Morning Five: 11.01.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 1st, 2012

  1. While they are still missing a big piece of the class that was supposed to make them relevant again, UCLA received some huge news yesterday when the school announced that incoming freshman Kyle Anderson has been cleared by the NCAA to play for the Bruins this season. After an investigation into the relationship between Anderson’s father and an NBA agent, the NCAA must have agreed with the family that the relationship existed before Anderson became a highly touted recruit. Anderson may not be as talented in as many facets of the game as Shabazz Muhammad, who still sits in NCAA limbo, but there aren’t many 6’8″ guards who can distribute the basketball that well, particularly at the college level. The Bruins may still be a piece short of making a NCAA title run, but with Anderson added to the mix they should be a legitimate threat to win the Pac-12 this season.
  2. It won’t get anywhere near the attention that the news that Kyle Anderson got, but Oklahoma State also received some good news from the NCAA when they cleared J.P. Olukemi to play for the Cowboys this season. At issue was Olukemi’s decision five years ago to enroll at a junior college after his prep school’s team stopped playing. According to NCAA rules that technically started his eligibility clock meaning that he could have only played during this fall semester and had to sit out the spring semester. However, the NCAA granted Olukemi (9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season before having his season cut short by a knee injury) a waiver that will make him eligible to play the entire season. It is a decision that will not have nearly the same impact on a national level that the Anderson one did, but it could help lift the Cowboys to another level in the Big 12 and potentially into the NCAA Tournament.
  3. Let us start by saying that we don’t really put much stock into players getting suspended for exhibition games, but when you have a team that could very easily be in the Sweet Sixteen or beyond and your starting point guard gets suspended for a “violation of team standards,” that is never a good thing. Such is the case for Michigan who suspended preseason AP First Team All-America point guard Trey Burke for its exhibition opener for some nebulous offense. We have no idea what this violation was and frankly we don’t care as long as it was not something criminal, but it raises a question about the leadership capability of the rising sophomore. For the Wolverines and their fans, we hope that Burke sorts out whatever issues he is dealing with before the season starts.
  4. When high-level officials resign abruptly we usually know that something very bad happened, but of course, we typically know what that bad thing was before the resignations. That is not the case at Detroit this week where Keri Gaither, the school’s Athletic Director, and Derek Thomas, an assistant on the men’s basketball team, announced their resignations within a few hours of each other. That might sound suspicious enough, but it was the last day of October. On a Wednesday. Clearly, something significant happened at the school — whether it was personal or a power struggle — but whatever it was could create a significant ripple in a program that was becoming one of the best in the Horizon League. As we said last night on Twitter we have no idea what just happened in Detroit, but we are pretty sure that it is not good.
  5. Whenever someone comes out with some “objective” ranking of programs it always creates a mini-firestorm and generates a ton of page views from the author (we are not above it), but sometimes the methodology is questionable at best and possibly suspicious (we’re trying to be very careful here if you haven’t noticed). The most recent version of these “objective” rankings comes courtesy of Basketball Times, which endeavored to rank the top current men’s college basketball program (it had to win at least 2/3 of their games in the past 10 years to even qualify) using the following criteria: winning percentage, number of former players currently in the NBA, coaches, federal graduation rate, academic reputation (based on US News & World Report ranking), and perceived cleanliness. The first two criteria are certainly reasonable, but the last four are much more questionable. Still we were willing to look past that if the rankings weren’t so… well, we will let you draw your own conclusions on a list that goes like this (in order): DukeNorth CarolinaGonzagaDavidsonWisconsinButlerMichigan StateKansas, and BYU/Creighton (tied). The last two national champions, by the way, rank #19 and #30, respectively. We can get behind four of those 10 programs as being among the top programs in men’s college basketball, but there is something peculiar about the other six (to be fair, all solid programs in their own right) and we are pretty sure you can figure out what we are getting at without having to explicitly call out another publication. Ok, only eight days left now…
nvr1983 (1291 Posts)


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