Big 12 M5: 02.05.14 Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on February 5th, 2014

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  1. Last night posed the opportunity for a letdown with Texas beating league-leading Kansas on Saturday and then turning around to face last-place TCU on the road. The Longhorns trailed by two points at the half and had committed their season average of 10 turnovers to that point, but the second 20 minutes were a completely different story. The Horns regrouped as Jonathan Holmes poured in 17 of his 20 points on their way to their seventh straight Big 12 win. The Horns did all of this without one of their better ball-handlers available, as Javan Felix was out of the lineup due to a concussion he suffered on Saturday. It looks like we’re seeing the young Longhorns grow up right before our eyes.
  2. Kansas’ win over Baylor last night might appear confusing on paper because the Jayhawks won easily despite Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr. only combining for 23 points on 6-of-22 shooting. But the focus should be on point guard Naadir Tharpe, who had another good offensive game on the road. Oddly enough, Tharpe has had some of his better offensive performances away from Allen Fieldhouse. In the four Big 12 road games where he’s attempted at least one shot, Tharpe is averaging 16.2 points on 22-of-33 from the floor and 10-of-14 from downtown (71.4%). Statistical anomalies: Ya gotta love ‘em.
  3. Oklahoma State‘s defeat to Iowa State on Monday night could not have come at a worse time. The school had dedicated the night to longtime head coach Eddie Sutton; Gallagher-Iba Arena was half-empty; and then there was the whole triple-overtime loss. Sutton took some thinly-veiled shots at the fan base and perhaps even the team while attending the game. “It’s easier to play here [at GIA] now than it was before,” Sutton told the Tulsa World. “It was a lot louder.” Gee, he may have a point there. It is a little embarrassing when the head coach of a team with several NBA Draft prospects has to urge students to come to their games. Guess the thermometer on Travis Ford’s seat is heating back up again.
  4. It seems as though most pundits have Kansas State pegged as NCAA Tournament-bound at this point in the year, but with so many holes in this team can we really be so sure of it? The Wildcats haven’t won any important road games; they are hard to watch on offense; and they also rank dead last in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (64.4%). For a team that beats opponents by keeping games in the 60s, making free throws is all the more vital in creating some late-game separation. If they don’t fix this problem somewhat soon, the Wildcats’ life on the bubble will be a short one and the NIT is where they’ll be headed.
  5. This isn’t news to anyone at all, but Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is very much winning in life. He played in the NBA; he is currently coaching his alma mater (and doing well); and now he is putting up high scores on the Flappy Bird app. Now I’ve heard the Flappy Bird game is the thing kids are into these days but I have no clue how it’s played (how does one go about flapping the bird or does the bird flap you somehow?). In any case, Hoiberg scored a 123 which is apparently very hard to do. More power to him.
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Morning Five: 05.31.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 31st, 2013

