Morning Five: 12.28.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on December 28th, 2011

  1. One of the primary criticisms of the NCAA in Taylor Branch’s piece in The Atlantic was that student-athletes were only given one-year renewable scholarships that could be pulled due to factors not related to their academic performance such as injury, poor on-field performance, or a change in coaching regime that leads to the student-athlete’s athletic skillset to be less desirable. To counter that the NCAA proposed that individuals be eligible for multiyear scholarships, but more than 75 schools have objected to the proposal meaning that the proposal will go in front of the NCAA’s Board of Directors next month where it will be reevaluated. The primary criticisms offered by the objecting schools was that they wanted to keep athletic scholarships in the same format as most scholarships at the school (renewed annually) and that multiyear scholarships would create bidding wars between competing schools. While we can see some reasoning in those arguments when you combine it with their earlier opposition to cost of living stipends the schools appear to be unwilling to give student-athletes any concessions in the latest round of negotiations.
  2. When your team starts 1-11 one of the positive things you can say is that things cannot get much worse, but for Rhode Island it appears like things will get worse after they dismissed Jamal Wilson, their leading scorer, from the team after violating undisclosed team rules. Even before Wilson’s dismissal it seemed possible that the Rams might not win more than a handful of their remaining games. Now with Wilson gone it is a distinct possibility that they might not win another game this season. Using Ken Pomeroy’s rating system, the only two games that they have greater than a 40% predicted chance of winning are against a terrible Fordham squad. Without Wilson they might still be favored in their game at home against Fordham, but will be hard pressed to win any other games.
  3. Drew Cannon of Basketball Prospectus analyzed the intense discussion surrounding Luke Winn’s power rankings two weeks ago. In those power rankings, which we discussed in our Morning Five the following day (see point #2), Winn pointed out that based on points allowed per possession Kentucky actually appeared to be a slightly better defensive team with Anthony Davis on the bench than when he is on the court. As we noted that day, the decision by some people to use that statistic to question the use of all advanced statistics was myopic. Given the additional space of a whole post rather than a single Morning Five bullet, Cannon goes into additional detail about what happens in situations like these and what we would consider a reasonable way to handle these situations.
  4. With schools on holiday break a number of players are reconsidering their situation within their program and opting to make a break from their current situation. The most recent of these is Illinois sophomore guard Crandall Head, the younger brother of former Illini star Luther Head, who has decided to transfer. Unlike his brother, Crandall has had minimal impact at the school and was averaging just 1 point, 0.6 rebounds, and 1 assist in 9.2 minutes per game. According to the school’s press release, he has not listed any schools that he is considering transferring to, but that he wants to go “somewhere they play my style of game and get a fresh start”. We are not sure which schools he is considering, but it may be instructive to look at the schools he was considering when he was being recruited in high school.
  5. Finally, Rick Pitino announced yesterday that he would not coach after the 2016-17 season. You might expect that we would lead our post with this, but we don’t believe that Pitino will actually retire at that time and if he does it will not be because of something he mentioned at press conference more than five years earlier. It does raise a few interesting questions with the first and most obvious being who would be Pitino’s successor at Louisville. The most interesting (or at least most nepotistic) choice would be his son Richard Pitino, but there will be no shortage of successful mid-major coaches and high-level assistants looking for their big break when Pitino does decide to retire. The other more immediate question is how Pitino expects to succeed as a recruiter in a few years when every other coach in America will be whispering to his recruits that they will never get to play for Pitino because he will step down before they graduate.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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