AUSTIN — As he walked away from his final game as a college basketball coach, Pacifics Bob Thomason expressed concern about the grinding, physical style of play that dominates todays game and the 2013 NCAA Tournament.I think its a concern, Thomason said after his team was eliminated 78-49 by Miami on Friday before his retirement becomes official after 25 seasons at the school. Its a concern with the style of play, how physical it is. Post guys really cant score without being fouled a lot. Theyve got to clean that up ... and start being like the NBA refs, where things are automatically a foul.Thats going to stir the game up for a while. But then maybe it will be more of a flowing game, a fast-breaking game, a movement game. Weve got tremendous athletes out there and nobody can cut and move and do anything. So I think that its a concern. How to solve that problem, I dont know exactly.Versatile in the paintMiami center Reggie Johnson (seven points, 10 rebounds) logged 24 minutes in the Hurricanes victory over Pacific, nine more than starter Julian Gamble. Coach Jim Larranaga said he has used the two players interchangeably since Johnson returned in January after missing eight games with a fractured thumb.But Fridays effort marked Johnsons most extended playing time in the Hurricanes last 11 games. Larranaga said he plans to continue to go with the hot hand throughout the NCAA Tournament.I just observe whats going on and I try to make my decisions based on what I see and how I feel, Larranaga said. To me, the combination of Julian Gamble and Reggie Johnson gives us a dynamic player at the five position. ... Whoevers got the hot hand, you go with him. Its true defensively as well.Larkin leads way Jim Larranaga said point guard Shane Larkin (10 points, nine assists) directed the Hurricanes offense on all but one or two plays that he called from the bench in Fridays victory over Pacific.He was the one that just called the plays the whole game long, Larranaga said. When you have a player of his skill level and basketball IQ, its very, very easy to have confidence and trust that hell do the right thing.Solid crowdDespite concerns about attendance because of the lack of a Texas-based participant, the announced attendance for Fridays afternoon session in Austin (East Region games) was 13,784.A separate ticket was needed for the South Region games during the evening session. By comparison, Texas largest home crowd this season for a mens basketball game in Austin was 14,312 for the Kansas game.
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch