Morning Five: 08.24.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on August 24th, 2011
- Although we focus primarily (OK, solely) on men’s basketball, we would be remiss if we did not talk about Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, who disclosed yesterday that she was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to announcing the news, Summitt also stated she intended to continue coaching her basketball team next season and for the foreseeable future. We are sure that many members of our audience have either had loved ones or interacted with individuals who suffered from this progressively debilitating condition. Like the rest of the college basketball community, we wish Summitt the best of luck in her battle with Alzheimer’s. Also if you are going to read just one column about Summitt today, we suggest this piece by Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post.
- The day’s other big college basketball news also came out of Tennessee, but this time it came from the men’s program where it appears that recently-fired head coach Bruce Pearl will receive a three-year show cause penalty while three of his assistants will receive one-year show cause penalties. Outside of the penalties against these four coaches and the school’s previous self-imposed ones, the school got off with relatively little damage, including the football program and former coach Lane Kiffin. For new coach Cuonzo Martin this means that he has an opportunity to rebuild the program without having to deal with a significant amount of fallout from Pearl’s prior indiscretions. As for Pearl and his assistants, this means that they will have to be away from the game of basketball for a little while. Oh wait, the NBA…
- It seems like the athletic department at Miami just can’t seem to catch a break. First there was Reggie Johnson‘s knee injury that will sideline him until at least the start of ACC play. Then there was the small matter of the ongoing Nevin Shapiro debacle. Now there is news that senior Julian Gamble may be lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Gamble’s junior year numbers (3.8 PPG and 4.0 RPG) might not make this seem like a big loss, but in the context of losing Johnson’s huge inside presence, the injury to Gamble will make life even more difficult for new coach Jim Larranaga. The way things are going, Frank Martin must be feeling pretty good about being passed over for the Miami job.
- If any coach in men’s college basketball is having a worse summer than Larranaga it may be new Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie. After being caught up in not one, but two high-profile Ponzi schemes, the former Kentucky coach finds himself in the news again after Sports by Brooks reported that he was already causing havoc within the basketball program in Lubbock. In addition to having several members of the staff leave the program, Gillispie was reportedly in “multiple, heated altercations” with an assistant, who eventually left. It is possible that Gillispie might just be the unluckiest guy in college basketball, but at this rate he may develop a reputation bad enough to make him untouchable, even with his stellar resume prior to his arrival in Lexington.
- A number of big-time recruits in the class of 2012 announced that their “lists” had shrunk yesterday, but only one — Kris Dunn — is set to make a verbal commitment. According to Adam Zagoria, Dunn, one of the top point guards in this year’s senior class, is set to commit to Providence at a conference at 1 PM today. While this would be a huge pick-up for new coach Ed Cooley it is worth pointing out that the Friars also had a verbal commitment from Ricardo Ledo earlier this year, but he later backed out of the commitment, although Ledo is still considering the Friars in his new final five. The lesson here is that while you should be happy when a recruit commits to your school, don’t get too excited until he signs a letter or, even better, sets foot on campus.