Morning Five: 01.08.14 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 8th, 2014


  1. As we suggested yesterday, it turns out there was more to the story of the suspended UTEP players than was initially reported as they are accused of betting on at least one sporting event. The accused players include not only already suspended juniors Jalen Ragland and Justin Crosgile, but also McKenzie Moore, the team’s leading scorer. At this point, all the school is saying is that they are not aware of any evidence that implicates the players in point-shaving or even betting on games that involve UTEP. We suspect that this will become a bigger story moving forward.
  2. It appeared that it would not take long for Notre Dame transfer Cameron Biedscheid to find a new home as news broke yesterday that he was headed to Missouri, but much like Biedscheid’s initial decision to leave Notre Dame now there is some question as to the veracity of the original report as Biedscheid came out later in the day and denied that he had made a decision yet. If Biedscheid does transfer to Missouri it would be a big pick-up for Haith as Biedscheid was a top-tier talent coming out of high school before his relatively disappointing freshman year in South Bend.
  3. Biedscheid may still be deciding on where he is transferring to (or at least when he will publicly admit it), but Providence transfer Brandon Austin has decided and like so many other recent transfers is headed to Oregon. To call Austin a Providence transfer might be a little misleading because he along with fellow freshman Rodney Bullock were suspended indefinitely before the season started with the suspension extended to the entire season just a few weeks ago. While the addition of Austin, a top-50 recruit, could mean big things in the future for the Ducks it also might take them out of the running for Louisville transfer Chane Behanan.
  4. It should not come as a surprise, but yesterday Fran McCaffery received a one-game suspension for his altercation with an official during Sunday’s game with Wisconsin that led to his ejection. McCaffery’s ejection came at a point in the game where the momentum swung in favor of Wisconsin so it would hardly be a stretch to call it a turning point in the game. For his part, McCaffery has publicly expressed remorse for his actions. Still given McCaffery’s history we doubt that this will be the last time we see his infamous temper on a public stage.
  5. It turns out that Grinnell can do more than set ridiculous scoring records. It can also set ridiculous assist records as Pat Maher handed out a NCAA-record 37 assists on Monday night in Grinell’s 164-144 win over College of Faith. As you might expect the usual suspects are already out criticizing Grinell’s scheduling, which we can admit is questionable. To us, the most interesting aspects of the record (we haven’t seen video of the game so for all we know Maher was throwing passes to guys who were hitting half-court shots all night) is that Grinell did this without Jack Taylor, who holds the NCAA record with 138 points in a game and sat out last night, and Maher broke the record of David N. Arseneault, the team’s associate head coach, who happens to be the son of the head coach and is a former Pioneer himself.
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Morning Five: 01.07.14 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 7th, 2014


  1. Now that we are finally done with college football season we can welcome all of those people who spent the past few months rooting for teams that lost their chance at a national championship over a month before the final game of the season. The biggest celebration last night was undoubtedly from FSU fans we are sure that fans of college football (and sports in general) celebrated the death of the BCS, a ridiculous system that somehow survived sixteen seasons. Now that is finally dead we would like to welcome college football fans to the world of playoffs even if theirs looks like it will be somewhat limited for the next few years.
  2. We have no idea why the FBI would be investigating suspended UTEP juniors McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland, but it probably goes without saying that it isn’t good. The two were suspended indefinitely by Tim Floyd in late December and nobody has commented on the suspensions, which were reportedly for a violation of team rules. As usual those team rules could be virtually anything, but the in our experience the only time that the FBI has really gotten involved with basketball players is when it involves point-shaving. Obviously, we are a long way away from that, but it is worth keeping an eye on even if UTEP’s original statement on the suspension would not appear to indicate anything that serious.
  3. Most people who invest in the stock market rebalance their portfolios at the end of the year (or some pre-specified date). With that in mind Seth Davis has his Hoops Thoughts Stock Report where he assesses whether you should buy, sell, or hold on 63 teams. Overall, we agree with most of Seth’s ratings so we will not get into the details of his rankings of the individual teams (we might get into that later with the microsites), but it was interesting to see Seth leave Iowa off the list–a team that we called the most underrated in college basketball back in November.
  4. As expected Duke‘s streak of 122 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 10 ended yesterday as the Blue Devils fell to 16th, which is their first time outside of the Top 10 since December 2007. Coming on the heels of their loss at Notre Dame on Saturday it leaves them 33 weeks shy of the record of 155 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 10 by UCLA from 1966 to 1976. Frankly, Duke probably should have been out of the Top 10 a few weeks, but remained in it for the same reason that Gary Parrish is able to do a weekly Poll Attack–voter inertia. Regardless of that it is an impressive feat and one that is unlikely to be duplicated any time soon.
  5. We still have over half the season left, but with conference play just starting it seems like a good time to review how the top incoming freshmen have performed. Dan Hanner decided to take a look at the top 100 freshmen according to the RSCI rankings in a two-part post (part 1 and part 2 here). As you expect it is a fairly exhaustive statistical analysis of the top 100 incoming freshmen, but the one thing we would caution you on is remembering the level of competition these guys are playing against.
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