NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.03.13 EditionPosted by WCarey on April 3rd, 2013
The NCAA Tournament is here and there’s more news, commentary and analysis than any of us can possibly keep up with. To make things a little easier, we’ll bring you a list of daily links gathered about teams in each of the four regions all the way through the Final Four.
- Michigan freshman forward Mitch McGary, who has exploded onto the scene in the NCAA Tournament, said Tuesday that he will return to the Wolverines for his sophomore season.
- The Wolverines are basking in their “rock star status” around Ann Arbor as they prepare for this weekend’s Final Four.
- To replicate the challenges of the length of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, coach John Beilein is having reserve forwards Jon Horford, Blake McLimas, and Jordan Morgan challenge the Wolverines’ jump shooters during practice this week.
- Very interesting story from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports about how coach John Beilein is a descendant of the soldiers who inspired the film, Saving Private Ryan.
- During last summer’s workouts, guard Tim Hardaway Jr. scared his teammates with his intensity and his relentlessness helped set the tone for the team’s successful run through the season and into the Final Four.
- Jim Boeheim is well-known for his no-nonsense approach to coaching and that approach has served him well as he has the Orange back in the Final Four for the first time since 2003.
- The Orange’s 2-3 zone has successfully stifled its opposition due to the fact that they have a height advantage at every position. Guards Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams are 6’4″ and 6’6″, respectively, and that gives them a height advantage over nearly every backcourt they play.
- Jim Boeheim famously blew up at ESPN‘s Andy Katz after a loss to UConn in February, but the coach is back on speaking terms with Katz and he even appeared on Katz’s ESPNU show Tuesday.
- Forward Baye Moussa Keita does not fill up the stat sheet for the Orange on the offensive end of the court, but he has emerged as a key cog in the team’s stingy zone defense.
- USC made waves when it announced late Monday night that it had hired Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield to fill its coaching vacancy. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was a bit perturbed by the move, saying that his associate head coach Mike Hopkins, who interviewed for the position, was by far the best candidate for the job.
- Guard Russ Smith is turning in an historic NCAA Tournament. The junior is averaging 26 points per game and is shooting an impressive 54.1% from the field.
- Injured guard Kevin Ware was released from an Indianapolis hospital Tuesday afternoon. His first stop following his release was to the team’s practice facility to return the Midwest Regional trophy coach Rick Pitino had left with him in his hospital room.
- The positive attitude that Kevin Ware has shown in the face of his serious injury has earned him worldwide support from a multitude of people.
- With Ware sidelined, coach Rick Pitino is mulling the possibility of shifting small forwards Wayne Blackshear and Luke Hancock to the backcourt in some defensive situations for Saturday’s game against Wichita State.
- Louisville mayor Greg Fischer declared Friday as Cardinal Red Day in Louisville to honor the school’s men’s and women’s Final Four teams.
- Redshirt freshman guard Ron Baker has taken an improbable journey from a lightly-recruited prospect to a walk-on to a key player in the Shockers’ unexpected run to the Final Four.
- Coach Gregg Marshall serves as a reminder that coaches can have a “good life” away from the attention that coaching in a high-major conference brings.
- With the team’s run to the Final Four, the players are becoming much more comfortable with all the media attention that is being levied on the squad.
- After transferring from Oregon, guard Malcolm Armstead had to pay his own way at Wichita State and he did this by detailing cars for an area car dealership.
- Gregg Marshall confirmed Wednesday that UCLA had contacted his representative last week, wanting to talk to the coach about the then-vacant coaching job.