November 27, 2019

Outrebounded.

A strange word — blogged long ago — reappears today, in "Duke, the Nation’s No. 1 Team, Loses to Unranked Stephen F. Austin" (NYT)("the biggest upset in the N.C.A.A. in 15 seasons").

I don't really understand how the Lumberjacks won. I'm not a basketball person. But I see that they "were outrebounded, outassisted and outshot by Duke." And I am a language person, and "outrebounded" jumped right out at me as I know it did the last time I saw it, in March 2015, when I wrote "Outré basketball commentary of the day":
I'm not much of a sports person... [especially]...basketball. I want the Badgers to win everything, of course, but I'm a complete outsider to basketball.

So I have my outré commentary. 5 days ago, I called it "the indoor game with unusually large people — men in silky skorts — in a cramped, squeaky place." 2 days ago, I commented on the chairs:

[T]hey bring chairs out onto the field of play during time outs so they can sit and talk. They never bring chairs out in baseball or football. Chairs! Ridiculous!
See what I mean? Outré commentary. You know what outré means, don't you?
bizarre, bizarro, cranky, crazy, curious, eccentric, erratic, far-out, funky, funny, kinky, kooky... offbeat, off-kilter, off-the-wall, outlandish, out-of-the-way, odd, peculiar, quaint, queer, queerish, quirky, remarkable, rum [chiefly British], screwy, spaced-out, strange, wacky... way-out, weird, weirdo, wild
So I'm reading about last night's big upset, fragments of which I saw out of the corner of my eye as I edited home movies from the 1950s, did the Sunday crossword on the iPad, and chatted on the telephone about the TV show "Shameless." "Did a big upset just happen?" I asked upon getting off the phone. Yeah, it kind of did. Good, I like upsets. Upsets seem exciting. So, this morning, I was reading "North Carolina State Adds to Its Lore by Shocking Top-Seeded Villanova" in the NYT:
North Carolina State pummeled the Wildcats in the paint, outrebounding them by 45-32. And the Wolfpack complemented that strong play down low — forwards Abdul-Malik Abu and Lennard Freeman each had a double-double — with dynamic guard play. 
Outrebounding. What is that, some sort of bizarro, eccentric, erratic, funky, kinky, kooky, outlandish, spaced-out, weirdo, wacky bounding? Now, that I would like to see. I'm just about to express my fascination with this new basketball word I've discovered in the New York Times when I see that it's out-rebounding, not outré-bounding and that my hope for something screwy and oh-but-they're-so-spaced-out about basketball is shattered.

70 comments:

Wince said...

A strange word — blogged long ago — reappears today, in "Duke, the Nation’s No. 1 Team, Loses to Unranked Stephen F. Austin"

Unfair. Performance enhancement!

After all, we rebuilt him, "we have the technology".

Rick.T. said...

SAF made 36 field goals. Duke made only 27 and also missed 10 3 point shots and 16 free throws. The game is to make the most points not take the most shots.

Of course if we scored the game like Hillary supporters scored the 2016 election, Duke would still be undefeated.

rcocean said...

Duke played bad basketball at the end. Usually they are well coached. They had the ball - tied game - with ten seconds left - first they bobbled a pass, then they missed a shot, got the rebound, missed again, and then turned the ball over an allowed a S.A. player to go all the way and dunk the ball at the last second.


According to the announcer S.A. got 62 points in the paint, which means Duke is going nowhere this year.


rcocean said...

These kinda of game make me wonder if someone got paid off. Just Sayin'

Ann Althouse said...

"SAF made 36 field goals. Duke made only 27 and also missed 10 3 point shots and 16 free throws."

This is my number 1 problem with basketball. (Ask Meade.) How can you miss a free throw? If you're playing at a level that I'm supposed to watch on television, you should have figured that out by now. Why can't they do it every time? It just seems so profoundly stupid to me. The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up on the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.

Yancey Ward said...

Stephen F. Austin usually has a really good team. They are regular tournament participants over the last decade, and very competive even when facing much higher seeded teams. I don't think this was even the biggest upset of the year, though- Kentucky lost as a the No.1 team just a couple of weeks ago to Evansville at Rupp Arena.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

hyphen...or accent aigu ??

