Morning Five: 11.05.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on November 5th, 2010

  1. Xavier has taken another one on the chin; or more precisely, in the eye. Senior forward Jamel McLean (8.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 52.1% FG in 2009-10) suffered an orbital fracture in an exhibition against Northern Kentucky University on Tuesday and will miss 3-6 weeks. That leaves XU with nine scholarship players as the season looms, but the combined efforts of Sean Miller and Chris Mack have seen Xavier to three straight Sweet 16s, and only the truly naive would count them out this soon.
  2. One could understand if the mood were a bit gray in Tennessee’s practices these days, what with the NCAA investigating Bruce Pearl’s recruiting methods and the prospect of further sanctions on the program, but everyone is doing their best to forget all that business during practices and team activities, at least. There’s no other way to be if you’re a UT coach or player, but it can’t be easy ignoring that dark cloud gathering overhead.
  3. The game lineup for ESPN3.com was released on Thursday, and it’s mid-major heaven. Out of the 53 games, we count 63 teams from the smaller-profile conferences as participants. Interestingly, an ESPN3.com exec is quoted in the short article as saying that regular season “total hours of college basketball consumption went up by 266% last season” when compared with 2008-09. Nice stat, but…”consumption?” Even if that is what we’re all doing, nobody likes to be reminded that, in the eyes of many of the suits, we’re not watching college basketball. We’re consuming units of product. Hmm. Our copy of Wish You Were Here has to be around here somewhere…
  4. The dark days of Kutchergate at Iowa are thankfully behind us, now, and in the wake of the landmark decision from the NCAA on the matter, the students at one relatively new OVC school are thinking of ways by which they can capitalize. Beware, St. Louis-area programs!
  5. The West Coast Conference will be some fun viewing this year, and even with most prognosticators installing Gonzaga as the morning line favorite, one could reasonably call it a four-horse race — and it’s an eight-team league. It’s been a long rebuilding process for Pepperdine, but are they being underestimated this time? They have 14 players returning, including four seniors and seven juniors. They have 100% of last year’s scoring and 99% of their rebounding and assists coming back. Seth Rubinroit of the Malibu Times makes the case for the Waves.
jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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