The Peterson Principle 3/30/10

Is Brad Stevens out of high school?

I didn’t see many of “The Butler did it” headlines as I thought I would after the Bulldogs advanced to the Final Four. I did see “Served by Butler” and “Butler Goes Home.” I think I was actually the first to write it immediately after the game on Facebook.

I’ve always been a Butler fan. Maybe not necessarily the Butler Bulldogs but Bob Butler down at El Monte American used to help me out big time with Little League stats. He also served a pretty mean chili cheeseburger.

With Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans (another number five seed) joining number one seed Duke and two seed West Virginia, Butler seems like the only true Cinderella if there still is such a thing. I expect to Butler to win the whole thing and Coach Brad Stevens to celebrate by going to his senior prom.

His bio says he is 33 but this guy looks like he is making plans for grad night after receiving his high school diploma in June. If Butler does win it, what does Stevens celebrate with? Martinellli’s sparkling cider?

John Calipari does have a knack for getting his teams into the Final Four. But his teams also have a knack for collapsing in big games. Memphis, two years ago, couldn’t make a free throw in the final game and Kentucky couldn’t make a three point shot Saturday against West Virginia. 4 for 32 won’t cut it in the NCAA playoffs or down at Live Oak Park in a pick up game.

Expect the Kentucky freshman trio of John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins to all declare for the NBA draft in the next month or so. Wall and Cousins were named to the Associated Press All America team on Monday.

How long is that ridiculous “one year in college rule” going to be in existence?  

With Duke it’s always a love-hate relationship. Outside of the Cameron Crazies, the Blue Devils are probably the most hated team in America. I’ve never been a big fan either but when you look at Duke objectively what is there to hate?

Coach Mike Krzyzewski is solid, genuine, a good recruiter- maybe the best coach in college basketball. The players go to class, never miss a practice and stay out of trouble. What’s there to hate?  

For Coach K it’s his 14th final four appearance since 1986- his first year at Duke. Success breeds contempt but at some point you have to take you take your hat off and recognize that Duke is maybe the most successful college basketball program over the last two decades.

And seriously, would you rather have your son play for Krzyzewski or Calipari? It’s the proverbial slam dunk.

Kyle Singler? Jon Scheyer, Brian Zoubek? All nice players but they won’t be on anybody’s NBA draft board. Yet the Blue Devils are two wins away from another national championship.

The NBA should suspend action during the NCAA tournament. After watching the Lakers on Monday night the only thing that was maddening was how boring the game seemed. It wasn’t only that the Lakers laid an egg; the game seemed so mundane after watching March Madness all weekend.

Nobody would miss it, the players would be well rested for the stretch run and it wouldn’t get in the way of the greatest Tournament on earth. Shut it down from March 15 to April 3 starting next year.

It was must have been embarrassing for former Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves to get busted for drunk driving last week as his alma mater was making its run to the Final Four.

I was feeling pretty good about my golf game again after playing nine last week at Whittier Narrows. But I was quickly brought down to earth when I heard Ron Dearth, father of former Temple City pitcher Brian, shot a 75 Sunday at Santa Anita. Congrats Ron and I don’t think I’ll be joining your foursome anytime soon. Give me a year …or two…or three…

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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