Sunday, January 25, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 25th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---- TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Hall Of Fame---- Is this really fair. Today, Coach K will probably get his 1,000th win as a college basketball coach. Coach K entered the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Herb Magee is the coach at D-2 Philadelphia University (formerly known as Philadelphia Textile) for 47 years as the head coach and 56 years at the school. Magee entered the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and at present has 997 career wins.

Danny Miles has been the head men's basketball coach at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, Oregon for 44 years. In February of 2014, Miles won his 1,000th game, up to date he has 1,016 career wins, all at Oregon Tech. Oh by the way, Danny Miles is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bottom line, huge omission that Miles has been left in the dust.

Oregon State---- There is no question that the Oregon State Beavers' men's basketball team is having a magical season, led by their 1st year head coach Wayne Tinkle. Heading to the Desert this week to meet ASU and Arizona State, the Beavers are tied for 3rd in the Pac-12, with 14 total wins on the season.

The Beavers have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1990, so the talk is starting is this the year. As much as all of basketball would love to see it, it probably will not happen. Besides this week in the Desert on the road, the Beavers still must play the L.A. schools on the road as well as Stanford and Cal.

My handicapping the schedule has Oregon State finishing the regular season with a record of 18-12. Now, a great run in the Pac-12 tourney and me being wrong, could change things lots and make the Beavers a bubble team for the NCAA tournament.

Crawford's NWAC Sports Women's Power Rankings-----It is Sunday, so that means another edition of Crawford's NWAC Sports Women's Power Rankings. Hard to do, but lots of fun, so many good teams. Of course per usual, we do everything in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Clark
8. Walla Walla
7. Centralia
6. Lane
5. Skagit Valley
4. Bellevue
3. Columbia Basin
2. Lower Columbia
1. Umpqua

Unbalanced Is Out Of Balance---- There is a guarantee from Greg Crawford On Basketball. I will never stop complaining, arguing and adamant about leagues playing unbalanced schedules. Of course covering the West in college basketball, the two biggest villains for me are the Pac-12 and Big Sky.

This I can tell you, with TV every year playing a larger role in college basketball, do viewers really want to see some of those horrid non-league games, as compared to a great league contest.

Let's take my home state of Oregon as an example. This year, in the Pac-12 Oregon Ducks do not have to travel to Utah and Colorado, but do not get to meet Stanford and California at home.

Portland State of the Big Sky does not travel to meet the Montana schools and does not get to play Idaho State and Weber State at home.

An unbalanced schedule is just flat unfair and quite frankly their should be an asterisk put by the regular season champion of any league that plays an unbalanced schedule. As they would say in boxing, that team is a closet champion, not their fault, but certainly the fault of leagues that want this type of unbalanced schedule.

Crawford's Best Nine----It is Sunday still, so it is time for another edition of Crawford's world famous Best Nine. The best nine, from the six D-1 leagues out west. This is fluid each week, lots of changes, but a good indicator of who is playing well during the season and currently.

9. St. Mary's 8-1, 16-4----Crushed by Gonzaga, but still deserve to be in the picture of Crawford's Best Nine.

8. Utah 5-1, 15-3---- Best Utah men's basketball season in many years

7. Sacamento State 7-1, 13-6---- The surprise team of west coast basketball.

6. Stanford 5-2, 14-5---- Johnny Dawkins finally has the Cardinal where they need to be.

5. Oregon State 5-2, 14-5----Wayne Tinkle has to be in the talk for national coach of the year.

4. Colorado State 5-2, 18-2---- The Rams are really good and will be a tough out in NCAA tournament.

3. Wyoming 6-1, 17-3---- Best team in the country, no one is talking about.

2. Arizona 6-1, 18-2----Only Pac-12 loss, to Oregon State on the road

1. Gonzaga 9-0, 20-1---- 37 straight home wins, destroyed their closest WCC competition St. Mary's and my pick to be in the Final Four this year.

Cascade Collegiate Conference---- In my hometown of Portland, Oregon, there will be a big time match-up, this Friday in the best NAIA men's basketball conference in the country. College of Idaho visits Concordia, both teams nationally ranked and tied for the league lead.

