Big East M5: 02.08.13 EditionPosted by Dan Lyons on February 8th, 2013
- The Hartford Courant‘s Paul Doyle came to a similar conclusion that I did after watching Providence’s grind out win against Cincinnati on Wednesday night – the Friars may be in the early stages of becoming a good basketball team. However, the premise of his story veered into interesting territory considering how the game played out. Friar star Bryce Cotton was well-neutralized against Cincinnati, and it was really the play of Kadeem Batts and others that led to the win. Cotton, however, is the model player for the program building that Ed Cooley is currently doing at Providence. Cooley seems to agree with this notion: “As Cooley builds his program, he’s stressing hard work and telling incoming players they can improve if they’re committed. And he’ll be pointing to his shooting guard as Exhibit A. ‘He’s definitely a poster child for that,’ Cooley said.”
- Despite popular misconceptions, there will be a Big East basketball conference, and as of late last week Notre Dame will be a part of it, if only for one more season. The Notre Dame-Big East discussions about shortening their 27-month waiting period did not progress quickly enough, and fall sports have schedules to prepare, so at the end of the day there just wasn’t enough time to figure things out for 2013-14. If I were handicapping the situation, I would expect next year to definitely be Notre Dame’s last in the newest version of the conference, so if you’re a big Irish fan in Orlando, I would be sure to get tickets.
- Things didn’t look good for Georgetown after losses to Pittsburgh and Marquette and the loss of Greg Whittington, but the Hoyas have done well to bounce back, and have now won six of their last seven games, with the lone loss being the perplexing game against a floundering South Florida squad. The Georgetown Voice‘s Chris Almeida notes that while this is usually a period of the season where the team slumps, this year’s outfit has done well to regain momentum, and look strong entering the end of the season. Unsurprisingly, the key player has been Otto Porter, who is averaging 18.1 points per game over the last seven, and should probably be getting some long conference player of the year looks, but the strong backcourt play from Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera have also been key for the Hoyas.
- I wouldn’t put St. John’s into the NCAA Tournament just yet, but the New York Post‘s Mike Vaccaro believes that if the Johnnies are selected to dance, they have already exhibited the grittiness to succeed in the one-and-done setting. The Red Storm isn’t exactly dominating teams, but they continue to survive and advance through the conference, and as Steve Lavin states in the article, they don’t give extra wins for style points: “At this point of the year you don’t grade victories in the Big East. You’re grateful, you chalk it up as a W, you move on.” Few would’ve thought that St. John’s would be battling for the top tier of the conference, definitely not a tournament bid, especially with such an inexperienced team that seemed to have major issues earlier in the year.
- Few things are as Upstate New York as Jim Boeheim and Hofmann Hot Dogs, so when Boeheim became an investor in the company as it looked to expand nationally, Syracuse ex-pats were very excited at the possibility of getting their favorite dogs across the nation. However, not all is going swimmingly within the Hofmann empire. Boeheim and his partners are accusing Hoffman CEO and Dallas Mavericks president Frank Zaccanelli of misusing company funds. The lawsuit that has been filed includes a number of damning details, including Zaccanelli’s use of company money as a “slush fund” and promoting an apparent girlfriend to an executive salary and backdating her employment records to allow her extra benefits.