Morning Five: 11.26.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on November 26th, 2013
- When we mentioned Junior Etou in this space earlier this season we were talking about his NCAA eligibility and figured after we would never mention him here again. It turns out we were wrong, but not for a reason that we could have ever predicted. Now it appears that Etou (or more specifically his high school) misrepresented his age and he was playing high school basketball as a 20-year-old. From the little that we have read about this case it does not appear to be as egregious as the infamous Jerry Joseph case, but it makes Bishop O’Connell High, a nationally respected high school program, look bad. It appears that this development is completely unrelated to the issues that led to his six-game suspension, but the start to Etou’s college career has been one of the more bizarre ones that we have seen.
- Towson’s turnaround under Pat Skerry has been nothing short of remarkable. After a 3-2 start that includes a win over Temple, the Tigers will have to overcome a bit of adversity after they suspended starting point guard Jerome Hairston indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the team”. Hairston, a sophomore was a CAA All-Rookie selection last season, has seen his scoring drop from 9.9 points per game to 5.5 this season. While the loss of a starting point guard is never a good thing, the timing works out well for the Tigers as they have almost six weeks until they start conference play.
- While most people have been focusing on fouls and the new rules, one of the things that has caught our eye is the change in pace at Wisconsin. As Seth Davis notes the up-tempo attack is not new to Bo Ryan even if most people associate him with a slow, methodical style based on his time at Wisconsin. Ryan is probably right in that he builds his game plan around his personnel, but he also has some say in what time of player he recruits. We will be interested to see in the coming years if Ryan continues with this trend and personnel going forward or if he reverts to the style that has served his so well during his time in Madison.
- We are just getting started with the 2013 version of the Maui Invitational, but on the 30th anniversary of one of the best in-season tournaments around it is as good a time as any to look back at the history of the event. In a weird way, the defining moment of the event has been Chaminade knocking off #1 Virginia in 1982 in a game that was not part of the tournament, but served as the impetus for it. However, to limit the event’s history to a game that wasn’t even part of the event would be greatly underselling the magnitude of some of the early-season games played there. So we were happy to see that they seem to have put together an outstanding field for 2015, which will be headlined by Indiana, Kansas, and UCLA. Between those three schools, they have 18 championships, which tops any event that we are aware of including the so-called Championship Classic.
- There were so many things happening over the weekend that we neglected to mention that Sunday night was the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the class of 2013. Given the depth of accomplishments of those getting inducted we hesitate to call anybody the headliner, but if we had to select someone it would probably be Elvin Hayes. It seems like as time has gone on Hayes’ place in history has largely been diminished because he does not fit into any of the neat historical narratives even if he did knock off Lew Alcindor and UCLA in the “Game of the Century” back in 1968. We want to congratulate all nine individuals and the team (1963 Loyola-Chicago) that were inducted for their accomplishments.