It's the year of the guard in College Basketball. The Final Four Teams have one thing in common, all four have a great guard. Connecticut's Kemba Walker has been the most dominant player in the tourney. Butler's Shelvin Mack has been " Mr. Big Shot" for the Bulldogs. Kentucky freshman, Brandon Knight, didn't shoot the ball well in cats first two games, but he's been " Mr. Clutch" for Calipari's cats all tourney. Point guard number 4 may be my personal favorite, Joey Rodriguez of VCU. He's logged at least 30 minutes in every tourney game and his assist/ turnover ratio is 38 to 9.
How about those young guns ? 33 year old , VCU coach, Shaka Smart, will go up against 34 year old , Brad Stevens, in one Final Four game Saturday. Smart is smart. Coming out of high school , he turned down an offer from Harvard, to attend tiny Kenyon College. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in history. My oldest daughter who loves quotes will like this about Smart. In college, Smart began writing down quotes into a digital document that is now 110 pages long. Coach Smart is big into symbolism and psychology. After his Rams beat Florida St. in the sweet 16, one of Smart's sisters showed him the odds of the remaining 8 teams winning the National Title. "It said Kansas now had a 44-percent chance of winning the National Championship", Smart said. " And we have a 0.9 chance. So it's kind of like the movie 'Dumb and Dumber:' " So you're saying we've got a chance!" I love it .
I'm also big on following your dreams. It payed off for me , but my story can't compare to Brad Stevens gamble. From all accounts , Stevens had a good paying job for Eli Lilly Company in Indianapolis in the marketing department. In 2000, Stevens quit his job to pursue a dream, to coach College Basketball. He took a volunteer position with Butler. That quickly led to a position as coordinator of baskeball operations at Butler. A year later, he was promoted to a full time assistant at Butler. In 2007, Todd Lickliter resigned as head coach at Butler and the Bulldogs elevated Stevens to head coach. In 4 seasons as head coach at Butler, Stevens record is 116 and 24. It includes 4 trips to the NCAA tourney, and back to back Final Four appearances. My dream includes following a greyhound to Arkansas. I'll save that story for another day..
Can't wait for the Final Four !!!! Included link to ESPNU feature on Butler programhttp://www.butlersports.com/sports/m-baskbl/2010-11/releases/espnu-allaccess