Morning Five: 11.30.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on November 30th, 2010
- The biggest news of Monday was of course that in the interminable quest for more football dollars, Texas Christian University (TCU to most of us) will join the Big East starting in the 2012-13 season. That makes seventeen Big East basketball schools if you’re counting at home. Yes, the league that in large part made college basketball what it is today — with hundreds of ESPN games and the star-making powers all of it entails — is now chasing skirts in a region of the country over a thousand miles removed from its nearest member institution. Presumably the league will now look into adding another school like Houston to lock up another major media market as the 18th hoops (and tenth football) school, and then there’s the possible addition of Villanova football should they choose to do so, but where does it end? Does it go to twenty basketball schools by adding Memphis and Central Florida? And what about the Big East Tournament — nobody was a fan of the double-bye system before; do we move to a triple-bye now? How would you like to be the #20 seed in your conference tournament? David Steele over at Fanhouse has a nice piece on how the ACC and Big East, two conferences that were to basketball what the SEC and old SWC were to football, have completely lost their hoops souls with football-driven expansion. Luke Winn also breaks down what the addition of TCU will do (or won’t do) for the Big East from a hoops perspective — he makes an excellent point about Marquette’s recruiting prospects improving with a Texas team in tow. Can’t say we disagree wither either’s takes at all.
- Condolences go out this morning to John Calipari and his family, as the Kentucky coach announced via Twitter that he lost his mother, Donna, to a battle with cancer on Monday. Calipari does not expect to miss the Wildcats’ next game versus Boston University tonight, and we’ve heard rumors that Kentucky students will exhibit some unifying show of solidarity through the wearing of black shirts or something similar. Nice touch.
- Seth Davis goes out on a shaky limb with his proclamation Monday that UConn’s Kemba Walker has been the best player in America through the first four weeks of the season. Ok, not really, but as always, his Hoops Thoughts column is well worth the read. Can we use this opportunity to say that having sat through three UConn games in Maui last week, we’re not as sold on the Huskies and Walker long-term as some others seem to be? We think that UConn is a nice team — probably an NCAA Tournament team — but top ten? We’re just not seeing it.
- Butler’s Ronald Nored will miss at least one game as a result of the concussion he suffered last weekend at Siena. The Bulldogs’ next game is Wednesday in their Horizon League opener on the road against 7-0 Loyola (Chicago). He’s questionable for Saturday’s game against top-ranked Duke as well. With Butler not playing very well as it is, these next two games are fairly important, so it’s not a good time for Nored to be on the shelf.
- Bruce Pearl certainly knows how to play to an audience. At a Knoxville Quarterback Club dinner on Monday night he mentioned former UT football coach Lane Kiffin in reference to having made mistakes and “hoping for… some other dumbass to take [me] off the front page.” The dumbass in question, of course, was Kiffin. Perhaps the funniest part of this series of quotes by Pearl was his reference to the “slippery rock theory,” which we suppose is a theory founded somewhere in central Pennsylvania (as opposed to its better-known but obstructionist cousin, the “slippery slope” theory).