Morning Five: 03.01.12 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2012
- The big news yesterday the story by Sports Illustrated on the issues at UCLA including rampant drug use and multiple anecdotes about questionable behavior by Ben Howland. While the story is not explosive as many of the articles we have read about issues at other major programs, the reports on Howland’s behavior would concern us more because it would scare away more recruits since they are, at least theoretically, adults who make their own decisions about whether or not to use drugs although some would argue that your environment plays some role in those decisions particularly at the age of these recruits. However, from what we have heard most of their recruits remain committed to the program and Howland has issued a statement saying that if it is warranted he will change his ways.
- The most hyped of those recruits, Shabazz Muhammad, may have his own issues to attend to as the NCAA has reportedly warned teams that Muhammad’s eligibility may be in question due to connections between two financial advisers and his family. Muhammad’s father acknowledges knowing both of these men and that one has has paid for at least two of Muhammad’s unofficial college visits and the other sponsors Muhammad’s summer league team, but claims that their relationship began before Muhammad was a highly recruited prospect. He has also hired legal counsel to help deal with the NCAA’s investigation, but this could turn into yet another drawn out process that we have become all too familiar with over the past few years.
- Perhaps we were busy in the middle of the day and missed the discussion on this topic on Twitter, but it appears that there was some confusion regarding Bob Knight and his feelings toward Kentucky. We do not have access to the original draft of the article by Gregg Doyel, but according to Kentucky Sports Radio Doyel claimed that Knight listed the top five teams in the country and omitted Kentucky. However, when you look at Doyel’s current post, released at 11:33 AM before being edited at 3:50 PM, the section quoted on Kentucky Sports Radio has undergone a significant revision. Since we do not have access to the original post by Doyel that ran for over four hours before being edited, we are assuming the copy/paste skills of the people at KSR are functional. And when you listen to the podcast of the Mike and Mike interview that Doyel was referencing, Knight doesn’t list the top teams in the country and is just answering a question that is posed to him. While we respect Doyel’s ability as a writer, this seems highly questionable and possibly deceitful. While everybody who has written articles frequently online has gone back and edited a piece, it is generally accepted that those changes will be relatively minor revisions (like a typo or messing up a fact) and except in a few cases it would usually warrant an editor’s note or a correction, but in this case that isn’t given. When you actually listen to the interview, Knight does not list his top teams at no point in the conversation. He was asked about Syracuse and after being asked about them he is asked to name some favorites and in a roundabout way he says that Syracuse should be one of the favorites without naming another team. We love page views as much as the next site, but we think Doyel has some explaining to do here — did he actually listen to the clip before writing the article?
- With March Madness having already started even before March officially began Luke Winn takes a look at the nation’s top point guards and specifically their turnover habits. Looking at Kendall Marshall, Tyshawn Taylor, Jordan Taylor, and Marquis Teague (the four most frequently discussed point guards in the country) Winn breaks down their strengths and weaknesses in this area, which can become a major issue in March, in a level of detail that you will not find on any other free sites. We would love to see Luke’s raw data on this to see if it could be broken down further though at a certain level you are analyzing such small pieces that the results may not be meaningful, which is a level that Luke’s analysis does not appear to stray towards here.
- With the regular season winding down, the discussion of the National Player of the Year award becomes a little more heated. Heading into this week there was some discussion about this being a three-man race with Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson, and Draymond Green. If the ESPN’s national straw poll is any indication, it is more like a two-man race between Davis and Robinson with Green a clear #3. As Mike Rothstein notes, this would indicate that the national awards will probably be split between Davis and Robinson due to extremely tight nature of the voting and the fact that the votes for different awards have different submission dates ranging from March 4 to March 19.