The Week That Was: Mar. 1-7

Posted by jstevrtc on March 8th, 2011

David Ely is an RTC Contributor.

Introduction

Congrats are in order for the following teams that locked up automatic NCAA berths this week: St. Peter’s (MAAC), Old Dominion (CAA), Wofford (SoCon), Gonzaga (WCC), Indiana State (MVC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun) and UNC-Asheville (Big South). It’s always fun watching these teams celebrate their conference championships because the excitement just feels more honest than, say, when an Ohio State or a Pittsburgh wins its conference tournament. Championship Week is great for television purposes because there are so many great games to watch, but there usually is less urgency among the teams from the major conferences. For them, conference tournaments are about posturing for seeds and surviving the weekend injury-free. Roy Williams once called the ACC Tournament a big cocktail party, and it’s not surprising that his two title teams both bowed out in the semifinals.  

What We Learned 

 

Davies Will Obviously Be Missed, But Charles Abouo's Emergence Has Mitigated the Sting

 

If you’re a big time recruit and have BYU in your top five, you might want to reconsider your stance on the Cougars. Seriously, why would a player with options want to go to BYU now that its draconian honor code system is in the national spotlight. By now, everyone knows Brandon Davies (BYU’s third leading scorer and leading rebounder) was suspended from the BYU basketball team for allegedly having premarital sex with his girlfriend. Davies’ suspension is a crushing blow for the Cougars, who have gone from a sexy popular national title pick to a team some think won’t make it out of the first weekend.

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BGTD: Early Afternoon Games Analysis

Posted by jstevrtc on February 19th, 2011

BracketBusters will get a whole post to itself a little later, but there’s enough good stuff happening today elsewhere in college basketball to keep us busy. We’ve already had some important results today in terms of bubble-ology (you gotta finish strong, Virginia Tech), and there’s even been a slew of Twitter chatter about who would be the best Commissioner of College Basketball — we prefer “Czar of Hoops” – if such a position existed. Peter Gabriel once said that all art is based on theft, so we took that idea and created a Twitter poll about it, for which we’ll be taking votes up through this evening.

  • Hardy Shows Guts, MSG Goes Nuts. Some time around the middle of the second half of what turned out to be a 60-59 St. John’s win over Pittsburgh, thanks to a closing-moments layin by Dwight Hardy, we tweeted out a quick poll to see how many of our faithful followers thought St. John’s would get into the Dance. We figured everyone would vote them in…and that’s exactly what happened after about a hundred votes. NOBODY voted them out, which really didn’t surprise us. Then the game ended, and we canceled the poll. It was all but a foregone conclusion before that game, given their collection of signature wins, but it’s final, now. The only question is what seed they’ll get. With a deep run in the Big East Tournament, could the Johnnies play themselves up to a four seed? A three? What say you, friends?
  • No Higgins Jokes, Please. Another question from that game: Hardy looked like a tightrope walker as he tried to stay in-bounds along the baseline while making his move that led to the game-winning layup. Did he step out? When we rewound the DVR, it looked like his toes stayed in, but his heels were definitely over the line. The way his foot moves, though, it appears that he pivoted on his toes and his heels were hovering above the line (so to speak), but we admit that it’s not the best angle. The referee, you’ll notice, is looking right at Hardy’s feet. Nobody in America had a better view. We’ll go with his (non-)call until we see a better angle. A couple of people mentioned that Hardy hooked his defender to get free for the shot, but you can’t expect to get that call that late and on the road.
  • Get On Your (Combat) Boots. The Big East Tournament is going to be a total war to the point that all we need to make it better is Dale Dye coordinating student section cheers in his dress blues. Or maybe ESPN could have him do the pre-game teasers. We say this because West Virginia got hot in the second half and just cooked likely-two-seed and possible-one-seed Notre Dame, 72-58. It obviously improves WVU’s Tournament resume’, not that there was much doubt about their chances. Truck Bryant and his previously broken fifth metatarsal hit four threes and 10 of his 12 free throws en route to a 24-point day.
  • We Told You So. For anyone complaining that Texas should have been the #1 team in the polls back on Monday, Nebraska says “Hi.” Two of our guys voted for the Longhorns for the RTC Top 25 (which Ohio State sat atop when our mainframe finished tabulating all the data) and there’s no question an excellent case could have been made, but the Huskers took care of that moments ago. Nebraska tried to give it away by missing free throws and fouling three-point shooters — twice — in the last three minutes of the game, losing their double-digit lead over a span of about ninety seconds. But, they held on, 70-67, to deal Texas their first Big 12 loss. So far today, we’ve seen losses by #4 Pitt, #7 Notre Dame, and now #2 Texas. Nobody is safe this year, people. There’s no single team that even approaches what everyone thought of Kansas last year, and we know how it all worked out for them. What a post-season we have in store.
  • We Want To Hear From You. That especially applies today, because we’re not kidding about that Twitter poll. Who would get your vote for the position of Commissioner of College Basketball? Hit us up on Twitter, and let us know. We’ll announce the results later today on the feed. As of right now, your leaders are Jay Bilas, and…Bob Knight.
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Boom Goes The Dynamite: Mid-Afternoon Games – 12.11.10

