SEC M5: 11.21.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on November 21st, 2012

  1. Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow might be ready to return to practice after a mysterious illness kept him sidelined for UK’s first three games of the year. According to Kentucky Sports Radio, “On his radio show earlier tonight, John Calipari said Ryan Harrow was on the treadmill today and he could return to practice on Tuesday.” Calipari also indicated that Harrow lost seven pounds during this time. Archie Goodwin and his 23.1 percent turnover rate would appreciate the return of a starting point guard in Kentucky’s lineup. In all fairness, Goodwin has performed well playing out of position, but Harrow’s insertion in the lineup enables Goodwin to use his speed and driving ability more appropriately in the dribble-drive offense. Surely all of us will miss the quality time we had with Jarrod Polson.
  2. Billy Donovan is looking for more consistency from center Patric Young, who is averaging 10.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. “Pat has been maybe up and down in those areas,” Donovan said. “I would like to have seen him rebound the basketball better (against Middle Tennessee State). Two rebounds in 24 minutes. He did get taken out of the game flow wise picking up his second foul.” In Florida’s four games so far, Young has put up performances of 12 points and 12 rebounds, eight points and seven rebounds, nine points and two rebounds, and 13 points and 11 rebounds last night against Savannah State. Young’s rebounding numbers are slightly better than last year, but his offensive rating has taken a significant dip in the early going partially due to poor free throw shooting. In the game against Middle Tennessee State, Young got to the line 11 times but converted on just five of those attempts. Perhaps Donovan will add that to Young’s list of areas to work on.
  3. Mississippi State unveiled new charcoal black uniforms in its Maui Invitational opener against North Carolina. Though “the Adidas Adizero uniforms are 32 percent lighter than previous Bulldog uniforms and are designed to reduce weight and add breathability to keep players lighter and faster on the court,” it certainly did not appear to enhance performance. The Bulldogs were blown off the court by the faster and stronger Tar Heels to the tune of  95-49. At least they looked good while getting destroyed. Maybe there is something to the claim that Mississippi State never plays well in black, or maybe it just doesn’t matter what the Bulldogs wear this year. Mississippi State dropped another game in the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, this time to Marquette.
  4. Andrew Del Piero’s teammates say he is earning his new scholarship with quality play. The former tuba player turned LSU walk-on recently earned a scholarship for his hard work, and now he is going to start earning more playing time for the same reason. “We’ve seen it all summer, his progression from last year to this year in practice,” senior Eddie Ludwig said. “Every day I think he gets better, so it’s no surprise to me. It’s just a matter of him getting more comfortable out there.” The 7’3″ center filled up the stat sheet against McNeese State a couple of nights ago with seven points, four boards, one steal, and one block in a then career-high eight minutes. The Tigers are thin on the frontline, so a hard working and producing 7’3″ center is going to earn a second look, and he did last night with another career high with nine minutes against Northwestern State.
  5. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is happy with where his team is at after a 3-0 start to the season. “We’ve won the games that we should have won,” Kennedy said. “It’s been advantageous to us to get these young guys more minutes. Derrick (Millinghaus) was a little shaky, 19 points, four rebounds and five assists in his third college game which will allow him to exhale a little bit, and the other guys are starting to figure out their roles.” Newcomers Millinghaus and transfer Marshall Henderson have been pleasant surprises for the Rebels. Henderson was shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc (prior to last night’s 3-12 slump from the field), averaging 22 points a game (another number on the decline after just nine points). Mississippi won’t get its first real test until December when the Rebels play Rutgers and on the road against Middle Tennessee State. If the Rebels continue to win the games they are supposed to win, it is possible they could be a perfect 11-0 heading into conference play.
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LSU’s Andrew Del Piero: From Tuba Player to Basketball Scholarship

Posted by Brian Joyce on October 24th, 2012

Seven-footer Andrew Del Piero was a two time All-State selection in high school, and as such, highly recruited to attend LSU. But not in basketball. The honors bestowed upon Del Piero were from his time as a standout tuba player before joining the Golden Band from Tigerland. A 7’3″ tuba player? Surely it didn’t take long for the big guy to figure out he fit in more on the basketball court than performing in the band. Can you figure out which one is Del Piero?

Del Piero walked on last season with the Tigers basketball team, playing in only four games. Despite scoring just three points and grabbing two rebounds in 12 minutes of action all season, Del Piero was offered a scholarship to play for coach Johnny Jones this season. “Andrew is on scholarship now,” Jones said. “When we came back to school, because of the work that he had put in and his commitment to what we were doing. Andrew being a senior and what he’s going through, I just thought it would be fitting if a scholarship was awarded to him.” Not only is Del Piero now on scholarship (for basketball), but because of a shortage of size and bodies in the LSU frontcourt, he is making a contribution. Sophomore forward Johnny O’Bryant says Del Piero is usually assigned to guard him in practice, and it is no cakewalk.  “He helps me because he’s got that heavy body and a heavy center of gravity and I have to work when I bang inside with him,” O’Bryant said.

Brian Joyce is a writer for the SEC microsite and regular contributor for Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about SEC basketball at bjoyce_hoops.

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Morning Five: 09.28.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 28th, 2010

  1. Former Michigan State star and 1979 national champion Jay Vincent pleaded guilty to falsifying his tax return and mail fraud on Friday as part of an Internet scam that defrauded investors of over $2M from 2006-09.  The ruse he and an associate pulled on people involved convincing their clients to become home inspectors, undoubtedly trying to cash in on people’s blind greed as a result of the national housing bubble during those years.  For some reason, every time we hear one of these stories about former stars doing the wrong thing (and there are plenty of them), it makes us sad.  It shouldn’t, but it still does.
  2. Wouldn’t it be great if Butler’s Brad Stevens ultimately decided to stay in Indianapolis for the next thirty-odd years and built Butler into a national powerhouse who competed with the likes of Duke, Kentucky, UNC and Kansas for the top recruits and slots in the Final Four every year?  To say Stevens will never leave Butler for another job at a high(er)-major is unlikely — after all, never is a long time for a 33-year old — but according to this article by Seth Davis, it certainly appears that the coaching wunderkind is awfully comfortable with his office in Hinkle Fieldhouse, and we’re rooting for him to be in the old barn for a very long time.
  3. Nolan Smith is the Dookie who’s hard to hate, and this story by David Steele at Fanhouse helps to illustrate why.  We all know that Nolan and his father, Derek, are one of the few father-son duos to have ever both won a national title.  Can you name the other duos?
  4. Blue Ribbon has announced its first-team All-Americans for the 2010-11 season, and the list is heavy with Big 12 players…  Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn, Kansas’ Marcus Morris, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen, Duke’s Kyle Singler and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.  You know what’s especially interesting about this list?  Four seniors and one junior.  Do you think that Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes might have something to say about that?
  5. We’re definitely late on this one, but we had to make mention of it.  LSU walk-on Andrew Del Piero spent last year in the LSU band playing tuba; he’ll spend this year trying to harness the 7’2, 286-pounds of flesh and blood that he has been blessed with on a basketball court.  Tigers coach Trent Johnson has his work cut out for him, but Del Piero at least has some basketball bloodlines of some sort — his pops played at Dartmouth a number of years ago.  Here’s some footage of him playing in the LSU marching band last season — he’s fairly easy to spot near the end of the clip.
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