POSTED ON JANUARY 27, 2010:
The Yellow Brick Road?
University of Tulsa has some lessons to learn to make a serious run in Conference USA
Bring It! Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said guard Ben Uzoh (above) needs to get into the game earlier instead of waiting until the team's back is against the wall.
From the files of "You learn something new everyday" comes news of George Strait and Reba McEntire's continued popularity. Let's put it this way: When you witness a co-worker breaking out in sweats while staring at something called a virtual waiting room, it is not a pretty sight.
You want to know a little secret? Purchasing tickets for the upcoming Conference USA postseason extravaganza will be much easier and less time consuming. March 10-13, mark your calendar.
Why should you dive in right now and grab tickets for all six sessions? Glad you asked.
For starters, the city needs a good showing. Secondly, our hometown boys need our support if they plan to break into the NCAA March Madness office pools.
The Golden Hurricane escaped the Mabee Center last week with a "W" against a group of Golden Eagles. This past weekend, Coach Doug Wojcik's cadre defeated Rice (6-13, 0-6) by the slimmest of margins.
Here are a few game notes from the Jan. 23 contest.
You think Bob and Jillian are in-your-face instructors? Think again. The TU band director could stare Osama Bin Laden out of hiding.
Someone needs to get the little TU Hurricane mascot a hat/helmet that fits. Poor little kid wobbled around following the regular-sized mascot with two hands on the gear at all times.
During halftime, KJRH sent two personalities onto the court for a thrilling, imaginative, death-defying layup drill. Why did Al Jerkens send Julie Chin running the length of the court, while he established a position under the closest basket? Chivalry is dead.
If I were going to work at a fly-by-night tax service during the month of March, I would dress up like Rice's head coach. If I were set to coach meaningful games during college basketball's stretch run, I would definitely hit up Coach Wojcik's tailor. Sharp.
TU gives up too many easy buckets. Outlet passes leading to fastbreak points is one thing. However, giving up easy layups during half court sets must drive defensive-minded Wojcik bonkers.
Big man Jerome Jordan must feel like Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) during the climatic "off with her head" scene during every game. Flimsy cards, or, in his case, smaller players, constantly swatting up at you must annoy.
He eases into the flow of the game. Some might say a little too slowly. When he establishes position on the low blocks, he's hard to stop. He rarely plants low enough.
If we could mold Steven Idlet and Jerome Jordan into one super center, TU would be close to unstoppable. They complement each other on the court well but combined into one super freak of nature--carnage would follow.
Idlet gets better position and shows a knack for passing out of double teams better than his much more heralded teammate. Jordan understands positioning and defense better.
What else can be said about Ben Uzoh? It is hard to quantify Uzoh's basketball acumen. If you've seen him in person, you understand his understated brilliance. If you have not witnessed it, what are you waiting for?
During a tight second half, Uzoh threw down two facials on unprepared Rice players. The frisky crowd went bananas, the team played a little harder and coach might have even smiled--on the inside.
On Uzoh's second half performance: "I would like for him to do that from the start. If there was a knock that I have on Ben, it's that he doesn't do that enough. We would like to see him do that earlier in the game, instead of waiting until our backs are against the wall," Wojcik said.
Coach cautioned against too much hype for incoming freshman point guard Donte Medder. However, you can clearly see Medder fills the point guard mold better than we've seen in the Wojcik era. He makes good decisions ... for a freshman.
Here is a critique for the University. Several times throughout the contest, players hit the floor. The floors become slick when this occurs.
You can watch a basketball game at any level, especially in the NBA, and see several kids run to the court with towels in hand. Wipe, wipe, wipe. It is as automatic as a ball boy or girl in tennis retrieving errant net shots.
However, several times Coach Wojcik had to point out wet spots after players spilled to the floor. Who is in charge of court playability? Are they waiting for someone to lose control, hit their head and become concussed?
I'm not saying Coach Wojcik needs to launch into a tirade such as his famous pre-game music selection diatribe. But his focus should be on the X's and O's, not the condition of the court.
Visit tulsahurricane.com for regular season ticket information.
Visit bokcenter.com for C-USA tournament ticket info. For a special bonus, be sure to click on the video of ex-mayor Kathy Taylor. Real Kathy or robot Kathy? You decide.
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