Posted by jstevrtc on December 11th, 2010

A Dentist’s Dream in Pittsburgh: As we were watching the early portion of this game we were hoping the Consol Energy Center had at least installed a blood bank somewhere in the wings. This was one heck of a physical battle from the opening tip, but we have to give respect to players from both sides, here. Already this year, we’ve seen a few physical games in which, as often happens, emotions got stirred up and something like a mini-scrap or at least a big verbal exchange happens. Not so, in this game. Both teams took what the refs gave them and it never got out of hand. No elbows, no punches, no shouting matches, nothing. There was one intentional foul in the first half (correctly called) and a tiny exchange of words in the second half, but nothing ever escalated.

Smacked Panthers: Please call the UT basketball offices if you find Scotty Hopson’s mind. Because he lost it agaisnt the Panthers. Everything the guy did (27 points on 10-13 shooting, including 3-3 from three point range) was gorgeous on Saturday. Powerful dunks, aggressive drives and finishes, silky outside jumpers from range…he found a groove that Miles Davis would have been proud of. Just as amazing was that, in the face of such a performance, Pitt showed little fightback and little interest until about 37 minutes had passed, as if the Panthers were just devastated by the Dave Wannstedt resignation.

Badgers Value the Rock: We wonder what Bo Ryan talked to his team about at halftime? First half…three offensive rebounds; second half…TWELVE?!? That’s an unreal glass-crashing effort on their own end. And efficiency, thy name is still Bo Ryan. Wisconsin’s first turnover of the second half didn’t happen until there was only 3:39 left!

Hard on the Huskies? There’s been a lot less talk about Washington over the last couple of weeks, mostly because they lost two games in Maui. They were to Kentucky and Michigan State…not exactly a couple of bran muffins. Right now they’re in a battle at Texas A&M, an incredibly tough place to be a visiting team. If they can pull this one out against the Aggies, look for the chatter to rev up for the Huskies again, and deservedly so.

Hoosiers Rising: The improvement in Indiana is obvious. They’re only down one at the half at Kentucky, though the Wildcats aren’t exactly helping themselves in the shot-selection department (1-7 from three). Indiana fans have been very patient, and the rewards are coming, we promise. What really irks us is that we heard that Scott Van Pelt was at Rupp Arena tonight. We were in Lexington last weekend and in Louisville on Wednesday, and we’ve been hoping to run into that guy on our travels at some point.

Primary Color Commentary: Dan Dakich’s breakdown of late-game strategy in the Wisconsin vs Marquette game was further evidence of why he’s a fantastic color guy, as everyone now knows. And we couldn’t agree more with Jay Bilas‘ mention, when speaking about Scotty Hopson, of how it’s actually OK to give a hot-shot high school recruit a few years to mature and develop his game at the college level.

