Morning Five: 10.14.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on October 14th, 2011
- Pittsburgh comes into the season as a borderline top 10 team, but they may have some work to do in the early part of the season as senior Nasir Robinson will be out for 3-4 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee. Even though this is Robinson’s second surgery on that knee the team is not ruling out the possibility that he could return in time to play the season-opener against Albany on November 11. Even if Robinson returns at that time it is unlikely that he will be at 100%, which will mean more work for a front line that no longer has Gary McGhee anchoring it. Instead, freshman Khem Birch will probably be the one asked to step up and provide an interior presence for a team that has plenty of talent on the perimeter.
- While expectations for this season aren’t quite as high in College Park as they are in Pittsburgh, Maryland may also be dealing with similar issue on the inside at the beginning of the season unless they get a favorable ruling from the NCAA regarding the eligibility of Alex Len. The Terrapins were hoping for a decision today, but it appears that the NCAA had made no such suggestion and is “not anywhere close” to making a decision on Len’s eligibility. If Len is out for a prolonged period of time, we could very easily see the four guard line-up that Mark Turgeon referred to this summer because the Terrapins were going to be thin up front even with Lin and his absence only exacerbates that problem.
- It has been rumored for quite a while, but it was not official until yesterday–President Barack Obama will attend the North Carolina–Michigan State game on November 11 on the USS Carl Vinson. While this made a lot of news and has the potential to make the game even more special than it already was, it is worth pointing out that this will not be the first college game that Obama has attended while he has been President. One thing that the early announcement will do is increase the already ridiculous level of security that we expect for the event.
- Chapel Hill certainly was a busy place yesterday as news leaked that North Carolina was going to name Bubba Cunningham, the Tulsa athletic director, as its new athletic director at 8 AM today. Before Cunningham takes over, outgoing athletic director Dick Baddour gave Roy Williams (and coaches in two other sports) an extension through the 2018 season. We are certain that Cunningham would not have an objection to giving Williams an extension, but it seems rather strange that the outgoing athletic director would do so just a day before the incoming athletic director was going to be named.
- Everybody’s favorite malcontent Renardo Sidney appears to have turned over a new leaf (for now). According to reports out of Starkville, Sidney is in the best shape that he has been in since he arrived there and is actually able to complete the team’s conditioning drills (shades of Albert Haynesworth?). Perhaps more importantly Sidney has reportedly matured (probably very closely related to his weight loss and conditioning). If Sidney can stay in shape and keep his head on straight, Mississippi State could surprise some people. We aren’t saying they are going to knock off Kentucky, but a Sidney-Anthony Davis match-up could be very interesting.