Morning Five: 12.13.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on December 13th, 2011
- Once again the dominant story of the day was the fallout from the Cincinnati–Xavier brawl. The most interesting news was the report that the Hamilton County District Attorney was looking into prosecuting players involved in the the fight. We are not really sure where to begin here except for noting that if charges were brought against the players it would be unusual, but not unprecedented (see the Todd Bertuzzi case in hockey). We are sure that some Musketeer fans are going to point out that Joe Deters, who may end up trying the case, is a graduate of Cincinnati and was previously on the school’s Board of Trustees, but we doubt that it will affect the case because we would expect that the two people most likely to be charged with serious crimes are both Bearcats.
- We thought we had gotten over the all-encompassing conference realignment story, but it turns out we were wrong as San Diego State announced yesterday that it would be moving 14 sports including basketball to the Big West from the Mountain West beginning in the 2013 season. The move is a curious one for a number of reasons including the fact that it is a huge step down in prestige for basketball (from 4th in the conference College RPI ratings down to 24th) and San Diego State is going to be playing its football games in the Big East. As strange as some of the other conference realignment stories have been this one has to be the most clear money grab that we have seen. The coaches can say whatever they want about this being good for recruiting, but that seems to be a pretty weak reason since we have never heard of a recruit who would want to go to the Big West over the Mountain West even if the former may get on ESPN more often with this new television deal.
- Yesterday, Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe pleaded guilty to violating a restraining order when he sent a Facebook message to a former girlfriend. According to Mbakwe’s attorney, he thought the restraining order had expired after one year, but in fact was two years. Mbakwe, who is out for the year after injuring his knee, was sentenced to one day in jail, which he already served, one year of probation, and given a $300 fine. As you may have noticed, we are not exactly the most lenient group in the world when it comes to people breaking laws/rules, but in this case it appears that Mbakwe’s violation was relatively minor, a thought that we expressed at the time that it happened last year.
- Washington got a bit of good news as a MRI revealed that junior center Aziz N’Diaye did not suffer any significant structural injury to his right knee during Saturday’s game against Duke. N’Diaye is listed as questionable (or in the words of Lorenzo Romar “very questionable”) for the Huskies next game, which is on Friday against UC-Santa Barbara, with what has been described as a sprain. When N’Diaye injured his knee the Washington staff had good reason to be concerned as he tore ligaments in that knee, which made him miss the 2009-10 season. While it is possible that N’Diaye could return on Friday, the team probably doesn’t need his size against a team whose top rebounder is 6’5″ so Romar may just decide to let him rest. We would point out that the Huskies have a relatively easy schedule coming up, but they are in the Pac-12 so they will not play a good team the rest of the season unless they make the NCAA Tournament.
- Seth Davis chimes in on the Crosstown Shootout brawl and various other college basketball topics in his weekly Hoop Thoughts column. As usual Seth does an excellent job getting information from a coach (in this case Chris Mack) and delves deeper into the ridiculous Tu Holloway–Mark Lyons post-game press conference. He also briefly touches on the dismissal of Reeves Nelson and a variety of other topics, of which there are too many to name. It is definitely worth a read and will make you think a little even if you don’t agree with everything Seth has to say.