Morning Five: 03.04.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2010

  1. George Schroeder argues that the writing is on the wall of the brand-spanking-new Matthew Knight Arena at Oregon — head coach Ernie Kent is dead man walking at the school.  Regardless of the past successes of Kent (two Elite Eights), we think Shroeder is correct.  The sense around UO is that Kent got a little too comfortable in his spot there, and this isn’t the business where comfort wears well when you’re losing Pac-10 games hand over fist.  Especially with a new $200M arena across campus to fill.
  2. Alabama suspended its best player JaMychal Green indefinitely for a violation of undisclosed team rules.  It’s been a very tough year for head coach Anthony Grant in his first campaign in Tuscaloosa, but an NIT is salvageable if the Tide can capture its last game to ensure a .500 season.  They currently stand at 15-14 (5-10 SEC) after beating South Carolina in Columbia last night.
  3. Some early bracket science (note: not bracketology)…  every seed matchup from #1 vs. #16 broken down statistically.  Everybody already knows that the #9 seed wins more often over the #8 than vice versa (54-46), but we bet you didn’t know that #8 seeds are three times more likely than #9 seeds to knock off the top seed in the second round.
  4. A couple of good pieces on NCAA Expansion 96 this week.  George Dorhmann gives us four good reasons that expansion is (say it altogether now…) a bad idea, while Stewart Mandel offers a very informative and insightful article on the multiple layers of decisionmaking and issues involved in this decision.  His key statement that every college basketball fan should take to heart: “This much is certain. Nearly all the various parties with a vested interest in the tourney seem far more open to expansion possibilities than the general public.” Folks, if you do nothing else for the rest of your lives, let interim NCAA president James Isch know how you feel about this possibility coming directly from the fans themselves.  If they’re going ostrich on us, then let’s make sure they hear us through the sand.  Contact him directly at jisch@ncaa.org.
  5. ESPN’s Rick Reilly joined the ‘when to RTC’ conversation yesterday just in time for Maryland’s RTC against Duke last night.  Using his Ironclad and Unbreakable RTCing Rules, Terp fans will not be eligible for an RTC until the 2022-23 season.  Hyperbole, yes, but we do agree with his primary sentiment in that it’s happening far too often.  We have no  hard data on this, but it’s getting to the point where every school seems to be RTCing at least once a season.  If everyone is doing it for any reason under the sun, then nobody is doing anything unique or special.  The best idea we’ve heard from the twitterati in recent weeks was the idea that a student body would ‘fake RTC,’ as in threatening to rush without actually doing so.  The first student body that actually pulls that one off would forever be in our debt and gratitude.
Share this story

09.30.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 30th, 2009

You know what tomorrow is, right?  Yeah, October.  Us too. 

