Morning Five: 11.01.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on November 1st, 2010
- Now that Halloween is over and done with (best costume we saw this weekend? definitely the couple who dressed up as the scene in American Gothic; well, that, or the random yet very sexy squirrel we saw walking around), we can officially say that we’ve moved into the college basketball season. November 1 is a sort-of de facto calendar line where many slightly-more-casual fans around the country wake up and realize, “shoot, we have a game next week.” We’ve been coming strong throughout the month of October with our season preview materials, and we still have a few more up our sleeves this week, but man we’re definitely ready for some game action. Next Monday night cannot come quickly enough.
- Is the most hated man in professional basketball actually helping the South Florida schools, particularly Miami (FL), with their recruiting? This article by Fanhouse suggests that LeBron James may be, although there’s been no direct evidence of it yet. There was considerable buzz when King James went over to Coral Gables to play pickup ball on campus back in August, and the revered superstar (among South Floridians at least) showed up in no fewer than four photos in the team’s 2010-11 media guide this year. Whether it will work for Frank Haith’s program remains to be seen, but there’s no question that the Hurricanes, looking for any possible advantage in a league full of heavyweights, are trying to leverage it.
- In a move we’re having trouble figuring out, the Pac-10 announced that it would be combining its men’s and women’s postseason tournaments in coming years, beginning in 2011 at the Staples Center. Although our initial thought drifted toward some absurd hybrid of the three-ball competition at NBA All-Star Weekend, we immediately wondered how merging the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament into a single venue would actually increase fan interest? Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott has done a solid job at marketing his oft-staid league in his six months on the job, but we’re not sure he realizes that putting a gimmicky thing together like this could actually disincentivize fans who are only interested in one sport (men’s), not the other (women’s). In other news, the World Series, facing flagging television ratings as result of the Yankees or Red Sox not being involved this year, is looking into tagging along its Game Five tonight with Monday Night Football’s matchup between the Colts and Texans.
- There have been some open doubting Thomases around here with respect to the AP/Coaches poll rankings that UNC has received in the past week (#8/#9). And with good reason — the Heels simply weren’t very good last year, and they lost their top three returning scorers. Does the addition of super-frosh Harrison Barnes mean that suddenly Roy Williams’ team is not just better, but top 10 good? Seth Davis spent some time in Chapel Hill last week watching practice and he came away from the experience believing that the Heels will indeed be as good as Barnes makes them. Honestly, we’re thinking a fair comparison might be the Kevin Durant Texas team of 2006-07 — Durant was amazing, but that team was simply way too young and inexperienced to do much in March (they lost to USC in the Second Round).
- Some exhibition nonsense for your consideration over the weekend: #9 Florida 92, Florida Tech 58 (Kenny Boynton had 24 pts on 10-15 FG); #17 Butler 90, Florida Southern 70 (Matt Howard had 19/7); Louisville 83, Northern Kentucky 66 (UL opened its new KFC/Yum Center with newly-eligible Gorgui Dieng’s 14/11); Pittsburgh 104, Northwood 62 (Ashton Gibbs had 25 pts). It seems like every year some ranked team ends up losing one of these games — wonder who it will be this year?