SEC Morning Five: 03.14.12

Posted by EMoyer on March 14th, 2012

  1. South Carolina’s Darrin Horn became the third head coach from a BCS school (joining Bruce Weber of Illinois and Doc Sadler of Nebraska) to lose his job this month. South Carolina fired Horn after four seasons in Columbia. He could not build on his 21-10 first season and interest in the team sagged. Quoting the AP account of the story “average paid attendance this season was 8,900 people in the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena – down about 1,500 fans – with most games seeing less than half of the announced number actually in the stands.”
  2. David Cloninger from speculated on possible replacements, writing, “The hot name on several lips to replace Horn is Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, a South Carolina native who assisted at College of Charleston and then led tiny Winthrop to seven NCAA tournaments in nine years. Marshall is leading the Shockers into the NCAA tournament as a five-seed, and has publicly said, although it was years ago, that he would love to take the USC job someday. Another candidate that could emerge is Jeff Capel, the former Oklahoma coach who was contacted when Horn was hired, but turned down the offer, was later fired and currently serves as an assistant coach at Duke. Shaka Smart, the Virginia Commonwealth coach who shocked the world last season by taking a team from a play-in game to the Final Four, would be a hot name, but he has been publicly mentioned as the top choice to replace Bruce Weber, who was recently fired at Illinois.”
  3. John Clay wrote of the comparisons between Kentucky’s 1996 team than went undefeated in SEC play only to lose in the Tournament final in New Orleans before winning the national title to the 2012 version of the Wildcats that followed the same first two chapters of the script by speaking with a key member of the ’96 team, Tony Delk. Delk, now an assistant for New Mexico State said “It was a game where I thought that was the best loss we could have had. Because going into the tournament, you didn’t want to be too high. If we had won that game, it could have been, ‘OK, we’re going to cruise through this and we’re going to win easily.’ We could have gotten knocked off early. We re-focused ourselves.”
  4. In advance to Ole Miss opening play in the NIT, the Rebels secured a commitment from Marshall Henderson, a 6-2 guard from South Plains Junior College. Hen started his career at Utah but transferred to Texas Tech. After sitting out the NCAA-mandated transfer year, he moved again following the dismissal of coach Pat Knight. Henderson is averaging 19.4 points a game and is shooting 46 percent from the floor, 43 percent from the 3-point line, and 88 percent at the free-throw line.
  5. Florida’s all-SEC freshman guard Bradley Beal offered some insight as to his plans for next season. Some NBA Draft projections have placed Beal inside the top 10. “Either way it goes, if I leave, I still played a great year of college, I enjoyed it,” Beal said. “If I stay, it’s only going to make me get better. Either way it goes, I’m gaining something positive out of it. I have no clue. I haven’t even really thought about it at all,” said Beal. “Right now, I don’t know. I haven’t put too much thought into it. When that time comes I’m going to talk to coach (Billy) Donovan and my family and we’re going to have to sit down and talk about it. When that time comes, it comes.”
Share this story

ACC Morning Five: 01.09.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 9th, 2012

  1. Washington Post: John Feinstein takes a look at the ACC’s mediocrity since the additions of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College — despite a 9-0 vote against it from the basketball coaches — in 2004. Since then, the league has slowly become a two-team battle between Duke and North Carolina. Mike Krzyzewski faults the way the expansion was handled because it killed the round-robin for a system that benefits the same teams every year by having fixed playing partners (i.e., it’s fine for Duke and North Carolina because they get tons of exposure already and play each other twice, but Boston College plays Virginia Tech and Miami each year, which isn’t nearly as valuable).
  2. Fayetteville Observer: Bret Strelow takes a look at the Duke coaching staff, anchored by three guards who all played together in Durham nearly two decades ago. Jeff Capel has already been a head coach, but there’s little doubt that Steve Wojciechowski or Chris Collins would struggle to find a head job if they looked. The three also have a record of dealing with adversity at Duke, having played in the infamous 1994-95 season when Coach K took most of the year off to recover from back surgery and the Blue Devils finished under .500. Now they’re trying to help a team that’s facing some recent adversity, albeit a whole lot less, achieve its potential this season.
  3. Orlando Sentinel: Apparently Florida State felt “optimistic” going into its ACC opener against Clemson. Well, as you probably know, it’s going to be tough to be optimistic coming out of the game now. The Seminoles allowed nearly 80 points and lost by a final deficit of 20 to the Tigers, not exactly the start they were looking for. Now, with no real marquee wins and six losses already, Florida State is almost certainly on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Seminoles need to turn things around very quickly.
  4. Duke Basketball Report: Strelow mentioned it briefly in his article above, but Al Featherston also talks about the new positioning of Jeff Capel on Duke‘s bench. Capel now sits in the middle of the bench where he can talk to players as they come out or to try to get a feel for the team’s sideline energy. Two players I expect he’ll talk to frequently are Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook, who Coach K has running the point together currently to help Seth Curry move off the ball where he excels. As the year goes on, expect Cook to see more and more time and Thornton to be used primarily as a spark plug at crucial junctures.
  5. Charlotte Observer: The ACC is transitioning both on the bench and on the court. The conference has multiple new coaches for the second time in as many years, while freshman play an important role on most teams trying to replace the departed stars. That transition has shown so far in the loss column, where ACC teams combined to lose an astonishing 50 non-conference games coming out of the weekend.
Share this story

