What was your favorite part of the text message era? Shouldn’t be hard to come up with a few, since in the college sports world (including basketball) it lasted six months.
The decision on whether to allow coaches to text message prospective recruits was a hot-button topic. Lines were drawn in the sand.
One side deemed it too intrusive, expensive, and believed real recruiting was about relationships formed through phone calls and personal visits.
The other side wanted to get with the times. It was easier to send a text message. Kids had the option to ignore more easily if they wanted, or respond at a convenient time. It was time to embrace technology.
On Aug. 1 the NCAA decided to ban text messaging. When push came to shove last Saturday, 21.3 percent of Division I schools wanted to resume unlimited text messages as an acceptable form of recruiting. That means 78.7 percent wanted nothing to do with it.
The sudden indifference in reinstating what was a hot-button rule seems hard to believe.
So old-fashioned e-mails (which are allowed unlimited) and phone calls reign supreme again, and this generation may have a hard time fathoming there were once times when U.S. mail, visits and home phone calls were the ways of the recruiting life.
Coaches remember that generation. Their generation.
Amazingly enough, kids still were noticed and received (or didn’t receive) scholarships back in those dark-age days.
Not enough, according to some coaches, who want more time to spend with kids learning about them, their desires, and what kids may be potential pitfalls.
All of which makes perfect sense, except some of those coaches could stop trying to get high school freshman and sophomores to commit to a college at age 15.
But that would be too easy.
ANOTHER DIRK NOWITZKI
So that’s why Roy Hibbert withdrew his name from the NBA draft last spring. Turns out Georgetown’s 7-foot-2 center needed to work on his outside shot.
Good thing, too. He hit the second 3-pointer of his career at the buzzer on Saturday to give the Hoyas a 72-69 victory against Connecticut.
It came with three seconds left while holding the ball at the top of the key. Given his tendency to not shoot 3s (zero attempts through his first three seasons) his defender — 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet — wasn’t in the same zip code.
He’s 2-for-2 from behind the arc this season.
“That’s not a fluke, that’s not a shocker, that’s not a once-in-a-lifetime thing that Roy makes that shot,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “... if you’re not going to play him, he can make that shot.”
WEEK OF WOE
Tough luck (and rotten shooting) for a couple smaller Division I schools.
Savannah State set an NCAA record by scoring four points in a half (it gave up 48) against Kansas State. It was the lowest output in the modern era (1986).
Shortly thereafter, Rick Majerus-led Saint Louis (wasn’t he supposed to be the next ASU basketball coach?) lost 49-20 against George Washington late last week, the fewest points scored by a team in a D-I men’s game in this modern era.
THE LAST WORD
“I’ve never heard it that quiet in the second half of a road game.”
Tennessee forward when the Volunteers outscored South Carolina 23-5 after halftime en route to a 86-50 victory Saturday
Indiana’s D.J. White leads the Big Ten in rebounding, and it’s easy to see how it happened. He had 21 points and a career-high 22 rebounds against Michigan, then followed up with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Illinois, the Hoosiers’ 10th consecutive win and 27th straight at home. Healthy after two seasons of injuries, the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder is projected as a late first-round NBA pick.
Arizona at California, 6 p.m. Saturday on FSN Arizona. With 33 points on the road against a good Houston team last Saturday, Jerryd Bayless is back, and the Wildcats are trying to get back into Pac-10 contention.
California, whether it beats Arizona State on Thursday or not, is trying to keep itself among the NCAA bubble teams. Arizona has better guards in Bayless, Nic Wise and Chase Budinger. Cal has a better interior with sophomore Ryan Anderson and DeVon Hardin. Bears coach Ben Braun has plenty of hair. Cats interim coach Kevin O’Neill doesn’t. And so forth.
The Luck of the Irish fell on its proverbial face in football, but Notre Dame’s basketball team has stayed afloat. Yes, the Fighting Irish (12-3) got trounced by No. 16 Marquette on Saturday in Notre Dame’s first real road game of the season, but they have quality wins against Kansas State, West Virginia and Connecticut to uphold their No. 47 RPI ranking. Up next: Cincinnati (tonight), followed by Georgetown (22nd in RPI), Villanova (No. 46) and Providence (No. 30). Two of those three are away from South Bend.
Our top seeds: North Carolina (17-0); Memphis (15-0); Kansas (17-0); UCLA (16-1)