In a game rife with coaching mistakes -- Buzz's tech in the first half (yes, it was a bad call by the official, but Buzz had to be on guard for the Shitty Official Mistake that's described below, in the "Boner of the Week" section); Mike Brey's decision to play Luke Harangody, when it's clear that 'Gody is now in full-fledged "EWING CAN'T EVEN MOVE" territory*; Buzz failing to convince his team to stop shooting threes when we couldn't hit jack shit all game -- the most frustrating might've been the end of game clusterfuck that led to the game-tying three by Carleton Scott.
* Let's pause to consider how beneficial Harangody's injury was for the Irish. He's a vortex on offense, he's a liability on defense, and it seems like Brey's given up on coaching him. In a nutshell, his injury was the exact opposite of Dom James' injury last year: Dom was our most important player because he made everyone around him better. Harangody makes everyone around him worse. If he makes it in the NBA -- and he won't -- he'd be a great Clipper.
Some people are of the opinion that, with time winding down and your team up by three, you should foul and put the other team on the line. Some say you nut up and play good D. Now, I'm not saying that the strategy is clear-cut one way or the other; some coaches take the foul, some don't. What's frustrating is Buzz's explanation of his philosophy:
"Anytime if we're up by three with less than nine seconds to go in the game, and we're in the bonus, not the double bonus, philosophically I would foul. But not when whoever it is that we would foul, when we go to the free-throw line ... if I can't see the top of our guys' heads, I'm not going to foul. But I think if they're in the 1 and 1 there's a little bit of added pressure because now you have to make the first one, miss the second one, get an offensive rebound and a putback. But it's going to be with less than nine seconds left. But with our current team ... with as many grind-it-out games as we've been a part of, I'm not going to bet on the come bet. I'll just play on the pass line and put odds on the back."WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does he want to foul or not?
If this is the way he's talking to the kids in the huddle -- "Boys, I'm gonna play the pass line and put odds on the back" -- it's a wonder our guys have any idea what to do when they take the floor. "OK, guys, coach said we're not supposed to blame the cow when the milk goes sour. That means 2-3 zone ... I think ..."
Anyway, a win would've apparently moved us into Joe Lunardi's stone-cold, lead-pipe lock group. Instead, we're languishing at the top of the bubble heap. Whatever. A win on Wednesday removes all the drama. If we lose to UCONN, it might be an agonizing Selection Sunday.
The Trojan-ENZ "Boner of the Week" Call(s): Jim Burr** has been an official for roughly 82 years. Because of his advanced age, he anticipates calls more than any other official (even Higgins). Yesterday was no exception, as he called two offensive fouls -- one on 'Zar, and one on some Domer who I can't be bothered to remember -- on blatant flops that had minimal contact. It's now gotten to the point where fans can anticipate Burr anticipating the call, such that the booing starts before Jim even blows his whistle.
And special "Die in a fire" wishes go out to James Breeding, the overmatched sonofabitch who pulled a classic Shitty Official Move at the end of the first half, when he whiffed on an obvious travel by Ben Hansbrough and then called a tech on Buzz when Buzz pointed out the error. Missing a call, then T'ing up the coach because you were wrong? Yep. Classic Shitty Official Move. One of my favorites. Die in fire, Other Jim.
** You know the old saying that the best officials are the ones you don't notice? Within about 30 seconds of tipoff, you know that Jim Burr is working the game. In the upset of all upsets, Jim Burr has now moved ahead of Tim Higgins on Rubie's "People Who I'm Going to Kill When Reid Shows Me How to Shoot a Bow-and-Arrow" list. Congratulations, Jim!