Morning Five: 12.22.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on December 22nd, 2011

  1. Andre Drummond‘s arrival at Connecticut was met with quite a bit of fanfare, but there was also an element of unhappiness with how it was handled after the school took away a scholarship from another player (Michael Bradley, who literally spent time as a child in an orphanage) and gave it to Drummond citing a NCAA restriction against a recruited player coming in as a walk-on. It turns out that the school misinterpreted the rule and Drummond has been a walk-on since early November as the rule was actually that a player could walk-on as long as any financial aid was non-institutional. Drummond’s status as a walk-on only became public when Drummond mentioned that he was walk-on to the media. One other mildly interesting tidbit from the report is Drummond reportedly telling Bradley, “I’ll pay my way and take a scholarship next year.” We are not ready to buy into the hype that Connecticut fans are giving it as a sign that Drummond is coming back next year, but it is still amusing.
  2. Federal prosecutors have set up a phone and an e-mail hotline (both listed in the link) in an attempt to gather more information to build their case against former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine. We don’t think this says anything about the state of the investigation despite claims by quite a few Syracuse fans (not the majority) that this move reeks of desperation. We have obviously seen this work on countless movies and TV shows, but we are not familiar with any data on its utility in real-life situations. Obviously, doing so allows for anonymous people to come forward with legitimate information that they might not otherwise report, but it also allows for anonymous people to come forward with false information that they might not otherwise report.
  3. Shabazz Muhammad, the #1 recruit in the class of 2012, has narrowed his list down to six schools: Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UCLA, Arizona, and UNLV. In the video interview, Muhammad briefly discusses John Calipari being in the stands at a recent game, Sean Miller going to a practice, support from rabid UNLV fans, UCLA’s losses, and how he would fit into Duke’s system. As former Kentucky legend Rex Chapman notes, this announcement might be a little deceptive in its nature. We still have no idea when Muhammad intends on announcing his top choice, but with that list of schools we are certain that our little corner of the Internet universe will explode when he does announce.
  4. Jabari Bird, one of the top recruits in the class of 2013, has also narrowed his list and is reportedly considering just three schools: Arizona, California, and Washington. The latter two schools have apparently been very aggressive in their pursuit of Bird recently. While Bird isn’t quite the caliber of recruit that Muhammad is a commitment from Bird might be a bigger deal at the schools he is considering with the exception of Arizona than a commitment from Muhammad would mean for any of the schools that he is considering. Like Muhammad, Bird has not announced a date so theoretically this could drag on for more than a year before we know where Bird is headed.
  5. If there is one team that has been asking Santa for a win as a Christmas gift this holiday season it has to be Towson, who is on the verge of going a full calendar year without winning a game. The Tigers last won a game on December 29, 2010 when they beat La Salle 93-90 in overtime. Since that time they have lost 30 straight games and while they had a few close calls last year they have only had a shot at winning one game this season (a four-point loss to UMBC). To be fair, they did open up this season against an absolutely brutal schedule. At this point they have two games standing between them and 0-for-2011. On Friday, they play at home against Vermont and then the following Friday they head to Virginia for what would be their last shot at a win this season. Unfortunately, we don’t see them winning either of those games. In fact, according to Ken Pomeroy, who ranks the Tigers #343 out of 345 Division I schools, they won’t be favored in any of their remaining games (their best chance is January 11, 2012 at home against William & Mary) and have a 19.4% chance of a winless record this season. If it is any consolation, they are still a long way off New Jersey Institute of Techonology’s magical run, which ended at 51 games. However, if they were to lose all of their remaining games (including one conference tournament game), they would end the year with a 50-game losing streak, which would mean their 2012-13 season opener could be to tie the Division I record for futility.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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