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Highlighters & Headsets: Critiquing College Gameday

Posted by rtmsf on December 1st, 2010

Highlighters and Headsets is an occasional look at the coverage of college basketball – from television to print (they still make paper?), blogs to bracket busters, and Gus Johnson to Gameday – written by RTC contributor Steve Moore. He welcomes your comments, column ideas and Dickie (V) jokes at smoore71@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @smoore1117.

Taking a Look at College Gameday

ESPN has yet to start this season’s edition of Gameday for basketball, but for me, it seems interesting to discuss just how uninteresting the hoops edition has turned out to be.  Each Saturday in the fall, I make it a point to watch some or all of the football version of Gameday. Why? It’s not any sort of college football obsession – heck, my alma mater cut its football program 13 years ago, and the closest I come to rooting interest is hating on Penn State.

Hoops Gameday Needs to Broaden Its Horizons

It’s not the insightful “analysis” of Lee Corso or Kirk Herbstreit, and it’s not even to look at Erin Andrews (although that’s not a bad way to start your weekend). Sure, there’s the occasional funny feature, or heartfelt story about a player or program you never knew existed. But that’s not really it, either.  To be honest, the main reason I watch is because I like to feel like I’m a part of the “event” that is a college football Saturday. The signs, the cheerleaders, the massive sea of fans behind the stage. Just the feel of it all makes me, at least for one fleeting instant, wish I had a big-time program to root for. Heck, I’d even take a 1-AA team (and no, NCAA, I’m not calling it FCS – so take that).

My point is that college football Saturdays are an event, whether you’re in Tuscaloosa or Towson. College basketball doesn’t have that “big day” of action, and there’s nothing the sport can do about that. Yet one of the main reasons we all love college basketball is the atmosphere that surrounds a big game, inside and outside of the gym. And there is plenty ESPN could do to improve on that aspect.

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After the Buzzer: Huskies, Saints And Silverswords

Posted by jstevrtc on November 25th, 2010

Your Watercooler Moment. If you actually find yourself anywhere near a watercooler on Thursday and you’re hoping to avoid discussing this ”football” thing that’s evidently popular on this holiday (yeah, we don’t get it, either), there was definitely ample material in the way of college basketball on Thanksgiving Eve to keep the conversation lively. Alaska and Hawaii always make their presence felt in the basketball world this time of year, and on Wednesday we had an unlikely champion crowned in Maui and the beginning of the festivities in the Great Alaska. And that snickering you hear — assuming it’s not still coming from Kemba Walker – might be coming from a couple of non-Division I schools that made turkeys out of a couple of bigger foes.

Today’s Quick Hits…

  • My Name Is Walker. During the ESPN broadcast, commentators Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas both rhetorically asked, “How do you guard him?” Absolutely none of Wichita State, Michigan State, or Kentucky had the answer. Give him space, he drills jumpers. Body him, and he blows by you into the paint, which means you’re in trouble. Just as noteworthy as his scoring ability is that Kemba Walker smiles just as big after making a pass that results in a bucket as he does after hitting a shot himself, as his six assists against the Wildcats prove

Walker And His Teammates Bring Back Some Sun, and Increased Hope, Back to Storrs

  • Ha Ha, Chaminade You Are. There’s only one good thing about seventh place: it’s not eighth. When you’re D-II Chaminade and you knock off a Big 12 opponent in your own tournament, though, it’s a life-altering result. Oklahoma outshot Chaminade from the field and both teams hit six treys, yet the Silverswords were able to pull this off. Head coach Matt Mahar, seen crying with his father after the game, told reporters in the post-game press conference, “For our university and our team, this is something we’ll never forget.”
  • Our Who of the Wha? That’s Our Lady of the Lake University, or OLLU. It’s a small Catholic college in San Antonio, home to around 2,600 young higher-education-seeking souls. They’re called the Saints. And now they own a victory over D-I Texas State from the Southland Conference on Wednesday. According to Mid-Majority, for reasons you should already know, when a school from the “other 25″ conferences beats a school from one of the power six conferences, it’s a Red Line Upset. When a D-II or D-III school knocks off a D-I school in a non-exhibition, it’s a Black Line Upset. When an NAIA school like OLLU does it to a D-I school…well, they don’t even have a name for that. The “It’s just Texas State” argument doesn’t even come close to holding water, here. This win by the Saints is the biggest story of the night that you won’t hear about.

