Morning Five: 10.03.14 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 3rd, 2014

morning5

  1. For the past few years we have been speculating as to when many of the legendary coaches in college basketball would retire, but there is another college basketball legend–Dick Vitale–who we should be talking about in a similar way. Vitale, who turned 75 in June, reached an agreement with with ESPN that will extend his contract through 2017. We all know that Vitale has become a polarizing figure with some fan bases, but we have a hard time faulting someone who is so passionate about the sport we all love and is even more passionate about raising money for cancer research. We are sure that there are some of you who have grown tired of Vitale and his “act”, but remember there is no bigger ambassador for the sport.
  2. Butler announced that head coach Brandon Miller would be taking an indefinite medical leave of absence for an undisclosed reason. Last season, Miller had the unenviable task of replacing Brad Stevens with a depleted squad and it showed with a first-year record of 14-17 overall and 4-14 in the Big East. We aren’t sure what the exact reasons are for Miller’s leave of absence, but according to Jeff Goodman they might be stress-related as many of Miller’s friends have been unable to contact him for months and Goodman says that he would not be surprised if Miller did not return. Whatever Miller’s ailment may be we wish him the best of health in his recovery from whatever is bothering him. Chris Holtmann, who previously spent three seasons as head coach at Gardner-Webb before coming to Butler, will serve as the interim head coach during Miller’s leave.
  3. Cameron Biedscheid‘s stay at Missouri was a short one as the school announced that the Notre Dame transfer is leaving the school “to attend to personal matters”. The school did not go into details as to what those personal matters were, but said that Biedscheid, who would be have eligible to play in the spring semester, “will no longer be a member of our basketball program” indicating that this will not just be a temporary break. Even though Biedscheid’s production as a freshman at Notre Dame– 6.2 points in 17.4 minutes per game–was modest he was a highly touted prospect and would have been expected to pick up a lot of the scoring the Tigers lost when Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown, and Earnest Ross left. Now the Tigers are left in an even more difficult spot and Biedscheid will have some tough decisions ahead as he will not be eligible to play in Division I until the 2015-16 season. To make things even worse for Missouri, Johnathan Williams III, a power forward who averaged 5.8 points per game last season, will miss time after suffering a torn meniscus during an individual workout.
  4. With those losses the announcement that Missouri had reinstated freshmen Jakeenan Gant and D’Angelo Allen certainly seems a little suspicious. The pair had been suspended last month after they were arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault when Gant’s wallet was found at the site of an assault. Gant was considered a coup for Kim Anderson as he was the state’s 2014 Mr. Basketball who committed to Frank Haith and stayed even after Haith left. Allen committed to Missouri the week after Anderson was hired so they are both pretty significant freshmen at least on a symbolic level.  We aren’t exactly sure how they magically managed to do enough to impress the staff that they had turned things around the same time the team lost two key pieces, but we have our suspicions.
  5. Long Beach State‘s aspirations of competing for the Big West title this year took a hit when head coach Dan Monson announced that starting guard A.J. Spencer would miss the 2014-15 season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during a pickup game last week. Spencer’s injury was reported last week by a local newspaper, but was not confirmed by Monson until this week. Spencer averaged 9.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season while starting 28 of 32 games. Monson will try to fill Spencer’s spot by committee, but with Long Beach State’s challenging non-conference slate it could be a rough start to the season.
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What’s Trending: Tyler #ENNIONS, Dick Vitale Pop Art, Holly Rowe, and More…

Posted by Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) on February 14th, 2014

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) is your weekly host.

Raw emotion meets raw weather, as Dick Vitale was caught puttering through a North Carolina blizzard only to find out the Duke vs. North Carolina game would be postponed due to the winter storm. We have applied a bit of an Andy Warhol Pop Art feel to it, while some feel like the original would be perfect album art for an upcoming indie rock band’s latest LP.

Dick Vitale snow picture

Tyler #ENNIONS Ennis Keeps Syracuse Undefeated

It will challenge for Game of the Year, capped off by a strong nominee for Play of the Year. Tyler Ennis, the savvy Orange point guard, has been huge in close games for his team all season long. You’ve seen the buzzer-beater, now check out the reaction from his giddy head coach and others around the web.

