Morning Five: 02.24.11 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on February 24th, 2011
- We haven’t talked much about the incident at Holy Family involving head coach John O’Connor that has spread across the Internet like wildfire over the past week. As you know, O’Connor was accused by Matt Kravchuk, one of his (now former) players, of assault related to an incident at a practice on January 25th. Kravchuk reported it to the athletic department that day, but when he felt it was not dealt with appropriately he went to the local authorities on February 11th. Since that time, video from the practice (available in the following link) shows an admittedly out-of-context incident that appears to show a coach attacking a player after a rebounding drill. O’Connor has been widely panned for his actions, but now he is responding with his account of the incident. We won’t add any more commentary, but will let you watch the video, read his explanation, and judge for yourself.
- Speaking of trouble with the law, Texas forward Alexis Wangmene was arrested early Sunday morning — 4:30 AM, to be exact — on suspicion of drinking under the influence. Wangmene has since been suspended from the team indefinitely. The junior forward/center has played sparingly for the Longhorns this season and averages just 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 9.7 minutes per game this season. Neither the Texas SID nor Rick Barnes has released a formal (informative) statement on Wangmene yet.
- While most of the attention in Storrs over the past few days has focused on Jim Calhoun‘s deferred three game Big East suspension next year, not much attention has been paid to the fact that Calhoun will not be coaching (and perhaps more importantly not answering post-game press conference questions) Connecticut during tonight’s game against Marquette, as he will be attending funeral services for his sister-in-law. In his place will be his assistant coach George Blaney. Those of you who have followed UConn closely over the years are familiar with Blaney, as he has filled in admirably for Calhoun many times in recent years — including last year’s 14-point win over then #1-ranked Texas — as Calhoun dealt with a variety of health issues.
- There was some big news out of powerhouse/basketball factory Oak Hill Academy where two of the top players in the country — Ben McLemore and Sidiki Johnson — were thrown off the team for violating unspecified team rules. McLemore, who is currently deciding between Kansas and Missouri, transfered to Christian Life Center in Humble, Texas while Johnson, an Arizona commit, transfered to Wadleigh High School in Harlem, New York. It is unclear if their dismissal will affect their recruitment or eligibility (we are guessing it will not), but it is worth keeping an eye on particularly if any news breaks on why they were thrown off the team.
- We close out our links today with a little whining. Today’s edition is courtesy of USC head coach Kevin O’Neill who calls Arizona star Derrick Williams “the most protected dude I’ve seen since Michael Jordan.” It is somewhat amusing to note that O’Neill could be coaching Williams in rather simple scenarios: (1) if Lute Olson hadn’t turned on his word and taken the Arizona coaching job back from O’Neill or (2) if Williams had remained committed to USC where he had initially signed. While we disagree with O’Neill’s assessment of the level of protection Williams gets (O’Neill was also effusive in his praise of Williams and most likely trying to wage psychological war with the officials), it is worth noting that Williams leads the nation at an astounding 9.2 free throw attempts per game.