A few free throws about basketball


Sportswriter par excellence and thoroughbred racing guru Bob Wisener had a most interesting column in the Wednesday edition of The Sentinel-Record.

It's cleverly written and especially meaningful for those disgruntled basketball fans who are more than a bit disappointed with the performances to date of the Arkansas Razorbacks -- men and women -- on the basketball court.

His comments offer interesting insights into how numerous hoops followers feel about their home state teams' less than consistently good play against SEC conference foes and other opponents. Of course, there is still time for the outlooks to change.

As Bob W. and others know, I am a sports fan who, on occasion, comments in writing about certain aspects of various team competitions. Thank you, Editor Mark Gregory, for the privilege of being able to share my thoughts on this subject.

Several of my personal guy friends, are nettled a bit when -- after being asked to name my favorite basketball, football, or baseball teams -- I rattle off fairly long list of sports squads that don't automatically begin with the big red letter "A."

My response to their dismay is usually, "Hey, fellows, the more teams you like, the better the chances are you will have something to brag about when the contest is over."

Yes, I do pull for the Razorbacks, except when they go against my Alma Mater, the University of Missouri. But, in those instances, I laughingly say that either way, I come out a winner.

Unfortunately for me and other fans of the "Black 'n' Gold," the basketball Tigers from Columbia are both in dire straits -- Coach Robin Pingeton's women were third from last in the SEC on Wednesday, and facing No. 1 South Carolina (21-0), on Thursday night. Coach Dennis Gates' men were drubbed 79-60 by Texas A&M on Wednesday, on the Tigers' home court and are dead last in the conference.

Conversely, the Arkansas women stood 17-7 in the overall conference rankings and were 5-4 before Thursday's meeting with Florida (11-9 overall and 2-6 in the SEC) on the Gators' home court.

It's a bit comforting to know that there are numerous really good basketball teams -- men's and women's -- around the country and watching them is quite entertaining.

And when we hoops aficionados get past the angsts of the basketball season and related tournaments, there's baseball, softball, tennis, and golf to draw our attention.

And should we become frustrated with the wins and losses of some of these athletic activities, we can always read a good book.

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