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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Tennessee’s Negedu Out For 2009-10 Season, Possibly Career

Posted by rtmsf on October 7th, 2009

Tennessee’s Emmanuel Negedu underwent surgery today to have a cardiac defibrillator placed inside his chest to monitor his heart and track any irregularities in its beat.  This means he is assuredly out of the lineup for the 2009-10 season, and in all likelihood, his basketball career has ended.


But he has his life.  And for what must have seemed like an eternity to people at the scene last Monday, he didn’t have that.  After a weightlifting session, Negedu challenged UT guard Bobby Maze to a sprint on the indoor football field at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on campus.  After he won the race, he suddenly fell over when his heart inexplicably stopped beating.  Teammate Scotty Hopson sprinted back to the training room, found trainer Chad Newman, who, along with director of sports medicine Jason McVeigh, shocked Negedu’s heart back to life.

He spent the last week undergoing tests both in Knoxville and the Cleveland Clinic, and the apparent schedule of treatment included today’s surgery.  After Negedu gets used to the idea that the procedure will help him remain alive, we’re sure that he’ll learn to appreciate this choice even though it may mean his basketball life as a player is over.  He wasn’t a major contributor to the UT team last season, but he showed a good amount of promise, and not having roundball in his life will undoubtedly be difficult for him.  Negedu  has had an eight-day period unlike that many 20-year olds will ever face, so we hope that his family and support network will be there for him when he’s trying to figure out what to do with a significant amount of additional free time on his hands.  The good news is that Tennessee will allow him to remain on scholarship to finish his degree, and we commend the university for that.  If he’s interested in remaining in basketball in some capacity, we’d love to see him near the UT bench as a student assistant of some sort.

Sidenote: what’s with UT and the serious health issues lately?  Two seasons ago, all-american Chris Lofton was playing with cancer and now Negedu has a heart attack at age 20?  ACLs and other minor sports-related injuries (i.e., Melvin Goins, today) make sense, but these are serious issues.

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Injury Bug Impacts Notre Dame

Posted by rtmsf on October 2nd, 2009

Every year around the few weeks prior to formal practice you start to see these types of reports of players getting injured during workouts.  You hate to see it, but at least in most of these situations, the player knows that the year is lost and can start thinking about a full year of recovery rather than trying to rush it.  Case in point:

Notre Dame Loses Scott Martin

Bad news out of South Bend today – Scott Martin, a 6-8, 219 lb. junior guard who was expected to start for the Irish in 2009-10, will miss the entire season due to a torn ACL in his left knee.  Before transferring to Notre Dame, Martin averaged 8.5 points in his freshman year at Purdue, where he played 21.9 minutes per game.  Those numbers would have been helpful for Mike Brey’s team this year, as Martin seems to be in the same build as Ryan Ayers, a 6-7, 210 lb. guard who scored 11.1 ppg in 2008-09, his senior season.  The injury occurred during preseason workouts yesterday, and an MRI earlier today confirmed the ACL tear.

It remains to be seen who will fill in now that Martin’s Fighting Irish debut will be delayed another year. Besides Luke Harangody, no one on the team grabbed five rebounds a game last year, and now Brey will be forced to fill in with a smaller player (6-3 Ben Hansbrough, also in his first year after a transfer from Mississippi St.) or someone with little to no experience. While none of the incoming freshmen at Notre Dame garnered more than three stars from and, they may see the floor more than expected. The Irish were already entering the season with questions as to how they would replace Kyle McAlarney, who was second on the team in scoring (15.0 ppg) and first in offensive efficiency. Undoubtedly, Mike Brey expected Scott Martin to help answer some of those questions.

 purdue scott martin

Emmanuel Negedu Medical Update

In Wednesday’s Fast Breaks, we reported that Tennessee sophomore forward Emmanuel Negedu was being held by UT doctors for testing after he collapsed while lifting weights and the team trainers had to revive him before taking him to the hospital. While Negedu’s collapse has yet to be diagnosed, the good news is that he’s been released from the UT Medical Center now.  Before his basketball future can be decided, Negedu will be seeing specialists at the Cleveland (OH) Clinic for more tests.  Thankfully, UT trainers Chad Newman and Jason McVeigh were on hand last week when Negedu’s collapse occurred, and we wish him all the best with his health (basketball can wait).
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09.30.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 30th, 2009

You know what tomorrow is, right?  Yeah, October.  Us too. 

