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Shots in the Dark

January 17, 2003 Columns No Comments


Shots in the Dark

by Jon Gonzalez

Welcome, boys and girls, to my all-new weekly column appropriately titled Shots in the Dark. Every week you, the fine people of the planet, get an opportunity to listen to my thoughts, rants and otherwise random musings. So without further adieu, lets get this party started.

UC Ya Later? UCLA Bruins head coach Steve Lavin is on the hot seat. As reported on ESPN.com, sources inside the university say Lavin and his staff will be let go at seasons end. You know what? Lavin deserves to be canned. He has taken a once proud program into mediocrity. Now, he hasn’t run the program into the ground, but UCLA is used to winning championships, not settle for berths in the second or third round of the NCAA Tournament. He has had time in Los Angeles to take UCLA to the next level, but the coach has failed to get it done. Furthermore, his players don’t seem to be responding to him anymore. Proof of this can be seen in the current season and especially Thursday night. UCLA has already lost to San Diego and Northern Arizona at home, and overall, has a losing record at Pauley Pavilion. Thursday night, amid rumors of Lavin’s fate swirling around Westwood, the Bru Crew laid an egg against Arizona State. Those kids are really rallying around their coach, aren’t they?

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of the Lavin era at UCLA is the play of Jason Kapono. Kapono has been at UCLA for 15 years, at least it seems like he has, and has not gotten any better. Coming out of high school, Kapono was supposed to be a superstar. Now, as a senior, he is just ordinary. I am not going to put all of it on Lavin, maybe it’s solely on Kapono. But as the coach, Lavin has a big hand in the development of his players. So while Lavin might have a nifty do, that slicked back dome will have to go. Off with the head!!! But just don’t touch the hair

Although the story is a bit dated, what about Georgetown head coach Craig Esherick’s tirade this past week. Is this guy paranoid or what? What, is Mike Sweetney the only player in college basketball not getting calls? Are other players targeting Sweetney? Are officials dead set against calling fouls against players who are beating up on Sweetney? But you know what, there might be some truth in that last question. I heard former Georgetown headman John Thompson say that Sweetney needs to have a better rapport with the officials and maybe show them a little bit more respect. He also said that Sweetney should make a point of learning the officials’ names. While this shouldn’t be the reason players get calls, it does make sense. Referees are people, and if you notice in college, and especially in the pros, the players who talk to the refs and are respectful happen to get calls against them. Coincidence? I think not

Hofstra’s Rick Apodaca and Wendell Gibson will start Saturday after serving a suspension for smoking that danky stuff. Starting? Shouldn’t they at least come off the bench in their first game back? Oh wait, don’t want to leave those two sitting around. Who knows? There might be a bong somewhere under the bench

Three sleeper teams to think about: Arizona State, Cal and Utah. These three clubs might do some damage come March…As for a Final Four sleeper? Ahh, I’m going to wait on that prediction

Congrats to Roy Williams on his 400th win and Pat Summit on her 800th win. Those two are what college coaches should be all about.

A happy retirement to Mt. Saint Mary’s coach Jim Phelan. This guy has done a great job for the last half a decade and deserves a much-needed break.

How good is Duke? Don’t be surprised if Coach K’s kiddie corps is cutting down the nets in April.

I saw that before ECU’s big game against Louisville, students were camping out for tickets in Billville, named after head coach Bill Herrion. Billville? Are you serious? Wow. That’s all I have to say, Wow.

Finally, I am still a little down about my New York Jets. I really thought this was going to be the year. Why did I just mention that? They’re done.

That’s all I got. Talk to you next week. Later.

     

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