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JONFINEPRODUCTIONS.COM NEWSLETTER  2/20/20
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DSHS HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS:  The Denham Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the tenth class of inductees through March 31.  Hall of Fame nomination guidelines for the Class of 2020 are available to the public on the DSHS website at www.denhamspringshs.org or by picking up a copy at the school office.  For more information, contact Jim Spring at jimspring53 [at] hotmail [dot] com or (225) 588 0366
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THE WIZARDRY OF OS
By Scott Osborne
Assistant Basketball Coach at Central High School

        I apologize to the traditionalists in advance, but I have gone over to the other side.  It is not necessarily the dark side, but it is the Elam Ending side.  I also must admit that I didn’t even know what an Elam Ending was a week ago.
        If you didn’t watch the NBA All-Star game, chances are that you don’t know about the Elam Ending either.  To save you a quick Google search, I will try and explain quickly.
        A professor at the University of Dayton, Nick Elam, came up with this alternative way of deciding the winner of basketball games.  He came up with the idea while watching the end of a college basketball game take forever with fouls and the other catch up strategies that take place.
The idea is at some point to stop the clock and come up with a target score where the first team to reach that target score is the winner.  The idea is similar to pick up basketball where the first team to 10 wins.   At the All-Star game, 24 points (in honor of Kobe Bryant) was added to the leading team at the start of the fourth quarter and that was the target score.
        I heard an interview with Dr. Elam, and he suggested for actual games to stop the clock with three minutes left.  At that point, add 8 points to the leading team and that would be the target score.  For example, if the Pelicans were leading the Jazz 100-96 with three minutes left in the game the target score would be 108 points.  The first team to reach 108 points would win. 
        My first reaction was that this method was an abomination.  But then I listened, thought, and was won over.  I love basketball in a way that is similar to the love for soccer in Brazil and other parts of the world.  In Brazil, they call it the beautiful game.  While soccer has its moments of beauty, in my opinion there is too much that gets in the way of the beauty.  Over the years, I have given many ideas to help with the beauty, and my best idea (if I do say so myself) is more substitutes to keep players fresh and maintain the tempo (beauty) of the game.
        Looking at myself in the mirror, I have to acknowledge that the end of basketball games are often filled with long walks to the free throw line, timeouts, and a complete lack of flow.  The Elam Ending solves this issue and helps keep the flow of the game that I enjoy.
        The Elam Ending is similar to volleyball and tennis where there are exciting set and match points.  A game point is more interesting than watching a player simply dribble out the clock. 
With the Elam Ending, overtime is eliminated as well.  While long overtime games can be legendary, so too can be an Elam Ending where a team trailing can get consecutive stops and then score to come back and win. 
        High school basketball would benefit tremendously.  Without a shot clock, the fourth quarter of games often turns into watching players dribble around half court until the defense has to foul.  Some states have adopted a shot clock, but the Elam Ending would be a much cheaper solution.  Of course, the shot clock makers would complain, but so be it.
        If the Elam Ending started with three minutes left in a high school game, teams would be encouraged to keep playing and extend their lead instead of spreading the ball and killing time.
        Naturally, nothing is perfect.  The biggest flaw of the Elam Ending is trying to get players in the game that don’t normally get to play.  The way the game is played now, if a team is winning by 20, it doesn’t matter if they get out scored by 10 in the last three minutes.  They still won by 10.  But, with the Elam Ending it would certainly be more risky to empty the bench.  Hopefully, professor Elam can come up with an idea to handle this issue. 
        That was going to be the end, but then I saw some great news.  Drew Brees is coming back.  Let’s enjoy the ride Saints fans.  Who Dat!
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HEY REF
BY DENNIS DEARIE
VETERAN LOUISIANA HS REFEREE

        I agree the 2019 LSU football team was one for the ages. From top to bottom there wasn’t a weak link. As they say “to the victor goes the spoils”! The Tiger program has a huge target on its back now and rightly so. As it has always been wherever the reigning champs play their next game they will find opponents licking their chops wanting to be the team that takes ‘em down. And as it happened Coach “O’s” staff had a few choice holes to plug since we now live in a “what have you done for me today” mentality.
        I hate this next cliché but coaches have to strike while the iron is hot and for most that means packing up and getting out of town to new challenges and bigger paydays. So, I’ve got nothing bad to say about those coaches that’ve hit the road and placed Baton Rouge in their rearview mirror. It’s just the nature of the beast so Tiger fans shouldn’t get upset.
        While I was doing a little internet “surfing” I came across ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early” preseason top 25. At first I thought they got the name right but for the Tiger faithful there’s no such thing as “Too Early”. So, where did ESPN place the 2020 Tigers? Maybe second or third but no lower than the number five spot, right? Well… The gurus at ESPN have LSU barely sitting in the top 10. Since they call this their Way Too Early rankings nobody should get upset. LSU hangs onto a number eight “too early” spot.
        Let’s take a quick peek where they place other schools and as usual the SEC is well represented. Alabama is solid at #3, Georgia takes the fourth spot while Florida sits one place ahead of LSU at #7. Texas A&M comes in with the eleventh spot while Auburn is close to the Aggies at # 14. LSU’s position in this poll comes a little below what you’d expect from a team that mowed every program over in ’19 but the Tigers will be putting a lot of new faces on the field since it lost eight juniors to the NFL draft.
        It’s no secret that the loss of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda along with Joe Brady who brought in a completely new passing offensive scheme are huge losses. LSU has brought back Bo Pelini for a second time and Scott Linehan who has NFL coaching experience hoping they’ll keep the Tigers rolling. Along with a recruiting class that ranks fourth nationally and two top replacements on Coach O’s staff LSU should be in line to compete for both the SEC Championship and a return to the NCAA playoffs.
        If LSU can keep people healthy there’s no reason why the Tigers shouldn’t be in the thick of another possible run at back to back National Championships.
 Till next week….
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