Morning Five: 01.22.14 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 22nd, 2014

morning5

  1. College basketball fans (particularly the students) love to find any part of an opposing player’s past to use to get under his skin. They will not have to look very far for Cimneon Bowers, a Florida State junior college recruit and one of the top junior college players in the country, after he was arrested along with two teammates for eating marijuana after police attempted to search their car when they smelled marijuana. Bowers and his teammates were charged with tampering with evidence and have been suspended indefinitely until the legal process is sorted out. FSU also says that they will let the legal process play out before making a decision on Bowers, but we doubt that they will back away from him based solely on this.
  2. When we mentioned Notre Dame‘s Under Armour deal in this space earlier this month we wondered how much money a second-tier athletic apparel company could offer one of the most prestigious brands in college sports. It turns out that the answer is a lot of money–reportedly $90 million over 10 years. Now it is worth pointing out that this figure, which would be the biggest in college sports history, is based on the school receiving some of the company’s stock making the figure more variable than if the contract was all cash-based.
  3. George Washington suffered a major setback yesterday when they announced that Kethan Savage, their second-leading scorer, would be out 6-8 weeks with a fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Savage is averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game so it is obviously a big loss for the Colonials who are 15-3 and looking at a potential NCAA Tournament appearance if they can keep up their current level of play in Savage’s absence. Fortunately for the Colonials they do have a fairly balanced attack with five other players averaging between 8.1 and 14.5 points per game so there is a reasonable chance that they can hold on until Savage returns.
  4. A large portion of the US population enters into pools of various sizes for the NCAA Tournament with the hopes that their bracket will bring them small fortunes and/or fleeting glory. No pool (at least that we are aware of) is offering what Quicken Loans is, which is $1 billion. Sound too good to be true? There is one catch. Your bracket needs to be perfect to collect the $1 billion. The odds of doing so are 1-in-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 based on the number of potential ways to fill out a bracket, but the number drops down to an much more manageable 1-in-128 billion (the other number is quintillion) if you eliminate some stuff that has never happened before (like a 16 beating a 1). The $1 billion is payable in 40 payments of $25 million per year or one lump sum of $500 million. If you are thinking of working on 9 quintillion brackets for this March, you are only allowed to submit one per household.
  5. Like nearly everybody else we were stunned by Creighton‘s ridiculous three-point shooting at the start of their game against Villanova on Monday although probably not as stunned as the Villanova staff who apparently was not aware that Creighton could shoot before the game. If you were wondering how rare that was, it appears that it is not as rare as you think. Ok, maybe it is fairly rare according to Ken Pomeroy’s play-by-play database that goes back to the start of the 2008-2009 season, but as you can see it has been done a couple of other times in that period just usually not on as a big of a stage with the exception of West Virginia against Kentucky in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
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Morning Five: 09.11.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 11th, 2013

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  1. When Luke Winn recently wrote about the up-transfer phenomenon his examples were typically players whose performance exceeded the expectation of observers allowing them to move up a level of play. Robert Upshaw, a top-50 recruit coming out of high school, does not quite fit into that category. During his freshman season at Fresno State Upshaw averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game before being dismissed from the team this summer. Despite his poor performance Upshaw will be one of Winn’s up-transfers as he is heading to Washington. For his part Upshaw has acknowledged that he “had some maturity issues” while at Fresno State so hopefully he can turn his career around and fulfill some of the promise he showed coming out of high school.
  2. By now you have probably read the piece by Doug Gottlieb analyzing the controversy surrounding Johnny Manziel and the media’s coverage of the situation. While Gottlieb is very eloquent with his analysis of Manziel’s situation and open in how he relates it to his own well-chronicled ordeals we are not sure his column is necessarily as strong of an argument against paying student-athletes as some would believe. We can certainly see Gottlieb’s argument and student-athletes are given much more than many observers would like to believe, but the reality is that there are certain individuals who if allowed to utilize free-market forces would certain generate significant sums of money. Of course, as we have pointed out in the past this entire issue is much more complex economically and politically than most pundits have stated.
  3. Florida State may have lost out on Xavier Rathan-Mayes (at least temporarily) after he was ruled academically eligible for the coming season, but they got a nice consolation yesterday when Cinmeon Bowers, a 6’6″ junior college forward who averaged 11 points and seven rebounds last season, committed to play for the Seminoles. Bowers, like Rathan-Mayes, was heavily recruited by the Seminoles, but initially failed to qualify academically leading to his time at Chipola Junior College. Bowers fielded quite a few offers and was reportedly also seriously considering Louisville and Memphis, but eventually opted to stay in the area. Bowers will be eligible to play during the 2014-15 season, which is the same point that Rathan-Mayes could become eligible too potentially providing the Seminoles with a much-needed boost.
  4. Yesterday, Sports Illustrated released the first part of its five-part series detailing its 10-month investigation into Oklahoma State and its football program. While the investigation focuses on the football program and we are a basketball site, we thought the public reaction to the story (admittedly to only one-fifth of the story) was interesting in how little the media reacted to this story as we predicted in yesterday’s Morning 5 given how worked up they got over a fairly similar story about Miami just a few years ago. Perhaps the most interesting reaction to the report was the reaction of Jason Whitlock to Thayer Evans and the lack of support Evans got from other media members.
  5. For your incredibly awkward link of the day we will turn to Durham where Mike Krzyzewski recently discussed his encounter with Jay-Z and Beyonce. After introducing LeBron James as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, Krzyzewski took his seat and noticed a pair of empty seats that were eventually filled by the couple who are arguably the most influential couple in music. While Krzyzewski reports that he is a fan of Jay-Z (we have a hard time imagining Krzyzewski listening along to almost any of Jay-Z’s music), he claims to be “madly in love with Beyonce”. What happened next according to Krzyzewski appears to be an encounter that was not much different than Chris Farley’s famous Saturday Night Live interview with Paul McCartney.
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Who’s Got Next? Commitments, Misspellings and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 20th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

