SEC M5: 10.09.12 Edition

Posted by Brian Joyce on October 9th, 2012

  1. We all know Patric Young is a star, but you might not know that his stardom isn’t just confined to the basketball court. Young recently appeared in a commercial for the Providence School, the private high school he attended in Jacksonville, Florida. But don’t worry about NCAA sanctions for his involvement. The University of Florida compliance office has cleared him to participate under an exception allowing student-athletes to promote educational services as long as any payments for his services are donated to a non-profit agency. Young passed up entering the NBA Draft (and likely an opportunity to endorse products for money… that he can keep AND spend) for another chance to lead in his junior year with the Gators.
  2. Frank Martin struck again with another big commitment for the class of 2013. Justin McKie, the son of former South Carolina guard BJ McKie, committed to Martin on Monday after a visit to watch the Gamecock football team beat up on Georgia on Saturday. “The visit went real well, just the atmosphere, just watching the football game and seeing those fans so excited about football, I feel like it can be that way for basketball,” McKie said. “I know coach Martin is a winner and is going to come in and get that winning tradition going. I have a lot of pride at South Carolina I want to be part of that.” McKie’s father, BJ, averaged 17.2 points per game over his career with USC, and is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer with 2,119 points.
  3. McKie was not Martin’s only commitment over the last couple of days. First, 6’9″ forward Desmond Ringer chose Martin’s Gamecocks over a host of other SEC and Big East schools. Then, Sindarius Thornwell, one of the top guards in the country, chose South Carolina over North Carolina State last week. “I feel comfortable with Coach Frank and I believe in him,” Thornwell said. “I feel closer to them than I do to North Carolina State.” If Martin continues to recruit like this, he’ll have South Carolina back in the hunt in the SEC far quicker than expected.
  4. Kentucky fans are seeking the second coming of last year’s super-human freshman center Anthony Davis, and many expect rookie Nerlens Noel to step into that role immediately. But don’t mention the comparisons to coach John Calipari. “He shouldn’t be compared,” said coach Cal. “They’re totally different. They’re not even the same. Nerlens is going to give us a different type of game. Anthony understood how to compete on possessions. Nerlens is still learning. Like, he’ll take possessions off. Well, you can’t do that. What he is, is a normal freshman.” Didn’t Calipari assure us that his Wildcats were not very good last year? We aren’t falling for your mind games again, John.
  5. Kentucky has its fair share of celebrity followers, and Calipari knows how to treat a star. Drake snagged a national championship ring after pledging his allegiances to the Cats a couple of years ago. Ashley Judd can be found in Rupp Arena during big home games throughout the year. And she sure doesn’t sit in the nosebleed section. Now rapper Henry Ogirri recorded a song just about the Big Blue’s trek for a ninth championship. Somebody get this guy a gig at Big Blue Madness. A spot on the bench as a celebrity coach? Or at least some front row seats. What does a guy have to do to be the “Y” at halftime around here? Come on.

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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RTC Summer Updates: Big South Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 11th, 2011

With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our Big South correspondent, Mark Bryant.

Reader’s Take

Summer Storylines

  • New Kids On The Block:  The most obvious changes from last hoops season to the one upcoming are the new faces in the Big South Conference. First and foremost, there’s a whole new team to account for this year, as the Campbell Fighting Camels have returned. CU was a founding member of the Big South in 1983, but left in 1994. Now the boys from Buies Creek are back where they belong, nestled in among more geographic rivalries and familiar old foes. And while it’s not as dramatic as a whole new team, plenty of eyes will be on the new head man at Radford, where Mike Jones will be in charge of a rebuilding process for the Highlanders.
  • Old Faces, New Places: And while every conference sees plenty of shuffling among assistants from year to year, the Big South had a couple notable arrivals–particularly for those who have followed SEC hoops in the past. Charleston Southern added former South Carolina standout B.J. McKie to the coaching staff. McKie joins coach Barclay Radebaugh, who was on the USC bench in BJ’s days as a guard to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, up the beach from Charleston, Coastal Carolina and head coach Cliff Ellis have added their own familiar name in Mamadou N’Diaye, who played at Auburn for Ellis before launching his NBA career.
  • Changes of Scenery: Big South basketball locales will take on different looks both at home and away this year, as UNC Asheville and Coastal Carolina are putting the finishing touches on entirely new facilities, while several schools are hitting the road less traveled and going abroad.  Summer trips will take Presbyterian College to Italy, Gardner-Webb to the Bahamas, and Liberty to Belgium and France, plus once the season begins, we will see Winthrop head off to the Virgin Islands.

What do Asheville's Matt Dickey (2) and JP Primm have in store for an encore after last season's NCAA Tournament bid?

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