Sunday, March 29, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 29th, 2015

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

Hot Topics-----Time for a few hot topics in the world of basketball.

Calipari----If Kentucky wins the national championship, there is lots of talk that John Calipari will head back to the pros. The last time he was not successful, but what is interesting is this time he seems to be interested in going and is not denying his interest. There will be plenty of places for him to go, my take is he would be a great fit with the Denver Nuggets. I think that he is for sure a much better basketball coach than he was the last time around in the NBA. What do you think?

Notre Dame----One of the sad things each year is that often the second best team in the NCAA tournament, never gets a chance to prove it. Notre Dame is in no way a 3 seed and they proved it during the year and in the tournament. Not even because they played great and easily could have beaten  Kentucky with a break, but Notre Dame is gone and they probably are the second best team in the country at present. What do you think?

Texas---- Texas AD, Steve Patterson has a tough choice in selecting  a replacement for Rick Barnes as the new men's basketball coach at Texas. The early choices are always the same, Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart, who are always on everyone's short list. Keep in mind however that Patterson is an NBA guy of many years and he might very well look to the NBA for his next choice. It would never happen, but I have always thought it would be great to see Erik Spoelstra coaching in college. He would be an awesome recruiter for sure and we already know how good he is at Xs and Os. What do you think?

Announcing---- There is no question in my mind that this team should be advancing. The announcing team of Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Dan Bonner were without question the best announcing team in the NCAA tournament. Kind of shame they will not be doing the championship game, instead of who will, Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill. What do you think?

Sunday Scores---Here we go with score predictions for Sunday, did not have a good Saturday going 1-1, which does not cut it these days.

Michigan State 68 Louisville 67

Duke 90 Gonzaga 80

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 28th, 2015

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

Crawford's NBA power rankings---It is Saturday, so once again time for the most recent edition of Crawford's NBA power rankings. Per usual, we do everything in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Memphis
8. San Antonio
7. Chicago
6. Portland
5. Houston
4. Atlanta
3. Clippers
2. Cleveland
1. Golden State

Northern Arizona---- Congrats to Northern Arizona on winning their 22 game of the season last night, as they advance in the CIT tournament.

It has been a great year for the Lumberjacks, as well as it was a great year for the Big Sky Conferecne of which they are a member. You had to think NAU was pretty good this year, when in December they went into St. Mary's and beat the Gaels on their home floor.

Hot Rod Hundley---- As someone who has followed the NBA closely for 6 decades, it is always sad to hear of the passing of one of the league's greatest broadcasters of all time.

Hot Rod Hundley was not only a good player in the NBA in the early 60s, but he was an even better broadcaster on TV and Radio.

His most famous time came with the New Orleans and Utah Jazz, where he broadcasted at a high level from 1974-2009, calling 3,051 games.

A very funny guy and wonderful to listen too as well. Thank you for great memories, Hot Rod Hundley.

Scores----Ok, here we go with my NCAA tournament predictions for today.

Arizona 66 Wisconsin 65

Kentucky 68 Notre Dame 53

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 26th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Coaching Changes--- Always a hot topic this time of year, who is going to get jobs in coaching that are open and who has already been hired.

Nevada---- The Wolf Pack have hired Eric Musselman, who was an associate coach at LSU, after being on the staff of Herb Sendek at Arizona State the previous two seasons.

Musselman's head coaching experience has been strictly in the pros, where he had success in the D-League, but no success in the NBA.

A puzzling hire here, with so many more talented coaches available, but only time will tell.

San Diego----It was really surprising that San Diego of the WCC let Billy Grier go after nine seasons. The job now is wide open, to me it is a great job, in a city that can be really crazy about basketball, especially if you win. The WCC also is such a good league. I might suggest the Toreros take a hard look at Jim Hayford at Eastern Washington, a total winner, who can take a program to a higher level in a hurry.

Arizona State--- The powers that be at Arizona State want their team in the NCAA tournament every year, lofty, but probably not possible. That was the major reason, Herb Sendek was let go. The job has been offered to Duke assistant Jeff Capel.

Not sure if that would be a choice I would make, but time will tell for sure.

Besides Hayford, another person these teams should look at to run their orogram is Bob Cantu, who did an outstanding job at USC, both as a head coach and lon time assistant and is one of the best recruiters in all of college basketball.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 22nd, 2014

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

Pac-12---- Going into Oregon's game tonight with Wisconsin, the Pac-12 is 7-0 so far in the NCAA tournament. Remarkable, considering it was down year for the league, with not that many good teams and some horrible games during the season.

Anything can happen once tournament time comes and it has for the Pac-12. Not only was it a poor basketball regular season for the Pac-12, but for the third year a row attendance declined overall. Oregon which has a great coach, an exciting up-tempo team, had their attendance dip nearly a 1,000 per game from the 2013-14 season, with an average this year of just over 6,200.

Portland, Oregon----Portland has a hosted an opening round weekend now for the third time in six years. This year attendance was down from 2012, surprising considering in the field were Arizona, Ohio State and Utah all who travel well and have for years. The field also included Eastern Washington, a five hour car trip to Portland from their home of Cheney, Washington.

