Morning Five: Fourth of July Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 4th, 2011

  1. Since it is “Independence Day” (debatable depending on the depth of your knowledge of US history), we are going to start of with the US National team specifically the Under-19 team competing in Latvia. The team is off to a 3-0 start after its 82-66 win over China on Saturday. The team was led by two players that you would expect to be effective–Jeremy Lamb and Tim Hardaway Jr.–as well two players–Doug McDermott and Khyle Marshall–that the casual college fan may be less familiar with. The US was the only team to make it through round-robin play undefeated, but narrowly survived an upset bid by Serbia earlier this week. Their next game, which will take place on Tuesday, should be significantly tougher as they will be going up against Jonas Valanciunas, the 5th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, and a Lithuanian team that knocked them off in pre-tournament play.
  2. When Mike Anderson left Missouri to take over at Arkansas many expected Phil Pressey to follow Anderson, whom he had known his entire life (Pressey’s father was Anderson’s roommate in college) to Little Rock. So when Pressey decided to stay in Columbia it surprised many observers and his reasons for staying remained a secret until last week. Pressey’s reason to staying at Missouri turn out to be pretty much what you would expect from a player in his position: not wanting to sit out a year, wanting to stay with his current teammates (including his brother Matt), and a connection with new coach Frank Haith. If the Tigers end up having a solid year in Haith’s inaugural season in Columbia, Pressey’s decision to stay will probably be a major factor.
  3. The details of Lon Kruger‘s new contract with Oklahoma were released late last week and while most of the public will obsess over all the financial details (NCAA Tournament, personal services, buyouts, etc), but the most interesting part of the contract for us is the clause that states that Kruger must respond “accurately and fully within a reasonable time to any request or inquiry relating to the performance of his duties during his University employment.” As the article notes this was not included in the contract of recently fired coach Jeff Capel. We aren’t sure if this was in response to something that Capel did or did not do (or just college coaches in general), but it is an interesting clause although we are not sure what the point of it is other than to say it explicitly. In our minds, every contract for someone coaching a NCAA sport should have this as an expected clause whether or not it explicitly stated.
  4. The summer recruiting trail is heating up and the class of 2012 has a new #1 player, Shabazz Muhammad, at least according to Rivals. As you would expect Muhammad will have the attention of every major program in the country, but you should not count out  UNLV, which is in Muhammad’s backyard. On top of the proximity and appeal of staying close to home, UNLV also has new coach Dave Rice, the brother of Muhammad’s high school coach Grant Rice, which could help sway Muhammad’s decision.
  5. NC State legend Lorenzo Charles was buried on Saturday in a service that included many of his former teammates and members of the current athletic department. As we mentioned in our initial post on his death Charles will forever be remembered for his dunk at the end of the 1983 NCAA Championship game, but to remember him solely for that would be a disservice to his excellent career at NC State where he averaged 18 PPG and 7.3 RPG in his final two seasons as he made the All-ACC First Team both times during an era where the ACC was turning out several lottery picks every season. As his niece Ericka stated during the ceremony, “I can’t believe he is gone.” Neither can we.
nvr1983 (1318 Posts)


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