Morning Five: 07.13.12 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 13th, 2012

  1. The Carrier Classic and its descendents have received a fair amount of media coverage heading into next season, but hey, at least someone is trying to make the opening of the college basketball season interesting. Is it a cool grand worth of interesting? Our answer is… let’s just say that we’re banking on the free press pass. One of the new events scheduled for 2012-13 is the Navy/Marine Corps Classic in Jacksonville, Florida, which will feature Georgetown vs. Florida as part of a two-day event involving the hometown Jacksonville Jaguars (playing the Indianapolis Colts). Tying a college hoops game to the supernova of the NFL is probably never a bad idea, but we’re not sure that people will be lining up to watch a 5-11 team tacked on to an early regular season hoops game between two teams that have little to do with the other. All we can say is that we wish the promoters well with this idea.
  2. It’s not official yet, but it appears the NPOY Kentucky center Anthony Davis has all but locked up a spot on the men’s national basketball team with the news that Team USA forward Blake Griffin has a torn meniscus. Last night in Las Vegas, Team USA played an exhibition scrimmage against John Calipari’s Dominican Republic team, annihilating a group led by Edgar Sosa, Al Horford and Francisco Garcia by a score of 113-59. Davis contributed nine points in 10 minutes of action late in the game, including a four-point play where he knocked down a three that he said Calipari wouldn’t let him take at Kentucky. With all the national discussion about whether the 2012 team could defeat the original 1992 Dream Team (answer: they could not), it’s still very cool that this year’s version of Christian Laettner might actually make a significant contribution to the fortunes of the Olympic team.
  3. It’s somewhat hard to believe, but perennial sad sack athletic loser Caltech is in trouble with the NCAA. The Division III school which has more or less made a name for itself in these circles for its perennial athletic futility faces sanctions for playing 30 ineligible athletes in 12 sports. Although the basketball team finally broke through with a victory after a 26-year streak that ended in February 2011, that win will not be vacated as part of the NCAA sanctions. Still, the problem with the NCAA derived from an institutional process that allows students to shop for classes at the beginning of the semester — essentially making choices between Space Optical Aeronautic Engineering and Stochastic System Analysis and Bayesian Updating something that precludes athletic eligibility. Um, yeah.
  4. What’s this? A pair of elite prep twins that are not already slotted to enroll at Stanford? Despite the historical precedent of the Collins twins (Jarron and Jason) and the Lopez twins (Brook and Robin) playing college basketball on the Farm (not to mention the Morris (Kansas) or Wear (UNC/UCLA) twins), it appears that the next generation of phenomenal hoops twins are headed elsewhere. Andrew and Aaron Harrison are a pair of Texas-based top five prospects within the Class of 2013, and recruiters are rightfully treating them as a package deal to the Final Four and beyond. As Matt Norlander notes, Kentucky, Villanova, Maryland and Baylor are the schools on the leaderboard, but whoever gets the duo will certainly have to consider their combo fashion tastes as well as Aaron’s proclivity for skateboarding.
  5. Finally today, we end with yet another unintended consequence of conference realignment reaching down into the mid-major level. Boston University star Jake O’Brien, a senior forward who was once the America East ROY and an all-conference performer before suffering two years worth of injuries. He’s already graduated from BU, so given that his school is no longer allowed to compete in the America East Tournament, he’s looking for greener pastures for his senior season. In his last fully healthy year in 2009-10, he averaged 14/6 per game and will no doubt be able to provide some front court depth for a high-major team willing to take him on for a year.
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Stiller, Disney Have Caltech Hoops Movie In The Works

Posted by jstevrtc on August 9th, 2011

As the saying goes, Americans love a winner, but they also love a loser. The fellows who played for Caltech men’s basketball team from 1996 to 2007 are anything but “losers” — they have or will have degrees from Caltech, folks — but they did lose a lot of basketball games. In that interval, the Beavers went completely unvictorious, dropping 207 straight games against their Division III opponents before beating Bard College in January 2007. Just this past February, Caltech ended a 26-year/310-game conference winless streak, knocking off Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foes Occidental College. They even made a movie about the Beavers’ 2005-06 season and their quest to end those streaks; the 2007 documentary film Quantum Hoops isn’t available on Netflix, but it’s readily accessible through Amazon.

The Caltech Story, In Whatever Form, May Be Heading To More And Bigger Screens (Image: Gary Friedman/LA Times)

It looks like Disney and Ben Stiller are hoping you’ll still love these so-called losers enough to part with a little of your hard-earned. [Ed. Note: again, it feels odd to type “losers,” since there are probably dudes on that team who invented one or more of the electronic gadgets I’m reading or listening to music through at this very moment, and any of them could hack and destroy our site in eight seconds with an old Timex Sinclair and a dial-up land line.] If they get their way, you’ll be seeing a fictionalized comedy re-make of Quantum Hoops in theatres soon. Stiller’s production company is evidently preparing the new version, though no details have been released regarding casting or a director. Stiller would have to shave his head to play head coach (at the time) Roy Dow; if they’re going to fictionalize this thing, though, that’s probably a detail they’ll overlook.

