Morning Five: 10.06.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2011

  1. Is UCLA on the verge of being back?  Ben Howland rebuilt the west coast’s premier program in the mid-2000s with strong recruiting in his home state, culminating in three straight Final Four appearances from 2006-08.  But in the last few years, the talent pool in the Golden State has dropped a bit and Sean Miller at Arizona has aggressively entered the picture for the best of the rest, leaving Howland to look elsewhere to fill his roster.  With Kyle Anderson’s decision to leave New Jersey for the fairer weather of SoCal combined with the distinct possibility that UCLA will also pull #1 prospect Shabazz Muhammad out of Las Vegas, the Bruins program may be on the verge of re-joining the elite and doing it by recruiting as a nationally relevant program should — nationally.  Luke Winn examines this recent phenomenon in addition to NC State, Kentucky, Houston, and Providence’s recruiting prowess in a compelling analysis this week.
  2. Speaking of Anderson, the overall #4 player in the Class of 2012 according to RSCI, his high school coach, Bob Hurley, Sr., told Adam Zagoria recently that the 6’8″ guard might be the best player he’s ever had at powerhouse St. Anthony’s.  Hurley’s alumni include a number of high-profile prep players dating back to the 80s, so this is very high praise indeed.  He even goes so far to call Anderson a “modern-day Magic Johnson” with his ability to see the floor and direct his team from the perimeter with the size of a big man.  These sorts of comparisons almost always seem lacking in some way, but if Anderson can bring even a smidge of Showtime back to LA over at the new and improved Pauley Pavilion next season, Bruins fans will certainly let us know.
  3. In conference realignment’s worst kept secret, Missouri is prepared to accept an offer from an unstated conference to the south and east of its geographic base that may or may not start with the letter “S” and end with the letter “C.”  Like a jilted bridesmaid, Mizzou brass would have much rather received an offer from a certain midwestern conference (last year, this year, or any year), but such an offer does not appear to be forthcoming, so as a Missouri official put it on Wednesday, the S[...]C is “what’s left.”  Mike DeCourcy points out that even if Missouri ultimately joins that league, the conference could face a dilemma where its lack of a buyout could end up biting it if that other league comes calling.  Quite the chess game that is going on behind the scenes here, we imagine.
  4. As for the practical effects on Missouri’s presumed move, Kansas head coach Bill Self had quite a bit to say on the matter Wednesday.  He told the KC Star that he, and by proxy, Kansas fans, would hate to see the Border War basketball games between Missouri and KU come to an end.  “I don’t want them to leave. I think it’s too good. What we have, what we have going is one of the best five basketball rivalries in all of America, and I’d hate to see that go away.”  He went on to implicitly suggest that if Mizzou in fact leaves the Big 12, the resulting frayed relationship may in effect make it impossible for the schools to play each other again for a while.  It’s a well-taken point, actually, but unfortunately not one that schools seem to be giving much thought to these days.  Syracuse-Georgetown, Texas A&M-Texas, Syracuse-Connecticut… all traditional rivalries that arguably are finished for some time unless school administrators are more forgiving than we think they are.
  5. Hall of Famer Bill Russell filed a lawsuit in Oakland on Wednesday accusing the NCAA and EA of using his likeness without his consent or compensation.  Russell’s case joins former NPOY Ed O’Bannon’s in claiming that both parties violate antitrust laws by selling game footage and video games with players’ images as a material component of the content while getting nothing in return.  For a greater discussion of the legal doctrines and likely positions from both sides, click here, but numerous legal experts have stated that the NCAA and EA could face a disastrous financial burden here (possibly a ten figure judgment).  Russell provides another powerful name to add to this lawsuit as it winds its way through the courts.
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Morning Five: 04.08.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on April 8th, 2011

  1. In yesterday’s Morning 5 we mentioned that Kansas and UNC had very good days as each school retained two players who very easily could have declared for the NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Kansas was not as lucky yesterday as Marcus and Markieff Morris declared for the NBA Draft and signed with an agent. So the Jayhawks will have some holes to start the season on the interior, but most realistic fans expected the Morris twins to be gone since both are most likely lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. Meanwhile, Tar Heel fans are still waiting on a decision from Harrison Barnes. We are still amazed that Barnes, the consensous #1 pick entering the season and still a guaranteed top five pick if he were to come out this season, might come back for his sophomore year, but it appears as if Barnes is still undecided and some mock drafts him entering the NBA after another season in Chapel Hill.
  2. In a move that won’t register with most college basketball fans directly but will impact nearly all of their programs indirectly, St. Patrick High coach Kevin Boyle has decided to move from New Jersey down to Florida to take a similar position at Montverde Academy. Boyle, who coached at St. Patrick for 23 years, made the program a national power that finished 2nd in the nation this year. Despite that, Boyle has often had to toil in the rather large shadow of Bob Hurley Sr. who coaches at nearby St. Anthony’s but Boyle was clearly one of the most respected high school coaches in the nation. Judging by the quotes from one of his seniors it appears that there were many in the program who were very unhappy with the decision. In Montverde, Boyle will be taking over a program that is quite succesful even if it is not quite at the level of St. Patrick historically.
  3. La Salle sophomore Aaric Murray announced that he would be transferring after a difficult season where he and John Giannini clashed often to the detriment of the team. It is unclear where Murray intends to transfer, but there will be no shortage of teams interested in the talents of a player who averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in the Atlantic 10 last season.
  4. Many of us enjoyed Mike Bruesewitz‘s hair this season (you may remember his crazy red mop from Wisconsin games this season), but we won’t be seeing it again for the near future.  His hair is gone for a good cause, as the Badger forward had his head shaved by Jon Leuer on local television to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis. His goal was to raise $3,100 (he wears #31) and has already exceeded that amount by $424 at the time this post was written. We can only hope that he decides on an equally interesting hair style when his hair grows out again.
  5. In the wake of UConn‘s historic run through the Big East Tournament then the NCAA Tournament, Andy Glockner compiled a list of the 10 best post-season runs since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. His choice for #1 will probably surprise you and will likely start a healthy debate. We did something similar although a bit more intensive two years ago when we created a fantasy bracket for the same era, but instead of just looking at each team’s post-season we included their regular seasons as well.
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Around The Blogosphere: February 3, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on February 3rd, 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.

