We're really excited about this one here at the Three Count. We have an insider at the University of Iowa's Men's basketball camp this week. Longtime readers of this blog knows one of our favorite high school basketball coaches in the state of Iowa is Mr. $2 Popcorn himself, Drew Stonewall. The head girls basketball coach at West Central Valley is a recurring figure in the Three Count. Well this week, he is going to be a mainstay of the Three Count as he reports to us from his time working the Iowa Hawkeye basketball team camp.
I'm not sure the age level of the campers this week but he will be helping run the camp alongside other high school coaches, Iowa basketball coaches, and Coach Fran McCaffery himself. Camp runs from Sunday to Wednesday. Our plan at the Three Count is to call Coach Stonewall each night after camp and get a report on how camp is going and what he is learning from Coach McCaffery. As always, this reporting and these quotes will be 100% accurate and definitely not made up.
So here was Coach Stonewall's breakdown of Day One of camp yesterday:
"Really great first day here in Iowa City. The structure is an all-day camp where campers spend the night and really just work on basketball all day. It's like Jake Mohling's Utopia here. The Iowa Hawkeye staff sets up the schedule and drills and basically runs the camp and then us high school coaches help out and assist them. Then Coach McCaffery stops by once a day for an hour to work on whatever he feels like coaching each day. Like today's area with Coach McCaffery was title 'Late Game Execution'.
McCaffery started out by saying 'OK guys, elephant in the room here. We haven't been very good in late game situations the past couple years here. We've lost one or two or eight or twelve games we probably should have won. But that doesn't mean you change what you believe in. We have our principles and beliefs as an organization and we are going to stick to those. And one thing we believe in here at Iowa is being aggressive at the end of games.'
'We preach to be aggressive at the end of games...try to put pressure on the opponents. Now granted most of the times the other team handles that pressure better than we do and we blow leads late in the game and end up losing, but for every five or six games we've lost with this strategy we've also won a couple the same way. Eventually those will balance each other out. So even though it hasn't work recently for us, we are going to keep doing the same things because that's what we believe in. Pretty similar to what Coach Ferentz and his staff do over there on the football field."
So Coach McCaffery lead the campers through some late game situation drills. He put 30 seconds on the shot clock and had the offense run through their set but they had to shoot the ball before the shot clock got down to 16 seconds.
"Even with the lead, we want to extend the game as much as possible. Don't worry about great shots, just get a shot up to put pressure on the defense."
He did some more drills with the campers that I won't get into much detail about but it was really fun to see Fran in action. Even early in the camp week, it's easy to see how he's guided his teams to so much NIT success over the years. Just thorough with his explanations and thoughts. Looking forward to the rest of the week here in Iowa City. I'll check back in with you and your readers tomorrow night.
Longtime readers of this blog also know that all we do here at Thoughts From The 808 is give out Locks. The winner of the 2017 US Open yesterday: Brooks Koepka. If that name sounds familiar to our readers, it may be because we mentioned him in our preview blog on Wednesday.....
Let's look at some possible betting outcomes you could have taken from our preview article.
There were 8 names mentioned in that blog: Pieters (40/1), Fowler (18/1), Stenson, Watson, Koepka, Stricker (100/1), Grillo (150/1), and Bradley (200/1). Pieters was our suggested pick and then we said to also look at the three mentioned above. So really we gave out 4 people to look at....and then 3 other long shots if you were were feeling risky, along with Ricky Fowler as the safe pick. So really 4 picks and others but let's say you just put one full unit on all 8 just to cover our bases. That's 8 full units bet. At 40/1 odds for Koepka, that means you'd get 41 units back for a net winnings of 33 units. You bet $10 on everyone, you woulda won $310. You bet $100, you woulda got back $3100.
So maybe you did some other variations of betting too. like half units on the long shots or a double/triple unit on our main bet of Pieters. Either way.....you were getting back about 30x what you put in. You're welcome.
Had the Money In The Bank PPV slotted for this third spot all day and then the Paul George news broke and I thought I'd have to put that into the third spot instead. But I think I'm going to hold off on talking about the PG13 situation until tomorrow. It's going to need some length and this blog has already ran long. Plus, getting an extra day to sort out details and thoughts may be best anyways. Although my initial reaction is while I'm disappointed, it does make sense and ultimately getting a heads up that he's on his way out is probably best for the franchise.
But for Money In The Bank last night, I thought that was a perfect example of a "WWE Network Era" type of PPV. A show were I'd probably be upset with many of the outcomes if I had to pay $40-$45 to watch it but since it's part of a $10 a month package, it wasn't too bad. It was a show that didn't finalize too much but instead furthered on some angles and set you up to watch how they unfold on Tuesday night. That's not exactly what you want from a PPV you pay big bucks for but something you can live with if the show is an add-on to the package you are already buying.
For example, if I paid $45 to see the first women be crowned Ms. Money in the Bank I would have been pretty disappointed with that Women's match ending. But I can live with it to see how everything shakes out on SmackDown this Tuesday now that it was only $10 with my WWE Network subscription. Same with the Tag Team Championship match. A count out for a championship match? It will advance the storyline but I'd be pissed if that was what I saw with my $45.
My only real disappointment from the show was the reveal of The Ascension as Breezango's attackers. I was hoping for someone bigger or newer. The Ascension seem like a let down. And then for Breezagno to only win that match by a roll-up was confusing as well. If WWE is serious about pushing these guys and giving them multiple segments on SmackDown each week then I'd say you could give them a decisive win over The Ascension.
A lot of other stuff on the card that was great though. The Jinder/Randy match was pretty entertaining from start to finish. The Fashion Vice stuff was great again. The men put on a great Money In The Bank match and we got our first real glimpse of AJ vs. Shinsuke in a WWE ring. Their staredown and quick battle was fun. Add in the debut of Mike Bennett and Maria along with Lana being better than I expected her to be and all-in-all we have a fun night of wrestling...especially when I didn't have to pay $45 for it.