Coach K Considering a Return to Team USA Sideline

Posted by nvr1983 on June 10th, 2009

After bringing back the gold from Beijing and watching his Duke teams slide back to the pack, it was widely assumed that Coach K would hand over the reigns to Team USA so he could focus on his Blue Devils. However, Krzyzewski announced late last week that he was interested in coaching Team USA in London in 2012. Although he did not say definitively whether or not he would be pursuing the position, it seems unlikely that he would need to do much campaigning to keep his spot as head coach with the success of the team and the apparent lack of disharmony on the team despite several big names playing sparingly. For us, there are two big questions about the situation:

(1) How will this affect the Duke program?

It will probably hurt them. I don’t really buy the notion that coaching Team USA gets Coach K’s face out there in front of more 5-star guys. I can’t imagine any high school basketball players not knowing about Duke and Coach K. Coaching Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James will certainly give you more street cred than coaching Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts, but I’m assuming most recruits are aware of the fact that Carmelo and LeBron were really, really, really good before Coach K decided how to tinker with the rotation and their minutes. The bigger impact on Duke will be the absence of Coach K from the recruiting trail. Committing to Team USA will mean that Coach K won’t be on the summer circuit and the guys at ABCD and every other crazy camp out there won’t see him in the stands. While Coach K and the Duke name are still able to land highly touted recruits like Paulus, McRoberts, and Shavlik Randolph (yes, they were all projected to be stars coming out of high school) in recent years he has been unable to land some major targets that he used to land (John Wall comes to mind although it could be argued that it is that he is simply against having one-and-dones).

(2) If Krzyzewski does not seek the position, which coach would be the most likely to replace him on the sideline?

Our top choices would be Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, John Calipari (no entrance exams required here), Mike D’Antoni and Gregg Popovich. Other than D’Antoni and Popovich, I can’t think of another suitable NBA coach who would be willing to give up his summers to coach a bunch of players that he might be coaching against during the regular season. If Coach K turns down a chance to repeat in London, the question is who Team USA would target as its top choice. Given the standardized test fiasco at Memphis it’s unlikely that Team USA would go with Calipari if other comparable coaches were available. Boeheim is probably the logical choice after serving as an assistant under Coach K, but personally I would like to see Pitino employ a pressing defense with the athletes and depth Team USA could field that would destroy international teams (despite what Malcolm Gladwell thinks).

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The Greg Paulus World Tour Is Headed To Syracuse

Posted by nvr1983 on May 14th, 2009

After a month of speculation about where he would go, Greg Paulus has announced that he will be heading to Syracuse next year to play football. We are already discussed the situation that Paulus will be walking into next year, but before Paulus can officially put his pads back on he will have to get a NCAA waiver allowing him to play one season of football. We’re not familiar with how the NCAA handles these situations since they don’t usually play out where someone transfers to another school to play a 2nd sport, but it seems pretty likely that they will grant him an exemption since it would be really bad press if they did not grant him the waiver. We can only hope that Paulus somehow leads Syracuse to a bowl game where he plays against Duke, a perennial ACC cellar-dweller (admittedly improved in the past few years) who told the former Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year that he could play wide receiver.

gregpaulus

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05.07.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 7th, 2009

As we anxiously await John Wall’s FINAL DECISION

brandy-miller-and-pearl

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Paulus World Tour T-Shirts… Get Yours Now!

Posted by nvr1983 on May 1st, 2009

(h/t ESPN Page 2)

This Greg Paulus football story has gotten a lot of play in the national media the past few weeks as the former HS all-american quarterback has jetted around the nation working out with the Green Bay Packers, Michigan, Syracuse and Nebraska.  The guys at Page 2 (remember when that was cool?) have come up with a t-shirt to commemmorate Greg’s spring/summer world tour.  Good stuff.

pg2_paulus_576

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04.28.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on April 28th, 2009

It’s been a light few days, but we’re here to get you caught up on the few things surfacing…