The top unsigned prospects committing and a new section unveiling is just a couple of the highlights on the first ever Friday edition of the Who’s Got Next? column. We take an inside look at why the guys committed and the impact on the class rankings as well as what it means for the Class of 2012 and how prospects are affected by the coaching carousel in college basketball. We also analyze a top ten 2011 recruiting class and take an in-depth look at how a school that made the Elite Eight last year will try to replace the potential number one draft pick.

What They’re Saying

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks out on the issue of one-and-dones.

  • NCAA President Mark Emmert on one-and-dones: “I think it creates difficult problems inside universities when we’re trying to promote an emphasis on (players being) students as well as athletes.”
  • Senior Trevor Lacey (#37) on committing to Alabama: “My relationship and trust with [Alabama coach Anthony Grant] set the Crimson Tide apart. I also feel the University of Alabama will provide the best opportunity for me when basketball is over. I love the people in Alabama.”
  • Senior Nick Faust (#38) on why he stuck with Maryland: “Coach [Mark] Turgeon’s goal is to win a national championship and I would play a big part in that immediately.”
  • Senior Jamari Traylor on committing to the Jayhawks: “It’s a good fit for me. I really like Coach [Bill] Self and coach [Kurtis] Townsend. I really like the players. On my visit I saw the campus and everything I knew it would be a good place for me.”
  • Senior Sidiki Johnson on Arizona’s incoming recruiting class (which he is apart of): “We are a good class, every player brings something valuable to Arizona next year.”
  • Senior P.J. Hairston (#12) on his reaction to Duke not spelling his name correctly: “I’m like, ‘OK. How can I go here? You can’t even spell my name right.’”
  • Junior Devonta Pollard (#40) on climbing the rankings: “It makes me feel good. First of all it shows me that I’m not just working hard to be working hard. The work is paying off and I’m improving and I can see that.”

What You Missed

The top unsigned prospect left, shooting guard Trevor Lacey (#37), committed to Alabama Wednesday.

Lacey Stays In-State, Commits to Alabama. Class of 2011 shooting guard Trevor Lacey (#37) committed to the Crimson Tide Wednesday (to see why, check out the “What They’re Saying” section above) over Kansas and Kentucky which gives Alabama its second top 50 shooting guard along with Levi Randolph (#31). He has said all along that playing time and the school’s fan base would be two factors in his decision and it seemed like he really warmed up to the Crimson Tide crowd when they chanted his name at the Alabama vs. Miami (FL) NIT game, just one of multiple visits he made there. Lacey, who was the top unsigned prospect left on the board, will be joining small forward Rodney Cooper, power forward Nick Jacobs and center Moussa Gueye in addition to Randolph in Tuscaloosa. Alabama head coach Anthony Grant has done an excellent job reeling in top in-state talent as Lacey, Randolph and Cooper are all Alabama natives. The addition of Lacey also gives the Crimson Tide the #9 class in 2011 because of how well he will fit into their system. Lacey is a great shooter who has outstanding range and consistency and can both catch and shoot and shoot off the dribble at a high level. He can also shoot coming off a pick and with guys in his face. The bottom line about him is he won’t wow you with his athleticism but he does have good size and strength for the two-guard and he can put up big-time numbers.

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