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AAC M5: 12.30.13 edition

Posted by Ross Schulz on December 30th, 2013

AAC_morning5_header

  1. Courier-Journal writer Tim Sullivan said that Kentucky was just too big and strong for Louisville Saturday. The Wildcats outrebounded the smaller Cardinals 44-36 and scored 17 second chance points to Louisville’s six. Louisville has become too reliant on the play of its backcourt, he writes, and when it came down to it and the Cardinals needed interior baskets to take the pressure off of Russ Smith and Chris Jones, the frontcourt didn’t deliver. To reach a third straight Final Four, Louisville will have to improve its inside game or hope for favorable match-ups. (ed. note: the Monday afternoon dismissal of Chane Behanan by the university won’t help matters)
  2. Rick Pitino said the main culprit in the loss to rival Kentucky Saturday was frontcourt play. He focused specifically on the play of Montrezl Harrell and Chane Behanan, and said that those two need to better focus on rebounding, blocking shots and dunks. Pitino even compared his squad’s frontcourt to Christina Aguilera in a blog post following the game. Louisville’s four big men only attempted seven shots against the Wildcats, which included a second half with Julius Randle mostly sitting on the sidelines (he only logged four minutes).
  3. Dick Vitale says SMU is a team to watch heading into conference play after a strong 10-2 start with close, respectable losses to Virginia and Arkansas. Vitale said that the jury is still out on the Mustangs, but we should find out what they’re made of quickly with their first three AAC games coming at Cincinnati, home vs. Connecticut, and at Louisville. If they win one of those games, folks around the AAC and maybe beyond will start to take notice of Larry Brown’s squad.
  4. Mick Cronin wants his young players to watch and learn from senior Sean Kilpatrick. Cronin said his underclassmen have plenty of talent, but they need to show up every day and play hard — for example, Kilpatrick goes hard in every practice, for the entire practice. A couple of freshmen, Kevin Johnson and Troy Caupain had solid games in Saturday’s win against Nebraska. The head coach hopes to see that kind of production consistently and knows that the formula for doing so is no big secret. Just watch Kilpatrick.
  5. College Basketball Talk takes a look at Memphis heading into conference play and considers the things the team needs to do more and less. The Tigers, who were outrebounded in seven of their first 10 games, certainly need to rebound better. And as it always seems with Memphis under Josh Pastner, the author wants to see the Tigers struggle less against other quality opponents. Memphis will get more opportunities against good competition this year in the AAC as opposed to the previous few seasons in Conference USA.
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Morning Five: 12.06.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on December 6th, 2013

morning5

  1. We have not heard of many players deciding to transfer so far this season, but it is getting to the point in the season/academic year where we would expect to start hearing a lot more about that. Alex Murphy is the first player from a major program this season to announce his intention to transfer as he plans to leave Duke at the end of the semester. Murphy, a redshirt sophomore, reclassified from the class of 2012 in his final year of high school and entered college in the class of 2011 so even though he is a redshirt sophomore he is only 20 years old. We would expect that Murphy, who averaged just 2.1 points in 6.3 minutes per game as a freshman, will have plenty of suitors although Florida (where his brother Erik played) or Providence/Rhode Island (his home state) would be the favorites.
  2. It seems like this ridiculous conference realignment period will never end. After seeing what seems like nearly every school change conferences we are starting to see some schools go back to their former conference. Yesterday, Oral Roberts that it will be rejoining the Summit League after leaving it for the Southland Conference in 2012. The Oral Roberts administration cited the Southland’s more recent expansion as being opposed to the school’s goals of reducing travel costs and strengthening rivalries. Although we hesitate to praise anybody for changing conferences (admitting that we understand the economic realities of college sports) it is nice to see Oral Roberts do this if their stated reasons were the actual reasons for their move.
  3. Apparently George Mason officials take a different view of stepping on an opposing player’s chest than college basketball historians. Yesterday, the school suspended forward Anali Okoloji indefinitely after he was called for stepping on South Florida’s Anthony Collins during their game on Wednesday night. The move should not effect the team too much as he was only averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per game this season although their next two games are against Oklahoma and Iowa State so they could probably use all the help that they can get. For his part, it appears that Okoloji is taking the right approach publicly by agreeing with Paul Hewitt’s decision.
  4. With all of the focus on Duke’s current freshman star Jabari Parker, many media members have been comparing him to former Duke star Grant Hill. While Hill’s NBA career was derailed by a series of unfortunate injuries it appears that he is doing well based on his interview with Ryan Fagan that touches on a variety of things including his thoughts on his alma mater, some of the current stars, and his philanthropic work. It also appears that Hill has been active working on a financial career as he has an interesting post-basketball career path in front of him.
  5. Finally, it is hard to believe that Dick Vitale has been working at ESPN for 34 years as a college basketball analyst. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of his first ESPN telecast and the people at ESPN dug into their vault to pull out his first telecast. While we understand that he has become a polarizing figure to some because of his loud personality and his perceived favoritism of some teams it is hard to argue with his impact on the game and how he has helped popularize it with a national audience. For those of you who may not be familiar with his older work the video shows a little bit about how he has changed (hair isn’t that different though) although we did find Joe Boyle’s facial expressions when Vitale started to talk amusing.
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It’s A Love/Hate Relationship: Volume II

