Morning Five: 08.08.11 EditionPosted by jstevrtc on August 8th, 2011
- John Pelphrey’s doing fine, thanks, and he appreciates your asking. The firing from Arkansas still stings a little, but he’s back at Florida as an assistant under Billy Donovan, a position he’s held before to considerable acclaim. While he seems happy to be back in a familiar place doing a job he loves, being a head coach again at a “network conference” school is something he won’t (and shouldn’t) allow to fall off his radar. We like following the career arcs of coaches in situations similar to the one Pelphrey’s in right now, to see how and where they bounce back.
- Last week, SI.com’s Luke Winn stepped up with yet another tour de force, this time an in-depth examination of the “commitment behaviors” of players listed as top-100 recruits in the recruiting rankings. Winn and his staff put some serious time into this investigation, so we don’t want to give away all of his findings, but his data revealed — and this is just one interesting factoid among many in the article — that kids who transferred high schools were almost twice as likely to eventually back out of a college commitment. Fascinating stuff here in the midst of these days of extreme college basketball “fickleness,” as Winn describes it.
- It’s only a matter of time until those rudimentary free markets and the walls at, say, People’s Basketball Collective #17 are awash with Duke merchandise and photos of the inestimable Mike Krzyzewski, if they aren’t already. We hope they’ve packed their guidebooks and downloaded those vocal translator apps, because the Blue Devils are off to China next weekend with a little side jaunt to Dubai thrown in there, too. Not only will the 13-day trip help Coach K see how his five new incoming frosh fit in with his returning charges, but, as Krzyzewski says, it also helps forward their “initiative to become a global entity.” Wait, you mean…they weren’t one?
- Last month, Notre Dame incoming freshman Eric Katenda was in Washington DC playing a pick-up game. He went up for a rebound, came down, and an opposing player went for the ball, but hit Katenda in the left eye…severing his optic nerve. While there’s plenty of research out there aimed at regenerating optic nerve tissue after it’s been cut, medical science isn’t far enough along right now to help Katenda regain his vision in that eye, so his college basketball career is already in question and he hasn’t even fully enrolled yet. We hate hearing things like this and we can’t imagine the disappointment Eric is feeling, but we were happy to read that Notre Dame still plans to honor the young man’s scholarship, whatever happens.
- Herb Magee has amassed 922 wins in his coaching career, ALL at Philadelphia University, and as of 48 hours ago he assumed his rightful place in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. We’re sure you’ve already heard of Coach Magee and his coaching excellence, and how he’s known as The Shot Doctor. But that’s not just because he’s good at helping others with their form from distance. In his day, Magee could — actually, he still can — make it rain. He scored 2,235 points in his career (that’s 24.0 PPG) and was known as Baby Jesus, a nickname you don’t earn in Philly unless you deserve it. If he’d have had the three-point line, his numbers would have been even more impressive. The Philadelphia Inquirer did a great piece on Magee and his shooting prowess a day ahead of his HOF induction, and we recommend it highly. We love how Magee’s friends rib him about how his #4 jersey that hangs in the gym’s rafters isn’t so much his jersey number as it is his career assist total. Outstanding.