Morning Five: 05.16.14 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on May 16th, 2014

morning5

  1. Pundits have been proposing ideas on how to increase scoring and make college basketball more entertaining for years. One of the most common suggestions has been to reduce the shot clock from the current 35 seconds towards the NBA standard of 24 seconds. The ACC might not be willing to go that far, but they will be using a 30-second shot clock during exhibition games this coming season and give its feedback to the men’s basketball rules committee. We doubt that we will see this in regular season games for several years at the earliest, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out and how teams adapt to the changes.
  2. Speaking of the ACC, they will be moving the ACC Tournament from its traditional Sunday afternoon slot–the one it has been in since 1982–to Saturday night in prime time. According to the ACC the reason for doing so is to move into the 8:30 PM time slot on ESPN on Saturday traditionally the conference formerly known as the Big East as well similar spots on Friday night. Although the conference is not saying it publicly we would not be surprised if the NCAA also encouraged them to move it forward to give the Selection Committee more time to finalize its seeding.
  3. The NCAA released its APR scores on Wednesday revealing that eight schools–Alabama State, Appalachian State, Florida A&M, Houston Baptist, Lamar, San Jose State, Central Arkansas, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee–will be ineligible for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. None of these names comes close to having an effect on the national title picture so Mark Emmert won’t get called out at the 2016 Final Four by any of the players from these teams, but there are a couple of notable things about this group. The first is that three of the schools are from the Southland Conference meaning that over 20% of the conference cannot play in the NCAA Tournament. The other is that Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which won the Horizon League Conference Tournament last year after going 7-9 in conference regular season play will also be ineligible. Outside of that we have to wonder how much some schools are getting players to graduate or not count against their score just to keep themselves eligible rather than helping the student-athlete. We assume that some schools are already doing this and that the ones that are failing to meet the scores probably just are not doing a good enough job of it.
  4. If you were expecting Georgia Tech to be competitive in the ACC this season you might want to adjust your expectations after Robert Carter, who averaged 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds as a sophomore despite suffering a torn meniscus in January. Carter, who was the star of Brian Gregory’s first recruiting class at Georgia Tech, has not announced where he is planning on transferring or even his reason for transferring, but the school has already come out and said that he will not be allowed to transfer to Georgia. With several players graduating and Carter transferring, Marcus Georges-Hunt will be the only one of its top five scorers from last season returning this season. On the bright side for Gregory, he already has an extension through 2018 that he signed at the end of last season and we doubt that Georgia Tech would be willing to buy out the rest of his contract.
  5. Jermaine Lawrence will transfer from Cincinnati to be closer to his father, who is suffering from an undisclosed illness. Although Lawrence’s performance last season (2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game) might not seem like much of a loss he was the second-highest-rated recruit during Mick Cronin’s time at Cincinnati as he was a consensus top-25 recruit. Lawrence is expected to transfer to a school closer to his home in Springfield Gardens, New York (basically New York City) and given the way that transfer waivers have been granted we would expect him to be able to play next season if he chooses to do so. With his pedigree and his options close to New York City he should have plenty of options about where to head to next.
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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week Two

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 21st, 2011

Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew and I have compiled after the second week of Pac-12 games. Here we go!

1. California, 3-0: The Golden Bears hold steady at number one after playing just one game this week. The game was a 72-55 blowout win over Austin Peay. Jorge Gutierrez lead the way for the Bears with 14 points and six rebounds. Now it’s on to the Championship round of the CBE Classic, where Cal will face their first two tests of the year. Up Next: 11.21 vs Georgia in Kansas City

Gutierrez led the Golden Bears with 14 points on Tuesday night.