New Look Oklahoma Sooners Thriving Under Lon Kruger

Posted by dnspewak on December 15th, 2011

Nobody’s going to hang a banner at the Lloyd Noble Center for Oklahoma‘s modest 7-1 start, especially considering the Sooners’ non-conference strength of schedule ranks 100th in the nation. Keep in mind that OU has not yet played a true road game. It lost to the best team on its schedule (Saint Louis) by 20 points. It arguably has not faced an NCAA Tournament team yet and its second-leading scorer transferred earlier this month.

But so what? Compared to last season’s 14-18 campaign, these Sooners are playing with an entirely different attitude on both ends of the floor under first-year head coach Lon Kruger. Despite the slip-up against SLU in the 76 Classic finals, Oklahoma appears to have improved in almost every facet of basketball, thanks in part to a higher overall level of maturity and the addition of two impact transfers. Kruger’s team manhandled Arkansas and Washington State, and it overpowered a good Santa Clara team by dominating the rebounding margin.

Oklahoma Already Has Half As Many Wins As 2010-11

From both a basketball and statistical standpoint, Oklahoma is a new team with point guard Sam Grooms (junior college) and forward Romero Osby (Mississippi State). It’s not hyperbole to suggest they are both lifesavers at their respective positions, and they’ve filled missing links by contributing in other areas besides scoring. Grooms, for example, doesn’t look to score much, but that’s not his role on this team after unseating Carl Blair as the starting point guard. Instead, he’s found his groove as the lead guard by deferring to Steven Pledger, who is enjoying a breakout junior season. Pledger has averaged nearly 18 points per game without forcing anything, and a lot of that has to do with Grooms’ efficiency at the point guard spot. Pledger also has less pressure thanks to the productivity of a several other scorers like Osby, Andrew Fitzgerald, Cameron Clark and, most recently, Tyler Neal, whose minutes have skyrocketed after Calvin Newell‘s transfer. The individual scoring totals for these players don’t matter much, though. Most importantly, with Grooms leading the way, Kruger’s team shares the ball, takes good shots, and has limited its turnovers. That’s a complete turnaround from the 2010-11 season, when the Sooners ranked dead last in the Big 12 in several offensive categories.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Morning Five: 11.14.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 14th, 2011

