ACC M5: 10.22.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 22nd, 2012

  1. Tallahassee Democrat: Veterans Ian Miller and Michael Snaer are really excited about the freshmen joining the team this season. Snaer specifically lauded Aaron Thomas, Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon as potential stars on this year’s team. Thomas has Snaer’s “can’t stop me” attitude which should make him an elite scorer, but Bookert may hold the key for Florida State making the next step with his ball-handling skills. The biggest issue with the last few Seminole teams has been offense, and most of the team’s offensive woes come from turning the ball over too frequently. If Bookert can run the offense and reduce the team’s turnover rate, look out.
  2. Associated Press (via Winston-Salem Journal): Apparently Reggie Johnson‘s dieting has started to work. The Miami big man started the season two years ago at a whopping 330 pounds and reportedly is now down to 290. He’s still got a ways to go, but believes his diet is helping. If he can play superstar minutes and can run the floor better, Johnson will make a run at becoming the ACC’s best big man. He’s already probably the league’s most polished returning half-court post player, but his weight keeps him from being elite. That said, take Johnson’s words with a grain of salt. It’s a little weird he pointed to his weight two years ago instead of last year (albeit when he was rehabbing a knee injury).
  3. Greensboro News-Record: David Morrison went to Duke’s Operation Basketball and got some interesting notes. First, Coach K is looking for major increases in offensive production from Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry this year. Krzyzewski wants this team’s offense to be less balanced, though Rasheed Sulaimon will definitely be an offensive factor if he lives up to his hype. Morrison also talked with Plumlee about Krzyzewski’s reaction to the Blue Devils’ less-that-stellar finish last season.
  4. Blogger So Dear: Most schools taking international trips already finished them, but Jeff Bzdelik and his young Demon Deacon team headed to Canada and won two exhibition games against Brock University and Ryerson University, 84-79 and 88-80, respectively. CJ Harris and Tyler Cavanaugh led the way for Wake Forest against Brock, scoring 16 points apiece in the win (Harris also added five assists and Cavanaugh grabbed nine rebounds). Saturday Travis McKie starred, finishing with 26 points. Freshmen Cody Miller-McIntyre and Cavanaugh also scored in double figures.
  5. CBSSports.com: Snaer isn’t the only one talking some trash this offseason. Dexter Strickland isn’t too worried about NC State being picked first in the ACC.

    “They talk those guys up every single year and we beat them every single year […] They are the least of our worries. Beat us one year and then they can talk smack. Until then, you can’t put them in the mix.”

    He also felt pretty strongly about the NCAA Tournament outcome if North Carolina hadn’t been hampered by injuries.

    “I’ll be honest. If nobody got hurt, you might as well have given us the trophy. Nobody had the ability to stop us.”

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Xavier Rathan-Mayes Commits to Florida State

Posted by KCarpenter on October 14th, 2012

Xavier Rathan-Mayes will be heading to Tallahassee next year, following in the footsteps of his father Tharon Mayes, a standout scorer for the Florida State Seminoles in the late 80’s. Rathan-Mayes is an ultra-skilled 6’3″ combo-guard (though, you should probably read that as “undersized shooting guard”) who is a genuine talent and a serious get (one of ESPN’s top 25 recruits) for Leonard Hamilton. Considering how much Hamilton gets out of his players, the rest of the conference should be concerned about what the sharp-shooting guard can add to Florida State’s attack.

Might Leonard Hamilton Be Looking at a Package Deal?

Of course, there is a juicy subplot to this: Rathan-Mayes plays basketball at Huntington Prep, where he has a younger teammate and friend named Andrew Wiggins. You may know Wiggins as the easy consensus top recruit of the 2014 class (and as a young man mulling reclassification to the 2013 class). Like Rathan-Mayes, Wiggins’ father also played at Florida State, and the families are close.  Of course, ESPN has the intriguing quote:

“It’s crazy,” Rathan-Mayes said in an interview last summer. “(Our fathers) playing together and they played on the 76ers together, as well. Me and Wiggins growing up together and playing on the same AAU team, now on the same high school and maybe going to college together — that’s pretty special. We lived about 15 minutes from each other (in Canada), but our dads were always together. We hung out all the time and played ball at the rec center.”

Now, surely Wiggins has lots of other considerations about how he will decide where to play his college ball, but this connection may mean that Florida State is one step closer to pulling off one of the more incredible recruitment victories of the era.

