Morning Five: 01.22.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 22nd, 2013


  1. According to a report from Jeff Goodman, the NCAA is expected to charge Missouri coach Frank Haith with unethical conduct when it releases its notice of allegations against Miami. This would be a huge swing against Haith as many had expected him to get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. According to Goodman’s sources, the NCAA could not prove Nevin Shapiro’s allegation that Haith and his staff paid $10,000 to former player DeQuan Jones, but they are charging him because they do not believe Haith’s assertion that he did funnel money back to Shapiro through his assistants. We cannot comment on the possibility of a show-cause penalty (brought up by Goodman in the column) as we do not know how strong the evidence is against Haith, but it would be a huge setback for a Missouri program that is still one of the best in the country even after Haith arrived. In addition, many of Haith’s assistants who left Miami around the time of the investigation are expected to also receive penalties from the NCAA. The notice of allegations could be released as early this morning or may be held back for another week or more. It appears that people in Columbia, Missouri will be waiting for that report with the same level of anticipation as the people in Coral Gables have been for several years now.
  2. When it comes to matters of NCAA investigations and interpretation of rule violations, John Infante should be your first stop. In the case of the James Southerland investigation and why Syracuse is being investigated and North Carolina is not, that is still the case. Even though the corruption at North Carolina appears to have been much more widespread than what is reported in the Syracuse/Southerland case, Infante points out the allegations against UNC (fake classes, funneling athletes into these classes, etc) is less clear cut than what is alleged to have happened at Syracuse (a tutor writing part of a paper for Southerland). While we have our issues with what is reported to have happened at North Carolina, Infante is right and Syracuse may suffer the consequences of that.
  3. Speaking of the NCAA, we know they have rules for a reason, but we can’t figure out why they denied Iowa‘s request to put the name “Street” on the back of their jerseys this past Saturday to honor Chris Street on the 20th anniversary of his death. To be fair to the NCAA we have not had a chance to hear their side of the story, but it is worth noting that they have allowed patches and even names to be worn on the front and back of jerseys to honor individuals or groups. We usually try to remain neutral in these situations especially since the general tendency from the public and media is to rip the NCAA, but we are having a hard time figuring out why they would not allow this.
  4. What appeared to be a promising season for Utah State may be falling apart due to injuries. Coming into their game last Thursday against New Mexico State the Aggies were on a 13-game winning streak, but that all came crashing down 64-51 loss and more significantly injuries to Preston Medlin and Kyisean Reed. The co-captains missed the Aggies next game (a loss at Denver) and yesterday news came out that Medlin (fractured right wrist) will miss 6-8 weeks and Reed (torn left ACL) will miss the rest of the season. As the last two games have demonstrated this is a devastating loss for the Aggies and puts their chances of a NCAA Tournament run in serious jeopardy. At this point their only hope may be for Medlin to return and lead them to a WAC Conference Tournament title because it does not look like they will have enough to merit an at-large selection at this point.
  5. The timing of Thad Matta‘s raise may seem a little strange, but we do not disagree with it as Ohio State revised Matta’s contract to increase his salary to more than $3.2 million per year and more stringently defines Matta’s role in reporting NCAA violations. While the annual salary that Matta receives (through 2019) may fall a little short of some of his contemporaries, we assume he will not have any problem paying his bills. The more interesting part of the revision is the  more stringent wording of the role that Matta has in reporting NCAA violations, which is the direct result of the problems that the school when dealing with football coach Jim Tressel after many of his football committed several NCAA violations.
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Big Ten M5: 01.21.13 Edition

