ACC M5: 02.14.17 Edition

Posted by Matt Patton on February 14th, 2017


  1. WTVD (ABC 11): Mark Armstrong dropped quite a bombshell on NC State fans yesterday. Per his sources, Debbie Yow has decided to fire head coach Mark Gottfried at the end of the season and the school has already reached out to Archie Miller. Reaching out to the Dayton head coach is the only part of the report that NC State denies, which makes sense (the school would reach out to Miller’s agent, not him directly). Joe Giglio does a good job breaking down Gottfried’s resume and it appears that such a move could be the right decision so long as the school makes the right hire.
  2. Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Tech announced forward Chris Clarke has torn his ACL and is done for the season. This is a huge blow to the Hokies’ NCAA Tournament hopes, as their rotation isn’t very deep and Clarke is the team’s best defensive rebounder. Even considering last weekend’s big win over Virginia, the loss of the sophomore likely means Virginia Tech’s postseason rests on a strong showing in the ACC Tournament (wins over Duke and Virginia probably do not make up for such a lackluster non-conference schedule).
  3. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Is the honeymoon era over for Pittsburgh and the ACC? Was this a form of destiny or a simply a clash of basketball styles? Maybe some of both. While Mike DeCourcy is right when he points out Pittsburgh’s lack of homegrown talent, plenty of schools with abundant local products also regularly struggle (see: Georgia Tech). Occam’s Razor suggests that Jamie Dixon didn’t like the change of administration and knew he’d be paid handsomely with correspondingly less pressure at TCU. However, Decourcy’s point does mean that the Pittsburgh program cannot afford to float into anonymity. That being said, if the last couple of seasons have taught us anything in ACC basketball, the right hire (hello, Buzz Williams) can make all the difference.
  4. Sporting News: I hate this storyline. Yes, the ACC could set a new record for number of entrants to the Big Dance, but that’s a product of expansion rather than depth. The same was true of the Big East in 2011, which placed 11 teams into the NCAA Tournament. There’s a simple reason neither the Big East nor the ACC was rated as the best conference by Ken Pomeroy in 2011 or this year. Our perception of depth (highly impacted by media coverage and one-off results) differs from reality. It’s true that there’s a ton of parity at the top of this league, but highest number is dumber than non-possession adjusted stats (in 1996 and 1997, for example, the ACC placed six of its nine teams into the Big Dance).
  5. Technique: In happier news, Georgia Tech still has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s astounding considering what this program looked like coming into the season. It still looks like an uphill climb thanks to a pretty uninspiring non-conference schedule, but a strong finish could make up for some of those early season struggles.
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ACC M5: 11.19.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 19th, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: After several months of beating his drum, Dan Kane finally found a whistleblower from the North Carolina athletic support staff. Mary Willingham is the first named source to come out and directly say that plagiarism was tolerated by the tutors and professors in many no-show classes at UNC. A witness has been the missing piece to this story, and Willingham’s criticism is damning to say the least. She alleges special treatment for revenue sport athletes, both in terms of admissions and questionable classes. Willingham’s comments will take some further dissection but do not look good for the school at first reading.
  2. ESPN: The biggest news over the weekend was the bombshell dropped out of College Park when sources within the athletic department told ESPN that Maryland is far enough along in negotiations to join the Big Ten (along with Rutgers) and that an official announcement could come as soon as later today. This makes the ACC’s recent addition of Notre Dame even more important, though it could also spark additional expansion moves (does Connecticut become an ACC target?). By switching leagues, Maryland would likely see a significant boost in television profits in the long run, but the recently increased $50 million dollar ACC buyout could cripple an athletic department already in the red in the short term.
  3. Washington Post (pro and con): Two Maryland legends spoke out for and against the Terps’ potential move to the Big Ten. Gary Williams is all for the move despite supporting the ACC throughout all the expansion rumors. It should be noted that Williams serves as assistant to the athletic director, so it may color his opinion a little (though Williams was never scared to speak his mind before this). He cited the increased television revenue and hinted at a lack of respect from the ACC (noting the conference tournament was only hosted in Washington, DC, once in his 22 years). Len Elmore on the other hand fought for tradition: “Anything that’s driven solely by dollars, it’ll turn out badly.” Elmore took some shots at Maryland’s president and athletic director for not having Maryland pride. Expect more from us here at the ACC microsite on the potential move today.
  4. Wilmington Star News: NC State’s Debbie Yow earned herself an extension with increased supplemental compensation. Yow’s new deal runs through June 2017 and is a direct result of a successful coaching search (in hindsight at least) and the steady improvement that the Wolfpack’s athletic teams have seen under her tenure –most prominently, on the basketball court. Yow will continue making $354,000 a year with an extra $150,000 in supplemental earnings and an enhanced bonus structure going forward.
  5. Hampton Roads Daily Press: David Teel sat down with John Swofford to talk all things ACC. The majority of the interview is covered in his excellent profile, which ran Sunday. But the extras are also worth reading, especially Swofford’s optimism on merging the Notre Dame and ACC football deals in the near future. He also talked briefly about working above Dean Smith at North Carolina and the ongoing scandal in Chapel Hill.
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ACC Weekly Five: 05.07.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on May 7th, 2012