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  1. It should not be a surprise that Katin Reinhardt has decided to transfer from UNLV to USC as was widely speculated the moment he announced that he was leaving Las Vegas. Reinhardt, who will have to sit out next season as a transfer unless he finds a way to get an exception that nearly every transfer seems to qualify, seems intent on playing point guard as he feels that is his best chance of playing in the NBA (we would argue that playing well would be a start). He should have plenty of opportunities to become a point guard on a Trojan team that lacks an established point guard. Having said that we are not sure that his skill set will translate into Andy Enfield’s offense as a point guard.
  2. We might joke about how irritating conference realignment is, but it is nothing compared to the scourge that is publicly-financed stadiums. We have already seen many ridiculous stadium deals for professional teams with the most egregious being the one that was given to the Miami Marlins, but now the trend appears to be extending to college athletics. We mentioned Chicago’s plans for DePaul‘s basketball arena when it was first announced and now that more information is available Andy Glockner has taken a critical look at the deal. As Glockner notes the entire thing is absurd. We are not sure how the people of Chicago are going to put up with doing this particularly for a private university and we are not sure how the people affiliated with DePaul are going to go forward with this when they have a deal to play at a professional stadium for free and would not become the subject of public anger for having fleeced the city.
  3. Many of our younger readers are familiar with much of Kentucky‘s history including the highs from Adolph Rupp to today, but they may not as familiar with the lows that the program experienced when it was put on probation by the NCAA. Many Kentucky fans still harbor a grudge against Eddie Sutton, who coached Kentucky when they were accused of committing violations that led to Kentucky being placed on probation for three years and receiving a two-year postseason ban. For that Sutton has become a pariah in Lexington, but John Calipari is trying to change that by extending an olive branch to Sutton and inviting him to return to Lexington as his guest. We are not sure how forgiving Kentucky fans will be, but if there is anybody who can convince them to soften their stance it is Calipari.
  4. With conference realignment the newly formed/aligned entities have had to decide how they want to position themselves for their conference tournaments. The biggest battle is in New York City over the rights to Madison Square Garden, but the Southeast could also become a hotly contested area with the ACC and Big XII possibly looking at sites in the area in the near-future particularly if the ACC loses out on New York City. After initially considering a plan where they would hold the SEC Tournament in a permanent site it appears that the SEC has decided to go with a hybrid approach where they will play in Nashville in 2015, 2016, and 2019 and play in Saint Louis in 2017, Tampa in 2018, and Atlanta in 2020. The plan is still in the preliminary stages and the SEC still needs to negotiate with the potential host cities before anything is final, but it looks like this might be an initial step towards making Nashville the permanent home of the SEC Tournament after 2020 if everything works out well with them as a host city.
  5. Speaking of conference realignment, the Southern Conference announced yesterday that it will be adding MercerVirginia Military Institute, and East Tennessee State for the 2014-15 season. Interestingly, VMI and East Tennessee State will be rejoining the Southern Conference after having left it in 2003 and 2005 respectively. We doubt that this move alone will have any effect on the landscape of college sports it will probably lead to another chain of schools shifting between conferences.
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Pac-12 Morning Five: 03.06.12 Edition

Posted by AMurawa on March 6th, 2012

  1. The Pac-12 announced its postseason awards on Monday, handing the Player of the Year award to California’s Jorge Gutierrez and the Coach of the Year to Washington’s Lorenzo Romar for the third time in his career. Gutierrez also claimed the Defensive Player of the Year, earning a spot on the All-Defensive team for the third consecutive season. Washington State’s Brock Motum is the no-brainer for Most Improved Player, while the Huskies’ Tony Wroten was the similarly obvious choice for Freshman of the Year. The All-Conference team was also announced, but at some point, somebody in the league office has got to come to some understanding that you put five players – not 10 – on your basketball All-Conference team. If you want to honor more than just five players, go ahead and name a second team, and even a third if you so choose.
  2. Washington’s Terrence Ross was a strong contender for Player of the Year, and may or may not have been named the RTC Pac-12 POY (check back later today for our conference awards), but upon finding out that Gutierrez had won the award, he said he felt “snubbed.” Ross did congratulate the winner, but felt surprised that neither he nor teammate Wroten won the award. Wroten echoed Ross’ thoughts, saying that he expected his teammate to earn the honor, but said that the Huskies will use the perceived slight as motivation in the conference tournament.
  3. Doug Haller, the Arizona State beat writer at The Arizona Republic, is on the very short list of the best beat writers in the conference, and on Monday he released a barrage of blog posts, giving his thoughts on the official Pac-12 awards, offering up his own picks for All-Pac-12 and some other honors, naming his All-Defensive team, and his All-Freshman team. Now, I certainly don’t agree with his pick of Tony Wroten as the POY and I’ve detailed my objections here in the past (refresher course: He’s not the best player on his team, he’s certainly not the go-to guy in the clutch on his team, his shot selection leaves much to be desired as does his actual shooting, and he turns the ball over too much), but while I would have had picked Tad Boyle as COY a week ago, I’ve shifted to the Dana Altman camp given Colorado’s season-ending slide. But other than that, everything else there looks pretty good; I particularly like the inclusion of USC’s Byron Wesley on his All-Freshman team because, as Haller notes, he’s probably improved more than any other conference freshman over the course of the season.
  4. Reaction to last week’s Sports Illustrated story on the UCLA program continues to roll in. On Sunday, former USC coach Tim Floyd weighed in on Ben Howland’s side, saying that although he and Howland “weren’t close” and “didn’t exchange Christmas cards” (have to admit, I sorta miss Floyd – he’s sure got a way with words, don’t he?), he has great respect for his former adversary and that he is one of the three best coaches he’s ever coached against (with Eddie Sutton and former Colorado State and Fresno State coach Boyd Grant the other two). Check out the whole article though. The last line out of Floyd’s mouth is worth the effort. Elsewhere, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighed in on the state of the program as well, calling for the UCLA program to return to the “Wooden way,” something that is far easier said than done. Still, at the heart of his article, the call for Howland to show more interest in the development of his players off of the court should not fall on deaf ears.
  5. Lastly, we talked about it yesterday in our Morning Five, but Arizona’s loss to Arizona State on Sunday is still reverberating throughout Wildcat world. Great line from Scott Terrell of the Tucson Citizen about how “It’s not so much that the Arizona Wildcats lost to Arizona State… Actually, that’s not true. It is that the Cats lost to ASU.” Given how bad the Sun Devils have been for the bulk of this season, he’s right. That result is perhaps the most shocking result of the entire conference schedule. We talked about some of the anomalies that occurred in that game yesterday (ASU’s 1.27 points per possession in that game was a serious outlier compared to their previous results), but Terrell adds a few more: ASU shoots 67% from the free throw line on the year, but shot 92% on Sunday; they hadn’t scored 87 points in a game in 26 months; and Arizona has held opponents to 40% field goal shooting this year, but allowed ASU to shoot 56% on Sunday. Worst of all for the Arizona faithful, the loss leaves the Wildcats needing to win the conference tournament in order to go dancing. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if the Sun Devils can use this win as a springboard for some success in the Pac-12 Tourney.
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Big 12 Morning Five: 03.01.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on March 1st, 2012

