Morning Five: 09.20.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on September 20th, 2011

  1. We absolutely love the rant that Jim Boeheim went on yesterday as he spoke to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham. We linked the article by Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News in our Tumblr feed yesterday (see right), but the thing is just so full of great quotes — and what sounds like frank disgust — regarding conference realignment and specifically his school moving to the ACC. Another morsel: “Where would you want to go to to a tournament for five days? Let’s see: Greensboro, North Carolina or New York City? Jeez, let me think about that one and get back to you.”
  2. Love among the Big East and Big 12 ruins? More like survival. The honchos from each of those jilted conferences are now engaged in talks to evaluate the possibility that they could combine what’s left of their leagues into a new one and still exist as after the conference shuffling is all through. Anyone ready for a little Seton Hall-Baylor? Maybe some Cincinnati-Kansas State? Actually, the matchups aren’t that bad, but we’re again reminded of how people putting these conferences together don’t want to face geographic reality. Football teams will be unaffected, playing their one game a week, but what are basketball teams going to do? Go on MLB-type road trips where they knock off a few games in a row against their most distant conference-mates? See, there’s this thing called going to class…
  3. San Diego State sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin had generated some positive chatter over the summer, with his teammates anointing him the most improved Aztec on the squad. He only averaged 7.4 MPG last year, contributing 2.6 PPG and 1.7 RPG, but Steve Fisher seemed to trust him more and more as the season progressed. Franklin might still have that breakout soph season, but he may have created a bit of a hurdle for himself over the weekend. Early Sunday morning, Franklin was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI. As if that weren’t enough, he only turned 20 a couple of months ago. No comment from Fisher as of yet.
  4. OK, back to conference realignment, because we know you can’t get enough. West Virginia is one of the schools that seems to be caught both geographically and athletically in the middle of all this, with prognosticators seemingly placing them in a different conference every week. Frank Giardina of West Virginia Metro News has a few opinions on the matter, including 1) the WVU-Pittsburgh football rivalry is dead and Pitt would love to extract themselves from it, 2) WVU will move to the SEC, 3) TCU will never play a single second in the Big East, and 4) the late great hall of fame coach and Big East founder Dave Gavitt was no friend to basketball programs at WVU, Rutgers, and Penn State, and Gavitt’s emphasis on making the Big East a basketball-centered conference is exactly what’s killing it now. Thoughts?
  5. Meanwhile, while everyone in the Northeast (and the Midwest, and a good deal of the South) wonders what conference they’ll belong to in a year or two, Ben Howland out at UCLA just goes about his business in putting together one heck of a recruiting class from the class of 2012. He had already signed (rankings via the ESPNU 100) #50 Jordan Adams, a 6’5”, 210-pound small forward from Georgia, and #72 Dominic Artis, a 5’11” PG from California. Then, last night, #5 Kyle Anderson tweet-committed to the Bruins, and it’s worth noting that Anderson, another SF at 6’7” and 210-pounds, is from New Jersey. Did all this conference instability have anything to do with his decision? Probably not, since UCLA is an impressive draw all by itself, but hey…it probably didn’t help matters. Something to keep in mind: the #1 player in the nation, 6’6”, 215-pound SF Shabazz Muhammad, apparently has the Bruins in his final five.
jstevrtc (547 Posts)

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