Morning Five: 02.15.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 15th, 2013


  1. It appears that our #DausterForUSC campaign may have hit a stumbling block as Tommy Amaker has emerged as the top candidate for the coaching vacancy at USC. On the surface the USC job may seem more glamorous than coaching at Harvard with its significantly higher ceiling, but there is something to be said about being able to coach with reasonable expectations, which are not found across the country. In the end, what may end up keeping Amaker in Allston is his wife, who is a clinical psychologist at a Harvard-affiliated hospital. We are guessing that she could find a similar position in Southern California, but we are not sure how easy it is to work a basketball-psychology department package deal with various schools.
  2. It seems like more and more of the news surrounding college basketball and college sports in general are based around what happens in a court instead of on a court. The latest example–New Jersey legalizing sports betting at casinos and horse tracks–is thankfully one that will not make a significant impact on the on-court product, but may have a bigger impact on the landscape of American sports than many of the conference realignment court cases that we have talked about over the past few years. At the heart of the matter is the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which only allows four states (Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware) to offer legal sports gambling. We have discussed our thoughts on this case before (we think New Jersey should and will win), but with arguments in the case starting yesterday we could get our answer relatively soon. Or not since some legal analysts point out that given the high stakes the loser will probably appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which might not hear the case until 2015. Of course, this is not so much of a New Jersey issue as a national issue because you know as soon as one more state is allowed to have sports gambling the other 45 states will quickly follow suit.
  3. Over the years the number of high school all-star games has grown, but for many college basketball fans the only one that holds any real weight is the McDonald’s All-American Game. Yesterday, the rosters for this year’s game were announced and as you would expect Big Blue Nation is well-represented. Outside of the heavy Kentucky flavor of the event we are also looking forward to the possibility of Andrew Wiggins matching up against Jabari Parker. We don’t follow the recruiting scene that closely any more, but it seems like they hit all of the major recruits this year so we cannot point to anybody who was snubbed. Julius Randle is the only possibility we can think of, but he has had injury issues.
  4. With the regular season winding down there is plenty of talk about awards and honors, but they are mostly focused on the players. We would usually support a Coach of the Year discussion as Seth Davis has in this week’s Hoop Thoughts, but in our opinion Jim Larranaga is the only choice right now. We guess a late season tailspin by the Hurricanes could make the race close, but with the way that Larranaga has energized the Coral Gables campus and turned a borderline top-25 team in the preseason into a legitimate national title contender in the middle of March. As Seth notes there are many worth candidates, but this year they are all battling for #2.
  5. The Jim Boeheim-Andy Katz saga appears to have some shelf life as new details surrounding their feud have come out and appear to center around a 2011 interview where Boeheim claims Katz attempted to badger him with Bernie Fine questions even after Katz told him that he would not ask questions about Fine. For his part Katz denies this. Despite both parties coming out apparently citing this as the inflection point in their relationship others have speculated that the dislike is related to what were supposed to be off-the-record comment from Boeheim regarding James Southerland’s eligibility. One of the interesting, but not surprising aspects of this feud has been how many reporters came out saying that Boeheim owed Katz an apology. We are not sure we would go that far, but this should make for the most awkward halftime interviews since Billy Gillispie and Jeannine Edwards were crossing paths.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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