Morning Five: 01.15.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 15th, 2013


  1. You can go ahead and recycle your “coaches should not be fired in the middle of the season” because we had the latest addition to the coaching carousel as Kevin O’Neill was fired by USC yesterday. Long-time Trojan assistant Bob Cantu will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season (or as long as it takes for Pat Hayden to get tired of him). Our Pac-12 microsite took a look at the potential long-term replacements yesterday so we will not get into that here (apply here if you are interested). We also will not get into whether or not it is morally correct for college programs to fire coaches in the middle of the season and what message it sends to the student-athletes. We will simply point out that it is interesting that Lane Kiffin has managed to stay around for three-plus seasons without any significant public talk of him losing his job despite the disappointing performance of his football team.
  2. Things went from bad to worse for Wyoming star Luke Martinez as he was suspended indefinitely on Monday after being arrested early on Sunday morning stemming from a bar fight on December 30 that resulted in the broken bone in his right hand that led him to miss time recently. Martinez is currently charged with a felony charge of aggravated assault in a case that was originally deemed “a mutual combat type of thing”, but subsequent information has led to a reinterpretation of events by police that led to Martinez’s arrest. Martinez, who will appear in court tomorrow, is facing a potential monetary fine in addition to a maximum of 10 years in jail although we doubt this will result in much jail time if any based on the fact that it took so long for authorities to even bring charges after being aware of the event and only bringing charges once they got more information from witnesses.
  3. It will not be enough to make Iowa State a threat to win the Big 12, but the Cyclones got some good news when sexual assault charges against junior guard Bubu Palo were dropped. The charges were from an alleged assault that took place on May 18, 2012 when a female claimed that Palo and his co-defendant offered to drive her home, but instead took her to the co-defendant’s house where they raped her. It appears that the case fell apart when a forensic expert examined the shirt that the woman claimed she was wearing that night and reported that the evidence did not fit her story as the shirt she claimed Palo had torn had been washed and the tear had been made after the shirt had been washed. Palo, who had been suspended indefinitely by the school, has already been reinstated although there is no timeline for when he would return to action. In his two years at the school, Palo has put up decent if unspectacular numbers (4 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game last season), but should add some depth to Cyclones.
  4. It looks like we might be getting another conference-based television network if the ACC gets its way although we may not see if for a long time. According to a report by SportsBusiness Journal, the ACC is exploring the possibility of creating its own television network following in the footsteps of the Big Ten and Pac-12 with several other conferences joining suit in the near future. However, the conference is already in a 15-year contract with ESPN that is worth $3.6 billion so we doubt that it makes financial sense for them to break that contract in the near future. While the idea of a network airing old school ACC games intrigues us we wonder who is going to own and play the footage of great games between teams that are no longer in the conference.
  5. This might not seem like the best time to do so, but C.J. Moore of Basketball Prospectus posted an attempted defense of Rick Barnes, who has been criticized for years for the perceived underperformance of his team’s given the talent that they have had. As Moore points out much of the criticism started in 2007 around the time that Bill Simmons decided to pay attention to college basketball when his Celtics were tanking struggling, but had hope in the form of a pair of freshmen (Greg Oden and Kevin Durant). Simmons became enamored with Durant’s game (rightfully so), but when Texas failed to make a NCAA Tournament run despite having a once in a generation talent playing for them. While Moore does make some interesting points we should note that coaches usually start to get criticized for their in-game coaching when they fail to produce with talent teams with the understanding that the Durant Longhorn team may have not been as loaded as many remember it. We are not sure we can get behind everything Moore says as we still have qualms with many of Barnes’ in-game decisions, but at least he has Scott Drew in the same conference to make him look good.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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