Sports Observations: Left-Handed Anyone?

While enjoying the absolutely frigid temperatures here in lovely Wisconsin, I snuggled under some blankets and watched college hoops last night. Though limited in scope, I observed a few things that I found rather alarming.

First, I’ll give you a little background, so you don’t think I have an inflated ego about my athletic prowess. I’m short, 5’6″ short, and my basketball skills were never much and they’ve gotten worse with age. That said, I can shoot a left-handed layup and I know the basic principles to breaking a full-court press.

Sadly, it seems some of today’s college players can grasp neither.

I watched one game where a player made a steal, drove the length of the floor dribbling left-handed and when it came to finish, shot right-handed – right into the defender who blocked the layup attempt. If he would have simply used his left hand, he would have gotten the “hoop and the foul.” Easy.

These guys play basketball all day every day. If I can shoot a left-handed contested layup by practicing drills in my old, musty basement at age 12, they should be able to master this simple concept.

And now to breaking a full-court press. One of the main “rules” in attempting to break a press is to not dribble all that often, and when you do, stay out of the corners where you can get trapped.

Someone explain that to the Wisconsin Badgers, who blew a late lead (sizable at that) because their guards loved to bring the ball into the corner (on the opposing end, mind you) and then either have to call a timeout or throw the ball up in the air near half-court for anyone to grab. It was embarrassing to watch for them.

For a Bo Ryan squad, which usually does the fundamentals correctly with the limited talent he recruits, it was unusual. I hope they learn from it or that’s all they’re going to see from opponents for the rest of the year.

What does this have to do with collecting? Not much. However, Ralph Sampson III plays for Minnesota. He’s like 6’10” and only a freshman, so it might be fun to watch his progress down the road – though keeping up with his dad might be difficult.  

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