Big East Morning Five: 12.19.11 EditionPosted by mlemaire on December 19th, 2011
- The big news of the weekend that we will have more analysis on later is that Pittsburgh freshman Khem Birch decided to leave the program over the weekend and is in fact already gone. The article cites sources saying that Birch still may change his mind, but this is a weird story with lots of implications for the Panthers. We will save most of the story for our later post, but this is a big blow to Jamie Dixon’s team, which was already struggling. Birch wasn’t making a major impact yet, but he was improving. This will be a story to follow.
- The Chicago Sun-Times writes what most of the country already knows — Notre Dame is not very good this season. It obviously didn’t help to lose Tim Abromaitis before he could even play five games and this team has been stricken with injury issues, but they are still discovering their offensive identity and it might not happen for a while. There is talent on the team, like redshirt freshman Jerian Grant and sophomore Eric Atkins, but Mike Brey has his hands full this season and the Fighting Irish will need to make a lot of strides if they want to sniff the NCAA Tournament.
- This story is barely relevant now but it is interesting to see that Marquette star Darius Johnson-Odom was suspended for Friday’s game against Northern Colorado for violating team rules. The Golden Eagles still won handily, and we will likely never know what team rules he broke, but this isn’t really the leadership Buzz Williams is looking for out of his senior and best player. There is really no point speculating other than to say that Marquette has the talent to make a deep run this season, and Johnson-Odom’s play and leadership will be essential to that goal. Hopefully he has received the message.
- One of the more sordid and strange stories of the weekend came from the Syracuse Post-Standard when they took an in-depth look at what went on inside Bernie Fine‘s house. The story is long and well-worth the full read, but as our crack research team noted, it is “a bit disturbing” that his home is being called “a hangout for boys.” It’s even more disturbing if he really was taking in troubled children and then molesting them. That type of abuse of power is just sickening.
- Anybody want to actually talk about what Syracuse is doing on the basketball court instead? Well the link is just a boring game recap, but I am using it to talk about how deep the Orange are… again. Dion Waiters is a star in the making, and he is coming off the bench. That is insane. They have depth at every position, star talent across the board, and if their big men can continue to improve, they will be tough to beat this season and should be considered a favorite for the National Championship.