Morning Five: 07.02.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 1st, 2010

We’re back with another a Friday edition of The Morning 5. The end of the (work) week means that we are one week closer to Midnight Madness. We hope you all enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations and be safe with whatever you are doing.

  1. As an example of what not to do on your holiday weekend (or any time for that matter) we turn to Atlanta, where Georgia athletic director Damon Evans was arrested for a DUI late Wednesday night. We’re expecting quite a bit of talk about this over the next week, but one Atlanta columnist is already taking him to task for the incident (rather lightly we might add) and we don’t expect that to be the last column on the issue. To compound matters (at least in terms of PR) Evans had previously participated in a video advising fans to not drink and drive.
  2. Former UConn star Donyell Marshall was named as an assistant coach at George Washington. The move will reunite Marshall with head coach Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant on the UConn teams of the early ’90s when Marshall starred in Storrs, including his 1993-94 campaign when he was named 1st Team All-American and Big East Player of the Year (and, ironically, knocked George Washington out of the NCAA Tournament in the 2nd round).
  3. Dana O’Neil checks in with Fran McCaffery who, as the mid-major coach du jour, left Siena a few months ago to take over at Iowa for Todd Lickliter, who was mid-major coach du jour at Butler before coming to Iowa…and was fired three seasons later.
  4. Jay Bilas, attorney-at-law (he actually is one) points out the “slippery slope” of the current NCAA charges against USC, UConn, and Memphis in relation to the UCLA dynasty and the recently departed John Wooden (ESPN Insider required; sorry, but it is an interesting article). Many people might take issue with the timing of this article so soon after Wooden’s death, but those people are missing the point of the article. It isn’t so much an attack on Wooden and his teams, but instead targets the NCAA and its antiquated by-laws. We have some issues with certain points of his argument, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the column (if you have ESPN Insider access).
  5. Speaking of legendary coaches, Don Meyer of Northern State (D2) was selected to be the recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. Meyer ranks second all-time in wins by a men’s college basketball coach at any level with 923 wins trailing just Harry Statham of McKendree University (NAIA) who has a healthy lead with 1,022 wins. We have a feeling a certain coach out of Durham might be approaching those numbers in the next few years.
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Morning Five: 03.01.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on March 1st, 2010

It’s all over in Vancouver, and we admit that when there was no college hoops to be found, we caught a couple hours of it.  So we’ll sort of miss those tape-delayed images of Shaun White doing tricks, Bode Miller occasionally zooming down hills, Apolo Ohno whizzing around ovals, and Lindsey Vonn doing…well, doing just about anything. But this month, above all others, belongs to college basketball.  Welcome to March, people...

  1. Even though Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee is reeling him in for this particular title, Northern State’s Don Meyer is considered the winningest NCAA men’s basketball coach of all time because the NCAA counts ALL wins at all four-year colleges as long as the coach spent at least ten years at NCAA schools.  Meyer, who announced a week ago that he would retire at the end of this season, coached his final game on Saturday night — a loss to Southwest Minnesota State.  Meyer retires with a record of 923-324. Much respect, sir.  Godspeed and good health to you.
  2. Temple got seven threes from Juan Hernandez in leading Temple to a 65-53 win over La Salle on Sunday, but the victory didn’t just improve the Owls’ record to 24-5 and keep them in a tie with Xavier atop the Atlantic 10 (both 12-2).  Their perfect 4-0 record against the other member schools won them the Big 5 title for this year.  If you don’t think that means anything to anyone, consider the Big 5 creed: “They say there is no real prize for winning the Big 5.  They must not be from Philly.”
  3. A day ahead of his team possibly taking over the top spot in the rankings, Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson is enjoying the ride, and admits that he never could have predicted that the Orange would have ever been considered the #1 team in the land this year in a Skype interview he did with Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman on Sunday.
  4. In an article by Lexington Herald-Leader writer Jerry Tipton, Kentucky chief John Calipari claims that a couple of his players were “sleepwalking” through the whole game.  He doesn’t specifically name the somnambulists, but — careful not to take anything away from the Volunteers’ effort — he cites a combination of the quick turnaround from Thursday’s late game against South Carolina and (more alarmingly) what he feels is inexperience among some of his players in preparing themselves for important games.  Given Calipari’s recent statement about just wanting to “get on to the tournament,” it’s a legitimate question to ask:  has ennui crept into the Wildcat camp?
  5. Seriously, Steve Alford?  Yes, you are hearing correctly, Alford really does call Jonathan Tavernari that name right at the end.  This sure makes the chance of a New Mexico-BYU rematch in the finals of the Mountain West tournament an exciting prospect.  In the meantime, maybe someone can get Alford to echo his mentor by saying, “If Tavernari wants to sit down and talk with me…I’ll explain things to him!”  Come on, Coach.  You’re better than this.

