Morning Five: 06.29.11 EditionPosted by jstevrtc on June 29th, 2011
- There’s been understandably little information coming out of Traverse City, Michigan, about the condition of Austin Hatch since the decision was made on Sunday to attempt to bring him out of the medically-induced coma. We’re hoping, as the saying goes, that no news is good news. For this situation, the NCAA has elected to ease the restrictions regarding communication between schools/coaches and recruits so that the University of Michigan (where Hatch verballed about two weeks ago) may offer whatever support they can for the young man. Around here, we’ve been occasionally critical of the NCAA where we felt it was warranted, but we also try to point out when they do something of which we approve. As far as this decision is concerned, please hold while we stand on our chairs and applaud.
- We wondered when this would start happening. There is a pretty prolific long-range bomber who currently finds himself free after a two-year hitch at a Big Six conference program. He’s currently considering new schools. His first visit? Butler. Listen, there are a lot of big-time, blue-chip schools who would love to have this man’s shooting ability as part of their arsenal. He knows that. Still, he’s checking out Butler. And not a single person should be surprised. With the recent success and the family atmosphere Brad Stevens brought to that program, we’ll wager that this won’t be the last time you hear of a top-tier transfer putting Butler on his list of possible landing sites right up there with the more traditional powers.
- So, fans of which sport are the most digitally connected of them all? Would we ask that question here if the answer wasn’t college basketball? According to a recent study, college hoopheads dominate use of social media. That doesn’t surprise us terribly, but some of the numbers in the study do — specifically, the comparison of percentages of sports fans who use Twitter vs Facebook, and the chances of a fan buying something of a certain brand if an athlete mentions it on either of those two social networking vehicles.
- Larry Drew II is still taking punches. Roy Williams recently spoke to the Asheville Citizen-Times about how he was looking forward to next year’s championship-caliber North Carolina team and a little bit about last season’s Elite Eight squad. Commenting on the calmer atmosphere of the program now compared to last season, Williams said, “I don’t forsee having to dismiss anyone from the team, so that’s more pleasant…I don’t forsee having to watch anyone leave at midseason. That’s more pleasant.” That’s obviously a reference to Drew II in there; John Henson was only slightly less diplomatic, adding, “I hate to say this, but when Larry left we pulled together and became more of a unit.”
- Like sports fans everywhere, we’re still saddened and in shock about the way, WAY-too-early loss of Lorenzo Charles. It’s not because he was a basketball player and he hit the most iconic shot in the history of the Tournament. That would imply that his life was reducible to just a few seconds, and we guarantee that he was much more than that to his family and friends. As long as we remind ourselves of that, though, it seems OK to remember that moment in Albuquerque as a symbol of the man rather than something that summarizes him wholly. SI.com’s Joe Posnanski wrote about what Charles’ dunk meant to him, and it’s one of the best things we’ve read in some time. As soon as you finish here, do yourself a favor and click on this link to read it yourself. [Ed. Note: I read the whole story twice; I read the paragraph that begins “Outside our apartment window…” at least six times. Fantastic.]