Fastbreaks----While polls in sports often do not mean that much as we all know, it is the final poll that counts, it is fun to watch the polls, especially for fans, athletes and even coaches, yes they do watch the polls. That is why, what a joke for Wyoming not to be in the Top 25. 13-0, member of the Mt. West and wins at home over Colorado and on the road against SMU. Give me a break, I don't care who is 13-0 in January, they need to be in the Top 25.
You asked for it, so here we go. Huge Civil War showdown on Sunday night, Ducks travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers. Just a thought, nothing in stone, but something tells me the winner of this game might get in the NCAA tournament for sure come March. With that said, final score on Sunday night, OREGON STATE 82 OREGON 80.
Great opening night to the Pac-12 on Thursday. Two overtime games. Arizona State continues to surprise, USC proved they are going to be a tough out, UCLA freshmen are so good and despite losing, Colorado proves they can play with anyone in the league. It appears to me right now that the winner of the regular season title in the Pac-12 will come down to the games played between Arizona and UCLA. I think those two teams are head and shoulders above the rest of the league.
Mac's Message---"Coach Mac, outside of Coach Geving what coaches do you admire, not only for their coaching, but their character"? Howard---Lincoln City, Oregon
"Howard, thanks for your interesting question. I have thought about it lots and really think it is a hard one to answer. First of all I really believe there are lots of dedicated coaches out there who show great integrity, their teams play the right way and are in coaching for the right reasons. So when you ask who I admire, the list is quite long. If I name a few, I am sure a few days I would say to myself, Why didn't I mention Coach X,Y, Z."
College coaches are in a unique select group because there are fewer than 350 D-1 head coaches. So right there with this select group--and small number, I admire most coaches who reach the status of HEAD COACH. Logic dictates my admiration.
Let me give you three coaches that I admire for said reasons. Perhaps I selected these three because they all have ties to the Big Sky Conference. This list could be longer and I do intend to offend anyone, but space is limited.
With Coach Stew Morrill at Utah State you have someone who has won at every stop, Montana, Colorado State and now Utah State. You never hear any NCAA issues or problems with his teams. His home-court record at Utah State is amazing and while I am telling you from first hand experience, the Spectrum is a great venue and the student section is what college basketball is all about.
Trent Johnson, TCU head coach is the ultimate gym rat as a coach and is so well organized each and everyday. He has the competitiveness of a back street boxing gym fighter, yet demands his players do things the right way and holds them accountable on the court, in the community and in the classroom. He will win at TCU, just like he did at LSU, Nevada and Stanford and will join a select few coaches who have taken four different teams to the NCAA tournament.
Lastly, but not least Mark Few has done great things in Spokane as a head coach. The job he and he wife Marcie have done with Coaches vs. Cancer gala is remarkable and DOLLARS raised ample. And regardless of what people say, most people would not have stayed in Spokane with the many opportunities for a better pay day. Mark has won consistently, his ability to schedule big time opponents is unmatched and the "Battle In Seattle" are obvious big time pluses.
All three have ties to the Big Sky, hence Portland State. Morrill started in Montana, taking over for Mike Montgomery. Trent Johnson was a rugged rebounder for the Big Sky champion Boise State Broncos in the mid-seventies. Greg Crawford is the only one around old enough to remember that the Zags were the only Catholic school ever to be a member of the Big Sky.
Howard, thanks for the question and may I say it was the best and most difficult of the year. Happy New Year." Coach McClouskey---Portland State University.
Attendance---If you are a basketball fan and like me, want more people to attend games live both on the high school and college level, then please feel free to attend a TOWN HALL, titled "Bodies In Seats" on Sunday, January 6th, in the Garden Cafe of Adventist Medical Center, starting at 12:45--3:00. Address of Adventist Medical Center is 10123 SE Market---Portland, Oregon. The ideas will be flowing, everyone will get a chance to speak and this is an important matter for all basketball lovers. I will be there and want to see you as well.
Wolf's World----"Coach Wolf, always curious in general how does the team travel and where do you practice on the road. Also, what do players eat and do they always eat together on the road?" Hank----Downtown, Portland, Oregon
"Hank, Happy New Year to you and to everyone who visits Crawford's Court, for the scoop on college basketball. We are excited to start conference play this weekend and it just so happens we start on the road so your question is quite timely.
As for travel and specifics of you question, I would love to give you some insight and what the typical road warrior goes through in a college basketball season. As you read this, we will be in the midst of our first 2 game road trip in the WCC. NCAA rules preclude us from departing 48 hours before a scheduled game and usually we have classes to work around. Typically we depart campus on a Wednesday after classes are out, but since school is out, on this trip, we left campus at 9:45 am for 11:45 departure (Coach Reveno's standard two hour campus departure window). Checking in a travel part of 20 plus is not always easy (we get a chuckle out the faces we see when we arrive at the gate).
Because the WCC is a big city league, we always fly commercial and leave the chartered flights to the spoiled and pampered. (I am sure they can hear me in Spokane). We can get anywhere in the league from Portland, in two hours or less. Once on the ground, we take a charter bus to the hotel. The NCAA has a rule on how meals can be provided, but we choose to feed the team together with one of our set menus that is designed to maximize their nutritional needs.
Out team manager will help the coaching staff set up the conference room with our video equipment, projector and theater setting for our film sessions. The team will then head to practice (league courtesy provides each team practice time the day before and day of the game). Following practice we head back for dinner and another film session. Following bed check and lights out, the coaches meet on game plan notes and the next day schedule.
Game day is dictated by tip-off time, but we try and mimic what we do for home game. Team breakfast, film session, then boarding the bus for shoot-around, which is combination of strategic game planning, light shooting and free throw practice. We then return to hotel, reconvene for pre-game meal 3 12 hours before tip and arrive at the arena 90 minutes before game time, to prep the locker room for scouting report and Coach Reveno's pre-game talk.
Post game we will breakdown the process of the film that night. We will generate a short edit to show the team the next day, but our typical Friday film session is geared towards teaching and putting in the game plan for the next opponent. This weekend we will actually bus up to Pepperdine from San Diego.
I think the most important part of any road trip is consistency of routine. Guys learn know how to best get themselves ready and work within the structure of what we are used to doing on each trip. These are business trips, so despite well fed and housed in the comforts of a hotel, it is not like we are heading to Sea World while in San Diego. Our 1 priority is to help prepare out student athletes to win basketball games. Hopefully as you read this, we will have gotten the first win on the trip, with another to follow on 15 in Malibu."
Thanks, Coach Wolf----U of Portland Pilots.
GregCrawford@csnnw.com and twitter askGregCrawford