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ACC Weekly Five: 08.27.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on August 27th, 2012

  1. ESPN: Michael Snaer has major swagger. He’s coming off his best year yet and spent the summer dominating Lebron James’ and Kevin Durant’s respective camps. Here is a sampling of quotes that should make you not count Florida State out when predicting the ACC standings this year:
    • “If I’m not the best, I’m one of the best. I can’t be guarded.”
    • “I just straight destroyed people.”
    • “Anybody wants to prove me otherwise, come get it. […] That’s how I feel.”

    Those quotes may show something negative, but they sound a lot like a promise that another ultra-competitive combo-guard brought to fruition a few years ago.

  2. Raleigh News & Observer: Rodney Purvis still isn’t cleared to play, despite the NCAA last week approving him to take classes. Because of one of the NCAA’s many odd rules, Purvis wasn’t eligible to start classes at NC State the week prior because of an unrelated eligibility question. Purvis’ high school, the Upper Room Christian Academy, is being checked out. Purvis was part of the school’s first graduating class, which prompted the NCAA to vet his academics a little more closely. Purvis didn’t travel with the Wolfpack to Spain earlier this summer, though his eligibility should be decided in time for the regular season.
  3. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Great news out of Atlanta, as Bobby Cremins is back at Georgia Tech after retiring from College of Charleston for health reasons at the end of last season. The longtime Yellow Jackets’ coach (and floor namesake) will be working with Brian Gregory and the athletic department to bring back as many of his former players as he can find for the season opener on November 9. So far the committee has contacted over 200 players and hopes to get in touch with nearly 500. It’s good to see Cremins back in the fold at Georgia Tech with his jokes and contagious grin.
  4. USA Today: Mark Turgeon is hoping to replace Terrell Stoglin “by committee” this year, and he’ll have to. The mercurial Maryland guard made up almost all of the Terrapins’ offense last season, and there’s no one on this year’s team with that sort of playmaking ability. Turgeon pointed out last year injuries made it where Stoglin had to do everything.
  5. Keeping It Heel: Reggie Bullock has been putting in work this summer and brought home the North Carolina ProAm MVP and Championship for his effort. Bullock’s summer play concluded with a 31-point game in the finals to seal his accolades. Bullock’s performance makes it seem like he’ll be relied on a lot by Roy Williams to replace much of the offense that left Chapel Hill for the NBA.
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Morning Five: 05.24.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 24th, 2012

  1. You may have heard that a group (Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics) issued a statement criticizing John Calipari for his recent actions and statement regarding Kentucky‘s scheduling. The group, which is composed of 59 faculty members from FBS schools, says that Kentucky’s desire to play neutral site games is “the type of warning sign we would expect to see on the path toward a full professional model.” Most writers who have already written about this statement have, in our opinion, correctly ripped the COIA for their self-righteous tone, which is mildly amusing with all of the other bad things going on in college athletics and they decide to focus on this. One thing that we are still having trouble understanding is why those same writers continue to rip Calipari for his decision to essentially put the Kentucky-Indiana series on hold because of his desire for neutral site games. Numerous writers have penned columns saying that Calipari should submit to Indiana’s wishes in order to continue the series to do what is right for college basketball. Calipari’s job isn’t to make college basketball overall better it is do what is best for his players and his program. If he decides to do something that is not “in the best interest” of college basketball and it does not break any rules, we could care less about how he schedules and think that any criticisms of him for doing so come off as self-righteous.
  2. If you thought that the conference realignment rumor mill could not get any more ridiculous yesterday may have raised the bar as reports surfaced that Florida State, Clemson, and Miami were exploring a move to the Big 12. Those reports were based on a statement made by TCU‘s athletic director, but were subsequently squelched by the same person who said that he was only making a statement that the rumor mill indicated those schools were interested in moving. Outside of FSU, we had not heard of any potential moves so basically he was the driving force of the majority of that rumor. Of course, with all of the strange moves we have seen during the last few years nothing would surprise us at this point.
  3. The report that Reeves Nelson was suing Sports Illustrated for its  story earlier this year about UCLA did not really come as much of a surprise to us given what was reported about him and how litigious our society has become. The story, which was written to show how chaotic the UCLA program had become, featured several stories about Nelson including one where he urinated on a teammate’s bed. The lawsuit states that the reported events were not adequately investigated and is asking for $10 million in damages. We doubt that Nelson will get that much, but Tyler Honeycutt the supposed victim of the aforementioned incident claims that it never happened so the case may be a little more interesting than it appears at first glance.
  4. Ohio State plans to give 500 of its student-athletes iPads this coming school year as part of a new digital initiative the school is undertaking with a plan to give all 1,110 athletes the devices within the next two years. The iPads will be pre-loaded with materials already given to the student athletes and will have Wi-Fi capability. We applaud the effort to try to give the student-athletes something educational in addition to their scholarships, which we assume many of these individuals are already getting, but we know that this will become the subject of quite a few jokes for rival schools given the tendency of some old Buckeyes for trading in things for tattoos.
  5. Many Kansas State fans are probably interested to see what Bruce Weber can do to replace Frank Martin. There may be some question about Weber’s ability to coach, but there should not be any question of his ability to lure in assistant coaches after the stunt that one of his new assistant coaches pulled this past week. Newly hired assistant Chester Frazier, whom you may remember from his days at Illinois playing under Weber and getting a little too physical with Eric Gordon, was playing for a German professional basketball team until he got a call from Weber inviting him to join the Kansas State staff, which Frazier jumped at. And we literally mean jumped at as he abandoned the team he was playing for in the middle of their league playoffs. While we are sure that some Kansas State fans appreciate the dedication we imagine that he will have a tough time selling his future players on sticking with the team after he has done something like this.
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Florida State, Conference Realignment, and the ACC…

