Tuesday, March 30, 2010

George Michael, Clay Aiken, now Ricky Martin - will the surprises ever stop?

Billy Donovan's not going anywhere, but this week could become an interesting one with regards to Florida basketball's staff continuity. Iona is looking for a basketball coach after their head man left for Seton Hall, and Richard Pitino's name has already surfaced as a possibility. Shaka Smart getting the VCU job last year after just one season in Gainesville was a surprise, and Pitino being in the mix for a good midmajor head job this quickly would be as well. If you're Billy Donovan this is a double edged sword. Tons of talented, ambitious assistants want to work for you because Florida's a great place to work and has been a launching spot for others to land head coaching jobs. If you hire another one of those talented assistants though, you may have yet another slot to fill next year and continue to be hampered in deceloping the consistency you had when the program was on top. Larry Shyatt's name has been brought up in Charlotte for their job too, but there's little indication that's likely to happen. Pitino to Iona could make sense though, and would be a loss.

Oregon continues their search for a basketball coach. Being turned down by Mark Few, Billy Donovan, Jamie Dixon, Mark Turgeon, and likely Tubby Smith might have convinced a lesser program that they should set their sights on someone a little more logical for the job. You know, Tom Izzo. If the person running this search was looking for a date he would start with Jennifer Aniston and then try Angelina Jolie once he got turned down. Nike's got a lot of money, but that isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to a coaching gig. My question is what "name" coach would be craven enough to take the job at this point when it's obvious he wasn't in the first half dozen choices? Call Randy Bennett of St. Mary's already, Phil Knight.

The owner(s?) of the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a divorce. There's been plenty of speculation about whether this will affect the team's performance this fall, but I'm not a Dodger fan so I don't particularly care if it does or not. What blows my mind is that the McCourts are voluntarily coming off as sybarites when doing so is business suicide. Mrs. McCourt wants a million dollars a month to continue her lifestyle which has included having "hair stylists come to their house everyday". Even the Wolfman wouldn't need a haircut more than once every couple of weeks, and if you're dying your hair you still only do that occasionally. So if I understand this correctly, the Dodgers owner and his wife pay someone to come in everyday and comb their hair?! I'm sure fans being asked to spend ever increasing amounts for parking, tickets and refreshments in a bad economy just love hearing that.

I had someone ask me what I meant by yesterday's headline regarding Duke. It blows my mind how many breaks the Blue Devils get from officials. I'm not saying it's an NCAA conspiracy, but for some reason it happens. When you see Baylor's center fouled out on an iffy block call and then Duke's get the charge call on a much more obvious block three minutes later, it's infuriating. Baylor should have been up five with Duke's big man out of the game too, going to the free throw line for a chance at a three point play. Instead, Duke got the call and the Bears lost two points they should have had. Kyle Singler swings his elbows - no foul. Baylor guy bumps a Dukie in response - technical. I'm not a Duke hater, but there is no question in my mind that they get the benefit of the doubt from the refs more than any team in the country. As always, the Onion sums things up well. As for CBS, it's no accident the network assigned Nantz and Kellogg to Duke's site in both rounds of the tournament. That's the team they think America responds to most, and it's the one they want playing Monday night.

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