Two outstanding coaches in Brad Barbarick and Scott Garson, it is a game if you are in the area, you should attend.

more of Gregory's blogs---- (golf and sports biz, 360 days per year)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 24th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---- TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kssportsmgmt

Coaches vs. cancer----- In most parts of the country, this is the annual weekend for college basketball coaches ditch their dress shoes and don sneakers, to bring attention to their support to fight cancer. A noble cause and as someone who works in the cancer unit of a major hospital, I applaud anyone who joins the battle against this dreaded disease.

Of course cancer hits the patient the hardest, both mentally and physically, but it also hammers patients' families, relatives and friends, who often become the caregiver in tough times. It is never easy.

So today, I not only salute everyone above, but I also want to send a messages to all college basketball coaches. Besides this weekend, I would hope you join a movement, I started. Never, ever again capitalize cancer, it does not deserve it, it is a chance for many people including coaches to send a strong message, as simple as it might be.

Crawford's NBA Power Rankings---- It is Saturday, so time for another edition of the ever popular Crawford's NBA power rankings. Very hard to do, but also so much fun and even more difficult since I always do things in 9s, out of the respect for the great game of golf.

9. Toronto
8. Dallas
7. Chicago
6. Houston
5. Washington
4. Memphis
3. Clippers
2. Golden State
1. Atlanta

Yes, the Hawks do not have the best record in the league, but I think they are the best team at present.

NBA Attendance Up To Date----- Even though they are number one in Crawford's NBA power rankings, the Atlanta Hawks still are floundering at the box office (well I guess maybe there is no box office now with technology, but I still like the term), as the Hawks rank 22nd in NBA average attendance rankings. Amazing they draw on average almost 2,000 more on the road than at home. 16,400 at home, 18,005 on the road.

No surprise, Chicago leads the league in average attendance of 21,505, selling out every game. Last in the league is the Timberwolves at 13,870. Memphis, which is having one great year like the Hawks ranks 18th with an average of 17,031.

Here is a list of teams that have a higher average of fans seeing their games on the road,  than at home, sadly----- Milwaukee, Denver, New Orleans, Sacramento, Phoenix, Atlanta, Indiana, Orlando, Brooklyn, Washington, Boston, Charlotte and Memphis.

Cascade Collegiate Conference---- Last night, I saw my 104th college basketball  game in the 2014-15, live, start finish and it was a great one. A battle for first place in the Northwest Conference, between inner city rivals, as Concordia visited Warner Pacific. For those of you reading around the world, the CCC is the best NAIA Division 2 Conference in the country.

Last night's game did not disappoint, as Concordia won a nail biter to move into a tie with College of Idaho for the top spot in the CCC. C of I, plays tonight at home against Oregon Tech, if they win, that will set-up a huge game next Friday night as C of I comes to Concordia.

There is still something special about last night, with not a seat to had in the gym 2 hours before tip-off and people standing 3-4 deep in every corner. Granted, Warner Pacific is a small gym, but seeing a game sold out, is always special. By the way, everyone got along as well, which always make a night at a basketball game even more special.

Tonight the CCC, along with the Northwest Conference and NWAC Sports leagues are all back in action. This is small college basketball at its best, so just get out and see a game.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 23rd, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz

Seattle Redhawks
---- Today in Seattle they are not exactly jumping up and down about the Seattle Redhawks men's basketball team,  like they are about the Seahawks, but anyone associated the team should at least be smiling.

The Redhawks are currently leading the Western Athletic Conference with a 3-1 record and on the season are 10-8.  Not records that many people in basketball will get excited about but considering the state of basketball since the Redhawks went from D-2 to D-1 in 2009, this is huge news.

Prior to this year, the Redhawks have just not gotten it done, but maybe, it still early in league play, this is the year of the turn around.

It should also be noted, for many young people, who do not know the history of Seattle U. basketball, it is iconic in many ways. Since the 1950s, Seattle U has had 18 players play in the NBA, more than Gonzaga, Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State. It is also important to mention that in 1958, Seattle U played in the championship game of the NCAA tournament, losing to Kentucky in the Final.

