Morning Five: 10.15.12 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on October 15th, 2012
- Most of the college basketball world has been preoccupied with the reloading job that John Calipari manages to pull off every year, but the work that Dave Rice has been doing to stockpile talent at UNLV has gone largely unnoticed at the national level. The latest piece to the Rebels’ burgeoning bench is Jelan Kendrick, the former McDonald’s All-American who has already made brief stops at Memphis and Ole Miss. Kendrick will spend this season at a community college in Iowa before coming to UNLV for the 2013-14 season as a redshirt junior. Kendrick has obviously had more than his share of off-court problems, but talented 6’7″ perimeter players are hard to find and if Kendrick can keep his head on straight he could be a key piece in the Rebels making a deep NCAA Tournament run in future seasons.
- Trevor Mbakwe has managed to brush off several legal issues in his past including felony assault charges and violating a restraining order to become one of the feel-good stories of the upcoming season coming off a torn ACL. On Friday, Minnesota announced that Mbakwe added a DWI arrest over the summer to that resume. Mbakwe was arrested on July 1 at 2:30 AM with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI on September 10. He received a sentence of 16 hours of community service and one year of probation. Interestingly, Tubby Smith cited Mbakwe’s likely career as a professional basketball player as a reason for allowing him to remain on the team (hello, double standard). While it appears as if Mbakwe dodged a bullet here he still has to attend a hearing in Miami on September 17 for violation of his probation where he could receive a harsher penalty. We are assuming that probation is for the violation of a restraining order, but at this point there are so many charges that we aren’t sure which arrest that probation is for.
- By now you are wondering why we haven’t talked about Midnight Madness. The reason is that we already made several posts and tweets about it over the past few days. However, there was one even that is still worth discussing — the stabbing at Syracuse. While most events went off without a hitch, for some reason the Syracuse event was reportedly filled with several fights, one of which resulted in a 25-year-old man getting stabbed. The man is reportedly in stable condition at a local hospital (and presumably has been discharged by now), but has refused to cooperate with police. Based on that we doubt that anybody will be arrested in this case, but it will certainly change the atmosphere or at least the security at events like this in the future, particularly at Syracuse.
- In one of the more controversial recent trials involving a college basketball player, former Oklahoma State player Darrell Williams received a one-year suspended sentence and avoided any additional jail time as he had already spent that much time incarcerated. Williams, who continues to insist that he is innocent, will have register as a Level 1 sex offender (the least dangerous level) for the next 15 years. Williams’ team insisted that the case was one of racial profiling and had asked for a new trial citing a number of racial factors at play (two Caucasian women accusing an African-American in front of a largely Caucasian jury–11 Caucasians and 1 Asian-American), but was denied. For their part, the prosecution appears to be slightly more pleased although they expressed their thoughts that Williams was merely trying to put himself above the law.
- On Friday, Steven Goria, one of the leaders of a gambling ring accused of fixing a San Diego game in February 2010, was sentenced to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of sports bribery. The sentence is the longest that any of the 10 defendants have received so far. Goria reportedly made $120,000 off of a game that he allegedly paid the Toreros’ Brandon Johnson to influence. USD, a team that was favored by 3.5 points over Loyola Marymount, lost the game 72-69 despite holding a lead late in the game. Goria and many of the other defendants have also been implicated in a marijuana distribution ring, which to our knowledge Johnson has not been involved in. All that appears to remain in the case is the trial of four more defendants (including Johnson) who have not yet reached plea agreements — that trial is set to begin on December 3. We expect that case will generate significantly more press from the sports media as it will involve a former college basketball player.