T2. Stanford, 4-0: The Cardinal had a great week, blowing out all three of their opponents. The highlight of the week came on Tuesday when Stanford beat a talented Colorado State team by 12 in the Preseason NIT Quarterfinals. Up Next: 11.23 vs Oklahoma State in New York City

T2. Oregon State, 4-0: The Beavers had one of the better weeks in recent memory, going 3-0 against solid competition. They started off the week on Monday with a 93-60 win over West Alabama, and they continued the streak with a ten-point win over Hofstra on Wednesday. The highlight of the stretch came on Saturday night in the Legends Classic Semifinals, where the Beavers used a 37-point performance from junior guard Jared Cunningham to upset Texas, 100-95, in overtime. Up Next: 11.21 vs Vanderbilt in East Rutherford

T4. Washington, 3-1: The week began with a 30-point win against Portland, but a blowout loss at Saint Louis leaves a sour taste in their mouth’s after week two. Terrence Ross was the highlight of the week, averaging 20.5 PPG. Washington should now get two easy victories before heading to New York to take on Marquette and Duke. Up Next: 11.25 vs Houston Baptist

T4. Arizona, 4-1: The Wildcats dropped two spots after a tough loss against Mississippi State on Friday night. However, the trip to New York wasn’t too terrible since they got a solid, résumé building win against St. John’s. Up Next: 11.23 vs San Diego State

T6. Washington State, 2-1: Not a bad week at all for the Cougars. They got their season started on Monday night at Gonzaga, where they hung with the Bulldogs all night but eventually fell, 89-81. Their two victories came against a pair of solid mid-majors, Sacramento State and Portland. Up Next: 11.24 vs Oklahoma in Anaheim Read the rest of this entry »

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Morning Five: 06.27.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 27th, 2011

  1. Evidently former Texas star Jordan Hamilton feels he should have gone higher than 26th in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and he thinks his former coach may have had something to do with that. After the draft, a writer asked Hamilton how he felt about going lower than he’d been projected. Hamilton tweeted the writer back, saying that “(Coach Rick Barnes) called some teams and said that I probably wasn’t coachable and things like that.” Whether it’s true or not, it’s likely not the first time that such critiques have reached Hamilton’s ears; that opinion was put forth often enough last season by journalists, bloggers, and certainly UT fans. What’s important now is that Hamilton take advantage of this new beginning and make it so nobody can grade him in that fashion ever again.
  2. Hamilton’s complaint will fall on deaf ears, if those ears belong to former Notre Dame star Ben Hansbrough. The reigning Big East Player of the Year went undrafted on Thursday and has signed to play professionally in Germany for a year. Interesting move, and quite shrewd. You’d think an undrafted player who still harbored realistic NBA dreams would want to stay as near to the league as possible, and would hang around the D-league or at least play summer ball here. With an NBA lockout looming and the summer league cancelled, a quick jaunt to Europe for a year to get paid while keeping the skills sharp — and hey, we hear the beer’s good — seems a smart play.
  3. First it was the Celtics and Lakers, and maybe more recently…the Timberwolves? It looks like the Minnesota franchise may — or may not — have contacted Mike Krzyzewski about filling their recently-vacated head coaching spot. He’s not going. You know you’re a legend when people report that it’s possible someone contacted you about another job and you’re not taking it and nothing’s changing. Watch this space, because a little later we’ll have an update on the condition of former Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
  4. Meteorologically speaking, it was a strange spring in the midwest; there was an extended winter followed by a much bigger-than-usual onslaught of tornadoes followed by a heat wave followed by more unrelenting rain. Gene Keady Court inside Purdue’s Mackey Arena has felt the effects, and in fact has been rendered unfit for use. All is not lost, however, as MSNBC’s Mike Miller points out.
  5. Yesterday would have been the 10th birthday of Emma Key, the daughter of Houston Baptist assistant coach Steven Key. Today is the birthday of Steven’s wife/Emma’s mom, Sherry. A couple of months ago, SI.com’s Andy Glockner wrote a story about Emma’s death and the effect — God, what an insufficient word — it had on not just the Key family but the HBU program, as well. We saw the author’s tweet from Sunday about Emma’s birthday, and that he included the link to Coach Key’s Twitter account, so we hope it’s OK that we choose to re-link Mr. Glockner’s story here today. If you didn’t read it back in May, please do so, right now.
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The Great West Conference Finds a Home For Its Champion

Posted by nvr1983 on September 29th, 2009

Last year we brought you news about the creation of the newest Division I basketball conference, the Great West Conference, which will start organized operations this season. As we noted at the time, the league wasn’t exactly a “Who’s Who” of basketball powerhouses. In fact, the most notable program in the league was the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which went 0-29 in the 2007-2008 season before finally winning a game last season.

