Morning Five: 09.28.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 28th, 2010

  1. Former Michigan State star and 1979 national champion Jay Vincent pleaded guilty to falsifying his tax return and mail fraud on Friday as part of an Internet scam that defrauded investors of over $2M from 2006-09.  The ruse he and an associate pulled on people involved convincing their clients to become home inspectors, undoubtedly trying to cash in on people’s blind greed as a result of the national housing bubble during those years.  For some reason, every time we hear one of these stories about former stars doing the wrong thing (and there are plenty of them), it makes us sad.  It shouldn’t, but it still does.
  2. Wouldn’t it be great if Butler’s Brad Stevens ultimately decided to stay in Indianapolis for the next thirty-odd years and built Butler into a national powerhouse who competed with the likes of Duke, Kentucky, UNC and Kansas for the top recruits and slots in the Final Four every year?  To say Stevens will never leave Butler for another job at a high(er)-major is unlikely — after all, never is a long time for a 33-year old — but according to this article by Seth Davis, it certainly appears that the coaching wunderkind is awfully comfortable with his office in Hinkle Fieldhouse, and we’re rooting for him to be in the old barn for a very long time.
  3. Nolan Smith is the Dookie who’s hard to hate, and this story by David Steele at Fanhouse helps to illustrate why.  We all know that Nolan and his father, Derek, are one of the few father-son duos to have ever both won a national title.  Can you name the other duos?
  4. Blue Ribbon has announced its first-team All-Americans for the 2010-11 season, and the list is heavy with Big 12 players…  Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn, Kansas’ Marcus Morris, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen, Duke’s Kyle Singler and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.  You know what’s especially interesting about this list?  Four seniors and one junior.  Do you think that Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes might have something to say about that?
  5. We’re definitely late on this one, but we had to make mention of it.  LSU walk-on Andrew Del Piero spent last year in the LSU band playing tuba; he’ll spend this year trying to harness the 7’2, 286-pounds of flesh and blood that he has been blessed with on a basketball court.  Tigers coach Trent Johnson has his work cut out for him, but Del Piero at least has some basketball bloodlines of some sort — his pops played at Dartmouth a number of years ago.  Here’s some footage of him playing in the LSU marching band last season — he’s fairly easy to spot near the end of the clip.

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Morning Five: 09.01.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 1st, 2010

  1. Obviously, the big news of yesterday was BYU’s decision to join the WCC in basketball (and all other sports except football).  It makes sense on a number of levels (religious school, kill the WAC, etc.), but we have to admit that you typically don’t see a school ‘trade down’ in relative strength like this.  But the lure of football independence was just too much for the Cougars to resist, and although we’ll miss BYU in the Mountain West, we’re excited to see if the addition of the LDS school will help bring the WCC to the top of the mid-major heap in hoops.  Our Mountain West and WCC correspondents examined both sides of the move, while Jeff Goodman caught up with the person currently residing in the WCC most impacted by BYU’s entry, Gonzaga’s Mark Few.
  2. Former Duke all-american point guard Bobby Hurley is doing his best to contribute to the collective schadenfreude that the nation feels when members of Coach K’s first two championship teams lose their shirts.  Not long ago we learned that two starters on the 1991 and 1992 title teams, Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, were facing massive debt problems as a result of their failed company, Blue Devil Ventures.  This week Hurley’s horse farm, named Devil Eleven Farm and located in Ocala, Florida, was foreclosed upon after he stopped making payments on the 140-acre property in the spring of 2009.  Clearly both of these situations likely have something to do with the nationwide recession that began in late 2007, but we know some Kentucky and UNC fans somewhere out there who are very much enjoying this news.
  3. Ex-Michigan State star and 1979 national champion Jay Vincent was arraigned yesterday on charges of defrauding investors of $2 million in an internet scam that convinced people to pay him to become home inspectors, where he pleaded not guilty.  Court records, however, show that a plea bargain may already be in the works.  He has until the end of the month to change his plea.
  4. High School Hoop profiles one of the most well-known but not really behind-the-scenes players in the collegiate game: Worldwide Wes.  There’s not a lot of new information here, but it’s interesting to hear some of the top recruits in the class of 2011 talk about the influence (or lack thereof) of WWW on their recruitments.
  5. St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin was a strong recruiter during his time at UCLA in the late 90s and early 2000s, as he put ten players into the NBA Draft during his seven years in Westwood.  So it should come as no surprise that he’s hit the ground running by earning a commitment from his first big name at SJUMaurice Harkless, a 6’7 forward from Queens who originally committed to UConn but later re-opened his commitment, could be a transformative recruit for Lavin’s new program.  If city kids start considering the Johnnies as a viable destination along with the standard regional powers such as UConn, Syracuse, Villanova and a few others, suddenly New York City might have its own college team again.
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Morning Five: 08.20.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on August 20th, 2010

  1. Looking for a kid to root for in two years (after a redshirt year)? Look no further than Jimmy McDonnell, now possessive of a spankin’ new basketball scholarship at Temple. Mike DeCourcy has a great summary of a young man who wasn’t even a college hoops prospect of any kind early in his high school hoops career, but became one through hard work and the help of a couple of coaches who saw something in him. He sounds like one of those first-to-arrive, last-to-leave kinds of players to us, and that’s something we can always get behind.
  2. It would be tough to root against Deandre Daniels, too, a top prospect in the 2011 class (ESPNU #28Rivals #10Scout #8 PF) who might reclassify into the 2010 class within the next 24 hours. Daniels missed a lot of school two years ago to help care for a grandfather stricken with cancer, got moved to the 2011 class, but has caught up with his original 2010 class through night classes and summer school. After decommitting from Texas for 2011, he’s got several scholly offers for this season, and Kentucky appears to have a head in front, which should surprise nobody anymore.
  3. Kansas lost a couple of players on Wednesday when C.J. Henry and Chase Buford both decided to put Lawrence in their rearview mirrors.  Buford averaged about two minutes a game over 11 appearances and decided that he wants his senior year of college to be that of a regular student. Henry, as you may recall, was a first-round draft pick of the Yankees back in 2005, received a $1.6 million bonus and had his tuition paid by the Yanks at Memphis. When brother Xavier committed to Kansas and John Calipari left for Kentucky, C.J. was released from his LOI and enrolled as a Jayhawk, redshirting his freshman year.  He’s out of baseball, and after averaging five minutes a game over 15 games last season for KU, he’s looking to continue his basketball career elsewhere.
  4. Jay Vincent, a former teammate of Magic’s on the ’79 Michigan State championship team and a nine-year NBA veteran, was indicted yesterday in an online employment scam. He and a partner were pinched for allegedly fronting a company that prepared people to inspect bank-foreclosed homes, asking applicants for money in advance for liability insurance and background checks. Turns out, no policies were bought, and no background checks were performed. The total take? Close to $2 million.
  5. After having jerseys retired in three sports in high school, Drew Shiller didn’t exactly see a college career filled with hip surgeries and long stretches on crutches and in physical therapy/rehab. After starting at San Francisco, he transferred to Stanford, but always felt limited because of his surgeries. He stuck with it, though, and in the process made two Pac-10 all-academic teams and just took his master’s degree from Stanford. Nice short profile by the San Jose Mercury News.
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