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Good reads
@critchelow Offline
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Post: #121
RE: Good reads
Damn insider shit.
10-16-2014 11:36 AM
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chrislindy Offline
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Post: #122
RE: Good reads
Yep, an ebola on ESPN Insider.
10-16-2014 12:06 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #123
RE: Good reads
My bad. Didn't realize it was insider.

Terry Rozier
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Louisville's Terry Rozier (along with Chris Jones) helps form one of the nation's best backcourts.
2014-15 ACC Projected Standings
1. Duke | 2. Louisville | 3. Virginia | 4. North Carolina | 5. Syracuse | 6. Pittsburgh | 7. Notre Dame | 8. NC State Wolfpack | 9. Florida State | 10. Miami (FL) | 11. Clemson | 12. Boston College | 13. Georgia Tech | 14. Wake Forest | 15. Virginia Tech

Louisville Cardinals


2014-15: 31-6 (15-3 American)
In-conference offense: 1.16 points per possession (first, American)
In-conference defense: 1.16 points per possession (first, American)

If Louisville wins the ACC regular-season championship in 2014-15, the Cardinals will have won titles in three conferences (Big East, American Athletic, Atlantic Coast) in the past three seasons. If this does indeed occur, I propose we christen this feat "a Pitino," surely the coaching equivalent of a performer winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.


Projected starting lineup
POS. NAME YEAR
F
Mangok Mathiang
Soph.
F
Montrezl Harrell
Jr.
F
Wayne Blackshear
Sr.
G
Terry Rozier
Soph.
G
Chris Jones
Sr.
Can Rick Pitino record the Pitino in 2014-15? The Cards have bid farewell to Russ Smith (first-team All-American), Luke Hancock (most outstanding player, 2013 Final Four) and Stephan Van Treese (Stephan Van Treese). That's a hit, of course, but this is the same program that went 31-6 last season after losing Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. This is also the same program that has finished each of the past two seasons ranked No. 1 in Ken Pomeroy's ratings (and reached the Final Four the season before that).

In other words, Pitino has earned our provisional and easily revoked but still natural presumption that Louisville will be excellent, even if he did lose a first-team All-American and a Final Four MOP. And, anyway, that presumption really isn't that hard to justify. Montrezl Harrell merits inclusion on any short list of national player of the year candidates. Terry Rozier might be drafted ahead of Harrell next summer. And I haven't seen a Louisville defense be anything less than outstanding since the Samardo Samuels era.

Fulfilling that presumption of excellence will start with replacing Smith, a task that figures to be the collective responsibility of Rozier and Chris Jones. Last season, the two players combined to attempt roughly as many 2-point shots as Smith, only their two-man rate of success inside the arc (41 percent) wasn't anywhere close to what Smith achieved (52).

So, no, Louisville probably won't shoot as well as it did last season (52 percent on 2s and 40 percent on 3s in American Athletic Conference play). Then again, the 2012-13 national title team didn't shoot anywhere near as well as last season's group, either. A drop in accuracy this season -- even a fairly large one -- won't necessarily mean the Cards are doomed.

The customs and mores of basketball discussion suggest that you might hear Rozier or Jones labeled as "the" Louisville point guard. You should ignore that label entirely with respect to the Cardinals. "We have two 1s in our system," Pitino told me recently. "Whether it was Russ and Chris or Russ and Terry, it's the same approach. The year before, it was Russ and Siva."

Rozier is a 6-foot-1 sophomore who's been flying up mock draft boards this offseason after strong performances at the LeBron and Adidas Nations camps. As a freshman reserve, he laid the groundwork for such esteem by connecting on 37 percent of his 3s and posting a turnover rate so low it could only be termed Tyler Ennis-like. Ordinarily, Rozier's sophomore season wouldn't project to rival Smith's senior campaign (it took Smith three full seasons to become the player we saw in 2013-14), but Pitino does say that Rozier is now an "explosive" player who has changed his game "dramatically." You've been warned. Jones is recovering from a stress fracture in his left leg that was diagnosed in August. If he's able to go full speed, the 5-10 senior is a very good perimeter shooter (38 percent) who can pick up where Smith left off in the "ridiculously high steal rate" department.