  1. The big game from a media perspective on what was essentially college basketball’s opening night was the Carrier Classic. From what we have seen and heard about the scene, it certainly lived up to the hype even if the game itself was a little disappointing. Of course, this game was more about honoring veterans on Veterans Day (something that honestly should be done more than once a year) as well as showcasing college basketball (also something that should be done more than once a year). We think the event did an excellent job of that and we have heard from quite a few non-college basketball fans (yes, we are forced to interact with them on occasion) who saw some of the game on television and thought that it was a really cool setting. We haven’t heard what the TV ratings were for the game, but we assume they will be outstanding for an early season college basketball game as long as they don’t include the nose-dive that certainly happened as soon as the Five for Fighting concert started.
  2. As you may have heard, Mike Krzyzewski tied Bob Knight‘s Division I record of 902 wins on Saturday with Duke’s win over Presbyterian. If you weren’t aware, you must not have been watching ESPN, which ran this news on its scrolls for much of the past 36 hours. And the hype is just getting started as Krzyzewski will be going for the record outright tomorrow night when Duke plays Michigan State in the opening game of the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. While the media is ready to crown Krzyzewski with the title as #1 among the rest, we think that might be jumping the gun a little for two reasons: (1) he is coaching against Tom Izzo, who is pretty good in his own right, and (2) we will be covering the game and Krzyzewski is 0-2 in games at which this editor has been (a ridiculous loss in 2002 to FSU and last season’s blowout loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden).
  3. There was some good news and some bad news on the injury front over the weekend. First, we will start with a little good medical news although it doesn’t qualify as an “injury”: Billy Kennedy, who took some time off to adjust to his new diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, returned to the sidelines yesterday and guided Texas A&M to a 25-point victory over Southern. Arizona also got some good news as Kevin Parrom, who was shot while he was home in New York City in September and also had to deal with his mother passing away less than a month ago, played for the Wildcats for the first time since the incident. While Parrom made an impact on the stat sheet with six points, four rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes, his presence was probably felt on more of an emotional level during Arizona’s ten-point win over Ball State. On the other hand, Louisville got even more bad news on the injury front as junior guard Mike Marra injured his left knee midway through the second half and had to be carried off the court by two people during its win over Lamar. Marra appeared to be relatively upbeat after the game, but an MRI last night revealed a torn ACL and therefore he will miss the rest of the season.
  4. There were a pair of interesting suspensions late last week. The first comes from North Carolina State where C.J. Leslie is being forced to sit out the first three games of the team’s season due to impermissible benefits he received (using a friend’s car and receiving money from that same friend to help pay for the apartment application fees for Leslie’s half-brother). The other is at Marquette where freshman Juan Anderson was also suspended for three games for accepting a free ticket to a luxury suite at a Milwaukee Brewers playoff game. We have heard quite a few people come to Leslie’s defense saying that it is common for college students to borrow cars, but with college athletes the concept of a “friend” can get blurred very easily and we understand the NCAA’s rationale in cases like this (particularly when you consider the payment for an apartment application fee). We haven’t heard many people jump to Anderson’s defense yet because that is a pretty clear violation to most people, although Anderson could have just as easily said a “friend” had an extra ticket and invited him to the game.
  5. On Thursday, we mentioned Jeff Capel‘s $1.75 million golden parachute from Oklahoma. Well, it turns out that Oklahoma also received a parting gift from the Capel era: three years of probation and $15,000 fine. The punishment is the result of an investigation into the actions of former assistant coach Orlando Taliaferro, who failed to report impermissible benefits given to Tiny Gallon and then lied to NCAA officials during their investigation. Taliaferro was hit with a two-year show cause penalty while the school was primarily hit by reductions in its ability to recruit, but is not prevented from playing in the postseason (unless you factor in the resultant quality of their team).
Share this story

A&M, Oklahoma Get Bad News on Unofficial Opening Day

Posted by dnspewak on November 12th, 2011

Two Big 12 teams received some tough news on Friday: Texas A&M learned it will lose star wing Khris Middleton for about a month, and Oklahoma received three years of probation as a penalty for major violations under former coach Jeff Capel‘s watch.

There’s a theme of promise with both situations, though. It could have been worse. Middleton, considered a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year this season, hurt his knee in the first half of A&M’s season opening win against Liberty and will miss three to four weeks. The Aggies will have to make major adjustments without their star, as their offense essentially runs through him on every possession. Between now and the middle of December, though, A&M plays just one school from a BCS conference: Mississippi State, next Thursday. Besides that, A&M won’t have another major test until Dec. 17 at Florida. By then, Middleton should be back, so the damage here is minimal.

Middleton Will Miss the Next 3-4 Weeks with an Injury

As for Oklahoma, the word “probation” always hurts, and Lon Kruger‘s new staff will suffer recruiting and scholarship restrictions. Plus, the NCAA will vacate 13 wins from OU’s dismal 2009-10 season, but we get the feeling Sooners fans would rather forget the memory of that season anyway. Capel was not implicated in the findings, but the violations stem from Tiny Gallon and certain illegal payments during his career in Norman. Kruger will be a bit handcuffed here, but overall, his program should recover.

Share this story

Morning Five: 11.10.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 10th, 2011

