Morning Five: 12.21.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 21st, 2010

  1. Dan Wolken’s weekend piece on the status of Memphis basketball provides much-needed perspective about both a team dominated by freshmen who are not yet ready to rule the world, and Josh Pastner as a coach.  It was written prior to last night’s victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but the salient points remain.  Memphis fans see what Calipari has done at Kentucky and expectantly want the same thing — but even Cal had quite a few missteps along the way at Memphis before he got things completely rolling.  Great article.
  2. Coach K, who Monday night just tied Dean Smith for second on the all-time men’s DI list with 879 wins, and Geno Auriemma, whose UConn Huskies just tied the all-time UCLA winning streak of 88 games over the weekend, were honored yesterday as the co-recipients of USA Basketball’s COY award for 2010.  Both legends have won gold medals in the Olympics and are the reigning national champions in their sport — we think they might be solid choices.
  3. Missouri will be even lighter at the guard position for Wednesday’s Braggin’ Rights game with Illinois in St. Louis as a result of freshman Phil Pressey’s broken right ring finger, an injury he suffered in practice on Sunday.  With starting point guard Michael Dixon currently under suspension from coach Mike Anderson and no timetable on his return, Marcus Denmon or Matt Pressey will have to step up and shoulder the load of ballhandling duties in the interim.  The Illini force a fair amount of turnovers so Mizzou’s replacement point guards will have to take care of the ball to give the Tigers its best chance to win.
  4. Michigan State’s Korie Lucious will serve no additional jail time as a result of his August 30 arrest for driving a vehicle while over the legal limit.  He spent a night in jail at the time and will have to pay nearly $1000 in court costs, but his charge was reduced to reckless driving.  Opposing fans may believe this represents some form of special treatment, but for a first-time offender such as Lucious, this is pretty typical.  Let’s just hope he’s learned his lesson and doesn’t do it again.
  5. From the anything-you-can-do, I-can-do-better, nyah-nyah-nyah department, you’ve undoubtedly heard over the past several days that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been in negotiations to take over the reins as the Olympic coach for the Puerto Rico national team (why US territories get “national” teams, we’ll never understand).  As Jeff Goodman writes, Pitino’s motive for taking this on has everything to do with self-interest (recruiting) and nothing to do with the Olympic spirit.  Well, news came out today that suggests Kentucky coach John Calipari might be interested in doing the same sort of thing an island or two over at the Dominican Republic.  This is still in rumor status, but if there’s a shred of truth to this… are you serious?  This is sorta like buying a Benz only to have your neighbor next door show up the next day with a Bentley.  One would hope that such interest by Calipari in coaching a national team in the Caribbean isn’t all about petty jealousies and pissing contests between coaching supernovas, but we’re not completely sure about this.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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