Posted by mpatton on May 15th, 2012

Florida State president Eric Barron released a statement Monday with his response to conference realignment rumors — specifically focused on Florida State Board of Trustees chair Andy Haggard‘s comments from last week. To summarize, Haggard wants out of the ACC. He pointed out that the conference’s attachment to Tobacco Road and basketball in general represents a fundamental chasm between the Seminoles and their current conference. He also pointed to the ACC’s new television deal, which reportedly will eventually pay the schools an extra $4 million dollars per school but still lags behind the Pac-12, Big 12, the Big Ten and SEC. Haggard also erroneously pointed to the ACC’s treatment of third-tier television rights as proof of the league’s anti-football bias (he claimed schools got to keep unused basketball games and not football games, but the schools actually do not have rights to either).

Florida State Eric Barron Wants to Stay in the ACC. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

Barron’s statement sided with the ACC, citing increased travel costs, lower ticket sales and the high exit fee as financial reasons to avoid a deal with the Big 12. He also highlighted Texas’s influence on the conference, losing the rivalry with Miami, and academics. Barron’s statement also falsely suggested that the Big 12 will not share revenue equally: Unlike the old Big 12 deal, the new deal will include equal revenue sharing except for third-tier rights which belong to the schools (which unlike the ACC includes unused basketball and football games). Barron also failed to acknowledge that Florida State joining the Big 12 would improve the conference’s television deal, so the current $3 million dollar difference would likely increase. Additionally, the Big 12 may share travel costs but I couldn’t confirm that one way or another. For the Florida State fan perspective, Tomahawk Nation is the best source for conference realignment (and really everything else). Bud Elliott wasn’t impressed with Barron’s statement. It’s clear that a majority of Florida State fans are at least interested in what the Big 12 has to offer. On the other side of the argument, Chadd Scott makes strong arguments for the Seminoles staying in the ACC and on the specifics of each deal.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Morning Five: 05.15.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 15th, 2012

