Jimmy Connors Is Having None of Your Instructions

Posted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2008

Somehow in the libational haze of last Friday night’s self-induced dystopia, we noted a strange factoid surfacing across the ESPN bottom-line crawler.  Tennis great Jimmy Connors, he of the former #1 ranking and a current Santa Barbara resident, had gotten into some kind of row with another fan outside the UCSB Thunderdome prior to the Gauchos’ game with #1 North Carolina, and found himself arrested.  The story got lost among all the football and hoops this weekend, but we wanted to make sure that we remembered it correctly.  Turns out, we did.  From the NY Daily News report:

Tennis giant Jimmy Connors was arrested outside a college basketball game in California for standing his ground, police said.  Connors, 56, was ordered to move away from the entrance of the Thunderdome just before UC Santa Barbara and top-ranked North Carolina were set to play Friday night.  The eight-time Grand Slam champ, known for his fiery temperament in his heyday, refused and was arrested, police said.


(photo credit: MensVogue)

We can only speculate as to who the other guy must have been or what he must have done to elicit such rage in Connors so that he would miss the once-in-a-generation opportunity for the local school (of which he supposedly is a fan) to host the nation’s #1 ranked team.  Hmmm…

Just thinking out loud here, but who fits that description?  What nemesis is capable of eliciting such rage so that Connors would refuse to comply with police instructions and move his arse?  Who could that have been? 

Oh, right. 

john-mcenroe-unc-v3(photo credit: Ron Waite)

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Contact Kornheiser: Binghamton Hoops in the News

Posted by rtmsf on November 13th, 2008

Sometimes the stories that come across the wire are already so legendary, there’s really no reason to write additional copy.  From the Binghamton Press & News Bulletin:

trojan-magnumA Binghamton University basketball player has been suspended from the team while charges of shoplifting and assault are pending in Vestal’s town court.  Malik Alvin, 20, was confronted by Wal-Mart security just after 2 p.m. Oct. 26 when officers said he took the contents of a box of 36 condoms without paying for them and attempted to leave the Vestal store, court documents say.  Alvin, a junior and newcomer to the BU team, eluded store security, but while on the run, collided in the store’s foyer with a 66-year-old customer, knocking her to the floor; she sustained a concussion, Vestal town court documents indicate.  Wal-Mart security told Vestal police they saw Alvin take two boxes of Trojan Magnum condoms from a store shelf. Alvin took the condoms into a restroom and stuffed the contents of one box — 36 condoms — into the front pockets of his pants, documents state. He reportedly left the other box in the restroom. […]  Binghamton University offers condoms for free in Resident Assistant offices and at the Health Services office behind Hinman community.

Perhaps there’s a limit on condom pilfering, or well, you know, maybe Binghamton Health Services doesn’t offer Magnums. 


In either case, the ladies at Binghamton U. had best watch their step or the greatest Don Juan the campus has seen since TK (above) rocked the leisure suits might just capture their purity in his venus flytrap.   

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11.13.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on November 13th, 2008

This is long overdue…

  • Injury bug.  Va Tech forward JT Thompson will be out 4-6 weeks with a herniaTyler Hansbrough appears “extremely doubtful” for UNC’s opener against Penn on Saturday.  Ole Miss guard Trevor Gaskins tore his ACL and will miss the entire season.   
  • Nevada’s sticky-fingered trio of Brandon Fields, London Giles and Ahyaro Phillips will be held out of the season opener against Montana St. on Saturday.  Not sure why Fields is still suspended, his charges were dropped.
  • UCLA’s Nikola Dragovic got into a dispute with his girlfriend last week and was arrested for misdemeanor battery.  He did not dress during last night’s game against Priarie View A&M. 
  • Tennessee freshman PG Daniel West was ruled academically ineligible to play for the Vols this season, leaving juco transfer Bobby Maze and junior JP Prince as the only two legitimate ballhandlers to run Bruce Pearl’s attack this season.
  • Georgia Tech senior guard Lewis Clinch is also academically ineligible, but he can earn his spot back on the team after the semester ends.  He’ll miss a minimum of seven games though. 
  • Don’t expect any slicing or dicing of the current 16-team Big East arrangement on his watch, says newly voted Commish John Marinatto, who will begin next July 1.  He takes over for uber-successful commisioner Mike Tranghese.
  • More meaningless exhibitions.  Stephen Curry (41 pts on 15-19 FGs) appeared rusty in an 84-54 Davidson win over Lenoir-Rhyne.  The defending champs, led by Sherron Collins (22 pts) and Cole Aldrich (17/10), handily defeated Emporia St.   Wisconsin plowed through a slogfest to win 64-47 over UW-WhitewaterUConn’s Jerome Dyson and his 18 pts led the Huskies past UMass-Lowell 82-63.  Luke Harongody’s 21/10 helped Notre Dame to an easy win over Stonehenge Stonehill 79-47 last weekendPitt’s Sam Young filled the stat sheet with 18/7/4 blks in an 82-30 mauling of La Roche as well on Sunday.
  • Jeff Goodman gives his version of preseason bracketology, and he also went with the upset over UNC in the finals (Michigan St.).  We see ya with your #15 Belmont (over Tennessee) and #14 Portland St. (over Purdue). 
  • RTC correspondent Baker (he covers the A-Sun and the SoCon) has launched his new site, Mid Major Review, which got off with a bang this week with his podcast interview of Belmont head coach, Rick Byrd, and we expect will provide great substance and analysis of the mid-major world throughout the season.  Welcome to the blogosphere, MMR.   
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Robert Vaden Celebrates Faux POY Award With Public Intoxication Arrest

