Kansas v West Virginia

Adidas crosses line with new sleeved jerseys

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Today, it was announced by Adidas that they’ll be unveiling a new type of jersey — well, depending on when you grew up, maybe old-school type — with a compression-sleeve alternate uniform that the Golden State Warriors will play in in the near future.

You really should click that link to see these jerseys. The thing almost looks painted on Harrison Barnes’ chest.

Normally, whatever the shoe/apparel brands start off in the NBA, eventually trickles down to the college game. And that’s almost a “death, taxes” certainty with Adidas. Who released last season’s infrared uniforms for teams like Baylor and Louisville and this season had teams like Kansas don monochromatic jerseys (see picture).

Then there was this tweet from the always reliable Marc J. Spears who covers the NBA for Yahoo!

So let’s just face it, Arad McCutchen is getting his way from beyond the grave.

First, let me say that I’m a huge advocate of most uniform enhancements. I love most of what I see, with the exception of this season’s stunt by Nike to seemingly make practice jersey’s suitable for games.

But this is where someone has to draw the line. Yes, players wear compression shirts under jerseys. That doesn’t mean that players want sleeves on the jerseys.

The biggest problem will be that — even though I’m sure Adidas has looked at this — is the restriction of movement. Players are used to jerseys having some movement. They’re somewhat form-fitting, but loose in the place they need it (shoulders, waist, etc.). The sleeves themselves, should they choose to wear them under a standard jersey, don’t limit the total body movement. By combining the two, you bring that into play. A ball-handler isn’t going to like that. Nor is a shooter who likes arm extension.

Also, there are some players who don’t wear sleeves because, hint, they don’t like them. One of them was never Tony Crocker, but the modern player has most likely come up in AAU and high school wearing a standard no-sleeved jersey. What about the players who avoid sleeves? College kids don’t all have the best mental games, and Adidas is risking throwing a few off their games? Comfort is a part of the game, believe it or not.

Bottom line: It’s okay to tinker with color, scheme and fit. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve what is on the jersey. But when a company starts to alter the jersey construction itself, it could actually start affecting the game a bit. Enough to decide games? I doubt it. But this isn’t the pre-shot clock area where sleeves were somewhat common.

There’s a line between genius and crazy. And Adidas is flirting with it.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.