Morning Five: 12.10.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on December 10th, 2013


  1. With almost a month in the books for the college basketball season we have heard plenty of pundits and even a few coaches weigh in on the new rules. The one person we had not heard from, but were interested to hear from about the new rules was John Adams, the NCAA’s supervisor of officials. Dana O’Neil caught up with Adams, who in our experience has been forthright, and asked him about how he felt about how the rules were being implemented. It may not surprise you to hear that he felt the rules were being enforced properly (at least in the game tape he reviewed with O’Neil), but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to more controversial calls that are made when the entire nation is watching in March.
  2. It took longer than we expected, but yesterday a former Rutgers player–Derrick Randall–announced that he is suing the school and Mike Rice in relation to the abuse Rice unleashed on his players. Randall, who transferred to Pittsburgh, is seeking punitive damages in a lawsuit filed in federal court. According to reports, Randall is also claiming that Rice’s actions were a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act as Randall is claiming that he falls under this category to an undisclosed learning disability. Given the public relations disaster that the school has endured we would expect them to settle out of court rather than let all the messy details of Rice’s time become public.
  3. We are getting very close to the start of conference play (yes, we know that there have been a few conference games already), but it might be too early to jump to conclusions. As Dan Henner points out some coaches have a tendency to see their teams improve either on offense or defense (part 1 and part 2). Obviously some of these trends have to do more with the players on a team (freshmen vs upperclassmen), but it probably has more to do with a coach’s system and how well he implements adjustments. So if your favorite team is struggling right now there may be some hope for the future.
  4. Over the weekend we caught a few games that should probably be significant local rivalries. Unfortunately, many of these games are hurt by poor attendance. Of these games this weekend, we were mainly focused on the Maryland-George Washington game, which turned out to be a highly entertaining finish, but was sparsely attended. As Jerry Carino points out, this was also the case in the Seton Hall-Rutgers game and he has a very good explanation for why that is–timing. If schools want to create significant local rivalries they would be best served to try to get the games to happen at a time when fans would be put in a position when they would realistically consider coming.
  5. Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks can be biting at times, but are almost always supported by a pretty strong argument. This week’s Poll Attack focuses on Scott Wolf, an AP voter who ranked Colorado and Kentucky ahead of Baylor despite Baylor owning neutral court wins over both of them. This is amusing by itself, but the more interesting aspect is something that Parrish mentions in the column and discussed more in-depth on the CBS Podcast yesterday: people seem to think it is popular to criticize Scott Drew’s coaching. We will admit to occasionally doing it (for his non-existent in-game adjustments), but it serves to point out the fact that popular narratives are interesting confounders when looking at where a team is ranked.
nvr1983 (1398 Posts)

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