  1. After the ongoing fiasco at Penn State we have become a little numb to old-fashion college sports scandals, but Central Florida appears to be embroiled in a pretty big one. Yesterday, the NCAA delivered its 16-page notice of allegations to the school, which led athletic director Keith Tribble to resign and men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones to be suspended for three conference games. According to reports, the NCAA is alleging that a recruiter for a sports agency paid for tuition and travel expenses for players and recruits. The recruiter and his associate reportedly brought in six basketball players and five football players to the program with Jones and other high-level people in the UCF program being aware of the illegal actions and doing nothing about it. On the bright side for Jones, he was the only one who was not cited for an ethics violation (lying to the NCAA). As Mike Bianchi writes, “At least it’s not Penn State.”
  2. When BYU suspended center Brandon Davies for violating its “Honor Code” last season plenty of people chimed in with their thoughts on the matter, but one person we had not heard from was Davies himself. That is until yesterday. For his part, Davies claims to feel that he was “definitely treated more than fair”. While some will argue with this saying that Davies does not really have any choice but to say that we would argue like we did last March that Davies entered into the contract knowing what the expectations were and that he broke that contract so he should have expected repercussions.
  3. Speaking of contracts that may carry repercussions, yesterday was the first day that recruits could sign their National Letter of Intent. Despite our warning, many top recruits signed these documents that are only binding on their end, but not binding for the university or the coach. Things went about as expected with Arizona being the big winner. One surprise was that Gary Harris, one of the top shooting guards in the class, committed to Michigan State spurning his home state schools (Indiana and Purdue).
  4. In September, we introduced you to Damiene Cain, the highly touted recruit who turned down a Division I basketball scholarship to focus on academics. It turns out that we may have been wrong as now Cain might end up playing for Colorado and that medical issues may have been the actual reason that he left the team in the first place. Normally, we would expect a coach to hesitate to take a player back if he had left the team previously unless he really did leave for medical reasons, but Tad Boyle could really use some help inside and Cain would certainly add some depth on a thin Colorado team. We don’t expect Boyle to make a decision for a few weeks so don’t be surprised if Cain isn’t in a Colorado uniform until after conference play begins.
  5. What happens when you are really bad at your job? You probably get fired and hope to collect your pension assuming that some idiotic portfolio manager has not made some bad investments. In the world of corporate America and big-time college sports that is not always the case. Take Jeff Capel, the former coach at Oklahoma, who was fired this year after back-to-back losing seasons (in the post-Blake Griffin era where it is a lot harder to win without a player who is twice as good as everybody else on the court). Documents released yesterday revealed that in addition to collecting four extra months of salary after being fired in March, Capel also received two additional payments in excess of $1.75 million. The four extra months of salary and an additional $1.25 million (his base salary over the five years remaining on his contract) were part of his original contract, but we are not sure where the extra $504,000 came from and apparently the school is unwilling to release any additional information about his buyout. Nice work if you can get it.
Share this story

The Big 12’s New Faces: Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger

Posted by dnspewak on October 26th, 2011

Lon Kruger: The Essentials

  • Previous coaching stop: UNLV
  • Career overview: Texas Pan-American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-1990), Florida (1990-96), Illinois (1996-2000), Atlanta Hawks (2000-2003), UNLV (2004-11)
  • Playing experience: Kansas State (1971-74)
  • Accolades: Mountain West Coach of the Year (2008), SEC Coach of the Year (1992, 1994), 479 career victories, Big Eight Player of the Year (1973, 1974)

The Breakdown

With a coaching career spanning seven states over a period of 35 years, Lon Kruger has seen it all. He turned around an independent in Texas-Pan American in the ’80s; he’s made a Final Four at Florida and led Kansas State, Illinois and UNLV to multiple NCAA Tournaments. He coached the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA and served as an assistant for the New York Knicks, and he’s also a former two-time Big Eight Player of the Year with K-State.

Kruger is Back in Big 12 Country with Oklahoma

Talk about a good-looking resume. That’s why Oklahoma may have hit the jackpot with Kruger. With 479 victories to his name, Kruger brings his defensive-oriented style to Norman with the expectation of a quick turnaround. He won’t have an all-star roster to work with in his first season, but he’s got a decent core in Andrew Fitzgerald, Carl Blair and Cameron Clark. It’ll take a little time for the group to adjust to his rather unorthodox style of basketball, but don’t expect these Sooners to fall flat after the departure of Jeff Capel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Big 12 Morning Five: 10.19.11 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on October 19th, 2011

