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McCollum: A few musings during a crazy time of year

Posted: March 29, 2014 - 6:54pm

With a nod toward the madness of the season, here’s a fresh bath of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings on the sports scene:

 

GREAT TIME FOR FANS

Often, things hit a lull after the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

The late semifinal games Friday night — Kentucky-Louisville and Michigan State-Virginia — were dandies, Final Four worthy.

At one point, each contest was a two-point game inside a minute.

My remote was severely challenged.

 

AND THOSE BRACKETS

Out of 11 million brackets turned in to the ESPN contest, only three had the Elite Eight correct. All 15 million of Warren Buffett’s billion dollar bracket were eliminated in the first two days.

MCNEIAL

Louisiana Tech’s 78-75 loss to Florida State in the NIT quarterfinals finished a fine career for former Conway all-stater Kenyon McNeial for the Bulldogs.

McNeial, the Bulldogs’ zone buster, averaged 11 points per game this season and shot 42.9 percent from the field. He finished his collegiate career as one of Louisiana Tech’s top-five 3-point shooters.

 

THE UA WOMEN

Jeff Long, Arkansas’ athletic director, keeps coaching searches extremely close to the vest and very little information has been generated concerning a successor to Tom Collen as coach of the UA women.

Rumors have coaches with some strong pedigrees are among possible candidates.

According to information by Ryan Higgins, a broadcaster in northwest Arkansas, Washington coach Mike Neighbors could be a top prospect. He is a 1993 UA graduate and director of basketball operations, 1999-2001 and assistant coach, 2006-08. His daughter attends UA.

Another rising star in the ranks is Wichita State coach Jody Adams, a former player at Tennessee under Pat Summitt.

Also in the mix could be Waldo native Sytia Messer, the recruiting coordinator at Baylor who was the regional MVP in 1998 when the UA went to the Final Four. That’s connections with both Gary Blair and Kim Mulkey.

A longshot is former UCA Sugar Bear coach Matt Daniel, who has completed his second year at Marshall. But his 20-41 record with the Thundering Herd would be a tough sell to move to the SEC. Timing doesn’t appear to be right.

The Razorbacks need a young, high-energy, enthusiastic coach who can both recruit and sell the program, which was no better than third or fourth among NCAA college programs in the state this season. All those coaches fit that profile.

Blair and UALR coach Joe Foley. Those ships have apparently sailed long ago.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net or follow him on twitter @dmaclcd)

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