Welcome to our weekly feature: This Week In Hoops. Every Monday morning we’ll take a quick look back at what we learned from the last week of games and a look forward at this week’s slate.
What We Learned Last Week
- Big week for ESPN analyst Dan Dakich. First, after he had called Iowa-Ohio State, a local police office was reprimanded after a Facebook post he wrote asked for a sniper to take out Dakich on the sidelines. Then later in the week, he worked another Iowa game and was very critical of a few questionably “accidental” eyepokes from Hawkeye bigman Adam Woodbury. After hearing Dakich’s critical comments, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery dropped the gloves and started critiquing Dakich’s coaching career. Shots coming from all directions (hopefully in the case of the cop’s Facebook post, not literal shots) and here’s a summary of Dakich’s responses to both incidents:
- Possibly an even bigger week for the Kansas Jayhawks. They were able to survive a furious second half comeback from Buddy Hield and Oklahoma.
Then Kansas capped their week off with a win at Texas. Any early season questions about the Rock Chalkers are gone and they once again sit alone atop the Big XII standings. Yawn.
- Chris Collins went insane.
- So did Klay Thompson. Oh my goodness. For East Coasters, he had a Hall of Fame “Wake Up and Check Your Phone” moment, with 37 points in the third quarter on 13 for 13 shooting (including 9 of 9 from deep). The Warriors offense is absolutely frightening. I mean, what are you supposed to do when you can’t give two of their guys more than six inches of breathing room?
- Lakers fans have not been waiting for A Moment Lke This:
And now, a ranking of Kelly Clarkson song titles most likely to be about basketball:
1. Long Shot
3. One Minute
4. My Life Would Suck Without You
5. You Can’t Win
- This didn’t exactly happen this week, but it’s on-going and needs to be discussed. The Arizona State student section is making a run for best in the nation with “The Curtain of Distraction”. During every opponent free throw, the students open a black curtain to reveal some wild, eyebrow raising item to get the shooter’s attention. Like what you ask? THESE:
The Week Ahead
In the NBA
Tuesday, Bulls @ Warriors
The Warriors are dangerously close to me believing any story about their box score the next morning.
Steph had 60 points? Sure.
Draymond Green had 24 rebounds? Yep, sure.
Andrew Bogut had 15 blocks? Probably.
Harrison Barnes had 9 dunks in the first quarter! Yeah, I’ll buy that.
Friday, Mavs @ Heat
The Heat have found something very interesting in Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside was praised as a potential project/upside guy pre-draft (though don’t try to look at what Chad Ford had to say), but had yet to breakout. Now he’s playing great, including a 14 point, 13 rebound, 12 block day against the Bulls (aka the Kanye West Triple Double).
Saturday, Cavs @ T-Wolves
Oh, man I hope Andrew Wiggins torches Cleveland this week. Cavs fans are already starting to sour on the trade that sent him to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Wiggins is averaging 20.1 ppg in January. If LeBron has that Michael Jordan Competitiveness Gene, he covers Wiggins for 48 minutes and doesn’t let him get a shot off.
In College Hoops
Monday, #17 Texas @ #9 Iowa State
The Longhorns have had a strange season. They’ve beaten some good teams, but they’re 1-5 against the KenPom top 31. Here, they get another chance to boost their resume and show how good they can be.
Tuesday, #21 Baylor @ Oklahoma State
Tuesday, George Washington @ #16 VCU
Two of the top teams in A-10 square off. GW’s four losses have all come in true road games so far this year. Heading into Richmond to face “Havoc” won’t be any easier.
Wednesday, #5 Duke @ #8 Notre Dame
Hey, Notre Dame. You think you’re pretty good? You want to show everyone how good? Here. This is a Jahlil Okafor. Stop it and we’ll start talking about how good you are.
Saturday, #4 Wisconsin @ #25 Iowa
Following Adam Woodbury’s eye poking spree, these teams battle again. I thought it was odd that Dan Dakich took Iowa coach Fran McCaffery to task, when there’s a much simpler solution. Bo Ryan needs to teach his guys how to deal with this sort of activity:
Saturday, #15 UNC @ #10 Louisville
Saturday, #5 Duke @ #2 Virginia
Oh, man. What an ACC doubleheader. The first UNC-UL game was a classic and Duke-UVA should be a slugfest.
Saturday, #14 Wichita State @ #20 Northern Iowa
Let’s separate the men from the boys. In other words, let’s see who’s a good Missouri Valley Conference team and who is going to make real noise in March.
Sunday, Seahawks vs. Patriots
Not much basketball this Sunday since the entire country will be watching the Super Bowl. I figure I might as well pick the Super Bowl.
Russell Wilson bounces back from a dreadful performance last week and Marshawn Lynch shines.
Seahawks 27, Patriots 22
Enjoy the games, everyone.
(Note: Every edition of This Week in Hoops will end with a song. I’ve compiled all of these songs into a playlist that you can find here.)
Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and lone contributor at PalestraBack.com. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.