For What it's Worth: Marshall, UConn & baseball
Is it written somewhere that women’s exercise classes have to be conducted with such ear-splitting music that you’d rather spend the day behind jet planes waiting to take off. Trust me, I’ve worked out all my life, the walls shaking don’t help you lose weight.
I’ve consistently told you that there are only a handful of jobs that Gregg Marshall would leave Wichita State for---well, Kentucky’s one of them. If, as is being speculated, John Calipari leaves Lexington for the Los Angeles Lakers, you can bet that Marshall will be on the Wildcat’s radar.
From what I know, Marshall would be a good fit with UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, who, despite being AD in Lexington for twelve years is still relatively young at 54. Barnhart, who’s a graduate of Ottawa University in upstate Kansas, had no problems hiring Calipari, even after his issues at Memphis—so he has a comfort level with dynamic personalities like Marshall’s. Hold on, it could be a bumpy ride.
I’d picked against UConn in all five of their previous games in the NCAA’s and last night wasn’t any different, so of course they bolt out to a 15 point lead on Kentucky. John Calipari swallowed hard, then went to a zone, something he didn’t do even five percent of the time during the regular season. The move, largely, got Kentucky back in the game at which point they went back to man defense only to fall seven back, they stayed predominantly in the zone the rest of the way.
But Kentucky’s defense wasn’t near the story that UConn’s was. The Huskies gave up only 54 against UK, the same that Michigan State managed against them and one more than Florida just three days ago. Shabazz Napier was the undeniable force for UConn, but it was their collective stinginess that won a title.
Shocker fans will look at the 39 percent shooting by UK and the 13 of24 they hit from the line and wonder what could have been. But so will legions in Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin. UConn won with their quickness and guile, their toughness and perseverance, their confidence and unwavering belief. It was fun to watch a team prove me so wrong for six straight games.
Tonight in Nashville the UConn women can complete only the second ever single school sweep of the National Championships when they take on Notre Dame. UConn won both won titles in 2004. The Huskies matchup with Notre Dame is the first time that two unbeaten teams have met in a final.
The Royals are off to 3-3 start after a 4-2 win over Tampa last night in Kansas City. Jason Vargas was outstanding for his second straight start in KC, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings to get the win. The flip side is third baseman Mike Moustakas going 0-3 to start the season oh for 18, this after he crushed everything in spring training.
The baseball Shockers have a tough trip to K-State tonight as they try to keep from dropping their fifth straight game. Wichita State was swept for the first time ever at Indiana State last weekend and starts this week in a tie for the Valley cellar. Of course, there’s time to get things going, but the conference is much better with the addition of Dallas Baptist which finds itself in first after two league series. The MVC may have been down in hoops, but it’s currently the nation’s fifth ranked circuit, so making up ground might be tough---we’ll see.