Morning Five: 01.21.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on January 21st, 2010

  1. UConn AD Jeff Hathaway stated unequivocally yesterday that Jim Calhoun’s medical problems were not career-ending in nature, but there is no timetable for the coach’s return to the sideline.  Seth Davis, not messing around with his pointed advice to the UConn coach regarding his most recent leave of absence: get out while you still can. The sideline is no place for a good man to die.  While we agree with the general sentiment of Davis’ article, we’re also betting he’s back within a week.
  2. Dan Fitzgerald, the progenitor of the Gonzaga basketball program as the man who recruited John Stockton to campus in the 80s and developed a coaching staff that included future GU coaches Dan Monson and Mark Few, passed away suddenly on Wednesday in Spokane.  His record was 252-171 (.596) in fifteen seasons at the school and he took the Zags to their first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1995 before resigning two years later.  RIP “Fitz.”
  3. Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan is in the college hoops news for the second time in a week, stating yesterday that the NCAA should consider tying invitations to the NCAA Tournament to player graduation rates.  Umm, yeah.  While we’re at it, let’s have the players bring their report cards to the scorer’s table before checking into the game.
  4. The University of New Orleans has lost its struggle to remain a Division I school, and has voluntarily withdrawn itself from the Sun Belt Conference, effective July 1, 2010.  We knew this was coming, but it’s sad to see the Privateers go.  The four-time NCAA Tournament entrant won a game in 1987 with Ledell  “A-Train” Eackles as its star player, and who can forget former grocery bagger Ervin Johnson who played for Tim Floyd in the early 1990s and took the program to two NCAA Tourneys.
  5. And this is the part where you realize these players are still kids and they’re not always the most mature beings around these programs.  Royce White, the Minnesota player who created a bizarre YouTube video announcing his retirement from basketball last month, is back at practice for Tubby Smith’s team.  There’s no timetable for his actual return to action, but Tubby has been known for giving troubled kids second chances, and it’s clear that something like this is happening here.  Let’s hope he understands and appreciates the opportunity he’s being given this time around.
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