Big East M5: 10.11.12 EditionPosted by mlemaire on October 11th, 2012
- Louisville coach Rick Pitino went on the radio earlier this week to talk about all things Cardinals’ basketball and The Card Chronicle was generous enough to extract the key points from the conversation. The most interesting tidbit for us was Pitino’s praise of sophomore guard Kevin Ware. Ware landed at Louisville last season after a mini-recruiting scandal involving his courtship to Central Florida but he struggled picking up the offense after only gaining his eligibility in December and he was asked to play out of position as a backup point guard. Now, according to Pitino, he has worked hard to improve his shot and his athleticism and has stood out so much in practice that Ware is currently the team’s starting shooting guard… ahead of the mercurial Russ Smith. Of course you will probably see a lot of Smith this season, but if Ware starts living up to his vast potential, Louisville will be scary good this season.
- The list of College Basketball’s Top 100 players from CBSSports.com came out Monday and while we don’t want to spend too much time trading in irrelevancies, we do want to talk about how happy we are to see that the Big East’s top representative is Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter, who checked in at No. 16, ahead of the more recognizable and popular picks, Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva. You will see next week that we didn’t pick Porter as our preseason player of the year, but some of us feel like we may regret that choice as the season goes on. Porter is still relatively unknown on the national scene, but you can expect that to change quickly now that he is the focal point of the Hoyas’ offense.
- Apparently Villanova‘s recent on-court struggles have not adversely affected Jay Wright’s ability to recruit, especially in Washington, DC. The Wildcats recently collected a commitment from 6’5″wing Josh Hart who couples with 6’6″ power forward Kris Jenkins to give the program a pair of top-100 recruits from the District. Jenkins is an undersized bruiser in the mold of a less-skilled, more physical JayVaughn Pinkston. Hart will likely play on the wing, but he is versatile and athletic enough to play multiple positions. If he can become more aggressive offensively and continue to develop his outside shooting, he will be a big-time, multi-year contributor for Wright.
- Early in September we learned that precocious Providence freshman Ricky Ledo would only be allowed to practice with the Friars this season, not play. While the NCAA isn’t going to tell the public why Ledo is only a partial-qualifier, it seems pretty clear to those in the know that Ledo’s one semester stint at Notre Dame Prep played a role in the NCAA’s decision. The NCAA is investigating the Massachusetts prep school for shady academic and financial issues, and as a result, a number of Division I recruits, including Ledo, were ruled ineligible to play this season. The good news for Friars’ fans is that Ledo plans to stick around and play next season as a redshirt freshman, which will be a small consolation for fans hoping to see the program’s fabulous recruiting class in action next month.
- For many teams in the conference, Midnight Madness kicks off this Friday. Every school takes a different approach to this event but it is always fun to see which coaches get dressed up, which musical stars show up to perform, and which walk-on will dump 18 points on his teammates in the intrasquad scrimmage. While we like to think of ourselves as analytical minds here at the Big East microsite, that doesn’t mean we don’t love the occasional dose of frivolity either, especially when it is guaranteed to involve Doug E. Fresh. Check back tomorrow morning as we run with a light-hearted but essential guide to Friday’s Midnight Madness festivities.