Morning Five: 08.02.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on August 2nd, 2011
- It turns out that Oklahoma actually paid a price for being a repeat offender. No, the NCAA didn’t come down with the hammer on them. Instead, Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke elected to go to Butler over the Sooners. Clarke didn’t say that the uncertainty about Oklahoma’s situation was the key factor, but did mention it among his reasons for turning down a chance to play in his home state. Although Clarke won’t be available next season as he sits out per NCAA rules (yes, they enforce some — only for players) he should be a major asset for a Butler team that will be rebuilding and should provide them with one of the most dangerous long-range shooters in the nation.
- Defending national champion Connecticut released their non-conference schedule yesterday. Let us just say we are underwhelmed. While they do play a few big-name programs all of them are rebuilding so realistically their most difficult out-of-conference opponent may be Harvard, who they could play twice in about 10 days. From UConn’s perspective it is understandable that they want to ease the team into the post-Kemba Walker era, but if they don’t play well in the conference and manage to lose a few of these games they could find themselves on the bubble having to defend an atrocious out-of-conference schedule (don’t forget that they were in a three-way tie for 9th in the Big East at the end of the regular season before they began their run to the national championship).
- Over the weekend, Jerime Anderson was still listed as the host for the upcoming “I LOVE COLLEGE!!! ATHLETES PARTY!” on August 5th even after his arrest for stealing a Macbook and suspension from the UCLA basketball. In fact a co-planner of the event had confirmed that Anderson would be coming. It appears that Anderson (or someone in the UCLA athletic department) had the good sense to realize that throwing a party a few days after you were suspended for an on-campus arrest might not be the best PR move.
- Dana O’Neil provides an interesting feature on Brian Gregory, who left Dayton to take over a mess left by Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech. The background on Gregory is interesting and the Atlanta-area has more than enough to field a decent team (certainly better than the 13-18 record and 11th in the ACC that the Yellow Jackets were last season), but I can’t shake the feeling that if people are expecting Gregory to turn the Yellow Jackets into the third best program in the ACC (seriously, there is no way they ever challenge Duke or UNC) then they are going to disappointed. While Dayton did have a few solid seasons under Gregory every other season he was there they finished in the middle or back of the pack in the Atlantic-10. If Gregory can’t cut it in the Atlantic-10 with a fairly talented team, how is he going to survive in the ACC?
- Finally, we wanted to send along our best wishes to St. Louis coach Rick Majerus, who had a stent placed in one of his coronary arteries at a hospital in Salt Lake City on Sunday. Based on reports, it appears that Majerus is doing well after what appears to be an uncomplicated procedure. The announcements that have been made by the school have not indicated a specific time for Majerus to return to St. Louis as his team prepares for a 10-day trip to Canada starting on August 19th. We hope to see Majerus on the sidelines in the near future although we have to admit that we always enjoyed his random non sequiturs as an ESPN analyst.