Will Barton Declared Eligible

Posted by nvr1983 on August 20th, 2010

In a move that would make the SEC (the financial one) proud, the NCAA announced late this afternoon that Memphis recruit Will Barton had been cleared to play for the Tigers. This comes just two weeks after the same body declared Barton academically ineligible for the upcoming season after questioning his high school grades, a decision which Barton appealed. While we are happy for Barton, we can’t help but think that the person who had the second most at stake in this decision was second year Memphis coach Josh Pastner who had taken over for John Calipari following the latter’s decision to bolt for greener pastures at Kentucky. The latter left behind a mess of allegations involving Derrick Rose, resulting in the erasure of one of the greatest seasons ever (statistically); Pastner then had to deal with allegations against himself, as well, before being hit with the possibility that he might not have three of his players (Barton, Hippolyte Tsafack and Chris Crawford) eligible for this season.

The addition of Barton, a top 10 recruit in by almost any service (including our own Zach Hayes), will add a measure of scoring explosiveness that the Tigers have missed in the past two seasons following the departure of Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Whether or not that scoring translates into more post-season success remains to be seen.

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Morning Five: 08.16.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 16th, 2010

  1. Former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a result of his February arrest for possession of painkillers without a prescription.  Sutton recently spent 115 days in a rehab program in Sundance, Utah, and will face no jail time for his three-year probation period so long as he stays clean, pays a $2,850 fine and performs 100 hours of community service.  In an interview prior to the hearing last week, Sutton stated that the down time in the two years since he was forced out at OSU contributed to his addiction: “Idle time is no good for anybody.”   Texas head coach Rick Barnes, for one, doesn’t think Sutton’s coaching days are over.  Of course, his father, 800-game winner Eddie Sutton, has had his own demons with alcohol addiction over the years.  Let’s hope both Suttons have put those days behind them.
  2. Kentucky fans filled a tiny gymnasium in Windsor, Ontario, on Sunday night, as John Calipari’s 2010-11 team played the first of a three-game set in Canada to break in the many new faces wearing Wildcat blue next season.  We mentioned UNC freshman Harrison Barnes blowing up in the Bahamas last week; well, Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight made sure that we remembered his prodigious talents as well.  Knight’s line:  31 pts, 9 rebs, 4 assts with ZERO turnovers in 29 minutes of action.  Let the hero-worship begin.
  3. Connecticut requested and received an additional two weeks to respond to the eight NCAA alleged rules violations meted out by the governing body in May.  The new deadline will be September 3, which means that the compliance folks in Storrs may actually get to enjoy Labor Day weekend.  The Hartford Courant interviewed several experts to give readers a sense as to how the school may respond.   The general consensus is that UConn should show that it takes the charges seriously and can police itself; anything short of that may give the NCAA cause to bring the hammer down.
  4. Ohio State center Zisis Sarikopoulos is reportedly on the verge of signing a professional contract with a team in his native Greece, which could impact Thad Matta’s inside depth next season.  Sarikopoulos was expected to provide spot minutes for returnee Dallas Lauderdale and incoming stud Jared Sullinger, but OSU may be without that option in a matter of days if this is true.
  5. Memphis is heading to the Bahamas this week, but three of their newcomers won’t be making the trip as a result of eligiblity issues with the NCAA.  According to Dan Wolken at the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the trio of Will Barton, Hippolyte Tsafack and Chris Crawford still have to be cleared by the NCAA before they will be allowed to play.  Barton is appealing the NCAA’s denial of his eligibility, while Tsafack and Crawford are still waiting to hear on their initial review.   In an unrelated personal issue, Jelan Kendrick is also not making the trip because he needed to head home to Atlanta.  Not a good way to start the season for Josh Pastner’s crew.
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