- Hehehehehehe…….. see that date up there, folks? Yeah, it says “10,” meaning October. October means autumn, changing weather, falling leaves and Halloween. It also means we’re officially two weeks from Midnight Madness (we refuse to call it anything else even if it’s not at the witching hour anymore), and we’re just over a month from the first official games (November 8: Seattle @ Maryland; Rhode Island @ Pittsburgh; Navy @ Texas; UC Irvine @ Illinois). The 2010-11 RTC Season Preview will kick off in earnest on Monday, and we’re fully stocked around here with espresso beans and other stimulants to get us through it. Prepare yourselves.
- We discussed the allegations made against two unnamed Michigan State players on Wednesday, ultimately concluding that something messy happened in Wonders Hall (yes, that’s the name) on the MSU campus on the night of August 29-30 even if the Ingham County District Attorney didn’t believe so. Today the source that originally reported the story, the Michigan Messenger, released a copy of the official police report with names redacted. If you’re the type of person who is creative in piecing together subtle clues from a document such as this, you can narrow down the list of possible suspects to only a few options. You can engage in that exercise on your own time, but we’re intrigued that much of the national media is treating this story as if it doesn’t exist. As far as we can tell, only USA Today and some local Michigan news stations and papers have reported this incident so far, but a police report where it clearly shows one player corroborating the testimony of a victim about not being “free to leave” during an alleged sexual assault (p.8) is worth wider consideration in our estimation. ESPN, quick to ramp up the 24/7 news cycle on a Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault story, is deafeningly silent on this one — but we’re not holding our breath.
- Remember the story that class of 2011 uber-recruit Anthony Davis‘ father was requesting $200,000 for the services of his son for one year at the college of his “choice?” Two hundred large seemed like a hefty price tag to us at the time, that is, until we read this piece where a San Diego high school player named Chen Cai reportedly took over $30,000 in gifts from a Chinese marketing company called Zou Marketing. The 6’8 senior forward (who may actually be 20 years old instead of 17) averaged 26/17 last year and has led his team, Maranatha Christian, to three straight section runner-up finishes. As a result of documents showing that he took the gifts, though, Cai has already been declared ineligible to play this coming season, and you’d have to figure that he’s also going to be ineligible to play college ball as well.
- We’re fairly certain that even if Wisconsin had gone 36-0 heading into Final Four weekend in 2011, most college basketball fans still wouldn’t be able to pick Jon Leuer out of a lineup. This shouldn’t stand, though. As Mike DeCourcy points out in his profile, Leuer is one of the most versatile big men in the entire country this year, and as difficult as it is to watch the Badgers on television, we certainly encourage you to do so. At least once. You might even enjoy it.
- We were hoping to find this yesterday, but today will have to do. We mentioned that UNC legend Dean Smith made a visit to the Charlotte Bobcats’ training camp on Wednesday; he must have enjoyed it so much that he wanted to do it again because he made a return trip on Thursday. Who knows — maybe LB and MJ will make him an honorary assistant coach of the Bobcats this season? Good to see him out in the world doing the thing he loves most.
Two Coaching Legends Discussing Strategies (AP/C. Burton)