  1. Next year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be highlighted by three big matchups: North Carolina at Indiana, North Carolina State at Michigan, and Ohio State at Duke. There will also be three other games featuring solid teams: Minnesota at Florida State, Virginia at Wisconsin, and Michigan State at Miami. Given how down the ACC should be next year it is a pretty solid set of top-level games. The other games? They will be borderline unwatchable. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your opinion of tacky t-shirts), Tyler Zeller will not be playing, which means we will be spared countless shots of the Zeller family wearing those atrocious shirts with half of one logo on one side and half of another logo on the other side. Now they can just show their support for Cody Zeller instead of tormenting us with commentators talking about their split loyalties. Actually the commentators will probably still do that.
  2. With all the talk of power moves and money being the driving force behind conference realignment it is somewhat amusing that the biggest winner of the chaos (at least for basketball) may end up being the Atlantic 10. Yesterday, reports surfaced that Virginia Commonwealth intended to move to the Atlantic 10 joining Butler as new members of the conference that lost Temple and Charlotte. This apparently was news to the CAA as the commissioner of the conference said that VCU has not made the CAA aware of its intention to do leave for the Atlantic 10. If the move does go through it will be interesting to see how the Atlantic 10 adapts to the loss of two major media markets while gaining two of the premier basketball programs in the country (mid-major or otherwise). Meanwhile, Old Dominion announced that it would explore a potential conference membership change although it did not indicate that it had an open offers to change conferences. Theoretically, VCU moving to the Atlantic 10 would close the door to a spot for Old Dominion, but with all the movement we have been seeing surely there will be an opening somewhere in the not too distant future.
  3. We recently linked to a piece by Andy Glockner looking at the coaching carousel from a big picture view. Now we have his CBS counterparts–Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish–analyzing each move on a team-by-team basis. One thing that we found amusing was that two writers (particularly Parrish) who have had no qualms ripping others including their colleagues (Poll Attacks, anyone?) were effusive in their praise of almost all of the new hires. The two exceptions: Trent Johnson to TCU, which was described as “a strange hire”, and possibly Ray Harper to Western Kentucky. Other than that it is basically all “good”, “great”, or some variation on that.
  4. Like many people making a major decision, Florida State president Eric Barton uses a pro/con list to guide his decision-making. Unlike most people Barton isn’t trying to decide on something like what kind of car to buy. Instead, Barton’s pro/con list is about whether the school should stay in the ACC or move to another conference like the Big 12. As you can see the con list is literally quite a bit longer than the pro list, but the school may have 2.9 million more reasons per year to add to the pro list. If the school does make the move, which we still have a hard time seeing, it would create a fairly significant change in the ACC and likely start another wave of conference realignment moves.
  5. After a brief hiatus since his last post (nearly two weeks) Luke Winn is back taking a look at three-point defense. Building on the work of Ken Pomeroy that we linked to in February, Winn examines the efficacy of teams that limit the number of three-point attempts and those that essentially invite their opponents to take shots from beyond the arc. For those of you who tend to get overwhelmed by advanced metrics it is a fairly intuitive piece that analyzes teams looking at the percentage of shots their opponents take that are short two-point attempts, long two-point attempts, and three-point attempts. While many successful teams take vastly different approaches to come to a successful result on defense, the degree to which they do so can be staggering. Having said that although we usually agree with Winn’s work we do have some qualms with his assertion that teams are essentially playing the lottery by allowing opponents to take three-point attempts increasing the likelihood of an upset. The anecdotal evidence can be spun to be compelling, but there are enough stories of good teams getting hot from three against better teams and still not winning (like Wisconsin against Syracuse this year) that we are not quite willing to accept the theory even if we agree with it on a theoretical level.
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ACC Morning Five: 04.06.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on April 6th, 2012

  1. Duke Basketball Report: The other day I pointed out the tunnel vision for Charles Bloom‘s national championship stat. Barry Jacobs took it several steps further, charting national titles since 1990 and 1980. Duke and North Carolina own more championships than any other conference since either date (seven since 1990 and eight since 1980). Even more impressive, the pair own more Final Four appearances than any other conference since 1990 (each school has as many semifinal showings as the Pac-12 over that span).
  2. NBCSports.com: Boston College’s second leading scorer Matt Humphrey is hitting the road for the second time, transferring away from the Eagles after just one year, as Humphrey had already transferred from Oregon. Because Humphrey is graduating from Boston College, so he’ll be able to play immediately wherever he ends up. Despite his inefficiency, Humphrey did average more than 10 points per game on this year’s team. Look for Patrick Heckmann to pick up the slack once he fully recovers from mononucleosis.
  3. Wilmington Star-News: James Michael McAdoo decided to come back to North Carolina for his sophomore year despite many projecting he’d go in the lottery of this year’s NBA Draft. His decision was well-received by the Tar Heel faithful, as it closed the “on-paper” gap between them and NC State. However, with stories like Harrison Barnes’, Jared Sullinger’s and Jeremy Lamb’s, it’s tough not to wonder if McAdoo is making the right financial decision for his future.
  4. Gobbler Country: Here are individual report cards for all of the players on Virginia Tech’s roster. My one issue is that Cadarian Raines only got a B. Sure Raines wasn’t exactly a world-beater the whole season, but he looked terrific down the stretch. He’s strong, appears fine on the court for extended stretches, and knows how to get deep position (which is virtually unstoppable). I’m not sure how anyone could have expected more. It will be interesting to see if the Hokies try to feed him more down low next year. I expect them to make a pretty big leap forward with nearly all of their key pieces coming back (minus Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila). Dorian Finney-Smith and CJ Barksdale should be very good players to compliment Erick Green.
  5. Seminoles.com: In an award selection less surprising than Anthony Davis winning player of the year, Bernard James won the USBWA’s Most Courageous award. I don’t need to tell you James’ story, which was even more in the spotlight with Florida State’s success. The other recipient this year was Tennessee women’s head basketball coach Pat Summit.
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ACC Morning Five: 04.03.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on April 3rd, 2012