The most fun fact about Seattle U. basketball is that in 1952, they beat the Harlem Globetrotters, 84-81, a game played to a sellout in Hec Edumundson Pavilion on the U of Washington campus, which drew a sellout crowd and featured the first ever halftime show at a college basketball game, with the greatest trumpet player ever performing,  Louie Armstrong.

That 1952 gmae also changed basketball history, as after the loss, Abe Saperstein, owner of the Globetrotters, was so incensed his team lost, he immediately called his friend Red Klotz and told him to a form a team, that the Globetrotters could beat every night. The team that Klotz formed? The Washington Generals.

Injuries---- You always hear in the game of basketball that injuries are a part of the game and you can't use them as an excuse for losing. WRONG. Teams have every right and should use injuries as an excuse for losing.

There are only 12 players on almost every basketball team from high school to the NBA. If you lose one star, let alone two stars off any of those teams, then you are going to lose games, end of story. Let's get real here, injuries matter big time in the game of basketball and fans who care should always know, injuries can be used as an excuse.

A Sweep---- It has been a long time in my home state of Oregon since the four D-1 teams all won conference games on one night. But it did happen on Thursday night, as Oregon, Oregon State, Portland and Portland State all won. Not earth shattering, but certainly good.

more of Gregory's blogs--- (golf and sports biz, 360 days per year)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 22nd, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Valuations--- There is always lots of talk about sports teams and their valuations. When it comes to valuations of basketball teams or any sports team, it truly is just a number, that people can have fun with and banter around.

We do our own valuation of sports' teams at Crawford's Sports Biz, which comes from years of figuring out the right formula and how to properly valuate. As good as that it is and economically sound as it is, once again it is just a number.

The real valuation of any team is what someone wants to pay for it, end of story. Often in sports the purchase of any team is strictly an emotional buy, which often can turn out to be a good business buy.

So never get too caught up in the valuation of team on paper, get caught up if it becomes a great or bad business deal down the road. (NOTE: If you would like a correct valuation of your favorite sports team, just email me at

D-League--- The NBA's developmental league just completed another successful showcase in Santa Cruz. Well attended, with plenty of top flight NBA people from every single team around. Plus, the basketball is not bad either.

Keep in mind that even some of the D-League's best players make only $25,000 per year, which is a paltry sum compared to what many top international players receive. With the next NBA TV deal set to kick in two years from now and the fact the year after the players association or management can back out of the current collective bargaining agreement, the pay of D-League players will become an issue, especially since the TV deal calls for payment to the league of $2.66 billion per year, compared to now, $930 million.

Every team in the D-League has a single affiliation with an NBA team, except the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who are supplied players by 13 different NBA teams.

NWC/Cascade Conference Power Rankings--- It is Thursday, time for another combo edition of Crawford's Northwest Conference/ Cascade Collegiate Conference Power Rankings. Per usual, we always do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Northwest Christian
8. Puget Sound
7. Lewis and Clark
6. Whitman
5. Warner Pacific
4. Southern Oregon
3. Concordia
2. College of Idaho
1. Whitworth

more of Gregory's blogs---- (golf and sports biz, 360 days per year).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 21st, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

St. Mary's/Gonzaga---- St. Mary's and Gonzaga will meet again tomorrow night in Spokane and everyone on the west coast at least is talking about the game as they should. First place is on the line in the West Coast Conference, as both teams are 7-0 and both are playing great basketball at present.

The one problem here, is the people that refer to this as a rivalry. It is two top teams, but a rivalry it is not. As I often say, Gonzaga has been the best regular season team in sports of any kind in the last 25 years. They have dominated the West Coast Conference, winning 12 of the last 13 regular season championships and every year since 2000, have been in the NCAA tournament.

A rivalry in most sports is when there is somewhat equal winning and even better somewhat equal championships. St. Mary's has been very good in the last 15 years, but not good enough to be considered a rival of the Zags.

LaMarcus Aldridge---- The Portland Trail Blazers are really hoping, as they should to get their star power forward back in the line-up soon from his hand injury, as tonight he will miss his second game in a row.

