While interviewing long-time Whitley County Lady Colonels head coach Larry Anderson for a game preview of his showdown with Clay County, Larry and I had an interesting conversation about several things. Before I get into that, I want to stress how much I have enjoyed working with coach Anderson over the course of my career in both the newspaper and radio world. Anderson is always easy to talk to whether his team is on the winning side of things or not. That’s something that sports journalists really appreciate and I have to say, the coaches we deal with in our coverage area are in the same category as Anderson. Sure, there have been times when a tough loss stings to no end for coaches, but the people we deal with have been excellent more times than not as far as making themselves available for comment before and after games and for that, I thank them.
Now, back to my talk with coach Anderson. he brought to my attention the way the region tournament draw is conducted and I’ve never really thought about it until now. The draw is done alphabetically, with the district champion teams going first and the runners up second. It’s to my understanding that this is something that doesn’t change year in and year out Anderson pointed out that teams like Whitley County, Williamsburg and South Laurel are basically stuck with what is left as far as pairings and doesn’t get to “draw.”
I’m quite sure my opinion doesn’t really mean much, but why not change things up and allow the teams to rotate the draw on a yearly basis, especially if they insist on them being done alphabetically. One year the teams like Bell, Barbourville and Clay could go first, while the next season Whitley and Williamsburg get the first crack.
The second thing we talked about was the subject of a shot clock in high school basketball. There are eight states that use the shot clock in high school, including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Washington. Most of them have a 30-second clock, while a few have a 35-second clock. I know there are a lot of purists who will likely have to catch their breath at the thought of this, but I have an easy explanation. High school basketball is supposed to get student-athletes ready to play college basketball, which has a shot clock. What better way to prepare kids than to play by the same rules. Like I said, none of this will ever reach anyone that has a say so in the matter, but like it or not,
that’s my opinion.