Morning Five: 01.03.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on January 3rd, 2013
- After a disappointing two-plus seasons at UCLA ended in his decision to leave the team a little over a month ago Josh Smith has decided to transfer to Georgetown. As we mentioned yesterday Smith could be a huge asset for the Hoyas if he can get his act together and lose the weight he needs to in order to become the player that many expected him to become after an outstanding freshman season. We still are not sure how Smith will fit into Georgetown’s Princeton offense, but Smith is talented enough that if he gets in shape John Thompson III will have to adjust the offense to utilize his unique skills. We are not optimistic that Smith will be able to turn his career around, but a change of scenery is probably the best thing that Smith could have if he wants to succeed.
- Michigan and Wisconsin are starting Big Ten play tonight, but both teams may be without key pieces in their backcourt. Michigan may be without the services of Tim Hardaway Jr., who is recovering from an ankle injury that forced him to miss the Wolverines’ game last Saturday against Central Michigan and he remains a game-time decision for their game at Northwestern. The status of Wisconsin guard Ben Brust for the Badgers’ home Big Ten opener against Penn State is also unknown after he sustained a lower leg injury during Wednesday’s practice. Very few details have been released about the extent of Brust’s injury, but the general sense that we get from what has been reported is that is not particularly severe, but more information should become available later today.
- In this week’s installment of Luke Winn’s Power Rankings, he takes a look at a variety of interesting statistics for his top 16 teams including our personal favorites this week–free throws per turnover for team’s that force the greatest percentage of turnover and Michael Carter-Williams’ assist distribution. The Carter-Williams graphic is something that we have seen before in various forms including last season when Winn employed it to look at how North Carolina functioned with Kendall Marshall at the point. The free throws per turnover ratio, which Winn used to point out just how effective Louisville is on defense is something we have not seen before, but at first glance appears to be an interesting stat especially when you are looking at teams that apply similar levels of pressure. As we have said before this is not a widely used stat, but don’t be surprised to see it used in March when we are trying to pick an upset where a great defensive team is facing a young point guard.
- Hardcore Tennessee fans may remember Tyler Summitt as a seldom used guard on Volunteer teams the past two seasons, but they most likely remember him from being around his mother, the legendary Pat Summitt (the subject of an awesome last sentence in the “Personal” section of his Tennessee player profile). After graduating from Tennessee, Summitt headed straight into coaching as many would expect a player of his caliber, but with his coaching genes to do. What is slightly more surprising is that he went straight into coaching women’s basketball, which he is coaching at Marquette as an assistant in his first year out of college. Mechelle Voepel of ESPN has a great piece on Summitt and his life’s path that has led him to become a women’s basketball coach. It is unlikely that Tyler will ever approach the success of his mother, but if the Tennessee women’s job becomes open in a couple of years the school’s athletic director could have a very interesting decision to make.
- And now for our daily legal update… As we mentioned on Monday, the state of Pennsylvania has decided to file a lawsuit against the NCAA challenging the organization’s legal right to impose such severe sanctions against Penn State. Plenty of solid pieces have been written about, but the best summary we have seen comes from Michael McCann, who provides a solid breakdown of the key issues. We have already stated our issues with the NCAA in this case on Twitter and in this space before (essentially that the NCAA is overstepping its authority in dealing with these issues). Meanwhile, the Big East is attempting to move the lawsuit by Rutgers, which is attempting to get out of paying the $10 million exit fee it owes the conference on the basis that the fee has been applied unevenly. The Big East is trying to move the case from a New Jersey state Superior Court, which would presumably be sympathetic to Rutgers, to a US District Court. Rutgers can challenge the move, but the Big East’s motion seems like a perfectly reasonable request to us although that has not stopped lawyers from contesting issues in the past.