The Blazers need him and they always  need him. It does bring up the question, who is more important to the Blazers, Aldridge or their other big time star Damian Lillard. It is often said, Aldridge is their best player. I have to disagree, I think the best player on the team is Damian Lillard. There is one big reason----I want Lillard taking that game winning or tying shot every time on this team, more than any other player including Aldridge.

Naturally if the Blazers are too go far in the playoffs, they need both of these great players and much more, but when people talk about Aldridge and Lillard, it is hard to go against Lillard as the Blazer MVP.

NWAC Sports Men's Power Rankings-----It is Wednesday, so that means another edition of Crawford's NWAC Sports Men's power rankings, done always Wednesday afternoon, before a full slate of NWAC games on Wednesday night. So here we go and always remember, we do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Clackamas 11-7, 3-0-----Cougars are off to a fast start in league play, 3-0, first place on the line tonight at Chemeketa.

8. Highline 12-5, 4-1----Travel to South Puget Sound and Green River this week.

7. Columbia Basin 9-8, 2-1----Big road trip to Big Bend and Spokane in hopes of staying near the top of the East region.

6. Chemeketa 12-6, 3-0----Make it 6 wins in a row, after road wins at Umpqua and in OT at Mt. Hood.

5. Skagit Valley 10-5, 2-1----Tough loss at home to Bellevue 85-79. Looking to bounce back this week against Everett and Whatcom.

4. Wenatchee Valley 14-4, 3-0----Convincing win at Columbia Basin, 86-69.

3. Big Bend 15-4, 3-0----Host Columbia Basin and Walla Walla this week as they try to stay perfect in league play.

2. Edmonds 15-3, 3-0----Last 2 games, scored 181 points and gave up only 117.

1. Bellevue 16-2, 3-0----Host Edmonds tonight, with first place on the line in North region and Crawford's power rankings implications.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 20th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst--- on twitter @wchoops @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz

NBA--- Perhaps many would disagree with me, but it always seems sad when the NBA has pathetic teams that have been iconic in many years. I hate the word cyclical, to me that is just simply an excuse.

You probably get where this is going. It is not fun, to have the Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and Knicks, being sad and pathetic teams, especially from this long, long time observer of the NBA.

Yes, I live in Portland, Oregon, but I want the whole league each year to be successful and exciting. The excitement goes away, especially when the Knicks, Celtics, 76ers and Lakers virtually have no chance of being in the playoffs come April.

Please don't call me a traditionalist, instead I am a realist. Good teams are always needed in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York. It also makes it much more fun when those teams are really good and get beat, it actually is a special occasion.

Atlanta Hawks---- This has much more to do with the Hawks success than one would think. Recently Mike Budenholzer stated he allows all his players "to play through mistakes." A profound statement indeed.

With so much pressure to win these days, all the way down to the high school level, I see way too many coaches pull players out, the minute they make one mistake. It is especially prevalent on the high school level, where at times coaches let their egos get in the way of good coaching.

Basketball is full of mistakes, every game. Yes, you do not want players making mistakes over and over again, but not allowing for a mistake, jerking the players out immediately can have nothing but bad outcomes down the road.

NWAC Sports Basketball---- Each Tuesday, until March, Greg Crawford On Basketball will bring you an NWAC Sports coach of the week and player of the week. The choices can come from either the women's or men's basketball side and to only pick one of each means the award is pretty special.

Coach of the week, which runs from last Wednesday to today is, Shane Schutz, the head women's coach at Centralia CC, in Centralia, Washington. Schutz's team is currently leading the West region of the NWAC  Sports, they have won eight games in a row and five games in a row in the league season.

Player of the week, comes from Clackamas CC, located in Oregon City, Oregon, as they are getting terrific play out of their freshmen center Vince Boumann, who presently is 9th in NWAC field goal percentage at just over 58 percent. Boumann in his most recent game against SWOCC scored 22 points, while grabbing 16 rebounds. The game prior he had a double/double in scoring and rebounding and is one of the major reasons the Cougars are off to a 3-0 start in NWAC South play.

more of Gregory's blogs--- (golf and sports biz, 360 days per year).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 18th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst--- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Crawford's Best Nine---- Each Sunday, we bring you the nine best teams from the six D-1 leagues that play out west. Those leagues are, Mt. West, Big West, WAC, Big Sky, Pac-12 and West Coast Conference. Many teams could qualify, but we have broken it down, per usual we always do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf. Here we go.