Louisville's dual lead guards will have plenty of high ball screens set for them, and one question to be answered this season will be whether either player or both players can score off the dribble against defenses correctly attuned to the Cards' perimeter range. On paper, the right play defensively is to run over the top of that screen and force these guys inside the arc, where neither Rozier (42 percent 2-point shooting, 2.9 fouls drawn per 40 minutes) nor Jones (41 and 3.5) has yet been able to draw blood consistently the way Smith did (52 and 6.1).

Montrezl Harrell
Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports
Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell averaged 14 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season.
Of course, defending Louisville's perimeter shooters isn't as simple as just accounting for Rozier and Jones. Last season, Wayne Blackshear made more 3s than either of those two and did so even more accurately (39 percent). Blackshear will inherit Hancock's spot at the 3, and, although the 6-5 senior isn't going to match the assist rate of "Cool Hand Luke," he's better on the boards and just as accurate from the field.

Harrell was relegated to a reserve role for the 2012-13 team that won the national title, yet somehow in his two-season career he already has attempted more than 500 2-pointers and converted those shots at a 60 percent rate. We also have two seasons' worth of possessions telling us that the 6-8 junior never commits turnovers. If you're anticipating a very big season from Harrell on offense, then, you're on very solid ground. Pitino says he expects junior-year Harrell to be nothing less than "Kenneth Faried-like."

There is one caveat here, however. Harrell shot 46 percent on his free throws last season. When a player is very nearly invincible from the field but this hapless at the line, you might want to consider some "hack-a-Harrell" if you're the opponent.

With Van Treese's departure, Louisville will fulfill the sport's requirement for 40 minutes a night at the center spot through some combination of 6-10 sophomore Mangok Mathiang, 6-10 freshman Chinanu Onuaku and possibly an occasionally moonlighting Harrell when the Cards go small. By the end of last season, Mathiang was reliably seeing about 13 minutes a game as a pure monotasker at each end (offensive rebounds at one end, blocks at the other). Pitino raves about the progress his sophomore has made in the offseason. Onuaku could be to this season what Mathiang was to 2013-14.

Pitino has won back-to-back major-conference titles playing seven- to eight-man rotations, so I for one won't be shocked if the bench doesn't get much longer than that in 2014-15. Certainly 6-3 sophomore Anton Gill will see minutes as a combo guard and his 6-8 classmate Akoy Agau will get an opportunity to show he can give Harrell a breather reliably. Past that, we can reasonably expect another player to emerge (Jaylen Johnson? Shaqquan Aaron? Quentin Snider?); we'll just have to wait and see who it is.

Louisville absolutely crushed the American last season, outscoring the league by 0.25 points per trip. (That remarkable figure includes a good deal of garbage time against the likes of UCF, USF and, especially, Rutgers. Three consecutive finishes eight games under .500 in three different conferences shall be called "a Piscataway.") You won't be seeing a number remotely close to that from the Cards in the 2014-15 ACC, but this team should have more than enough defense and talent to do better than last season's trip to the Sweet 16.

Projected 2014-15 conference finish: second
10-16-2014 01:28 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #124
RE: Good reads
and Stephan Van Treese (Stephan Van Treese). Nice
10-16-2014 01:45 PM
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ULismyhothot Offline
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Post: #125
RE: Good reads
good looking out. Hate that Gasaway is behind a paywall, he's usually on the $.
10-16-2014 02:11 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #126
RE: Good reads
That was a fun read, thanks.

