- It’s been approximately 190 days since we last saw collegians take the floor in their uniforms, but as you surely noted above on our countdown clock, we’re almost down to all zeros. Tonight is Midnight Madness or whatever people are calling it these days, but the primary concern to everyone reading this site is that COLLEGE HOOPS IS BACK, baby. For a guide to many of the major events that will be scattered throughout the country tonight and in future weeks, here’s our post outlining the when and where. ESPNU will be showing the proceedings tonight starting at 9pm ET at several of the schools on the list including Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Memphis and Kansas State, so lock yourselves in this evening and get ready for another great season ahead.
- Good work if you can get it… Former legendary Purdue head coach Gene Keady will join Steve Lavin’s new staff at St. John’s in the role of grandfatherly advisor/executive assistant. Lavin was an assistant under Keady at Purdue from 1988-91, during which time the Boilermakers went to the NCAA Tournament twice (Keady went back fourteen more times at Purdue). For some reason we love seeing these kinds of situations when the student brings back his mentor.
- Wake Forest’s Tony Woods, the 6’10 junior center who was relieved of his duties as a player for the Demon Deacons, isn’t suffering for suitors as to his next stop. Jeff Goodman reports that Louisville, Kentucky, WVU, Georgetown, Auburn, Xavier, Cincinnati and others have expressed interest in bringing on the talented but heretofore underachieving player. We’re all for second chances around here, but there’s clearly no honor among thieves — lots of young people make “mistakes,” but how many of them kick and fracture the spine of the mother of his infant? Good things seem to find those who have pro size and can occasionally rebound and score a few points, eh?
- In what we cannot even possibly begin to describe as anything other than awkwardly hilarious, Ole Miss students, faculty and alumni on Thursday voted that their new mascot should be the Rebel Black Bear, earning 62% of the vote to beat out the Hotty Toddy and the Land Shark. Colonel Reb has been officially retired, but does anyone else find the use of skin/fur color to describe a cartoonish bear inspired by William Faulkner as something better left to schools without such a violent and ugly racial history? Just sayin…
- Yesterday was John Wooden’s 100th birthday, and although the Wizard of Westwood wasn’t with us to celebrate it, the UCLA family and his own relatives held their own parties to honor his legacy. We’ve said this before, but we think it would be a fantastic commemoration of the man and his contributions to the game of basketball if the entire 2010-11 season was dedicated to Coach Wooden — the NCAA and its media partners could easily make this happen, so they should.
Wooden's New Portrait Was Unveiled at UCLA on Thursday (LA Daily News/H. Gutknecht)