View Full Version : Another Rant: Seth Davis

10/20/2005, 02:57 PM

Please read his summation of the Sooners in the article above. I wonder if he
was really watching this team, or another one. When he talks about the "heart and soul of the team" he says that OU doesn't have one. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! And this is a guy who considers Texass's school skipper as their heart and soul. He stated that Gray and Bookout both said that they could be, BUT IT WAS A COP-OUT. This guy is getting into royal @$$hat status.

The good thing was that Coach started ripping his preseason rankings. GOOD FOR HIM!!!!!!!! He states that Longar is going to get lost in the shuffle, and that Kellen Sampson is in the best shape? Man, I wanna know what he's smoking!!!!! He also said that this team is a lock for the second weekend in the tourney, and after that, basically, who knows. THIS TEAM COULD WIN THE NATIONAL TITLE!!!!!!! Many pick them as a preseason Final Four team, at the very least. He also stated that this team didn't have a sure-fire NBA pick. Again, TAJ GRAY WAS PROJECTED AS A LATE FIRST ROUND PICK LAST YEAR, AND SCOUTS LIKE TERRELL EVERETT!! He also stated (in a bit disguised way) that this team didn't have a lot of top talent.

He says that he's not going to sleep on the Sooners, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE HE SLEPT THROUGH HIS VISIT!!!! Looks like we have ourselves a BBALL version of Corsuck!

King Crimson
10/20/2005, 03:28 PM
i had an old gf who was halfway watching hoops with me one time....and Seth Davis comes on yammering about something and she says: who is that guy?

i say: Seth Davis
she says: he looks like he's made out of plastic. (i laughed).

anyway, "not sleeping on it" seems to be some new catch phrase....the top 25 breakdown i read sometime last week with Gottleib, Fraschilla, and someone else....had this phrase in about 1 in 3 of the team breakdowns.

what's the difference between heart and soul, glue, and x factor? liked Fraschilla's comment.....though i'm not usually a big FF guy.

10/20/2005, 05:16 PM
What burns me is his analysis of Texas and Oklahoma. I am a person who is all about fairness. No matter if it involves OU/Texas/OSU/ Whomever or whatever. This wreaks of unfairness. For him to say that Texas's heart and soul is Tucker is like me saying that one of soldiers who went AWOL was the heart and soul of my unit. When he says that Book and Taj aren't the heart and soul of this team because it's a "cop-out," when compared to the Tucker statement, is out-and-out screwy, and backhanded.

Salt City Sooner
10/20/2005, 10:07 PM
At least our "heart & soul" had the gumption to do the little things that don't show up on the stat sheet. You know, little trivial things, like oh, how about STAY ELIGIBLE???

Let 'em underestimate us. It'll make it all the more sweet.

10/20/2005, 11:48 PM
Seth Davis. Isn't he the guy that Gumbel and Kellogg rip on a lot during the tournament in the studio? That tells you his credibility.

10/21/2005, 02:46 AM
He is. It was also funny how on the ESPN BBALL Preview by ESPN with Douggie G. and Mike Jarvis (who I always thought was a highly overrated coach), they both were sunshine pumping Texass, and Douggie G. said that OSU would be a "surprise" team this year. He also said that Texas and OU would have problems because Barnes and Sampson would have to deal with players who have an "eye on the pros"- Daniel Gibson and Taj Gray. If both had their "eye on the pros," then both would've been gone last year. They are full of BS, Vitale is sunshine-pumper extraordinaire, and Davis is flat incompetent (to the point of humorous). The only guys who I think have it right are Clark Kellogg and Jay Bilas. They actually have proof and objectivity about their analysis. Both also PLAYED THE GAME and aren't biased towards their alma mater (see Douggie G.). Does someone still have the fark where Douggie G was being held by Traber? That would warm my Army heart today.

King Crimson
10/21/2005, 03:04 PM
FWIW: here's the first part of the article:


10/21/2005, 05:09 PM
Here's what Fran Fraschilla who viewed the practices with Davis had to say. More of a story than a breakdown of the team.

