Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Basketball Notes

Well after taking almost two months off from updating this thing (due in part to ASU's poor performance on the football field and in part to school and life becoming more busy) it's back! Here are some notes from ESPN on ASU Basketball!

Officials made right call with BYU-Arizona State

Posted by Andy Katz

Bill McCabe worked as an official for the St. Petersburg Bowl game Saturday, came off the field and saw the controversial ending to the BYU-Arizona State basketball game on SportsCenter.

McCabe, who doubles as the Pac-10 coordinator of officials and had assigned the officials for the event in Glendale, Ariz., knew he would speak with official Kevin Brill, one of the officials who reversed Charles Abouo's flip basket as time expired. The initial call on the court was good, to give the Cougars a 77-76 win. But after a thorough review, the basket was called no good and Arizona State won 76-75.

"Kevin Brill said it was the toughest call he has had to make in his college career," McCabe said. "But Brill got it right. When the red light goes on, the ball is still in his hands."

McCabe said the red light is key if it can be in the picture with the shot. "The red light is on and the ball is in his hands," McCabe said.

"They slowed it down, frame-by-frame, and the ball was still in his hands," McCabe said.

BYU coach Dave Rose didn't see it that way.

"That's a pretty big play for us," said Rose, whose Cougars lost their first game of the season but have another Top 25 game on Jan. 3 against presently undefeated Wake Forest, this time in Provo where the Cougars have a 53-game homecourt winning streak.

Rose said the frustration settled in when the Cougars players and the Arizona State staff and players were standing around waiting and watching to see what call would be made.

Rose said "the play on the floor stands unless there is conclusive evidence. I'm not sure what they're watching."

Rose said he couldn't see the play as being conclusive. McCabe said Rose is confusing football and basketball that the play doesn't have to be conclusive to overturn, rather the ball can't be in the player's hands if the red light is on and the clock is at zero. The horn isn't used as a first indicator because the timing of the horn can be off as well as hearing it can be an issue in a loud arena.

Arizona State coach Herb Sendek said it was "obviously a close call, a difficult call but the ball was still in his hands when it was being reviewed. It was definitely a bang-bang play."

Sendek said it was difficult to stand idle waiting for a decision and that the swings of emotion were tremendous.

"It's hard to swallow. I don't see what everyone else sees [on the replay]," Rose said. "We played good and had plenty of chances to win."

• Officials Brill and Bobby McRoy are no strangers to controversy. They were on the Stanford-UCLA game last year that decided the Pac-10 title. The end of that game drew ire from Stanford after Lawrence Hill was called for a blocking foul late in the game on Darren Collison. Stanford felt then that it should have been a no call. Collison made the two free throws with 2.5 seconds left to force overtime. UCLA won in overtime.

• Rose said Wake Forest will be only the second ACC school to play at the Marriott Center in Provo. The other was a home-and-home with NC State. Why did Herb Sendek, then the coach of the Wolfpack go to Provo? "We wanted as good a strength of schedule as we could get," Sendek said.

Presents for coaches, players and fans

Posted by Fran Fraschilla

I'm in the holiday spirit this week, so I thought I'd give out Christmas presents for some of my friends around the college basketball world.

Happy holidays to all you basketball fans out there.

James Harden, Arizona State: A PR agent
Most college basketball fans have heard of Harden. But because of Pacific Coast Time and the Sun Devils' limited television coverage, they don't realize what they're missing. He is currently shooting almost 80 percent from the line, almost 50 percent from behind the arc and over 60 percent from inside the arc. Astonishingly, one of the country's best scorers is averaging almost seven rebounds and four assists a game, as well. If he were in the Big East or ACC, he'd be a front-runner for national Player of the Year.

ESPN Player of the Week

4. James Harden, So., Arizona State: Harden didn't have his best game Dec. 14, scoring a pedestrian nine points on five shots and committing five turnovers in ASU's one-point win over IUPUI. But he came up big -- scoring 30 and making 16 of 21 free throws -- in ASU's one-point, last-possession win over BYU on Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

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