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Splitting Adams

January 30, 2004 Columns No Comments

Splitting Adams

by Adam Shandler

Random, rambling commentary on basketball and beyond

Love Means Never Having To Say ‘You Nitwit’: UConn coach Jim Calhoun and Phil Martelli had to serve up mea culpas for making what was deemed “insensitive remarks”. Martelli’s peccadillo occurred when his St. Joe’s Hawks were blowing out St. Bonaventure and a fan questioned the coach on his pressing tactics even though his team was up by 25 points. Martelli’s response to this Bonniephile?

“Shut up, you nitwit!” And topped it all off with “You should be embarrassed by your own team, you moron.”

While it was a fan that set off Martelli, It was a reporter that got Calhoun all hot under the collar. When New Haven Register scribe David Solomon asked the coach why he didn’t land Providence star and Connecticut native Ryan Gomes as a UConn recruit – just minutes after the junior forward lit up the Huskies for 26 points, 12 boards – coach Calhoun lay into the writer with a right-left combination of adjectives not meant for this website.

In the best public relations interests for their schools, both Martelli and Calhoun apologized to their “opponents” the following Monday. But why should these gents have to apologize?

The college hoops coach as a species is constantly under a lot of pressure, and often they respond to criticism in the classiest way possible even though their casting daggers under their breath. But every once in a while, especially during the heat of the moment, they burst and say something they regret later on. However, the onus is on the potential instigator to back off. That fan that irked Martelli should know that you just don’t bark at a coach while he’s trying to move his way up the Top 25 ladder. Just sit down and take your 25-point loss like an adult.

As for our reporter friend in Connecticut – heck, I’ve been at a few press conferences, and believe me, some of us reporters can ask the most asinine questions, knowing full well we’re going to get a piping hot plate of Go To Hell in return.

Coaches are what they are and temper is sometimes part of the character. They’re entitled to a little eruption every now and again and we as fans should welcome. So let’s all stop expecting apologies when our favorite basketball coach shows his humanness.

Scandal-less: I remember the Hoopville season last year. Our reporters were tapping away frantically at their computers, blistered fingertips and all, to get their commentaries about the latest scandal posted before the next one broke. Our Morning Dishes were sour, rancid meals about academic impropriety, cash, cars, drugs, guns and other tales of men behaving badly. Made The Sopranos look like an episode of Full House. (Whatever happened to Dave Coulier, by the way?)

This season, the scandals have been at a minimum, and we at Hoopville have been recording the events of games. Yes, games. The whole reason why we’re here.

They must’ve done something right at that NABC summit.

“Urological Related”: Which is how I describe most of my relations with family members. Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s man-pains have him missing some games, even though he says he wants to be back on the sidelines by the weekend of January 31st. Seriously, Rick, give this one some time. You don’t want to mess around with any kind of pinch below the equator. I’m surprised it took him this long to speak up. While prostate cancer has been ruled out for Pitino, this burning sensation he is feeling could lead to other issues which I don’t have the heart to get into.

I guess what I’m getting at is, put it in perspective. What’s the greater issue here? Half-court trapping Southern Miss, or being able to pee without thinking of a happy place?

Snowstorm! Rated R: What’s with the weathermen and their The-End-Is-Near Forecasts these days. Okay, we’re getting snow, and yes, it can be deadly. But we’ve seen snow before. Had snowstorms before. We’ve driven in it, shoveled it and even played in it. (Some have even eaten it, though please, stay away from the yellow kind.)

We’re not being attacked by giant alien carpenter ants who shoot acid at humans. So let’s can the talk with words like “vicious” and “brutal” and save ’em for the WWE. Not every snowstorm needs to be presented like War of the Worlds.

Guarden State: It’s nice to see New Jersey getting some attention for something other diners, tolls, toxic waste and the aforementioned HBO program about “The Family.” (Although I am all a-titter for Season 5.) Seton Hall’s Andre Barrett and Keydren “KiKi” Clark of St. Peter’s have given Jersey hoops fans something to cheer about while the Nets slosh through their inconsistency and fire their coach.

Barrett has led Seton Hall to a 13-4 record at this writing and has helped transform the Pirates from a bubble team a year ago to one that can startle foes in the tourney. He’s averaging 18.4 ppg and 6.6 assists and was one of four players in double figures in The Hall’s recent upset of Syracuse. Barrett is currently sixth in the Big East in scoring but leads the league in dishes. It’ll be interesting to see how Barrett fares against Providence on Sunday, February 1, when the Pirates meet up again with red-hot Providence at the Donut. The Friars edged The Hall 63-60 on January 12 in East Rutherford.

KiKi Clark is the kind of guy who can score in his sleep. At 27.1 ppg, he is the second leading scorer in the country, just .4 below Western Carolina’s Kevin Martin. And it’s not that Clark can just put the ball in the basket, it’s the versatility of his scoring that’s so impressive. He hits over 38% of his shots from long range but has no problem sinking one inside the arc or off the dribble drive. He’s also efficient from the free throw line at 82% and hands the ball out 4.5 times a game.

The Peacocks are on a three-game win streak and have won six out of the last 7. KiKi has averaged 30.3 ppg in the last three games and in a recent 92-76 win against Iona, he poured in 38.

Fiber Optic: It’s flu season, and I can’t say this enough. I believe there’s one remedy more medicinal than any flu shot or bowl of chicken soup. It’s fiber. Why do I own such a radical viewpoint? Because germs like to live and breath in the digestive system before they scatter to other regions of your body. The reason why some colds and flus last so long is because the inflicted aren’t, uh, “disposing” of the bacteria. So tell your loved ones to leave the house for a while and grab some beans or high-fiber cereal.

Just don’t eat too much of it, or you’ll be recovering from a whole new set of problems.


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