  1. Fans and media are notorious for playing “what-if” games. While the players play the game, it’s up to the writers to quibble about statistics, legacies and revisionist history. Oklahoma State is no different, as this writer asks what would have happened had the legendary Eddie Sutton not had a bout with alcoholism. It forced him to step down after a sub-par year in the mid-2000s, and his son Sean Sutton did not fare well afterward. It’s an interesting thought, at the very least.
  2. Sorry, but here’s yet another feature on Frank Haith. This one’s a good one, though. We’re not sure we agree with the headline, as Haith hasn’t really changed the culture as much as simply building on what Mike Anderson had already implemented. Still, he’s done a terrific job and his story is remarkable. But you know that already. Just read the article and learn it again.
  3. Five Big 12 players landed on the Naismith “Midseason 30″ list, and none of them will surprise you: Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon, Perry Jones, Thomas Robinson, and Royce White. That ties the league with the SEC as having the most selections. It’s interesting to see MU land two players, whereas Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor did not make the list. Close call.
  4. If you’re interested in multimedia, check out this discussion of Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page. Yes, we’ve linked to a lot of articles about Page’s legacy during the past few months, but the senior is a divisive and intriguing player. It’s worth a look if you have the time.
  5. It may not have booked its NCAA Tournament trip, but Texas stayed alive with a victory over rival Oklahoma last night. Now, it’s time for the Longhorns to figure out a way to beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. True, Missouri proved that the Jayhawks are at least mortal and beatable on their home floor, but that was, well, Missouri. This is Texas, and the talent level in Austin this year is not nearly the same. Wilder things have happened though in sports, so that’s what Rick Barnes is going to have to bank on.
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Big 12 Mount Rushmore

Posted by dnspewak on February 22nd, 2012

When Missouri and Texas A&M bolt for the SEC in July, the departure will mark the Big 12’s first shift since its inception in 1996. For the most part, the past 15 seasons have belonged to Kansas, which has captured the only National Championship during this time period and has also won or shared 11 regular-season championships. The Jayhawks’ dominance extends all the way through the old Big Eight’s history, too. Naturally, we’ve selected two Jayhawks as the most influential figures. Perhaps it’s unfair to place so much KU emphasis on our four Mount Rushmore selections, and yes, it’s probably unfair to ignore the rest of the league as a result. However, we made our selections with an eye toward postseason success and long-term legacy. Frankly, no other Big 12 program can even come close to Kansas in either of those departments, so its players and coaches simply must be included.