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
10-16-2014 02:55 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #127
RE: Good reads
2. Florida State
Trap game: at Louisville (Oct. 30)
Florida State travels to Louisville coming off the draining win against Notre Dame and an off week. It's still a Thursday night road conference game, and those can be dicey, especially against a quality opponent with a solid defense. And as we've seen, the Seminoles have glaring holes that make this team more vulnerable than the 2013 champs. Largely because of an average offensive line and a lack of depth at the skill spots, FSU isn't in the top 15 in any offensive efficiency category. Louisville's defense, meanwhile, is second in the FBS in yards per play (3.91), yards per rush (2.31) and sacks (28). DC Todd Grantham's $1 million-a-year hiring was mocked in SEC circles, but Bobby Petrino is now doing the laughing. This appears to be a pretty even match before factoring in the game's location. I'm curious to see Louisville play at Notre Dame (Nov. 22) as well. The Cards could play CFP spoiler on more than one occasion.

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogp...ey&id=3751
10-22-2014 08:25 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #128
RE: Good reads
http://m.espn.go.com/ncb/story?storyId=11706670
10-22-2014 10:07 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #129
RE: Good reads
Ten things you may not know about UofL basketball...http://www.wdrb.com/story/26832809/crawf...basketball

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
10-23-2014 02:56 PM
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ULismyhothot Offline
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Post: #130
RE: Good reads
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/feat...f-20141028
10-29-2014 12:37 AM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #131
RE: Good reads
Damn, that's good.
10-29-2014 12:54 AM
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@critchelow Offline
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Post: #132
RE: Good reads
I still don't get how fsu beat a 5 ranked Notre dame and didn't move up to 1 with MSU on a bye week.
10-29-2014 09:55 AM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #133
RE: Good reads
FSU got crapped on for playing NC State close. I could be wrong but I think that's when they dropped. Not impressive enough they said. Meanwhile, Mississippi State looks like shit against UK of all teams and they don't drop. I saw that Mississippi State's defense is ranked around 90 or so.

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10-29-2014 11:14 AM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #134
RE: Good reads
Yes, to the two previous posts.

Second take: Kudos to that guy for publishing something like that against the man and giving it a voice that isn't "paranoid ignorant fans."
10-29-2014 02:03 PM
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ULismyhothot Offline
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Post: #135
RE: Good reads
similar type look at conference bias, from a quant perspective: http://harvardsportsanalysis.org/2014/10...-football/
10-30-2014 01:17 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #136
RE: Good reads
Harrell's mission...http://www.si.com/college-basketball/201...dinals-acc

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
10-31-2014 03:17 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #137
RE: Good reads
Random article I found at NBA.com about the three-point shot...http://www.nba.com/2014/news/features/jo...f:nbahpt6d
Quote:Or, maybe, Pitino was just too far ahead of his time.

Also, this was the lead-in pic for the article from the front page...recognize anybody?

[Image: 141107120248-darrell-griffith-larry-bird...ome-t6.jpg]

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
(This post was last modified: 11-07-2014 09:43 PM by HarveyGlass.)
11-07-2014 09:42 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #138
RE: Good reads
Griff!
11-07-2014 11:17 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #139
RE: Good reads
EC on Trez...http://www.wdrb.com/story/27385035/crawf...his-return

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
11-14-2014 04:57 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #140
RE: Good reads
That was a good read.
11-14-2014 05:32 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #141
RE: Good reads
Here's a great read. The picture of Pitino on the sidelines is what I hated when he was at UK, he's an extra defender when the ball is on his side of the court.

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/ncbexper...api_public
12-09-2014 03:02 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #142
RE: Good reads
Terrific read.
12-09-2014 03:15 PM
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J-Rye_UL Offline
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Post: #143
RE: Good reads
cliff notes for the non-insiders?
12-09-2014 03:19 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #144
RE: Good reads
Well hell. I saw it on FB from Cardinal Connection and read the whole thing. Now it's not even on their site. Maybe DHC can cut and paste for us as I would like to read it again.
12-09-2014 03:26 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #145
RE: Good reads
I thought I saw insider at the top but it went away and I checked the URL and it didn't have insider. It comes with pictures which are pertinent to the story. Showing defenses. I'll try to get it transferred over.
12-09-2014 03:29 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #146
RE: Good reads
[Image: ncb_a_pitino_b1_576x324.jpg]
Louisville coach Rick Pitino has consistently had one of the nation's best defenses.
Over the past four seasons, no team has played defense at a high level as consistently as Louisville. Since 2011, the Cardinals have never ended a season lower than fourth in the nation in defensive efficiency (according to kenpom.com), and the Cardinals are on that pace once again this year.

