Afternoon Five: 05.02.11 Edition
Posted by rtmsf on May 2nd, 2011
- Despite the international breaking news that dominated headlines worldwide late Sunday night, there actually was some college basketball news over the weekend too. Before we get to that, we threw a bunch 0f our favorite pics and vids from a number of celebratory throngs on college campuses throughout this great nation into our new Tumblr account last night — much love to @notthefakeSVP for encouraging and soliciting these throughout the night.
- George Mason may have lost a coach to the ACC last week, but they turned around and hired one from the ACC over the weekend. Paul Hewitt, formerly of Georgia Tech and prior to that, Siena, has signed on to become the new head coach of the Patriots. As John Feinstein writes in the Washington Post, the expectation will not be to build Mason into something it cannot be, it will be to re-create what Hewitt was able to do at Siena and sustain what Jim Larranaga began. Sometimes certain jobs are simply poor fits, and maybe this is a case where Hewitt will thrive in Fairfax where he was simply unable to do so at the high-major level. We know this much — he inherits a team that will have great expectations on it to win the CAA and advance in the NCAA Tournament in his first season — $7.2M buyout or not, he’ll have to perform next year to win over the GMU faithful.
- In the wake of the tornado destruction that ravaged parts of Alabama last week, Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant and his wife, Chris, have set up the Sweet Home Fund, a relief organization intended to help families who have lost their homes or otherwise suffered major damage as a result of the storms. This news will get buried this week amidst all the OBL coverage, but over 300 lives were lost last week in several states and many more families are very much in need.
- This is a fascinating story about Bobby Ray Parks, Jr., a member of the Class of 2011 from Memphis who verbally committed to Georgia Tech, but appears to already be playing college basketball in Manila, Philippines (where his father was once a superstar at the professional level). Luke Winn calls him the “lost boy” of the class, and although he ranks #117 in the final Rivals 150, there’s a high degree of uncertainty whether the “mini-LeBron” as he’s known overseas will come back to play in the USA anytime soon. A number of schools are still interested, but he would need to sit out the requisite one year as a transfer if he decides to return.
- From the if-it-appears-to-good-to-be-true-it-probably-is category, the NYT over the weekend outlined some serious allegations involving a player handler/runner known as Kenneth Caldwell, whom the paper reports delivered several elite recruits to Central Florida this year — Kevin Ware, Michael Chandler, and DeMarcus Smith (football) . Caldwell, of course, denies any foul play other than “telling someone about a place [UCF],” but the story reads as many others have over the years — all you need to do is to change the name of the runner, his felonies and/or underworld connections, and the players involved. We really hate these stories.
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