Morning Five: 10.19.12 EditionPosted by rtmsf on October 19th, 2012
- Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski went on the Colin Cowherd Show yesterday on ESPN Radio to riff about the state of college basketball as he heads into his 38th year as a head coach. During a conversation about one-and-done players (of which Coach K has had four: Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, and Austin Rivers), Krzyzewski gave his opinion that it his belief that the NBA-imposed age limit of 19 has hurt the college game. “Overall I think it hurts our game, the college game, a little bit because it kind of ruins, or can hurt, the relationship we have. You know we are all members of academic institutions and it kind of throws the academic side of it down because you’re not there for a total education, you’re there for six or seven months.” Krzyzewski goes on to say that he prefers the preps-to-pros route with the caveat that if players choose to come to college, they must stay in school for at least two years. It’s not an uncommon position for head coaches weary of investing so much energy in recruiting the services of players for a single season on campus, but as we’ve written in this space before, coaches like him don’t seem to remember or realize how important it is for the greater good of the sport to have marketable players such as Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving representing the NCAA side of the equation.
- The Colonial Athletic Association has been actively in pursuit of replacements for the three schools it has already lost or is losing in conference realignment: VCU (Atlantic 10), Old Dominion (Conference USA), and Georgia State (Sun Belt). After somewhat surprisingly being spurned by Southern Conference member Davidson earlier this week, fellow league member College of Charleston is expected to take the CAA up on its own offer. The school’s Board of Directors is planning to meet on Saturday morning to put the move to a vote. According to George Mason athletic director Tom O’Connor, the addition of the Cougars would bring the league to 10 and “there is nobody (else) we’re targeting right now.” You have to wonder if Davidson, one of the more consistent basketball powers from the low-major conferences, may have made a long-term mistake in rejecting this offer to move to a better league.
- Former Oklahoma State player Darrell Williams has filed a notice to appeal his recent conviction of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery. His case has drawn national attention outside the insular world of sports media for what he argues is a clear and convincing case of misidentification at a 2010 house party where two young women were groped. Last week, Williams was given a suspended sentence by an Oklahoma judge and ordered to register as a sex offender; he plans to move back to his home state of Illinois, where he will be held to a very restrictive set of daily living conditions such as avoidance of children, erotic materials, and yes, hitchhikers. There’s clearly been a lot of he-said/she-said in this case on both sides, but we’d hope that the appellate court will give the Williams case a fair and comprehensive review of the facts to make an independent determination that the allegations against him are legitimate.
- While on the subject of criminal matters, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe could face additional jail time for his recent DUI conviction. Mbakwe has collected reams of meaningless adverse letters in his permanent file by now, but his previous conviction for a felony assault charge in Miami in 2009 could come back to seriously bite him in this instance as he may have violated his probation as a result. Mbakwe has already violated his Florida probation once by sending a public Facebook message to his former girlfriend, but his July DUI in Minnetonka puts him in a do-or-die situation where his senior season as a Gopher is seriously in jeopardy. The talented (possible) first-team Big Ten forward could be facing significant jail time depending on how Florida chooses to handle his recidivism — at a certain point, you wonder whether all the trouble is worth the headaches. Good luck, Tubby.
- Finally, this week, let’s take a look at Seth Davis’ examination of one of the most confounding teams of the 2012-13 preseason: The Ohio State Buckeyes. Last season, on paper at least, OSU was one of the very best teams in America. It took a couple of comebacks the last two seasons from blue-blooded programs such as Kentucky and Kansas to keep the scarlet and gray out of the national finals, but we have to believe that the combination of experience and talent that Bill Self and John Calipari had at their disposal were part of the issue each time around. Thad Matta will certainly have his work cut out this season without William Buford and Jared Sullinger in tow, but the question everyone is asking themselves is whether the remainder of his blue-chip recruits can continue to push OSU ahead as an elite team.