When you think of Rick Pitino’s defensive philosophy, from his first coaching job at Boston University to now at Louisville, it has been built on panicking opponents with pressure and harassment in multiple full-court and half-court defenses. But his tactics have evolved with time and experience.

One constant through the years for Pitino, regardless of defensive scheme, is maniacal ball pressure. This allows the Cards to contest passes, force the dribbler to be out of control or dribble to his weak hand, and finally, challenge shooters with a hand into their vision.

In the below screen shot, freshman guard Quentin Snider (No. 2) is pressuring the ball in the matchup zone. It gives the zone a temporary 1-1-3 look, but once passed, another Louisville defender will pressure the ball in his area.
[Image: Insider_Snider_gr_576.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
The metric for this ball pressure has always been “deflections.” In Pitino’s system, a "deflection" is rewarded for touching any portion of the pass, any steal, any blocked shot, any dive for a loose ball or any tip of the ball from behind. The goal for each game is 35 "deflections." In games they reach that goal and shoot at least 38 percent, Pitino says they will win 95 percent of the time.

The Cards still press in the full court religiously. In both their “White Press” (man on the inbounds passer) and “Black Press” (2-2-1 zone press), their pressure is designed to create turnovers, especially against less talented opponents.

Below is the "White Press" versus Florida International ...
[Image: Insider_WhitePress_GR_576x335.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
...and an example of Louisville’s "Black Press" in the same game.
[Image: Insider_BlackPress_GR_576x329.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
These days, however, the focal point of Pitino’s defense is a confusing 2-3 matchup zone defense that can look like a straight zone, man-to-man or both on the very same possession. The object is to create indecision by the offense as to what type of defense to attack.

An effective matchup zone requires constant communication to trade off cutters from one part of the defense to another. It eliminates most screening action by switching defenders at the point of the screen.

When Kyle Kuric played at Louisville, he was an excellent “quarterback” for the matchup zone because from his backline spot, he could see all five offensive players and alert his teammates to cutters and screeners. This season, freshman big man Chinanu Onuaku not only anchors the middle of the defense and protects the basket but is also a very good communicator for his teammates.

Below, watch how Onuaku (No. 32) alerts his teammate Wayne Blackshear that an opponent is cutting through to his side by talking and pointing.
[Image: Insider_Onuaku_GR_576x294.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
By moving his teammates around to adjust to the opponents’ offense, Onuaku can keep himself closer to the basket, where he is currently blocking one of every six of his opponents’ 2-point field goal attempts. His 16 percent block rate is currently sixth in the country.

Versus better and more skilled opponents, the full-court pressure can be more conservative and is designed to “melt” the shot-clock in the backcourt. Thus, it limits the amount of time an opponent can attack the Louisville defense in the half-court.

In the sequence below against Ohio State, the Cards’ Chris Jones (No. 3) harasses the Buckeyes’ Shannon Scott in what looks to be man-to-man pressure.
[Image: Insider_Louisville1_GR_576x319.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
With 28 seconds on the shot clock, Louisville still appears to be in man-to-man.
[Image: Insider_Louisville2_GR_576x322.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
With 23 seconds, Ohio State is in a man-to-man offense.
[Image: Insider_Louisville3_GR_576x309.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
Finally, with 16 seconds on the shot clock, it is clear the Cards are in the zone.
[Image: Insider_Louisville4_GR_576x321.jpg]

Synergy Sports Technology
This is a perfect example of the confusing looks the Cardinals can throw at opponents. When you combine the lack of time to attack the defense with relentless intensity and effort and very good size and athleticism up front, it is a nightmare to score on Louisville.

