Monday, February 2, 2009


The Dream Week - Part I

After an awesome Super Bowl to cap off the NFL season and a ton of food consumed by the Coach (italian hero with spicy mustard, wings, cupcakes, some suds, wings and some more wings)the Coach and all of you basketball heads had exactly one tiring Monday to get ourselves ready for a dream basketball week. Coach is trying to figure out his schedule as this is going to be one of the craziest regular season weeks of basketball in a long time. Heck, this past week Coach was lucky enough to wake up to sets sketched on his white board labeled Izzo and Harrick by the Buck Man himself down from Bristol for the night to share some knowledge. He of course left town before we could go set for set, but I’ll get him soon. Back doors, short corner traps, pick n pops…it will all happen.

Back to dream week, it starts tonight at 7pm with #2 ranked UCONN visiting #7 ranked Louisville.

These are two teams playing at an incredibly high level, lead by two hall of fame coaches.
UCONN has 4 players averaging in double figures including two players averaging a double-double scoring the ball and hitting the glass. Sometimes you take for granted what an unreal program Coach Calhoun has created in Stores. When the Coach sits and thinks about all the great Big East and NCAA moments he has experienced both live and watching on the big screen many involve UCONN. I could take it back to Tate George, Scott Burrell and Doron Sheffer but that may be a little much for all of us on a Monday.

Coach remembers the 1999 National Championship like it was yesterday. The State Street house on the corner, the beat up living room, mediocre snacks and Khalid El-Amin, Rip Hamilton and Kevin Freeman shocking favored Duke who if you remember was stacked with Elton Brand, William Avery, Shane Battier, Chris Carawell, and Trajon Langdon. Coach and crew were really pulling for UCONN in that one as our college buddy Stevie Chains is a Bolton, CT native. In 2004 the Pistol and I were in San Antonio for the final four as Emeka Okafur put UCONN on his back in the 2nd half of the semi final against Duke to win a dramatic battle. UCONN then blew out Georgia Tech to cement themselves as one of the best individual single season teams we have seen in the last 20 years. That was the third of back to back to back final four’s the Coach was lucky enough to attend thanks to the “Colonel from Cornell.” (The Big Red appear to be in position to dominate the Ivy League once again this season as they are off to a 4-0 start.)

Now as good as UCONN is right now there is a team out there playing at the same level. Louisville is smoking hot right now. Coach Pitino has recruited some serious next level talent and the Cardinals have caught the Coach’s attention. As my readers of course know Coach Pitino was once in charge of the Boston Celtics, that did not go to well and I never got past what a horrible job he did, well not until last year when that GREEN MAGIC finally happened. The Cardinals feature size, length and athleticism which are going to make them a very trendy pick to go deep into the tournament. The front line of Earl Clark, Samardo Samuels and Terrence Williams has been a disaster for teams to deal with. Clark has finally evolved into the all around force Pitino had hoped. Clark along with Samuels and Williams are combining for 40 points and 23 rebounds per game. The matchup tonight with Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet up front will be something special to watch. While the battle upfront will be fierce don’t forget about the backcourt. Lots of tri-state area interest at the guard spots UCONN’s AJ Price from Amityville, and Kemba Walker from Rice will battle as Edgar Sosa also from Rice.
Speaking of Rice, one of Coach’s mentors, “The President” who man’s the post for Nike Basketball East had was the lead as always when Kobe arrived in NYC yesterday. Kobe, PR and the entire Rice team were at the 34th street footlocker yesterday as Kobe and PR discussed the exclusive release of the Nike Zoom Kobe 4-Rice Edition which were made especially for the team. Check out the video below courtesy of

Tonight Kobe and the Lakers will start quite a run of games at MSG that have the Coach as fired up as he has ever been about regular season pro basketball in Manhattan.

The Lakers come into New York with the best record in the West but for the first time this season with a feeling of doubt as the results on Andrew Bynum’s MRI of his right knee are in and Laker fans can't be feeling very good as LA prepares for the Knicks who are red hot at home this season. Bynum has a torn MCL that will sideline him 8-12 weeks according to (The Coach will have his take on what will change in the western conference later this evening) The LA big man seemed to be taking his first major step towards the next level lately was averaging 26.2 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks and shooting 65.3 percent from the field over his last five games. As a Celtics fan the Coach was not rooting for Bynum to be hurt or for the Lakers to be anything short of full strength come playoff time as you want to beat the best to be the best in this league. It will be interesting to see the Lakers psyche tonight in what promises to be an electric Madison Square Garden.

Coach is out til later like L Fitz on that slant…

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