Morning Five: 07.21.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on July 21st, 2011

  1. “My account was hacked!” goes the common cry of players and sometimes even coaches who tweet something they soon end up regretting, right? Well, you wont hear anything like that coming from any of the University of New Mexico’s players. In fact, you won’t hear anything at all in the way of tweets from them, because Steve Alford has mandated a Twitter gag order for everyone on his squad. As of this writing, Facebook is still allowed. So, what do you think? Overprotective, or sound judgment by Coach Alford?
  2. And now, your daily Salinas: most of the talk in this area on Wednesday centered around the NCAA investigation into the matter. As in…does one exist? First, the revered Andy Katz stepped up with an article announcing that the NCAA had no intention of investigating the possibility of what would amount to a player-for-investment money scam (not to mention the simultaneous alleged Ponzi scheme being examined by the Feds). The only problem is that for the rest of the day people came forward with evidence that such an investigation had already begun. Was Katz lied to or did the NCAA change their mind extremely quickly on the matter? Or is this the difference between a formal vs. informal probe?
  3. Louisville will not be getting lei’d in 2012. They’ve pulled out of the Maui Invitational that year and will be replaced by Marquette. But don’t put the floral shirts, sunscreen and swimming trunks away just yet, Cardinal fans. Instead of Maui that year, you’ll have to settle for the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Card Chronicle has a pretty persuasive list of reasons as to why this is a better move for the team, not the least of which is that the Bahamas is emerging as fertile ground for basketball talent.
  4. There was a Sweet 16 ten years ago, but in the last 40 years that’s all that Penn State basketball has had to get happy about as far as NCAA Tournament achievements. We had to stop and consider that before immediately writing off the notion that, as Black Shoe Diaries asserts, the best days ever for Penn State basketball are now underway with the hiring of Pat Chambers. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see if they’re proven correct, but after reading the piece and the comments section we’ll at least give everyone involved full marks for how they’ve used Chambers’ arrival as an opportunity to renew their emotional investment.
  5. Andy Staples sure knows how to get your attention. Sports Illustrated is doing a series called “The Best Team I Ever Covered” in which it asks each of its writers over several sports about…well, you get it. For his submission, Staples chose the 2005-06 Florida Gators and included the words “Miss Sweden” in the title. We didn’t consider ourselves suckered, however, since his story was a nice insight into his coverage of that squad and the odd yet enjoyable journey it must have been. For the few of you who weren’t aware, Joakim Noah’s mother was a Miss Sweden. Yes, that Joakim Noah.
Share this story

Mbakwe’s Mea Culpa: Lauding Minnesota’s Decision

Posted by rtmsf on January 12th, 2011

In an environment where everyone is quicker than a hiccup to play the role of judge, jury and executioner, consider the case of Trevor Mbakwe at Minnesota.  The talented big man and Gophers’ best player was arrested and jailed Monday night for violating a restraining order placed on him by a woman in neighboring St. Paul after he posted a comment on her Facebook page.  The restraining order, placed upon him in 2009, allows no contact whatsoever between Mbakwe and the woman, even through the relatively safe distance of the internet.  Yesterday Minnesota officials released the blurb that Mbakwe wrote:

Mbakwe's Recent Arrest Deserves Context

I know we haven’t talked in forever and trust me I’m not trying to start any drama with nobody in your life or anything. I just wanted to wish u the best with everything and I hope all has been well with you and your family. I am still disappointed how everything played out and I do wish that in the future we could be cool again. Idk how u r going to take this msg hopefully its not bad but I just wanted to wish u a happy new year and send out a congrats for graduating. I’ve been well I’m finally playin bball again in everything down in miami finally got taken care of thank god. Well idk if u will respond or not but best wishes for 2011.

Within an hour after publishing these comments, Mbakwe had the police at his door.  Now, we’re not about to sit here and tell you that the restraining order placed on Mbakwe is meritless or otherwise diminish its seriousness.  Restraining orders are only placed on people through court order, and for a court to make such a decree, there has to be solid evidence that the restrainee has crossed or shows a willingness to cross a common line of civility.  And for the woman involved, she without question would not have gone to such lengths unless she truly felt threatened in some manner by Mbakwe’s demeanor and prior actions.  So in terms of his arrest, we have no problem with it.  The police cannot choose if or when to enforce restraining orders; they have to do what the court tells them to do.  Mbakwe gets no sympathy on this point either — he certainly knew that he was not supposed to contact the woman, and still he chose to ignore that restriction.  Actions beget consequences; Mbakwe begat his. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Morning Five: 11.24.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2010

  1. Did you hear that there was an earthquake at the Maui Invitational last night?  RTC Live was there covering the Kentucky-Washington game and thought something was a little off when the desk in front of the correspondent and the basket supports from the ceiling began shaking back and forth.  Read this at the 6:36 mark.  The amazing thing is that the game and that moment in particular (when UW’s Venoy Overton elbowed a Kentucky player and received a technical foul) were so intense that few fans and actual participants even noticed the 4.6 temblor.  As John Calipari responded when asked about it: “there was an earthquake?”  Thankfully there was no damage to life or property anywhere, and it won’t go down as another Atlanta/SEC Tournament or thankfully an 1989 World Series pre-game, but it was a bizarre moment nevertheless.
  2. This isn’t D1, but we feel obliged to talk about it for a moment.  A D3 game between Skidmore and Southern Vermont on Tuesday night went a division-record seven overtimes before Skidmore finally pulled it out, 128-123.  The game that ended in regulation tied at 59-all matched the D1 and D2 marks with the seven extra periods, with a 1981 contest between Cincinnati and Bradley acting as the longest such game at that level.  In an unbelievable exhibition of stamina, USV’s Lance Spratling played in all 75 minutes of the game, which means that henceforth whenever someone does something that requires a will beyond the normal call of duty, we shall say that person Spratlinged the mess out of it.  Interestingly, only 142 folks showed up to watch this game, 24 fewer than the new record number of rebounds for any level of NCAA basketball (166).
  3. While we’re on the subject of records, Kansas last night expectedly broke its record of 62 consecutive home victories at Allen Fieldhouse with a convincing 82-41 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  The Jayhawks haven’t lost at home since February 2007, but they’ll likely have to go another four years to approach the all-time D1 record of 129 in a row, set by Kentucky back in the 1940s and 50s.
  4. More records last night.  Coach K as you know (and discussed further here) got his 800th career victory at Duke last night against Kansas State, but Texas coach Rick Barnes also hit a milestone with the 500th victory of his career in a win against Sam Houston State.  He has a long way to go to catch the likes of Calhoun, K, Knight, Boeheim, etc., but given that he’s only 56 years old and he’s easily averaging 25 wins per year, Barnes could eventually work himself into that echelon of elites before he decides to retire.
  5. Sigh… We’ll just let this one speak for itself.  This is a screenshot of Bruce Pearl’s wife’s (Brandy) Facebook page.  And we wonder why people are so self-absorbed and completely devoid of empathy?  Well, here’s Exhibit #127 in the prosecution’s case, Your Honor.

Share this story