Morning Five: 10.13.11 EditionPosted by rtmsf on October 13th, 2011
- Coaches with pretty impressive pedigrees cannot seem to stop talking about conference realignment these days. Yet with as much power and influence as these guys have at their respective universities, they wield very little leverage in the big-picture chess match being played by various college chancellors, presidents, and boards of directors. Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski provided opposing viewpoints on the matter Wednesday, with the four-time national champion coming out strongly in favor of further expansion of the ACC from 14 to 16 teams, and the three-time national champion unequivocally stating that his preference is for the Huskies to stick with the Big East. You have to believe that if John Swofford’s league eventually makes another move, one of the first inquiries will in fact be to the folks in Storrs, but maybe by that time both Calhoun and K will be in rocking chairs somewhere.
- Sticking with Connecticut, remember that Michael Bradley kid — you know, the one who UConn took a scholarship from to give it to a basketball phenom who likely will be there for one year? Yeah, that kid. He came out on the record Wednesday stating that he has since been given a financial aid package and that he was only one of several players who stepped forward for the good of the team when it became apparent that prep phenom Andre Drummond was prepared to enroll. Even UConn president Susan Herbst got into the act, saying that Bradley has been “taken care of.” The company line was apparently in full effect in Storrs on this day, but there’s one thing we absolutely want to see happen here — five years down the road when Drummond is off to the NBA and Bradley has moved on to whatever great things also await him, we truly hope that he receives a registered letter from his former teammate containing a certified check for the full amount of any student loan (plus interest) he might have taken out to make this happen. Drummond says that he and Bradley have a “great relationship” and are “really cool” with each other — well, if so, he’ll do the right thing and eventually pay the walk-on back in spades.
- This is a baseball story more than a college basketball story, but we don’t care. TBS/TNT’s Ernie Johnson has entertained us for years as the host of still the very best sports show on television, Inside the NBA. Last year with Turner Sports’ nascent involvement with the NCAA Tournament, Johnson played host for some of the studio coverage along with his good buddies Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and an assortment of others. He’s also a huge baseball guy, calling games for TBS as his father (whom he lost in August at the age of 87) had before him. In a normal year, he’d be doing the MLB playoffs right now before setting off to another hilarious NBA season in the studio with The Jet and Chuck — but this isn’t a normal year. Rather, Johnson, his wife and family have been keeping vigil with their eldest adopted son, Michael (one of four adopted children they have), who is suffering from muscular dystrophy and pneumonia in an Atlanta hospital. It’s a tragic story, but one that really shows just how good a guy Johnson is — we encourage everyone to read it.
- Because of that NBA lockout thing, college basketball fans from all over the country are getting a rare opportunity to see some of their former (but not too former) stars in action on their school’s hardwood again as players seek ways to fill their time when they otherwise would have been in training camps. Syracuse will hold a scrimmage on Friday night at the Carrier Dome featuring two teams of ‘Orange Legends,’ and they’re really not kidding with that name — tentative rosters include Carmelo Anthony, John Wallace, Hakim Warrick, Wes Johnson and Gerry McNamara — or, in other words, most of the best SU players of the last 15 years. We’ll definitely be tuning into the ESPNU special on Friday night for a taste of this.
- Is it just us, or did LSU head coach Trent Johnson get a little too brazen in his dodgeball attack on a Tiger cheerleader in this video taken Tuesday at the Maravich Maniacs dodgeball tournament in Baton Rouge? Start at the 1:00 mark — the dude does not hold back!