Morning Five: 02.09.11 EditionPosted by rtmsf on February 9th, 2011
- Bruce Pearl returned to the sidelines last night in a game against Kentucky in Lexington, having served his eight-game SEC suspension. Gary Parrish believes that the Big Orange head coach will be nailed with a full one-year suspension by the NCAA when it finally metes out its punishment for lying to the governing body (among other things). This would be a reasonable punishment considering the NCAA simply cannot let one of its star head coaches get over on it like that. Still, Tony Jones as the interim coach would be a good replacement (he was 5-3 with two close OT losses while Pearl was out), giving him a chance to move on to another top coaching job the following year while keeping a fair amount of continuity within the UT basketball program.
- Luke Winn uses more graphs than you can shake a frosh at in comparing the offensive progress of nine of the best collegiate rookies in the country this year. You should read the whole thing, but here’s a synopsis: Steadily rising – Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes, Will Barton; Marginally Rising – Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Brandon Knight; Decreasing: Terrence Jones, Joe Jackson.
- And articles like these are why NC State continues to be the laughingstock of ACC basketball. Not only does the author lose all credibility when he states that Herb Sendek is on the hot seat at Arizona State this season — the same Sendek who won 22, 25 and 21 games in Tempe the last three seasons — but he fails to understand that the key difference between the first five seasons of Sidney Lowe vs. Sendek is that the latter clearly was building toward something. Lowe only appears to be building toward a stigma of perpetual ACC bottom-dweller. The other significant fact that he fails to recognize is that the ACC has been a pathetic shell of its former self the last five years — if there was ever an opportunity for a non-Duke/non-UNC team to step into the top tier, it’s been during this period.
- Georgia Tech’s Brian Oliver will miss up to three weeks with a broken left thumb that will require surgery. The 6’6 sophomore guard is the team’s third-leading scorer and fourth-leading rebounder for a team that is going nowhere in the ACC and nationally, but the expectation is that he will be back in time for the postseason.
- Pete Thamel at the NYT gives casual fans just tuning into college basketball a primer as to what the season has been so far. His argument is that the lack of stars — from the injured Kyrie Irving to the gone-pro Wesley Johnson and Greg Monroe, has led to a wide-open season of parity. We agree with the last part of the statement — the field is wide open this year. But wasn’t it wide open last year as well? Duke wasn’t an extremely popular pick to win it all, but they did anyway. The two other teams considered most likely to do so — Kansas and Kentucky — never even got to Indianapolis. As for the lack of star power, well, again, this happens just about every year — guys like Johnson and Monroe go league, while the next generation of stars, the Fredettes and Sullingers, take their place. This wasn’t Thamel’s best work.