Morning Five: 05.16.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 16th, 2011

  1. Maryland may have made a solid hire in former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, but they had an awful week after his hiring as they appear to have lost every one of the commits in the incoming freshman class. The two biggest are Sterling Gibbs, the younger brother of Pittsburgh star Ashton Gibbs, and Nick Faust. While both players have stated that they are still considering coming to College Park this fall they remain uncommitted and are drawing attention from other schools. Gibbs, in particular, has drawn a lot of interest and is reportedly considering Texas very seriously. Turgeon’s ability to get these two players to come back to Maryland could determine how successful he is in his first few years in the ACC.
  2. Turgeon has also been busy trying to land a different kind of recruit–Kansas State assistant/recruiting extraordinaire Dalonte Hill. According to reports, Maryland has made Hill an offer, which he is mulling over and will reportedly make a decision on early this week. Hill is an important piece of Turgeon’s plan to reclaim the Baltimore/DC recruiting area, which Gary Williams struggled to do in recent years. If Turgeon can lure Hill to Maryland, Terrapins fans could forget about the loss of Gibbs and Faust very quickly.
  3. Speaking of Turgeon, Texas A&M appears to be set to announce that they will be hiring Murray State coach Billy Kennedy to fill the spot that Turgeon left behind when he headed to Maryland (discussed in more detail here). The Aggies were reportedly also looking at Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson. In the end they decided to go with Kennedy, who turned Murray State into one of the top programs in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Racers were able to win the OVC regular season title the past two seasons and scored a first round upset over Vanderbilt in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Although this season ended in disappointment with losses to Tennessee Tech in the conference semifinals and Missouri State in the first round of the NIT, Kennedy appears to be an excellent hire for the Aggies. Kennedy will be expected to produce very quickly as Turgeon left the cupboard overflowing (at least for a program like Texas A&M) with what should be a top 25 team next season.
  4. We are still about three months away from Midnight Madness, but Pat Forde is already thinking about the upcoming season and has compiled a list of ten things that he is looking forward to next season. We have to say just reading the list gets us more excited for the season. We are sure there are more reasons that you can think of to get excited for the season, but this is a pretty good place to start.
  5. While Forde is focused on big picture topics, Fran Fraschilla is more interested in six of the most intriguing teams in the country next season (ESPN Insider required). Every team listed–Alabama, MemphisLouisville, Baylor, Mississippi State, and Harvard–is intriguing in its own way, but we think the last three are the most interesting for a variety of reasons: Baylor with a returning top five pick in Perry Jones and two ridiculously athletic incoming freshmen (Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello); Mississippi State for the sheer ridiculousness of the Renardo Sidney era; and Harvard to see if they can finally win the Ivy League and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament.
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Conference Report Card: Big 12

Posted by Brian Goodman on April 25th, 2011


 

 

Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

Year In Review

Before the start of the season, pollsters bought into Kansas State as the sexy pick to take the Big 12 in 2011 on the heels of an Elite Eight appearance in 2010. The Big 12 was not overly impressive in non-conference play, as the Wildcats fell hard to Duke in a de facto home game in Kansas City, and Missouri did the same against Georgetown in one of the more thrilling matchups of the early season.

As league play began, the preseason #3 Wildcats disappointed, starting 2-5, and the usual stalwarts of the Big 12, Kansas and Texas, rose to the top. After topping the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse in January, the Longhorns looked to be in the driver’s seat, especially after Kansas was blindsided at Bramlage Coliseum to give Texas a two-game lead. However, Rick Barnes‘ team suffered another late-season collapse, going 2-3 to finish the regular season while the Jayhawks dusted off the competition to pull ahead to take their seventh straight conference crown.

Elsewhere in the conference, the Wildcats bounced back to end the season in third place. The middle of the conference wasn’t settled until the latter stages of the season with Missouri falling lat and Texas A&MColorado and Nebraska treading water. Baylor underachieved, given the talented personnel in Waco, and Oklahoma State never really looked in sync. OklahomaTexas Tech and Iowa State all had awful seasons to finish at the bottom of the standings.