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Highlighters & Headsets: Reviewing the Marathon

Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2010

Highlighters & Headsets is an occasional look at the coverage of college basketball – from television to print (they still make paper?), blogs to bracket busters, and Gus Johnson to Gameday – written by RTC contributor Steve Moore. He welcomes your comments, column ideas and Dickie (V) jokes at smoore71@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @smoore1117.

Hoops Marathon Tests ESPN’s Bench Depth

ESPN catches a lot of flak from a lot of people – much of it deserved. But as almost any college basketball fan will tell you, the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon is one of the best things on the ESPN calendar. It’s unique and quirky, without being overly gimmicky. We get to see teams and players we won’t see again all season, and have an excuse to stay up until all hours of the night.  For me (and I hope at least a few others, or else no one will be reading this), part of the allure is also keeping an eye (and ear) on how ESPN performs during its annual test of endurance and depth.

The WWL Nailed This Event

Personally, I think this is the kind of thing that proves why ESPN is the gold standard. Its resources (read: dollar bills, y’all) are endless, and, for the most part, its announcing crews are professional and entertaining. Unlike some people here at RTC, I couldn’t make it through the entire 24 hours without the help of Red Bull, Four Loko or some other delicious energy beverage. But I did catch enough to put together a quick rundown of the ups and downs of ESPN’s effort on what was, overall, an incredible day for hoops fans everywhere.

THE PERFECT ATTITUDE

Nearly all of ESPN’s announcing teams on Tuesday – and the general attitude of the network’s promotion – seemed to understand the event. By that, I mean the network seemed to understand that the whole concept of playing basketball at 2, 4 and 6 a.m. is a little strange, and it’s OK to increase the off-beat goofiness and drop the life-or-death mindset that is more appropriate during Championship Week or UNC-Duke.

As the hours got later, the announcers seemed to adapt with the late-night viewers watching at home. Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery (Memphis-Miami, midnight) always sound like they’re sitting at the bar talking about the game, but Carter Blackburn/Mark Gottfried (St. Mary’s-St. John’s, 2 a.m.) and Todd Harris/Mark Adams (Hawaii/Central Michigan, 4 a.m.) lightened the mood and didn’t take themselves too seriously. We got much less in the way of X’s and O’s, and more basic information about teams and players we may not know too well.

The prize, however, goes to the duo of Rob Stone and Jay Williams, who called two games in two different states, 12 hours apart (Monmouth-Stony Brook, 6 a.m., and Villanova/Marist, 5:30 p.m.). Stone’s lighthearted style, and the fact that he’s not a college hoops specialist, just seemed to work well with a ridiculous 6 a.m. tip in a high school-sized gym at Monmouth. Part of the allure of the 6 a.m. game is wondering what the atmosphere is like and whether the players and coaches are into it. The duo kept me interested, and also seemed completely on board with their early wakeup call. It would have been easy to tell if the pair felt like it was forced into the ridiculous assignment. Stone and Williams seemed to embrace the absurdity of it all, and even filmed their trek from Monmouth to Villanova. The clip of Stone rocking out to Journey was one of the day’s highlights.

Jason Williams Has Really Improved Over the Years

In fact, I would even suggest a few more of these quirky announcing journeys during the marathon. Maybe let McDonough and Raftery start and finish the event, or send Dickie V to Monmouth or one of the smaller schools. God knows he sees the ACC enough.

GREAT NEW VOICES, AND GRATING FAMILIAR FACES

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Boom Goes The Dynamite: ESPN’s 24 Hours Of Hoops Marathon 2010

Posted by jstevrtc on November 15th, 2010

PUT. THAT COFFEE. DOWN.

