Dave’s Free Play, Monday 2/24/14
The regular season isn’t done yet, but we’re definitely in the stretch drive. Therefore, it’s not a bad time to come up with a list. This one is my Coach of the Year Who Has Absolutely No Shot To Win The Award list. Let’s face it, Coach of the Year will be handed out to someone having a great season at one of the big name programs. But there are outstanding jobs being done outside the superpowers and these coaches deserve recognition as well. Here are my nominees for this year’s award.
Greg Marshall, Wichita State: Maybe he gets enough votes to win the real thing? Nah, they’re not giving it to a guy in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers are 29-0. What else do you need to know?
Tim Miles, Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have a legit chance to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s amazing. Miles has this program way ahead of schedule.
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma: The Sooners were somewhere around #75 in the pre-season power rankings. Now they’re sniffing the Top 25. LK with another tremendous job of maxing out the talent on his roster.
Larry Krystkowiak, Utah: The Utes are 18-9 and they’re in the conversation to make it to the NCAA. Even if they fall short, this is a spectacular job by the lesser known Coach K. I don’t think even the most ardent Utes fans saw this coming this soon.
Larry Brown, SMU: If this guy had stayed in one place throughout his career, there would already be a building with his name and a statue someplace on campus. Absolutely incredible coach, and I don’t know anyone who saw the Mustangs accomplishing this much.
Mike Lonergan, George Washington: I didn’t have this team inside my Top 100 pre-season. Now they’re pushing Top 40. Lonergan figures to be a hot commodity for a bigger job come season’s end.
Marty Wilson, Pepperdine: I know, they’re 15-13, big deal. Believe me when I tell you it is. The Waves have far exceeded my expectations, and I like the energy I see from this team every time I watch them. Wilson might be a star in the making.
Pat Skerry, Towson: What Skerry has done at this school is staggering. The Tigers were 1-31 two years ago. They have a legit chance to win this league’s automatic this year. I can’t imagine Skerry doesn’t get a much higher profile gig shortly.
Ron Turner, Georgia State: This guy has been a good coach for quite some time. Good news for the Panthers is that Turner’s kid is just a soph, so he figures to be stickin’ around for awhile.
Bob McKillop, Davidson: He’s on this list every year. Some things just don’t change.
2-0 Sunday with Western Michigan and Nebraska. Off the bad Saturday, that was a welcome result. Very short card tonight as I will likely be on just one game, which I sent out to my players Sunday afternoon.
The February Special will be pulled sometime this morning. If you still want in, reach me as soon as you can by email at email@example.com. Regular rates are in effect for the time being, but I will be coming up with something once we get to the conference tournaments.
Sunday’s comp was either a loss or a push, depending on when you played it. It’s being logged as a loss because that’s what it was when it was posted. Monday’s free play is a potential roast. As of now, it’s not on my personal card, but if that changes, I will note it as such on Twitter.
02/24 04:00 PM CB (713) OKLAHOMA STATE (714) TCU
Take: (713) OKLAHOMA STATE -11.5
The nightmare has finally concluded. Oklahoma State has its star back in action, and that disastrous 0-7 streak is history. The task for the Cowboys now is simple enough. They probably have to win out or at least come really close to doing so to make the NCAA Tournament.
The first hurdle comes tonight, and this is without question the easiest one. Oklahoma State takes on the softest Big 12 opponent possible as they visit TCU. The Horned Frogs are not good, which is obvious enough as they’re 0-14 in conference play.
I also think that if TCU hasn’t given up, they’ve at least got the white flag ready to be waved. Fact is, this team doesn’t have the talent to compete in a league this good, and they’ve been banged up most of the season as well.
There’s no bargain to be had here. Not many bettors are going to be eager to risk anything on the Frogs, and that’s reflected in the price. So if you’re hunting for value on tonight’s board, better to look someplace else.
My thoughts here are that the Cowboys are going to be a very determined entry as they try their best to play their way back into the Big Dance conversation. They might feel as though just winning is not enough, and that they need to bring some positive attention to themselves. If that’s the case, the number here won’t be in play. It’s chalk all the way in this one, Oklahoma State minus the points.