  1. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Speaking of tall lanky game-changers in college basketball, Ralph Sampson finally was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame. You can blame the delay on his injury-laden NBA career and a combination of Sidney Lowe, Michael Jordan, and Sam Perkins (who kept him from ACC Championships in 1983, 1982 and 1981 respectively). Sampson was truly a once-in-a-generation player. At 7’4″ and athletic, he was comfortable smoking opponents from inside and out. He’s also one of two players to be chosen the consensus national player of the year three times (Bill Walton is the other).
  2. Yadkin Valley Sports: This is a great article on Victor Davila, who watched his senior season evaporate from the bench with a groin injury. Davila is a product of Puerto Rico by means of the foothills of North Carolina. Here’s to hoping he finds some basketball success overseas before having to get a real job.
  3. Durham Herald-Sun: Steve Wiseman checks in with questions facing Duke in the offseason. I will try to answer them. Will Mason Plumlee return? No idea. Will Rasheed Sulaimon make an impact as a freshman? Yes. He’s a great shooter and looks like a solid defender (albeit in the McDonald’s All-American game). Will Duke pick up any transfers? I think Alex Oriakhi comes if Plumlee leaves; Trey Zeigler seems more likely. Strengths? Definitely scoring, though the defense should get better with the addition of Alex Murphy. Speaking of Murphy I think he will start next year, and Marshall Plumlee will get decent minutes off the bench (to commit fouls if nothing else).
  4. Fox Sports: Here’s Andrew Jones with Florida State‘s final report card for the season. I think he’s a little harsh on the Seminoles’ offense, though their nonconference play certainly merits a harsh rating. The real question is what Leonard Hamilton can put together losing so many players. The team was so deep last year that he’ll still have plenty of players coming back with experience, but things will look very different in Tallahassee next year (Michael Snaer is the difference to me).
  5. NC State Technician: While part of me agrees that CJ Leslie should stick around for another year (namely, he’s not a first round lock), I abhor these types of articles. Players know fans want them to come back. I think the jump Leslie made between last year and this year was the difference between a flame out career and sticking around in the NBA. He matured a ton between last year and this year. If Leslie comes back, he’s definitely preseason first team All-ACC and should be in the running for conference player of the year (on a team that might be picked on top of the league).

Today in Carefully-Framed Stats:

(That would be ignoring the ACC’s three consecutive championships from 1991-1993.)

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ACC Morning Five: 03.29.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 29th, 2012

