Morning Five: 07.19.12 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 19th, 2012

  1. Breaking news from the absolutely-no-surprise department, but a couple of days after the Big East announced that it had reached a $7.5 million buyout deal with Syracuse to allow the Orange program to alight for the ACC in July 2013, Pittsburgh followed suit. Even better, the Panthers got the exact same buyout deal of $7.5 million to transfer its conference allegiance to Greensboro instead of Providence. The ACC and the Big East will certainly look very different as basketball leagues starting in 2013-14, but with a total of five schools consisting of two of its best football (Miami and Virginia Tech) and basketball programs (Syracuse and Pittsburgh) now having left, is it safe to say that the battle for east coast college sports dominance has finally been won?
  2. With the geographic and metaphysical heart of the Big East slowly moving south and west with its own expansion efforts, one of its new basketball-centric schools is in the midst of a local scheduling controversy. According to’s Gary Parrish, Ole Miss recently announced a combined football and basketball agreement to play regional rival Memphis, but Tigers head coach Josh Pastner apparently has not received that memo. According to the Memphis side of things, the agreement in place refers to a football series only, with the squishy caveat that the two schools will “talk” about resuming a basketball series. In terms of value-add, a home Memphis football game versus Ole Miss is worth considerably more (both financially as well as in perceived status) than a home Ole Miss basketball game versus Memphis, which is why despite Pastner’s protestations, we’d expect to see what should be an interesting series take place on the hardwood sometime soon.
  3. Back to the actual players rather than the legal and political wrangling of their schools, Duke’s Mason Plumlee certainly didn’t expect to be spending the summer after his junior year prepping for another season in Durham. Certainly not last offseason, when he told everyone around him that his 2011-12 year would be his last in Durham. And certainly not three years ago when he figured he was a surefire one-and-done candidate along with his peers John Wall, Derrick Favors, Xavier Henry, and the rest. As Jeff Goodman writes, the middle Plumlee who never thought he’d become a four-year Blue Devil is prepared for his senior season as the captain and leader of the team — we’re guessing in 30 years when he reflects back on this time at Duke he’ll have no regrets for sticking around campus four years.
  4. For those of us who follow the game closely, Northwestern‘s decades of futility in reaching the NCAA Tournament has become the standard by which all other failures is measured. If you need a reminder, the Wildcats are currently oh-for-74 in reaching the Big Dance, which is particularly astonishing when you consider that the Wildcats play in an elite basketball conference where more than half the teams in the league have a reasonable shot at the NCAAs in any given year. Dime Magazine has put together a nice piece discussing not only the ‘streak,’ but the chances for the 2012-13 team to finally break it in its 75th opportunity. It says here that next season is the year… and if you believe that, it’s also looking like a World Series on the North Shore in 2012.
  5. Luke Winn checks in this week with an analysis of something on which everyone in the industry seems to have an opinion — transfers. Winn is known for his columns heavily based on quantitative analysis, but in this article he shows his chops for a bit of qualitative work. He clearly shows that the phenomenon of what he calls “up-transfers” — players looking for opportunities at better schools — has risen significantly in the past few years. As an example, from 2007-11 there were 27 up-transfers in college basketball; in just 2012-13, there will be 25 more, and there are already 16 more pending in 2013-14. As Winn notes, the prospect of players bettering their situations isn’t necessarily a bad trend, but it also provides an increased likelihood of bigger programs tampering with and ultimately poaching disaffected players at lower-level schools. Something to keep an eye on.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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