For the third year in a row, ESPN is bringing us what we consider one of the great television events on the sports television calendar, the 24 Hours of Hoops Marathon. That means that for the third year in a row, I’ll be live-blogging the whole thing from start to finish — and this year, we’re climbing this hoops blogger’s Everest without supplemental oxygen. That is to say…I’m going caffeine-free. More importantly, here is the schedule of games for this year’s marathon (all times Eastern):

  • 12:00 midnight — Miami (FL) at Memphis (ESPN)
  • 2:00 am — St. John’s at St. Mary’s (ESPN)
  • 4:00 am — Central Michigan at Hawaii (ESPN)
  • 6:00 am — Stony Brook at Monmouth (ESPN)
  • 8:00 am — Robert Morris at Kent State (ESPN)
  • 10:00 am — Northeastern at Southern Illinois (ESPN)
  • 12 noon — Oral Roberts at Tulsa (ESPN)
  • 2:00 pm — La Salle at Baylor (ESPN)
  • 4:00 pm — Virginia Tech at Kansas State (ESPN)
  • 5:30 pm — Marist at Villanova (ESPNU)
  • 6:00 pm — Ohio State at Florida (ESPN)
  • 7:30 pm — Miami (OH) at Duke (ESPNU)
  • 8:00 pm — Butler at Louisville (ESPN)
  • 9:30 pm — Belmont at Tennessee (ESPNU)
  • 10:00 pm — South Carolina at Michigan State (ESPN)
  • 11:00 pm — San Diego State at Gonzaga (ESPN2)
  • 11:30 pm — Pacific at UCLA (ESPNU)

The first attempt at this resulted in some hallucinations and arrhythmias as the hour got late (I had been up for 16 hours before starting the live blog) and I required a few caffeine-laden beverages. Last year, we had a technical glitch that kept us on our toes, but the live blog survived. This time, to raise the standard yet again, I’ll be sans caffeine. I know that without a webcam (we’re not that kind of site) you have no reason to believe that I’m not pounding sodas and cappuccinos and Five Hour Energy drinks by the blender-full. Since I believe RTC is the only site that’s done this all three years, well…you’ll just have to trust me. After two years, I think our relationship is in that kind of place. I hope you’ll join us right here (the live blog will continue in this post) a few minutes before midnight. Now, for my pre-live-blog meal. How’s a little turkey and wine sound?

11:47 PM Monday — Here we go. The high-def at the RTC Southern Compound is rockin’. We’ve checked the router and the internet connection to the building (which bit us in zee buttocks last year), and it appears solid. The football game is all but over (as it has been since halftime). Let’s go.

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Hey Knight, Wanna Roast?

Posted by rtmsf on September 20th, 2010

Former Indiana/Texas Tech head coach and current ESPN curmudgeon Bob Knight was back in Indiana over the weekend (Hammond, in the NW corner of the state, to be specific) for a roast in his honor to raise money for Westchester Saint Joseph, the suburban Chicago-area high school that produced such IU notables as Isiah Thomas and Daryl Thomas (not to mention William Gates from Hoop Dreams fame).

"Hey, Knight" Wasn't Part of the Proceedings

These roasts of coaches done of and by other coaches are always a little awkward and very unintentionally funny, and from the videos we’ve seen so far, this roast was no different.  Nevertheless, we’d be doing our readers here a disservice if we didn’t at least mention it and show some clips.  So here are a few from the Bob Knight Roast & Toast on Friday night from the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.  The level of hilarity increases the closer to fifty years old that you are.  (h/t Elliott Harris for the YouTube clips)

Knight tells a biblical parable here… sorta.

Knight commandeers the show from emcee Jay Bilas in his own inimitable way…

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September 15th Will Be “Mike Krzyzewski Day”

Posted by nvr1983 on August 24th, 2010

The past two years have been very good for Mike Krzyzewski. In addition to taking Duke back to the top of the college basketball world last April, he also led Team USA back to the top of the international basketball world (not that there was any doubt as long as we brought the “A team”) in Beijing. An inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001, he has won almost every title (four NCAA championships, 12 ACC championships in both the regular season and conference tournament, and an Olympic gold medal) and received almost every award (three Naismith College Cach of the Year Awards, two Basketball Times National Coach of the Year Awards, a NABC National Coach of the Year Award, and five ACC Coach of the Year Awards) that he could be expected to win.

