Morning Five: 09.27.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on September 27th, 2010
- You may have missed this news during a busy football weekend, but the Birmingham (Alabama) School Board decided late Friday to not change former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe’s official transcript despite an independent law firm’s finding that justifications for grade changes thereon were “not credible.” We covered this on Friday night, and people are generally falling into two camps. On one side is the “Really? WTF?” camp, as articulated by Gary Parrish in his piece on the matter; while on the other side, we have giddy UK fans who seem to believe that they got over on the NCAA, New York Times, jealous Calipari-haters and the liberal media, depending on whom you ask. This ordeal is probably dead with respect to the NCAA and Kentucky, but Tom Arenberg of the Birmingham News believes that Birmingham schools should seek more answers with respect to what happened here, while we’re left wondering why we didn’t buddy up to a couple of amenable teachers in high school right before our applications to Stanford and MIT went into the mail.
- California’s 7’3 center Max Zhang will not be enrolled at Berkeley for the fall semester, as he is staying in his native China to play in the Asia Games this November. He could be back for the spring semester, though, just in time for Pac-10 play and definitely needed after a mass exodus of players from Mike Montgomery’s team this offseason. He only averaged 3/2 in his sophomore season for the Bears, but with a nice shooting touch and scouts keeping a watchful eye on his development, there is a sense that he is ready to break out and could one day play professionally.
- Kansas center Jeff Withey is on the shelf after breaking his right foot during individual workouts last week. Withey played sparingly as a freshman last season in Lawrence, but he was a four-star recruit out of San Diego and is expected to get considerably more run this season. He’ll be out four to six weeks, which will unfortunately somewhat hinder his development, as practice officially begins in less than three weeks.
- Late last week John Calipari stated to reporters that he thought Enes Kanter was going to be eligible to play for him this coming season. Gary Parrish seems to think that Calipari has convinced himself of such a fiction, although he’s quick to say that he doesn’t have any proof to the contrary either (sounds a lot like #1). Turns out that very few coaches Parrish knows and has talked to about this ever thought that Kanter would be eligible to play college ball (even before Kanter signed with UK). That seems reasonable enough to us.
- What do you guys think — will UNC bounce back strong this year after a disastrous (for them) 20-17 NIT season? Some of the problems the Heels had last year, such as spotty point guard play and a lot of tall but soft players inside, are still there. Adding a superstar like Harrison Barnes to the lineup won’t solve those specific issues. Will Roy Williams have the magic touch to get his team back to the NCAA Tournament as he’s done in every season he’s coached but one? The smart money is that he’ll find a way, but unless Larry Drew II and/or Dexter Strickland suddenly transform into reasonable facsimiles of Ed Cota, Ray Felton or Ty Lawson, we’re not sure that this team is any better than a borderline top 25 team. Are we wrong?