Posted by rtmsf on October 15th, 2008

It’s already been an exciting few days with Marcus Ginyard‘s and Terrence Williams‘ injuries and it only continues to get better as the news came out today that UAB sharpshooter Robert Vaden was arrested in Bloomington, Indiana, last weekend for public intoxication.  What was he doing there?  You may recall that Vaden was one of the IU players who followed Mike Davis to UAB after his dismissal from Indiana University in 2006.  After a scintillating junior campaign (21/4/3 assts) at UAB and a last-minute decision to come back to school for his senior season, Vaden is poised to have an all-american year for the Blazers. 

Or is he?

From the Birmingham News:

UAB basketball standout Robert Vaden was arrested on a preliminary charge of public intoxication last weekend while visiting friends in Bloomington, Ind.  The news comes on the same day that Conference USA coaches voted Vaden, a transfer from Indiana, as their Preseason Player of the Year.  The Bloomington Herald Times, which reported the story Tuesday, said Bloomington police Officer Ian Lovan saw a man who appeared intoxicated and was pushing people on a downtown Bloomington street. The man, later identified as the 23-year-old Vaden, failed dexterity tests to determine if he was drunk and was booked on the public intoxication charge, according to the newspaper.  Vaden is on probation after a disorderly conduct arrest in Birmingham in 2007. Vaden was one of five current or former UAB players arrested outside a Southside club in late August of last year.  

This could be extremely problematic for the fortunes of Mike Davis’ 2008-09 team, which is predicted to make a run at the CUSA title and an NCAA Tournament bid.  A PI is usually nothing to worry about, but getting a PI while on probation is potentially an entirely different matter.  Even just the arrest with no sticking PI charge could cause Vaden’s original charge of disorderly conduct to re-attach (including any possible jail time), depending on the moods of his probation officer and/or judge.  At minimum, we would expect even a Mike Davis player to merit a suspension of several games for this stunning lack of judgment. 

As for the news breaking on the same day that Vaden was awarded Preseason POY by the CUSA coaches, well, we just can’t help but think that somewhere a snivelling John Calipari had something to do with this.     

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08.20.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 20th, 2008

Is anyone else a little Michael Phelpsed out?  Apparently Amanda Beard is…  on to the hoops news…

  • Remember the Toledo kid (Sammy Villegas) who the FBI busted for pointshaving?  In a shocking (!!!) turn of events, the FBI is now saying that it was related to the football pointshaving scandal from last season!  (heavy sarcasm alert for you analog types)   So…  how deep does this mire go at Toledo?
  • Former Johnnie and Dookie Roshown McLeod, last seen fumbling a ball out of bounds in the 98 regional finals in St. Pete, is back on the radar as a new assistant for Tom Crean at Indiana (yes, we’re aware he got a little run in the NiBbA).  Too bad he can’t suit up for the new $24M man
  • Former UNC big man Alex Stepheson will transfer to USC and will attempt to get a waiver from the NCAA (similar to what Tyler Smith did last year at Tennessee) so that he can play this season for the Trojans.  His father is suffering from an undisclosed illness. 
  • Get ready to see a LOT of Stephen Curry this year (not a bad thing).  The Preseason NIT will feature Curry’s Davidson squad in addition to other NCAA teams Purdue, Oklahoma, Cornell, Georgia, Mississippi Valley St., and Arizona.   We like the Boilers vs. Curry in the finals.
  • So Ty Lawson ends up with 26 hours of community service (working on his crossover?) and the city of Chapel Hill still has its celebrated point guard in light of his “drinking while driving” arrest back in the spring.  Something doesn’t seem too right about that. 
  • The NCAA denied Pitt forward Mike Cook’s request for an extra year of eligibility.  He played in eleven games last season before suffering a knee injury, and according to the NCAA rules, a player is only eligible for a redshirt season if he played in less than 30% of his team’s games.  Pittsburgh played 37 games last year – Cook played in 11.  That’s 29.7%, so what’s the problem?  The problem is that the NCAA qualifies ALL postseason games as ONE game, which means, by their fuzziest of math, Cook played in 11 of 32 games, or 34.3%.  Ridiculous.  Did you guys know that Kansas won its title in only one game last March/April?
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The Allegheny County DA Must be a Pitt Fan

