Thursday, March 11, 2010

Name of the game is scoring

As the state basketball tournament here in Texas gets underway in Austin, there are a few people upset about the undefeated Houston Yates (32-0) team scoring too many points. Seems Yates has beaten some opponents like 148-69, 139-51 and 127-26. Yates has set a national record by scoring over 100 points in 14 consecutive games en route to its current average of 117.2 per game, also a national record. It beat Lee, another Houston school, 170-35 in which it held a held a halftime lead of 100-12.

I say, so what! If a team has a chance to set a national record, let it. Isn’t that what basketball is all about? Score and then score some more. What’s the big deal, or as my friend Elaine would probably say, “Big whoop.”

Two teams I covered back in the day, Kilgore College and LeTourneau University, were both women’s teams, coached by women coaches, and they were fairly outstanding teams. They both won back-to-back national championships on their level, JC and NCCAA. When they would get a team down, I mean really down, they would let up on the throttle some. You know, they would worry about what it would do to the other’s team’s psyche or what the other coach might think. It might show bad sportsmanship, they (the coaches) worried. I’d encourage them to keep scoring. I’d tell them, so what? If it’s going to “come back and bite you again” someday, why worry about it now? Coaches tend to worry about that sort of thing.

As a sports writer, I guess it was something I didn’t have to fret over. It was easier to write about a winning team setting national records. If a team has a chance to break some sort of record, let it. Let the chips fall as they may. Worry about it later, or don’t worry about it at all. A player may never get another chance to be on a record-setting team, even if it’s as a substitute. I say go for the gusto!


At March 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

In general, I have a somewhat similar view. I would moderate it by saying that the future must be considered by playing tho ones who will be there after the current starters leave. And, it never looks good to hurt a starter in a blowout if you have another tough game coming up. I recall the story of Georgia Tech walloping someone in football 222-0 back in the old days.

At March 13, 2010 at 9:52 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

I don't think this coach will win any sportsmanship awards. Something makes me want to pull that full-court press somewhere close to the 85 point lead margin. But you must admit - it makes a great story!

At March 14, 2010 at 6:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you John. Yates went on to win the state title this weekend. That's what it was all about, helping his team win state. It wasn't like he was leaving in the first team and running up the score. He was played the third team and they were still scoring, and those guys have to learn to press on defense, too. Never know when you might need them. -Jim Patterson

At March 16, 2010 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one question for you, John. How would you like for your grandson to be playing on the opposing team? Peggy A. Kelley


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