Posted by jbaumgartner on November 25th, 2013

Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish each week throughout the season. In this piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.

Five Things I Loved This Week

I LOVED…. teams playing havoc with the minds and emotions of AP Poll voters. Perfect example this week – North Carolina. After laying a giant stink bomb at home against Belmont and making everyone wonder exactly how much of a difference P.J. Hairston will make even when he’s back, those same short-handed Heels went out and took it straight to the defending champs during Sunday’s convincing win over Louisville. So which is the real Carolina? Hard to say at this point, but yet another reminder that this is a year where almost any team can put up a W.

UNC Took It to the Champs on Sunday (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

UNC Took It to the Champs on Sunday (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

I LOVED…. efficient scorers. Marcus Paige‘s 32 points on 9-of-13 shooting brought to my attention that we do have a number of examples this year of quantity scorers who are putting up their numbers without dominating the ball — not the most common find with today’s shoot-first mentality. The two names that immediately come to mind are Duke’s Jabari Parker (after two weeks, still for real) and UK’s Julius Randle. Parker is now shooting almost 56 percent for the year (65 percent from three) and has only been under 50 percent shooting once all year, while Randle has never been below that mark. Meanwhile, both are still putting up over 20 points per game. It’s hard to not love a teammate who can fill it up while still leaving shots for the other guys on the floor.

I LOVED…. Russ Smith‘s ability to slice the double team. I’ll harp on his decision-making when appropriate, but there is no one better in the college game about sizing up two defenders at the top of the key, hesitating momentarily to draw them closer and then knifing through to create an instantaneous 5-on-3 situation in the lane that usually results in a layup. He’s a fun talent to see up close.

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Morning Five: 06.10.13 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 10th, 2013