  1. Washington Post: Barry Svrluga tracked down the members of Maryland‘s national championship team from 10 years ago and put together a slideshow with updates. Some aren’t newsworthy (Gary Williams and Steve Blake), but I had no idea how much Lonny Baxter has bounced around since departing for the NBA. He’s currently in Siberia. Juan Dixon is in Turkey. A few are working with local AAU programs or their old high school teams.
  2. The North Carolina assistant coaching search is finally over. ESPN College Gameday host and analyst Hubert Davis was hired by Roy Williams to replace Jerod Haase, who left to take the head coaching job at UAB. Davis has no coaching experience, but I don’t hate the hire. While I think the opinion that he’ll augment North Carolina’s name recognition in recruiting is misrepresenting things, his notoriety from people seeing him on TV will be an asset on the recruiting trail. He also just seems like a personable guy. On the other side of things, the group attacking the hire because he lacks coaching experience should probably pump the brakes too. Davis played more than a decade in the NBA; he knows basketball. It remains to be seen if he’ll be a go-getter, but I thought this was a decent hire.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: With all the recent coverage of coaches restricting transfers, the ACC gotten quite a bit of decent press. After Duke didn’t restrict Michael Gbinije at all (he ended up at Syracuse, which will be an ACC school by the time he starts playing), Brian Gregory talked about Georgia Tech’s policy, which restricts transfers from going to Georgia. The ACC has its own policy that forces athletes to sit out two years if they want to transfer to another ACC school. I think all conferences should move to this model and get rid of restrictions altogether (or maybe allow one regional rival which would also carry the two-year penalty). Nate Hicks and Glen Rice, Jr., are both transferring from Georgia Tech.
  4. Hampton Roads Daily Press: It sounds like James Johnson is taking his new responsibilities at Virginia Tech in stride. This comfort is the biggest advantage to hiring an assistant over going outside the program. Who knows how Johnson will be as a head coach, but I think Virginia Tech made the right move bringing him back to take over for Seth Greenberg.
  5. Raleigh News & Observer: Debbie Yow isn’t stopping at basketball relevance. She wants to put the rest of the NC State athletic department on the map and compete for the Director’s Cup — an award that tracks the top 25 schools across all sports. I also like that Yow prefers “Olympic sports” to “non-revenue sports” because it’s “more respectful.”

EXTRA: Unfortunately, there have been more rumblings about schools jumping ship from the ACC. I agree that the tipping point is Florida State. The Seminoles are a relatively recent addition to the conference and have the most to offer a prospective conference. I still believe that Florida and South Carolina have enough clout with the SEC that Florida State and Clemson have a long way to go before being invited to join the SEC. However, the author raises a very good point about the SEC not wanting to allow the Big 12 into the southeastern recruiting footprint (namely, Florida).

