Brownie Points: In defense of Herb Sendek - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Brownie Points: In defense of Herb Sendek

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Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008 10:23 pm | Updated: 10:19 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Stanford had a nice season, but Trent Johnson is named the Pac-10 coach of the year? The Cardinal returned everyone from a team that won 10 games in the conference and went to the NCAA tournament last year. How much coaching did that take?

Stanford has won at least nine conference games 15 years in a row. Now if Johnson hadn't made the tournament - or if he had unseated UCLA for the conference crown - we would have been surprised.

Call me a homer, but consider this in defense of Herb Sendek: ASU had 84 starts by freshmen this season. Stanford? Zero.

And the Devils, who were pretty much Oregon State plus Jeff Pendergraph last year, finished 9-9 in the conference with an entirely new cast. That, I would argue, takes some coaching.

The Devils are only the fifth team in conference history to go from the cellar to .500 in one season. Tony Bennett did about the same thing last year at Washington State, and earned national coach of the year honors. I wouldn't go that far with Sendek, but a little love from his own neighborhood would seem proper.

LOS SUNS

I've gotten a few e-mails on this, so let me hit them all at once. The Suns wore "Los Suns" jerseys Sunday (same with the Spurs) in recognition of Latin Day at US Airways Center.

Now, why the jerseys said "Los Suns" and not "El Sol," I have no idea, just like I don't know why the patches on the jersey said "Latino Noche" (Latin Night) and not "Latino Tarde" (Latin Afternoon) since it was a 12:30 p.m. tip. What I do know is orange may not be Shaquille O'Neal's color.

QUICK HITTERS

If Randy Johnson wakes up Tuesday pain-free and ready for another start on Saturday, Monday's first step on the comeback trail was a roaring success. Who cares about the results? If Unit's Cactus and Grapefruit League ERAs meant anything, he never would have made an opening day roster.

Barry Bonds a New York Met? Dream on.

Next time I need someone to complain when my cable TV goes out, I'm sending Tony Stewart to represent me.

The last sporting event at Yankee Stadium should be a Yankees baseball game - not some NHL publicity stunt/cash cow. I'll buy a heavyweight boxing match, or a Giants football game or something else that owns a piece of the history of the 85-year-old arena. But "The House That Ruth Built" shouldn't be closed down by Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr.

Shawn Marion must be a happy man today. With Dwyane Wade done for the season and Pat Riley more interested in the NCAA tournament than the rest of the NBA slate, Marion is now the unquestioned star and No. 1 scoring option of his team, which may not win three games the rest of the season. Have a ball, Matrix.

No denying the Spurs had a lousy shooting day Sunday (.349) even though they did put down seven 3-pointers. But it's worth noting that in three games against the Suns this season, the Spurs have shot a combined .398 from the field. They have shot under 40 percent in only seven games this season (3-4), and two of those are against Phoenix.

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