Morning Five: 08.10.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on August 10th, 2011

  1. So many teams are either on or about to go on international trips, so the question that logically follows is…how much do they really help? Our stance has always been that any benefit is more a result of the broadening of minds and the improved camaraderie that international travel usually entails, and the ten days of extra practice time don’t hurt either. Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy took a look at how much these trips help in terms of the effect on a squad’s record from one season to the next. We think the result might surprise you.
  2. Speaking of international trips, incoming Duke freshman Quinn Cook will be making the trip to China with his teammates this weekend, but he won’t be playing in any of the games. Cook played his senior year of high school with strained ligaments in his right knee, and Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t think Cook has had enough time to get himself fully fit for the games in China. He’s expected to be ready for preseason practices, but this delay puts Cook behind in the battle for minutes within that loaded platoon of  Blue Devil guards.
  3. Wasn’t it just a couple years ago that people were talking about how Rick Pitino looked like he had aged several years in just a few months, that rumors swirled about his health and, of course, how long it would therefore be before he left his post as Head Cardinal? The new five-year extension he just signed at Louisville ought to quell any remaining speculation on such matters. That white suit will continue to make its appearance during so-called white-out games through the 2017 season, so get used to it if you’re not already. Pitino detractors will be quick to point out that just because he signs doesn’t mean he’ll stay. We’d respond that if you think that’s exclusive to Rick Pitino, you’re nuts.
  4. Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois for 2009-10. McDonald’s All-American. Promising Illini freshman. Former Illinois guard Jereme Richmond probably longs for the days when such terms were used to describe him, and it was only about a year ago. Now, after a freshman season filled with disappointing play, a couple of suspensions, and a bad decision to leave school for the NBA Draft (unsuccessfully) after his single campaign, Richmond currently sits in a Lake County, Illinois jail on a weapons charge, among several others, after threatening a 17-year old girl. The Chicago Tribune has the full details.
  5. An official for the town described last year’s regional in Newark as “a catalytic event.” That appears an apt description, since the three East region games there produced $6.3 million for the local economy, and that doesn’t include transportation costs, ticket sales, or parking. That amount wasn’t all due to the RTC correspondent’s food and (mostly) beverage bill, but was rather comprised by $1.5 million in hotel room costs and the remaining $4.8 million covering restaurant bills and merchandise. Not a big surprise, when you think back to it. If you want to provide a jolt to your local economy, you’d want four fanbases that travel well and spend even better, right? Last year’s Newark regional: Ohio State, Kentucky, Marquette, and North Carolina.
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