Yancey Ward said...

I think Duke and Kentucky's losses both reflect a problem that both programs struggle with increasingly- the high turnover year after year from One and Done recruits means they nearly have a completely new team every year- that inexperience hurts more and more, and neither program has adjusted to the new reality yet.

I keep hoping the NBA will start allowing the drafting of these One and Done players right out of high school again- One and Done has ruined my enjoyment of college basketball as a Kentucky fan, and this has happened even when they have had deep runs into the tournament. It is hard to be a fan when it is a completely new team every year.

traditionalguy said...

Weirdo words. The story says Stephen F Austin is unr-anked.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I’m amazed that someone with Althouse’s thorough indifference to the game hasn’t garnered an offer from ESPN to write about basketball.

Big Mike said...

How can you miss a free throw?

Very, very easily.

Mark O said...

I am a Dukie, and a loyal basketball fan. Duke's ranking was massively wrong. This is a mediocre Duke team and it will be a long, long year for me. On the other hand, I may not need to watch as many games as I usually do.

If only there were a word for the satisfaction Duke haters feel for my sadness.

stevew said...

Missing a free throw is a mental rather than physical error; like missing a short putt in golf.

Outre - Bounded. I have seen that word, outrebounded, in print innumerable times but never read it that way.

Yancey Ward said...

Growing up, I was great shooter from the free throw line when I wasn't playing an actual game- I once hit 93 in a row, and could almost always put together a streak of 20 or more in any given session. It really is just practice making as perfect as possible. However, in a game, it is always different- in junior high I shot around 70% from the line- you are just a bit more tired than you would be in practice, and it makes a difference.

Ice Nine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"How can you miss a free throw? If you're playing at a level that I'm supposed to watch on television, you should have figured that out by now."

Amen.

mockturtle said...

No basketball fan, either, Althouse. For largely the same reasons plus the fact that the whole game comes down to the final two or three minutes. The rest is just a waste of time. But I do watch March Madness and try to pick a favorite or two [my alma mater never makes the playoffs].

Ice Nine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

If you're playing at a level that I'm supposed to watch on television
For Pro Ball, I agree. Not so much for College.

iowan2 said...

How can you miss a free throw?From your keyboard to my dads ears. Also from my dad, MOVE!

Rebounds are possessions. Statistically more possessions, more points. Unless Defense messes up your offensive production. On a statistical basis, the game is about possessions.

Ice Nine said...

Althouse>>This is my number 1 problem with basketball. (Ask Meade.) How can you miss a free throw? If you're playing at a level that I'm supposed to watch on television, you should have figured that out by now. Why can't they do it every time? It just seems so profoundly stupid to me. The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up on the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.<<

Never played basketball, I see. Or any ball sport, perhaps?

I presume it was a non-serious question. But if in fact it was serious, I'll ask you a couple serious non-serious questions:

Why can't a baseball pitcher throw strikes every time? The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up..., and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.

Why can't a bowler roll strikes every time? The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.

Tennis players/aces. Archers/bullseyes. And for that matter, why can't a Tiddlywinker hit the pot every time? Practice makes perfect doesn't it?

...Well, no, it doesn't.

Original Mike said...

"For Pro Ball, I agree. Not so much for College."

Agreed. College students are supposed to attend college, after all.

Maillard Reactionary said...

Well, there's at least one thing that Our Hostess and I fully agree on: the total uninterestingness of basketball. It's almost interesting, how uninteresting it is. Almost.

It's in the same class as soccer in that respect. Soccer might be a better game if the pitch (field) were 25-30% smaller in each dimension, with the same number of players. I'm not volunteering to watch it to find out, though.

For nonstop entertaining mayhem, you can't touch rugby, in my opinion. High-T thrills and spills from guys who are obviously having lots of fun doing it. Why it's never caught on in the US is a mystery to me.

Francisco D said...

