Monday, February 15, 2010

Extra Thoughts on Some Involved in Sunday’s Game

Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith has got to be one of the nicest people in the world. When he came out before the game on Sunday he shook hands with everybody at the scorer’s table before going to his bench. I’ve worked the scorer’s table at a number of high school basketball games and I’ve never seen this happen. Also, Tubby took several moments to speak with Kevin Coble (as seen above) before he did the regular pregame ritual of talking to Bill Carmody and the officials.

While Tubby might be one of the nicest people around, official Curtis Shaw must be one of the biggest jerks. Shaw ejected two NU fans for, what according to all reports, was relatively tame taunting after his partner Ed Hightower totally missed an out of bounds call. Shaw’s actions shouldn’t surprise, though. He leads all officials in both fouls called and technical fouls called. He also ejected Alabama fans in their game against Purdue and once tossed the Rice University Mascot out of a game. He was also the official who made the horrid call on Jeff Ryan last year in NU’s loss to Purdue which allowed JaJuan Johnson to shot the game winning free throws. People tend to get on Ed Hightower for loving the spotlight when it comes to officiating, but at least Ed focuses on the game. Shaw (and his rabbit ears) seems to be the type to worry about everything. If I were Rich Falk (The Big Ten's top man on refs and NU 1,000-point club member, he had 1,001), I’d tell Curtis Shaw he ought to go work in the CCIW, not the Big Ten.

Alex Marcotullio played an excellent game on defense yesterday. I believe there is no drop-off between Marcotullio at the top of the 1-3-1 and Jeremy Nash at the top of the 1-3-1. At times yesterday, I thought Marcotullio was actually better at pressuring the ball and keeping Minnesota from making easy entry passes.

Bill Carmody used the 1-3-1 most of the game, and though Minnesota’s shooting made the choice scary at times, it was the right move. Nash and Marcotullio provided enough pressure that when NU made its comeback Minnesota didn’t even get shots because Luka Mirkovic and Drew Crawford were benefiting from the Nash and Marcotullio pressure to get steals.

Luka Mirkovic
really showed yesterday why I believe he is a much better three point and free throw shooter than he has been to this point. He has a very smooth release and doesn’t have much wasted movement. If Luka can get confident with his shot, NU will be that much tougher to defend.

Davide Curletti played 0+ minutes yesterday and Kyle Rowley also saw limited time. I’ll talk more about this when we get to the offseason, but with those two and Ivan Peljusic backing up Luka, I think either Curletti or Rowley ought to take a redshirt next year.


TDC Mole said...

Did anyone else think that Coach made an adjustment in the 1-3-1 by moving Luka out further on top of the floor in the second half? I thought so live, and noticed it again last night on my dvr replay of the game. There were a number of plays where Luka was pressuring the Minny guards, with Nash or Crawford, at the top of the key. He also then dove baseline for steals a couple of times. This seemed to allow the wing guys to keep a pretty close eye on Hoffarber (until that friggin last shot).

G1000 said...

I wish people would just lay off the refs. You know what? If there's a bad call, deal with it. Yes, the official was wrong (and he doesn't appear to be a very good offical at that), but stop blaming the refs if you lose. That goes out to every fan in every sport. They're trying to do their jobs, people.

Rant over.