Top 25 Games

  • #19 Syracuse 66, #5 UConn 58: “There will be no five-game losing streak. There will be no talk of scandals. Tomorrow, the only thing worth talking about will be the fact that Syracuse basketball won a game and they did so when they needed to most. For more than one reason, Wednesday’s 66-58 win over UConn helped change the conversation and get a program back on track.” (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician: Recap and Photos)
  • #6 Duke 80, Maryland 62: “Well, I was wrong: it wasn’t a close game after all. Duke got 22 and 21 points out of Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, respectively, to overcome a Jordan Williams double-double and defeat Maryland in the Comcast Center, 80-62. In truth, the game was much closer, as Maryland had the lead as small as five more than midway through the second half, but the result is the only thing that matters. Maryland is now dropped to 14-8 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. The Terrapins will likely need a deep run in the ACC tournament or 11 ACC wins (or both) to sneak into the NCAA tournament, the latter of which would require a 7-1 finish to conference play.” (Testudo Times)
  • Indiana 60, #20 Minnesota 57: “Indiana ran circles around the Gophers for three quarters of the game before Minnesota actually showed life. However, the deficit and ineptitude at the free throw line proved insurmountable and ultimately doomed Minnesota’s comeback chances. The Hoosiers walked away with a 70-67 victory and yet another win over a ranked team at home” (From the Barn: Recap or Inside the Hall: Recap and Interviews)

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Morning Five: 02.03.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 3rd, 2011

  1. We are normally fans of Seth Davis, but we have to strongly disagree with him on his response to Jake from Seattle (scroll down), though we would have accepted an answer that Jake was using the improper jargon and the appropriate phrase is “rush the court.” Ok, all kidding aside, Seth has a solid column (again) with some good stuff about all the questions surrounding Ohio State (have to go back a page from the original link). Still, we think it is worthwhile pointing out that, despite our name, we don’t think the actual act is necessary all the time, and that it should only be done at rare and appropriate times. We feel so strongly about this that we even wrote a post about it. That said, we do agree with Seth’s point that crowds need to be aware of their surroundings and watch for others around them as I witnessed at the only true RTC of which this author has ever been a part. The Providence fans were very courteous in letting me move to the side to avoid being trampled by the onslaught so I could get a better angle to report on it when I joined the students on the floor (see pics in the link above — apologies for the poor formating which is the result of some old audio files that seem to be missing).
  2. Even though most people know Ken Pomeroy for his site and its rankings he also writes an interesting blog. A lot of the time his posts are about analyzing some new statistic, but he recently had an engaging post questioning how the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee should determine how it picks the at-large teams. It is worth a read and raises the question as to whether those involved with selecting the field should allow their personal viewing experience to influence who gets into the field. In an ideal world they would not, but then they’d be left without a way to understand basketball, which I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want to have as a characteristic of the people who determine which teams make the field.
  3. Someone mentioned a few days ago that people would start jumping on the UNC bandwagon pretty soon, and after the Tar Heels blew out the Eagles in Chestnut Hill it looks as though that was quite prescient as some people in the North Carolina media are starting to buy into the Heels even if many of their readers aren’t (see the comments in that link). It will be interesting to see if the media can convince themselves that UNC could actually play with their rivals a few miles down the road. We know that CBS will certainly be hyping it up like that, especially for a certain primetime game, but we still aren’t sure how many will actually try to get on the bandwagon as well.
  4. We are a college basketball site, but we would be remiss not to offer a tip of the hat to Bob Hurley Sr. for winning his 1,000th game as a high school basketball coach. While some may argue that his son Bobby — the point guard on the back-to-back NCAA championship teams at Duke and still the NCAA record holder for assists in a career — is more well-known, it is his father who has impacted more lives, having sent countless players to college on scholarship or improved their lives through basketball. Hurley Sr. is the 10th high school coach to reach the 1,000 win milestone and is already pointing toward 100 more. Personally, we would like to see him out there for 1,000 more.
  5. Speaking of well-known father-son combinations, Gonzaga has one in John Stockton and his son David Stockton. All right, maybe the father is a little more well-known than the son in this case. You all know about John’s accomplishments, but you are probably less familiar with David, who joined the Gonzaga team earlier this season as a freshman walk-on. Much like Jeff Jordan, the son of Michael Jordan (the man who prevented David’s father from winning a NBA championship ring) who was given a scholarship after walking on, David also received news that he too had been given a scholarship. For Mark Few‘s sake, we hope that David stays at Gonzaga longer than Jeff did at Illinois.
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