Morning Five: 09.17.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 17th, 2010

  1. Andy Katz reported that Tennessee has its hands somewhat constricted by the clauses in Bruce Pearl’s contract that protects him from termination short of an NCAA “finding” that he had committed a “significant” violation.  Given that the NCAA is currently in the early stages of its investigation of the UT basketball program, any such finding would not likely come until well into 2011; and even then, there would have to be a finding involving a “significant” violation.  It’s unclear whether hosting recruits at his home and later lying about it rises to that standard of significance, but the key point here is that even if UT wanted to get rid of Pearl, they would have a difficult time doing so presently.  Interesting wrinkle unearthed by Katz, there.
  2. Seth Greenberg’s Virginia Tech Hokies are prepping for what could possibly their best season in his tenure there, but they received bad news yesterday when it was learned that sixth man JT Thompson had torn his ACL and will miss the entire season with that injury.  The senior forward averaged 7/5 last season as the first player off the bench, and he was expected to provide strong front court depth again this year.  With Malcolm Delaney, Dorenzo Hudson and Jeff Allen returning, Tech still has plenty of talent, but Thompson will surely be missed in the wars of the ACC this winter.
  3. Luke Winn checks in with a piece examining the twelve BCS conference coaching changes during the offseason, evaluating which coaches are stepping into the most favorable and least favorable situations.  We couldn’t agree more with his assessment that Oliver Purnell is walking into a nightmarish scene at DePaul (other than the hefty paycheck, of course).  We seriously doubt that will ever work out for anyone involved.
  4. Is John Calipari a good thing for college basketball in general?  Dan Wiederer writes that he’s not, essentially arguing that there’s too much nonsense, if not outright cheating, associated with the man.  And, the response.
  5. The Big East Conference and ESPN simultaneously announced the Big Monday matchups for the 2010-11 season, which means that we’re that much closer to actually watching some meaningful games again.  Officially, the first three games on the list below are not “Big Monday” games, but they’re Big East matchups on ESPN on Monday nights, so… whatever.  It’s difficult to say which teams will step up in the always-brutal Big East, but the Syracuse-Villanova game on February 21 looks mighty tasty.  Here’s the lineup:

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