Big Ten Wonk
Monday, March 20, 2006
Welcome to "Election of 1840 Wonk"!
Editor's note. For those of you looking for a blog about Big Ten hoops, I have a news flash: there are no Big Ten hoops. Big Ten hoops is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. It's a stiff. Bereft of life it rests in peace. Its metabolic processes are now history. It's kicked the bucket. Shuffled off its mortal coil. Run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible, etc.

But fear not! I promised to do a blog in this space until April 7 and, by Godfrey, I mean to do one! Welcome to Election of 1840 Wonk!

Oh, sure, skeptics will say I can't possibly maintain a daily readership of a few thousand rabid hoops fans with a blog about a presidential election 166 years ago between William Henry Harrison and Martin Van Buren. We'll prove those skeptics wrong, won't we, gang?

History doesn't have to be dull! It can be really "neato," as you young people say nowadays. Check this out!...

In today's less 1840 Wonk-ish venues....
Bray Hammond says the Second Bank of the United States achieved monetary stability in the late 1820s through discretionary controls, thus functioning as a nascent central bank. Peter Temin begs to differ, saying the BUS made its mark through deflationary routine, presenting all notes for redemption in specie immediately.

Thomas B. Alexander says the state of Tennessee opted not to send a delegation to the first ever Whig National Convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in December 1839 because the anti-Jacksonian party in the Volunteer state based its appeal on the most strident anti-caucus rhetoric.

Tasty stuff, am I right? And there's more where this came from!...

Election of 1840 Wonk back!
Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me!


What's J.J. Redick's PPWS? Thanks.

Charlie S.
Springfield, IL

Dadgummit, people, get with the program here, will you?

BONUS Bill Murray edition!
I don't like it when somebody comes up to me the next day and says, "Hey, man, I really liked your play." Or "I really dug your message, man. I cried." I like it when somebody comes up to me on the street a week later and says, "Hey, man, I saw your play....What happened?"
--Bill Murray in Tootsie

(7) Georgetown 70, (2) Ohio State 52
This outcome is being portrayed post facto (see links, below) as the inevitable consequence of a taller Hoya team. But Georgetown's going to be taller than every team they play; they'll either win the national championship or lose to somebody. If the latter occurs, what will that team have done that Ohio State didn't do yesterday? They will probably have played within their comfort zone--something the Buckeyes were unable to do yesterday or even Friday against Davidson.

I think Ohio State simply pulled in their horns and stopped shooting threes. In the 30 games leading up to the tournament, 40.5 percent of OSU's shots were threes. In two games this weekend in Dayton, conversely, just 34 percent were. Understandable, certainly: they'd stopped making those threes in mid-February. But watching this game yesterday I didn't even recognize these players. (Well, except for Terence Dials and the marvelous J.J. Sullinger.) They were just afraid--afraid to shoot those threes. Bad timing, that. When you're up against a front line that goes 7-2, 6-9, and 6-9, that's a pretty good time to shoot threes. It's also a good time, whether you're thin or not, to at least try to seize the transition opportunities present with a long and not terribly speedy opponent crashing the offensive glass. After all, you'll have the summer to rest. (Box score.)

Thad Matta says the Hoyas were just too dang tall: "One of our biggest nightmares came true. We had disguised pretty much all year (that) size was something we didn’t like to see and we knew going in we had our hands full." Matt Sylvester gives high praise to the victors--"Those guys are unbelievable athletes"--but also says he thinks he and his teammates ended the year "worn out." Terence Dials says 7-2 Roy Hibbert is the real deal: "On film, he looked a little slow. I think he was a little quicker than we anticipated." Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon says Hibbert "makes even cynical coaches wonder every day how a kid could improve this much from game to game. Georgetown, right now, is a threat to beat anybody." Columbus Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter says: "The Big Ten simply wasn’t that good this year." Salute to the seniors here.

BONUS pert speculation! One tremendous lost opportunity here: had Ohio State won this game it would have been delicious spectator sport to keep our collective gaze and GPS locators firmly affixed on Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan. With Steve Alford's season already done and Thad Matta's campaign still continuing, an immobile silence this week from Greenspan would have spoken volumes about his true first choice. Alas.

In today's less Wonk-ish venues....
Indiana guard A.J. Ratliff says having Steve Alford as his next coach would be OK with him: "It would be great if we hired an IU guy, but a lot of people don't want Steve Alford because they say, 'What did he do at Iowa?' and they say he can't recruit Indiana players. I don't agree. I think he would be great if he came to Indiana because I think he would get that many more Indiana players." (No comment from Ratliff on my personal favorite for the Indiana job, Subway Jared.) Departing coach Mike Davis says he's looking forward to his next gig--whatever and wherever it is.

At, Pat Forde says Michigan State was the most disappointing team in an "immensely disappointing" conference.

So, um, what now?
I suddenly find myself in the same line of work as people with blogs about Northwestern's offensive rebounding or Mike Krzyzewski's humility: it's hard to write about nothing.

Hard but not impossible. So what the heck. I'll keep her going, as planned, for the next three weeks. I've rented the blogospheric space, as it were, and the 0.475s are already entered into the spreadsheets so I might as well.

True, the subject matter will have to change a tad (duh). So I propose to do some wholly unsolicited moonlighting as kind of an adjunct Sweet 16 Wonk this week and Final Four Wonk next week.

And, of course, there's still some good Big Ten rubble to be pawed over: what the hell happened, the inevitable post-Katrina calls for sweeping reforms, what does it mean for next year, who's going to coach at Indiana and will that cause any other openings in the conference, etc.

We'll see how that goes.

Wonk back!
Don't just mutter ineffectually; email me!

<< Home

wonk back!
email me

a very special wonk
the blog's final days

me, simmons, and 150 million other american males
the four dullest topics for a hoops blog
drama, magnitude, and finality
2007 "power"-conference velocity report
special report: in tedium's path
stop DAD: defensive attention deficit
consistency, threes, and stereotypes
they shoot free throws, don't they?
every rebound needs an adjective
fouls: call fewer or allow more
was norman dale wrong?
what's PPWS?
POT: perimeter-oriented team
symphony of altruists
mammalian theory of extreme home-court advantage
law of november weight change
scoring and preventing points: how to

tempo-free aerials
(conf. games only)
big east
big ten
big XII

geek chorus
intro to tempo-free stats
2007 big ten team tempo-free stats
2006 big ten team tempo-free stats
2005 big ten team tempo-free stats
state of the stats, april '06

canonical bloggers
yoni cohen
ken pomeroy
kyle whelliston
ryan kobliska
chris west
brian cook

November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
August 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
October 2007