College Basketball Word Association III
Posted by sawdog on February 3, 2010
Here’s our third Word Association. Sawdog provided the words while 49ways provided the answers.
I think Sawdog knows what’s coming here. This guy has turned into THE force, not only in the paint, but also on his team. I’m talking about DeMarcus Cousins. Like him or not, there’s no denying the fact that he’s flat-out good. A double-double machine, he’s hit that mark the last five SEC contests. In his last 11 games, he’s averaging 17.9 points and 11.4 rebounds. Compare that to his first 11 games: 14.6 points and 8.3 rebounds. Now that’s what I call blossoming. But what’s most staggering to me is his per 40 minutes figures of 30 points and 18 rebounds!
Sawdog’s on to something. I see what he’s doing, and I’ll oblige. No other coach, in my opinion, is as astute as the mastermind himself, Tom Izzo. Last week, during a live chat, I used the word mastermind to describe Coach Izzo. I explained that he’s deserving of that title because of his near-unstoppable set plays and his ability to adjust and adapt to any team and any game situation. He’s so astute at knowing how defenses will react to certain screens and positions. Of course the Spartans won’t win every game, but his preparation and in-game decisiveness give his team a big advantage over most opponents.
I searched and searched for an answer for this word. After much consideration, I’ll have to go with the Rhode Island Rams. Obviously, I could have picked a number of schools, but take a look at Jim Baron’s squad. They sit unranked with an 18-3 record, and no one is talking about them. Currently they’re tied for third in the competitive Atlantic 10 Conference with a favorable schedule remaining. Their top three scorers are seniors which are so important to have down the stretch. Come Tourney time, I think this team could be dangerous.
When you think of the word balance, you immediately think of a team with a nice, balanced scoring attack. It would take me hours, perhaps even days, to find the most balanced scoring team in the NCAA. So instead, I searched for the most balanced Conference, that being the Pac 10. Only three games separate last place from first place, and with all teams having nine games remaining, anything can happen. The Pac 10 may be having the worst season, as a whole, in its history. I’ve seen projections with only one team making the Tournament. That one team could literally be any school as there is no clear-cut favorite. Now that’s what I call balance!
There are four teams who, in my opinion, are equally deserving of the No. 1 ranking in the country – Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky, and Syracuse. Put the names of those schools on a piece of paper and into a hat, then draw one name and you have your number one team. I know I’m not really answering the question, but I just can’t choose one. Some common themes for all of them: deep, athletic, fast, top 10 in team scoring. Doesn’t it seem like these teams are separating themselves from the bunch?