Around the LL
ed note: Something new for our viewers: LLhoops will be bringing to you some of the media/followers and basic fans of LL hoops. He/she gets the 5 question interview that our LL coaches get- media style. Enjoy!
Meet: Geoff Morrow of PennLive.com
1) Can you give our fans a brief background of your coverage of HS hoops?
I began answering phones at The Patriot-News as a senior at Red Land in December 1994. I started writing a few years later while going to IUP, and pretty much ever since — late Ô90s, early 2000s — I've had SOME role in high school hoops. I also covered girls' hoops for the Reading Eagle during the 2005-06 season before returning to The Patriot to cover the Harrisburg Senators and high school hoops.
2) PennLive seemed to be one of the first to embrace the web and twitter handles for their writters. How do you use the various media outlets and where do you see the future of Pennlive?
Twitter, Facebook, etc., all of it plays a huge role now. I not only use Twitter to give updates during games, but it's the primary way to promote your stories. For example, we're not selling a lot of newspapers in Kinzers, and folks there might not be rushing to PennLive every day. But I had a Q&A the other day with Brian Lindquist, a terrific kid and talent at Pequea Valley, and without promoting the story a little bit on Twitter, who would have seen it? ... As for the future, a lot of people THINK they know, but nobody really does. I think you just need to keep a very open mind in this business and be prepared to adapt.
3) You really get around to see a LOT of teams in District 3. Can you give us some of your top teams for this season?
Around District 3, I can only make one definitive statement: Lebanon Catholic is the favorite in Class A (though New Hope and Mount Calvary are pretty tough, too). I can see one of five teams winning Class AA, one of four or five teams winning Class AAA (especially with the recent injury news about the Berks Catholic PG), and any of nearly a dozen teams in Class AAAA. My observations are that the Mid-Penn Keystone is the best division in the district, YAIAA has the most surprising talent explosion (West York, Central York, Red Lion, Bermudian, etc.), and the L-L overall is pretty good, especially that four-team mix at the top of Section 4.
4) Is there anyway to improve either the District 3 tourney or the PIAA hoops tournament in your opinion?
Nothing will ever be perfect or will please everybody. The District 3 process has its flaws, but I actually kind of like the playoff system right now. Not perfect, but I'm not sure anybody has the time (or D3 has the money to pay somebody to put in the time) to make it perfect. ... As for PIAA, my feelings are similar, but I'm more open to changes in the PIAA. Would love to see the addition of a fifth classification. And I know my colleague, Mike Bullock, would like to see 'pods' for the state tournament like Ohio does or used to do. That sounds fun to me.
5) 5) This is the first year the writers for PennLive has been covering the LL. We
know PennLive covered some Lebanon County schools. Do you notice any style differences or any differences from covering the mid penn games? You may have to change the Big 15 to the Big 20 :)
B Because the Mid-Penn Conference is so large, it's also very diverse. The L-L isn't as big, but the diversity in school size and playing styles is still there. So I could say there are these differences here and there, but I'd be saying it without conviction. It's easier to compare teams than conferences. It's long been argued the Mid-Penn Commonwealth is more physical than other divisions across the district, and I would agree with that for the most part. ... Obviously the one key difference is the number of referees (three in MPC, two in L-L). In the first month of this season, most of the Mid-Penn games I covered featured more whistles than a field hockey game. It was annoying, though not necessarily unfair or one-sided. L-L games I've covered have had fewer stoppages and better flow, though I've seen more blatantly missed calls in the L-L, too, like obvious traveling, back-court violations, a two-pointer than should have been a 3-pointer, stuff like that.
Bonus: Love the fan contest. We know you can't give us your favorite, but can you give us some surprises that you have noticed while doing the contest and/or covering game?
This Student Section Showdown has been crazier than anybody anticipated. So just the pure volume of votes and interaction on Twitter has been surprising. But it's also been a lot of fun. Lancaster Catholic just posted a video tonight of Moses parting the Crusader Crazies. Red Land sent a fantastic picture of something similar. Columbia is going wild with this contest. Millersburg, too. I knew some of the favorites like Carlisle, Cedar Cliff and Lower Dauphin would get hype, but it's been cool to see some of the others get into it. Shippensburg had like 3,000 votes in the first day!