Here’s our Big 12 Mount Rushmore:

Wayman Tisdale: The late Tisdale was more than just a basketball player. He was a musician, a man who publicly fought cancer for two years, and most importantly, a man remembered for being one of the most genuine people in sports. The forward had a productive NBA career, but he thoroughly dominated the Big Eight for three seasons at Oklahoma. As a freshman, sophomore and junior, Tisdale took home Big Eight Player of the Year honors, and he was unique in that he made such an immediate impact early in his career. Unlike most freshmen at that time, Tisdale didn’t need time to acclimate himself to the college game. He was a one-and-done kind of player who stayed and dominated the nation for three seasons. Frightening.

Danny Manning: These days, Manning roams the Kansas sidelines as a towering, hard-to-miss assistant coach. Two decades ago, though, Manning’s Jayhawks soared through the 1988 NCAA Tournament as a six-seed, shocking the nation by knocking off #1 Oklahoma in the title game in Kansas City. To this day, even fans who never watched Larry Brown’s team play still refer to that squad as “Danny and the Miracles.” Manning may have scored the most points in Big Eight history, but we’ll remember him for the way he lit up the scoreboard in those six games in March.

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Big 12 Morning Five: 11.22.11 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on November 22nd, 2011

  1. After the stunning plane crash at Oklahoma State last week, the school gathered on Monday to honor the four people killed in the accident, including women’s basketball coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna. To give you an idea of how the event impacted the campus, OSU actually decided to cancel classes during the memorial to encourage students to attend. Given what the school had deal with a decade ago when a similar plane crash affected the men’s basketball program, last week’s tragedy hit especially close to home for many members of the OSU community. Our condolences to the victims’ families and the entire OSU program.
  2. In lighter Oklahoma State news, legendary coach Eddie Sutton has made his way into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, and he was in attendance Monday night at the Missouri/Notre Dame game. Sutton has his share of black marks on his resume, including the Chris Mills scandal at Kentucky and a bout with alcoholism. However, he still finished with more than 800 wins, and he built nearly every program he coached at into a national power. You take the bad with the good and Sutton deserves every honor he gets.
  3. Perry Jones can’t play yet for Baylor due to an NCAA suspension, but he is getting closer to his return. And despite his absence on the court, he apparently has been nothing but supportive from the bench. Baylor has been just fine without him during a 3-0 start, and the Bears likely won’t need him until their game at Northwestern on December 4. When Jones returns to the lineup, it will be interesting to see how he meshes with freshman Quincy Miller and the rest of the frontcourt crew.
  4. Out in Manhattan, Kansas State will also welcome the return of a forward as Jamar Samuels will suit up tomorrow night against Maryland-Eastern Shore after serving a three-game suspension. With Samuels in the fold, Wildcat fans will not need to rely so much on younger, inexperienced players as they have been so far this November. The Wildcats have not faced any stiff tests yet, but games with Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Alabama are looming next month Samuels will provide the team with a major boost.
  5. Iowa State newcomer Tyrus McGee is known as a shooter, and he has been living up to that reputation so far. In fact, he is shooting a blistering 90% (9 of 10) from beyond the arc this season. But according to his teammates, he may be more important on the defensive end. A lot of talking heads (like us) mention the likes of Chris Babb, Chris Allen, Royce White, and Anthony Booker when we talk about newcomers for the Cyclones, but McGee is also a key contributor for Fred Hoiberg. He is the kind of role player that could make a big difference this winter.
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Worthy, Mullin, Sampson and Other All-Time Greats Honored At College Hoops Hall Induction Sunday

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 21st, 2011

Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

With an onslaught of coverage devoted to the new season and players to come, it can be easy to lose sight of the game’s storied past that made fans and followers out of so many of us to begin with. Sunday night was a time for the game to honor its illustrious history with the induction of some of the sport’s most beloved players, coaches and contributors, into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. This year’s inductees included Chris Mullin, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson and Cazzie Russell as players, Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton as coaches, and contributors Eddie Einhorn and Joe Vancisin. In a ceremony emceed by Dick Enberg, one of the classic voices of college hoops and Sports Illustrated contributing writer Seth Davis, the Class of 2011 was enshrined. A recap of RTC’s coverage comes after the jump.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall Of Fame Added Some Highly Impressive Names To Its Membership Sunday Night

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College Basketball Hall’s 2011 Class Includes Several Huge Names

Posted by Brian Goodman on February 28th, 2011

Brian Goodman is an RTC contributor.

