Morning Five: 07.27.11 EditionPosted by rtmsf on July 27th, 2011
- Most college players spend their summers trying to improve their games in one way or another. Some kids shoot 500 jumpers a day, while others work on improving their lateral quickness or positioning and footwork. Butler’s rising senior point guard Ronald Nored, the Bulldogs’ defensive dynamo who has lived in the shorts of the opposing team’s best perimeter players for the better of three seasons, spent some of his offseason prepping for what he figures will be his ultimate destiny: Coaching. His AAU team, called The Truth, attempts to bring The Butler Way to amateur prep basketball, and to hear one of his players tell it, the difference Nored provides as the head man is music to our ears: Greg Gardner says, “He’s not like most AAU coaches. We run offense, we play tough defense. Most AAU coaches let the kids run up and down. We don’t do that – we actually play real basketball.” Can we clone a thousand of these Noreds to start teaching basketball at the amateur level all around the country — please?
- An update to Salinas-gate… SI’s Pablo Torre reported on Tuesday that a number of additional names have been added to the list of investors who have lost millions of dollars as a result of David Salinas‘ financial shenanigans prior to committing suicide last week. The most notable newbies to us are former K-State player Cartier Martin ($375,000), former Baylor star Ekpe Udoh ($350,000) and former New Mexico athletic director and NCAA Selection Committee member Rudy Davalos ($83,000). Perhaps the most interesting part of Torre’s article, though, was this line: “SI has also learned Salinas has numerous other sports-related clients — college basketball coaches included — whose names are not yet public, and whose money is not believed to be at risk in this particular case.” We’re not sure exactly what that might mean, but our guess is that coaches around the country are keeping their accountants on speed dial.
- We made mention of the trials and tribulations of Mississippi State center Renardo Sidney and his ongoing weight problems earlier this week, but according to Gary Parrish at CBSSports.com, he’s not the only talented big man having troubles keeping the pounds off this summer. UCLA head coach Ben Howland told Parrish that his rising sophomore center, Josh Smith, is “about 10 pounds over where he was last season,” a somewhat alarming statement given that the player checked in at a puffy 305 pounds last season. There were times last year when Smith appeared to have All-American written all over him, but his conditioning issues and excessive weight resulted in him only playing about half the time (21.7 MPG) and finding himself in foul trouble way too often (15 times with four fouls or more). Not good news for UCLA fans hoping to recapture the mojo of their school’s Final Four runs of 2006-08.
- Dana O’Neil caught up with Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun on Orlando on Tuesday and asked him point-blank if UConn president Susan Herbst’s review of the athletic department has anything to do with his icy relationship with athletic director Jeff Hathaway. Perhaps predictably, Calhoun ducked any inference of himself as puppet-master: “I 100 percent do think that’s unfair. I have nothing against anybody. Jeff and I, our relationship hasn’t always been all that it should have been. When he came back [in 2003], he seemed to have changed somewhat and they say when you move over six inches to the head coach’s chair, things change. But I don’t want to see anybody lose a job.” Maybe we should re-visit this comment next month, because UConn sports under Hathaway is coming off one of its best years in history — what other reason could there be to get rid of the guy?
- Yesterday we made mention in the M5 of Basketball Prospectus’ thoughtful list of the top 100 returning players in college basketball for the 2011-12 season. We didn’t have time to do our own vetting of the list, but The Big Lead did, and as he says in the title to his post, he has some “issues” with it. He makes some good points (especially the complete omission of Mr. Photo-BBQ, Aaron Craft), but such lists are highly subjective and speculative as a matter of course. Let us know if you, like TBL, had any issues with BP’s list in the comments below.