Big East Morning Five: 03.27.12 Edition
Posted by Patrick Prendergast on March 27th, 2012
- Syracuse’s super sixth man Dion Waiters is not going to wait around for his starting slot next season with the Orange as Waiters announced he will be entering the NBA Draft. The athletic 6’4” guard will sign with an agent, eliminating any possibility of returning for his junior year. Waiters did not start a game this season for Syracuse but was widely regarded as the team’s most talented player. He posted averages of 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 24.1 minutes per game while being named the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year and making All-Big East Third Team. There could be quite a bit of roster turnover this offseason as Waiters joins departing seniors Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph, while fellow sophomore Fab Melo, who was suspended for the NCAA Tournament due to academic issues, may be soon to follow Waiters into the NBA draft.
- Another Big East guard, Providence’s Vincent Council, ended speculation that he might be leaving school to turn pro when he told Brendan McGair of the Woonsocket (RI) Call, who reported via Twitter, “I wasn’t really thinking about leaving (Providence College) at all.” It had been said Council was considering foregoing his senior year and that academics may have been a driver. An All-Big East Third Team selection this past season, Council averaged 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and a conference best 7.5 assists per game. The 6’2” New Yorker figures to be one of the top returning Big East point guards in what should be an entertaining backcourt next year as the Friars welcome in top 25 recruits Ricardo Ledo and McDonald’s All-American Kris Dunn.
- There are so many storylines around the Louisville versus Kentucky Final Four matchup there could be a two-week Super Bowl-type hype period to analyze and dissect. While everyone loves some good old-fashioned overkill, the good news is we only have until Saturday to anticipate how this historic match-up might play out. Certainly the head coaches are at, or near, the forefront of it all and as Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel points out, Louisville’s Rick Pitino will enjoy playing the underdog role in an effort to perhaps tighten Kentucky coach John Calipari and his team up a bit. While there is no question the pressure rests on Calipari and Kentucky, it is hard to fathom the magnitude of the moment getting by either team. As much as Pitino might love his side to play loose, he and his team both know the margin for error will be thin on Saturday.
- Plane ticket from Kentucky to New Orleans? $500-$1800. Hotel room in New Orleans? $400-$600 per night. Ticket to see Louisville take on Kentucky in the Final Four? $377. A chance to see one of the most anticipated match-ups in college basketball history? Well…pricey! If this weekend is any barometer of the economic state of our country things are progressing nicely. Despite the price tag demand is high for all of the above and supply is getting low as basketball crazy residents of the Bluegrass state have been more than willing to pony up. Getting to New Orleans is one thing. Plane seats are limited and anything involving a gas powered vehicle, whether car, SUV or bus comes with the pain of surging gas prices. What to do when one gets there is another. As of yesterday there were only about 2,200 of New Orleans’ 22,000 hotel rooms available even with hotels setting four-night minimums. It is great to go to a big game but will also be interesting to see if television sales in Final Four markets increase this week as people decide to ditch the planes, trains, and automobiles and use that money to purchase a longer-lasting Toshiba.
- The Associated Press revealed its All-America teams yesterday and while the Big East cannot boast any first teamers, the conference was well represented overall. Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder of Marquette (17.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG) and West Virginia’s Kevin Jones (19.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG) represented two of the six players who received second team honors while Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb (17.7 PPG, 4.9 RPB) took home an honorable mention distinction. Members of the first team included: Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Thomas Robinson (Kansas), and Jared Sullinger (Ohio State). Robinson was a unanimous selection.