Morning Five: 12.16.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on December 16th, 2011

  1. While the legal system has decided not to get involved with the XavierCincinnati brawl, the fall-out of the brawl may not be over. A Cincinnati columnist is suggesting that the series be cancelled for two years to let things cool off between the two schools. That may seem like a good idea to some observers based on the fight and subsequent post-game comments of some of the players, but it appears that the schools have no intention of suspending the rivalry according to Xavier’s Athletic Director. We tend to agree that suspending the rivalry would be an overreaction, but everybody (from administrators down to team managers) will need to be on their best behavior when these teams meet over the next few years because the college basketball world will be watching them very closely.
  2. As usual Luke Winn’s Power Rankings are filled with interesting statistical nuggets and as we have said before we look at these more for the information than the rankings since rankings are essentially useless (uh, unless they come from RTC). The most controversial part is an analysis that shows that statistically Kentucky is a little better defensively when Anthony Davis is on the bench than when he is on the floor overall this season. This trend disappears (and actually reverses quite dramatically) in games against top 25 teams, but the analysis managed to create a mini-controversy online yesterday. Of course, this started a verbal sparring match between those who embrace statistical analysis and the college basketball Luddites. As we have said before the numbers and analysis are there for your consumption. How you choose to interpret them (or discard them) is up to you. Blindly accepting the figures because they are out there is no better than ignoring them completely. We prefer to sit somewhere in the middle where we look at the statistical analysis and then try to reconcile it with what we see with our eyes. If the two are incongruent, either we are missing something or someone is doing something funny with the numbers.
  3. The always entertaining Mark Titus, leader of the Club Trillion movement, is out with his latest article for Grantland ranking his top 12 teams in the country. It is an interesting list to say the least and we have a feeling that Ohio State fans won’t be too happy with him, but there are some interesting points in there including the decision by Ohio State and Kentucky to schedule very tough first road games coming back to bite them, which is something that was largely overlooked by the national media. Honestly, though, we think his thought process on his #1 team is a little simplistic unless he is being sarcastic in which case he is doing a very bad job at conveying that. Anyways, as you would expect with Titus it is an amusing read that is worth flipping through to get some insight from a former college basketball “player” on the top teams in the country.
  4. While its member institutions are handling out multi-million dollar contracts every few days to coaches with strong track records of failure, the NCAA is still trying to figure out what to do for compensation for its athletes. For now it appears as if they have hit an impasse as they decided to suspend discussion on the proposed $2,000 stipend until January. The issue will be readdressed when the NCAA’s Board of Directors meets next month after 125 schools voted to override its automatic adoption over the four following issues: “how quickly it was implemented, perceived impact on competitive equity, application of the allowance for student-athletes in equivalency sports, and implications for Title IX.” We suspect that like many other bigger economic problems, the NCAA like other bigger institutions will kick this can down the road to be dealt with another day.
  5. We would like wish our favorite malcontent of the 2011-12 season Reeves Nelson a fond farewell from the college basketball world as the recently dismissed UCLA big man will be taking his talents to Lithuania. We don’t have any more details at this time as a report earlier in the day cited Nelson’s father as saying that his son was heading to Europe, but would not say more until a contract was signed as the details were still being negotiated. We have to say it has been an interesting ride with Reeves during his brief time at UCLA and will leave you with this gem about how he plans on taking care of his mother.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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