Although the matchup zone has been Louisville’s bread and butter in the half-court recently, the Cardinals will use the man defense judiciously. Last season versus SMU, the defense was effective in wearing down the Mustangs’ diminutive but talented point guard, Nic Moore. It’s possible Pitino will construct a similar strategy for Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, a similarly explosive scorer.

Although most coaches consider a zone defense less of a weapon (discounting Syracuse, of course) and more of a crutch, Pitino’s Cardinals have increasingly used it as the basis for their defensive dominance. The Syracuse Orange can provide a couple different looks out of the defense, but theirs is still a traditional zone.

Louisville’s matchup zone, on the other hand, is like a baseball pitcher with three or four pitches with great location and changing speeds. Because you are never sure what defense you are trying to attack, sometimes the defense is “unhittable.”

Indiana is next up to take a swing at it.
12-09-2014 03:55 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #147
RE: Good reads
Ahh! It let me link to the insider pictures that even have "insider Louisville" in the link. lol. That wasn't so hard.
12-09-2014 03:56 PM
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J-Rye_UL Offline
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Post: #148
RE: Good reads
I love reading stuff like that. I'm not able to pick up on all the subtle stuff at game speed
12-09-2014 04:22 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #149
RE: Good reads
Great thanks. It actually confirms what I had seen. We zone then the man on the weakside baseline steps out to show man and as soon as they are ready to pass low he takes two steps toward the lane and we have a nice doubleteam along the baseline.
12-09-2014 04:46 PM
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Post: #150
RE: Good reads
I love watching Huggins' 1-3-1 for the same reason. Confused the shit out of UConn earlier this year
12-09-2014 05:33 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #151
RE: Good reads
Yes to the three above posts. It's hard to catch all of that stuff at game speed for me also. I really enjoy watching that stuff broken down. I'd LOVE to be in a film session.
(This post was last modified: 12-09-2014 08:04 PM by DieHardCards.)
12-09-2014 05:41 PM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #152
RE: Good reads
Awesome, thanks. Big Grin I hope no opposing coaches are reading this. Well I know Calipari isn't because he doesn't believe in scouting opponents.

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
12-09-2014 07:07 PM
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Farmdude Offline
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Post: #153
RE: Good reads
Pretty good. As usual Adelson calls it like it is.

http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/78...perception
12-10-2014 09:14 AM
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J-Rye_UL Offline
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Post: #154
RE: Good reads
I stopped reading at the 2nd sentence of the responses...

"The ACC needs more good teams to get better, and more bad teams to get good."

Thanks for that breathtaking analysis, Digger
12-10-2014 09:42 AM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #155
RE: Good reads
http://mweb.cbssports.com/ncaab/eye-on-c...p-kentucky

Damn that Trez is hard to get excited about. #coldchills
12-10-2014 06:17 PM
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DieHardCards Offline
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Post: #156
RE: Good reads
http://yahoo.thepostgame.com/blog/throwb...llenberger
12-13-2014 12:14 AM
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HarveyGlass Offline
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Post: #157
RE: Good reads
Greatest win in the history of the program. That started everything, and I hope you younger guys understand that.
I read some people talking about this on Scout and kids were saying "how could that be the best, Bama was only ranked #20-something and Florida was #3?" It was so much more on so many levels.

In the locker room before the game Howard said to the team, "Alabama's about to get their ass kicked, they just don't know it yet."

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
12-13-2014 09:37 AM
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Post: #158
RE: Good reads
For the Champions League soccer fans...http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2014/12/...riel-hanot
Pretty interesting short read about how it started, and with a neat video.

"The dream lives on." - Howard Schnellenberger
12-13-2014 11:54 AM
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Post: #159
RE: Good reads
Gorgui

https://www.minnpost.com/sports/2015/01/...rgui-dieng
01-19-2015 06:14 PM
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BereaCard Offline
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Posts: 2,523
Joined: Oct 2010
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Post: #160
RE: Good reads
Interesting story about college basketball integration. I had never heard of this.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-act-of-d...asketball/
01-20-2015 08:28 AM
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