Posted by rtmsf on October 3rd, 2007

Since we’ve been on the police blotter kick lately, we may as well continue with an epilogue to one of our previous taser stories.  No, not the Florida John Kerry heckler, bro.  Actually, we’re referring again to Pitt PG Levance Fields, who as you may recall, on Sept. 16 became involved in an altercation with an off-duty police officer:

According to Pittsburgh police reports, Fields, 20, was arguing with an unknown man and using obscene language outside Puro nightclub early on the morning of Sept. 16.  An off-duty officer working security at the club on 19th Street said Fields appeared to have been drinking and ordered him to stop yelling. The officer said Fields punched him in the chest, grabbed his belt and reached for his gun, and the officer and his partner used a Taser gun to subdue and arrest Fields.

Let’s pick out the key piece of information here, in case you scanned over it.

Fields punched him in the chest, grabbed his belt and reached for his gun

Fields and Atty

Fields Should Thank Pat O’Brien His Attorney

Now, we’re no expert in this sort of thing, but it seems like making a play for a cop’s gun is grounds for all kinds of nastiness to come down on you.  So imagine our surprise when we heard this news from Pittsburgh:

Prosecutors agreed on Tuesday to drop charges of disarming a police officer, public drunkenness and aggravated assault, stemming from Fields’ alleged scuffle with a police officer on Sept. 16. A lesser charge of simple assault will stand.  In exchange, Fields must spend nine months in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition program and serve 50 hours of community service. If he completes the probation without incident, his record will be expunged, defense attorney Robert DelGreco Jr. said.

So Fields went from facing several felonies and a near-guarantee of jail time…  to a lone misdemeanor of simple assault.  And for what penance – fifty hours of community service?  We think we did that much tree planting and mail sorting in one semester for alcohol violations in college. 

Either Mr. DelGreco, Jr., is a master of advocacy on behalf of his clients, or the Allegheny County DA has Pitt season tickets.  Considering the Panthers lost Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall from last year’s Sweet 16 squad, the potential loss of Fields could have made for a boring winter in the Steel City.  As long as Fields can spare 1.28 hrs/week for community service over the next nine months and resist any and all urges to throw haymakers at officers, Pitt basketball should remain a viable entertainment option for Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., and his friends.       

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09.11.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 11th, 2007

We’re so far behind in news that this is a must-post…

  • Huckleberry Hound Roy Williams and the entire 1966 Texas Western squad were the collegiate candidates inducted into the Basketball HOF on Friday.  No beef with the Glory Road fellas (although UK and Rupp’s ex post facto vilification is a story that still needs correcting), but has RW accomplished enough yet (five F4s, one title) to warrant inclusion?  Seems as if the committee jumped a little early on that one.
  • Come see the new inclusions in your town this fall, as the HOF is making a 30-city tour around the country over the next year.  The spokesperson of the tour is the Human Highlight Film himself. 
  • Stability in the Northeast – BC’s Al Skinner and Holy Cross’s Ralph Willard both had their contracts extended through 2013. 
  • Calipari mobilizes the entire city of Memphis to watch his players, who apparently cannot be trusted out on their own without inciting a freakin’ riot.  We knew before it even came out that The Mouth of the South, Joey Dorsey, would somehow be involved in this.  Make it rain, Joey.     
  • Not to be outdone, Mike Davis’s transfers at UAB decided to party without him, and all five were arrested on various charges.  The most disturbing in our eyes?  Walter Sharpe’s outstanding warrant for his arrest on a prior marijuana charge.  Not only did he already have a prior, but he didn’t even show up for the hearing?  And Davis didn’t know about this??  Now we know why IU fans wanted him gone.
  • Oh, and former Terp star and NCAA Champion Lonny Baxter has an unhealthy interest in firearms likes guns. 
  • From a while back, ESPN believes that nearly a third of D1 teams are eligible to become Bracket Busters.  (h/t to Awful Announcing)
  • Louisville’s new arena (due in 2010) is already bidding for future NCAA Tournament games.  Possible beneficiaries:  Kentucky, Indiana, Cincinnati, Xavier.   
  • Rivals weighs in with Alabama, Villanova, Illinois and others’ Labor Day weekend trips.  (takeaways:  Bama will struggle w/o Steele and Scottie Reynolds was on fire
  • Andy Katz also contributes with reports (here and here) of his trip to Mexico with OJ Mayo and USC.  (takeaway: OJ is the real deal)  
  • Goodman also has some summer excursion thoughts on Oklahoma, Duquesne, USC and Arkansas here; and Villanova, Marquette and James Madison here
  • Apparently Ohio St.’s Kosta Koufos was offered but did not take a Christian Drejer deal in Greece last week. 
  • Blue Ribbon’s preseason All-Americans are out – Drew Neitzel, Chris Lofton, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough and Dominic James.  We’re lukewarm on Neitzel as a first-teamer. 
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