In the conference tournament final, Kansas played its best basketball of the season, topping Texas to gain some revenge entering the Big Dance. Colorado was snubbed on Selection Sunday despite beating Kansas State three times, but the Big 12 still managed to get five teams into the NCAA Tournament. However, only the Jayhawks made it out of opening weekend alive, and they fell short of expectations as they lost to Shaka Smart and the Rams’ reign of BCS destruction.

KU's front line of Thomas Robinson (left) and the Morris twins evolved into a strength, and the Jayhawks struggled most when they weren't utilized on offense. (AP/Jamie Squire)

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Quincy Miller’s Senior Season Derailed By ACL Tear

Posted by nvr1983 on December 20th, 2010

When Scott Drew got Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello to commit to play for Baylor earlier this year, Bears fans celebrated the possibility that their team could have three of the most exciting players in the nation next season if Perry Jones decided to return to Baylor for his sophomore season. Those dreams appear to have taken a hit after Miller, considered one of the top five players in this year’s senior class, went down with a season-ending ACL tear on December 10th, which was later confirmed by Miller himself [Ed. Note: We love how his coach thinks it is Miller's left knee]. Miller will undergo surgery tomorrow morning and is expected to take 6-8 months to recover, which should allow him to return to the court just in time to get him ready for Midnight Madness next fall. Of course as Miller’s return to the court nears there will still be questions about how effective he will be when he debuts in a Baylor uniform regardless of how confident his Tweets would have you believe he is in his return.

Baylor fans will be waiting anxiously for Miller's return to action

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 10.25.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 25th, 2010

Now that most recruits have made their oral commitments we should start to see the news of commitments start to die down at least in terms of the sheer volume, but that doesn’t mean that a big name won’t commit to a school (still a handful of top 25 guys available) or someone won’t decommit/commit to another school.

  • Quincy Miller, widely consider the last of the superstars in this class, and Deuce Bello, widely considered the most athletic player in this class, both committed to play at Baylor. If Scott Drew can get his players to stay a few years (and the looming NBA lockout could help), he could have a team that features Perry Jones, Miller, Bello, and Isaiah Austin in a few years, which would be one of the most feared line-ups in the nation.

    Miller is the last big chip in this year's class

  • While Miller and Bello stole the headlines for biggest coup of the weekend, LeBryan Nash certainly takes the prize for most effective use of a prop (see below) when he committed to play for Oklahoma State.
  • Fans of Arizona State are starting to worry about Jahii Carson, who previously committed to play for Oregon State, as he is already starting to waver in his commitment to the Sun Devils even citing a freshman wearing his favorite number.
  • Speaking of decommitments. . .Tony Wroten, everybody’s favorite Tweeter, started a minor Internet firestorm when he tweeted asking whether Kentucky commit Kyle Wiltjer had decommited. Wiltjer has not responded, but we haven’t heard any reports to suggest he has not remained committed to the Wildcats.
  • Shane Larkin, son of Cincinnati Reds all-star Barry Larkin and a crosstown rival of Austin Rivers, committed to play for Oliver Purnell at DePaul. Read the rest of this entry »
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Morning Five: 10.22.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on October 22nd, 2010