I think Duke and Kentucky's losses both reflect a problem that both programs struggle with increasingly- the high turnover year after year from One and Done recruits means they nearly have a completely new team every year- that inexperience hurts more and more, and neither program has adjusted to the new reality yet.

Basketball has a mental component that takes time to develop. Good college coaches teach players why their team plays a certain way and why the opponents play a certain way. If you understand the game, your physical skills are used to their best effect. Unfortunately, most college freshmen need more than a year to develop the cognitive skills to understand the game.

Colleges are basically renting incredible HS athletes for a year before they go to the pros. The "one-and-done" process does not help college basketball nor does it help those kids.

Earnest Prole said...

If only there were a word for the satisfaction Duke haters feel for my sadness.

I believe there is: human.

The joke, see, is that tout le monde hates Duke . . .

bleh said...

“This is my number 1 problem with basketball. (Ask Meade.) How can you miss a free throw? If you're playing at a level that I'm supposed to watch on television, you should have figured that out by now. Why can't they do it every time? It just seems so profoundly stupid to me. The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up on the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.”

If they could do it every time, there would be no point in doing it. That’s why PAT was so boring and pointless until the NFL moved it back and made it more difficult.

Fernandinande said...

"Duke, the Nation’s No. 1 Team, Loses to Unranked Stephen F. Austin"

A whole team playing against one guy doesn't sound fair. I think it was rigged, or "fixed", as they say in the parlance of the vernacular.

Original Mike said...

"For nonstop entertaining mayhem, you can't touch rugby, in my opinion."

Union or League?

Sebastian said...

"Why can't they do it every time? It just seems so profoundly stupid to me."

A retired blogger has unlimited opportunity to get comments right, and with a reasonably aware male in the house one could always get actual information on a sports-related topic, and after years and years of practice one would think it gets easier to avoid blunders, so -- This comment seems so profoundly stupid to me. In fact, so profoundly stupid that it must be a deliberate provocation by a non-athlete, enjoyably triggering in its way. Otherwise -- otherwise, I would ask Althouse to think deeply about her inability to see the world from the perspective of people that are not like her, doing things she can't do.

Anyway, some of the most hand-eye-coordinated humans that ever lived, Steph Curry and Steve Nash, have all-time-best career FT percentages just over 90.

Earnest Prole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Begonia said...

Here comes the general!

We are outgunned, outmanned, out-rebounded, outplanned!

bagoh20 said...

"Why can't they do it every time? It just seems so profoundly stupid to me. The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up on the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect."

If you want to understand it, think of it like causing or having an orgasm.

Earnest Prole said...

Why can't a baseball pitcher throw strikes every time?

Any college or professional pitcher can, but if he did he’d have an ERA of 30+ and games would take days like cricket.

robother said...

They created the term "outrebound" for the extremely outre Dennis Rodman (who pretty much outrebounded everyone.)

Automatic_Wing said...

Outassisted is a much stranger word than outrebounded.

Steven said...

If players could make free throws every time, they'd change the rules to make it harder. The free throw line accordingly will always be somewhere where the percentage is low enough to make it interesting.

rehajm said...

Steven Austin is one of those schools with good coaching that recruits coachable athletes and gives the glamour squads fits. Not the first time they’ve done it...

Ann’s right- it’s stupid how poor players are at free throws. Bill Bradley was the biggest critic. Just throw it granny style, he’d say. A few kids tried that but were shamed out of it by the constant taunting.

Strategic inefficiencies persist in basketball for some reason. Malcom Gladwell has a few stories about them. I think he theorized you could win a bunch of championships if you bought the Denver Nuggets and recruited some average shooters willing to play full court defense.

Greg the class traitor said...

According to the announcer S.A. got 62 points in the paint, which means Duke is going nowhere this year.

There's clearly going to be a lot of people reviewing the video from this one

Duke opponents: How did they get through so often?
Duke: How did we get burned so often?

bagoh20 said...
"Why can't they do it every time?"

If you want to understand it, think of it like causing or having an orgasm.

bagoh20 wins the threat.

