Big East Morning Five: 02.16.12 Edition
Posted by Patrick Prendergast on February 16th, 2012
- As anticipated, Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun sat out last night’s 80-54 win over DePaul as he continues his recovery from spinal stenosis. Last night marked the fourth straight game for the Huskies without Calhoun on the sideline and he will be out a little longer. The school said Calhoun will not resume his coaching duties for at least the next two games, Saturday versus Marquette and Monday at Villanova. In recent days Calhoun was said to still be in significant pain but it appears his condition, and knowledge around how to best treat it have since improved but there is still no definitive timetable for a return as evidenced by a statement issued by Calhoun, “I am happy that we seem to have located the problem and I am currently moving forward with treatment. We have to give that treatment time to see whether or not it is effective,” said Calhoun. “I’m hoping by the middle of next week, we will have a much clearer picture of where we are and when I can look forward to getting back to doing what I do,” he added.
- Lawyers for Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, who are suing Syracuse University and Jim Boeheim for defamation involving comments made in the wake of Davis’ and Lang’s accusations of sexual misconduct by former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine, filed a memo opposing a previously filed motion by the defendants asking for a change of venue for the case. Currently the case is being heard in New York City but the Boeheim and Syracuse camp believe it should be moved to Onondaga County, where Syracuse is located. The prosecution wants the case to remain in New York City and cited the celebrity status that is Syracuse basketball as a reason in the memo indicating that there would be a strong bias in favor of the defendants given the larger than life presence of and adulation for the program. I am not a judge, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but the prosecution appears to have a point here.
- We are staying hot on the trail of Nerlens Noel (boy did I just set myself up for some “commentary” from my colleague Mike) who is the number one recruit in the land after reclassifying to the class of 2012 and looking to sign this April. Four of his seven finalists (Syracuse, Connecticut, Providence, Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown, and North Carolina) are Big East schools. Noel had a highly publicized visit to Syracuse last weekend and there will be no shortage of things written and said when he heads to Lexington to visit Kentucky and head coach John Calipari. Kentucky hosts Mississippi on Saturday. There is much more to say here but I am going to vacate (get it Nerlens, vacate?) the rest of this item.
- Yeah, that’s NOT the ticket. St. John’s fired senior associate athletic director Brian Colleary yesterday after completing an investigating into what the school termed “inappropriate activities” involving the handling of tickets. The only specific event reported was the Big East tournament. The official statement called the reason for termination a “misappropriation of tickets”. Colleary was suspended without pay on February 9 pending a review of the situation by the school. The school also indicated the investigation revealed this was an isolated incident but additional controls have been put in place to ensure it does not happen again.
- It was a bit of a slow news day around the Big East on Thursday but there were some notable tidbits emanating from last night’s game action. South Florida took out Villanova last night 65-51 to run their Big East record to 9-4 which tied a school record for Big East wins. Providence managed to make something of a game of it on the road at Cincinnati, cutting a 22 point second half deficit down to seven before succumbing to the Bearcats 81-66 which marked the 22nd consecutive conference road loss for the last-place Friars. That is not easy to do folks. Notre Dame has now won seven straight Big East games and notched their tenth Big East win (10-3) after they rolled Rutgers 71-53 last night.