  1. Tar Heel Blog: Good news and bad news for North Carolina fans. The good news is James Michael McAdoo‘s father said “our intentions and his intention is to be at Carolina next year.” The not-as-good news is that his postseason performance has him showing up in DraftExpress’ top 20 prospects, so he’ll be sitting down with his family to discuss his options. I think if he comes back, McAdoo is an all-ACC talent and will go in the top 10 of next year’s draft. But that’s a lot of money to leave on the table. Oh, and this post has a picture of Harrison Barnes in a hyperbaric chamber!
  2. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Nothing like the coaching carousel and early entries to get reporters on anti-Twitter soapboxes (though, seriously people should probably vet their Twitter sources a little more). I’m purely speculating, but my guess is SMU has reached out indirectly to Seth Greenberg to gauge his interest. How else could he be tied to the coaching search? However, I agree with David Teel in principle that Greenberg isn’t far along in the process if anywhere at all. If the Mustangs are serious about the $2 million salary, we’ll find out soon enough if Greenberg was contacted: Just see if he renegotiates his deal.
  3. Tallahassee Democrat: Speaking of coaching pay… Leonard Hamilton doesn’t get paid as much as other coaches with his same success. Hamilton earned $1.5 million dollars this year, which fell behind Mike Krzyzewski, Mark Turgeon, Roy Williams and Tony Bennett in a conference full of new coaches (Turgeon’s salary wasn’t listed in the study, but he makes just under $2 million a year). It’s time for Florida State to ante up. If the Seminoles are serious about competing on a consistent basis, they need to put the money on the table. And that’s not just Hamilton’s pay; that’s assistants’ pay and facilities upgrades too.
  4. Raleigh News & Observer: For once the McDonald’s All-America game wasn’t about Duke or North Carolina. It was about NC State, who has three alumni joining Mark Gottfried’s squad next year. Rodney Purvis played the best game, but Tyler Lewis and TJ Warren got points on the board too (positive buzz also surrounded Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon). Meanwhile potential ACC recruit Amile Jefferson didn’t have a great week according to scouts. But take all-star game performances with a grain of salt.
  5. DraftExpress: Well it’s time for this year’s annual Triangle Smackdown, featuring a much more prominent NC State presence than in years past. Enjoy.

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ACC Morning Five: 03.23.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 23rd, 2012

  1. Tampa Bay Times: It looks like Leonard Hamilton‘s reported “lobbying” has stirred up the Florida State athletic department’s checkbook. Currently Hamilton makes $1.5 million a year plus incentives (for instance this year he earned an extra $175,000 for winning the ACC Tournament and being named ACC Coach of the Year). He definitely deserves the raise. Since he arrived in Tallahassee, Hamilton has made a Seminole program with very few historical highs relevant. While Florida State’s early NCAA tournament departure was unfortunate, the team’s continued success will only enhance his ability to recruit.
  2. Blogger So Dear: It sounds like major unrest is brewing over at Wake Forest. Days after Tony Chennault announced his transfer, rumors are swirling that Carson Desrosiers (which sources confirmed to Blogger So Dear) and Anthony Fields (unconfirmed, along with an even more distressing rumor that Travis McKie may be asking to transfer too) want out of Winston-Salem too. We will definitely keep everything updated, but suffice to say the Demon Deacons’ roster would be decimated if those three leave. If you’re keeping score at home, these three potential transfers would make nine players to transfer or depart (for reasons other than graduation) under Jeff Bzdelik’s tenure.
  3. ESPN Chicago: This probably isn’t super surprising, but longtime Duke assistant Chris Collins is interested in a head coaching gig, and Illinois would be on “the right fit” list. Because of Collins’ ties with Chicago–his dad coached the Bulls, he grew up there, and he currently recruits there for Duke–rumors about the vacancy have swirled since Bruce Weber left. Obviously, if Collins is offered the job (he reportedly hasn’t been contacted yet, but I would be surprised if the Illini hadn’t at least put out feelers to his agent), I think he will take it. That’s a tough first head coaching job though, with some serious expectations.
  4. Durham Herald-Sun: Speaking of Duke and not surprises, Mason Plumlee is looking into possibly entering this year’s NBA Draft. Currently he’s gathering information to get an idea on where he would go, and how much an extra year could help or hurt him. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express seems optimistic about Plumlee’s NBA future, though noted that coming back for his senior season wouldn’t hurt either.
  5. Hampton Roads Daily-Press: One big knock on Virginia this year was the team’s dearth of quality wins. Obviously, the Cavaliers couldn’t control their conference draw, but a team’s nonconference schedule is one that comes up on Selection Sunday (just ask Seth Greenberg). Tony Bennett pointed out that the nonconference strength of schedule wasn’t helped by losing to TCU (which kept Virginia from playing Marquette). But Bennett is looking at adding some meat to next year’s schedule, starting with a home-and-home series with Tennessee.

EXTRA: If you’re not watching Bomani & Jones it’s easily worth the ten minutes a week. Where else are you going to get interviews with Julius Hodge and Joe in Raleigh (an avid Duke fan and notorious sports talk show caller)?