  • Florida’s Alex Tyus was transferring, now he’s not.  This confused us until we remembered that he learned from Donovan two-step from the master himself. 
  • Bruce Pearl’s romantic overtures know no bounds… not even the head football coach’s wife (not that we blame him). 
  • Oddly, USC is no longer recruiting big man Renardo Sidney (who moved to LA three yrs ago for marketing purposes).  Now he may be heading back home to Mississippi St?  Stay tuned on this one.
  • Will Syracuse be the one-year football destination for Greg Paulus?
  • The NBA’s early entry deadline was Sunday – here are a few of the last-minute entries:  Mississippi St.’s Jarvis Varnado (no agent), UConn’s Ater Majok (no agent), Tennessee’s Tyler Smith (no agent), USC’s Taj Gibson (no agent) and BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari (no agent). 
  • Returning:  Iowa St.’s Craig Brackins (a major coup), Michigan’s Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.
  • Gary Parrish doesn’t believe that Davidson will recapture the Curry magic for quite some time. 
  • It’s hard to believe this didn’t happen now that the FBI has brought charges against Karen Sypher for attempting to extort Rick Pitino for $10M, two cars, a paid-off house and college tuition.  Wow.  Regardless, we have to agree with Goodman when he says nothing good is ultimately coming from all of this.
  • He was only “holding it” for someone named “Luck.”  Welcome to Nevada basketball in the post-Mark Fox era.
  • Wichita St.’s Gregg Marshall got a one-year contract extension (to 2015) after an improved second year at the school.
  • Good to see the NCAA gumshoes going after the big boys like Northeastern, who received two years probation on Friday.
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Greg Paulus Is. . .I Can’t Explain It. Just Look at the Picture.

Posted by nvr1983 on April 24th, 2009

Credit:

That sound you just heard is from all the heads exploding along Tobacco Road. Apparently this was part of the UNC barnstorming tour, but I have no idea what Paulus was thinking. At first, I thought it might be his brother Mike (preposterous, but not much more than Greg Paulus in Carolina Blue), a QB at UNC, but he doesn’t look like Greg.

(h/t to 850 The Buzz)

Update: After looking at this picture a little more closely (and not posting at 3 AM), I’m beginning to think this is a Photoshop job. Paulus couldn’t possibly be dumb enough to pose for a picture like this wearing UNC clothing, right?

Update: According to our friends at 850 The Buzz, the picture is real and the baby was completely fine posing with the others players, but as soon as Paulus held her she started to cry.

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Report: Paulus to Syracuse

Posted by nvr1983 on April 23rd, 2009

After weeks of speculation about where he would end up (Michigan? Duke? Green Bay?!?), it appears that former Duke point guard Greg Paulus has made a decision about where he will be playing next year. The former Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year has decided to go from the hardwood of Cameron Indoor Stadium for the FieldTurf of the Carrier Dome next year. [Ed. Note: Interestingly Cameron Indoor, which is well known for its small size and the heat that Dick Vitale whines about on every telecast, has air-conditioning. The Carrier Dome (as in the HVAC company) does not.]

Unlike at Duke where he lost his starting point guard job as a senior, Paulus (a native of Manlius, NY just outside of Syracuse) will likely step into a position where he should compete for the starting spot on a team that went 3-9 last year, but did manage to win at Notre Dame (one of the colleges that recruited Paulus as a QB out of high school). Although Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone named Ryan Nassib as his starting QB less than a month ago, I think Marrone may let a National High School Football Player of the Year compete for the job.

gregpaulus

Assuming that Paulus enrolls at Syracuse, it raises an interesting question of how Syracuse (a basketball school even during the days of Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison) will embrace one of the most despised players in college basketball. Based on their wholesale acceptance of Eric Devendorf, I think the fans at Syracuse will take to Paulus, who is less demonstrative (and doesn’t have any accusations of violence against women to his name) especially if he can make their football team respectable again.

Bonus Question: How many games will Paulus play at QB before he gets sacked and someone performs a mock tea-bagging? I’m going with game #2 at Penn State on September 12th. Fortunately, I don’t see anybody on the Syracuse schedule that is a big enough rival of Syracuse to have a repeat of this.

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04.16.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 16th, 2009

We’re trying to sort through some laptop issues as well as a long-term strategic analysis of the site, so bear with us as we’re only doing semi-regular updates this week…

  • Georgetown should be in much better position to make a nice run in the Big East next season as BE FrOY Greg Monroe has decided to return for his sophomore season.
  • Oklahoma’s Willie Warren will also return for his encore year.  It’s getting easier to fill out potential 2009-10 all-america lists now. 
  • Notre Dame’s 09-10 success might hinge on the shoulders of Luke Harangody’s decision, of which he is currently waffling about.  He is expected to test the waters, but he’s uncertain about what his threshold will be to return.
  • Staying in the Big East, Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn removed all doubt by signing with an agent.  We’ll never understand why marginal prospects with the option of returning to school make such a poor decision by closing off that option so early.
  • Greg Paulus has received a scholarship offer to play at Michigan next year in football.  Others are probably coming.  Who would have guessed this kind of post-graduate recruiting war in a different sport would start over a Duke PG?
  • Former national champion UCLA PG Cameron Dollar will leave Lorenzo Romar’s UW staff to take the head job at Seattle University, as it continues its transition into D1 basketball. 
  • John Calipari’s Kentucky gig is off to a quick start as he evaluates returning talent and continues recruiting (even if he doesn’t have office keys yet). 
  • Gary Parrish writes an interesting article about the coaching carousel, and how schools like Arizona, Georgia and Memphis got a little burned by overplaying their hand(s) and ill preparation.  Interesting piece.
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04.15.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on April 15th, 2009

Happy Income Redistribution Day, everyone!