From ESPN insider today at ESPN.com:

NORMAN, Okla. -- One of the best things about my job at ESPN is that during the season, I get to watch the best coaches in the country at practice, especially in the Big 12. I love to see how they treat the first few days of preseason practice.

This week I watched the two Big 12 co-favorites and Final Four contenders, Texas and Oklahoma, practice. I was impressed with the intensity and work ethic both teams displayed as well as the relationship each team had with its head coach.

Coaching is much more of an art form than ever before. You have to keep a player happy and motivated without affecting the chemistry of the team. And you have to be careful about how you coach a player without "losing him." As one coach told me recently, "What we used to call constructive criticism is now called verbal abuse." Rick Barnes and Kelvin Sampson are part of a new era which contradicts the old maxim that a coach doesn't have to be liked as long as he is respected.

As a former coach, I pay attention to everything at practice. I am always looking for clues about what constitutes a great coach. What gets done in practice now -- and in the next four weeks leading up to the start of the season -- is the foundation for conference championships and NCAA appearances.

For example, a sure sign of a happy team is how many players stay in the gym on their own after practice. A coach enjoys players who love the game but he has a lot to do with how much they do. Unhappy or unmotivated players leave practice as though they were launched from Cape Canaveral. At Texas on Sunday, the players and coaches stayed on the court for at least 45 minutes after practice to get extra shots up, play "H-O-R-S-E" and goof around with their head coach, Rick Barnes.

I worked for Barnes at Providence College, so I know how intense he could be when he was a young head coach in a league with John Thompson, Rollie Massimino and Jim Boeheim. We were fighting for our lives every night in the Big East, and we didn't have the 20-hour limit on practice each week. Long three- and four-hour practices were the norm and, believe me, U.S. Army Special Ops teams probably didn't have it any tougher!

Now, experience, maturity and a few Longhorn All-Americans -- starting with T.J. Ford -- have mellowed him. He knows how hard to push a McDonald's All-American without breaking his spirit. After two hard, drill-oriented practices, Sunday's practice was two hours of scrimmaging and shooting.

"They needed a light day after the first two days," Barnes said.

This is the time of year that a coach creates a "vision" for his team. If I talk to a player after practice and ask him to articulate that "vision," he should be able to tell me. I remember going to Larry Eustachy's very first practice at Iowa State in 1998. I thought I would see a couple of good rebounding drills, because that's what his teams have always been known for. I saw three hours of rebounding drills. Do you think his team knew after the first day what was important to their coach?

Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson, with all of his success, coaches each practice like it his first practice at Montana Tech back in 1981. He takes it personally if everyone is not ready to come and work.

"It's hard to coach basketball if you have to coach intensity, too," he said.

From the first warm-up drills to the last possession of the scrimmage at the end, Sooner players go hard, dive on the floor, take charges and are enthusiastic. When sophomore David Godbold took a charge, seven players sprinted to him to pick him up off the deck. Every shooting drill was competitive and the players were hootin' and hollerin' at each other, because the losers ran line drills as punishment. I have always believed that a coach can foster intensity in games by what he demands in practice, and Sampson is demanding.

Both Sampson and Barnes enjoy great relationships with their players, which brings me to something else I've seen. The guys who coach with great intensity on the court -- and there are quite a few -- must spend twice as much time with their players off the court than they used to. If you are going to jump on a player at practice, he must have no doubt that you care about him and have his best interest at heart. Screaming for the sake of screaming doesn't work well as a motivator.

The player has to see you as a person beyond what they see at practice. Sampson has the players over to his house the night before a home game to watch film and snack on pizzas. They not only see a coach, but a father and husband, as well. At Texas, the players are treated to Barnes' comedy act in the locker room after practice like he was performing at a club on Austin's famed 6th Street. And, no one escapes his comedic wrath, from the best players to the equipment managers. He makes it fun to come back the next day.

The Big 12 will be very competitive again this season as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. It has one Hall of Fame coach in Bob Knight and three or four who will make a run at it before their careers are over. I know I will see some great practices around the league.

What is getting done in practice now has more to do with how the players feel about their coach than ever before. How they feel about their coach will have a lot to do with a team's success. It may not have to be a democracy, but absolute dictatorships are on the way out.

Fran Fraschilla is an analyst for ESPN.