Morning Five: 08.06.12 EditionPosted by rtmsf on August 6th, 2012
- Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun seemingly can’t catch a break when it comes to his health lately. After suffering through a number of debilitating physical ailments the past few years, the 70-year old wrecked his bicycle while on a ride Saturday and fractured his left hip during the fall. He had surgery to repair the break over the weekend and is expected to make a full recovery. Still, tack this on to Calhoun’s laundry list of health issues — prostate cancer, skin cancer, spinal stenosis, even five broken ribs from another cycling accident in 2009. We certainly wish nothing but the best for Calhoun’s recovery and eventual migration back to the sideline in Storrs, but goodness, it’s getting to the point where we’re not sure he should go anywhere without wrapping himself in bubble wrap first.
- We’ve known for a couple of weeks that Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith received a contract extension through the 2016-17 season, but the details of that deal were not released until Friday. Under the terms of this extension, Smith will average a salary of roughly $2 million annually with an extremely generous incentive structure that not only increases his compensation by as much as a quarter-million dollars for a Big Ten championship (regular season or tournament), but also extends the duration of his contract for reaching those same goals. While it’s no doubt true that Minnesota has suffered a number of crucial injuries and bad luck in the last few seasons, it’s still a harsh fact that the Gophers have never — not once — earned a winning record in the Big Ten (6-12, 6-12, 9-9, 9-9, 8-10), nor won a game in the NCAA Tournament (0-2).
- Is Class of 2013 super-recruit Jabari Parker down to three schools? His official list still contains 10 suitors, but an article by the Chicago Tribune suggests that BYU, DePaul, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, North Carolina and Stanford may already be out of the running. Mike Helfgot covers Chicago-area high school sports, and his sources around Parker are telling him that Duke, Michigan State and Kansas are the clubhouse leaders. The same piece repeated the earlier news that it is increasingly likely that Parker will wait until next spring to make his decision, allowing the family to have full information about the talent surrounding him wherever he chooses.
- Recruits are meaningless if they’re not eligible to play and two of the most notable players entering college basketball next season received recent news about that very thing recently. According to his head coach, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel has finished up his summer coursework and will be on campus next month as a fully eligible player. On the other side of the issue, NC State’s Rodney Purvis has not yet been cleared by the NCAA because his high schools requires an “extended review” by the governing body. His team left for a five-game tour of Spain and the Canary Islands on Sunday without him. The issue with his high school is that Purvis was part of the first graduating class at Upper Room Christian Academy, and therefore the NCAA takes a more thorough approach in vetting the institution. It’s unlikely that his eventual eligibility will be anything other than a mere formality.
- The adidas Nations high school basketball event has been going on in Long Beach, California, the last several days, and many of the nation’s top entering and returning collegians are on site acting as camp counselors. NBADraft.net has put together some thoughts from two days of action — the counselors play pick-up games against each other — and perhaps the biggest lesson learned so far is that Nerlens Noel is a long, long way from a finished product. Aran Smith writes about the shot-blocking fiend: “The #1 overall hype needs to be tempered some. He still obviously has top 5 potential but that’s just because of how weak this year’s draft is. Anyone expecting Anthony Davis 2.0 should just stop.” He also breaks down a number of other players, including Ray McCallum, Gorgui Dieng, Nate Wolters and Deshaun Thomas. Here’s the link to day one‘s thoughts followed by the link to day two.