Morning Five: 01.26.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on January 26th, 2011

  1. This idea has been batted around for some time now, but it looks like it’s going to come to fruition.  North Carolina and Michigan State are finalizing a deal to play each other next Veteran’s Day (November 11) on an aircraft carrier in San Diego Harbor.  At first, we wondered why an eastern team and a midwestern team would travel so far to play when they have perfectly good aircraft carriers in their half of the country (Norfolk, Virginia, for example).  And then we realized that the game will occur in November, and well, the game will be outside.  San Diego’s rather predictable weather makes for a safer bet, and a deal should be announced soon for what will make for a rather interesting gimmick game.  Let’s just hope that they properly adjust for the wind coming in off the water.
  2. In advance of tonight’s blockbuster game in Provo, Luke Winn breaks down Jimmer Fredette’s four worst performances of the season for some clues that San Diego State may use to try to contain him.  It was interesting to hear South Florida’s Stan Heath discussing how his team defended both UConn’s Kemba Walker and Fredette, ultimately concluding that Fredette was the tougher cover because “his shooting range is a little more extended [and] while Kemba is quicker and more explosive, Fredette’s changes-of-speed, plus his hops and step-back moves, make him better. And when he elevates to shoot, he really gets up in the air.”  Great stuff.
  3. This commentary by the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls discusses the gargantuan difference in team chemistry between last year’s Texas team and this year’s edition.  It’s clear that even the locals around Austin are sensing a little something special about the group that Rick Barnes has at his disposal this time around.  For our money, we’d agree; nobody in the country has more upside than this team.  And if Jordan Hamilton can get his Glen Rice on in March, don’t be shocked to see UT playing in Houston in April.
  4. Conference realignment ain’t over.  The Mountain West Conference is meeting in Las Vegas this week and is prepared to offer current WAC school Utah State membership to replace the losses of Salt Lake City-area schools Utah (Pac-12) and BYU (independent + WCC).  Last year USU turned down the MWC when it appeared that BYU was planning on leaving the conference for the WAC, causing the league to enact an end-around and effectively blow up the WAC by poaching several of its schools.
  5. With Ohio State’s win over Purdue last night and SDSU on the chopping block tonight at BYU, the talk of unbeaten regular seasons is ramping up.  We’re still a long way from serious consideration of that achievement by one of the final two unbeatens, but Mike DeCourcy harkened back to the 27-0 2003-04 St. Joseph’s team in discussing how the pressure builds with each passing game.  It certainly makes things more interesting for us journo-bloggers out there, eh?
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