Many in Portland are clamoring for a regional the next time around, but to have the 2nd and 3rd round games is not all that bad, as you get 8 teams as compared to 4 and two more games.

All indications from the powers that be are that Portland will continue to be in the rotation for NCAA tournament games and might very well be hosting a regional in 2019.

TV----Overall so far in the NCAA tournament, attendance is down slightly going into the round of Sunday games.

No one seems to mention it, but with actual TVs becoming so much more high tech, it gets easier and easier to stay home. Of course,  nothing beats being at a sporting event live, but as the United States population ages and more people are living much longer, TV has become a great option.

Evidence of this is the record ratings which came in Thursday from the tournament games, overall up 16 percent from last year and the 9:00-1:30 PDT time frame being up 24 percent from 2014 and the highest number of viewers in 25 years.

NBA Attendance----Always interesting to follow the NBA attendance figures. The largest arena in the league is in Chicago, seating 21, 244. The Bulls have sold out every game this year, as have  Cleveland, Dallas, Knicks, Miami, Warriors, Clippers, San Antonio, Houston and Oklahoma City.

No NBA team has played to full capacity this year on the road, as expected the Cavaliers being the highest percentage of 99 percent of capacity.

At home, the Detroit Pistons have the lowest percentage, playing before 68.7 capacity this year. Really surprising, as these teams are having great seasons, but do not even come close to capacity at home are Washington (89 percent), Atlanta (91 percent) and Memphis (95 percent).

The question once again begs with Atlanta being for sale, having a great year on the court and playing to less than capacity, does the team deserve to stay in Atlanta?

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 21st, 2104

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

Crawford's NBA Power Rankings----It is Saturday, so time for another edition of Crawford's NBA power rankings. Always done in 9s, out of the great respect for the game of golf.

9. Portland
8. Toronto
7. San Antonio
6. Clippers
5. Houston
4. Memphis
3. Atlanta
2. Cleveland
1. Golden State

It is interesting to have Golden State and Cleveland at one and two, as I do not think either of those teams will make the NBA finals this year.

Big Dance--- It is great for many things to have a number 14 win a first round game in the NCAA tournament. However, before anyone gets excited, about every 25 years, a surprise team will win the NCAA championship. This year is no exception, only a handful of teams can win it all, just like every other year for the most part.

Winners of the NCAA championship can be equated to the NBA Draft. Seldom do you see a player drafted below number 10 make it big in the NBA.

Kentucky----It is obvious, no one appears to be able to stop Kentucky this year. Best chances might be Wisconsin and Arizona, because they both play a similar style to the Wildcats and do have some height.

But do not hold your breath. Very slim chance of anyone besides Kentucky being crowned the champ in April.

Tomorrow----Greg Crawford On Basketball will start tomorrow, naming some coaches of the year and players of the year, so keep reading and spread the word. Thank you.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 14th, 2015

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

Crawford's NBA Power Rankings---- The latest version, we always do things in 9s.

9. Chicago
8. San Antonio
7. Clippers
6. Houston
5. Memphis
4. Cleveland
3. Portland
2. Golden State
1. Atlanta

NBA Playoffs---- Outside of Atlanta, Cleveland and yes, New Orleans, no one is playing great basketball right now in the NBA. What that means for the fans, is nothing but good news. It is shaping up as one of the greatest playoffs in a many years, as there really is no clear cut favorite at present.

It also means the East could be terrific for playoffs. Toronto has gone into a big tailspin right now, but they are capable as they have shown of beating any team, especially at home. Never backing down, I sticking with what I said in October, a Chicago/Portland final. Of course really unrealistic at present, with yet another knee injury to Derrick Rose. I still like Portland, but their chances are damaged for sure with the season ending injury to Wes Matthews. Portland's five game road trip which starts Sunday in Toronto, will tell a lot about the playoff fortunes of the Blazers in 2015.

Jim Hayford---- Jim Hayford is a perfect example of if you can coach, you can coach at any level in college basketball. There was lots of criticism 5 years past when Hayford was picked to lead a floundering Eastern Washington basketball program, mainly cause Hayford was a D-3 coach coming from Whitworth where he built a powerhouse.

Well guess what, as I predicted in October, Hayford's Eagles will be playing today for the Big Sky Championship and spot in the Big Dance.

Monty Williams--- You never hear much about Monty Williams, head coach of New Orleans in the NBA, but he is doing a great job this year. His team is currently 36-29, in playoff contention and have won 8 out of 10.

NWAC----NWAC basketball is great, as I report all year. Tomorrow, at Clackamas Community College, the league will present a showcase of outstanding sophomores from both the men's and women's side. The action starts at noon.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 8th, 2015

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

Crawford's Best Nine---My final best nine of the 2014-15 college basketball season. This is really tough, but fun to do, so many teams could be in the best nine. Overall it has been a sub-par year for basketball out west. Big Sky had a good year, so did Mt. West, but rest of leagues, including the Pac-12 were sub-par at best.

9. UC Davis---- Great year for the Aggies, winning the Big West, but because it is the Big West, they must win the tournament to get to the NCAA Big Dance.

