Morning Five: Black Friday Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on November 23rd, 2012
- Earlier this week we mentioned how the homecoming of Sean Woods might be marred by his comments regarding “a sense of entitlement” that he noticed with the current group of Kentucky players. It turns out we were wrong as instead the focus has been shifted to Woods’ behavior after bringing Devon Atkinson, his senior point guard, to the bench after Atkinson picked up a foul late in Morehead State’s loss to the Wildcats. Woods apparently took exception to Atkinson’s body language after picking up the foul and made sure everybody in Rupp Arena was aware of his displeasure as he shoved Atkinson in the back then berated him on at least two occasions (video here). Morehead State issued a statement yesterday that it was discussing the matter internally and would make a decision regarding any potential punishment later today. Woods has become a sudden target for criticism of overly aggressive head coaches, but we are not sure if the university needs to punish him. His players and recruits can make a bigger impact on him by voting with their feet in deciding not to stick with him if his actions are that big of a concern.
- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who had voiced some displeasure with his school’s departure from the Big East, sounded off on the ongoing conference realignment issue. When asked about Maryland and Rutgers moving to Big Ten, Boeheim initially deflected the question before going on one of his patented Boeheim rants suggesting that conferences just have a draft because their motivations do not appear to have any non-financial basis. While we agree with Boeheim and nothing that he says here is that remarkable, it is refreshing to hear any authority figure within the college sports hierarchy voice his displeasure with the way things are going.
- We are just a few weeks into the season, but there are already a few people who are looking at the postseason hardware. Obviously it is way too early to come to any conclusions, but Jeff Borzello and Jason King take a look at the top freshmen and players in the country, respectively. Obviously with such a small sample size it is hard to get any gauge of how any of these players will perform over the long haul, but perhaps the ones that will be the most variable are the freshmen, who are just getting used to playing at this level. It is interesting to see that only one freshman — Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart — is even among the listed candidates for player of the year albeit with a very small sample size thus far.
- One of the issues with the current crop of players who reclassified from the class of 2014 to 2013 is that several of them still have not committed, which is not surprising since until recently they all had over a year and a half until they matriculate to the college of their choice. Dakari Johnson, one of those players and one of the top remaining uncommitted recruits in the class, is in a similar boat and according to his mother has narrowed his list down to six choices — Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgetown, Syracuse, and Ohio State — with an understanding that he will go to the school where he is needed the most (read: will get the most playing time immediately). Johnson is joining a fairly significant group of players who do not intend to sign until the spring period.
- While on the subject of the Gators, it turns out that Billy Donovan is lobbying Georgetown to try to finish their game that was suspended due to condensation on the court on opening night of the season. If you recall from two weeks ago, Florida was leading the Hoyas by four points at the half when the game was called off — given that the contest currently doesn’t exist in the record books, both teams stand to gain from finishing it up from an RPI perspective regardless of who actually comes away with the win. According to The Palm Beach Post, Florida would be willing to help defray some of Georgetown’s traveling costs if the Hoyas were willing to return to Jacksonville to finish things up. Interesting.