It has been a loooooong week around these parts, but now that we’ve crowned a Team of the 2000s, let’s move on to some other goings-on and nuggets of news floating around the college hoops world…
Comings and Goings. There have been a few announcements of players who are out for the upcoming semester as we’re heading into fall matriculation. The most notable are Villanova wing Reggie Redding and Florida big men Eloy Vargas and Adam Allen. Redding was suspended by the university arising out of an incident where marijuana was allegedly found in his car at an accident, but he is expected to return for the spring semester. Allen recently had surgery for a stress fracture and Vargas is academically ineligible for the fall semester. Although neither were major contributors for Florida in 08-09, they were expected to provide depth in the frontcourt this season. On the flip side, former Dookie Elliot Williams received his waiver from the NCAA and will be eligible to suit up immediately for his hometown Memphis Tigers this season.
2009 NIT Bracket. The pairings were announced a week ago, but we’re just now getting around to analyzing it. They’ve seeded the top four teams by region (#1 Duke, #2 UConn, #3 LSU, and #4 Arizona St) in a solid, if not spectacular, field. But did anyone else notice that they mismatched the seedings? Take a closer look at the thumbnail below. If the top eight seeds win their first game, then we should be left with pairings of 1/8, 2/7, 3/6 and 4/5, right? In this NIT bracket, #1 Duke would play #8 Charlotte, so that’s ok; but, #2 UConn would play #6 Hofstra, #3 LSU would play #5 WKU, and #4 Arizona St. would play #7 TCU. What’s the point of this? If you’re going to take the time to seed teams by expectation, you should probably do it properly rather than trying to slot teams based on regional travel convenience. Sigh… For what it’s worth, Duke seems to always win this thing, but depending on how quickly replacement players develop on the other top seeds, any of the others could surprise.
- Memphis/Calipari Post-Mortem. Memphis plans to appeal the decision that was handed down on Thursday by the NCAA to vacate all 38 of their wins in 2007-08 as a result of using an ineligible player (Derrick Rose) and ‘accidentally’ providing said player’s brother flights on the team plane. If upheld (and it will be), Memphis will be on the hook for $530k in NCAA revenue-share funds to CUSA, but even more interestingly to those who say that the former coach is completely untouched by this mess, Coach Cal will have to return $300k in bonus money to Memphis as a result of the NCAA’s penalties. His $32M contract with Kentucky will help ease that particular pain, but these odd coincidences involving ineligible players really need to stop following this guy around if he expects to ever be taken seriously outside of the Bluegrass State again. One other thing… failure to respond to mail? Really?
- Pitino/Sypher Post-Mortem. We have nothing further to say on this issue other than the following. It’s doubtful that the Sypher saga will have any significant effect on this. Pitino was never going to be fired over this issue because he has a F4 and two recent E8s under his belt. The moral depravity BS only comes into play when you’re not getting it done on the court or you cross the blurry line into true depravity (speaking of depraved). Please, please just lock this woman up before she starts accusing Pitino of supporting death panels for puppies. Now, just give us 24 Hail Marys and a few kisses of the rosary so we can get back to business of winning the Big East, Coach (a nice donation wouldn’t hurt, either).
- Quick Hits. NCAA v. Delaware: an expedited hearing at the CoA level before Sept. 1. Hard-Hitting Journalism: in other news, water is wet. Enes Kanter: the reverse Brandon Jennings. Nolan Richardson: not sure what to think of this idea. Denis Clemente: until he throws it over a girder, we’re not impressed. Seth Davis: laments a long, scandal-plagued summer. Calipari’s Old House: one of the very few areas he’ll take a loss this year. Goodman: 64 nonconf games to watch. Leonard Hamilton: this is what one NCAA appearance in seven seasons gets you at a football school. Jeremy Tyler: yeah, 140k is a lot of money for a 17-yr old, but Parrish misses the cost/benefit analysis here. Bobby Cremins: extended at CofC through 2014. Lapchick Awards: JT2 and Kay Yow. Great Alaska Shootout: on its last legs? SLAM: their preseason top 25.