morning5

  1. The biggest news impacting college basketball over the weekend came from Tobacco Road, as the Raleigh News & Observer‘s Dan Kane has continued to push forward in his dogged pursuit of the truth involving to the North Carolina athletic department’s relationship with a decade-plus history of fraudulent courses involving many of its student-athletes. We plan on having more commentary available later today, but as Kane continues to show with his persistence, there doesn’t appear to be any question that the academic support people charged with assisting student-athletes in their coursework were entirely too cozy with the administrators — Julius Nyang’oro and Deborah Crowder — who were ultimately proven responsible for the no-show courses and other academically fraudulent activities. These recently released emails exhibit that Nyang’oro received perks and benefits that were ethically improper (i.e., sideline passes to UNC football games) given that athletes may have been steered to the bogus classes under his watch. This latest reveal gets Kane one step closer to a direct connection with the athletic department, as the academic support staff who appear to have been nudging athletes to these courses and providing Nyang’oro with perks are under the employ and direction of the athletic department. Are we to take at face value that these staff members were acting on their own in a rogue manner; or was there a wink-and-a-nudge agreement in existence here, from the top down? Credit to Kane to continue rattling the cage in Chapel Hill — apparently there are a number of possibly instructive emails that were not released because of student privacy and/or personnel concerns. We’ve said it before, but the University of North Carolina really needs to take more responsibility over this entire situation. 
  2. UNC, of course, has a ridiculously successful basketball program to protect, and keeping that brand viable and competitive is one of the cornerstones of the new ACC as it moves into a basketball environment that Mike Krzyzewski has already called the “best ever.” ESPN’s senior VP of college sports programming, Burke Magnus, did an interview with Al.com last last week, where he described college hoops programming as very important to ESPN’s continued success in the sports broadcasting marketplace, but also focused specifically on the new-and-improved Atlantic Coast Conference as the key to higher (even approaching college football) television ratings going forward. SI.com‘s Andy Glockner took the time to evaluate his statements — could ACC basketball become SEC football, in other words? — finding that Magnus’ hoped-for ratings may be a bit ambitious, but ESPN’s move of the ACC to Big Monday and the congregation of so many nationally-relevant programs in the same league will without question have a positive impact on viewer interest.
  3. Later today the sportscaster who probably had more influence than any other in making college basketball a name-brand, marquee American sport, will be inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. Dick Vitale, long before he was Dookie V. or some kind of embellished caricature of himself, was must-see viewing along with the teams of the 1980s and 1990s — if you listen to some of those broadcasts now on ESPN Classic, a keen observer will note that Vitale’s analysis was often spot on, making his more muted schtick considerably more appealing as an exciting conversational tool. At some point around the turn of the last decade when Vitale lost interest in providing thoughtful analysis and instead became synonymous with cheerleading for certain blue-blooded programs (ahem), many of the younger generation of fans turned on him and have rightfully viewed him as an anachronistic dinosaur ever since. Still, his influence on the sport as a whole is far beyond what any other national college hoops broadcaster has ever reached, and Vitale deserves all the accolades he is now receiving, in this, the twilight, of his long and illustrious career.
  4. There was some transfer news over the weekend, as former Indiana guard Maurice Creek announced that he will spend his graduate transfer year at George Washington, and Illinois forward Myke Henry announced that he will spend his final two seasons at DePaul. Both players are transferring back home, as Henry is a Chicago native and Creek grew up in the suburbs just outside Washington, DC. The new Colonial, Creek, represents a very intriguing situation — a one-time rising star whose career was sidetracked by multiple injuries, he could provide an immediate lift on the perimeter to a young team desperately in need of some senior leadership and scoring punch. Henry will have to sit out next season, but he will join a talented recruiting class in 2014-15 with a year of action under its belt that can probably use the versatility on the wing that Henry can provide.
  5. There was some very sad news over the weekend, as colorful longtime Miami (OH) head coach Charlie Coles passed away at the age of 71. As the Athens Messenger writes in a column about his life, Coles was “one of a kind,” the kind of old school coach who “always had a minute; always had a story.” He retired from basketball in 2012 after enduring years of health issues, but his teams at Miami were generally known as very tough outs — he took the Red Hawks to three NCAA Tournaments including a Sweet Sixteen in 1999, a couple of NITs and CBIs, and was regularly competitive in the even-steven environment of the MAC. Twitter reaction around the college hoops universe about Coles‘ passing was proper and respectful, but this video of his press conference after a close-but-no-cigar loss at Kentucky in the 2009-10 season is perhaps more revealing (and fun). You can leave his family a note on his Legacy page here; he certainly will be missed.
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Morning Five: 05.17.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 17th, 2013

morning5

  1. It appears that Eddie Jordan never did directly claim to be a Rutgers graduate although his methods of saying so may be interpreted as being deceptive. Yesterday, CBS released the biography that Jordan had provided the school as part of his application. It does “absolve” Jordan of a majority of the blame and does point out that even if Jordan is not a college graduate he understands semantics well enough to utilize the phrase “alma mater” to his advantage when applying for a job there. The bigger question is why Rutgers a school with access to its own records did not bother checking into the statement a little more closely.
  2. One of the most painful aspects of conference realignment (outside of having to reorganize our microsites) was the loss of traditional rivalries due to heavier conference schedules. One of the bigger non-conference rivalries that appeared to be on the chopping block was Memphis and Tennessee. Now it appears that fans of those two schools may be getting an early Christmas present as the schools appear to be on the verge of continuing their series. There are still several issues to work out before the deal is finalized, but moves like this help restore our faith in the idea that schools are about more than just making money.
  3. One of the many issues that people have been advocating for reform at the NCAA level is the idea of multi-year scholarships rather than the one-year renewable scholarships that can be pulled by schools without any penalty to the school. The latest such example of the downside of this appears to be former St. Louis freshman Jared Drew who after redshirting his freshman season was told by the coaching staff that his scholarship would not be renewed as he did not fit with the direction they were going in. We have no idea if there were other issues going on in the background (academic or disciplinary) that may have led the school to make that decision, but with nothing stated or public it appears that the new coaching staff simply felt that they could get better players. Perhaps some news will come out explaining another reason for why Drew was let go, but at this time it makes St. Louis look bad and probably will not help them on the recruiting trail.
  4. Even though gambling is still illegal in much of the country so this only applies to a very small part of the country and for the rest of the country it can just be viewed as an interesting academic exercise in statistics Andy Glockner took a look at some of the post-Andrew Wiggins decision championship odds and found some intriguing values. The odds on the teams listed all appear to be pretty good values, but the one that sticks out the most to us would definitely be Louisville. For a defending champion to be returning that many key pieces and have one of the best college basketball coaches ever and still have 12-1 odds to win the title seems off even if their in-state rival has what many media members are hyping up as the greatest recruiting class ever.
  5. Dick Vitale may be a controversial figure for some, but there are two things about him that nobody can argue about–his love of college basketball and his passion for raising money for cancer awareness. With his 8th Annual Dick Vitale Gala he is expected to cross the $10 million mark in funds raised for cancer research. As you would expect the guest list for the event is pretty impressive and is projected to break last year’s record of $1.8 million raised. We wish Dick the best in his work in raising money for research, but more importantly we wish anybody affected by this devastating condition(s) the best in what they are going through.
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It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume IX