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ACC Morning Five: 03.13.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 13th, 2012

  1. Greensboro News-Record and Pulse of the Pack: I don’t like posting message board fodder here, but this appears to have some legs (that said, the letter has been pulled down from State Fans Nation). Reportedly, Debbie Yow wrote an email to several disgruntled fans about the actions being taken in regards to the ACC Tournament controversy. Basically (assuming the letter is true), it sounds like Yow is keeping fans overly informed with the inner workings of a high-major conference. Most of it is also unnecessary: Roy Williams’ “BB gun” comment is what it is, as is the Karl Hess situation. I expect this to disappear completely during the NCAA Tournament, but there’s a slim chance it resurfaces this summer.
  2. Raleigh News & Observer: Speaking of NC State, there are two things San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher complimented his upcoming opponent on during a recent news conference. First, the team is filthy in transition; and second, it’s very strong down low. Vegas also took note of NC State’s strong ACC Tournament, making the Wolfpack a one-point favorite over the sixth-seeded Aztecs. It should be a great game, and both teams have a very good chance of advancing fairly far in the Tournament.
  3. Miami Herald: As you probably already know by now, Miami missed the NCAA Tournament. It’s not totally clear by how much, but it’s a safe bet that the Hurricanes were at least past the last four out, as they only managed a two-seed in the NIT (the NCAA now owns the NIT too, so you’d think the seeds would be semi-continuous). It was the school’s first winning season in the ACC. I think the Hurricanes could make a run at the NIT title, as Tennessee is the top seed in their region and appears on paper to be a very favorable matchup for Jim Larranaga’s team.
  4. Washington Post: I don’t know if I agree with this post from Steve Yanda, who claims Virginia needs more production out of its bench. I think Virginia needs production out of the players who get playing time: If there’s an extended bench being used, it needs to be productive; if not, then why should it be? The two players in question are the replacements for Malcolm Brogdon (who broke his foot): Darion Atkins and Paul Jasperson. The two freshmen are going to get chances, as the Cavaliers only have seven available scholarship players.
  5. The Chronicle: Mike Krzyzewski has a history of taking issue with an article from The Chronicle from time to time. If he reads this one, I expect him to take issue with it. I certainly did. Let’s start with the second paragraph: I agree completely that Ohio State punched Duke in the mouth, and the Blue Devils didn’t respond well. I totally disagree that Temple beat Duke because “talent doesn’t make up for not being physical.” The Plumlees are incredibly physical, often to a fault. Temple has one of the best backcourt trios in the country and exploited Duke’s perimeter defense and a strong home crowd. Duke also hasn’t been just “at the center of positive media attention” all year: How many articles have you read panning Duke’s postseason chances, perimeter defense or reliance on three-point shooting? Next up was this paragraph:

    Despite talent, impressive victories, a strong record and No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament, there seems to be a staggering lack of urgency within this year’s team. Because they have edged by with close wins all season and have only managed to lose six games, maybe this team did not fully understand that losing has serious consequences.

    Duke has talent, but not the talent people are accustomed to seeing. I’m not sure where the team’s “lack of urgency” comes into play, though. Sure, Duke’s second halves are often better than its first halves (especially against the first game against NC State, Miami and Ohio State), but don’t forget the games where Duke has jumped out to an early lead (the first game against North Carolina, Virginia Tech, or at Georgia Tech). Consistency is the problem, which at least in part comes down to whether the threes are falling.

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ACC Morning Five: 02.20.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 20th, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer and Fayetteville Observer: The story of the weekend was Karl Hess. In a fairly chalky weekend, the notorious official made huge headlines after tossing NC State greats Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from the Florida State game in Raleigh on Saturday. The two alumni apparently “got under his skin” but Corchiani claimed neither used threats or profanity. Hess declined to talk to reporters after the game. The ACC basically did the same with a statement implying his action was fine but proper protocol wasn’t followed. Needless to say, Debbie Yow isn’t happy at all. This also piles onto the sometimes-valid perception that NC State fans are treated poorly by the ACC (here, losing the home-and-home with North Carolina, etc.). Fans are even calling for Hess to issue an apology and never officiate an NC State game again.
  2. Charlotte Observer: About the only thing we know from the ejection fiasco is that Yow is pulling out her big guns. Not only is she aggressively seeking further comment from the ACC, but she’s also already invited the 1988-89 ACC Champion NC State team against North Carolina this week. Gugliotta and Corchiani just happened to both play on that team. The team will be receiving the inaugural “Wolfpack Unlimited” award. For those of you keeping score at home: Karl Hess kicked out two men whose jerseys hang in the RBC Center without giving any explanation whatsoever. Debbie Yow fired back by creating a new award so that she could honor the Wolfpack legends publicly in the next game. Advantage: Yow.
  3. Eagle Tribune: I could not agree more with the premise of this article. Boston College “needs to win recruiting battles to win ACC wars.” Steve Donahue has proven that he can coach this year (and over the course of his career), but he needs to show some recruiting skills to hang with the coaches in a high major conference. Period. Otherwise his ceiling will be very low. One thing I think this article misses is the impact on Donahue’s recruiting that Syracuse and Pittsburgh joining the ACC will have. I think the additions will help by increasing the conference’s presence in the recruiting fields of the Northeast. But they’re also competitors.
  4. South Florida Sun-Sentinel: The more I learn about Reggie Johnson the more I like him. Apparently, Johnson is a huge wrestling fan. He grew up loving The Rock and practicing moves on his poor teddy bear and wearing a championship belt. Now he’s still into it, much to the chagrin of his roommate Malcolm Grant: “It just blows my mind that he loves wrestling. I can’t believe it […] And he knows that it’s not real. He still goes crazy for it.”
  5. Baltimore Sun: It suffices to say that Mark Turgeon wasn’t happy with his team’s 71-44 losing effort against Virginia (for your reference, the game was tied at the half). After the game Turgeon said, “You can go down our whole list, and if you can tell me one guy that played well today, I’ll argue that you’re wrong. […] We were 0-14 [players playing well].”

