Morning Five: 04.20.11 Edition
Posted by rtmsf on April 20th, 2011
- Predictably, Bob Knight’s comment from a speaking engagement over the weekend about Kentucky’s 2009-10 starters “not been to class that [spring] semester” has gone over like a lead balloon in the Bluegrass State. Former Wildcat stars Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins shot back today through the popular social networking medium known as Twitter (ensuring Knight wouldn’t see the comments directly), with Patterson stating his graduation and teammates’ GPAs “speak for themselves”; and, Cousins stating that he finished out that semester “strong,” even completing all his classes before going to the NBA. On Tuesday, Knight apologized: “My overall point is that one-and-dones are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize.” Thanks, General! We understand the point Knight was trying to make, but in losing track of a key component of the argument against one-and-dones known as facts, he came off as an older, more famous Joe the Plumber than, as others might have us believe, the Grand Czar and Protector of the Sanctity of the Game. Memo to Knight: get on fishin’.
- This week’s Knucklehead Award goes to Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, who was cited by Lawrence police for his involvement in a fight outside a bar called The Cave last week. Of course, we recognize that Robinson has gone through some of the most horrific times that a young person can experience with respect to the loss of his mother and grandparents in a very short period of time. But trying situations such as these usually turn out one of two ways, both of which are on the extreme ends, and Robinson would do well to find his way toward positivity because it won’t take many more situations like these to let his prodigious talents go to waste.
- The Voice of the Tar Heels, Woody Durham, is hanging up his microphone after forty years wearing the headset in Chapel Hill. According to the Durham Sun, he has called 23 bowl games, 13 Final Fours and six men’s basketball national championship games while working with four men’s basketball coaches, six football coaches and four athletic directors at UNC. But for anyone passing through the airwaves of “Carolina basketball” at any point in the last four decades, it was Durham’s work as the voice of Dean Smith’s Heels that will forever resonate in our ears. Best of luck on the happiest of trails, Woody.
- Your daily NBA Draft news… Washington State’s Klay Thompson will leave school a year early, and is unlikely to return. Ken Bone will have quite the rebuilding process in Pullman next season without the services of all-Pac-10 players Thompson and DeAngelo Casto back in the fold. The son of former #1 pick Mychal Thompson is projected as a late first round/early second round selection. Speaking of NIT teams, Northwestern junior forward John Shurna announced that he will test the waters this spring, but he is not currently projected as a selection and is likely to return for his senior season. Finally, as if anyone was expecting otherwise, Kentucky three-point marksman Doron Lamb announced that he would be returning to Lexington for his sophomore season. As for the other two Wildcats everyone is waiting on — Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones — there are rumors that announcements could come as soon as today, and according to BK’s mom, he already knows his decision.
- Introducing what we’re calling The Degree of Calamity Scale, as penned by Mike DeCourcy yesterday. MD breaks down the eight players who have already entered the NBA Draft without signing with an agent who would be very well served to come back to college for at least another season of growth. Of course, we agree on all counts, and one of the major dangers of folks who support the compromise idea of the NBA adopting a MLB-style rule for early entries is that the slog to the bottom will eventually result in dozens of high school seniors thinking they’re “ready” for professional basketball in much the same way that the names on DeCourcy’s list currently do. Generally speaking, players don’t make the best decisions about this sort of thing, and neither do GMs — they both need to be saved from themselves.
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