Morning Five: 08.23.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 23rd, 2013


  1. With each passing day more and more of the college basketball schedule is revealed. Yesterday’s big news was the release of the ACC schedule (the full schedule is available in PDF format). The schedule is highlighted by the conference’s two ESPN GameDay match-ups: Duke at Syracuse on February 1 and North Carolina at Duke on March 8. Outside of that there should be considerable interest in match-ups involving the newcomers to the conference–Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame–as ACC teams travel to and host them for the first time. Other than that the one thing that really sticks out to is how Maryland does not get a single home game against any of its traditional rivals. Clearly this is the conference’s way of getting back at them for leaving for the Big Ten.
  2. Staying on the topic of the ACC and its schedule it appears that Syracuse will not be moving its basketball court to the center of the Carrier Dome for its game against Duke. Earlier this summer there was quite a bit of speculation that the school might do so in order to create the possibility of having 50,000 fans in attendance for the game, but after considering many of the logistical factors involved in doing so they nixed the idea. The school also noted that this would not preclude the possibility of surpassing the on-campus attendance record of 35,012 set this past February when Syracuse hosted Georgetown. It also has not ruled out the possibility of moving the court to the center of the Carrier Dome in the future although we have a hard time seeing which event there would warrant it if this does not.
  3. After a three week hiatus, Luke Winn is finally back and this time he is trying to pick six players primed for a break-out season as sophomores. The selections are based on playing sparingly as a freshman (not much more than 20 minutes per game), having a high usage rate (24% or higher), and having an offensive efficiency rating over 100. The selections–Przemek Karnowski, Michael Carrera, A.J. Hammons, D’Andre Wright, Mike Tobey, and Sam Dekker–are all players that the casual fan might not be aware of, but people who follow college basketball have been waiting to take the next step especially Hammons and Dekker. If you doubt the utility of this strategy, which is admittedly a little arbitrary especially when Winn bends the rules to get Dekker in, check out last year’s selections.
  4. In our interview earlier this week with Steve Alford we asked him about the need to regain control of recruiting in California and specifically the Los Angeles area. Alford suggested that while it was important they were also taking a national approach. However, as Myron Medcalf notes, if UCLA is going to become a national power again it needs to lock up its own backyard. We think it goes without saying that a national-level program needs to recruit nationally, but in the same way that Miami needs to control southern Florida in order to become a football power again, UCLA needs to become a major player in the movement of players from its own region (ok, maybe not to the same degree) if it is to even reach the heights it saw under Ben Howland much less John Wooden (the latter is never happening again).
  5. We will call yesterday’s edition of CBS’s Candid Coaches series the “Sean Miller question” as they asked coaches if they feel that their team has been targeted by an official or an officiating crew. The impetus for the question was clearly the controversy in the Pac-12 last season where there remains some suspicion that Ed Rush essentially directed a crew to give Sean Miller a technical so the results are somewhat surprising: 53% said yes, 38% said no, and 9% said yes, but not to that extent. Honestly, we are surprised by the 91% that either said that they felt like they had been targeted like Miller or that they had not been targeted at all. We don’t think that officials always target one team, but to think that they never do or that officials have specific agendas against a certain team seems a little naive. Now if we were forced to pick we would probably question the 38% who think they have never been targeted the most because that just seems to be a little too PC for an anonymous poll.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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