EXTRA: Duke’s Kenny Dennard got big news this week when he was named an ACC Legend, prompting his wife to praise him because now “it’s not just in your mind.”

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ACC Morning Five: 10.19.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 19th, 2011

  1. ESPN – Grantland: Grantland‘s “Why ____ Will Win the National Championship” series continues with Duke, the weakest team of the five profiles. But don’t let the title keep you from reading the post, which does a great job at assessing the outlook for this year’s team. To sum things up, no one really knows how good Duke can be this year (though he projects a Sweet Sixteen). The one point I disagree on is that Coach K should not have played Kyrie Irving during the NCAA Tournament. Yes, Nolan Smith carried Duke on his back for most of the season; and yes, Nolan Smith played terribly once Irving came back. But if you look at Smith’s progression (minus the ACC Tournament championship game), he began struggling in March. I think Krzyzewski knew that to win he had to put the best team on the floor, and Kyrie Irving was a part of the best team he had. Not to mention if Arizona plays that  second half against any college team, it wins by a lot. But read the article: it’s funny, informative and insightful.
  2. Charlotte Observer: Mark Gottfried had his old boss, former UCLA coach Jim Harrick, at practice with him yesterday. Harrick is a somewhat controversial figure, as he’s seen NCAA trouble nearly everywhere he’s been. NC State athletic director Debbie Yow was quick to point out that Harrick is serving as a “mentor” and “personal adviser,” and not a “university employee” to avoid any rumor or innuendo. But Harrick’s presence was also a reminder of Gottfried’s former success: in addition to a solid head coaching career, Gottfried was an assistant on UCLA’s 1995 National Championship team.
  3. Miami Herald: New Miami coach Jim Larranaga isn’t playing games. Durand Scott earned 20 minutes on a stationary bike after showing up to practice with his shoelaces untied in a motivational statement that appears to be along similar lines to Mark Gottfried referring to CJ Leslie as “Calvin.” While FrankHaith comes across as a player’s coach, Larranaga is decidedly old school: he’s stressing discipline and fundamentals. I for one am very interested to see how his system works, as he’s inherited a talented team from his predecessor. Look out for the Hurricanes come January with Reggie Johnson back in the line-up.
  4. ESPN Boston: In case you haven’t seen Boston College‘s updated roster, they’ve added a lot of guys since Steve Donahue took over a little over a year ago. The team has nine freshmen slated for next year. His monster class is headlined by ESPNU Top 100 recruit Ryan Anderson, but a lot of the other players were more under the recruiting radar. In an interview with ESPN Boston, Donahue expressed his excitement at being able to offer scholarships for the first time, but also made things clear: “Down the road maybe we redshirt one or two of those guys, but we’ve got guys that are high-character, skilled and can play, and in a couple of years they’re gonna be really good.” This is raising a couple of red flags for me personally, as NCAA scholarships are renewable on a year-by-year basis. It makes sense that Donahue would seek to fill up his roster, but what happens if there’s another top 100 recruit up for grabs next season?
  5. Winston-Salem Journal: Wake Forest recruit Devin Thomas wants to be an instant impact player when he suits up as a Demon Deacon next season. Thomas is joining a large 2012 class that looks to be Jeff Bzdelik’s best bid to right the ship. According to his coach Thomas has matured considerably over the last year, and should be a solid rebounder from the start. Based on Wake’s rebounding percentages last season (they ranked an absolutely abysmal #283 in defensive rebounding and #321 in offensive rebounding, according to Ken Pomeroy), and their increased off-the-court troubles, Bzdelik should be thrilled with both.
And now for the image of the day:

