Monday, March 31, 2008

Pure Athlete

I am just now getting over the fact that last weekend's NCAA Tournament games were incredibly boring. Only the last game (Davidson vs. Kansas) had any type of drama. I have never been one to follow Bill Self's teams but after watching that game it was obvious why he had never been to the Final Four before now. He is not very good. Without question he coached that game "not-to-lose" as opposed to trying to win it outright. It made for a dramatic ending so I suppose I should thank him for finding a way to coach his absurdly talented team in a way that nearly left them out of a star-studded Final Four. As sad as it is to admit, the most entertaining part of the weekend was in the very first game of the weekend, Washington State vs. North Carolina. Aside from the fact that this game was over within the first 15 minutes Jay Bilas was able to provide some phenomenal insight.

You see, Washington State is not the sexiest or most athletic team in the world but they are well-coached and play smart basketball. Pretty much the exact opposite description of an Oregon basketball team but that's not the point. One player on Washington State who fits the "not-the-most-athletic-looking-guy" mold is Taylor Rochestie. He is white, has floppy hair and wears knee-length socks. Over the last couple of years I have found him to be a pretty effective ballplayer though and Bilas agrees. At one point in the first half Bilas said about Rochestie, "A much better athlete than he gets credit for. He can dunk off two feet with two hands with ease." Well, there you have it. Rochestie is a modern day Bruce Jenner. You're to tell me a college basketball player can do that and be a student at the same time? I need to see footage of Rochestie pulling off the miraculous feat to believe it myself.

Bilas' comments were not outlandish but I was waiting for something really good to nail home the point that Rochestie is quite an athlete. In my mind I was waiting for Bilas to say something like he can dunk off two feet from near the free throw line and put it between his legs. That would have made the suspense worth it. Instead he told me that Rochestie can dunk, which makes him far more athletic than I but a likely reason why he wears his socks so high.

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