  • Who?  Depaul’s Dar Tucker (Mr. 0-18, with an agent) and Southern Miss’ Jeremy Wise (no agent) have decided to throw their hats in the early entry ring as well. 
  • More Greg Paulus.  Thought we were rid of this guy.  So…  he’s not good enough to play for Duke at QB, but he might be at Michigan?  Wow, Rich Rodriguez has a lot further to go than we thought. 
  • The Man Who Replaced Wooden.  Former UCLA and UAB coach Gene Bartow was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer, and will begin treatment immediately. 
  • Dolla Dolla Bills.  Mizzou’s Mike Anderson parlayed 31 wins and an Elite 8 appearance into seven more years on his contract at a minimum of $1.35M per. 
  • Isiah Will Work for Free (sorta).  FIU introduced Isiah Thomas as their new head coach today, and he will not take a salary of $200-300K this season (the Knicks are still paying him $12M for his final two years on his contract).  Jeff Goodman thinks there’s a reasonable chance it might work out for Isiah there, maybe he took some of those sleeping pills as well?  Mike Freeman has a slightly different take.
  • Let’s Get Wattaded.  Georgetown guard Omar Wattad will transfer out of the program, destination unknown. 
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Greg Paulus Attempts to Take Teabagging to the NFL

Posted by rtmsf on April 14th, 2009

After four years as the recipient of regular teabagging (memo to neocons haters of federal government expansion who were curiously silent until Jan. 20, 2009: we’re not talking about your tea party nonsense), Duke’s Greg Paulus has readied himself for the next level.  Pro Football Talk reported yesterday that Paulus, a former Gatorade national HS player of the year on the gridiron, worked out for the Green Bay Packers over the weekend. 

There are a million great jokes that we could roll out here, but we’d be hard-pressed to overcome the job that Chris Mottram at the Sporting Blog has already done for us.   Pure brilliance.  (h/t Sporting Blog)

Paulus immediately drew three roughing the passer calls before running into the endzone, slapping the grass twice and then having this happen to him:

gonzalez-dunk-on-paulus

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Notes from the East Region Open Practice

Posted by nvr1983 on March 25th, 2009

Because of the NCAA’s refusal to give us a media credential (or discuss the issue and our side of the case), we were forced to go to today’s open practice to get an up-close look at the teams. As an aside, if anybody has extra tickets for the games in Boston for the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8 (in case your team gets cheated by the refs), send me an e-mail at rushthecourt@gmail.com and I might be able to take them off your hands.

The guys who don't want me covering the game

The guys who don't want me covering the game

Let’s get one thing out of the way. The East Region open practice might have been the most boring 5 hours of my life (not counting lectures). There’s a reason the NCAA makes this event free (outside of the fact that they more than make up for it through the $8 programs, $5 Cokes, and $23 baseball caps). The crowd was 95% white males in their mid-30s or above along with a handful of kids chasing autographs from players who they were looking up during the practices checking to see which ones had the best stats. My favorites were the old guys sitting behind me who kept on commenting on how good Gary McGhee and Brian Zoubek were (the tallest guys on the court) and what outstanding pros they were going to be. Anyways, here are my thoughts and pictures (some pictures are from my iPhone because I forgot to charge my digital camera) from each team’s “practice”.

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NCAA Sweet Sixteen: East Region Preview

Posted by rtmsf on March 25th, 2009

The East Region: A Look Back, A Look Ahead  (By Dave Zeitlin and Steve Moore)

A look back: Here are some of the bests and worsts of the first two rounds of the East Region – as well as some other haphazard notes …

Most impressive team remaining: Villanova. The Wildcats’ dismantling of UCLA was a sight to behold.

Shakiest team remaining: Pittsburgh. I sat next to a diehard Pitt fan at a sports bar Friday. I knew it was a bad sign when he turned to me disgusted midway through the second half and said, “Just root for East Tennessee State. I know you want to.”

Don’t forget about us:  In Xavier’s opening-round win over Portland State, the Musketeers shot 54 percent from the field and committed just seven turnovers. In their second-round win, they held Wisconsin to 25 percent shooting. Xavier has now won at least one game in six of the last seven NCAA Tournaments.

Don’t forget about us either: Duke is back in the Sweet 16. Oh, how we missed you.

Best performance: Pitt’s Sam Young was electric against Oklahoma State, scoring 32 points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking three shots.

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