One year in college we had a great player who was constantly getting fouled, because he sucked at the free throw line. He practiced free throws, a lot, and was a very good shot, in practice. When his adrenaline wasn't pumping from the game, he was better than 90%

When his adrenaline was pumping, at game time, he was 50%.

It's not a problem I know how to solve. It's easy to say "practice with your adrenaline up!" Harder to make that work in reality.

robother said...

"If players could make free throws every time, they'd change the rules to make it harder."

But see, PAT in football.

Virgil Hilts said...

Flat-footed free throw is different that any other shot that you take during a game. You can practice and lots of NBA shooters while in gym can shoot 95%, maybe 15 or 20 in a row. But in game guys in front of you on each side, people in stands screaming for you to miss, no flow or rhythm, and you may be sweating, your arm muscles sore or tight. If free-throwing by itself was a Olympic sport (like archery), guys would shoot 96-97 out of 100. Steve Nash would have won maybe 4 gold medals.

Ice Nine said...

>>Ann’s right- it’s stupid how poor players are at free throws. Bill Bradley was the biggest critic. Just throw it granny style, he’d say.

Had Ann said anything like, "it’s stupid how poor players are at free throws," she might be "right." But she didn't - she said, "Why can't they (hit free throws) *every time*?"

And Bill Bradley doesn't help her much with her question, given the fact that his career free throw percentage was 84.

SeanF said...

Ice Nine: Why can't a bowler roll strikes every time? The game grinds to a halt, they all stop and line up the edges, and one guy has ONE JOB that is always exactly the same and that he has had unlimited time to practice and perfect.

I had the same thought, but of course in bowling it's not "exactly the same" every time. The oil on the lane changes.

Sebastian said...

"If you want to understand it, think of it like causing or having an orgasm.

bagoh20 wins the threat."

That's a threat? To Althouse?

Earnest Prole said...

It's easy to say "practice with your adrenaline up!" Harder to make that work in reality.

At my high school every basketball practice would end with the entire team doing windsprints of the most brutal kind (quarter court and back, half court and back, three-quarters court and back, full court and back, touching the lines with your hand each time). After ten minutes of this a single player would step to the free-throw line, and if he could hit three free throws in a row with his exhausted teammates looking on, practice was over for everyone. If not, windsprints continued and the free-throw process repeated. It produced a team whose players were absolutely fit and absolutely cool under late-game free-throw pressure.

mockturtle said...

Fernandistein observes: A whole team playing against one guy doesn't sound fair. I think it was rigged, or "fixed", as they say in the parlance of the vernacular.

But Duke probably committed five times as many fouls. That may have been the decisive factor. ;-)

roadgeek said...

SFA is a small school in East Texas. My wife asked this morning if this was the college in Huntsville, and I reminded her that SFA was in Nacogdoches while Sam Houston State was in Huntsville. The Lumberjacks play in the Southland Conference. The sense I got from various stories I've read is that SFA has a very strong defense, and that Duke suffered from too many young and inexperienced players. As I told my wife this morning, an Appalachian State can happen anywhere, at any time, and any place.

Francisco D said...

my high school every basketball practice would end with the entire team doing windsprints of the most brutal kind (quarter court and back, half court and back, three-quarters court and back, full court and back, touching the lines with your hand each time).

We called them "linies".

I was the best linie runner on my HS BB team. Unfortunately, I wasn't very good at anything else, so I sat on the bench. What a come-down from being a Jr. HS BB star.

MikeR said...

I had no idea what you were talking about till the last line. Most of us, of course, read out-rebounded correctly the first time.
Now try "unionized".

Tomcc said...

It was not a beautifully played game, but it was fun to watch. I do believe that coach K will be emphasizing free throws for the foreseeable future!

Ann Althouse said...

"Flat-footed free throw is different that any other shot that you take during a game. You can practice and lots of NBA shooters while in gym can shoot 95%, maybe 15 or 20 in a row. But in game guys in front of you on each side, people in stands screaming for you to miss, no flow or rhythm, and you may be sweating, your arm muscles sore or tight...."

Buncha babies.

Ann Althouse said...

