RTC Summer Updates: Southeastern Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 1st, 2011

With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our SEC correspondent, Gerald Smith.  This season he will be covering the NCAA Basketball with zeal, nerd-culture references and a fistful of silliness at halftimeadjustment.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@fakegimel).

Reader’s Take

Summer Storylines

  • One Big, Mostly-Happy Conference: After several years of divisional lopsidedness in conference scheduling and tournament seeding – to the dismay of programs like Alabama — the SEC has merged the West and East divisions for basketball. A 16-game conference schedule, consisting of the same pairings within and across old divisions, remains for the 2011-12 season. Starting with this year’s SEC Tournament, teams will be seeded and awarded first-round byes by their overall conference record. The most vocal dissenter against peace, conference unity and love was Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury. He argued unsuccessfully that divisional championships create excitement for the fans. MSU athletics must have sold some awesome merchandise for Coach Stansbury’s six SEC West Division championships.
  • Too Much of a Good Thing? – Stansbury also argued that a united 12-team conference won’t produce a true champion unless each team plays a full 22-game home and away conference schedule. In July’s coaches’ conference call, some SEC coaches (South Carolina’s Darrin Horn & LSU’s Trent Johnson) agreed, but wonder if such a schedule is feasible. Other coaches (Kentucky’s John Calipari & Alabama’s Anthony Grant) believe that teams should worry more about strengthening their non-conference scheduling and RPI ratings. Increasing the schedule to at least 18 games would placate athletic directors and the SEC’s broadcast partners, but would add further scheduling imbalance and hysteria. In meetings, the decision to increase the number of conference games was postponed until after the 2011-12 season. The SEC coaches will meet again later in August to debate their options.
  • Missouri Newbies – Two coaches previously employed in the Show-Me State join the SEC during this period of conference remodeling. As an assistant under former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, new Arkansas coach Mike Anderson became very familiar with the “40 Minutes of Hell” system (and Coach Richardson’s snakeskin boot collection). After stops with UAB and Missouri, Anderson returned to Fayetteville to replace John Pelphrey.
  • Caught lying to cover-up his impermissible BBQ — mmmm… impermissible BBQ… *gurgle noise* — Tennessee was forced to fire Bruce Pearl. Missouri State’s Cuonzo Martin was hired to fill Pearl’s vacated orange blazer. With his athletic director resigning and additional NCAA penalties applied to his program, Martin may long for his past days in Springfield.

A major growth spurt led to a similar shoot up the 2011 high school rankings for Kentucky's Anthony Davis. (Sam Forencich/USA Basketball)

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Around The Blogosphere: May 11, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on May 11th, 2011

If you are interested in participating, send your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com as we will be updating these posts throughout the day.


  • Erik Murphy, Cody Larson Have Charges Reduced From Felonies To Misdemeanors: “That’s likely very good news for both young men’s futures, especially Murphy’s. Though there’s still some expense and punishment involved in dealing with misdemeanor charges — and, though this isn’t a court of law, I think most of us suspect there is a good chance Murphy and Larson are guilty — it is a far better scenario than a felony charge.” (Alligator Army)
  • Ralph Sampson III Stays: “After much debate and drama it is official that Ralph Sampson III will return for his senior season as a Minnesota Golden Gopher.” (The Daily Gopher)
  • Guerrero Officially Surrenders to Bruin Nation, Restores UCLA Students’ Sideline Seats at Pauley: After a lot of fighting the students were able to get their spot on the sidelines back. (Bruins Nation)

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Florida Players Arrested & Inadvertently Provide Police With Confessions

Posted by nvr1983 on April 11th, 2011

We mentioned the story of Florida forwards Erik Murphy and Cody Larson in our Morning Five post earlier today, but a new detail has emerged that makes the story even more ridiculous. As we noted before the two players were involved in an argument at a St. Augustine bar where they claimed to have lost a wallet. When they confronted an employee working at the bar who was counting money at the end of the night they were thrown out of the bar. According to reports, the two players along with Josh Adel, a student-manager on the basketball team, were seen trying to break into the car of a bar employee in the nearby parking lot. When employees confronted them, the three ran away, but Adel was caught about about a block later. According to police officers, they convinced Adel, who used to have a Twitter account and was apparently planning to have a wild weekend, to call Murphy and convince him to turn himself in. Murphy agreed and walked back to where the police were to turn himself in. This is the part where it gets interesting…

Larson, still on the loose, then called Murphy seven or eight times while Murphy was in the back of the police car and they began to discuss how they would get out of the charges while on speaker phone. That’s right. They were discussing how to get out of an arrest on speaker phone in the back of a police car with officers present and a tape recorder in the car. Eventually Larson was convinced by the other two to turn himself in. Murphy and Larson were charged with one felony count of third-degree burglary while Adel was charged with principal to burglary (as the lookout). All three were released after posting bond.