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on January 21st, 2013


  1. The Iowa Hawkeyes were not going to be denied a win on Saturday night as they beat the Wisconsin Badgers, 70-66. There was an emotional feel to Carver-Hawkeye arena as the Hawkeyes honored 1993 captain Chris Street‘s death during halftime. The Hawkeyes built a 16-point lead early in the game and it was too much for the Badgers to recover. Bo Ryan’s team held their first four B1G opponents to 50.5 PPG but Fran McCaffery’s offense put up 70 points as sophomore Aaron White scored 17 points of his own. White was very aggressive by getting to the free throw line and shooting 13-of-15from the charity stripe.
  2. Even the best of the freshmen have been known to hit a slump during the heat of the conference season. Michigan State freshman Gary Harris (12.6 PPG) hasn’t been shooting very well lately and head coach Tom Izzo believes that he might have hit the “wall.” During the Spartans’ 59-56 win over Ohio State, Harris shot 0-of-5 to begin the game but pulled himself out of the slump to finish with eight points for the night. Harris made the necessary adjustment at his coach’s urging to attack the basket rather than settle for jumpers as he shot 4-of-5 from the field during the rest of the game.
  3. Speaking of the freshman wall, another first-year guard who has had a rough patch lately is Michigan’s Nik Stauskas. Stauskas was shooting over 50% from beyond the arc has made just 3-of-13 attempts from the perimeter over the last three games. But regardless of his mini-slump, both Stauskas and his coaches are not too concerned at the moment. When asked about Stauskas’ shooting, head coach John Beilein responded, “We will just keep working with him.” Coaches around the conference understand Stauskas’ strengths and have been trying to take his three-point shot away while also making him work on the defensive end to disturb his rhythm. It appears to be working.
  4. The Ohio State Buckeyes might not win the Big Ten title this season, but Deshaun Thomas has shown that he is the best scorer that the league as to offer. Thomas scored 28 points during the Buckeyes’ three-point loss in East Lansing over the weekend — that’s 50% of his team’s total points! But if he can get some consistent help from his teammates, they might be good enough to become a top 15 team for rest of the season. Lenzelle Smith had six points to support Thomas, but a couple more buckets by the rest of the supporting cast might have helped the Buckeyes leave town with a great win. Sophomore Shannon Scott has been pushing the ball in transition and is another candidate to step up as a second scorer for Thad Matta.
  5. Matt Painter’s Purdue Boilermakers are young but seem to be improving and it showed in their dominant win (79-52) over West Virginia on Saturday. One of the key contributors in the win was redshirt sophomore guard Anthony Johnson, who scored 12 points in just 20 minutes. Painter was impressed by his backup point guard’s performance on both ends of the floor, stating, “Anthony played half of the game and had zero turnovers.” Johnson responded, “Credit to my teammates for giving me the ball in the right positions.” The Boilermakers will continue to be a tough out at Mackey during the next few weeks and can strive to play spoiler in the tough conference race.
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Big Ten M5: 01.16.13 Edition

Posted by KTrahan on January 16th, 2013


  1. Despite a valiant comeback effort that nearly resulted in a win at Assembly Hall, Minnesota ended up falling to Indiana in its first Big Ten loss on Saturday. The Gophers fell behind by 23 at halftime due to a slow start, and Tubby Smith said part of that was due to a lack of aggressiveness. The Indiana game wasn’t the only slow start Minnesota has had. The Gophers also got into an early hole against Illinois before coming back for an impressive win. They did the same against some inferior competition in non-conference season. Minnesota has the talent to hang with anyone in the country, but in games against top teams,the Gophers must make sure they are strong from the start.
  2. The Big Ten has some fairly active coaches on Twitter. Indiana’s Tom Crean tweets a lot of biblical passages while Nebraska’s Tim Miles tweets about his games at halftime. But don’t expect Tom Izzo to join Twitter any time soon as the Michigan State coach hates the social media platform. There are a lot of good quotes in that article from Izzo, who said he thinks his players listen to criticism more because of it. He has also had conversations with Derrick Nix, who searches his name after every game to retweet fans who criticized him during the game.
  3. In Tim Miles’ first season in Lincoln, nobody expected Nebraska to make much noise in the Big Ten. And while the Huskers have still yet to win a conference game, they have kept things close with both Michigan and Michigan State on the road, thanks to stellar defensive play. Tom Izzo came away impressed with Miles’ squad and said, “I don’t think anybody wants to play them home or away.” Even more impressive, Nebraska held its own against Michigan State without top player Brandon Ubel.
  4. Ohio State has struggled to score this year, and that was very evident at Illinois in a lopsided loss. The Buckeyes have been able to score in transition and have gotten points in the paint at times, but they don’t have consistent shooters. However, the defense was outstanding in their win over Michigan on Sunday and the offense was good enough. Aaron Craft frustrated Trey Burke and the Buckeyes did the same to freshman stars Nick Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. The Wolverines admitted to noticing the pressure. Considering how inconsistent the offense is, Ohio State’s season outlook could depend on how the defense plays from here on out.
  5. When Wisconsin arrives at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Iowa will be facing the Big Ten’s lone undefeated team. That plus the prospect of playing a rival makes the game a good one, but an added emotional dimension will be in play, as well. The Hawkeyes will be honoring the legacy of former player Chris Street, who died in a car accident 20 years ago. Rick Brown of The Des Moines Register has a nice story on Street’s legacy, his family, and the impact he has left on the University of Iowa.
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