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A Gusto Wind Notebook

Thank you General
Never one to hold back and always a shoot from the hip chap, my all time favorite coach for more reasons than this site can hold, called it like it is, again. As far as media and color commentary goes this has been an elephant in the room that hasn’t been called out, until yesterday.

With coach Bob Knight speaking at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame he called into question the current integrity of the game. Specifically he addressed coach John Calipari from UK when he said “We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching. You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky, who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”

While the game has changed for better and worse this has long been a black eye. Coach Cal isn’t in exclusive company but epitomizes what tarnishes the game from a coaching standpoint. Beyond helping students illegally qualify academically he has a laundry list only the likes of the Kelvin Sampson could appreciate.

No More Parity?
The greatest championship event in all of sports is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (wouldn’t this site lose some credibility if I said otherwise?). Maybe the biggest reason is the unmatched parity it offers.

With so many powerhouses running things lately, it will be a surprise to only the johnny-come-lately that it will be the same old teams who wind up in Indianapolis come April. Kansas is the clear frontrunner to win its second title in three years and become the fourth school since 1999 to win multiple titles. North Carolina won its second in four seasons last year. Florida won a pair in 2006 and 2007.

While still being early in the year, the new kids on the block leave much to be desired besides the Longhorns. The Wildcats and Blue Devils, along with the early season surprise upstarts Orange and Gators all have the look and feel of teams that can close out the season with six wins and a net clipping.

Two teams won two titles from 1983 to 1999. Isn’t the party more fun with some fresh faces?

The Great Wall or X-Man
Wall-mania has quickly taken its hold on TV and internet coverage, for good reason. The kid flies by defenders and throws it down with a sick array of moves like few who’ve come before. He dominates so much so there hasn’t been room for any sort of coverage or debate of the other super frosh that have come onto the scene, namely KU guard Xavier Henry.

I’m not saying one is better than the other because there are just too many caveats and intangibles that stats can’t account for. Still, it is a gross injustice not to consider the accomplishments of X so far this season in comparison to J-Weezy.

Here’s a look at the numbers through nine games of Wall and Henry:
• The 6-foot-4 Wall has averaged 18.1 ppg in 35.1 minutes, the 6-6 Henry 18.0 ppg in 27.0 minutes.
• Henry has hit 55 of 99 shots for 55.6 percent, Wall 54 of 100 shots for 54 percent.
• Henry has made 24 of 45 threes for 53.3 percent, Wall seven of 19 threes for 36.8 percent.
• Henry has converted 28 of 34 free throws for 82.4 percent, Wall 48 of 61 for 78.7 percent.
• Both players have 37 rebounds. Wall has 64 assists, 39 turnovers, 25 steals and five blocks; Henry has 16 assists, 18 turnovers, 16 steals and seven blocks.

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