Oregon v Saint Louis

Bob Knight a fan of St. Louis, Jim Crews

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Bob Knight is a brash and brazen kind of guy — he was as a coach and is as a color commentator. Love him or hate him, that’s just who he is as a person. As a color guy, he is fantastic in this regard. There is no holding back and he tells everything just like it is, which is what one hopes for in a color commentator.

For the aforementioned reasons, Knight’s praise of Jim Crews and the St. Louis basketball program holds serious merit.

St. Louis is 22-2 and is undefeated in Atlantic 10. They are on track for what may be the best season in program history. For the success the Billikens are experiencing, they are doing so without playing the most aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball. In fact, it is almost remarkable that St. Louis currently stands at 22-2, considering they rank 156th in offensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com.

They don’t win the game on the offensive end, but rather the defensive. Senior guard Jordair Jett is a menace on that end — actually, he resembles a bull with his style of play.

Bob Knight told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “They have offense with movement. They don’t rely on the 3-point shot. They do a lot of screening. They just don’t come down and take a shot. Look at the number of free throws they shoot (534) compared to the other team (450). They’re not an easy team to play. They understand the value of defense.”

Knight is no stranger to Crews. Crews played for The General at Indiana and then was an assistant under him for eight seasons. As a player, he was a member of the 1975-76 team that went 32-0.

The two also have ties to West Point. Knight coached there from 1965-71, and Crews was at Army from 2002-09, prior to his current job at St. Louis.

Suffice to say, the two know each other well.

“Jimmy’s a very good coach. He understands the game very well,” Knight said. “Coaches are coaches but not all coaches are teachers of basketball. He is…His appreciation for what his responsibilities were was excellent,” Knight recalled. “There wasn’t anything about Jim Crews as a player that hasn’t translated into an asset as a coach.”

Crews and St. Louis face their most challenging test in the Atlantic 10 thus far as they play host to Virginia Commonwealth tomorrow — a game Knight will be providing the color for on ESPN.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.