Portland State---If everyone who has asked me about the future of Portland State basketball coach Tyler Geving in the last two months, would just show up for games, the Stott Center on the Portland State University campus would be filled every home game. There is this fascination with coaches in sports, especially coaches that are struggling, people want to know about their future.
With one more year on this contract left after this year, Tyler Geving at Portland State University will be back next year. That has been confirmed to CSNNW.com and Crawford's Court by several people. But how about making it several more years for Geving, in my opinion he has more than earned it.
Take all this into consideration and perhaps you might agree, why Geving should get a long term extension. In his second year on the job, of a four year deal after replacing Ken Bone who departed for Washington State, Portland State's men's basketball program was placed on APR (Academic Progress Rating) for some of the lowest scores in the country. The terms dealt a severe blow to Portland State basketball. Loss of scholarships, loss of practice time and no post-season for that one year period. At the time, I was telling people, that Portland State basketball would take five years to recover. Many laughed, they are not laughing now. Geving has turned the academic side around, something he inherited and not on his watch, to the point that Portland State now gets perfect APR scores.
Yes, wins and losses do count, but sometimes the terrible cards you are dealt count equally. Geving was dealt a bad hand, but he never once has complained or used any excuses.
"I am proud of our academics and, while still realizing you are often judged on wins and losses, I am proud of our program and what we have done here at PSU", Geving told me last night after a key win over Eastern Washington. "I love being a head coach and really love being here at Portland State. This year is not over, we are going to keep working as hard as we can and next year looks very bright and beyond."
It is anticipated that Portland State will open with fine new arena in the 2015-16 season. Tyler Geving deserves to be the coach of Portland State basketball when that arena opens. He has earned the respect of many, despite during his second season as a head coach coming under the APR penalties and operating out of an arena at present that is just too small to attract players that are needed to win on the D-1 level. In addition let alone the ability to attract top flight opponents for home games, that will bring in excitement. Stott Center, while a great place to watch a game, is just too small for D-1 basketball. It works for volleyball, not men and women's D-1 basketball.
Sometimes the whole story is not out there, hopefully after today, the story that was told will mean a new long term contract for Tyler Geving and a chance to advance Portland State basketball forward.
Pac-12---The Pac-12 did two things wrong this week regarding their men's basketball program. Mike Montgomery should never have been censured by the league and Tony Woods, the Oregon Ducks center should have been suspended for one game, for his throwing an intentional elbow to the head of Washington State star Brock Motum this past weekend.
Montgomery's two handed shove to his best player Allen Crabbe hardly merited a mention. It was just not that bad. I am sure Montgomery feels bad about it and said it should not have happened, but a censure, give me a break. It meant nothing, absolutely zero and I along with many others should quit talking about it.
As for the Woods' incident, much more serious. Is the NCAA and Pac-12 really serious about head injuries? Richard Lucas, my great partner on Talkin Ducks on Comcast SportsNet, knows a thing or two about elbows. Lucas was a tremendous player for the Ducks are an extremely undersized center from 1987-91. He might actually have given an elbow or two in his career. And Richard, being a top basketball analyst, never is short on opinions and candor. "I was surprised by the Pac-12 decision. I love my alma mater and love Oregon basketball, but in looking at the play, Tony Woods deserved a one game suspension quite frankly." said Lucas.
Richard and I often disagree, but well said on his part and I am in total agreement. I might also add, it is no secret my strong admiration for Dan Altman as a basketball coach. But in this case, I think Altman should have stepped up and suspended Tony Woods for one game on his own. Woods' actions were an embarrassment to the University and the Oregon basketball program. What a great message it would have sent by Altman, even in the thick of a great race to win the regular season Pac-12 crown. You learn from hard lessons in life, in this case Tony Woods got off as lightly as possible, considering what he did.
Craw's NIne----The nine best teams playing basketball in the six D-1 leagues that play in the west. Keep in mind, the ratings are based on, "in the moment". If you have a better list, fire back in the comment section or email me, as you often do.
9. Weber State---Have hit their stride, need to make a big showing in Big Sky Conference tournament by winning it all.
8. Long Beach State---Dan Monson is a terrific basketball coach and has found a great home at Long Beach.
7. Denver---Joe Scott, keep that name in mind for coaches who could turn programs around, has done a great job for Pioneers.
6. St. Mary's---The team is a notch down from Gonzaga this year, but certainly the second best team in the tough WCC
5. Colorado State---Perhaps they should be higher in Craw's Nine, they have a wonderful team and have all year.
4. New Mexico---I say it all the time, this teams wins cause they have most underrated coach in basketball, Steve Alford.
3. Oregon---In the driver's seat to the win the Pac-12 regular season, schedule very much in their favor.
2. La Tech---Is anyone paying attention yet? 14-0 in the WAC and 23-3 overall. Only one senior, will win an NCAA tournament game.
1. Gonzaga---Final Four, Final Four, Final Four, Final Four
Greg Crawford, College Basketball Insider