Things are not looking good for Larson (L) and Murphy (R)

The University of Florida has not released a statement on the matter yet, but we can’t imagine that this will end well for the three particularly Larson, who already had received a 120-day suspended jail sentence and 2 years probation on charges of illegal use and possession of Hydrocodone while he was still in high school and he is still within that 2 year window now. Billy Donovan was aware of the charges when he was recruiting Larson, but decided to offer him a scholarship anyway. The arrests could be a big blow to the Gators next season as the two 6’10” forwards were expected to fill some of the massive void created by the departure of Alex Tyus, Vernon Macklin, and Chandler Parsons. Murphy averaged 4.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG in just 10.8 minutes per game as a sophomore and was expected to complement Patric Young on the inside as the Gators transitioned to a very different team. Larson, who redshirted this past season, but was a highly touted recruit even with his legal problems, was also expected to contribute significantly. Now, it appears that Donovan will have to scramble to find additional help for Young on the inside unless he decides to keep either one or both of these two on the team despite the arrest.

Update: Audio from the time around the arrest where, in an attempt to get Larson to turn himself in, Adel says, “We’re not in f-ing Gainesville. They [St. Augustine Police] don’t give a f-.” Later on Murphy tries to come up with ways to get out of the arrest before Adel talks him out of it.

“We’re Not In Gainesville, They Don’t Give a F—“ by sportsxbrooks

(Video clip with the audio from the arrest available here via SportsByBrooks)

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Morning Five: 04.10.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 11th, 2011

  1. The season is officially over so it’s time for players to start acting like knuckleheads again.  This weekend’s edition comes to you from Gainesville, Florida, where two Florida players — sophomore forward Erik Murphy and freshman forward Cody Larson — were arrested after allegedly trying to break into a parked car in St. Augustine late Saturday night.  Larson was already on a short leash with head coach Billy Donovan as a result of his involvement in a painkiller scheme during his senior year of high school, but Murphy, who averaged 4/2 last season, was expected to start for the Gators in 2011-12.  The most disturbing part of this story?  That the two players reportedly hovered near a bar’s cash drawer before bouncers ejected them, at which time they decided to break into the car — a frightening proposition in the “could have been worse” category.
  2. The biggest coaching news over the weekend involved something that didn’t happen, specifically that former UCLA/Kansas/everybody in the NBA head coach Larry Brown was not selected as the next captain of the UNLV ship in Las Vegas.  Despite his public overtures for the position, UNLV decided to go with BYU assistant coach Dave Rice, a former Rebel assistant who also played on the two best teams in program history — the 1989-90 national champions and the 1990-91 Final Four team.  Rice was a somewhat controversial choice locally, as public support was largely behind Reggie Theus, one of the best players in program history and the former head man at New Mexico State; but he was largely responsible for BYU’s offensive attack that featured NPOY Jimmer Fredette the last several years, and he claims he wants to bring the “Runnin'” part back to the UNLV program (Lon Kruger’s teams were rather methodical).
  3. In case you missed it, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette received the Wooden Award on Friday night in Los Angeles.  With his receipt of the most prestigious men’s award now in tow, Fredette ended up winning all six of the major NPOY awards this season.  This is the fourth time in the last five years that  unanimity across all awards has occurred, with only Evan Turner and John Wall last season splitting awards as the sole exception.
  4. Adam Zagoria reported on Sunday that Manhattan College had hired Louisville assistant Steve Masiello as its next head coach.  The school had initially made an offer to LIU’s Jim Ferry, but they couldn’t figure out the financial terms, so the Jasper administration went with Masiello instead.  He’ll have a five-year deal and a leg up on New York-area recruiting given his origins from the area (Westchester County) and the extensive amount of players that Louisville has pulled out of the region the last few years — most notably Earl Clark and Samardo Samuels.  Speculation is that Pitino’s son, Richard Pitino, will return to Louisville from Florida to take Masiello’s place on the Cardinal staff.
  5. This is a little dated, but for all of us who have a lady friend (or six) in our lives from November to April, it undoubtedly rings very true.  (h/t Peter Robert Casey for his tweet alerting us to this particular brilliance)

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Morning Five: 04.13.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 13th, 2010

The Morning Five is back, you know you missed it…

  1. There is some weirdness surrounding Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson (considering sticking around for his senior year?) and hotshot Euro recruit Enes Kanter (did he take $600k to play in Turkey?).  Oh, and assistant coach Rod Strickland was arrested for DUI over the weekend — his FOURTH time in the last twelve years.  One thing you can say about John Calipari’s program is that it’s never boring or lacking in interesting news.
  2. Overall #2 player in the junior high school class Marquis Teague has narrowed his list down to the final five schools: Louisville, Kentucky, Purdue, Indiana, and Cincinnati.  A very midwestern flavor among that quintet.  We still think he joins Rick Pitino at Louisville, ultimately.
  3. Is Kansas getting new uniforms?  We don’t have confirmation of this, but some of the buzz suggests that yes, they are.
  4. With Fran McCaffery acting as the new sheriff in town, Iowa is losing players hand over fist — sophomore Aaron Fuller and two 2010 signees, Ben Brust and Cody Larson, have all left the program in recent days.
  5. Two Providence freshmen players, Johnnie Lacy and James Still, were both charged with assault on a fellow student stemming from an incident early Monday morning.
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