Morning Five: 08.30.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on August 30th, 2010
- It’s been a rough summer for Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, and things haven’t gotten any better as we head into the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Two players expected to contribute on the wing for the 2010-11 Cardinals will not be eligible. The biggest hit comes in the form of Memphis transfer Roburt Sallie, who was attempting to take advantage of a transfer rule that allows a player to play immediately at his new school if he has already graduated and his school does not offer post-graduate training in his area of study (see: Alabama’s Justin Knox to UNC as but one example). Well, Sallie failed to graduate from Memphis over the summer in time to enroll at Louisville, so he will not be allowed to utilize the rule. Additionally, incoming freshman Justin Coleman, a top fifty scoring guard from Huntington, WV, is also ineligible. Louisville clawed its way to a mediocre season by its lofty standards last year (20-13, 1st round NCAA loss), but frankly, we’re having trouble seeing how Pitino is going to coax his current roster back into the Big Dance.
- Meanwhile, a little farther east on the interstate, John Calipari continues to enjoy the Midas touch with his recruits. Despite Mike Gilchrist’s tweeting about taking three official visits on Friday night, conventional wisdom is that he’s still strongly committed to Kentucky and will end up in Lexington a year from now. On Saturday, UK received a commitment from another elite player in the Class of 2011, Kyle Wiltjer, a 6’9 forward from Oregon who proves that Calipari is keeping that Pacific Northwest pipeline greased and fertile. Additionally, 6’11 transfer forward (and former Florida Gator) Eloy Vargas was declared eligible over the weekend and will have two seasons remaining with the Wildcats. The only missing piece for Cal’s 2010-11 team remains the eligibility limbo that Enes Kanter is in over questions about his amateur status. The way things are going in Lexington these days, expect him to be declared eligible by Midnight Madness.
- Ray Holloman at Fanhouse deconstructs the Big East’s decision to continue with the double-bye system for the top four seeds of the Big East Tournament. The basic premise: the Big East is loaded in positions one through eight, much more so than any other conference. No wonder the coaches unanimously voted for a sixteen-team bracket scenario — it gives those at the top an opportunity for an easy first-round win before getting down to serious business among the quarterfinal teams, most of whom are NCAA-caliber in a given year. Great analysis.
- LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH), Dru Joyce, stated late last week that Xavier University is now his “enemy,” and that the school would no longer be allowed to recruit his players after what he describes as the unnecessary pushing of one of his stars to a prep school for 2010-11. JaKarr Sampson is a rising senior who shot up the summer recruiting rankings after a strong showing at LeBron’s Skills Academy, but according to his mother, it is she, not XU, who is responsible for sending her son to prep school Brewster Academy (NH) because of his lackluster academic record. Weird situation, there.
- This BYU to the WAC or WCC thing is getting even more fascinating than we thought possible. As the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Sunday, BYU is expected to announce complete independence in football and a move to one of the other “W” conferences in all other sports as soon as today. The deadline that the school has to inform the Mountain West Conference if it plans to leave is Wednesday of this week, and all indications are that it will take that step despite the MWC’s counter-poach of two of the more valuable properties in the WAC, Fresno State and Nevada. Open records requests revealed that “The Project” to target BYU was originally a WAC retaliatory measure for the MWC’s nabbing of Boise State during the early-summer conference realignment madness. Ironically, Nevada president Milt Glick was the first person to use the code name to target BYU on the record, yet it was his school in Reno that jumped at the chance to join the MWC within mere hours of the offer. Wild stuff going on out there in the Great Basin.