Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Keith Krehbiel: An Artist Like It's 1999

I found an old drawing in my desk drawer. The "artist" is Keith Krehbiel, famed political scientist at Stanford.

To set the scene, the background for this drawing was the end of the 1999 NCAA tournament where Trajan "The Alaskan Assassin" Langdon screwed the pooch on two consecutive trips down the floor. The Krehbiel drawing immortalizes the second trip. Here is the video of the end of the game. The relevant events start at about 1:45. Dr. Krehbiel was moved to artistic expression....
...by the "play" Duke ran. The reason I use scare quotes is that, as Dr. Krehbiel points out, the Duke players pretty much lined up for a rebound, and let Langdon bring the ball up by himself against three defenders. And, as Dr. Krehbiel further notes on the drawing, Langdon's nickname was "The Alaskan Assassin," not "The Speedy Alaskan Dribbler."

What happened was that Langdon dribbled up, stopped, tried to dribble between three defenders, and then fell down. Never took a shot, never made a pass.

Admittedly, Davidson ran this same (non)play against Kansas in the final 8 game three years ago. But Duke actually had other players, including Elton Brand, who might well have scored. And, if you watch, Curry passed the ball and at least they got a shot off. Yes, they missed, but the guys took a shot. Langdon took a dive.

Keith Krehbiel, artiste and man of the world: Thanks.


Kenny "The Cambridge Assassin" Shepsle said...

The NEW Coach K -- Coach Krehbiel.

John Thacker said...

Langdon was fouled on the play before. But he should've known-- the entire game that year was called "Big East style," where they don't bother calling fouls if it makes it more exciting, particularly at the end of games.

Mungowitz said...

Well, Ken is quite right. Dr. Krehbiel does not believe in teams, and expects policy to take place at the center. So "Coach K" asks, "WHAT parties?"

But John T has a point. You can see on the video that that was just a straight up foul. Langdon "traveled" because he was pushed.

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