  • Scare at Tennessee.   A very frightening story out of Knoxville earlier this week was that Vol sophomore forward Emmanuel Negedu collapsed while lifting weights on Monday and reportedly had to be revived by UT medical staff prior to his transport to the hospital.  He’s spent the last two nights there under watch, and doctors continue to perform tests on him to make sure that he’s not suffering from something deadly.  We all know the stories over the years, from Len Bias to Hank Gathers to Reggie Lewis, and these are always scary incidents.  RTC wishes Negedu the best of luck and wishes for a full recovery. 
  • Cleaning up at Binghamton...  Two ugly incidents put an early stain on the 2009-10 season, as we discussed in separate posts when they happened last week.  Both were stories capable of sending shock waves through college basketball this week, though, as Binghamton yesterday fired an adjunct lecturer who claimed in a NYT article last February that basketball players were receiving preferential treatment in the classroom (grade changing, independent study, and the like).  The Binghamton program is now in shambles on the court, but we continue to be shocked and amazed that Kevin Broadus, the recruiter of all the problem children who ended up dismissed (and arrested), is skating on this one.  Seriously, think about this – Binghamton cans the whistleblowing prof but not the coach who orchestrated the entire mess?  How is this possible?  Isn’t the SUNY chancellor now the same woman who stood on the library steps and shouted “no more” to the Cincinnati faithful when she 86ed Bob Huggins four years ago?  And yet she’s curiously silent (along with BU’s president, Lois B. DeFleur, for the most part).  Something’s not right here, and we figure there’s more to come.  If there is, we can rest assured the NYT’s Pete Thamel will figure it out.     EDITED TO ADD: Yep, the AD is gone, can Broadus be far behind?
  • …and Kansas.   Perhaps the uglier incident last week was the three fights between members of the KU basketball and football teams.  Much was written about how embarrassing this was to the university, the athletic department, the coaches and players involved, and Thursday’s public, formal apologies did little to defuse the PR hit that Bill Self’s program took last week.  The word is that players were fighting over (what else?) girls and rep, but KU football players shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that just because they’ve had a nice run in that program the last few years that Kansas will ever be anything but a basketball school.  The question now is what will Bill Self do to punish the guilty parties?  We already know that Tyshawn Taylor was involved due to his dislocated finger that’ll hold him out of workouts for around a month.  We also know that one of the Morris twins pushed a football player down the stairs, a very dangerous act of battery (this would be Markieff’s second, btw) that was mitigated by another player catching the falling player as he made his way downward.   News outlets all report that there were some other hoops players involved as well.  We think that, for the sake of his program, Bill Self has to take a very serious stand on this one.  You simply cannot have the players on a preseason #1 team running around campus fighting indiscriminately with players from the football team.  Not only can your own players get hurt, but with so many big bodies involved, run-of-the-mill students can also get hurt.  Luckily, that didn’t happen here, but Self needs to show that he’s totally in charge of his program.  Anything less than a several-game suspension for all of the players involved would reveal that early-season Ws are more important to him than discipline.  If it were us, we’d sit the Morris who threw the player down the stairs for ten games and the others for five each.  No questions asked.  If Kansas loses an early game or two versus Memphis and/or UCLA because of it, well, too bad.  The good will that Self engenders as a no-nonsense coach will provide far greater benefits over time in terms of recruiting and public reputation than it will by letting these players off easy.    
  • Non-BCS Schools Receive Harsher Penalties Than BCS Schools – No Way!!  This jewel made it into our inbox last week from the Orlando Sentinel.  The Michael Buckner Law Firm performed an analysis that showed that the average years of probation meted out to non-BCS programs was longer than those handed out to BCS programs over a 4+ year period in the late 2000s.  The average amount of probation time for a non-BCS program was 2.74 years versus 2.58 years for BCS programs.  There’s no accounting for whether the difference is simple error or actual bias, but what is more damning from this study is the finding that the HBCU schools (historically black colleges and universities) were given 3.83 years of probation versus the aforementioned 2.58 for BCS schools.  That seems a little ridiculous to us.  Of course, the NCAA predictably dismissed the study on statistical grounds, and we understand their complaint.  So here’s our suggestion to the NCAA: hire an independent researcher to examine your enforcement policies and practices for consistency and bias, and get back to us.  Something tells us we’ll be waiting on that for quite some time.
  • Quick HitsBlue Ribbontop 25 and all-americansJames Ischgood luck, sir.   Billy Clyde: offered a plea bargain in Ky.  Gary Williams: one-year extensionNolan Richardson: the descent continuesMVC Nonconf Schedulestremendous analysis.   Gonzaga:  are they reloading or rebuilding in Spokane?  Luke Winn: charting peaks and valleys of the offseason.  Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger: get to know themCvC: pushing for healthcare reform on Capitol Hill.  Goodman: top 20 backcourts and top 20 frontcourts AND his Big 12 previewTyler Smith: who will be the first person he follows on TwitterJim Crews: fired at Army after 7 years.  Herb Sendek: busily not gloating in TempeDemetrius Jemison: Bama forward out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.   Shocker: Derrick Rose says he took his own SATA Decade Ago: Harold “The Show” ArceneauxRay McCallum, Sr.: walking the fine line between parent and recruiter

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05.22.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 22nd, 2008

An abbreviated version of Fast Breaks today. . .

  • If you thought nepotism was dead, think again. Mike Krzyzewski promoted his son-in-law to director of basketball operations. Nothing keeps your in-laws on leash like having the power to fire them.
  • As we mentioned almost two months ago, Arizona is going through some tough times with the transition from interim coach Kevin O’Neill back to living legend Lute Olson. However, it looks like things are more of a mess there than we previously thought. Lute has his work cut out for him and he might want to try to erase any record of his previous prediction that the Wildcats would contend for the 2009 national title, which was before Jerryd Bayless left and Chase Buddinger left and Kevin O’Neill left and Emmanuel Negedu backed out of his national letter of intent and Brandon Jennings failed to qualify academically and Nic Wise brought up the possibility of transferring. . .
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