  • Scare at Tennessee.   A very frightening story out of Knoxville earlier this week was that Vol sophomore forward Emmanuel Negedu collapsed while lifting weights on Monday and reportedly had to be revived by UT medical staff prior to his transport to the hospital.  He’s spent the last two nights there under watch, and doctors continue to perform tests on him to make sure that he’s not suffering from something deadly.  We all know the stories over the years, from Len Bias to Hank Gathers to Reggie Lewis, and these are always scary incidents.  RTC wishes Negedu the best of luck and wishes for a full recovery. 
  • Cleaning up at Binghamton...  Two ugly incidents put an early stain on the 2009-10 season, as we discussed in separate posts when they happened last week.  Both were stories capable of sending shock waves through college basketball this week, though, as Binghamton yesterday fired an adjunct lecturer who claimed in a NYT article last February that basketball players were receiving preferential treatment in the classroom (grade changing, independent study, and the like).  The Binghamton program is now in shambles on the court, but we continue to be shocked and amazed that Kevin Broadus, the recruiter of all the problem children who ended up dismissed (and arrested), is skating on this one.  Seriously, think about this - Binghamton cans the whistleblowing prof but not the coach who orchestrated the entire mess?  How is this possible?  Isn’t the SUNY chancellor now the same woman who stood on the library steps and shouted “no more” to the Cincinnati faithful when she 86ed Bob Huggins four years ago?  And yet she’s curiously silent (along with BU’s president, Lois B. DeFleur, for the most part).  Something’s not right here, and we figure there’s more to come.  If there is, we can rest assured the NYT’s Pete Thamel will figure it out.     EDITED TO ADD: Yep, the AD is gone, can Broadus be far behind?
  • …and Kansas.   Perhaps the uglier incident last week was the three fights between members of the KU basketball and football teams.  Much was written about how embarrassing this was to the university, the athletic department, the coaches and players involved, and Thursday’s public, formal apologies did little to defuse the PR hit that Bill Self’s program took last week.  The word is that players were fighting over (what else?) girls and rep, but KU football players shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that just because they’ve had a nice run in that program the last few years that Kansas will ever be anything but a basketball school.  The question now is what will Bill Self do to punish the guilty parties?  We already know that Tyshawn Taylor was involved due to his dislocated finger that’ll hold him out of workouts for around a month.  We also know that one of the Morris twins pushed a football player down the stairs, a very dangerous act of battery (this would be Markieff’s second, btw) that was mitigated by another player catching the falling player as he made his way downward.   News outlets all report that there were some other hoops players involved as well.  We think that, for the sake of his program, Bill Self has to take a very serious stand on this one.  You simply cannot have the players on a preseason #1 team running around campus fighting indiscriminately with players from the football team.  Not only can your own players get hurt, but with so many big bodies involved, run-of-the-mill students can also get hurt.  Luckily, that didn’t happen here, but Self needs to show that he’s totally in charge of his program.  Anything less than a several-game suspension for all of the players involved would reveal that early-season Ws are more important to him than discipline.  If it were us, we’d sit the Morris who threw the player down the stairs for ten games and the others for five each.  No questions asked.  If Kansas loses an early game or two versus Memphis and/or UCLA because of it, well, too bad.  The good will that Self engenders as a no-nonsense coach will provide far greater benefits over time in terms of recruiting and public reputation than it will by letting these players off easy.    
  • Non-BCS Schools Receive Harsher Penalties Than BCS Schools – No Way!!  This jewel made it into our inbox last week from the Orlando Sentinel.  The Michael Buckner Law Firm performed an analysis that showed that the average years of probation meted out to non-BCS programs was longer than those handed out to BCS programs over a 4+ year period in the late 2000s.  The average amount of probation time for a non-BCS program was 2.74 years versus 2.58 years for BCS programs.  There’s no accounting for whether the difference is simple error or actual bias, but what is more damning from this study is the finding that the HBCU schools (historically black colleges and universities) were given 3.83 years of probation versus the aforementioned 2.58 for BCS schools.  That seems a little ridiculous to us.  Of course, the NCAA predictably dismissed the study on statistical grounds, and we understand their complaint.  So here’s our suggestion to the NCAA: hire an independent researcher to examine your enforcement policies and practices for consistency and bias, and get back to us.  Something tells us we’ll be waiting on that for quite some time.
  • Quick HitsBlue Ribbontop 25 and all-americansJames Ischgood luck, sir.   Billy Clyde: offered a plea bargain in Ky.  Gary Williams: one-year extensionNolan Richardson: the descent continuesMVC Nonconf Schedulestremendous analysis.   Gonzaga:  are they reloading or rebuilding in Spokane?  Luke Winn: charting peaks and valleys of the offseason.  Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger: get to know themCvC: pushing for healthcare reform on Capitol Hill.  Goodman: top 20 backcourts and top 20 frontcourts AND his Big 12 previewTyler Smith: who will be the first person he follows on TwitterJim Crews: fired at Army after 7 years.  Herb Sendek: busily not gloating in TempeDemetrius Jemison: Bama forward out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.   Shocker: Derrick Rose says he took his own SATA Decade Ago: Harold “The Show” ArceneauxRay McCallum, Sr.: walking the fine line between parent and recruiter

Share this story