Status updates: Cards high-tech, RPI low

I wrote a column on UK’s loss to Ole Miss for today’s final edition, and that’s the column that appeared on the Internet. But as a “plugger,” a column that fills the space in earlier editions, I wrote this. Kind of a hodge-podge of stuff, but I’ll throw it on here . . .


Status updates: Cards high tech, RPI low tech

Notes scrawled while giving thanks for a job that you can do, just every once in a while, from the couch . . .

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino yesterday revealed that next season he expects to use a first-of-its kind service that will allow him to securely send video edits and game clips to his players via the Internet. I hate to tell him, but I think his players have been checking out their own dunks on YouTube for a while, but that’s beside the point.

This use of technology will be interesting. Pitino, in fact, said he’s all but done away with printed scouting reports in favor of showing his players the keys on a screen. And while I tend to discourage the abandoning of print (for obvious reasons) you have to commend Pitino on some of these innovations. And you can’t argue with the way his team as embraced scouting reports in Big East play.

I also have heard that Pitino will announce starting lineups next season by Facebook status update, utilize instant and text messaging during timeouts (i.e., “Knowles, that last three, LOL!”) and will relate his pleasure or disapproval of players by the flashing of emoticons on large cards by assistant coach Steve “MySpace” Masiello.

It’s cold, it’s snowy, let’s get this out of the way: The yearly RPI-must-die rant. The NCAA still using its antiquated Ratings Percentage Index as a component of tournament selection and seeding is like you trying to do your taxes on an abacus. We’ve got near-rocket scientists out there giving us more data on college football than Voyager sent back from space.

Ken Pomeroy knows so much hoops math he can tell you the exact shooting percentage of the U of L basketball team in the seconds following a smack of Pitino’s Italian loafer to the court. There are kids on their I-Phones who can bang out more sophisticated and meaningful rating systems than the quaintly simple RPI.

But we’re using the Commodore 64 of ratings. Why do I feel like at the NCAA offices in Indianapolis, somebody’s bound to be sitting around playing Pong?

There’s been a lot of discussion about the Texas girls’ high school game in which Covenant Academy, a private Christian school, drubbed Dallas Academy, a school fir kids with learning disabilities, 100 to 0. Covenant’s principal apologized, then its coach criticized the apology and was fired.

And the national debate has broken into predictable lines of, “What has happened to sportsmanship?” and, “Why ask the better team to not play the game?

Here’s your solution, and it’s not a difficult one. Hire back the Covenant coach for one game. Then have him bring his team to take on the University of Connecticut women’s team. Simple enough?

UConn is beating top 10 teams so bad that it might have to start occupying more than one spot in the poll. The U of L women’s team can take some solace in this — it played UConn closer in Storrs, Conn. (losing by 28) than No. 2 North Carolina played the Huskies in Chapel Hill (losing by 30).

Frankly, U of L coach Jeff Walz and his players deserve a great deal of credit for staying in the top 10 after the major preseason loss of center Chauntise Wright. That changed the complexion of this team, but it has adjusted. Now, after having a 14-game winning streak snapped, the Cards’ next game — a 2 o’clock start at Providence on Saturday — could be one of their most important of the season.

If the Cards can get momentum back and resume their Big East roll, they could be in line for their best-ever NCAA Tournament seed. Senior star Angel McCoughtry is just six points away from becoming the highest-scoring basketball player in U of L history — man or woman — surpassing Darrell Griffith, who scored 2,333 points.


19 thoughts on “Status updates: Cards high-tech, RPI low

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