8. Colorado State---- 26 wins for the Rams, third place in the tough Mt. West and becoming a strong basketball school.

7. Eastern Washington--- They win because they have a great coach in Jim Hayford. He has taken a depressed basketball program in short time, to winning this year a share of the Big Sky title.

6. New Mexico State--- Easy winners of the WAC. They are really good team, that no matter what happens in the WAC tournament, they deserve to be in the NCAA tournament.

5. BYU----The Cougars have now won 9 of 10, meet Portland on Monday night in the WCC tournament semis. They will be in the NCAA tournament and deserve to be there.

4. Oregon Ducks----Closed out the season winning 11 of 13, gaining the number 2 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament. Dana Altman has to be considered for national coach of year.

3. Gonzaga--- I am still holding out hope the Zags will make the Final Four this year, but they need to start playing better.

2. Arizona----Another team to watch in the NCAA tournament, so much talent, they should advance a long way.

1. Boise State----Yes, my final number one of 2015. Mt. West champs, they are so well coached by Leon Rice and finished the regular season winning 14 of 15, in a great basketball conference.

Barry Tompkins----Always good to see Barry doing games. One of the all time great broadcasters in the country, it is surprising and shocking why he is not on the Pac-12 network.

Jim Boeheim--- Should he step down? You make the call. Certainly his legacy has changed forever in the past few days, plus his win count, losing 108 victories off his record.

Danny Miles--- Miles will end his career at Oregon Tech after the 2015-16 season. What a career it has been. Let's hope Miles will have a great final year in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, but let's really hope with over 1,000 wins, 45 years at the same school, he is in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame really soon.

Big Sky Conference----Congrats to the Big Sky on one of their best men's basketball seasons ever. Great to see teams like Eastern Washington and Sacramento State in the mix on the final day for the conference title. EWU and Montana wound up co-champs, Montana getting the tie breaker and hosting the postseason tournament.

Advice from Crawford to the league I love. Next year play a balanced schedule and never again with 8 teams in the tournament, have all games played at one site. Fans and teams deserve better. It is actually thought that next year the Big Sky will move to a neutral site for their postseason, with Reno being the frontrunner at present.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For March 1st, 2015

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

Crawford's Best Nine--- The best nine teams that play in the six D-1 leagues out west. Very tough, but fun to do.

9. UC Davis---- Continue to play well and will win the Big West regular season. Have won 13 of 15.

8. San Diego State--- Tied for the league lead in the toughest league out west, Mt. West, but suffered a tough home loss yesterday to Boise State.

7. Oregon---- Huge game today at Stanford, in 3rd place in Pac-12, one game lead over Stanford.

6. Utah----When the Utes were winning big, some were saying, not me, a Final Four team. Now they will not even win the Pac-12 regular season title, but still a great year.

5. BYU--- Playing some of the best basketball in the country right now, huge road wins at both Portland and Gonzaga vault the Cougars up to 5th spot.

4. New Mexico State--- Continue to roll in the WAC Conference, will easily win the league and have won 14 of 15.

3. Boise State---- Best team in the country no one talks about. Just completed a road sweep of New Mexico and San Diego State, have won 12 of last 13.

2. Gonzaga----Despite having their 41 game home winning streak snapped yesterday by BYU, they still are worthy of number 2. Will be interesting to see how they do in WCC tourney and NCAA.

1. Arizona--- They have earned it big time. Huge win yesterday at Utah and easy to forget, but beat Gonzaga earlier in season.

Bad Basketball---- In picking Crawford's Best Nine, I do have to say and it is painful, this is one of the weakest years I have seen overall for college basketball out west. Of the six D-1 leagues out west, there really is no strong league, the best of the bunch is the Mt. West.

I still think Gonzaga has a great chance to get to the Final Four, but the loss at home yesterday to BYU was nothing short of shocking.

It is also fun to see a surprise team doing really well in the Big Sky, as Sacramento State has a one game lead over Montana and Eastern Washington going into the final week of league play. The Hornets have played well all year long. If they win the league, they will host the entire Big Sky playoffs, but it will not be in their regular place on campus, the "Nest", which does not meet NCAA standards for attendance. They will play on campus, in the "Well", which is the PE and Wellness Center and will seat about 3,000 with the addition of portable seating being brought in.

None of the other great places to play in Sacramento are available during the time of the tournament.

No matter what is has been a great time and year for Sacramento State.

Crawford's NWAC Power Rankings---- Now here is a league, that is not part of the NCAA, but instead community college basketball that has great coaches, great players and great teams. So with only 2 days left in the regular season, time for double dose of Crawford's NWAC power rankings, starting with the women's teams first. As always, we do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

Crawford's Women's Power Rankings

9. Highline
8. Lane
7. Bellevue
6 Wenatchee Valley
5. Centralia
4. Walla Walla
3. Umpqua
2. Lower Columbia
1. Peninsula

Crawford's Men's Power Rankings

9. Lane
8. Columbia Basin
7. Clackamas
6. Highline
5. Wenatchee Valley
4. Big Bend
3. Clark
2. Edmonds
1. Bellevue

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