I say learn it. Practice. You know you're going to have to do it, exactly that one thing. You can practice alone. Damn it. Get it right. I don't want to watch these failures. So annoying!!

Greg the class traitor said...

Ann Althouse said...
I say learn it. Practice. You know you're going to have to do it, exactly that one thing. You can practice alone. Damn it. Get it right. I don't want to watch these failures. So annoying!!

No, you can't practice it alone

Or, rather, they can and do practice it alone, but that leaves them in the current situation

Rick.T. said...


"How can you miss a free throw?"

Revisionist History had that covered. For the impatient, basically is boils down to the reluctance to shoot them underhanded:

http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/03-the-big-man-cant-shoot

"...the whole game comes down to the final two or three minutes."

Just like mankind's favorite sport!

Wilbur said...

I'm half serious - You and Meade should schedule a lesson on shooting next spring with the inimitable Richard Mount of Lebanon, Indiana. He has a website presence, and probably knows more about shooting a basketball than anyone else. If anyone could explain shooting to you, AA, it's The Rocket.

It would be a pleasant spring drive drive to Lebanon. And you'll enjoy the lesson in his driveway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFPs43KZZT8

Wilbur said...

https://www.facebook.com/RickMountShootingSchool/

Jim at said...

So SFA was defeated in all the statistical categories except the one that counted.

I think I've seen this movie before.

Iowan2 said...

Bagoh20 @ 10:17 nails it. Attempting to take the mental and psychological aspect separate from the physical part of the game reveals the reason

Iowan2 said...

I think our host is doing to us, the same thing Trump does to the media.

Maillard Reactionary said...

MikeR @12:00 PM: You can't be positive if you're unionized.

Dave Begley said...

Former Creighton, Colorado and Appalachian State basketball coach used to tell the story about the nun who noticed the Jays were not shooting well from the line.

Nun, “Coach, the team should practice shooting free throws.”

Apke, “Thanks, Sister. I’d never thought of that.”

Dave Begley said...

I know the Grad Assistant for the Badgers. Creighton alum. I could get Althouse into practice and Ann could show the team how to shoot free throws.

rcocean said...

Actually the crowd has zero to do with missing free throws. Most players tune them out. I did when I played. And even the best FT shooter will miss 10%. But there's no excuse for Duke to have shot 50% in the 2nd half. Unless you're a big Galoot like Wilt or Shaq, ANYONE can shoot at least 70% if they practice. Duke would've won with that percent.

Rick Barry shot underhanded, and proved its the best way to make free-throws, but almost no one has copied him, because it looks "Uncool".

rcocean said...

I shot 85% in HS. Its all just a matter of finding what particular "stroke"/Spot works best for you, and then making sure you repeat that *exactly* during the game. Always shoot from the same spot, with the same rhythm.

richlb said...

Not the biggest upset in 15 years. Less than 2 years ago we had the #1 losing to #16 in the tourney. I'd say that was the biggest upset in the last 15 years.

Bob said...

"How can you miss a free throw?"

Like impeachment, they're not slam dunks.

Unlike impeachment, you can get better with practice.

traditionalguy said...

In 1820 it was Stephen F. Austin who founded the American colony of 300 Scots-Irish farmers at Nacogdoches with Spain's permission. Within 10 years the American population had reached 30,000. But then the current Mexican tyrant suddenly revoked Spanish Land Grants and decided to exterminate the Farmers. Fortunately for Austin, the Texicans had engaged the services of Sam Houston and Jim Bowie as military leadership for their volunteers. They had their rifles. And they also had one small cannon a out which they famously replied to Santa Anna's surrender demand , " come and take it."

Needless to say, the next battle was an upset, and it was not the Texicans that got slaughtered.

Francisco D said...

I don't want to watch these failures. So annoying!!

Some gentle trolling from our hostess.

Funny.

Elliott A said...

In over 1000 games, Rick Barry averaged 89.98% on free throws. All shot underhanded with two hands. Only 3 people have ever done better

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"I dont ever want to hear the term "FREE THROW" ever again" --$AOC

madAsHell said...

How can you miss a free throw?

Didn't Barack go 1 for 22?