  1. Thursday was a big day in the recruiting world, as three top prospects in the Class of 2011 made their commitments public with the result that two Big 12 schools not named Kansas and Texas will also be bringing elite talent onto their campuses.  The #4 player in that class according to Rivals, LeBryan Nash, committed to Oklahoma State, while the #5 player, Quincy Miller, and his teammate and #43 player, Deuce Bello, committed to Baylor.  Nash and Miller are program-changing forwards, while Bello is a ridiculously athletic shooting guard.  As an aside, Scott Drew is absolutely getting it done on the recruiting trail — Miller represents the third top ten player to commit to the Bears in the last two years (Perry Jones arrives this year; seven-footer Isaiah Austin will arrive in 2012), and he’s beating out the likes of grizzled veteran recruiters such as Rick Pitino for these kids.  When you also consider that Baylor had to rekindle an entire program from the ashes of the Dave Bliss debacle merely seven years ago, seeing this kind of talent commit to play ball in Waco is nothing short of extraordinary.
  2. The preseason USA Today/Coaches poll came out on Thursday, and as expected, Duke was at the top with 29 of the 31 first-place votes.  Michigan State was second and received the other two first-place votes.  Kansas State, Pittsburgh and Ohio State rounded out the top five.  For a little historical perspective, last year’s Final Four teams were ranked #2 (Michigan State), #8 (Duke), #9 (West Virginia) and #10 (Butler) in the preseason.
  3. Could the summer evaluation/recruiting period become a thing of the past?  According to a report released Thursday, the Conference Commissioners Association voted last month to recommend abolition of the summer period.  The NCAA’s Board of Directors will make the final decision on this, but many coaches are already harping on the proposal as a disaster in the making.  In an email sent to coaches from NABC president Tom Izzo, he noted that it will become much more difficult and costly to evaluate prospects individually rather than in the summer camp group setting, and that the cancerous influence of agents, runners and other hangers-on during the summer will only become more powerful without the coaches and NCAA around to lend an air of propriety.
  4. Scary news from the DC area that former Georgetown star guard Charles Smith was shot twice in the chest on Thursday and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  Smith was the Big East POY in 1989 and played on the 1988 bronze-medal US Olympic team, the last US international basketball team comprised solely of collegians.  The suspect who shot Smith is still at large, but we certainly hope that Smith comes through this ok and his assailant is brought to justice.
  5. The Atlantic 10 media made their predictions yesterday in NYC, with Temple receiving the burden of expectations to win the conference while Xavier, Richmond and Dayton fell in line behind the Owls.  The preseason all-A10 first team consists of Lavoy Allen (Temple), Kevin Anderson (Richmond), Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure), Damian Saunders (Duquesne) and Chris Wright (Dayton).
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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 09.13.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 13th, 2010

Which way will Quincy Miller go?

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 07.26.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 26th, 2010

This week’s action was mostly centered around Las Vegas (and we will certainly talk about Vegas), but there as always there was news from across the rest of the nation. Based on the way that these AAU tournaments run most of our “news” comes from tweets from courtside observers, but we do have a few articles sprinkled in here. If you have a hot recruiting tip or news that you want to share with us, e-mail us at rushthecourt@gmail.com.

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Viva Las Vegas!

Posted by nvr1983 on July 22nd, 2010

With the growth of the AAU summer circuit it has been difficult for fans and coaches to keep track of all the action. There are few places where that has been more evident than in Las Vegas where at times there have been four tournaments going on simultaneously on dozens of courts making it impossible for someone to catch a potential superstar that everybody seems to have missed (Anthony Davis, anybody?). This year, however, there are only two tournaments to follow: the Super 64 and Fab 48 (you can guess how many teams each tournament has). If you only had one tournament to go to this weekend in Las Vegas (and how could there possibly be anything better to do in Vegas in the 120 degree dry heat?), we would suggest the Fab 48, which features the majority of the “big names” (for some reason the Super 64 doesn’t list its top players and we can’t figure out who plays for what AAU team), is NCAA-“certified” (although the Super 64 might be too), and also managed to snipe the last two Super 64 champs. Here’s a sampling of the talent (commits have the school next to their name) that will reportedly be at the Fab 48:

  • PF Quincy Miller***
  • PG Myck Kabongo (Texas)
  • SF Adonis Thomas
  • SG Wayne Blackshear (Louisville)
  • SG LeBryan Nash
  • SG Jabari Brown
  • SG Tony Wroten Jr
  • PF DeAndre Daniels (Texas)
  • PF Michael Shaw
  • SF Branden Dawson
  • SG Quddus “Deuce” Bello

***Miller may not be at the Fab 64 (details below)

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