Big East M5: 01.15.13 EditionPosted by mlemaire on January 15th, 2013
- Another day has passed and we don’t know anything more about the shady eligibility issue that is keeping Syracuse forward James Southerland off the court. Jim Boeheim spoke about the suspension with ESPN while he was on the network’s campus in Bristol and while he wouldn’t elaborate on what Southerland is actually suspended for, he did call the suspension “troubling” while also noting that “James will get through it”. While Orange fans anxiously await Southerland’s reinstatement, those of us on the outside looking in are left with an insatiable curiosity about the cloud of mystery surrounding the suspension. One would think that if this was a by-the-book suspension for academic issues, Syracuse would have just come out and said that, it isn’t the team’s first rodeo in that respect after all. Instead the program has chosen to keep everyone in the dark and there is a chance we will never know what is keeping Southerland suspended.
- As expected Louisville survived the war of attrition and ascended to the top spot in the latest Associated Press’ Top 25 poll Monday and they celebrated by stomping out a potential upset bid from Connecticut on the same night. The Huskies have already proven they are going to be a tough game for any opponent, and they actually led the Cardinals by six points at halftime before Louisville dialed up the defense and swarmed over the younger Huskies in the second half. At this point the only thing that keeps Louisville from dominating is their own intensity and effort. When the Cardinals play with max effort, they are better than nearly everyone else in the country, but as they showed in the first half Monday, the switch isn’t always turned on. For now that will work, but a lackluster half in March will be a lot more dangerous.
- The Providence Journal is right, this is a big week for Ed Cooley and Providence . The team is coming off its first conference win in four tries and plays middle-of-the-road teams Georgetown and Villanova. If ever there was an opportunity to potentially climb out of the basement, now, against beatable teams, is the time to do it. The Journal correctly points out that the team is still adjusting to a few new faces in the lineup and of course the familiar face of Vincent Council as well. The Friars have almost no depth or chemistry right now, so not a lot is expected of them, but if they can win both games, it will send a statement to the fan base and the rest of the conference that this team still has a pulse.
- At this point we are really just piling on, but Pittsburgh has not had a great start to conference play and part of it is because they aren’t winning close games the way that they used to when Jamie Dixon was regularly making NCAA Tournament runs with his teams. Most of the advanced metrics support the fact that Pittsburgh should be a lot better than they have shown so far and the team seems to think it is just a matter of taking advantage of opportunities to seize the game. The Panthers are about to hit a four-game stretch of winnable games before they meet Louisville at the end of January, and if they have any NCAA Tournament aspirations they are going to need to win more of those games than they lose.
- There was some good news for UConn fans today as coach Kevin Ollie landed his first recruit since officially becoming the team’s head coach in Miami-area big man and Ghana native Amida Brimah. Brimah is basically a really long and really athletic 6’10” center with raw offensive skills and present defensive ability. The Huskies have had some notable success with similar players and they desperately need big men, and big men who can develop into elite rim protectors are even better.