- First, we'll discuss the mighty Team 4 of the Irondale Basketball Association in-house 5-6 grade program. That would be my son's squad, which now stands at 0-4 following a 40-32 loss to mighty Team 1. The kids played better on Saturday and Ben got on the board, making a free throw. It's fun to watch the kids play, although they continue to struggle. I think we'll see them win at least one game this season, but they need more experience. They are getting it the hard way now. But hope springs eternal.
- Meanwhile, there's an even more desperate team in the Twin Cities, the not-so-mighty Minnesota Golden Gophers, who have lost to the likes of Marist, Montana and (gulp) Winona State so far this year. These accumulated outrages were enough to cost Dan Monson his job. Monson has been trying to clean the Augean stables for seven years following the academic scandal that chased Clem Haskins out of town. Monson ran a clean program, but he could not effectively recruit the talent necessary to compete in the Big Ten, which has become an even tougher league than it used to be. Jim Molinari, Monson's top assistant, gets to coach the Gophs for the remainder of the season. Molinari was successful at the mid-major level, leading competitive squads at both Northern Illinois and Bradley, but he doesn't have a lot to work with, and he won't get much time either. You can win at Minnesota, but it's going to take better institutional support and someone who can recruit well to do it. I'm not sure Molinari is that guy.
- Steve Aschburner's Sunday feature in the Star Tribune made note of an interesting phenomenon - the Kevin Garnett sympathy meme. Apparently it's a horrible shame that Kevin Garnett, who has soldiered on for the Timberwolves since 1995, is now in danger of going throughout his career without having a chance to win a championship. This is silly, of course - Garnett has been fabulously well compensated for his labors and while he is probably one of the 50 best players in the history of the NBA, he has not been able to exert enough leadership to get his squads to the top. I appreciate KG and have enjoyed watching him, but I don't think there's any reason to feel sorry for him.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Hoops at various levels
Let's talk basketball.