Morning Five: 04.22.11 EditionPosted by rtmsf on April 22nd, 2011
- Your daily NBA Draft early entrant rowboat took on a bit more water yesterday, as three more prominent players made it official that they will be entering this year’s June festivities. Wasn’t the looming lockout supposed to scare most of these mid-level guys into sticking around another year? Isn’t happening. The most notable player to announce Thursday was Texas forward Tristan Thompson, who reneged on an earlier statement that he was returning for his sophomore season. Thompson told the media prior to UT’s Third Round game against Arizona last month that he was “coming back another year” and that he couldn’t wait to play with incoming guard Myck Kabongo, a fellow Canadian. And therein lies a lesson, young’ins — don’t make such statements until you’re mentally ready to do so and physically ready to back them up. UT now anxiously awaits Jordan Hamilton’s draft decision to learn if they’ll have a legitimate chance next season.
- Two other sophomores also made their names available for the NBA Draft, Colorado’s Alec Burks and Michigan’s Darius Morris. Burks, an all-Big 12 wing who led the league in scoring average and set school records for points in both his freshman and sophomore years, will sign with an agent and is expected to be the first shooting guard chosen in June. Morris, on the other hand, is in a more tenuous position. John Beilein said that this declaration was “exploratory” and it had better be, as Morris is projected as a second round pick (or worse) in most mock drafts — we’d expect to see him back in Ann Arbor next year. Who’s next? Step right up, folks, because there’s only two days left until the draft deadline on Sunday.
- There are always naysayers among us, and without them we’d have no reason for aye-sayers. But if you thought that the 2010-11 season was pretty much a stinker from start to finish, that it never held your attention because of a lack of star power, that parity “sounds good on paper but looks bad on television,” then this article from Gregg Doyel is completely for you. Rather than getting into a 500-word retort to this position, suffice it to say that our opinion is that last season was generally a good one that ended with a thud, and leave it at that.
- Somebody needed to say it, but Tim Dwyer at The University Daily Kansan does it better than most with his targeted missive on Bill Self’s program: “Start six years ago, when J.R. Giddens was stabbed in a 2005 fight that witnesses said he instigated. C.J. Giles, who was there at the Giddens stabbing, was arrested for battery in 2006. Sherron Collins was charged with sexual assault, though the charges were dropped when Collins filed a counterclaim for defamation. Then there was Markieff Morris’ battery charge. Morningstar’s DUI. Fights with the football team, highlighted by Tyshawn Taylor’s injury and Facebook posts. Little’s battery charge. And now [Thomas] Robinson’s [recent assault charge].” He goes on to say that many KU fans criticize Self for his NCAA Tournament failures when they really should be looking at a demonstrated tendency toward lawlessness from his players. Yet for some reason, at least at the national level, KU and Self seem to skirt this perception.
- The late-breaking news on Thursday revolved around reports that George Mason head coach and inspiration to mid-majors everywhere, Jim Larranaga, might be taking the open position at Miami (FL). Whether this is a power play for a better contract at GMU or a genuine opportunity to leave NoVa’s unpredictable weather for a warmer climate, we’re not sure; but it is odd in that Larranaga has certainly had better offers in his lap before this one (Providence; certainly others), and yet according to the Miami Herald, they are reporting that he will make the move as soon as Friday. Maybe the financial offer was too sweet to pass up, but we’re not sure we see this working out very well in Coral Gables for either party in the long run.