Around The Blogosphere: June 29, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on June 29th, 2011

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com. We will add to this post throughout the day as the submissions come in so keep on sending them.

General News

  • Austin Hatch Makes Progress, Continues to Fight: An update on the health of the Michigan commit following the recent airplane crash. (UM Hoops)
  • Calipari’s Buyout Helps Retain Him At UK: “John Calipari’s new contract extension already serves as a sign of a long-term marriage between himself and the school, but there’s a little provision that might have been overlooked earlier that might strengthen that. Calipari’s buyout is set at $1 million for each of the next three years, higher than what was included in the original deal. Under the previous agreement, Calipari had a $1 million buyout after this season, $500,000 after 2013 and no buyout in 2014.” (Kentucky Sports Radio)
  • New assistant hoops coach has family ties to Arizona: A look at the background of newly-hired basketball assistant Joe Pasternack. (Arizona Desert Swarm)
  • FIBA Americas Cup 2011 — USA Beats Argentina Twice in 72 Hours, Takes Gold: Led by a group of talented high schoolers the US dominated the competition en route to the gold. (Villanova by the Numbers)

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Morning Five: 06.29.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 29th, 2011

  1. There’s been understandably little information coming out of Traverse City, Michigan, about the condition of Austin Hatch since the decision was made on Sunday to attempt to bring him out of the medically-induced coma. We’re hoping, as the saying goes, that no news is good news. For this situation, the NCAA has elected to ease the restrictions regarding communication between schools/coaches and recruits so that the University of Michigan (where Hatch verballed about two weeks ago) may offer whatever support they can for the young man. Around here, we’ve been occasionally critical of the NCAA where we felt it was warranted, but we also try to point out when they do something of which we approve. As far as this decision is concerned, please hold while we stand on our chairs and applaud.
  2. We wondered when this would start happening. There is a pretty prolific long-range bomber who currently finds himself free after a two-year hitch at a Big Six conference program. He’s currently considering new schools. His first visit? Butler. Listen, there are a lot of big-time, blue-chip schools who would love to have this man’s shooting ability as part of their arsenal. He knows that. Still, he’s checking out Butler. And not a single person should be surprised. With the recent success and the family atmosphere Brad Stevens brought to that program, we’ll wager that this won’t be the last time you hear of a top-tier transfer putting Butler on his list of possible landing sites right up there with the more traditional powers.
  3. So, fans of which sport are the most digitally connected of them all? Would we ask that question here if the answer wasn’t college basketball? According to a recent study, college hoopheads dominate use of social media. That doesn’t surprise us terribly, but some of the numbers in the study do — specifically, the comparison of percentages of sports fans who use Twitter vs Facebook, and the chances of a fan buying something of a certain brand if an athlete mentions it on either of those two social networking vehicles.
  4. Larry Drew II is still taking punches. Roy Williams recently spoke to the Asheville Citizen-Times about how he was looking forward to next year’s championship-caliber North Carolina team and a little bit about last season’s Elite Eight squad. Commenting on the calmer atmosphere of the program now compared to last season, Williams said, “I don’t forsee having to dismiss anyone from the team, so that’s more pleasant…I don’t forsee having to watch anyone leave at midseason. That’s more pleasant.” That’s obviously a reference to Drew II in there; John Henson was only slightly less diplomatic, adding, “I hate to say this, but when Larry left we pulled together and became more of a unit.”
  5. Like sports fans everywhere, we’re still saddened and in shock about the way, WAY-too-early loss of Lorenzo Charles. It’s not because he was a basketball player and he hit the most iconic shot in the history of the Tournament. That would imply that his life was reducible to just a few seconds, and we guarantee that he was much more than that to his family and friends. As long as we remind ourselves of that, though, it seems OK to remember that moment in Albuquerque as a symbol of the man rather than something that summarizes him wholly. SI.com’s Joe Posnanski wrote about what Charles’ dunk meant to him, and it’s one of the best things we’ve read in some time. As soon as you finish here, do yourself a favor and click on this link to read it yourself. [Ed. Note: I read the whole story twice; I read the paragraph that begins “Outside our apartment window…” at least six times. Fantastic.]
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We’re With You, Austin Hatch

Posted by jstevrtc on June 27th, 2011

At some point today, in the attempt to bring him out of a medically-induced coma, doctors will reduce the sedating medicine that they’ve been giving Austin Hatch since Friday. Hatch, a rising junior at Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Canterbury High, committed a couple of weeks ago to play basketball for Michigan starting in the fall of 2013. He suffered a punctured lung, swelling and bruising of his brain, and fractures in his skull, ribs, and collar bone when the single-engine plane piloted by his father went down on Friday near Charlevoix, Michigan. Hatch’s father and stepmother were killed in the crash. Hatch has been kept in the coma by his physicians at a hospital in Traverse City, Michigan since the incident.

Medically induced comas are (unfortunately) frequently used by doctors for several reasons, but the overall philosophy is that the coma gives critically ill patients time to rest and regain strength, and gain full benefit from the care given by the physicians and nurses. When the caretakers think a critical patient is ready, they reduce or remove the medicine that’s keeping the patient asleep, and then see how they do as they wake up. Obviously we don’t know the specifics of Hatch’s case, but depending on the medicine used for sedation, it doesn’t take long to figure out how a patient in this situation is going to do; we’re talking a few minutes up to a few hours. Even so, because of the understandable measure of caution that comes with reporting news of this nature, we wouldn’t expect an update of Hatch’s condition to be made public until the next day at the earliest. As soon as we see reliable accounts become available, we’ll have something up here or we’ll put something out over Twitter.

It hardly seems believable, but if Hatch does well off of sedation, there is another matter: remember, this is his second plane crash. He lost his mother and two siblings in a crash in 2003. Friday’s crash cost him his father and his stepmother. He doesn’t know it yet. Not only does he have to fight for his life today, but if he succeeds, he’ll have to be told about what happened to the rest of his family. It’s unspeakable.

Austin, we’re all praying things work out for you today, and that you’ll find at least some comfort in all the teammates, coaches, classmates and friends who have traveled to the hospital to be with you as you recover. The entirety of the college basketball world is behind you.

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Around The Blogosphere: June 16, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on June 16th, 2011

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com. We will add to this post throughout the day as the submissions come in so keep on sending them.

General News

  • 3′s Company | #3 Allan Chaney to Play Next Season: “TechHoops.com has it on good authority that #3 Allan Chaney will suit up for the Hokies next season. The 6’9″, 235 lbs. forward, who has been battling a heart ailment for the last year that kept him off the court, would add a big time low post presence to an inexperienced Virginia Tech team. Word on the street is he may even get back the year he lost due to his condition, perhaps making him just a sophomore next year.” (Tech Hoops)

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