Dave’s Free Play, Friday 11/20/15

  • November 20, 2015

I get loads of enjoyment watching and listening to Charles Barkley. He clearly enjoys his job and is about as quotable as it gets. To be honest, I’ll often bypass whatever the featured NBA game is and simply wait for the post-game show when it’s TNT with the broadcast honors. It’s generally terrific entertainment and one never knows what will take place with the spontaneity and great chemistry among the panelists.

When it comes to comments out of left field, Charles Barkley is the king. He’s been at it again lately with the Golden State Warriors. The reigning champs are a “jump shooting team” and Barkley has always made it clear he doesn’t like jump shooting teams. The results don’t seem to be having any impact on Chuck’s stance.

But Barkley is off the deep end with his latest rip on the Warriors. he did a guest spot with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday and declared that the NBA “would have mauled” the Warriors back in his day.

I don’t think Charles could be more wrong. He’s correct about the rule changes and the fact that defenses are not allowed to be as physical now as they were back in Barkley’s day. But he’s crazy if he thinks today’s Warriors would not have thrived in that era.

Here’s why, Charles. They’re way bigger and stronger now than they were when you played. That is simply a statement of fact that exists in every sport. I don’t care what game you’re talking about. Hockey, baseball, football, even golf… today’s athletes are simply bigger, and they’re also in better physical condition. That’s not a knock on the prior generation, it’s just a fact of life. It’s not even restricted to pro athletes. We’re continuing to evolve as a species and each generation is bigger than its predecessor. Plus, thanks to enhanced training techniques, much better nutrition and a variety of other factors, the athletes in 2015 simply blow away those from 1985.

That’s not to suggest today’s players have more natural talent. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case at all. But they’re also not necessarily less talented. If you call the talent even, then logically, you simply have to conclude that 2015 jock is superior to 1985 jock.

I hate to say it, but Charles Barkley is starting to sound like the proverbial old guy who desperately wants to hang onto the past and thinks everything was better back in the day. Some of us know better.

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Winner with Long Beach, a bit of a frustrating loss with George Washington (South Florida was 2/17 on three point shots for the first 39 minutes, then went 4/5 at the finish.). I got involved late with the Santa Clara/UC Riverside game when it was announced just before tip time that Riverside’s best player had been suspended. I ended up losing both the side and total but bought back Riverside at the half, so absorbed just a small loss on that game. By the way, Santa Clara is absolutely awful.

I’m relatively pleased with the start in college basketball, but that’s not all I’m playing as there are good spots to play across the board. Get all my plays, released with analysis at the same time I get on them myself, and also receive a solid guarantee with my monthly package. For all the applicable info, simply shoot me an email at cokin@cox.net.

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Thursday’s free play was on a Saturday college football game, and I’ll also go that route with the Friday comp.

417 SAN JOSE STATE  at  418 HAWAII

Take: SAN JOSE STATE -10

It’s not normally a great idea to be laying double digits on the road with a 4-6 football team. But that’s what I’ll be doing here as San Jose State takes a trip to the islands to face Hawaii.

The Spartans have a very misleading record. They’ve absorbed some very tough losses along the way this season, and probably ought to be more like 6-4 or maybe even better at this point. They had second half melts at Air Force and Oregon State. San Jose actually won the stats in a very respectable loss at Auburn. The Spartans gambled and went for the deuce at the finish against BYU, couldn’t convert and lost by one. Last week at Nevada, San Jose gave up a late regulation score that forced OT, then after taking a three-point lead against the Wolf Pack, couldn’t hold it and lost by 3 in the extra session.

It’s possible that at some point this team could go flat, but as it hasn’t happened yet, I don’t anticipate it will here. In fact, the Spartan players have been talking up still getting bowl eligibility by winning their final two games. That won’t be easy with Boise State on deck, but this one sure looks winnable for San Jose State.

The flip side is a Hawaii entry that kind of looks as though they’ve tossed in the proverbial towel. The Rainbow Warriors are enduring a disastrous season. They’ve lost a ridiculous number of players to season ending injuries. The head coach got fired a few weeks ago, and while that sometimes generates a positive response, it certainly hasn’t here. Hawaii hung around against UNLV before getting blown out late, but that was in reality a game that the Rebels pretty well dominated.

Last week Hawaii simply bottomed out. They were humiliated at home by a Fresno State squad that had been playing miserably. Not only did Hawaii lose by four touchdowns, they also played with zero discipline, racking up a whopping 132 yards in penalties.

In the past, these late season journeys to the islands have frequently been really tough for visitors from the mainland. But the Hawaii program is a mess right now and local enthusiasm appears to be at an all-time low. I see San Jose State as the superior team by a pretty decent margin and I just don’t know if the Hawaii players care very much at this point. If the Warriors that showed up last week make another appearance here, this looms as a lopsided result. Even if there’s better focus, I’m still not sure Hawaii has enough to hang in for 60 minutes. It’s also a potential spot for the Spartans to take out some of the frustration from all those near misses by throttling an opponent that’s struggling badly. I’ll be laying the points in this one with San Jose State.