Morning Five: Thanksgiving Day Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 24th, 2011

  1. After suffering a rash of injuries early in the season, Louisville finally got some good medical news when it cleared Rakeem Buckles to return to practice today. Buckles is coming back from surgery on his right knee after tearing his ACL at the end of February. We are not sure what kind of shape Buckles is in now, but we hope that he is in better health (and has better luck) after an injury-riddled sophomore season in which he had to sit out three different times due to various injuries (ACL tear, concussion, and a broken finger). If Buckles comes back in shape, he could provide the Cardinals with some much needed toughness in the paint.
  2. The investigation into allegations against Bernie Fine appears to be getting messier. While there are additional details coming out about how the case came back into spotlight, the real action is happening between the Syracuse DA’s office and police department. After initially serving the police department with a subpoena and being met by claims of wanting to present the case in whole rather than pieces, the DA is now claiming that the police department illegally leaked the reports from the alleged victims in an attempt to embarrass the DA’s office for the way it originally handled the case. The way things are going it appears like this case may not have the tawdriness and explicit details of a school orchestrated cover-up that some are speculating may have happened at Penn State, but we may have a much messier legal situation because two of the primary prosecuting entities are bickering, which may compromise whatever case there is here.
  3. Sunday was a rough day for Washington. Not only did they get blown out at Saint Louis, but sophomore C.J. Wilcox also suffered a concussion after running into a screen. He has been limited in practice this week, but is expected to play tomorrow. Prior to Sunday’s game, which he had to leave early and did not come back, Wilson had been leading the team in scoring with nearly 19 points per game. According to the report it appears to be a relatively mild concussion so they expect he will be able to return at full strength. In any event, the Huskies probably will not need Wilcox’s services that much until two weeks from now when they play Marquette and Duke.
  4. Steve Alford may have a somewhat unique recruiting situation on his hands as his son Bryce is putting up some big numbers as a junior in Albuquerque. In a win on Tuesday night, Bryce scored 44 points to break a school single-game scoring record held by former Arizona star A.J. Bramlet. While Bryce is not considered one of the truly elite recruits in his class at this time, he is highly regarded and probably would fit in well at his father’s school assuming he wants to stay in the area and be coached by his father. Steve will not only have the advantage of being in his son’s ear everyday (assuming the NCAA doesn’t have a rule against fathers talking to their sons); he will also have other advantages that nobody else can match. As USC’s legendary coach John McKay said of recruiting his own son, “I had a rather distinct advantage. I slept with his mother.”
  5. As we mentioned in a column yesterday, Kentucky’s team is fascinating on a number of levels. We choose to focus on the variability of each player’s individual performance and how they are relying on individual excellence rather than a team-based approach. Andy Glockner has an excellent piece on how John Calipari is dealing with coaching such a young team, an experience that is not that new for him. As Glockner notes, this type of young talented team is increasingly common at Kentucky and its legacy will be determined by how well it reacts to Calipari’s coaching.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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