Morning Five: 04.16.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on April 16th, 2013
- I will start off today with a few words about Boston. We have been running this site for approximately six years now and there have been plenty of significant events/tragedies that we have not really talked about in this space for a variety of reasons, but this one hit closer to home for the primary reason that Boston was actually our home (at least for one of the two of us that run this site) for 11 years. I have not been back since leaving at the end of June for a new job, but was already planning on doing so this coming June well before the tragedy that transpired yesterday. I just want to send my condolences to those who lost loved ones yesterday and wish for a speedy recovery for all of those who were injured.
- We knew it was coming, but yesterday Nerlens Noel made it official that he would be entering the NBA Draft. Some pundits may argue that Noel should spend an extra year in college to rehab from a torn left ACL, but we do not see the benefit. Noel, who was considered by many to be the #1 pick before he tore his ACL, is still considered a potential #1 overall pick depending on which team gets that pick. As crazy as it sounds the potential #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft might get overshadowed on next year’s Kentucky team particularly if he is not 100% when he returns. There have not been many cases where an underclassman leaves early with such a significant injury, but these are exceptional circumstances.
- Plenty of people have mocked the NCAA’s new academic standards, but for many recruits those numbers can be hard to meet, which has led to a rise in the number of recruits who pursue alternative routes to college including junior college. As the article points out New York City only produced one Division I men’s basketball player who was academically eligible and the standards are about to get tougher. As John Infante points out the new standards will also alter the calculus of eligibility for players who do not go straight from high school to Division I basketball. This might seem like a small story now, but it could become a big issue once the new standards go into effect.
- Last season the Missouri Valley Conference was one of the best conferences in the country, but after it was announced that Creighton would be leaving we knew they were set for a downgrade. Yesterday we found out it would be a big downgrade as it was announced that Loyola (IL) would be replacing Creighton. Nothing against Loyola, which appears to be making attempts at improving its program by upgrading its facilities and hiring new coaches (unfortunately we are more familiar with their women’s coach than their men’s coach), but going from one of the top “mid-major” teams in the country to a 5-11 Horizon League team is a huge drop-off. Now the conference still has its fair share of heavyweights, but with this type of replacement we would not be surprised to see some other conferences try to poach some of the Missouri Valley Conference’s top programs.
- One of the few bright spots for Purdue last season was how young they were. Their fans could ignore their 8-10 Big Ten record as merely growing pains for an extremely young team. They can still have those hopes, but while they maintain their top underclassmen the Boilermakers have been losing quite a bit of their supporting cast with the most recent departure being Anthony Johnson who asked for and was granted a release by the school. Johnson put up decent numbers as a sophomore (4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds), but shot a putrid 36.2 percent from the floor and was expected to see his minutes decrease with most of the team’s top players returning.