Morning Five: 09.23.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 23rd, 2013


  1. We usually do not pay attention to the announcements of recruits moving teams off their list, but Cliff Alexander‘s announcement that he was taking Kentucky off his list caught our eye. Alexander, the #2 overall recruit in ESPN’s rankings, claims that he took Kentucky off his list because they were no longer expressing interest in him. While it is possible that Kentucky might not be interested in the #2 overall recruit we have to wonder if Alexander’s expressed interest in being a package deal with Jaquan Lyle, the #22 recruit on ESPN’s list, may have been the driving force in Kentucky’s decision to stop pursuing Alexander. We wouldn’t feel too bad for Alexander as the list of schools–Kansas, Arizona, Memphis, and Connecticut–currently pursuing him and that are still high on his and Lyle’s list is pretty impressive, but the package deal may eventually turn a few others off.
  2. Indiana fans can rest a little easier after Robert Johnson committed to Indiana on Friday. Johnson, a 6’3″ guard from Richmond, choose Indiana over North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida State. The addition of a 4-star recruit might not seem like a big deal for a program the caliber of Indiana’s, but given the rough recruiting week the Hoosiers had just experienced (losing out on Isaiah Whitehead and having Ahmed Hill and Stephen Hurt take them off the list) the announcement was a big deal for the program especially when combined with some earlier decommitments by even more highly regarded prospects. The Hoosiers will still need to do some more work to make this year’s recruiting haul a success, but Johnson’s commitment should at least calm down the Indiana fan base.
  3. Even Travis Ford knows that Oklahoma State caught a break when Marcus Smart decided to return for his sophomore year instead of being a likely top-5 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but even he cannot hope for a repeat occurrence next spring. So the announcement that Jeff Newberry would be committing to Oklahoma State is a big one for the program as he appears to be the successor to Smart at the position. Newberry, one of the most highly sought-after point guards in junior college, plans on entering Oklahoma State in time for the 2014-15 season after picking the program over Connecticut and Texas Tech. He originally committed to Ole Miss where he redshirted his freshman season before bouncing around junior colleges.
  4. The news that the medical staff at Wichita State had denied D.J. Bowles medical clearance should not be considered much of a surprise given the fact that he had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator inserted on September 12 after collapsing during a team workout on September 3. To their credit, the school has already stated that they will be honoring his scholarship, which not every school would do. What is unknown is whether Bowles will attempt to go to another school and get clearance as Emmanuel Negedu did when he moved from Tennessee to New Mexico.
  5. Many members of the media latched onto Mike Krzyzewski’s statements to Dana O’Neil and focused on his statements against transfer waivers as an outright statement against student-athletes being able to transfer. What was largely ignored and what Gary Parrish decided to focus on was the second part of Krzyzewski’s statement that he would be ok with transfers being eligible immediately as long as everybody is treated equally. As Parrish points out letting the student-athletes transfer freely wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. We seem to let every other college student transfer freely without any penalty regardless of their scholarship situation (yes, schools do hand out academic scholarships too). Obviously there will be concerns about the system being abused, but it already is and the ones who are being punished are almost always the students. Would it really be that bad if a school got the short end of the stick once?
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Morning Five: 09.13.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 13th, 2013


  1. When last season ended many college basketball fans bemoaned the end of some of college basketball’s most significant rivalries including GeorgetownSyracuse. Both of last season’s match-ups between the two schools were hailed with a great degree of anticipation as they were expected to be the last time the rivals faced off for the foreseeable future and rightfully so. Well except for the fact that the two schools are now reportedly negotiating a ten-year deal that we would bring back the rivalry again. According to Syracuse officials their side has agreed to the “concept” of it, but are still waiting on a response from Georgetown officials. For his part, Georgetown coach John Thompson III also appears to be in favor of this. We doubt that there is anybody who would oppose rekindling the rivalry on purely basketball terms so we hope that conference and administrative politics do not get in the way of one of the best rivalries in college sports.
  2. The deicision by Quentin Snider, a point guard who is ranked 28th overall in the class of 2014, to commit to Illinois over UCLA is a huge get for John Groce. The second year coach already had picked up a commitment earlier this month from Leron Black, a power forward ranked 36th overall, so this is shaping up to be one of the better classes in recent memory for the Illini. On the other end of the spectrum, this is a fairly significant blow for the Bruins who lost out of Jordan McLaughlin one day earlier. The Bruins should be able to weather the storm thanks to the presence of Kyle Anderson who will probably be staying at UCLA longer than he anticipated, but it still raises questions as to who will succeed him when he eventually leaves.
  3. According to Myron Medcalf, Wichita State freshman guard D.J. Bowles underwent an unspecified surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota yesterday morning. Bowles had gone to Mayo earlier this week where he underwent a series of tests after collapsing while working out on September 3. We have no idea as to what kind of surgery Bowles underwent or when (if ever) he is expected to return to the court as the Wichita State staff is appropriately releasing extremely limited information. We could speculate as to what type of procedure Bowles had, but instead we will just wish him the best of luck in his recovery.
  4. It turns out that schools with limited resources and questionable academic standards are not the only ones with issues with APR scores. A column in The Harvard Crimson earlier this week pointed out the relatively low APR scores of many programs including men’s basketball. Now, we will start off by saying that Harvard‘s APR scores for basketball are well above the numbers required to participate in the NCAA Tournament, but the article and more specifically the comments, which appear to be from Harvard students and alumni, indicate some of the sociological issues–seen more clearly in the big academic fraud scandal at the school a year ago–within the campus and these APR scores only seem to add to that.
  5. We are getting to that point in the year where various publications start unveiling their preseason All-American teams. The Sporting News is one of the first we have seen and for the most part we tend to agree with their picks (you can watch the video and ignore the slideshow if you refuse to click through a slideshow). Our biggest issue with their first team is also their biggest issue with their first team, which is the omission of Julius Randle. To be fair it is hard to criticize them for leaving off a freshman, but we probably would have given him the nod over Mitch McGary. There should be plenty of other preseason All-American lists coming out over the next month or two, but we suspect that most of them will look fairly similar to this one.
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