Morning Five: 01.21.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on January 21st, 2011
- Syracuse and Villanova are making a habit of this, as the two schools will team up for another blockbuster game on Saturday in the Carrier Dome where more than 34,000 fans will be expected in attendance. Last year’s game between the two drew 34,616 total fans and SU has put in more seating this year in an effort to break the record for an on-campus game again. As for the actual game itself, Syracuse’s star forward Kris Joseph practiced on Thursday and is showing signs that he will be ready to play on Saturday.
- Speaking of Jay Wright’s team, former everywhere coach Larry Brown made a visit to Villanova’s practice on Thursday to get his “basketball fix” and enjoyed the experience. The 70-year old former NCAA (Kansas) and NBA (Detroit) champion said that he hopes to coach again, and with his track record he’ll probably get some looks. We’d like to see him take up residence at some mid-major somewhere in much the same way that Bobby Cremins (Charleston) and Steve Fisher (San Diego State) have done.
- USA Basketball selected its coaching staff for next summer’s World University Games (21 years old and under), and the group has a distinctly Indiana feel. Not necessarily Hoosiers, though, more like Boiler Up… The Head coach will be Purdue’s Matt Painter, while his assistants will be former Boilermaker and current Missouri State head coach Cuonzo Martin with Butler’s Brad Stevens thrown in for good measure. For what it’s worth, the 2009 team coached by Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan finished in third place with a starting lineup of Nic Wise, Trevor Booker, Corey Fisher, James Anderson and Craig Brackins.
- Wednesday night a horrid out-of-bounds call by the officials gave Purdue the basketball back against Penn State, ultimately leading to a game-winning jumper by JaJuan Johnson with three seconds left. As a proximate cause of that incident, the NCAA’s Officials Coordinator on Thursday said that he would consider allowing officials to go to the replay within the last minute on iffy situations such as those. Generally, we’re anti-replay in non-game-ending cases but possession is incredibly important for obvious reasons exhibited in that game. It literally changed the outcome of that game. We think it’s certainly worth a look as an experimental rule next season.
- Xavier will honor former Musketeer All-American and NBA star Brian Grant on Saturday at halftime of its game against Temple by retiring his number 33. Grant was an absolute beast at XU, leading the Muskies in rebounding all four seasons he was there (yes, lottery picks actually stuck around that long back then) before becoming an integral piece on some excellent teams in the NBA at Portland and Miami. He recently revealed that he has early-onset Parkinson’s Disease (the same disease that Michael J. Fox has) and has used his fame and wealth to bring attention to the illness through his Brian Grant Foundation. Good work, Xavier.