The road to the 2007 Final Four in Atlanta must go through Rock Hill, South Carolina as Winthrop defeated VMI yesterday 84-81 to win the Big South Championship. VMI's near upset bid was predicated on their season-long strategy of all offense, no defense. The Lexington, Virginia military college ranked first in nearly every offensive category because they adopted the "Shock and Awe" strategy developed by their head coach Don Rumsfeld. "When I thought this offense up, I thought for sure I was a gosh-darn genius." said Rumsfeld. "Everybody's always talking about ball-movement, being patient, and looking for the good shot. Pardon my French, but those coaches are pussy-footers. Dr. Naismith, the great patriot he was, designed this game for players to take it to the frickin' rack. I tell my players to call the lane or the key the 'fertile crescent' because, if they take the orange there, they're going to score. And if they get stonewalled, no problem, just kick it out to the perimeter for a long three bomb. If we use more than ten seconds on the shot clock, we've had the ball way too long – in and out, that's my philosophy."
VMI Assistant Coach Paul Wolfowitz echoed Rumsfeld's sentiments, "Other coaches spend way too much time preaching defense, when the game is about scoring. The other team is going to shoot and make buckets, you can't stop that. Securing your goal is like securing something intangible because it's impossible." When asked if the system was flawed because VMI finished 14-19 this season, Wolfowitz explained, "Coach Rumsfeld's system works, if we lose it's because of execution. I mean, God bless these kids – they're decent ballplayers and want to kill for our country, but sometimes they can't hit a barn door with a machine gun."
Rumsfeld concluded: "We may have lost the battle, but, you can bet your butt, we'll win the war. All we have to do is win the hearts and minds of the Selection Committee, and we'll show America that my quick strike offense is the best way." -KD
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