Awesome Image of Muggsy Bogues and the Wake Forest Basketball Team (credit: SI Vault)

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RTC Interviews Exclusive: A Conversation With Linda Gonzalez

Posted by nvr1983 on May 25th, 2011

Last Friday, Linda Gonzalez, the older sister of former Manhattan and Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez, posted a column (link to our post because she took her original post down) that drew a lot of attention across the Internet and within coaching and journalism circles. In that post, Gonzalez listed ten columnists (some local, but mostly national) whom she felt wrote with an agenda and often did not report the facts as they are, but instead tried to twist them to fit the story. After the post started a mini-firestorm online, we reached out to Linda Gonzalez to inquire about her thoughts and reasoning. What follows is a 25-minute interview with Gonzalez that touches on her reasons for writing the piece, thoughts on the media in general and specific individuals, and her impression of what led to her brother’s firing at Seton Hall. We have to admit that Linda Gonzalez turned out to be a lot more reasonable than we expected over the phone based on her initial post and some of the rumblings that we had heard from various media members before we spoke with her. She also makes some salient points about the media as a whole and about the perceived agenda that some media members have.

Gonzalez has been a controversial figure in the media for years

Rush the Court: By now, most of our audience is aware of  your post listing the 10 writers you consider the most corrupt or biased in the country, but we don’t know much about you other than the fact that you are Bobby Gonzalez’s sister. Could you provide us with a little background information on who you are?

Linda Gonzalez: Before we start let me make something clear. There is a difference between a public and private person. I am not a public person. I used to be a public person because I was a columnist for a newspaper. That was a long time ago. Now writing is a hobby. I have a personal blog that I write. In fact, I have two. One I keep for notes and whatnot, but I have a personal blog that I write that people are welcome to read, but it is still a personal and private blog. I am a private person who lives in upstate New York. I am involved with my family. I live a quiet life.

I am a daughter, sister, aunt, substitute mom, nana, niece, and friend. I want for my family the same as you want for your own. I want my family to have  love, success and to live a meaningful life with purpose. I do what I can, whenever I can to help them and myself to achieve that. I’m sure anyone would do the same.

I have a mother who is 84 and a brother who is a disabled Vietnam Vet. My sister died 20 years ago and she had four children. Now her children are starting to have children so I have got my hands full. Bobby is a part of the picture, a big part, because when one suffers, we all suffer.

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Mark Turgeon Heads To Maryland

Posted by nvr1983 on May 9th, 2011

After what appeared to be the beginning of a long coaching search Maryland is set to announce that Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon will be its next head coach. This Friday’s announcement that Terrapin legend Gary Williams was retiring shocked the college basketball world and put the program in a tough position of having to fill an opening in one of the premier coaching positions in America after many of the top potential replacements had signed extensions with their schools in the month and a half since the Final Four.

Turgeon has some big shoes to fill

The Terrapins initially went after Sean Miller, Brad Stevens, and Mike Brey, but all three turned them down with Miller and Brey getting contract extensions as a result of Maryland’s pursuit. At that point it appeared like Maryland might be headed for a coaching search that would mirror NC State‘s albeit without the theatrics of a Debbie Yow-like character. In the end, they turned to the state of Texas where they were able to land a solid coach in Mark Turgeon, who might lack the “wow” factor of some other candidates (particularly Stevens), but has managed to compile an impressive resume at Wichita State and Texas A&M. After serving his time as an assistant coach at Kansas and Oregon followed by a short NBA stint, Turgeon’s head coaching career began with an unimpressive start at Jacksonville State, but he quickly recovered to turn Wichita State into one of the best mid-major teams in the country culminating in a Sweet 16 appearance in 2006. Although Turgeon was unable to get the Aggies to a Sweet 16, he did manage to maintain the program at the level that Billy Gillispie brought it to before his ill-fated move to Kentucky and keep it as one of the best in the Big 12.