9. Sacramento State 5-1 11-6---- Perhaps playing the best basketball in the Big Sky, with a great weekend sweep over two talented teams, Idaho and Eastern Washington.

8. UC Davis 4-0 14-3-----Easily the class at present of the Big West. Jim Les has brought the Aggie program to a new level.

7. Wyoming 5-1 16-3--- One of the best seasons ever for Cowboy men's basketball.

6. Utah 4-1 16-2---- Many were looking for a better performance from the Utes on Saturday at Arizona, but it did not happen, still one fine Pac-12 team.

5. Stanford 4-1 13-4----The Cardinal make the Pac-12 2014-15 season really interesting, big non-league game win this past weekend over Connecticut.

4. San Diego State 4-1 14-4---- Steve Fisher is one of the 5 best coaches in all of college basketball and his Aztecs are rolling, have won 7 of 8 and a big road win over Wyoming this past week.

3. St. Mary's 7-0 15-3---- Showdown game this week at Gonzaga, Randy Bennett does nothing but win  games at St. Mary's.

2. Gonzaga 7-0 18-1---- Still a strong pick of mine to advance to the Final Four, without question this is the deepest team Mark Few has had in Spokane.

1. Arizona 4-1 16-2---- The Wildcats move to number 1 in Crawford's Best Nine, big statement win this past weekend over a tough Utah team, plus the only team this year to beat Gonzaga.

Crawford's NWAC Women's Power Rankings---- Every Sunday, we bring you Crawford's NWAC Sports Women's power rankings. NWAC Sports women's teams play a great brand of basketball, there are 32 teams in the league, which encompass four regions of community colleges. Greg Crawford On Basketball is the leading media source for both NWAC men's and women's basketball. Here we go and as usual, we do everything in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Blue Mountain
8. Lane
7. Clark
6. Columbia Basin
5. Lower Columbia
4. Bellevue
3. Walla Walla
2. Umpqua
1. Centralia

Wayne Tinkle---- Another example of why Wayne Tinkle, head men's coach at Oregon State is a terrific basketball coach. The Beavers lost a tough game on Thursday night in Seattle to Washington and also lost a a terrific player in Victor Robbins, as Robbins was suspended this past week for 10 games, due to a violation of the Oregon State athletic code.

It would have been easy for the Beavers to go into Pullman last night and get creamed by Washington State, who just happened to be one of the hottest teams on the west coast, coming off a huge overtime win on Thursday over Oregon.

But, wait just a second, the Beavers destroyed the Cougars, moving their Pac-12 record to 3-2 and 12-5 overall. It gets better, as most people know, the Beavers have a top 25 recruiting class coming in for the 2015-16 season.

My take on all of this. If the Beavers can keep Wayne Tinkle in Corvallis for the next 10 years, they will not only make an appearance in the NCAA tournament often, they will make a Final Four, where despite their storied history prior to 1990, they have only been to one Final Four and have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1990.

Cascade Collegiate Conference---- This is the best NAIA men's basketball league in country and it is having one great race for the top spot this year, so important to finish first and host all playoff games if your team keeps winning.

This Friday in Portland, Oregon, there will be a big showdown game at Warner Pacific, as Concordia comes calling. Both teams are tied for the league lead, along with Southern Oregon and College of Idaho. Get there early, but get there to see this game, as it will be standing room only.

Portland State---- Speaking of standing room only, that was the case last night in Portland, Oregon at the Stott Center, for the Idaho/Portland State game. The crowd was bolstered by a strong turnout of Idaho fans, but equally as important was a huge turnout of Portland State students.

I have argued for years, that every game should be sold out at the Stott Center, as it seats only 1,500 people at best.

Jon Spoelstra is considered universally as the best sports marketer ever, his many great books including "Marketing Outrageously, Redux",  are and have been forever popular and it is Jon who always says building a strong college basketball fan base, starts with the students. Now Portland State must keep up the momentum and bring those students back for their next home stand against Montana and Montana State to close out January.

more of Gregory's blogs--- (sports biz and golf, 360 days per year)