Morning Five: Championship Game Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on April 4th, 2011

  1. Over the next few years we can expect to see quite a bit of Rick Barnes as Texas and ESPN revealed the logo and name (“Longhorn Network” — creative) for their much-discussed network. For years, critics have attacked ESPN’s cozy relationship with Duke, joking that it was an unofficial partnership, but with this partnership actually official it will be interesting to see how critical ESPN and its employees will be of Texas, particularly if there is a significant controversy at the school.
  2. Speaking of TV, the ratings from Saturday night’s national semifinal match-ups were up 9% from the previous year and were tied for the highest ratings since 2005. It also crushed its competition on the other networks at the same time, even if it was pretty weak competition.
  3. Yesterday, Dayton announced that it had found a replacement for Brian Gregory in Archie Miller, who had been serving as assistant at Arizona under his brother Sean. Interestingly, Sean spent five years coaching at Xavier, one of the Flyers’ primary rivals, although Archie didn’t work with him during that time. Archie will have to do some work to turn around a Dayton program that has failed to live up to expectations the past two seasons after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009. For his part, Archie appears to have his sights set high…at  Butler.
  4. Utah also hired an assistant to fill its opening, but went to the NBA to pick up New Jersey Nets assistant Larry Krystkowiak (sorry, the “Coach K” moniker is already taken). Although Krystkowiak isn’t a household name, he did an impressive job at Montana where he compiled a 42-20 record in two seasons and led the 12th-seeded Grizzlies to the second round with an upset over Nevada in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. From what we have heard, most of the prominent alumni seem to be happy with the hire although they will probably expect him to compete with BYU in the very near future (aka the post-Jimmer era).
  5. Staying within the Mountain West Conference (at least for a little bit longer), UNLV is looking at current BYU assistant coach Dave Rice as a potential replacement for Lon Krueger, who left to take the job at Oklahoma late last week. Rice appears to be on a short list of candidates for the job, but has several interesting connections that would make him a particularly intriguing candidate: (1) he was a member of UNLV’s national title squad in 1990 as well as the one that suffered the upset in the 1991 national semifinals; (2) he served as an assistant coach for 11 seasons under four different head coaches before being released when Krueger was hired; and (3) his brother coaches Bishop Gorman High School, a powerhouse that features Shabazz Muhammad, one of the top recruits in next year’s class.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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