SEC M5: 11.26.12 Edition
Posted by KAlmekinder on November 26th, 2012
- It probably seems just yesterday for Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings when the Commodores won their first SEC Tournament title in 60 years, or that’s how he would like to remember it. With the departures of all of the starters of that title-winning team, Vanderbilt knew years of rebuilding would be ahead but probably did not expect starting from the ground up. In Friday night’s game versus Marist, a team that has been averaging only 55 points per game this season, the ‘Dores recorded their lowest offensive result since the shot clock era began — 33 points. Stallings was quoted regarding the loss that his guys “are so uptight and have a lack of self-confidence right now.” Still under indefinite suspension from the team, heralded sophomore guard Dai-Jon Parker was unable to contribute in the Marist loss. Vanderbilt rebounded nicely to beat UTEP on Sunday to close out its participation in the Old Spice Classic, but regardless of the team’s mindset or current suspensions, Stallings now knows how far they have fallen (and how far they have to go) since their league championship in New Orleans last March.
- Speaking of suspensions, Missouri‘s Michael Dixon continues to ride the pine for a rules violation until he can show improvement to coach Frank Haith and the rest of his teammates. His support from the bench hasn’t kept him from tweeting his rage about the situation, though. The Columbia (MO) Tribune‘s Steve Walentik reported that Dixon quickly tweeted (and even more quickly deleted said tweet) his innocence after the team’s loss to Louisville in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament over the weekend. Walentik describes the situation with Dixon, Haith, and the university as pending, and none of the specifics have been released by anyone associated with the university. Meanwhile, former Mizzou guard Kim English, now with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, defended his former teammate, also on Twitter, by calling out the university’s student committee board ‘a joke’ and believes Dixon’s chances for reinstatement are good and lie with the university chancellor.
- The mystery surrounding Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow’s situation has ceased. Harrow, who practiced Sunday with the team in Lexington, left the squad due to an illness after the Wildcats’ opening-season win versus Maryland and was forced to tend to “a family situation over the holiday break” as soon as he began his recovery. A healthy Harrow back in the lineup alleviates some of the point guard duties for starting shooting guard Archie Goodwin, who played the lead role in Harrow’s absence, and backup point guard Jarrod Polson, as UK prepares for its match-up versus Notre Dame in the SEC/Big East Challenge on Thursday.
- In only his two years in Knoxville, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin has quickly saved what could have been a disastrous next half-decade or more for the Volunteer basketball program. How has he done it? Not only through his tough-minded defense, game planning, and hard work, but also by dreaming big. Brendan Quinn writes a brilliant piece about the struggles Martin faced as he grew up in the drug-laden projects of East St. Louis, Illinois, while his mother, Sandra, encouraged him to “dream big” and act on all the great opportunities life presents. It is this upbringing that Martin has used to not only achieve his personal and professional dreams, but also a reminder to stay humble throughout the more difficult times in his career.
- We all gripe and offer our opinions as to certain things should be changed, whether it’s the BCS football system, the current political situation, or just a problem in your local community. But, what about college basketball? An interesting article written by Will Blythe at The New Republic discusses how college basketball has become a ‘dumpster fire’ and how four changes (one-and-done rule, AAU circuit, fouls, and basketball minor leagues) could return the game to the state where it once was from the 1960s to the 1990s. Blythe’s argument is that the coaches and players have lost the loyalty and school spirit that they once had in the game’s “heyday” and these four changes would help restore some of the luster to college basketball across the nation.
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