K: Best in the Business

To add to that, earlier today the city of Chicago announced that it would make this September 15th into “Mike Krzyzewski Day” (over/under on misspelled signs and posters: 130) on the same day that he will be inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and receive the Ray Meyer College Coach of the Year Award. [Ed. Note: We aren't expecting Chicago great and Duke-hater Michael Jordan to be in attendance.] Coach K, a native of Chicago, graduated from Archbishop Weber High School before matriculating to the Army where he played under a fairly decent coach named Bob Knight. A solid but unspectacular guard at Army, he served in the Army for three years and coached at a prep school for two years before joining Knight as an assistant at Indiana where he left just before the 1975-76 season (the last undefeated Division I team) to take over as the head coach at Army. Although he compiled a 73-59 record at Army, he went 9-17 in his last season before getting an offer from Duke to become their head coach (a classic case of failing upwards). His first three years at Duke were not much more successful as after a merely mediocre rookie campaign he went a combined 21-34 over his second and third seasons. At that point many critics suspected Krzyzewski’s days in Durham were numbered, but little did they know that the freshman class that season (Johnny DawkinsMark AlarieDavid Henderson, and Jay Bilas) would wind up being one of the greatest classes in the school’s history. After that group made it to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament in their sophomore and junior campaigns they took off as seniors in what is widely considered one of the finest seasons in college basketball history. That group entered the championship game with a 37-2 record against a Denny Crum-led Louisville team before falling by three points to freshman sensation “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison and the Cardinals.

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Morning Five: 07.02.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 1st, 2010

We’re back with another a Friday edition of The Morning 5. The end of the (work) week means that we are one week closer to Midnight Madness. We hope you all enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations and be safe with whatever you are doing.

  1. As an example of what not to do on your holiday weekend (or any time for that matter) we turn to Atlanta, where Georgia athletic director Damon Evans was arrested for a DUI late Wednesday night. We’re expecting quite a bit of talk about this over the next week, but one Atlanta columnist is already taking him to task for the incident (rather lightly we might add) and we don’t expect that to be the last column on the issue. To compound matters (at least in terms of PR) Evans had previously participated in a video advising fans to not drink and drive.
  2. Former UConn star Donyell Marshall was named as an assistant coach at George Washington. The move will reunite Marshall with head coach Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant on the UConn teams of the early ’90s when Marshall starred in Storrs, including his 1993-94 campaign when he was named 1st Team All-American and Big East Player of the Year (and, ironically, knocked George Washington out of the NCAA Tournament in the 2nd round).
  3. Dana O’Neil checks in with Fran McCaffery who, as the mid-major coach du jour, left Siena a few months ago to take over at Iowa for Todd Lickliter, who was mid-major coach du jour at Butler before coming to Iowa…and was fired three seasons later.
  4. Jay Bilas, attorney-at-law (he actually is one) points out the “slippery slope” of the current NCAA charges against USC, UConn, and Memphis in relation to the UCLA dynasty and the recently departed John Wooden (ESPN Insider required; sorry, but it is an interesting article). Many people might take issue with the timing of this article so soon after Wooden’s death, but those people are missing the point of the article. It isn’t so much an attack on Wooden and his teams, but instead targets the NCAA and its antiquated by-laws. We have some issues with certain points of his argument, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the column (if you have ESPN Insider access).
  5. Speaking of legendary coaches, Don Meyer of Northern State (D2) was selected to be the recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. Meyer ranks second all-time in wins by a men’s college basketball coach at any level with 923 wins trailing just Harry Statham of McKendree University (NAIA) who has a healthy lead with 1,022 wins. We have a feeling a certain coach out of Durham might be approaching those numbers in the next few years.
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Morning Five: 06.23.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 22nd, 2010