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ACC Afternoon Five: 03.22.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 22nd, 2012

  1. WxMoose: After Matt Norlander needlessly ripped NC State fans for celebrating a victory that “a large subset” of the “many people [who] had the Wolfpack getting past San Diego State” also called, one Wolfpack fan had enough (actually, I’m sure a lot did). So he wrote an open apology to the media for Wolfpack nation. From my perspective, I’m not sure why Norlander felt the need to throw his jab after NC State made the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2005 (in only its second tournament appearance since).
  2. Orlando Sentinel: After rumors surfaced yesterday that Leonard Hamilton was “lobbying hard” for the Illinois job, the Worldwide Leader cited a source saying just the opposite. Hamilton always plays things like this close to the vest, so if he is looking at other jobs I don’t expect we would hear a whole lot about it. While I would be shocked if he left, Florida State’s general disinterest in basketball could definitely push him to the edge (winning costs money).
  3. Washington Post: Speaking of potential game-changing departures, Terrell Stoglin announced he will be returning to Maryland. This is definitely the best for everyone involved, as Stoglin still needs to add a dimension to his game (i.e., facilitating) to help make up for his size and move onto more NBA draft boards. He’s also critical for Mark Turgeon, who will need his scoring next year, even accounting for improvements from Nick Faust and Alex Len.
  4. Hampton Roads Daily Press: Virginia made its money on the defensive end of the floor this year, but fell apart down the stretch, allowing opponents to shoot better than 50% from the field in three of its last four games (compared to two times in its first 28). How much of that was the toll of critical injuries and transfers? It’s hard to tell. Some of it may have been the competition, which was much steeper than the rest of the Cavaliers’ schedule. Regardless, Tony Bennett has a lot of tape to watch in order to figure out how Florida was able to be so dominant against the Cavaliers in the second half.
  5. Blogger So Dear: I’m a couple of days late on this, but Wake Forest lost its sixth player to something other than graduation under Jeff Bzdelik on Tuesday. Tony Chennault has decided to transfer. Chennault claims the decision “was a personal choice and has nothing to do with basketball.” But considering his lack of legal/academic trouble, there’s not a whole lot else it could be. If it was basketball-related, Chennault may have been worried about playing time with Codi Miller McIntyre coming to Winston-Salem next year.
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ACC Morning Five: 03.19.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 19th, 2012

  1. Orlando Sentinel and Tallahassee Democrat: Coley Harvey’s post from Friday is looking prophetic after the Seminoles collapsed (with a little help from bad luck to boot) down the stretch against Cincinnati. For the first time since their incredible turnaround — which is worth reading about too — Leonard Hamilton’s team looked complacent. The Bearcats out-hustled them down the stretch, including the forcing of a couple untimely turnovers. Still, don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees: The fact that this Florida State team was in the Final Four discussion is a tribute to the incredible job Hamilton did with this team.
  2. Sports Illustrated: Florida State may be gone, but the ACC has another conference Cinderella in NC State. Last night Hubert Davis (a North Carolina graduate) picked the Wolfpack as his team outside of the top two seed lines to make the Final Four. Given that you don’t want to put too much weight on late night TV comments, but it’s shocking Mark Gottfried’s team is in that discussion (frankly, it’s a little surprising the Wolfpack made the NCAA Tournament at all).
  3. CBSSports.com: Jeff Borzello checks in on the status of Virginia’s program under Tony Bennett. While I am much less optimistic about next year, his comments definitely alleviate my concerns about Bennett’s ability to recruit top-100 guys with his system. Those concerns won’t totally evaporate until Bennett puts together several years of solid classes. As for next year, losing Mike Scott alone will be devastating. The Cavaliers’ goal in 2012-13 should be to compete in conference play and make the NIT.
  4. CBSSports.com: Unless you locked yourself in a lead box last night, you probably heard that Kendall Marshall broke his wrist in UNC’s win over Creighton. Gary Parrish found out that Marshall will have surgery today and is questionable for Friday’s game against Ohio. He’ll be evaluated after the surgery, but it’s tough to envision a way that Marshall plays this weekend. The good news for the Tar Heels is their first game is against a #13 seed, and John Henson is healthy again. The bad news is that Marshall is the Tar Heels’ most important player.
  5. Washington Post: Liz Clarke sat down with Mike Gminski to talk about Alex Len. It sounds like Gminski is pretty high on the Maryland center’s prospects going forward, especially once Len gets his English down. He also brings up a good point that the biggest increase in productivity for big men normally comes between freshman and sophomore year (see: CJ Leslie). I still don’t know if I see Len as an all-conference game changer next year, but he should definitely only get better as he gets in better shape and more accustomed to his new team.
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