Morning Five: 08.04.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on August 4th, 2010
- The big news of the day came from East Lansing, as twice-consecutive Final Four team Michigan State announced that it will no longer require the services of rising senior guard Chris Allen, a player who started 27 games last season and averaged 8/3/2 APG in a balanced offensive attack. Tom Izzo stated that Allen had not met the standards required by him as a player in the MSU program, but he will help Allen transfer to another D1 program for his senior year (incidentally, Allen is the first player Izzo has ever booted). After a year sitting out as a transfer, some lucky school will be the beneficiary of an athletic perimeter defender with the ability to knock down threes in rhythm (40% last year and 97 on his career). As for preseason top five team Michigan State, the general consensus is that this loss will be negligible. Their depth in the backcourt just got much thinner, but the feeling is that Korie Lucious, Durrell Summers and Keith Appling will be able to handle the additional burden. Frankly, we believe that Izzo could take a team filled with incorrigible circus animals to the Final Four, so the Spartans will be fine.
- If you believe Tre’Von Willis‘ lawyer, the senior UNLV guard facing domestic battery charges in Sin City expects to play a full season for the Runnin’ Rebels this coming season. Willis is accused of choking his girlfriend in late June, but his attorney pleaded not guilty for him today and his preliminary hearing will not occur until November 22. This could mean that any possible trial on this matter (if it came to that) could begin well into 2011, potentially freeing him up to play the entire season.
- The Big 12 announced its conference composite schedule yesterday, and we’re happy to report that both Sunflower State showdowns will be televised nationally this year. The game in Lawrence is slotted for Saturday, January 29 (ESPN), and the return game in Manhattan is two weeks later on Valentine’s Day.
- Can you imagine a 20-team Big East that covered land from Kansas to NYC east-west and Boston to Tampa north-south? Yeah, half the country, basically. Adam Zagoria reported yesterday that the conference was looking at this opportunity should the Big 12 have ultimately disbanded earlier this summer. In a related matter, Big East commissioner John Marinatto emphatically denied the persistent rumor that the conference was set to add Memphis to its lineup.
- Count Mike DeCourcy among those who think the renewed calls for Rick Pitino to be fired from Louisville to be meritless. It doesn’t really make much sense to us either, so little in fact that even last summer we never seriously entertained the idea that Pitino might actually lose his job there. As we all know, basketball is serious business in Kentucky, and Pitino has done very well (although not extraordinarily so) there. To fire him now (or last summer when the allegations came out) would not only put a huge financial burden on the school, but it would also set back the recruiting arms race that the arrival of John Calipari on the scene in Lexington has put into overdrive. As for the Sypher trial, the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday; it’ll now be up to the defense team to poke tortellini-sized holes into it.