Morning Five: 12.29.11 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on December 29th, 2011
- Yesterday the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced a “collaboration” that would enable them to have frequent inter-conference match-ups. As Gene Wojciehowski notes this agreement “could have far-reaching ramifications for both leagues.” Essentially the deal would enable the conferences to get some of the benefits of having a mega-conference and more national exposure without all the legal battles and huge exit fees. While most of the talk was centered around football and the possibility of a bowl game run by the two conferences outside of the existing bowl system, the effects on the basketball schedule could be felt as early as next season with more inter-conference match-ups. We are not sure how this would effect some of the current inter-conference match-ups like the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, but we hope that the schools cut out some of the cupcakes and guarantee games rather than some of the mid-majors that are given a shot against the “big boys”.
- Anthony Davis is featured in ESPN Magazine’s “Next” Issue along a handful of other athletes who are on the verge of becoming household names as well as Cam Newton, who is already there. The article does not really say much that our average reader doesn’t already know about Davis (growth spurt and really long, but not anywhere near his ceiling). Still it is a nice form of recognition that might get Davis noticed by basketball fans who might not otherwise pay attention to his game like those fans who only watch NBA basketball including some foreign fans. We have not seen anybody do an analysis on how often these “Next” athletes pan out, but we suspect when they pick athletes that are as far along as Davis much less Newton they have a pretty good track record.
- Former St. John’s commitment Ricardo Gathers (class of 2012) has “narrowed” his list to Kentucky, Duke, St. John’s, Baylor, LSU, and Florida, but has not set a date to announce yet. Meanwhile two highly sought-after class of 2013 recruits appear to be narrowing their lists more as Aaron Gordon is being pursued hard by Kentucky, but according to Josh Gershon of Scout.com they still trail Washington and Arizona while Julius Randle has not officially narrowed his list, but appears to be more focused on Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina in a recent interview. We do not expect Gordon or Randle to commit any time soon, but the clock is ticking on Gathers.
- As we noted earlier this week Virginia has lost quite a few transfers recently. One of those was power forward James Johnson, who has started to look at schools to transfer to and appears to be starting with San Diego State, Washington State, and New Mexico. Any of these schools would certainly welcome an ACC level recruit particularly a 6’9″, 240-pound power forward even one who put up unremarkable numbers in his short stay there (left midway through his redshirt freshman year). We have not heard any information about where Johnson is leaning, but if being close to home is a factor then San Diego State would have be the heavy favorite as it is only about an hour away from where he grew up.
- Richard Deitsch of SI.com handed out his media awards yesterday and some college basketball media members were prominently featured. As you would expect, Jay Bilas got the most nominations thanks to his all-out media blitz as a studio analyst, working courtside, and on Twitter. However, there were a handful of other prominent media members who made various lists (mostly good, but a few of them bad). While we could do without some of the stuff in there like all the non-college basketball talk, it is an interesting read especially for some of the media politics.