Why is ESPN so obsessed with former coaches as studio hosts? Manning the ESPN studios for this game are Chris Fowler, Digger Phelps, and Mike Jarvis. They’ve also had Steve Lavin and Rick Majerus in the studio this season. It’s totally the opposite approach they have for college football where Trev Alberts, Mark May, and Rod Gilmore – all former players with no coaching experience – occupy the studio analyst position. Jarvis and Majerus are too low-key for the studio anyway. I’m surprised Jarvis was able to get a job as he has alienated a few folks everywhere he’s been. Doesn’t ESPN do a background check on these guys?
At the game, Brad Nessler and Majerus have the call. Some gal named Suzy or Stephanie is handling the sideline honors. She somehow becomes part of the action at the 19:00 mark during Michigan free throws. The camera angle on her makes is look like she is standing in the lane while the free throws are being shot. She honestly might have a chance of effectively boxing out Luke Schenscher.
15:47 – The first TV timeout, Georgia Tech is up 14-9. It’s already obvious that Tech is much more athletic than Michigan. Michigan’s Graham Brown looks totally out of place in this sea of athleticism.
15:00 – Anthony McHenry drains a three for Tech. They’ve had succesful threes from Bynum twice and now McHenry, guys who are not known for their accuracy from deep. I’m starting to warm up to Majerus as an analyst. He doesn’t raise his voice much, so his career at ESPN may be short. But he is informative, and not in the arragant Billy Packer way. He not only explains that the Jackets like to press, but what they try to do, and how Michigan can attack it.
14:30 – BJ Elder skies for a rebound, another example of the tremendous athleticism the Jackets have, and just about everybody other team is missing.
14:12 – The lead is up to 23-9 for Tech and Tommy Amaker takes his first timeout. Aside from the threes, Tech is getting a lot of buckets on layups, whether in transition or the half-court set. On the other end, there is no room for error for Michigan. Any little misstep close to the hoop and Tech is able to block a shot or create a steal.
13:11 – Ismail Muhammad gets his first dunk, a casual reverse effort, but it’s enough to send Alexander Coliseum into a frenzy. I can never get tired watching that kind of stuff.
12:41 – BJ Elder get a breakaway dunk and appears to get just as much air as Muhammad. I don’t remember Elder having those kind of hops last year.
11:00 – the second TV timeout and this game is becoming a rout, Tech 30-14.
10:44 – Luke Schenscher hits an 18 footer. Tech is unconscious and they have to cool off sometime.
9:20 – Luke Schenscher hits an 18 footer. Tech is unconscious and they have to cool off sometime. They’re now up 34-14.
7:57 – Jarrett Jack with a nasty spin move converts another lay-up the Jackets go ahead 38-14.
6:15 – TV timeout. Signs of life from the Wolverines with a 4-0 run to close the gap to 20.
4:42 – Elder airballs a three and finally someone looks human. Shortly thereafter, Majerus utter the word "offense" for the first time. This is meaningful because he pronounces it "oh-fense." If I wanted to hear it pronounced that way I would tune into CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. So knock it off Rick.
2:30 – Bynum hits another 3, Elder follows that up with a 3, and then there were a few more baskets, and frankly I was getting bored with things at this point. Michigan’s guards actually showed a little willingness to get the bigs involved somewhere in here. Courntey Sims becomes active inside for the Wolverines. However, Georgia Tech converts points on just about every possesion, concluding with a Jarrett Jack bucket at the buzzer. Halftime score: Georgia Tech 59, Michigan 32. 59 points on 37 possesions for an astounding 1.59 points per possesion. How did Illinois Chicago almost beat this team?
It was probably about as close to a perfect half as you can get. There can’t be too many teams capable of this kind of performance. I’m thinking UNC, Kansas, and that’s it.
I wasn’t quite as diligent with my note-taking in the 2nd half.
14:17 – Majerus makes the first – and hopefully only – Luc Longley reference of the season.
11:33 – pre-season all-Big Ten selection Daniel Horton fouls out with the following line: 24 minutes, four points, eight turnovers, three assists and one rebound. Yikes.
Then I remembered that thet guy on Jeopardy! who never loses was going to lose tonight so I had to switch over to that.
I must note that while Tech won by over 30 points, the big winner of this game was me because I’ve become a fan of Rick Majerus. He’s distinguished himself by providing information I can use. This is in contrast to most analysts who specialize in such informative tidbits as "it’s a one possession game."
Thanks, but I can count to three.