Cuonzo Martin teaching more than just X’s and O’s at Cal-Berkeley

The one time college teammate of 1994 National Player of the Year in Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson at Purdue, current California head coach Cuonzo Martin is doing something to expand the player’s minds and making these young men more well-rounded as individuals.

After all, the percentage of today’s college basketball players that get drafted into the NBA is a small percentage–somewhere between 8 and 9 percent according to some studies online posted by various sports sites sometime in 2013.

According to this post by NBCSports.com on October 7:

http://collegebasketball.nbcsports.com/2015/10/07/cal-players-come-together-through-weekly-life-chat-sessions/

the second year coach sets up virtual weekly online chats (mostly to alumni and current students who have an account) about various things going on in the world or general family crises at home.  The chats take place every weekend after the team breakfast.  The article quoted several players openly talking about the simple fact that they may not agree on every little thing going on in the news–but they are able to draw a consensus on that basketball is just one facet.  There are more bigger things than dribbling a ball, passing, setting the proper cuts, coming off the screen, and calmly draining that 16 to 18 foot jump shot to keep your team from going home early in the NCAA Tournament.

As my Season Preview will show, Cal will definitely be one of those teams to look out for come Pac-12 season.  But with Arizona and UCLA still lurking around as the cream of the crop out West, this might be the first time since Jason Kidd wore the Golden Bears colors in 1993 and 1994 that this could be an exciting conference season from start to finish.

As I leave you for the weekend, I cannot say too much about the preview itself but what you can expect is generally these topics:

  • The key rules changes that you need to know, and what impact might some schools either embrace the changes, or suffer the most
  • Will anyone notice that the entire Final Four will air on cable?  Very few people have noticed most of the baseball postseason is on cable.
  • Top Five Games to Watch
  • My 2015-2016 Cool Names Team, the players will the coolest sounding names by position
  • The exclusion of SMU from the 2016 NCAA Tournament definitely opens a slot, most likely in either the Mountain West or Missouri Valley Conference to snag one of those final bids come Selection Sunday.
  • And the news coming out on Thursday afternoon involving the sexual allegations taking place at Louisville, and Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino refusing to back down before any more problems may crop up (pending the results of the investigation in which the NCAA, the school, and local police authorities are conducting).
  • Another cool thing that I am planning to do if you have been following my other blog about Brazilian jazz (you know that I try to feature one new album every week–whether it was published this year or a classic album from 1968), but I will highlight instead the name of a popular song heard on indie rock stations like the Triple M, 105.1 FM in Madison, Wisconsin and WXRT, 93.1 FM in Chicago, or online at IndiePopRocks on Soma.FM based in San Francisco (also accessible via the TuneIn Radio app).  It could be a song title that is either hot at the moment on the indie charts or a recent song from anytime in the past decade that fits my mood or citing the direction a team could be heading.  It will be listed just below the headlines for easy reference, but you will be on your own as far as either purchasing the physical CD’s online or downloading the song of your choice via legit websites like Pandora, iTunes, and Rdio.

Enjoy your weekend.  It has been many years since I have been this excited about the start of college basketball.  The real fun begins November 12 and 13, but I hope my Season Preview will not only create great interest here, but hopefully more fans will come and check out my blog.

And yes, there will be my exclusive blog briefly touching base on what I think after digesting a summer’s worth of data the 68 schools that will earn those coveted bids to participate in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

And yes, the First and Second Rounds are back where they belong!

See you then.

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Dust off those Seinfeld quotes, Northwestern fans

This might be the feel-good story of 2015:

Comcast SportsNet Chicago (would rename themselves as NBC Sports Chicago on October 1, 2016) reported on their website Wednesday afternoon that the Big Ten school has brought on board Charlie Hall as a walk-on.

He comes by way of Los Angeles, where he averaged as a senior 15.3 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game while playing at Crossroads High School.

But we all know his celebrity parents all too well:

Saturday Night Live and Northwestern alumni Brad Hall and his wife, veteran Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus at red carpet during Paley Festival, Los Angeles March 2014

Julia Louis-Dreyfus at red carpet during Paley Festival, Los Angeles March 2014

A similar article on FoxSports.com mentioned this bit of trivia regarding the Los Angeles school:

It is a basketball factory which has produced the likes of Austin Croshere and Baron Davis.  Also, many famous Hollywood actors studied there from the likes of Zoey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jonah Hill, and Jack Black.

The bigger question will be–will Northwestern actually be playing in the NCAA Tournament once Charlie Hall is on the active roster?  Only time will tell after watching Elaine’s hilarious one-liners.

And yes, my Third Annual Season Preview is slated to hit your inboxes and your mobile devices just before Halloween weekend.  Enjoy your day.

North Carolina to honor the late Stuart Scott

Popular UNC alum was 10-time host of school’s annual alumni induction night

We all knew this news was coming.

As a majority of the media focuses on breast cancer awareness in October, the late Stuart Scott will be receiving a very special honor.  According to an article on NBCSports.com, Scott will be inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame.  The ceremony will also include longtime women’s soccer great Mia Hamm.  Later that evening in the annual “Late Night With Roy”, the men’s basketball team will honor him prior to kicking off the season.