Sunday, December 24, 2006

thebowl.challenge: seriously, what the FUCK was that?

Also, it's Christmas Eve. So, "merry" and stuff.

In other news, the basketBucks got positively shitstomped yesterday by the Florida whostheirfaces. I don't know, I've never even heard of that university before. Ever. Unlike the other yooge nonconference road game this year (North Carolina), yesterday the Bucks looked lackluster and intimidated. I guess you have to figure that'll happen sometime. More worrisome was that, just like last year, Thad's offense against a zone (especially an extended one, like Florida used a lot yesterday) consists almost entirely of long jumpers, be they three-pointers or long twos ... and, like I'm sure Todd noticed, we seem to have absolutely no idea how to A. feed the post against a zone, or B. break the zone down to get open shots (will somebody PLEASE flash to the GODDAMN HIGH POST, PLEASE!?!). We just seem to swing the ball around the perimeter until someone throws up a contested three-pointer; we don't rotate the ball and make the defense work and shift around. Our best offense yesterday was the fast break, the main problem with that being how we got dominated on the boards. Running is fun, guys, but you can't do it if you don't have the ball.

And the thing is, despite playing "meh" for the first 23 minutes of the game, it was still tied. And then the wheels flew off and injured people. 46 points allowed in 17 minutes? That's just stupid. And in the middle of it I had to turn the game off, because the combination of watching Florida players - especially the horrifically ugly, totally insane, and immensely annoying (also really good) Joe Kim Noah - repeatedly beating their chests every five seconds, the Bucks playing like crap, and Billy Packer saying "Dunnivan" and doing myriad other Annoying Billy Packer Things was giving me headaches and muscle spasms. Ugh.

So what did we learn? That #3 ranking was a tad prematurely jocular. This team is probably more in the 7-to-10 range ... although, Jesus, who in the country is actually, really good? Still, until they prove it to me against a team that is probably gonna be the Tournament, I'm back to being leery about this team. Also, our offense is still WAY too dependent on hitting threes. I understand that the success of perimeter-oriented teams will vary along with their perimeter shooting, but Cheezes, can we mix it up a little when the shots aren't falling? All right, I don't like thinking about it anymore.

On to more fun things, like The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, bowl season. It's always fascinating to see which teams go into their bowl excited and with something to prove, and which teams show up not wanting to be there and not giving a crap (and obviously, the latter is the vastly more interesting of the two). So far we've had two teams completely crap the bed with their indifference: Oregon and, oddly, considering that they were playing a home game, New Mexico. Also, I didn't watch the Rice/Troy game, so I have no idea how the Owls looked.

Anyway, on to the pick 'em. Evan has gotten a few games right now, crawling up to .500, although he apparently still hasn't changed his confidence points. That's okay, we love him anyway. Someone named "S. Lawrence" is currently in first place, though he/she is standing at 3-3 and has by far the fewest possible points remaining. Also, I'd like to commend Schill and Fred on their off-puttingly similar results so far. All right, I gotta go shopping. *Snuggles*

1The House That Funk BuiltS. Lawrence3-335784
2Easy Bake Dutch OvenNipsey5-142580
3Moyer EntryKristin3-339778
4I Have a Raging ClueJack Fu4-242076
5Wells=FumblitisT. Lyon3-339175
6Doodle Von TaintstainThe Diddy4-243866
8Neary EntryMike5-146562
9Break of DawnJ. Morgan4-244459
10Neary EntryMike's wife, Joanna3-342757
11Milford ManFred5-146855
12Schilly-Mac with CheeseSchill5-146954
13Tobias Funke, AnalrapistReader Wise3-346446
14Michigan GOT SCREWEDC. Emanuele3-341238


At 11:47 AM, December 24, 2006, Blogger The Diddy said...

What bothered me the most about the hoops game was even IF Matta said, "go to the high post!!!", I'm sure the players would think, "I'm not sure what that means, but it probably means I should just shoot from right here." Which they do.

Conley seems like he's got the most "basketball IQ" of anyone on the court, but I'm not sure he's ever seen a zone defense. Oden looked lost at times and confused that there were players as big as him. The best thing to remember is, really, losing this game means nothing. Take the good experience, and it let's them know not every "good" team is like Carolina, most play defense.

At 10:00 AM, December 26, 2006, Blogger The Dur said...

Yeah, whenever Oden is out it looks like Treg Lee has replaced him. Who else can turn it over 4 times in 2 minutes?

At 4:52 PM, December 27, 2006, Anonymous said...

This is way out of date, going back to your great blog on the "Amoeba" in February 2006. Here are the answers to your questions, and you may consider them definitive:

1. What does it do? It scares the ever-living shit out of the opponent. It creates action that allows each defensive player to take chances with risky moves with the confidence that the other players will back them up if it fails. It is notoriously difficult to use. Tarkaneian used it sparingly because it tends to exhaust the team quickly. Fran Webster said he created the "Amoeba" so that players could have as much fun playing defense as they could playing offense.

2. Why call it that? Pitt (where Webster coached) adopted his system in the early 1970's. In a game with George Washington the defense so swamped the GW players that their coach said to the press after the game, "It's just like an amoeba, it's constantly changing." On the spot, Webster christened the defense with that name.

a) It is both a 1-3-1 and a 2-3 AT THE SAME TIME, constantly changing based on preestablished keys - or individual player choices. The 1-3-1 formation is just easier for observers to spot.

b) Announcers are confused because the swirl of constant shifting is confusing. Unfortuneately, also can be confusing to the player's playing it - to be successful they have to be very well trained. That's why the Amoeba exists in so many simpler variations still used by coaches all over the country today more than 30 years after its creation. Even watered-down, it's effective. The book Webster wrote about how to play it and train for it is still in print and is available on

c. UNLV played the full-bore Amoeba with no variations - the players needed a rest from it or they would probably have gone crazy. The great Cincinatti teams of the 90s also played it full-bore to great success.

d. The wild agression of the Amoeba is part of its character. The method behind the madness was due to Webster's experience as a player. He played street ball style way ahead of its time in the 30s and 40s. He was a top scorer with moves to match. On defense, he liked to take chances but they were not "backed up" and therefore highly risky - as a coach he determined to devise a system that would back up freelancing individual players, and as stated before - make defense fun for a change.

This is certified accurate. Fran Webster was my father.

Gary W


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