Big East M5: 12.13.12 Edition

Posted by Will Tucker on December 13th, 2012

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  1. Yesterday, we speculated that reconciliation between the Big East and its seven Catholic basketball schools seemed less likely after reading comments from Marquette’s AD Larry Williams in a Tuesday radio interview. Just after midnight this morning, the venerable Brett McMurphy reported that “it’s becoming ‘more likely’ the basketball schools will break away from the league’s football members,” with an announcement coming in as little as 24-48 hours. The Big East bylaws are apparently filled with byzantine procedural protocol, but it appears Temple would not have a vote in the matter of dissolution, after all. So if those seven schools can reach a consensus, there’s nothing UConn, Mike Aresco, or anyone else can do to stop them.
  2. Though Rick Pitino has explicitly prohibited sophomore Chane Behanan from speaking to the media this semester, the embattled forward has developed a surreptitious ritual during his postgame locker room exits. Always the first to leave, he repeats the same refrain as he walks past media waiting for player interviews: “I just want to say, all I want to do is win a national championship.” Though his steady play (8.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG) has at times been overshadowed by disciplinary issues and precocious freshman Montrezl Harrell, Behanan has showed maturity in competing rather than sulking. Considering ego or complacency may have been the culprits that landed him in the doghouse with Pitino, it’s hard to imagine his coach being too upset over this kind of team-oriented, ambitious statement.
  3. The Casual Hoya pegged Georgetown #5 behind Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Notre Dame in yesterday’s power rankings, and made two salient comments that put the Hoyas’ offensive woes into perspective. The team shooting percentage of 46.2% is only 0.3% lower than last year, and its shooting inside the arc has improved, but the Hoyas’ three-point and free throw shooting percentages are the lowest in John Thompson III’s tenure. Part of the problem might be at the center position: “Georgetown’s centers under III have either been future 1st round picks or seniors. [Mikael] Hopkins currently is neither.”
  4. Villanova exorcised some demons over the course of their Big 5 rivalry games over the last couple weeks. In holding on to win a heated game against St. Joe’s on Tuesday, the Wildcats earned a measure of redemption for the errors that helped La Salle erase seemingly insurmountable last-minute deficits and beat Nova last month. Correcting mistakes identified and dissected by a coach on film is always a more onerous task than simply acknowledging those mistakes and resolving to do better. “That’s part of our building process,” said Jay Wright, “You’ve got to get it done in that situation.” Nova has gone 3-1 in the two weeks since the La Salle collapse, and closed out its Big 5 series strong with wins over Penn and St. Joseph’s.
  5. Jim Boeheim is hedging his bets on losing an underclassman to the draft after this season, as evidenced by his recent recruitment of Class of 2013 5-star center Dakari Johnson. The Orange are out of available scholarships, with five guys already committed in Johnson’s recruiting class. While it’s possible Boeheim is preparing for a player to transfer –– or be told to transfer, a la Jared Swopshire at Louisville –– it’s more likely sophomore Michael Carter-Williams is planning to cash in on his skyrocketing draft stock after this season.
Will Tucker (116 Posts)

Kentucky native living and working in Washington, D.C. I write for RTC’s American Athletic Conference microsite in my spare time. Aside from college hoops, other sources of spiritual fulfillment include road trips, tacos, and bourbon. I try to incorporate all of them into my writing.


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