The full list of GWC members:

  • Chicago State University
  • Houston Baptist University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Texas-Pan American
  • Utah Valley University

Not exactly a murder’s row of programs that will challenge the ACC in the conference power rankings any time soon.  However, most people expect that under current NCAA guidelines the GWC could have an play-in automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by 2020. This would obviously impact the NCAA tournament by either removing one at-large team (unlikely) or expanding the NCAA tournament (more games = more money = very likely). The question for the GWC and its teams is what they are supposed to strive for until 2020. Theoretically they could qualify for an NCAA at-large bid (or maybe more realistically an NIT bid) if they hired some renegade coach who loaded them up with players who needed a little “SAT help.”  However, barring that not altogether improbable scenario (seriously, have you seen the headlines out of college basketball this week?) the champions would be relegated to watch the 2nd half of March from their couches like the rest of us.

CIT logo

Fortunately for the GWC and its members, the people at the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) have stepped into that void by offering the conference’s tournament champion an automatic bid in the CIT’s 16-team field. For those of you who missed the CIT last year, here is a rundown of the teams that participated, which was won by Old Dominion. While you shouldn’t expect to see ESPN and CBS keeping cameras in the offices of the James Madison Dukes this March to see if they are crushed when they don’t make the CIT, it does mark the first time that a D1 conference has had an agreement to get one of its teams an automatic bid into a tournament other than the NCAA Tournament and it also offers the new league something (albeit something very small) to entice recruits to join it in its formative years.

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Checking in on the… WAC

Posted by nvr1983 on January 29th, 2009

Kevin McCarthy of Parsing the WAC and Sam Wasson of bleedcrimson.net are the RTC correspondents for the WAC.

Last week was a week of opportunities. Some took advantage while others did not. Boise State took their opportunities by the horns as they completed a home sweep to put themselves into third place. New Mexico State on the other hand did not falling twice on the road after having a chance to rise to third in the standings, instead of coming out of the week in fifth place. Idaho had an opportunity at redemption and took advantage by avenging an earlier loss to New Mexico State, a game that head coach Don Verlin felt they should have won. This week is another week of opportunities. Utah State has the opportunity to give themselves a two-game lead on the rest of the league. Idaho has the opportunity to lay claim to being the best team in the state of Idaho and then the opportunity to sweep Nevada for the first time since the 1998-1999 season.

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Checking in on the… Big Ten

Posted by nvr1983 on January 20th, 2009

Josh & Mike from Big Ten Geeks are the RTC correspondents for the Big Ten Conference.

Looking Back
In a highly competitive Big Ten, Michigan State has now managed to achieve a bit of separation. It wasn’t easy – it took a closer-than-expected road win against Penn State and a comeback from a 9-point second half deficit against Illinois - but the Spartans remain the only squad without a conference defeat and are clearly the team to beat after Purdue‘s early stumbles.

Behind Michigan State, there are five teams with 2 conference losses, each with realistic tourney hopes. Minnesota got a huge victory at Wisconsin, a feat that will be difficult for other teams to match. The Gophers followed that up with a loss at Northwestern illustrating how tough it is to consistently win on the road in the Big Ten.

It appears that Ohio State‘s romps over Houston Baptist and Indiana have allowed the Buckeyes to right the ship – their defense, which had been MIA for several weeks, held Michigan to their 4th worst offensive efficiency of the season. The three teams that had better defensive games against Michigan? UCLA, Duke, and Illinois. An Ohio State squad playing defense like that can be a major factor in the Big Ten race.

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