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Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 6 Recap

Hargrovians Fall to Hot Shooting Team Rhodes

Team Mr. Rhodes 46
Team Denzell Hargrove 38

Team Rhodes (2-2), who struggled early on in the KBA season, may finally have figured it out. They triumphed over Team Hargrove (2-2) in a high scoring affair to pull themselves even with the Hargrovians in the league standings. The Rhodes Scholars shot the ball noticeably better in this game, than in previous contests. As an extremely offensive-minded coach of mine used to say, "Sometimes, you just got to make shots." Squirt Polk posted a season-high 13 points, scoring in a variety of different ways. He proved himself to be a match-up nightmare as he took Team Hargrove's big men off the dribble and posted up much smaller guards when they were forced to switch. Nick Norals asserted himself at the offensive and defensive end of the floor, finishing with 12 points, 4 steals, and three impressive "he really traveled but the refs don't feel like calling it" finishes. If Captain Rhodes could be upset in one area, it would be their poor clock management and shot selection towards the end of the game. Up four with thirty-five seconds on the clock, Darnell Blakemore tried to pull an Ali Farokhmanesh, and hit a dagger three (he missed), instead of working time off the clock. Despite this lapse in judgement, they still won the game. Even though it could have come back to haunt them, Captain Rhodes did the right thing in his post-game speech to his team, and emphasized the positives of his victory (Like their shot making and Norals sneaking a couple of travels by the refs), rather than dwelling on their clock management woes. A smart decision, which may yield great results in the future.

I would have liked to see Red Washington (8 points) more involved involved in Team Hargrove's offense today. Whenever he touched it, he made things happen. Problem is, the ball was monopolized for a large portion of the game by Travis McBride and Denzell Hargrove (See season preview post to see my concern about this). While Mcbride and Hargrove finished with 9 and 13 points respectively, it was on a high-volume of shots (See Jones, Cash). For this team to win more games they need to look to distribute more like Nash, then having the mentality of "never seeing a shot they didn't like" like Cash. Even so, Team Hargrove still kept it close for a large portion of the second half, but by the end, they clearly had no legs left. It looked like the were running downhill on offense, and laboring mightily uphill back to the defensive end. When the other team is making shots, that just won't cut it.

An Elephant (or Coach) Never Forgets: Denzell Hargrove was very un-happy from some no-calls that he received from Coach Maley and Coach Rodgers. He voiced his thoughts and concerns on a couple of occasions at his former coach and future coach. While IHSA rules do not allow coaches to have direct contact with players in the off-season, there is no such rule stating that punishment 16s and other conditioning sprints can not be retroactive next season. Something young Hargrove should think about, the next time he wants to be bailed out with a call.

Just like Post-Training Day Washington, This Denzell Under-appreciated No Longer

Team Denzell Smith 53
Team Afure Obeabor 21

Denzell Smith (17 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists) brought his boots and lunch pail to the game today for Team Smith (3-2), as he put in work against Team Afure (0-4). Often thought of as one of the most underrated players in the league, Smith proved himself as one of the top "Do it All" guys in the KBA. He blocked shots, he rebounded, he scored garbage buckets from the interior, he knocked down outside jumpers, he led the break, and even exhibited some flashy dance moves prior to a couple free-throw box-outs. The great thing about his game today was that he didn't force anything (even the dance moves, they were natural). Everything that he got was created within the context of the offense or off of his own hustle. Smith's game, plus huge contributions from Syid Young (16 points) and Marques Hudson (10 points) led to a blowout in which the game was called with four minutes left. Keith Spencer had what is believed to be a KBA record 19 assists (Still awaiting confirmation from the Ellias Sports Bureau and Basketball

When the game starts with absolutely no one jumping center for your team (because people were late and no one stepped up to do it), you probably know you are in for a long day, as was the case for Team Afure. While there were not too many highlights for this team, there was one incredibly shocking moment. Markise Wilson hoisted up a three that amazingly bricked off the top portion of the backboard. The words Picasso-Finger Painting, Jennifer Hudson-Lip Singing, Britney Spears-Role Model, and Ghandi-UFC Fight have much more believability than Markise Wilson-Brick. But I tell you, on this day, April 26, the year 2010, it happened. As my parents have told me about how they remember exactly where they were when Armstrong walked on the moon, I'm sure I'll be telling my kids about where I was when Wilson shot his one and only brick. The KBA....where History happens.

