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The Mystery Of Engin's Hair Solved, Plus Other Items

-- From the Greensboro News & Record's SportsExtra blog:

On Friday, [Atsur] finally broke under intense scrutiny from the media and revealed the reason why his once close-cropped hair is now resembling afro status.

Apparently Atsur continue to let his hair grow out because it pleases N.C. State SID Annabelle Vaughan, who thinks Atsur looks - and I'm quoting accurately here - "cute" with long, curly hair.

Also, Atsur - ever the college student - pointed out that not getting a regular haircut helps him save money.

[Edit: On second thought, this joke prolly wasn't a good idea.]

-- I watched the debut of Knight School on ESPN yesterday. Please don't judge me too harshly. The show wasn't very good, though I liked the part where Knight removed a ball from practice because it had been "dribbled too much." Watching a bunch of guys with questionable talent fumble the ball around the court brought back memories of my own days as an intramural basketball player of questionable talent. All the familiar faces were there on the show, too: Slow Footed, One-Dimensional Shooter Guy; No-Pass Guy; Self-Important "I'm The Point Guard" Guy; Needs Four Put-Backs To Make One Layup Guy... It brought a tear to my eye, it really did.

-- Caulton Tudor points out a big reason why NC State needs to beat Carolina on Wednesday: to increase its chances of playing in Greensboro for the NCAA tournament's opening weekend.

Carolina defeated State, then ranked No. 13 nationally, by 13 points in Chapel Hill on Jan. 7. Should the Tar Heels pull out a win at Raleigh, a regular-season series sweep would be weighed heavily by the NCAA selection and seeding committee. If the two teams do not face each other again during the ACC Tournament, Carolina could get the nod.

NC State already has the edge in RPI, but it's a small one. If State were to beat Carolina, the Pack would almost certainly finish the regular season with a better conference record than the Heels (at worst, they would tie), which, when combined with the advantage in the RPI standings, would make NC State the pretty clear choice for Greensboro.

-- From Doyel's Dribbles:

Reasonable people disagree about the Indiana job.

Not talking about me. For one thing, I'm not reasonable. For another, I'm not a coach.

But this weekend I did speak with two coaches whose names have been tossed around regarding the Indiana job. In both cases, we spoke off the record. They were brutally honest. And in brutal disagreement.

One coach says Indiana is a top-five job nationally. He mentioned Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. "Indiana might be fifth, but it's in the top five," this coach told me. "Indiana is a place you can go and win national championships."

One coach says Indiana isn't even the best job in the Big Ten. This coach says the Indiana job isn't as good as Michigan State or Ohio State. "The facilities are terrible, the salaries haven't been that good, and the fans are brutal," this coach told me. "It's a job that looks good because of Bob Knight, but that's it."

The more I thought about this, the more I started to lean towards the second coach's opinion. What makes the Indiana job more compelling than tOSU (barring NCAA sanctions) or Michigan State? A school's tradition and the quality of its head coaching position aren't always as closely related as fans like to think they are. Along with losing its elite status (in terms of results), Indiana has also lost a lot of its cachet. And I'm not just talking about the Mike Davis era--the last 5-6 years of Knight's tenure didn't do the program many favors either.

I'm not going to delve too deeply into a situation that I'm not familiar with, but I thought the negative comments from the anonymous coach were interesting. Times change.