Morning Five: 02.10.14 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on February 10th, 2014
- By now you have heard that Marcus Smart has been suspended for three games for shoving an Oklahoma State fan (press conference quotes here). You have have probably formed an opinion about the incident as well as Smart and the fan (reportedly a longtime Texas Tech fan named Jeff Orr, who denies using a racial slur). As we stated when the incident occurred there is more than enough blame to go around to both parties here (including the officials and Oklahoma State coaches who let Smart stay in the game and on the court, respectively), but it is pointless to try to assign relative degrees of blame. The unfortunate thing for Smart is that this will be part of his legacy no matter what he accomplishes (see Bobby Knight and his chair). Hopefully he and the fan can learn from the incident and grow from it.
- The incident in Lubbock was not the only ugly one involving fans as Oregon coaches are reporting that an Arizona State student repeatedly spit on two Oregon staff members after Saturday’s game. According to Oregon, the same student also spit on staff members at halftime as the set up in Tempe requires the visiting team to walk between two student sections on their way to the locker room. Oregon declined to press charges so we probably will not find out the identity of the student, who will probably still be punished by the school. This incident has already been overshadowed by the Marcus Smart one because the staff did not react physically to the fan and they are not nearly as well-known as Smart, but it is no less troubling.
- The Marcus Smart and Oregon incidents will overshadow it (along with the Sochi Olympics and the Michael Sam announcement), but the bigger news in terms of its impact on this college basketball season and the eventual national champion may have come out of East Lansing as Michigan State announced that Keith Appling would be “out for a couple weeks” with a wrist injury. This is the same wrist injury that has been bothering Appling for much of the season and only adds to the growing list of injuries that the Spartans are dealing with this season. When they are healthy there probably is not a better team in the country than Michigan State, but the problem is how infrequently they have been healthy this season and at this rate we are not sure if we will see a healthy Michigan State team this season.
- Adam Silver, the new NBA commissioner, reportedly wants a higher NBA age limit raising the age from 19 years old to 20 years old. From a selfish college basketball fan perspective we would love this as it would most likely give us an extra year of college basketball for the best players assuming they decide not to go the Brandon Jennings route and play overseas. Realistically and practically we do not see it happening because as is the current age limit is on tenuous legal ground and it seems unlikely that the NBA Players Association would be willing to acquiesce to this even if it would theoretically give current members an extra year of roster protection from college players. So unless the owners are willing to give the Players Association major concessions on salaries/revenue sharing, which we do not see happening, we would not expect to see this change any time soon.
- A lot of people like to throw out various advanced metrics, but few do as good of a job explaining them as Ken Pomeroy does when he takes the time to blog about them. His most recent entry on looking at the factors that contribute to average possession length is a pretty thorough tutorial on why advanced metrics can be so useful. Essentially what it does it boils down several smaller factors into a more meaningful overall stat. There are certainly some limits to what they can be used for, but the field is an evolving one and will continue to get better.