Morning Five: 06.29.12 EditionPosted by rtmsf on June 29th, 2012
- Last night was NBA Draft night, and as always, some players shot up the board in the final tally while others fell off. We’ll have much more on the top draft storylines later today, but for now we’ll briefly tease it by saying the biggest winner of the night was no surprise to absolutely anyone: John Calipari. With six more players selected in this draft (four in the first round), Calipari has put an absurd 15 players into the NBA Draft in his three seasons in Lexington (11 in the first round). There have only been 90 first rounders selected in the last three years, and 83 of those spots went to US collegians, which means that 13.3% of that round has belonged to his recruits. Even in the one-and-done era, for a single school to account for one of every eight selections out of college over a three-year window is simply incomprehensible. You add the national championship to his sales pitch, and it’s easy to wonder how he ever misses on a targeted recruit.
- As for some of the other storylines surrounding the draft, it’s always interesting to us how fan bases respond to their players entering the NBA. A quick whirl around various message boards revealed some of the following viewpoints: Duke – Miles Plumlee’s selection (after Austin Rivers earlier) gave head coach Mike Krzyzewski the title as the head coach with the most NBA Draft selections in his career. Vanderbilt (via Tennessee fans) – Three of the top 31 selections led to a grand total of one NCAA Tournament win in John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor, and Festus Ezeli’s careers. Mississippi State (via Vandy fans) – Making fun of Renardo Sidney. Washington – Making fun of themselves. North Carolina – Anger at Creighton for ruining their season. Always fun stuff out there in these bubbles of equal parts insight and insanity.
- Getting back to the college game, the NCAA announced on Thursday that it has hired Dan Gavitt, son of the late Big East founder, Dave Gavitt, and current Big East associate commissioner, to take over as its VP of men’s basketball championships. This new position essentially duplicates the role that former NCAA guru and all-around good guy Greg Shaheen handled at the organization for over a decade — Gavitt will be the guy responsible for elevating the NCAA Tournament to even greater heights than those it currently occupies. Given that the blockbuster television deal that Shaheen negotiated is locked into place for the next 12 years, Gavitt will no doubt need to focus on expanding the popularity of the event through greater transparency in the selection process and cross-promotional opportunities to capture the hearts and minds of even more fans.
- While making mention of the Big East, the conference released its full schedule for the 2012-13 season on Thursday. Each of the 15 remaining teams (remember, West Virginia joins the Big 12 next year) will play a quartet of other schools in home-and-home games, while facing off with the other 10 schools once. We have absolutely no clue as to the logic behind which teams play each other in the home-and-homes, but according to this report, “each conference team plays nine or 10 games against last season’s Big East NCAA Tournament teams, including at least two of its four home-and-home series.” We’ll at least give the league credit for an attempt at competitive balance.
- Usually coaches have a fairly good sense as to when their players will need to leave school to satisfy a religious obligation, as in the common case of Mormon players at BYU taking a two-year mission after their freshman season. What’s less predictable is when a player gets called back to his home country to serve in the army, but that’s exactly the situation that Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold is facing as one of his incoming freshmen — a guard named Orel Lev who practiced with the team last year — has been called back to active military duty in Israel. There’s no possibility of a deferral, so Lev will head home for the next three years before he can give another shot at college basketball. It’s a shame that the rug was so abruptly pulled out from under Lev in this situation, but a lot of folks around the world hate Israel so they need all the help they can get. We hope to hear from him again in a few years.