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Gary Williams Stuns The College Basketball World

Posted by nvr1983 on May 6th, 2011

The announcement out of Maryland that Gary Williams would be stepping down from his position as head coach to become a special assistant to the athletic director is one of the most stunning pieces of news we have come across this offseason. In any other offseason we would say it was the most stunning piece of news, but the Missouri coaching search saga probably trumps it due to its sheer lunacy. Still, the fact that Williams, who while not at the top of his game (that was back around 2000-02), would step down when he appeared to be building up the Terrapin program after a recent rough patch, is jarring.


Williams has been a large presence on the Maryland sideline

Much of the talk regarding retirement this off-season has centered around UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who also has more well-documented history of medical problems, an impending three-game suspension looming, and, of course, the ability to go out at the absolute top of the game having just won a national championship. Looking at the announcement in retrospect it does make some sense as Williams is 66 years old and has accomplished just about everything that a coach could imagine accomplishing at this point in his career, but it still seems strange. Although his numbers might not seem like much in the era of huge win totals like those amassed by Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith, Calhoun, and Jim Boeheim, when you look at them in a larger historical perspective they are very impressive. While most fans associate Williams solely with Maryland, his career is more extensive. It includes stops at the following schools:

  • American: 72-42 including two trips to the NIT (at a time when the school couldn’t automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament)
  • Boston College: 76-45 including two trips to the Sweet 16
  • Ohio State: 59-41 (the only blemish on his coaching resume)
  • Maryland: 461-248 (1 NCAA title, another Final Four appearance, and another five Sweet 16s along with two ACC Coach of the Year awards)

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Morning Five: 04.06.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on April 6th, 2011

  1. It looks like the offseason just got a little more interesting as Debbie Yow decided to use NC State‘s press conference announcing its hiring of Mark Gottfried to lash out at Gary Williams, whom she blamed for spreading rumors that she was difficult to work with and made the coaching search more difficult. Williams issued a statement essentially he had nothing to do with the NC State coaching search or any of the difficulties they may have had. For those of you who may not be as familiar with the frosty relationship between the two, it dates back to Yow’s time at Maryland and is described in this post, but goes back further. Honestly, it is probably worth another post that we will do in the near future if Yow and Williams manage to keep this in the news for a couple more days. By the way, it was nice of Yow to keep the focus on Gottfried and the basketball team instead of making this about her.
  2. If there was one thing this offseason that was more shocking than Missouri hiring Frank Haith and NC State hiring Gottfried (with the ensuing Yow-Williams circus) it was the news that Miami apparently hasn’t even contacted Frank Martin about becoming their next head coach. Here’s one of the premier coaches in the country who happens to have strong connections to the area where they’re located and could absolutely dominate recruiting within a 100-mile radius of the school and they have an opening, but Miami doesn’t even contact him?!? Miami has always been a football school (ok, the fans can be a little fair-weather), but Martin could actually make basketball matter in the area and he wouldn’t have huge, unrealistic expectations on him. It seems like the perfect fit, so the ball is in Miami’s court and they need to make a move fast.
  3. Meanwhile, Kansas fans are getting worked up over the report by Bill Self that freshman guard Josh Selby was working out in Las Vegas trying to gauge his draft status. You may remember Selby as the hyped guard who was suspended by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits before becoming eligible again and having a huge opening game against USC that had everybody thinking that he might be the next big thing before flaming out and only playing sparingly in the last month and a half of the season. Selby has the talent to be taken in the first round, but for both his sake and that of Kansas fans we hope he returns and develops some consistency before he heads to the NBA.
  4. Illinois fans have no such hope for Jereme Richmond, who announced that he was leaving the school and exploring his NBA Draft status. Richmond has not hired an agent so he could return to college basketball and, although the article doesn’t explicitly state it, we are assuming that he is not planning on returning to the Illini even if he were to return to college.
  5. Finally, reviews of TV ratings for the championship game were mixed. While the ratings were among the highest since 2005, they were lower than last year’s championship game (featuring Duke, which always moves the needle). Ratings for the NCAA Tournament were solid when you looked at all four networks and even better when you considered the online viewers. Obviously the shooting from the championship game hurt as did the lack of a marquee name (sorry, UConn, but you still don’t qualify). We can’t help but think that the NCAA should move up the start of the game by an hour to keep East Coast viewers in play even if it means not having the West Coast for the first few minutes of the game.
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