Posted by jbaumgartner on February 11th, 2013

Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish each week throughout the season. In this piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.

Five Things I Loved This Week

I LOVED…. my friend’s text response to my joking suggestion that Dickie V might not survive five overtimes at his age during the Louisville-Notre Dame game Saturday night: “At one point in the third OT he said on air, ‘Dan I gotta go to the bathroom. Seriously I’m not kidding,’ and then he was gone from the broadcast for like five minutes.” Priceless.

I LOVED…. Indiana going from an are-you-kidding-me loss to Illinois, complete with a late-game collapse and unforgivable defensive sequence on the buzzer-beater, to looking like a can’t-miss Final Four team by completely dominating Ohio State on the road.  Of course, what good college team hasn’t pulled this Jekyll and Hyde routine at least once this season? If Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are on their A-game, though, this Hoosiers team is awfully tough to beat.

I LOVED…. Tim Hardaway Jr.’s stroke. It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone pure so many consecutive threes as he did against Ohio State on Tuesday. As LeBron pointed out in a tweet, it’s pretty because the form is so consistent each time he rises up. His clutch marksmanship should have gotten the Wolverines a win at Wisconsin on Saturday, and it could be part of some fun nail-biters in March, too.

Tim-hardaway-jr_display_image

Tim Hardaway’s Stroke is Picture Perfect

I LOVED…. the cat-and-mouse ending to the Kansas-Oklahoma game. Bill Self made the absolute right call switching to the triangle-and-two defense, which got the Jayhawks back into the game in the final minutes. He dared the Sooners to beat them from the perimeter, and they did just that by knocking down multiple three-balls in the closing minutes. Perfect strategy shift, but better response.

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Morning Five: 02.07.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 7th, 2013

