Morning Five: 06.14.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 14th, 2010

  1. Tom Izzo update — shockingly, the Michigan State coach is still considering the Cleveland Cavaliers job, but a report that surfaced late Sunday night stated that LeBron James would be behind the Izzo hiring.  What’s less clear is whether that means James would support the hire as a member of the Cavs or as a member of some other team, a key distinction surely not lost on Izzo in trying to make his decision.  Honestly, the only way that this move makes sense for Izzo is if he can rest assured that he’ll have the opportunity to coach LeBron; otherwise, he’ll be in much the same position that his collegiate forebears such as Pitino, Calipari and Floyd found at the next level — in possession of a swollen bank account but an emaciated roster.
  2. You typically don’t see this happen often, but Ralph Willard did it last year when he left Holy Cross to become an assistant at Louisville and now Indiana State head coach Kevin McKenna is leaving his post to become an assistant under Dana Altman at Oregon.  McKenna was only 43-52 in his three seasons at ISU but he did get the Sycamores to the CBI last year, so you wonder what might have been the underlying reason for this move.
  3. Was the Pac-10 taking another look at Kansas in light of rumors that Texas A&M is more interested in moving to the SEC (leaving the rest of the Big 12 South to the west coast)?  Pac-10 Commish Larry Scott was scheduled to stop over in Kansas City on Sunday night, but apparently the plane never showed up.  Does this mean that A&M is back on board with the move west?  And what of Missouri, who was so gung-ho about joining the Big Ten a month ago, but who is now scrambling around to try to save itself and the rest of the Big 12 (good luck with that).  Sensing an opportunity to improve its profile, the Mountain West is already looking at both schools as possible expansion candidates.
  4. D-day for the Big 12 will be Tuesday, as the regents for the University of Texas will meet to decide what, if anything, to do about the reported offers to join the Pac-10 or the SEC versus staying put.  If the Horns decide to move, the Big 12 will probably be kaput as a major conference, a doomsday situation that had its commissioner spending the weekend trying to convince UT brass that a 10-team conference could still remain viable and that the school would be free to pursue its own television deal (presumably something the new Pac-16 would not allow).  Stay tuned — much more will undoubtedly happen this week.
  5. FedEx CEO Fred Smith has his own ideas about conference realignment — if any BCS league agrees to take his beloved Memphis Tigers into its fold, that league could earn up to $10M yearly for the invitation.  The most likely beneficiary?  The Big East, especially if the Big Ten as expected raids some of the conference’s football-playing schools.
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