According to BYU Coach Roger Reid, who is working with hip joints that need total replacement, having talent and running proper plays aren't the final factors in who wins basketball games.
He says a great team needs to give something from the, uh, stomach."To me, basketball is more than just Xs and Os," says Reid. "If they feel good about how hard they work, and go in and throw up a little bit after a basketball game, that's all I ask."
A LITTLE LESS STYLE, PLEASE: On the last play of the North Texas vs. Georgia Southern game at the Cougar Classic, an Eagle player named Donald Williams twisted his knee after dunking a meaningless, game-ending play.
The risk was not lost on North Texas coach Jimmy Gales, who says he'll take substance over style any day. "He's (Williams) gonna kill his fool self trying to dunk," said Gales. "He dunks one, he's satisfied himself for the rest of the week. He should put a premium on winning."
COMPARATIVE VALUE: Last year's BYU team was just 5-4 after nine games, compared to 8-1 this time around. Part of the better record can be attributed to a slightly easier schedule. More credit, though, can be given for improved defense. Though this year's team is scoring only about one point a game less than last year, it is allowing 6.6 points fewer by the opposition.
The most glaring drop-off this year remains at the free throw line, where the Cougars are shooting 74 percent, compared to 82 percent a year ago.
SUB-SIDIZED: Last week BYU Coach Roger Reid failed to play any of his starters in a non-counting game against Athletes in Action.
Reid says if the game had been at the start of the season - when teams are trying to find themselves - he would have gone with his starters. However, by mid-Decmeber, there is no need for that. "I don't exactly need to find out if Marty Haws and Andy Toolson can play basketball," he says. "I'm pretty sure these guys know how to play the game."
Reid has an addendum to the game which saw no front line players: It may not have mattered. BYU ended up losing by just two. "I'm not sure our main players would have played any better," he says.
NO PROBLEM: With a broken pinky finger on his right hand, Haws is preparing to play Thursday night's game against Northwestern with a splint. Reid says the injured finger won't affect Haws' shooting. "If it affects him any way, it will be with ball-handling," the coach says.
QUOTE FILE: Reid, when asked by a reporter if his team was bothered by the sellout crowd of 6,000 at Penn State: "No, but the officials were."
Reid on his hip problems: "I'm feeling fine. Of course, if I was 1-8, I'd be crawling around looking for sympathy."