morning5

  1. Most of the nation was focused on football recruits during National Signing Day yesterday, but Iowa State may have been the biggest loser yesterday in terms of its recruiting when the NCAA denied the school’s appeal to make Maurice Jones eligible for the 2013-14 season. Jones, who averaged 13 points, 3.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game as a sophomore at USC before transferring to Iowa State, was not academically eligible to play when he left USC last September and apparently did not improve his grades enough in time for the NCAA to lift his ineligibility. The Cyclones had hoped to have Jones be eligible in time for the second half of next season, but with Jones having to sit out next season too we wonder if he will take a different route including going to a junior college and if Jones isn’t in Ames we would assume his recruitment would open up again.
  2. We have been talking about the Ed O’Bannon case for a few years on this site, but it seems like the mainstream media is just starting to get a sense of how big this case could be for (or actually against) the NCAA. The latest addition is Charles Pierce, who points out how big of a deal profit-sharing could be for student-athletes and the member institutions. We won’t try to argue that it would not be at the very least a very significant symbolic change we do wonder how the member institutions will try to fudge the numbers in an attempt to give the athletes as small an amount of money as possible. Perhaps all of this talk about major athletic departments struggling financially is just setting the stage for schools to say they cannot afford to pay student-athletes significant sums of money.
  3. One of the great things about Luke Winn’s weekly Power Ranking column is his versatility in pulling out interesting statistics to analyze and present the best teams in college basketball. While Winn has a few crutches like his reliable Aaron Craft Turnometer he usually presents a new statistic to analyze for each team each week. The stat that jumped out at us this week was Florida‘s (possible over-)reliance on three-point shooting. While such high volume three-point shooting makes a team extremely dangerous it also makes them vulnerable to early exits when they go cold from the field (live by the three…).
  4. For years Dick Vitale has talked about how he tried to recruit Magic Johnson to play for him while he was still a college coach at Detroit and if Magic had joined him he might still be coaching. Well Vitale is getting his wish (sort of) as Magic will be paired with Vitale (and Mike Tirico) on February 19 when Indiana plays at Michigan State. While Magic has served in virtually every role imaginable in basketball this game will be his first as a college basketball analyst. We just hope that both Magic and Vitale are able to control themselves to let the players (and not the announcers) become the focus for those of us watching at home.
  5. We are still trying to figure out what exactly happened with the Hamline incident that left one of the team’s players facing a second-degree assault charge and its coach suspended. Yesterday that coach, Nelson Whitmore, left the school in what has been described as a “mutual agreement”. All we know about the case is what reportedly happened between the victim and the Hamline basketball player. What we don’t know is what Whitmore did to merit such a severe sanction as the school said his actions did not violate any NCAA rules. Even though we are never happy to see somebody leave his or her job we are happy to see a school own a problem like this even if we wish this entire episode had never happened.
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Morning Five: 02.06.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on February 6th, 2013

morning5

  1. When it was announced that Old Dominion had fired Blaine Taylor yesterday many people immediately wondered whether the team’s 2-20 record this season was bad enough to lead to an in-season firing especially given Taylor’s overall exceptional record at the school. However as David Teel points out the suspicion that Taylor’s history of alcohol abuse and his recent strange behavior makes the firing “equal parts sad, awkward and unusual”. Given his history and the suspicions around it we doubt that you will see many angry columnists firing off their usual columns questioning the goals of college athletics when they fire a coach mid-season. Normally we are indifferent if a fired coach winds up getting another head coaching job and that is true in Taylor’s case too, but if the speculation is true we hope that he is able to get his life back together.
  2. If you have been waiting to hear Dick Vitale to call a Final Four game, it will finally happen this April. For international viewers. Vitale may be a polarizing figures to some, but it has always seemed strange that the face of college basketball to many casual fans has never worked courtside because NBC and CBS have owned the rights to the NCAA Tournament and presumably Vitale has a pretty strong non-compete clause in his contract that other ESPN talents such as Jay Bilas were able to get around. While people have mentioned the possibility of Vitale calling games during the NCAA Tournament for years, this situation probably works out best for all parties: US viewers are given more nuanced commentary while international viewers will be given the most recognizable voice in American sports.
  3. This is probably a case of reading too much into a statement, but Mason Plumlee has (sort of) come out and said that he expects Ryan Kelly to return this season. Actually if you read the statement it sounds more hopeful than anybody, but the fact that this is even news is reflective of how little information Duke has released about Kelly’s injury or how well his rehab is going. While we can understand the lack of desire Duke must have to share any information about Kelly’s condition with fans and the media we have to wonder what effect it is having on Kelly’s potential Draft status. We never consider Kelly to be a potential first round pick even on his best day, but you would think that a fairly athletic 6’11” forward who can hit shots from the perimeter would be someone that NBA teams would be interested in looking at. With the way that Duke is handling Kelly’s medical information we wonder how concerned NBA teams are of the long-term health of his feet. Obviously NBA teams will have their physicians examine Kelly before and after the NBA Draft, but we are guessing that the lack of information is not helping Kelly’s cause.
  4. Two things from Andy Glockner’s Bracket Watch caught our eyes this week: the number of teams that have had bad losses with injuries and the lack of locks. While we tend to think that Glockner might be the East German judge of the bracketologists he certainly has a point about the effect of serious injuries on team’s that have some ugly losses. Although there is no team that fits the 2000 Cincinnati profile there are several prominent teams like Duke and Miami that have had some pretty ugly losses that occurred when they were not at full strength. Assuming the teams are at full strength the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will have quite a bit of work to sort out all of the “bad” losses that occurred while teams were missing significant pieces.
  5. Arkansas’ blowout victory over Florida last night may have been a shock to the tempo-free fans, but while some unsavory characters were busy blaming others for their own ridiculous statements it is worth noting that Ken Pomeroy even suggested the possibility that some like last night could happen even if he didn’t necessarily see it happening for last night’s game. What the game really underscores is the lack of a dominant team this year. This isn’t necessarily a phenomenon limited to this season, but it seems like people forgot about that after how good Kentucky was a last year. When you combine that with some of the other excellent basketball around the country (particularly in the Big Ten) the last two months of the college basketball season promises to be an exciting one.
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North Carolina Students Devise Application To De-Vitale-ize Its National Broadcasts

