Morning Five: 10.27.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on October 27th, 2010

  1. The Fanhouse 2010-11 All-America Team features Kyle Singler (Duke), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Marcus Morris (Kansas) and JaJuan Johnson (Purdue).  To each their own, but we think it’s a mistake to leave off Harrison Barnes (UNC) given what we know about the talent of star freshmen these days (to be fair to Fanhouse, he was on their third team).  Also, we know that Morris is a great player only scratching the surface of his potential, but is he the second-best forward in the country behind Singler?  We just can’t get behind that one yet.
  2. Right, Leonard Hamilton, because your research about a preseason poll taken in 1975 is equally valid to one taken in 2010, with the crush of media and year-round coverage of the sport, not to mention the ability to watch nearly every high-major game on television (or at least streaming video).  Look, there are problems with some voters in preseason polls failing to do their homework — Lord knows that much is true — but if anything, the ACC traditionally gets too much credit based on the accomplishments of Duke and UNC  in most years.  The ACC has had a grand total of FIVE Sweet Sixteen teams in the last four NCAA Tournaments.  Five (compare with…  B12 = 9; BE = 14; B10 = 8; P10 = 8 ; SEC = 6).  Wanna know how many of those teams were not named Duke or North Carolina?  Zero.  Once upon a time, the ACC was a lock to have a minimum of two Sweet Sixteen teams every single year; and often other schools such as Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, etc, were getting there.  In fact, longtime ACC fans know that the league made its name  in the 70s, 80s and 90s for having quality depth beyond Duke and UNC.  Do you see a Sweet Sixteen team in this league other than Duke (or Carolina if you drink the kool-aid that they’re going to be significantly better)?  The league is down; it’s been down for a while, and it remains down.  Until some of the other ten schools start proving it in March, we don’t want to hear a peep from Hamilton and his coaching brethren in the ACC.
  3. Louisville finally received some good news regarding a player’s eligibility when the NCAA cleared 6’10 center Gorgui Dieng yesterday.  The freshman originally from Senegal with a 7’4 wingspan will provide some much-needed depth in the frontcourt for Pitino’s squad behind Terrence Jennings and Jared Swopshire.  He was a top fifty recruit according to Rivals, and although very raw, he could eventually become an interior defensive force for Louisville in the same way that Samaki Walker once was.
  4. Some comings and goings — you already know about Memphis’ Jelan Kendrick, who at this point may or may not ever suit up for the Memphis Tigers…  but Michigan State’s NCAA Second Round hero Korie Lucious should be back in a Spartan uniform, only not at the start of the season.  Tom Izzo still isn’t sure what Lucious’ exact punishment will be for his drunk driving arrest in August, but he said on Monday it would involve a suspension of between two to four games.  Including exhibition contests, this could result in Lucious possibly missing games that count against Eastern Michigan and South Carolina at the Breslin Center — we think the Spartans will be ok.  He would be back in any case to make the trip to the Maui Invitational during Thanksgiving week.  Also, Duquesne’s starting point guard, Eric Evans, will miss at least two months with a broken right foot.  This is a major blow to a Dukes program (returning A-10 POY candidate Damian Saunders) who had designs on making a run into the top five teams in the Atlantic 10 this year.  It’s still possible, but Evans will have to hit the ground running just after the new year.
  5. Former Vanderbilt head coach Roy Skinner passed away yesterday in Nashville; he was 80 years old.  Most people today probably don’t know anything about Skinner as he last coached in 1976, but the man partially responsible for turning Vandy’s Memorial Gymnasium into “Memorial Magic” (he won 82% of his home games during his career there) was also the first SEC basketball coach to break the color barrier.  How has this story not gotten more play over the years?  Skinner recruited Perry Wallace, the first black basketball player in the SEC, from across town in Nashville in 1966.  Wallace went on to become an all-SEC player for the Commodores and later went to Columbia Law School and a law professor at American University.  If that’s not a success story that Skinner should be lauded for, then we haven’t heard one.  RIP, Roy.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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3 responses to “Morning Five: 10.27.10 Edition”

  1. WakeFan says:

    5 out of the last 10 NCAA champions came from the ACC. Yes, some other teams have underperformed in the tournament during that period (and especially if you just look at the last 5 years), but it isn’t as if UNC, Duke, and Maryland had perfect conference records during their championship seasons. No, the conference as a whole is competitive, even with dominants teams like Duke and UNC. Over the past 10 years, the ACC has been the best conference in the country, no question. Over the past 5 a better argument could be made, but who are you going to say has been better? The Big 10, even though the ACC is 4-1 in the ACC-Big 10 face-off?

  2. WakeFan says:

    To add, it is worth noting that arguably the two most under performing tournament coaches in the conference (being Gaudio and Purnell obviously) have been replaced. I think the ACC slump is due to coaching, and 3 of the “problem coaches” (I hate to call Purnell that though, but he has a 0-5 NCAA tournament record) have been replaced with three more under a lot of pressure (Lowe, Hewitt and Haith). The ACC has slumped from where it was, but it will get back to being the indisputably premier conference in the country.

  3. rtmsf says:

    I’d have to go back through the numbers, but my first inclination is that the Big East has been far better over the past five years. Maybe the Big 12, and on certain yrs (like this one), the Big Ten. We’re talking quality of depth in the conference, and the ACC has been living off of solely Duke and Carolina for a number of cycles now. The five championships in ten years stat only shows that the conference has two elite teams — well, duh, they’re also two of the top six programs of all-time. It says nothing about the other ten teams, who have repeatedly been built up in the media only to tank come March (Wake is one of the all-time best examples of this over the last 20 yrs). My point is that the league built its reputation through quality of depth. The ACC having four of the S16 teams was not unusual in the 80s (4x) or 90s (4x), but it never happened in the 00s and in fact hasn’t happened at all since 1995 (!!).

    There’s an underlying thought in the Carolinas that expansion from 8, then to 9, then to 12 in the early 90s/00s for football killed the “special-ness” of ACC basketball, and sitting this far out, I’m not sure they don’t have a point.

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