John Clay

Basketball officials should spend less time at the monitors

Kentucky coach John Calipari moments before he received a technical foul during UK’s 72-62 win over the Missouri Tigers in Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo., Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The is second half college basketball action.
Kentucky coach John Calipari moments before he received a technical foul during UK’s 72-62 win over the Missouri Tigers in Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo., Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The is second half college basketball action. Lexington Herald-Leader

Random notes:

▪ When the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee next convenes, it needs to take a look at the officials stopping play to take a look at the monitors.

It has happened far too often this college hoops season. It slows down the pace of the game and often does so for no good reason. Stopping the momentum of the game for five minutes to see if a player really threw an elbow or if another player was faking contact doesn’t make for good entertainment or good basketball.

Conferences should look at having a person or a group back at the league office monitoring the games who could help move the decision-making process along, just as the SEC did last season in football.

▪ With Kansas assuming the No. 1 spot in the AP college basketball poll on the final week of the regular season, Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III may be a shoo-in for national player of the year honors.

The senior leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.3 points per game. He’s averaging 4.9 assists and is shooting 50 percent from three-point range. He also led KU to its 13th consecutive league title.

I’d put Villanova’s Josh Hart second, followed by UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Justin Jackson of North Carolina and Caleb Swanigan of Purdue. Kentucky’s Malik Monk would be in my top 10.

▪ Interesting Kentucky Derby prep on Saturday when Holy Bull winner Irish War Cry goes back to the track for the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.

A look at SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket

▪ Atlanta Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu said he blames Lady Gaga for his team’s Super Bowl loss. Sanu said the Falcons were thrown off by the long halftime show. I think the Falcons were thrown off by another megastar, i.e. Tom Brady.

▪ Just when you thought North Carolina might have what it takes to win the whole thing after all, the Tar Heels managed just 43 points at Virginia on Monday night. It was the lowest point total under Roy Williams as head coach at UNC.

▪ Fun fact: Mahershala Ali, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Moonlight,” played college basketball at Saint Mary’s. He averaged seven points as a senior.

You don’t win 65 games and a championship because your ninth man had the career year. You win because your top guys are driving everybody.

Kevin McHale on DeMarcus Cousins

▪ Despite losing by 10 points to a Kentucky without De’Aaron Fox, Florida moved up two spots in the AP rankings. That has to be a good sign for the SEC, right?

▪ In case you missed it, former UK and Henry Clay High School star Collin Cowgill is in camp on a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres, who just happen to be managed by former UK and LCA star Andy Green.

▪ Best news from Louisville’s 20-point spanking of Syracuse last Sunday was Ray Spalding, the 6-foot-10 sophomore from Louisville Trinity High School who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. A Spalding surge would be just what Rick Pitino ordered for March Madness.

▪ On ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” last week, Kevin McHale said in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t expect the DeMarcus Cousins/Anthony Davis partnership to work in New Orleans.

“When has Cousins made anything work?” the former Boston Celtic and NBA coach said. “I mean, you know, in basketball, your top players have got to make everybody better. You don’t win 65 games and a championship because your ninth man had the career year. You win because your top guys are driving everybody. They make everybody better. . . . I’ve never seen Cousins do that.”

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