Posted by KCarpenter on February 2nd, 2013

It’s a simple problem for paranoid sports fans everywhere: It’s hard to listen to commentators who clearly have it out for your team. In college basketball, among the most tribal of sports, few broadcast commentators are exempt from charges of bias or partisanship. Ignoring the issue of whether or not this is true, it is perceived to be true and therefore it is a problem for many fans. The solution to the problem of objectionable commentators has a fairly simple well-known fix: Mute the TV and put on the radio (or Internet-streaming equivalent), where you can listen to partisans who like your team as much as you do. Of course, this simple solution has it’s own simple problem: syncing the audio and video.

Vitale

Vitale Not Doing It For Ya? No Problem…

Now that you’ve decoupled the two media sources, the sound doesn’t match up with the audio and getting the two to synchronize has been something of a struggle. So, for a student project, some North Carolina students wrote an application with the express purpose of making this problem simple to resolve. Now, listening to objectionable commentators is even less of an obstacle to partisan sports fans. This is a good thing for the hyper-sensitive who can’t bear to hear anyone say something critical about their team.

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Big 12 M5: 11.08.12 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on November 8th, 2012

  1. With the election now in the rear-view mirror, Matt Norlander over at CBSSports.com wondered if the presidential race was decided by states with the best basketball programs. Norlander’s sample size is comprised of his site’s preseason top 26 because he felt it wouldn’t be as compelling if states like Alaska, Hawaii or Wyoming were put on a level playing field with say, Indiana and Kentucky. It was a close “race” between the number of red states and blue states but the electoral vote count will remind you of the results from Tuesday. It is also worth noting that each of the Big 12 teams in their top 26 are in red states. I’m just saying.
  2. USA Today Sports‘ Eric Prisbell and Nicole Auerbach give us a list of coaches with the most to prove this season and two of them are Kansas State’s Bruce Weber and Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford. While these coaches do have some work to do this year to justify their positions, they’re at different levels on the totem pole. Weber is in his first year of a new job while Ford is a bad season away from losing his job. The article also lists UConn’s Kevin Ollie as another coach with a lot of pressure this year, so if you’re going to list guys who have limited head coaching experience with limited time with which to work, Chris Walker of Texas Tech would be as good a candidate as any.
  3. We now know how long Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins will be sidelined. Travis Ford announced he’ll be out “about a month” after suffering an injury in Monday’s exhibition victory versus Ottawa University. Le’Bryan Nash threw an alley-oop pass to Cobbins but the pass went over his head and he fell on an Ottawa player. This, of course, is bad news for a coach already without two key pieces in his rotation — Phillip Jurick who is still recovering from an Achilles injury and J.P. Olukemi who is dealing with a knee injury. Guard Brian Williams, of course, is also out for the season. Get well, Cowboys.
  4. Tuesday night West Virginia dominated its exhibition game like any good program, beating Glenville State, 95-53, and head coach Bob Huggins isn’t happy. As a team the Mountaineers shot 50% from the floor, Deniz Kilicli dropped 19 in an efficient 8-for-10 shooting night, Aaric Murray had 13 points, nine boards, and two blocked shots, while Juwan Staten had 16 points, six dimes and zero turnovers. So what does Huggins think? “We’re going to look at how we didn’t run any offense.” Riiiight, coach. I see what you did there.
  5. Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale are two of ESPN’s most visible college basketball personalities and while they have had moments of disagreement over the years, they have finally agreed on one thing: Oklahoma and Lon Kruger are on the rise this season. I don’t like the fact that Kruger doesn’t stay at places very long but what Vitale says is true: He can flat-out coach. Take a good coach like Kruger, the returns of Steven Pledger and Romero Osby, the arrival of Amath M’Baye, an emerging point guard in Sam Grooms, and I believe they will hear Greg Gumbel call their name out on Selection Sunday.
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