Morning Five: 09.01.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on September 1st, 2010
- Obviously, the big news of yesterday was BYU’s decision to join the WCC in basketball (and all other sports except football). It makes sense on a number of levels (religious school, kill the WAC, etc.), but we have to admit that you typically don’t see a school ‘trade down’ in relative strength like this. But the lure of football independence was just too much for the Cougars to resist, and although we’ll miss BYU in the Mountain West, we’re excited to see if the addition of the LDS school will help bring the WCC to the top of the mid-major heap in hoops. Our Mountain West and WCC correspondents examined both sides of the move, while Jeff Goodman caught up with the person currently residing in the WCC most impacted by BYU’s entry, Gonzaga’s Mark Few.
- Former Duke all-american point guard Bobby Hurley is doing his best to contribute to the collective schadenfreude that the nation feels when members of Coach K’s first two championship teams lose their shirts. Not long ago we learned that two starters on the 1991 and 1992 title teams, Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, were facing massive debt problems as a result of their failed company, Blue Devil Ventures. This week Hurley’s horse farm, named Devil Eleven Farm and located in Ocala, Florida, was foreclosed upon after he stopped making payments on the 140-acre property in the spring of 2009. Clearly both of these situations likely have something to do with the nationwide recession that began in late 2007, but we know some Kentucky and UNC fans somewhere out there who are very much enjoying this news.
- Ex-Michigan State star and 1979 national champion Jay Vincent was arraigned yesterday on charges of defrauding investors of $2 million in an internet scam that convinced people to pay him to become home inspectors, where he pleaded not guilty. Court records, however, show that a plea bargain may already be in the works. He has until the end of the month to change his plea.
- High School Hoop profiles one of the most well-known but not really behind-the-scenes players in the collegiate game: Worldwide Wes. There’s not a lot of new information here, but it’s interesting to hear some of the top recruits in the class of 2011 talk about the influence (or lack thereof) of WWW on their recruitments.
- St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin was a strong recruiter during his time at UCLA in the late 90s and early 2000s, as he put ten players into the NBA Draft during his seven years in Westwood. So it should come as no surprise that he’s hit the ground running by earning a commitment from his first big name at SJU. Maurice Harkless, a 6’7 forward from Queens who originally committed to UConn but later re-opened his commitment, could be a transformative recruit for Lavin’s new program. If city kids start considering the Johnnies as a viable destination along with the standard regional powers such as UConn, Syracuse, Villanova and a few others, suddenly New York City might have its own college team again.