Sunday, January 17, 2010

What Didn't Happen Over the Weekend

Ole Miss basketball team dominates, then keeps foot on accelerator in win over Tennessee.
Instead of winning a game against a team with only six scholarship players, the Rebels took an 11 point lead with about eight minutes left and slowly but steadily allowed Tennessee to come back and eventually win the game in overtime, mostly thanks to Ole Miss freely giving away the basketball and a lack of understanding who should eat first on offense (I should probably also mention rebounding, which will be a problem all year for Ole Miss, but shouldn't have been against a Vols team with not much more size than Ole Miss). I know it's hard to complain when you lose to a top ten team at their place, but it was a game in which Ole Miss should have won and really would have made up in the standings for the home loss to Mississippi State last week.

But what's so frustrating about this Ole Miss team (besides the occasional rampages of bad decisions by everyone on the team...WARNING: Ole Miss-only talk lies ahead. Feel free to skip down if you're easily bored and/or irritated with such talk.) is that it's mid-January and there are still players who don't understand their limitations and roles. For instance, Murphy Holloway is a scrappy, undersized, forward who is effort guy that can knock down a 15-ish foot jumper. He is not a guy who can take someone one-on-one. Yet, at least three times on Saturday, I watched as he tried unsuccessfully to beat a bigger Wayne Chism to the rim off the dribble. And it's not just this game, he's had this problem all year. He has to learn that as a smaller player being asked to play against bigger guys he can't be going at them by himself. His job is to rebound and get junk baskets when his man strays too far away. And he's not the only one currently lost.

Everyone needs to understand that Terrico White is the best player on the team. And by everyone, that includes Terrico White, who doesn't seem to get this. Whether it's his personality or he's confused about how he should play with Chris Warren, it needs to be jackhammered into his head that HE'S BETTER THAN EVERYONE THAT PLAYS WITH HIM. He should always eat first. Then Warren, followed by Zach Graham and Eniel Polynice, then those in the post. That is the hierarchy and everyone needs to commit it to memory. And making sure that happens is on Andy Kennedy. I think the easiest part will be keeping everyone in order, but the hardest part, and I'm not sure it will happen based on Terrico White's demeanor, is convincing White that, as a sophomore, he's the guy.

Rush Propst and Jeremy Pruitt get the band back together thanks to Nick Saban.
Almost. The former defensive coordinator under Propst at Hoover High School (and a man, thanks to the greatest show ever, Two-A-Days, that was discovered at one point in his life to be unsure what asparagus was), Pruitt was moved from director of player development at Alabama to a defensive coaching spot (most likely LBs coach). There in 2010, we can only hope and pray to hear an audio clip of him yelling at Dont'a Hightower that the reason Alabama is going to lose a game is because "Dont'a Hightower is a dumbass" (as he most famously yelled at Max Lerner during an episode of Two-A-Days).

As for Propst, the reunion tour will have to wait as he is currently coaching high school football in Georgia, and most certainly threatening to take away college scholarships for those who don't wear their socks properly in games.

Tennessee finds a football coach that sends a buzz of shock and awe through America.
Well, not quite, but I'm sure it was so through the Dooley household. Derek Dooley, owner of a 17-20 coaching record, was named the Tennessee head coach on Friday after everyone east and west of the Mississippi told the Vols thanks but no thanks. I, probably like everyone else (including Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton), know very little about Dooley. I can tell you that eight of this 17 wins at Louisiana Tech came in one season and he won an Independence Bowl (it's interesting that another final candidate, David Cutcliffe, was the King of the Independence Bowl, winning three in six years. Way to shoot for the stars, Tennessee) that same season. I saw about half of Tech's game against Boise State, a game in which they at least made Boise work. So what does that tell you? Nothing, other than expect another coaching search in three years.

What's that? Why, yes it was a slow weekend. Even the NFL games brought nothing to the table. But there's good news, only two weeks until the 2010 Pro Bowl.

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