Calming words to Cebron: Beginning with the start of the second half, Chris Crawford (Or as he now wants to be known as on the blog, Cebron), was campaigning for the game to be called. Usually, the calling of games only occurs in the last two minutes, when it is absolutely clear that the team who is down has zero chance of coming back. Seeing that it was 36-11 at halftime, and a thirty-point game with thirteen minutes to go, Crawford was adamant that the game be called. Every thirty seconds that went of the clock, it was either "C'mon, call it coach Maley" or a scoreboard point with an exasperated expression on his face. Anything I said only frustrated him further. After about five minutes of this, I finally said to him "I got to let it go until at least four minutes left, I want guys to get there numbers (individual stats)." Apparently, I had said the magic words. Cebron agreed that that was the right thing to do and sat down without saying another word. The KBA... where pacification happens.

King of the Courtney

Team Laquinn Parks 32
Team Kyle Bailey 29

What Gordon Heyward failed to do for Butler, freshman Courtney Ealy did for Team Parks (3-1). After a missed put-back attempt by Team Bailey (2-1) with the score tied and four seconds to go, Ealy dribbled up the right side-line and hoisted up a shot just as he crossed mid-court. Unlike Heyward, whose shot barely missed, Ealy's swished through the net, giving his team a 32-29 victory, and setting off complete pandemonium in the upstairs gym. Even though he did not "go for 50" (when you think about it, with fifteen-minute running clocks, going for 50 is like scoring 70 in a high school game, 85 in a college game, and 105 in an NBA game) like he said he would before the game, Ealy's heroics proved that sometimes new kids on the block (Team Parks team is composed almost entirely of freshman and sophs) have the ability to teach old dogs (Team Bailey) new tricks. Ealy's back court mate Mario Sawyer, humbly chipped in 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists without so much as a hint of a taunt or chest pound. The scary thing is that this team was without big man Kyle Begusa. With or without him, this team looks to be the best T-E-A-M in the league.

Prior to the game Team Captain Kyle Bailey said, "Coach Maley, you aren't giving us any respect." (Apparently, he was upset that their number one ranking in this week's polls came with a caveat that their time at the top would be over shortly.) "We're going to show you today." They didn't. If their pre-game ritual led by Cebron (pretending like they were posing for a team picture prior to the tip) was any indication of what was in store for them during this game, than it was going to be a long night. Fortunately, their play was much better than their theatrics. After a slow start (down 15-7), they battled their way back. It was clear, that they made a conscious decision to start fouling and playing physical with the younger Team Parks, daring the officials (Both upperclassmen, hmmmm.....) to call a foul. It kind of reminded me how the '92 and '93 Knicks, realizing that the Bulls had more talent than them, used to try bully their way to victory. It almost worked, but Ealy, like Jordan, refused to let their tactics get the best of him and his team. Antonio Boyle finished with 12 points and 1 charge taken (first of the KBA season), while Jeremy McClendon added 9. Side Note: This team set the all-time record at any level for referee and opponent stare-downs with 120 (That's four stare downs a minute). The KBA... where over-compensation happens.

Quote of the Year: Upon seeing Cash Jones in the main office after the game, the following exchange occurred with Cash and Commissioner Rodgers.

Rodgers: Cash, you trying to get your suspension reduced at the league office? (KBA suspension, not school)

Cash: Nah, I'm trying to get in the D-League instead. (Said with a sly smile)

The KBA..... where humor in the face of adversity happens.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to go on record saying that Team Kyle Bailey will win this league. I back any team that emulates the '93 Knicks.