball. Details matter, and this team hasn't shown yet that it pays attention to them nearly enough. They should cruise against Auburn in the midweek game, but Arkansas next Saturday will be a whole other animal.

That crying sound you hear in the distance are ticket scalpers and people with corporate promotions tied into the Super Bowl after a nightmare weekend that saw three of the top four teams in the AFC and NFC lose their games. Think NBC and the NFL are desperate for a Pittsburgh win next week? How's Ravens-Cardinals for the Vince Lombardi Trophy grab you? That game might turn out to be good, but when it could have been Steelers-Giants that's not much consolation for folks looking to strike it rich in Tampa three weeks from now.

Miami is still looking for an offensive coordinator, after Randy Shannon has apparently been turned down. What great offensive mind was he looking for to revitalize the Hurricanes attack? Mike Shula, of course! Seriously, are we sure this entire Shannon as head coach deal isn't some sort of elaborate ESPN Ashton Kutcher style prank?

So apparently the Denver Broncos shoved Mike Shanahan out the door to hire Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator. Three Bill Belichick proteges have gotten jobs - the two in the NFL have already been fired (Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini) and the one at Notre Dame should have been (Charlie Weis). That doesn't mean McDaniels won't succeed, of course, but I really thought to make a move like this Denver would be betting on a little more of a sure thing.

1 comment:

Jeremiah said...

Well said about the basketball team, Heath. The thing I'm getting most frustrated about is the perpetual excuse-making that UF fans are making abut this team being so young. Exactly how many games do you have to play to no longer be young and inexperienced? 50? 75? The fact is, this team has about the same level of game experience from its nucleus that the 05-06 team. That team's core was mostly sophomores with a couple of upperclassment in support roles. Granted, the talent level, especially in the frontcourt, doesn't even compare, but nobody was making excuses for that team being so young once it became clear that they were good. This team is good and should be in the tournament. If they fail to make it because they can't rebound, show an interior defensive presence, or play dumb basketball as you noted, then they will end up back in the NIT and be Billy's biggest disappointment at Florida. It would really do them a lot of good to knock somebody on their butt driving to the hole early in one of these games coming up. They get pushed around a lot and they need to push back, even if it means flirting with that line of clean play. Tyus has made progress on offense, but whether they like it or not, Tyus and Warner have to be those guys. Really makes you appreciate guys like Haslem and Horford when they were here. That's what's missing from this team.