Big East M5: Temporal Symmetry EditionPosted by Will Tucker on December 12th, 2012
- Happy 12.12.12, everyone. By the time another one of these rolls around, the Big East will be dead and so will we. Fittingly, talk of a possible mass exodus of the league’s non-football contingent dominated yesterday’s college hoops community. In an interview Steve True of ESPN Wisconsin conducted with Marquette AD Larry Williams yesterday, Williams distilled the frustrations of the Catholic basketball schools with startling candor, which certainly doesn’t bode well for reconciliation. He identified August as a nebulous deadline for decision-making, and when asked whether Marquette would be in the Big East next year, responded, “The assumption is yes, but everything is on the table. Let me just put it that way. We’re evaluating everything.” Other highlights include Williams bluntly dismissing the A-10 as an inferior option, referring to Big East football as “second or third tier,” and relating Tulane to an ugly lamp in a remodeled conference (“Now that home has been sort of changed, and somebody came and put new furniture in, and boy, do we still fit here is what everyone is sort of thinking about”).
- There had been some rumblings the other day that the non-football schools were disturbed by the highly public overtures football counterparts had made to the ACC before Louisville scored an invite. Emails obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer among university leadership at Cincinnati revealed a highly orchestrated and urgent effort to court both the ACC and Big 12 during that audition period. The university president’s office sought guidance from a D.C. lobbying firm and tried to arrange campus visits for ACC presidents. Urban Meyer’s sister, a vice provost at the school, even enlisted the iconic coach to lobby the ACC on Cincinnati’s behalf, before he ultimately demurred.
- Though Connecticut’s 57-49 win over Harvard last weekend doesn’t look particularly sexy on paper, Huskies fans were encouraged by the confident performance of sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels, who shot 9-of-12 and ended with 23 points. Despite huge expectations for the former 4/5-star recruit, Daniels was an enigma last season, averaging only three points and two rebounds in 12 minutes per contest; tentative in attacking the rim despite his superlative athleticism. Now, he’s focusing on fundamentals rather than dwelling on his limitations: “I understand my role better. I’m boxing out better, and I’m going to get the ball better. I have to do that because I’m not as big and strong as some of the [frontcourt] guys we’re going to face.”
- Rutgers survived a scare from a 4-6 George Washington team at home last night, despite playing some of its best basketball of the season in the first 18 minutes. Mike Rice apparently persisted in applying his 2-2-1 press a little too long after the Colonials had deciphered it, forcing his team to plant their heels and endure a dogfight in the second half. Though not as decisive as Rutgers fans would have hoped, On The Banks calls the win “another game they would have lost last year. And, likely, the year before.” Considering we picked them to finish last in the conference this season, 6-2 in mid-December and two games ahead of Villanova in the loss column feels like solid progress.
- As Jim Boeheim approaches his 900th win, The Juice Online meditates on whether his steely countenance would grace a college basketball Mount Rushmore of coaching greats. Sacrilegiously, the author argues that the Syracuse legend would be the seventh choice, behind Adolph Rupp, John Wooden, Coach K, Bobby Knight, Dean Smith, and –– brace yourselves –– Jim Calhoun. He also draws a compelling analogy between Boeheim and Karl Malone: “Much like Malone did, Boeheim puts up very good numbers every season (he has more 20-win seasons than any other coach) and much like Malone, there have been a lot of seasons…While Boeheim has consistently been very very good, he’s never really had a stretch where he established himself as truly dominant coach, just like Malone never established himself as a truly dominant player.”