  1. Villanova’s Taylor King has now quit on his second program, deciding in the past few days to transfer out of Villanova.  Well, not really.  According to the release, King has decided to “voluntarily withdraw from the men’s basketball team,” but he plans on sticking around the school to complete his degree requirements.  Is this for real?  Despite what Gary Parrish writes about King’s oversized expectations, he was solid for at least half the season on the Main Line last year (7/5 in 19 MPG) and we find it hard to believe that he’s given up on basketball completely.  The guy could probably be a star in the WCC or a similar league.
  2. Luke Winn examines how the new coach at Wake Forest, Jeff Bzdelik is adjusting to his new job.  Bzdelik claims that he will adapt to his personnel and keep the Deacs as an uptempo team that pushes the ball, but every coach says that in the summertime.  The story about how the Wake coaching staff kept their top twenty recruiting class intact is pretty cool, though.
  3. Fred Barakat, a longtime ACC  official and executive as well as former Fairfield coach, died on Monday at the age of 71.  He is widely regarded as one of the key players in the extraordinary growth of ACC basketball as a brand in the 80s and 90s.  RIP, Fred.
  4. Class of 2011 super-recruit James McAdoo was considering bailing on his senior year of high school to matriculate in Chapel Hill a year earlier than expected, but ZagsBlog reported yesterday that he would instead remain in Hampton Roads next year.  You only get to be a kid once, so we fully support this decision.
  5. This interview of Jay Bilas, Gary Williams, Jay Wright and Jim Boeheim at the CvC Golf Invitational shows that coaches are definitely concerned about realignment.  Bilas, as usual, has the best take: the NCAA needs to get in front of this realignment business or risk getting left completely behind in a few years when the super-conferences decide that the entity is no longer necessary.

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Morning Five: 06.17.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 16th, 2010

  1. Kansas AD Lew Perkins unveiled the secrets behind the curtain when he explained yesterday that the five Big 12 schools facing life outside the BCS — KU, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State and Baylor — came up with a ‘business plan’ to keep the Texas and Oklahoma schools from bailing on them to the Pac-10.  This business plan essentially amounts to these five schools paying for the privilege of having Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in their conference.  Whether the subsidy will come from their NCAA Tournament revenue or penalties levied against Colorado and Nebraska for leaving is unclear, but what is absolutely certain is that the dollars will end up in Austin, College Station, Stillwater and Norman.  Just.  Wow.
  2. Jerry Jones has done some amazing things in his lifetime, so if anyone else was pitching the idea of adding Arkansas and Notre Dame to the newfangled Big 12, we’d immediately dismiss the idea.  With the billionaire Cowboys owner saying it, we’ll at least entertain the thought for fifteen seconds or so.  For what it’s worth, Arkansas AD Jeff Long said that the Hawgs have “no interest” in leaving the SEC.  And why would they?  They are making major bank where they are, and the Big 12 is still going to be fraught with uncertainty given its ridiculous revenue ‘sharing’ agreement.
  3. Here’s a good recap of Tom Izzo reactions from around the blogosphere over at BiaH.  Izzo as professional coach just doesn’t feel right.  We like this move to stay in East Lansing.
  4. An interview with one of the best in the biz, Jay Bilas, for your lazy-day summer reading.
  5. We enjoyed this post by Braves & Birds, an Atlanta-area sports blog, but we need to make one clarification: if you add up the value of all of the separate conference television contracts as well as the BCS bowl game contracts, it still does not approach what the NCAA Tournament brings in an average year (~$700-$800M) from its television deal.  The problem isn’t revenue in college basketball; it’s where the revenue goes.  Since the NCAA Tournament collects all the money from CBS/Turner up front and metes it out to the schools and conferences as it sees fit while all the college football dollars go directly to the conferences/schools themselves, it’s easy to see why the gridiron game is the driver here.  It also explains why there won’t be a college football playoff anytime soon as administered by the NCAA — the big-ticket schools simply don’t want to share that revenue with anyone else.
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