Morning Five: 02.03.14 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on February 3rd, 2014
- Saturday was full of great college basketball action with plenty of upsets and late-game heroics, but the biggest event of the day was Brandon Ashley injuring his foot in a loss to Cal. X-rays in Tucson on Sunday confirmed Arizona’s worst fears as Ashley had suffered a fracture and will be out for the remainder of the season. As Andrew Murawa noted before Arizona officially announced Ashley’s injury, the Wildcats are equipped to deal with Ashley’s absence, but it is unquestionably a big loss for them. Arizona has the two Oregon schools visiting them this week in Tucson so we should get a better idea of where they stand within a week.
- In one of the more surprising results on Saturday, Oklahoma State lost at home to Baylor, but their bigger loss may have come later that night after freshman backup point guard Stevie Clark was arrested for “outraging public decency.” If you are unfamiliar with that phrase apparently it means that Clark was urinating out the window of a vehicle. This is the second arrest for Clark in a month as he was arrested on New Year’s Day for possession of marijuana and also was suspended in November for a violation of team rules. Oklahoma State has not released an official comment on this yet, but we would suspect that Clark will be sitting for a while.
- Harvard still has a chance at making this a historic season with a NCAA Tournament run, but those odds appear to be getting longer. Kenyatta Smith, who was expected to be their top interior player, is out for the season after fracturing his right foot. This is the same foot that had a hairline fracture that made Smith miss the first 17 games of the season before he came back to play two minutes against Dartmouth before breaking a bone in practice the next day. Since the Crimson had already played most of the season without him they will not necessarily need to make any major adjustments, but Smith’s absence does lower their ceiling considerably.
- After a promising start to the season the wheels have come off in Little Rock as Arkansas is starting to fall apart. Having lost four of their past five and six of their past eight, the school announced that they had suspended Michael Qualls and Alandise Harris indefinitely. Given the contributions of Qualls (11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game) and Harris (9.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game) this is a huge loss for a team in free fall even with their relatively weak SEC schedule (yes, we know that is redundant). The school has not offered much information on why they were suspended outside of the usual PR release so there is a chance that the suspensions will only last for a relatively short period of time.
- When teams make deep NCAA Tournament runs we always hear about the financial windfall the school gets with the increased application rates. According to Forbes that was not the case for Wichita State at least in the short term as the school lost money last season from their NCAA Tournament run. The school will almost definitely make more money as the result of this a few years down the road (assuming they make reasonable financial decisions), but it is interesting to see some of the short-term predicaments that smaller programs can find themselves in.