It may not technically be March yet, but the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame ushered in college basketball’s biggest month on Monday when it announced its Class of 2011. In November, the Hall will enshrine Bob Knight, Ralph Sampson, James Worthy and Chris Mullin among its class of eight inductees.

Bob Knight, now a popular commentator for ESPN, racked up a Division I record 902 wins in tenures at the helm of Army, Indiana and Texas Tech. Collecting three national championships along the way, Knight also made waves internationally, leading Team USA to Olympic gold in 1984.

One of this season’s biggest storylines is the rebirth of St. John’s basketball, so it’s fitting to hear former Redman Chris Mullin included in this year’s class. Mullin was a three-time Big East Player of the Year for Lou Carnesecca, and led his team to the Final Four in 1985 including the personal honor of the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The all-time leading scorer in St. John’s history, Mullin went on to a successful career in the pro ranks and was a member of the original USA Dream Team that brought home the gold in Barcelona in 1992.

2011 inductee Chris Mullin was a dominant scorer in the early days of the Big East

Seven-foot four center Ralph Sampson enjoyed a college career at Virginia that left coaches in awe. A dominant player, Sampson is a three-time Naismith College Player of the Year Award recipient and two-time Wooden Award winner. With Sampson, Virginia won the 1980 NIT and took a trip to the Final Four in 1981. Though his pro career was limited by knee troubles after being selected as the top overall pick in the 1983 draft, he remains a collegiate legend as one of the best players to ever take the court for an ACC team.

Another ACC inductee comes in the person of James Worthy. Worthy led the 1981-82 Tar Heels to the national title, averaging over 15 points per game and sealing the championship by intercepting an inadvertent pass from Georgetown’s Fred Brown. Worthy left UNC after his junior year for a prolific life in the NBA, where he collected three titles and made the all-star team seven years in a row as a member of the Lakers’ “Showtime” dynasty.

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The Week That Was: Jan. 25-Jan. 31

Posted by jstevrtc on February 1st, 2011

David Ely is an RTC Contributor 

Introduction:

It’s Feb. 1. That means there’s only 40 days left until Selection Sunday, or 40 days left for teams to build up their resume so their bubble doesn’t pop. We’re sure there are going to be a lot of heated discussions about teams hovering within that last four in-last four out zone over the next six weeks. Heck, here at TWTW, we’ll probably change our opinion on certain squads three  or four times until the end of the regular season. It should be a crazy six weeks, but we know it’s going to be fun.  

What We learned

After a weekend that saw 13 ranked teams lose (and the entire top 25 go 22-20 for the week, as Seth Davis pointed out on SI.com) the chic thing to do is talk about the gigantic bulging central part of the bell curve that symbolizes this college basketball season. It’s nearly impossible to make sense of who’s good and who’s bad on a weekly basis, as a team is liable to have a monumental win one night and then lose to a lesser school a few days later. Let’s use Georgetown as an example. Just over two weeks ago the Hoyas were a mess at 1-4 in the Big East and losers of four of their previous five games. Now, they’ve won five in a row, including recent triumphs at Villanova and at home against Louisville. Georgetown isn’t the only school that enjoys playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Check out this paragraph from Davis’ Monday column

“Texas can lose at USC and then win at Kansas. Tennessee, which should be this movie’s poster child, can win at Villanova and Pitt (at the Consol Energy Center) and lose to College of Charleston and Charlotte. Louisville loses at home to Drexel but beats UConn on the road. Providence loses to LaSalle but beats Louisville and Villanova. Auburn loses to Samford, Campbell and Presbyterian, but it beats Florida State, which later beats Duke. What, you didn’t know Presbyterian was better than Duke? And on Sunday, St. John’s (which lost to Fordham) blew out Duke.” 

