Posted: Wednesday January 24, 2007 3:21PM; Updated: Wednesday January 24, 2007 5:01PM
Our next reader question comes in response to our revised cut-off date in last week's listing of Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma teams as the best never to win the NCAA title post-1980:
From now on, please leave your cut-off date where you originally had it set to determine the best team to never win it. I had almost gone an entire day without someone bringing it up. --Reid Gettys, Houston
Sorry, Reid, we didn't mean to add to the pain. (FYI, folks, Gettys played on those amazing but ill-starred Cougars teams.)
Grant Wahl will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag.
What is the real character of the Maryland Terrapins? They seem able to beat anyone and lose to anyone. Are they a mediocre team that is well-coached and able to lift their game or a very good team with attitude or motivation problems? -- Troy Fitrell, Lisbon, Portugal
I fear that the Turtle might be heading to the NCAA bubble, unless Maryland can find a way to regroup and gain some consistency. That means no more home losses to teams like Miami and making sure to hold serve in College Park against Georgia Tech on Wednesday. We'll see: At times I've been impressed with the Terps' moxie (witness the win at Illinois), but I sense that there might be some leadership issues when consistency is an ongoing problem.
Apologies for a couple recent mistakes:
Alvin Franklin, not Byron Franklin, is the correct name of the former Phi Slamma Jamma member.
Reader Jeff Haggar of Holly Springs, N.C., notes that the under-performing LSU team of 1990 wasn't up by 25 at the half before losing to Georgia Tech, but rather by one point. (Shows what we know for trusting the facts in a reader submission, which -- we swear -- we usually double-check.)
The 'Bag-Bilastrator Challenge!
Episode IV of the B-B Challenge might just be better than Episode IV of the Star Wars saga, even if we don't get to hear Screen Actors Guild member Jay Bilas of ESPN moan about his missed chance to go to the Toshi Station and pick up some power converters.
Question: You have selected your coach for one game, and must now select your team for that one game. You may choose among any active collegian, but must select one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior, plus one wild-card selection to round out your starting lineup. You must also select one player to come off of your bench. Provide the reasons for each selection.
The Bilastrator Responds:
The Bilastrator, using his hardwood intellectual supremacy and his unlimited powers of hoops omnipotence, selects a team that provides his coach lineup flexibility, intimidating defense and a dazzling array of skilled players with the size and athleticism to play a high-speed, high-wire game and to execute in the half-court. Plus, the Bilastrator selects a collection of individuals that will make up a great "team," and will hand the 'Bag a big, lopsided L. Plus, to be considered, the players must be "long."
The Bilastrator's senior and point guard is Marist's Jared Jordan, who leads the nation in assists (8.8) with great vision and decision making. The Bilastrator loves Jordan's versatility, guard rebounding and court sense. Plus, he is long.
The Bilastrator's junior and small forward is Florida's Corey Brewer, who the Bilastrator can move around like a queen on a chess board while the 'Bag is playing checkers with his team. Brewer is the best and most versatile defender in the country, guarding the point to the paint, and he can shoot it, run, slash and finish. Plus, he is really long.
The Bilastrator's sophomore and shooting guard is Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts. CDR is an outstanding athlete, open-court scorer, and defender who can blend. The Bilastrator sees CDR slashing and kicking, defending and sprinting in transition with Brewer opposite him. The Bilastrator's break will look like a track meet. A long track meet. Really long.