Morning Five: 02.11.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on February 11th, 2013
- The big news of the weekend was the reinstatement of James Southerland. The Syracuse senior had been declared ineligible for what was presumed to be an issue with a term paper from the fall semester. The Orange had managed to keep their head above water without their leading scorer for nearly a month, but Southerland’s probably moves them from a likely Sweet 16 team to a Final Four contender. In his return yesterday against St. John’s, Southerland scored 13 points including three three-pointers, which should come as a welcome relief to Syracuse fans who have missed outside marksmanship (he was still the team’s most prolific three-point shooter even after missing the previous six games).
- On Friday we heard about a feature that The New York Times was doing on Jason Williams (we’re a college basketball site so he is still Jason to us just like Kareem is Lew Alcindor around these parts) and expected it to be an interesting read, but never expected it to be quite as in-depth and revealing as what was published. For those of you who forgot or might have been too young to remember (writing that that makes us feel so old), Williams was one of the best college basketball players of the past decade and that is even counting the one-and-dones. When he was at his best he was as dominant a force at guard as you will see (just ask USC, Maryland, or Kentucky fans about that). After Williams essentially ended his career with a motorcycle accident he disappeared from the public eye before reemerging as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. The article does a great job detailing what happened during that period including a suicide attempt by Williams.
- In a drop in valuation that would make MySpace investors blush the latest reports indicate that the Big East is set to agree upon a six-year deal with NBC Sports worth $20-23 million per year, which doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that they had been seeking a $300 million per year deal from ESPN, which the network not surprisingly declined. That offer may have been ridiculous, but it is amusing to note that the conference turned down a $1.17 billion offer for nine years from ESPN, which would have worked out to $13.8 million for football schools and $2.43 million for non-football schools compared to the $3.12 million and $1.5 million for the two groups respectively now. To pour a little salt in the wound, the so-called Catholic 7 are reportedly looking at a deal worth $30-40 million per year from Fox Sports depending on how many teams they add to the conference.
- Speaking of the Catholic 7 and the Big East we didn’t think it was possible, but it looks like they may have a somewhat amicable split as both sides are agreeing to separate following the 2013-14 season. We expected that to be the date that they split, but it sounds much cleaner than we expected to be. We guess this means that people will still pretend that the Big East is a relevant conference for another year although the big moves from the conference (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville, and Notre Dame) are already set in motion so this move is really delaying the inevitable.
- After winning their first two games in the SEC it is possible that Mississippi State fans got their hopes up. Unfortunately those two wins may have been the highlight of their season as they lost their next seven SEC games before suspending junior guard Jalen Steele indefinitely for violating undisclosed team rules. [Ed. Note: They lost their eighth straight on Saturday against Florida.] Steele, who missed eight of the team’s games earlier this season with a broken wrist, was among the team’s leading scorers (one of the few positives for the Bulldogs is they have a balanced scoring attack with seven players averaging between 7.8 and 10.5 points per game). Normally we would say the loss of a player of Steele’s caliber would be a big loss, but in the case of Mississippi State they don’t have much further to fall.