Given all this uncertainty, can anyone honestly say with any assurance that there’s a clear-cut elite set of teams? Ohio State might be undefeated, but the Buckeyes have had their fair share of nail biters over ho-hum teams (Michigan, Penn State, and most recently, Northwestern). TWTW would like to put its eggs into Texas’ basket. The Longhorns are this week’s Team du Jour, having torched four ranked teams in the last 13 days, but you wouldn’t be shocked if Texas didn’t have a hiccup or two to an unranked team before the season’s end, would you?

This Tristan Thompson-Nathan Walkup Encounter Accurately Summarizes Texas' Throttling of the Aggies Last Night (B. Sullivan/Dallas Morning News)

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Morning Five: 08.16.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 16th, 2010

  1. Former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a result of his February arrest for possession of painkillers without a prescription.  Sutton recently spent 115 days in a rehab program in Sundance, Utah, and will face no jail time for his three-year probation period so long as he stays clean, pays a $2,850 fine and performs 100 hours of community service.  In an interview prior to the hearing last week, Sutton stated that the down time in the two years since he was forced out at OSU contributed to his addiction: “Idle time is no good for anybody.”   Texas head coach Rick Barnes, for one, doesn’t think Sutton’s coaching days are over.  Of course, his father, 800-game winner Eddie Sutton, has had his own demons with alcohol addiction over the years.  Let’s hope both Suttons have put those days behind them.
  2. Kentucky fans filled a tiny gymnasium in Windsor, Ontario, on Sunday night, as John Calipari’s 2010-11 team played the first of a three-game set in Canada to break in the many new faces wearing Wildcat blue next season.  We mentioned UNC freshman Harrison Barnes blowing up in the Bahamas last week; well, Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight made sure that we remembered his prodigious talents as well.  Knight’s line:  31 pts, 9 rebs, 4 assts with ZERO turnovers in 29 minutes of action.  Let the hero-worship begin.
  3. Connecticut requested and received an additional two weeks to respond to the eight NCAA alleged rules violations meted out by the governing body in May.  The new deadline will be September 3, which means that the compliance folks in Storrs may actually get to enjoy Labor Day weekend.  The Hartford Courant interviewed several experts to give readers a sense as to how the school may respond.   The general consensus is that UConn should show that it takes the charges seriously and can police itself; anything short of that may give the NCAA cause to bring the hammer down.
  4. Ohio State center Zisis Sarikopoulos is reportedly on the verge of signing a professional contract with a team in his native Greece, which could impact Thad Matta’s inside depth next season.  Sarikopoulos was expected to provide spot minutes for returnee Dallas Lauderdale and incoming stud Jared Sullinger, but OSU may be without that option in a matter of days if this is true.
  5. Memphis is heading to the Bahamas this week, but three of their newcomers won’t be making the trip as a result of eligiblity issues with the NCAA.  According to Dan Wolken at the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the trio of Will Barton, Hippolyte Tsafack and Chris Crawford still have to be cleared by the NCAA before they will be allowed to play.  Barton is appealing the NCAA’s denial of his eligibility, while Tsafack and Crawford are still waiting to hear on their initial review.   In an unrelated personal issue, Jelan Kendrick is also not making the trip because he needed to head home to Atlanta.  Not a good way to start the season for Josh Pastner’s crew.
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Chicago Sun-Times Calls Out UK And Anthony Davis (Then Backs Away)

Posted by nvr1983 on August 4th, 2010

It seems like we have an Anthony Davis post almost every other day, but it also seems like the power forward from Chicago has managed to keep himself in the news for the past two weeks. Just one day after Davis announced that he had made his college decision, but was not going to announce it to the world just yet (something that we viewed with a weary eye at the time), the Chicago Sun-Times published a story about the quasi-announcement, but also threw in a rumor about the Davis commitment reportedly being up for sale. While some may consider the current form — which, at the time of this post, includes a few sentences about the possibility that a cash payment may have been involved in the recruitment of Davis — to be both meritless and tactless the major issue comes from the originally posted story (posted as a picture after the jump), which included the following passage:

The rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost over $200,000. Davis Sr. has flat out denied everything.

