The 2011 First Energy MAC Basketball Tournament has concluded, and after a three-day stretch of college basketball bliss at Quicken Loans Arena, this writer has some unanswered questions he would like to know the answers to.
Why the Mid-American Conference is virtually an automatic "one-bid" conference. Does the Tournament Selection Committee expect us to believe that the 11th best team in the Big East or the fifth or sixth finisher in the Big Ten? Is Penn State a better team than Kent State? Kent won its regular season conference title and has a relatively recent history of success in the NCAA Tournament. Would people rather see a team like Villanova or Penn State lose in the first or second round, or see a team like Kent or Cleveland State possibly also lose in the first or second round, but introduce the country to players like Justin Greene, Michael Porrini and Norris Cole?
In the MAC final, why did Justin Greene play so passively. He let Zeke Marshall and the officials take him almost completely out of the game. Greene, the MAC Player of the Year, is a big, strong kid while Marshall is a rail-thin seven-footer. If Marshall went up against a player like Jared Sullinger it would get ugly. Sullinger would do what Greene should have done, put his shoulder right into Marshall's chest and move him out of the way. Instead, Greene tried to play with finesse instead of power, and he was ineffective.
What the arrangement is with Akron and Adidas. I thought The University of Akron was an Adidas school, but I noticed that the men's basketball team wears the LeBron James Nikes. I thought the main thing an athletic apparel company went after was the men's basketball team because of the exposure. It seems strange that Akron would be with Adidas without the basketball team.
Why the floor at Quicken Loans Arena did not repel the LeBrons. The dirtbag quitter is about as loved as those little white urinal cakes in the men's facilities at The Q. His shoes and the floor at The Q should have gone together like oil and water.
If anything is ever going to happen to improve the basketball officiating in the MAC. One game would he a street fight in the key with very few whistles, the next game the guys in stripes would be calling touch fouls. I do know this, in the final game Zeke Marshall was hammering Justin Greene time after time, and it was Greene that fouled out, late in the second half, on a touch foul. Consistency is all the players ask for and it is the very least they deserve.
Why, with Akron and Kent State playing in the championship game, the lower bowl of Quicken Loans Arena wasn't even full for the game. Two schools, arch-rivals, not very far away and the fans don't show up. Even for a basketball fan without a rooting interest, a tournament championship game is usually very exciting. Very disappointing.
When the nation is going to learn about Javon McCrea, Buffalo's freshman power forward. McCrea is an NBA prospect if I have ever seen one. He has an NBA body, great hands, can score using either hand and can jump out of the gym. And he's 6-foot-8 and probably still growing. McCrea was amazing against Kent in the first round hitting 11-of-18 from the floor for 28 points and pulling down 13 rebounds...all in only 28 minutes of playing time. He had a tip-dunk off a miss from Byron Mulkey that was one of the best dunks I have seen in quite awhile. He went up with a pair of Kent defenders and, though Justin Greene seemed to have both hands on the ball, McCrea smashed it through the basket with a lot of force. Gary Trent and Bonzi Wells were both high draft picks out of the MAC. If McCrea stays in Buffalo for at least a couple more years I am predicting he will be a lottery pick. Check him out if you get the chance.