Morning Five: 04.04.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on April 4th, 2013
- It took at least four months longer than it should have, but Rutgers finally fired Mike Rice yesterday. The obvious reason for the dismissal is the (justified) public outrage towards Rice’s behavior even as the school’s administration and in particular Athletic Director Tim Pernetti tried to save face and justify their attempt to rehabilitate Rice. Of course, we don’t believe that for a second and Pernetti’s explanation is nothing more than trying to explain away the fact that if these tapes had not been released publicly Rice would still be the coach at Rutgers. As the New Jersey legislature is clearly aware something more needs to be done. Whether or not that happens when powerful people meet in back rooms remains to be seen, but we cannot imagine that Pernetti will be able to keep his job after this. because As for the actual job opening, which seems to be a distant secondary issue here, it appears that Rutgers is targeting Danny Hurley to be its next coach. We are assuming that the Rutgers administration will look at Hurley’s previous work turning Wagner into a 25-5 team instead of the 8-21 season his Rhode Island team had this season. Or at least the fact that he does not have a record of using homophobic slurs and hurling basketballs at his players.
- If you want an idea of how fickle coaching loyalty can be we would direct you to Miami radio where yesterday morning Richard Pitino was on talking about his Florida International program then a few hours later he was being announced as the next coach at Minnesota. Pitino, who spent just one season at FIU where he led the school to an 18-14 record and an appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game after shocking Middle Tennessee State, still has another five years left on his contract and reportedly will have to pay a $250,000 buyout, which should be pretty easy for him to pull together with the likely multi-million dollar contract headed his way. We aren’t quite sold on the hire despite Pitino’s season (singular) of (relative) success. Obviously his last name carries a lot of weight and he probably has a reference list that includes nearly every major coach in the country, but it is a big leap from the Sun Belt to Big Ten in one season.
- You can call Marshall Henderson a lot of things and you can be certain that most of the negative things have been said by opposing SEC fan bases during Ole Miss’ road games, but you cannot say that he is not entertaining. His “Letter to Rebel Nation” is not nearly as entertaining as the infamous Auburn GIF, but it is interesting to see him be somewhat contrite and introspective. For a player with Henderson’s background it is somewhat surprising to see that he is able to think so deeply about his game and behavior and shows a depth of maturity that we never expected him to exhibit at such a young age. Ok, who are we kidding? That was obviously written by the athletic department with Henderson contributing the “Hotty Toddy” and his name. Have you seen his Twitter account?
- This season’s final power rankings from Luke Winn are a little lighter than usual, but that is probably because he only has four teams to rank. Of course, Winn still manages to pack a lot of useful information into a limited amount of space. Unlike his usual sixteen team rankings Winn is not afforded much space to build up themes like he usually does, but he does provide an interesting look at how Nik Stauskas might fare against the Syracuse zone defense and how he would be best served positioning himself around the three-point arc. The other great nugget this week is his look at each team’s offensive efficiency coming out of timeouts, which might come into play this weekend. Or it might not if the Final Four is similar to the competitiveness of many of the games we have seen in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
- If you are looking for this year’s big NBA Draft story, you might want to stop watching the men’s basketball tournament and turn your eyes to the women’s tournament and Britney Griner. What’s that? Her team already lost? Well that hasn’t stopped Mark Cuban from offering yet another plea for attention as he has come out and said that he would consider drafting Griner in the second round of this year’s NBA Draft. We are not here to disparage Griner or her game, which is one of the most dominant we have seen in women’s basketball, but she would get ripped apart in men’s college basketball much less the NBA. If Cuban or another owner wants to give her a shot in training camp that is his choice (and money), but using a draft pick would be a waste of a potentially valuable commodity and something even someone like Cuban, who is a very intelligent businessman while still craving s the spotlight, would not be dumb enough to do.