On one hand, the paper and the author technically (and likely legally, although Kentucky apparently does not agree) did nothing wrong as he only stated what an anonymous source had said, and the journalistic “code of ethics” compels him not to reveal his sources. He also allowed the Davis family to refute the rumor. That same journalistic “code of ethics,” however, also calls on O’Brien to verify wildly inflammatory statements or at least vet the source and accusation. After the LeBron-Markazi incident that lit the blogosphere on fire over the past few weeks, we can’t say for certain what the reason was for the re-edit although it is curious that the Sun-Times did so without even mentioning it (like Kentucky fans will ever let them forget it). Given that the Sun-Times pulled out the previously stated passage and left the rest of the piece intact, it seems reasonable to believe that its editors felt uncomfortable with O’Brien’s defense of that particular part of the accusation. As Michael DeCourcy noted, if the accusation had any merit it would be the headline of a national story, not something that was buried in a local story — even if the local paper is widely read.

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Morning Five: 05.18.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on May 17th, 2010

  1. From the this-cannot-possibly-be-a-good-idea department, Tennessee forward Emmanuel Negedu — you remember, the Vol who had a freakin’ heart attack last fall during a workout — is transferring to New Mexico because the school will let him play basketball again.  That option had been closed off to him by UT, so he was looking for another school willing to give him a chance.  We certainly understand when Negedu says that not playing basketball made him feel “like he was dead,” but he actually was dead for a little while last fall and we certainly hope that the New Mexico doctors who have cleared him earned their medical degrees away from the Caribbean islands.  Sheesh.  If the NCAA approves his medical waiver, he could play as soon as the 2010-11 season.
  2. This is going to be an ongoing theme all summer long, but the Big Ten is holding its annual meeting for coaches and administrators this week in Chicago and expansion is on everyone’s mind even though it’s not officially on the agenda.
  3. There are reports that everyone’s favorite networker, World Wide Wes, has been quietly contacting NBA teams with coaching and salary cap space about the possibility of bringing John Calipari and LeBron James as a package deal next season.  Our take on this is simple: if Calipari gets a realistic opportunity to coach the best player in the world during his prime the next five seasons, he’s going to take it.  The good news for UK fans is that there are many peripheral issues at play here, and the likelihood of such a package deal actually occurring is not all that high.  Gregg Doyel, for what it’s worth, doesn’t believe the hype.
  4. In a lawsuit pitting former Oklahoma State assistant coach Jimmy Williams against current Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith over a hiring dispute, former OSU head man Eddie Sutton was called as a witness yesterday.  Evidently the folksy coach got very angry under cross-examination when questioned about his time at Kentucky in the 1980s, going so far as to ask the judge whether he could ask the lawyer a question, and ultimately apologizing to the court for his behavior.
  5. Former president Bill Clinton gave the commencement address at WVU Sunday, and Da’Sean Butler was one graduate that impressed the former commander-in-chief, stating that he rooted for the Mountaineers in the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament after Georgetown (his alma mater) was out.  Butler tweeted out afterward:  Met with the Real Pimp C today—-Bill Clinton. Cool dude n knows his basketball. It kinda surprised me. Oh yea I 4got I’m graduating!!!!!!
  6. A bonus this morning: the NBA Pre-Draft Camp list of invitees is out for this season, and 53 players will get a chance to improve their stock later this month in Chicago.  Here’s the complete list:

Solomon Alabi, Florida State
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky
Trevor Booker, Clemson
Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Avery Bradley, Texas
Derrick Caracter, Texas El Paso
Sherron Collins, Kansas
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Jordan Crawford, Xavier
Ed Davis, North Carolina
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma
Charles Garcia, Seattle
Paul George, Fresno State
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Manny Harris, Michigan
Gordon Hayward, Butler
Lazard Hayward, Marquette
Xavier Henry, Kansas
Darington Hobson, New Mexico
Damion James, Texas
Armon Johnson, Nevada
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
Dominique Jones, South Florida
Jerome Jordan, Tulsa
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Daniel Orton, Kentucky
Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Dexter Pittman, Texas
Quincy Pondexter, Washington
Andy Rautins, Syracuse
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut
Larry Sanders, Virginia Commonwealth
Jon Scheyer, Duke
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati
Mikhail Torrance, Alabama
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Ekpe Udoh, Baylor
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
John Wall, Kentucky
Willie Warren, Oklahoma
Terrico White, Mississippi
Hassan Whiteside, Marshall
Elliot Williams, Memphis

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