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Philadelphia University’s Magee Tries For #903 Tonight

Posted by jstevrtc on February 23rd, 2010

Herb Magee goes for his 903rd win as a college basketball coach tonight as he and his Philadelphia University Rams host Goldey-Beacom College.  A win this evening, if it happens, will put Magee at the top of the all-time NCAA wins list for a men’s basketball coach.  Magee tied Bobby Knight on that list this past Saturday by achieving his 902nd win in a buzzer-beater against Post University.

It’s easy to tilt our heads, offer a short patronizing applause, and then forget about men like Magee, or like Don Meyer, the all-time wins leader for a men’s college coach (many of his wins came at Lipscomb when they were a member of the NAIA) who announced that he’d be retiring at the end of this season, because they don’t coach at the so-called “elite” level.  But these men don’t need our patronization.  They don’t coach basketball because it’s cute, because it’s easy — yeah, you try it — or because they want attention.  Magee (and certainly Meyer) could have had all the attention he wanted, given the number of offers he’s had for higher profile jobs.  These are men who coach basketball and stay at the Division II level or lower because this is where they feel they can best be both coaches and educators.  It’s where they feel they can do the most good for their student/athletes when teaching them about existence both on and off the basketball floor, and/or because they know that the brighter spotlight inherent in the higher-profile jobs also comes with innumerable extra headaches that might compromise what they’re really out to achieve.

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Morning Five: 02.23.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 23rd, 2010

  1. This is leftover from the weekend detritus, but Matt Doherty made an ass of himself at SMU’s game versus Memphis on Saturday (a 13-pt loss to the Tigers) when he engaged in name-calling with some fans behind the Mustang bench.  Look, it was funny when he called out the Duke cheerleaders to his own team in the huddle, but woofing it up with fans over the quality of their school and so on is just pathetic.
  2. It’s been that kind of a year at UCLA.  Reeves Nelson needed to undergo eye surgery on his retina, which was slightly torn during an injury he suffered last week at Washington State where he landed face-first after a dunk.  His timetable for return is uncertain, but his doctor said that he could be back in action as soon as this coming weekend.
  3. Northern State’s Don Meyer announced his retirement effective at the end of this season.  He has won 922 games over the course of a 37-year head coaching career in both the NAIA and NCAA Division II.  His NSU teams twice made the D2 regional finals, and his NAIA teams at Lipscomb twice made the national semifinals before bowing out.
  4. Even mired in a disastrous 1-11 Big 12 season, Doc Sadler’s job at Nebraska appears safe.  Ahh yes, the beauty of coaching basketball at a football school: Low expectations.  Keep cashing those $800k checks, Doc.
  5. We made reference to this on last night’s ATB, but what would something like this cost Butler next year in the League?  $25k?  $50k?

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01.12.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on January 12th, 2009

A new set of Fast Breaks to get your “work” week off to a good start. . .

  • Congrats to Don Meyer for breaking Bobby Knight’s all-time NCAA win mark. I’m guessing this will get a 10 second mention on SportsCenter so we thought we would honor Meyer here.
  • The New York Times with an analysis of the coaching tenure by conference. It is interesting how much longer the ACC coaches tenure has been. The ACC number is obviously boosted by Coach K’s 28+ year run at Duke. I’m not sure if the difference are significant. Does this mean that ACC programs are more successful or that the administrators there are more lenient? Either way I don’t think a conference’s average length of tenure should matter as much to a recruit as a specific school’s track record.
  • Ohio State transfer Anthony Crater will be heading to Tampa to play at USF. A pretty big pick-up for a team that will likely finish DFL in the Big East.
  • RTC touched on academics and basketball a few months back, but a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution piece (h/t to The Big Lead for finding this) goes well beyond that (imagine that full-time journalists. . .) analyzing SAT scores of football players (it is a Southern newspaper) compared to their “classmates”. Anybody who went to school with big-time athletics programs realizes what a joke the term “student-athlete” often is. We’re planning on digging into this issue (with a basketball focus obviously) a bit more in the near future. It also makes you wonder what kind of grade inflation is going on if someone with a reported 890 SAT (I don’t care if that was as a 9th grader) can pull a 3.81 GPA.
  • A look at Belmont almost 10 months after they nearly knocked off Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I doubt Vince Gill goes to many regular season games.
  • A look at how Jamie Dixon is motivating Pittsburgh even after they rose to #1 in the polls. I guess I can see what he is saying since they are only the #3 team in Vegas.
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