The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 15, 2014

Pick 3: Gary Fauber's answers

Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

The best hire? That’s a tough one. D’Antoni is obviously knowledgeable about the game. You don’t put together a successful career as an NBA head coach without knowing a thing or two. Plus, he’s from Wyoming County, where a new basketball is just as essential at birth as diapers and a car seat.

But he’s never coached at the college level, and if you think it’s tough trying to lead a bunch of entitled millionaires, imagine trying to corral 12 or 13 early-twentysomethings who know everything.

If the answer to the question is based on who is available — and willing — then absolutely. The pitfall of Marshall’s search stretching into a second month is that many potential candidates have already gone elsewhere. But the feeling has to be that the reason the process is still unresolved is because D’Antoni is receptive to returning to his alma mater. All indications are that the Mullens native will no longer be coaching the Lakers after tonight’s finalé at San Antonio, so he’ll be in the market for a job.

No, Marshall can’t afford the $4 million D’Antoni currently makes in Tinsel Town. But, at this point, he is probably set financially. He will be 63 next month — what better way for him to wind down his coaching career, settling into retirement in a slower way of life in his home state?

If D’Antoni is willing, Marshall has to make the move.

Two weeks into the season, do you like Major League Baseball’s new replay system?

Yes. I’m as much a baseball traditionalist as the next guy, but we’re living in an age where technological advancement is apparent everywhere you go. It’s there; we might as well use it.

The same applies to MLB and its venture into the world of instant replay. So many plays are bang-bang and calls have to be made quickly. In real time, umpires cannot be blamed for getting one wrong.

If replay had been available in 2010, Jim Leyland could have challenged Jim Joyce’s botched safe call that cost Armando Galarragga a perfect game.

The system has come under fire already because there have been a few questionable calls after a play has been reviewed. Yes, it’s imperfect. We’re less than three weeks into something completely new, and there will be wrinkles to iron out. Television angles have to be perfected, and that’s not easy when dimensions and viewpoints are not the same at any given stadium. Give it time.

Is the new WVSSAC rule allowing practices throughout the summer best for the student-athletes?

That depends on the coaches and their willingness to work not only with one another, but with the student-athletes themselves. In no way can coaches hold it against a player for missing time during a summer program because he or she goes on vacation.

And that time should not be limited to Fourth of July week. It’s unfair and impractical to expect families to be handcuffed into taking a family trip on a specific seven-day window because coaches want to make sure their players know how to tackle or tag up from third.

If coaches are willing to bend and not dangle the threat of decreased playing time in front of a 16-year-old, then the rule could be beneficial to both the student-athlete and the program.

— E-mail: gfauber and follow on Twitter


Pick 3 is a regular feature of The Register-

Herald where two of our sports writers debate three major topics in the world of sports.

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