By the way, the student body RTC’d after the win in February that broke the conference losing streak, obviously one of the most justified RTCs ever. So, why wait for a fictionalized account of the 2006 team when you can see the real thing from last year’s squad right now?…

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ATB: Leave It to Beaver (After 26 Years)…

Posted by rtmsf on February 23rd, 2011

The Lede.  It was an interesting night of games out there in the college hoops nation, but the most intriguing part of the evening came from a Divison III school with a grand total of 950 undergraduate students, every one of whom could undoubtedly use our SAT scores back in the day as toilet paper.  Pasadena, where you at?

Caltech Celebrates Its First Conference Win in 26 Years (LA Times/G. Friedman)

Your Watercooler MomentCaltech Ends 310-Game Conference Losing Streak.  If there was ever a time for a fan base to RTC, it was tonight at Caltech’s Senior Night.  We typically don’t delve down into Division III very often unless a D-I team is going slummin’, but something like this is definitely worthy as the WC Moment.  The last time the Beavers won a game in its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, January 23, 1985, none of its current players were even born yet (the school ended an overall 207-game losing streak back in 2007; things are looking up!).  The losing streak had extended to a stunning 310 games in the intervening 26 years, but the lovable losers from one of the nation’s most prestigious universities put an end to it tonight when Ryan Elmquist hit one of two free throws with three seconds left to give his team a one-point lead.  The ensuing half court shot by Occidental College was off the mark, Caltech won the game, 46-45, and the RTC was on. Congrats to the Beavers on their Senior Night.  Let’s just not make it another generation until the next one, ok?

Tonight’s Quick Hits

  • Matt Dickey’s Fifteen Seconds.  Well, actually 2.8 seconds, as that’s all it took for the junior UNC-Asheville guard to steal a long inbounds pass at halfcourt, take one dribble, and drop a leaning thirty-footer to beat Big South leading Coastal Carolina at the buzzer.  If he isn’t already, he’ll be all over the ESPN highlight packages this week for this play.  Wow.  CCU is still a full game ahead of second-place Liberty in the loss column of the Big South, but that was a terrible way to lose at home right there.
  • Bruce Pearl With His Dander Up.  It seemingly never fails.  As soon as the flames start licking at Bruce Pearl’s feet, his team comes up big with a win that nobody expects.  A 29-9 run to close out the last twelve minutes of the game in Memorial Gymnasium is almost unheard of for a visiting team, yet Pearl’s guys came from eleven down to win by nine in a shocking display of defensive prowess over the last third of tonight’s game.  Pearl getting notice of allegations from the NCAA today didn’t cause Vanderbilt to go ice cold from beyond the arc (Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins combined for 1-9 from distance), but if we’ve learned anything about this man’s career, there seems to be a strong correlation between other teams playing badly at precisely the time we stop believing in him.  UT isn’t a lock for the NCAA Tournament just yet, but tonight’s win will go a long way toward that end.  Who here wants to bet against Pearl?
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Boom Goes The Dynamite: Midnight Madness 2010 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on October 15th, 2010

And here it is.

Look at that beautiful clock in the top right corner. We’ve been watching that thing tick and tick for almost 200 days, and now…such beautiful stillness. All zeroes.

The only thing that can match this feeling is the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, and even though that’s five months away, the days between this moment and that one will pass like a dream. So let’s enjoy this one tonight. Gyms and arenas are packed across the nation tonight to celebrate the First Official Day of Practice. We’re already checking out some local broadcasts, live streams, Twitter feeds, and live blogs, and the ESPN-U broadcast with their (we like this term) “whip-around” coverage is mere minutes away. Every one of the RTC Compounds (Western, Southern, and Eastern) are locked in and rocking. We have our satellite feeds. We have our Blue Ribbon Yearbooks beside us. We’re ready.

Join us here at 8:45 pm ET (about 15 minutes from now) and start hitting that refresh button for updated comments, and, as always, we encourage you to give us your thoughts via the comments section and Twitter. WELCOME!

8:45 PM — So many programs kicked off their festivities at 7 pm or 8 pm ET, so the first order of business is to try and get you some links up to some of the various happenings:

Dan Wolken, columnist for the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, is live blogging Memphis Madness on his live blog (we actually love the “Wolken In Memphis” title).

Kentucky’s official site is streaming live here at

More on the way…

8:51 — Kentucky’s Enes Kanter, a big wrestling fan, entered to the music formerly used to introduce The Undertaker. He cannot practice tonight, unfortunately for all of us, since just about everyone wants to get a look at this guy. But that was one heck of an entrance.

9:01 — ESPN-U’s broadcast is underway. That aurora borealis background is kind of cool, eh? By the way, if you have such access, Maryland Madness is also live on TV on Comcast MidAtlantic.

9:08 — Wow. From Duke, Jay Williams and Lou Canellis are covered in sweat. Not surprising, considering it’s Cameron Indoor, but it can’t be fun sitting there under hot lights in a sweltering building while wearing a suit. Actually, it’s the Madness, so it’s fun no matter what. But hopefully they have designated toweler-offers (read: interns) standing just out of the shot.

9:12 — Evidently Duke’s Seth Curry took a nasty elbow to the eye and was pretty much spurting blood. This is awful, but hopefully it’s not as bad as the initial shock, and we’ll provide more details as available.

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