Morning Five: Cinco de Mayo EditionPosted by rtmsf on May 5th, 2011
- Former UNLV star and NBA veteran Stacey Augmon joined Dave Rice’s brand-new UNLV staff as an assistant coach on Wednesday. The Plastic Man is the Runnin’ Rebels third-leading all-time scorer with over 2,000 points and is widely regarded as one of the best collegiate defenders of his era (a three-time national defensive player of the year selection). A popular player both during his playing days and afterward, he, along with other stars Larry Johnson and Greg Anthony, helped compose one of the most fearsome collegiate lineups of all-time; while Augmon was in Vegas, UNLV went 126-20 including back-to-back trips to the Final Four and winning a national title in 1990. With his #32 jersey hanging in the rafters of the Thomas & Mack Center, Augmon will certainly have the adequate standing to convince potential recruits of how a few years in Sin City can further a young players’ career.
- Wednesday’s NBA Draft news focused on another somewhat questionable decision in that Michigan’s Darius Morris has decided to keep his name in as an early entrant despite projected by most observers as a second round pick. An interesting byproduct of several elite players staying in school — namely, Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, and Perry Jones — is that the meme of “weak draft” has been repeated to the point that many second- and third-tier players now think they have a good shot at reaching the first round’s guaranteed money. Sigh. Sometimes you can’t win for losing with these guys, right? In equally relevant news, Maryland’s Jordan Williams has also decided to chase the dollars, having signed with an agent and making his announcement to leave school on Wednesday. He’s projected as a late first-round or early second-rounder, but remember, folks… it’s a weak draft.
- We mentioned yesterday in the M5 that Kentucky’s “pro day” allowed NBA GMs and personnel to watch several Wildcats work out all at once rather than having to travel all over the country in a very short window of time. We also mentioned that forward Terrence Jones’ decision would end up being “predictably unpredictable,” and if DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony’s tweets today are any indication, you should count on it. His mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader yesterday that her son would take until ‘the last minute’ to make his decision about whether to leave school. And if we know anything about this guy, he’ll do whatever he feels will surprise the maximum number of people.
- The Shane Battier Rule is finally near enactment at the collegiate level. The NCAA Rules Committee on Wednesday recommended that all levels of men’s basketball add the semi-circle known as the “restricted arc” to eliminate secondary defenders taking charges directly underneath the opposing basket. For the last two seasons, the NCAA has utilized an imaginary arc under the basket, but referees often had just as much trouble deciding how far out the restricted area extended away from the basket to apply — this will make things much cleaner and easier on everyone. As a fan, there’s nothing more infuriating than to watch an excellent offensive move taken away by an off-ball defender perching himself directly underneath the basket well after the ball has left the driving player’s hand, so we’re particulalrly thankful for this legislation. The rule change will still need to be approved by the Rules Oversight Panel on June 9, but we should expect it to accept the recommendation. As a brief aside, the committee also recommended that coaches next season have the ability to ask for a monitor review at any time during the game (for example, to contest a two-pointer counted as a three). The tradeoff is that if the coach’s request for review turns out to be incorrect (keeping with the example, the two-pointer actually was a two), he risks losing a timeout. Interesting idea.
- Set your DVRs now. Ohio State alumnus Bob Knight will be honored at an OSU-Lamar game on December 20 for his time as a player in Columbus and general contributions to college basketball. Why Lamar? Well, his son, Pat, you may recall, took over as the head coach down in Beaumont, Texas, a month ago. By that point in the season, Coach K (with 900 wins) will likely have surpassed Knight (902) as the all-time wins leader, but it will be interesting to see if Buckeyes fans will think of the longtime Indiana coach as one of their own, or if they’ll still harbor resentment from a number of years of losses at the hands of the General. We’d imagine it could get interesting on the mic if OSU fans decide to get creative that evening.