Morning Five: 06.20.11 Edition
Posted by rtmsf on June 20th, 2011
- From the In Case You Missed It file, late last week we published a piece analyzing the weird NCAA/Kentucky/John Calipari love triangle that occurred as a result of the school honoring Cal’s 500th win last season. If you were on vacation or otherwise pre-occupied last week, the synopsis goes like this: Everyone is aware that the NCAA has vacated 42 of Calipari’s wins at UMass and Memphis because of the use of ineligible players (Marcus Camby and Derrick Rose). Recently, though, the NCAA learned from a “rival fan” that Kentucky’s official media materials still included the 42 wins as a part of Calipari’s aggregate total, thereby resulting in a “500th win” celebration that occurred late last season after a game against Florida. The NCAA requested that Kentucky make good on reconciling its win total with their own, and, after some lawyerly back-and-forth over the issue, Kentucky eventually acceded to the governing body’s request rather than face a hearing in front of the Committee of Infractions. As we stated on Friday, this is all fine and well — the win total should be the one recognized by the NCAA — but we’re not sure that the NCAA recognized the bag of
worms centipedes it was opening with this very issue. In our analysis, we found three examples of active coaches who “boast” vacated wins themselves — Steve Fisher at San Diego State, Todd Bozeman at Morgan State, and Mike Jarvis at Florida Atlantic — as but three more situations where their schools’ media guides represent a picture different than one warranted by the NCAA. Will the NCAA begin knocking on those schools’ virtual doors in coming weeks as well? We can’t imagine that the NCAA really wanted to waste its scarce and valuable resources on something so fundamentally trivial, but if the organization doesn’t step up and take responsibility for the mess it’s created here, then what little credibility it might have had pertaining to accusations of selective enforcement will be completely lost amidst a pile of balloons and confetti.
- They all come home eventually. Former Indiana superstar Calbert Cheaney, still the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer nearly two decades after his graduation, will return to Bloomington to become Tom Crean’s Director of Basketball Operations next season. Arguably the last great player Bob Knight coached, Cheaney was a three-time All-American at IU, culminating in becoming the consensus NPOY during the 1992-93 season. When the old-timers talk about “Indiana Basketball,” Cheaney’s Hoosier teams are the most recent version of what they have in mind — during his junior and senior seasons at IU, Indiana went 58-11 while making a Final Four (1992) and Elite Eight (1993) under his on-floor direction. Cheaney spent 13 seasons playing in the NBA and the last couple of years working as a special assistant in player development to the Golden State Warriors, but with a strong sense that the Tom Crean era in Bloomington is reaching a now-or-never point, Cheaney may be well-positioned to move up the ladder there quickly if he shows any coaching acumen at all.
- Bill Self picked up an impact player over the weekend who should be able to contribute to his Jayhawks immediately next season in the form of 6’7 Kevin Young, a former Loyola Marymount wing who spent last year getting his grades in order as a volunteer assistant coach at Barstow (KS) Community College. The bouncy swingman is a great last-minute addition for Kansas, who even with its prolific depth of talent will still have some trouble absorbing the loss of seven players next season. Young presumably could step right into a starting role next year, having performed at a high level (10/6 in two seasons) at LMU and possessing more experience than anyone else on the 2011-12 roster at his position. KU fans are likely feeling considerably better today about their upcoming squad than they did just a few short days ago.
- We mentioned a little over a week ago that USA Basketball’s World University Games training camp roster included 22 current collegians in the hopes that next year’s NPOY wouldn’t end up riding the pine as former Ohio State superstar Evan Turner did on 2009’s team. We’re still waiting to hear how those selections turn out, but the USA Under-19 three-day training camp concluded this weekend, and a lucky 13 rising freshmen and sophomores will represent the United States in international competition beginning in June 30 in Latvia. The roster includes: Keith Appling (Michigan State), James Bell (Villanova), Anthony Brown (Stanford), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan), Joe Jackson (Memphis), Jeremy Lamb (UConn), Meyers Leonard (Illinois), Khyle Marshall (Butler), Javon McCrea (Buffalo), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Tony Mitchell (North Texas), and Patric Young (Florida). The two biggest surprise omissions were the reigning Pac-10 ROY, Allen Crabbe (California) and all-ACC rookie Travis McKi (Wake Forest).
- It now appears all but certain that the November 11 Veteran’s Day game between Michigan State and North Carolina will take place on the USS Carl Vinson, the same aircraft carrier that — how should we put this? — disposed of Osama bin Laden’s body a little over a month ago. The game will take place on the flight deck, and since it’s usually 70 degrees and clear in San Diego regardless of the time of year, the odds are that this thing will go off without a weather hitch. Still, it would be amusing if a few light breezes blew in during the second half to make the shooters adjust on the fly, a little like this. We can always dream.