RAYNO'S SHORT TAKES
• Ever wonder when and why those giant heads started showing up at college basketball games? SI.com writer George Dohrmann reports that it all started in 2002 with a student section ringleader at San Diego State, who was watching the news when a close-up of the face of Michael Jackson -- who was in court at the time -- appeared on the screen, causing the 25-year-old Connor Mongan to shudder. Inspired, Mongan went to Kinko's to create a giant Jackson face with the hopes that free-throw shooters might have the same reaction. I wonder if he thought the trend would become as prevalent as it is today?
• Not content to simply debate whether Indiana coach Tom Crean is specifically instructing his players to flop, as it has been suggested by many, Deadspin took it to another level, hiring a lip-reader to try to determine what was said in a late-game huddle in the Hoosiers' loss at Minnesota. Soon after, Will Sheehey visibly faked getting elbowed in the eye by Andre Hollins, a hit that simply wasn't made. The lip-reading didn't find anything conclusive, except that Crean appeared to be saying "try to get a foul," while swinging up his elbow in demonstration, but the incident further opened a debate on flopping. There's nothing in the rules against it -- is it strategy or poor sportsmanship? The answer often depends on which team one is a fan of.
• Give it to Wisconsin's Ryan Evans for doing whatever it takes. After becoming the worst free-throw shooter in college basketball in January -- averaging just 38 percent from the stripe at that time -- Evans was desperate for some shred of change. Thus came the jump-shot free throw, which Evans unveiled in Wisconsin's game against Nebraska on Tuesday, in which Evans sank both opportunities he got from the line with a jumper -- a move that's perfectly legal and has been used by a few other struggling shooters over the years.