  1. Looks like Missouri‘s “inevitable” move to the SEC may not materialize after all. Just two days after an MU official told the New York Times the school would certainly apply for membership, chancellor Brady Deaton denied the report, saying the topic might not even be on the table during this week’s Board of Curators meetings in Kansas City. If there’s one thing we can take away from this, it’s that our brain hurts. One day, an official says MU’s gone; the next day, the top dog in charge says they’re not making a decision anytime soon. Within 48 hours, the tone has entirely changed, which begs the question: who is this anonymous official that spoke to the Times?
  2. Realignment will probably be the heavy topic at Big 12 Media Days, which begins today and runs through Thursday. It’ll be interesting to hear how the coaches and players respond to all the talk, and perhaps we’ll even hear a few passionate sound bites about just how sick everybody is of the discussion. As far as basketball goes, though, expect a lot of questions fired at Kansas coach Bill Self about how to defend his Big 12 title after losing the bulk of his team. Scott Drew of Baylor could also hear the tough questions about how to avoid a collapse like last season. With four new coaches in the league, that angle should also get hit hard by the writers over the next few days.
  3. A little news from a former Big 12 guy: shockingly, Bob Knight appears to have committed a recruiting violation by making illegal calls on behalf of his son Pat Knight at Lamar. This is independent of the Big 12 conference right now, of course, but the Knight family never had one ounce of accusations against them during their era at Texas Tech. Apparently, non-university officials cannot make contacts with recruits unless they’re listed as a special exemption, but Knight spoke to a few players “illegally.” If the Knight name weren’t attached to this story, it would have never hit print. But Pat and Bob Knight have star power, so they’ll have to deal with the minor but embarrassing consequences of this violation.
  4. Oklahoma better have gotten its money’s worth. The Associated Press reported that an internal investigation cost $50,000, which marked the second investigation at the school during the last five years. The school was looking into the allegations about illegal payments surrounding former coach Jeff Capel‘s program, and the situation is murky because Kelvin Sampson had already put the school on probation. This investigation isn’t as pricey as Ohio State‘s once was — that one cost a bit shy of a million dollars — bit it could result in major NCAA violations. Oklahoma has offered to take away a scholarship, vacate wins and add probation, but that might not be enough for the NCAA. After all, it wants to vacate a 13-win season in 2009-10. The humanity!
  5. Let’s give some well wishes to Oklahoma State freshman Cezar Guerrero. He suffered an injury in practice Monday, which landed him in the hospital. He’s out though, now, having been released Tuesday after a spinal cord scare. The Oklahoman says team officials would not disclose the injury at first, but it now looks like Guerrero suffered a pretty serious-looking injury. A helicopter was needed to transport him to the hospital, which is always a scary sign. The team expects him to make a full recovery, although nobody’s got any idea when he’ll see the basketball court again.
Share this story

ACC Morning Five: 10.17.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 17th, 2011

We’ll have a recap of ACC Midnight Madness up later today, but here are the other stories from this weekend.

  1. Greensboro News Record: A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling assessed whether North Carolinians pull for North Carolina, Duke, NC State or Wake Forest (Demon Deacon fans may wish to stop reading and move onto the next item). In what seems like a conservative number, 25% of voters went with the Tar Heels with 19% and 17% going with the Wolfpack and Blue Devils, respectively. Wake Forest only garnered a cool five percent of votes (which ranked below East Carolina for a reference point). The relative order isn’t surprising, as North Carolina is the most popular school with NC State having the largest alumni base. The poll also looked at perceptions on ACC expansion and state politics.
  2. Winston-Salem Journal: NC State’s Richard Howell dropped twenty pounds during the offseason, now checking in at a still-burly 250 pounds. In addition to working out more, Howell dieted — skipping two of his (and my) favorites, fried chicken and bacon — opting instead for greener dishes. Coach Mark Gottfried is looking to run an up-tempo offense this year, so Howell’s improved conditioning should pay off right away. Furthermore, Tracy Smith’s graduation should open up major minutes in the Wolfpack frontcourt this season.
  3. Charlotte Observer: The Observer writes that Duke is behind when it comes to diversity and head coaching. The Blue Devils are the only ACC school to have never had a black head coach in any sport. Not to take things too far out of perspective, North Carolina’s interim football coach, Everett Withers, is only that school’s second black coach. In an interview on the subject, Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel said, “It’s not something that surprised me […] I don’t read into it too much, just like at North Carolina. I wish [Withers] luck, I’m rooting for him because any time you get an opportunity, especially as a minority, a person of color, you want to make the most of it not only for yourself and your career but hopefully you can open doors for other people.” As for the future, Duke athletic director Kevin White cites a lack of coaching turnover, having only hired two new head coaches during his tenure (in the same time he’s hired 30 minorities to the athletic department as a whole).
  4. Orlando Sentinel: Florida State senior Bernard James motivates himself by using the faces of the VCU players after they beat the Seminoles by one in overtime to head to the Elite Eight. James said, “That was the toughest loss I’ve ever had to experience,” and Deividas Dulkys is also using the tough loss for inspiration. This year Leonard Hamilton’s team is out to prove that last year was no fluke, even without superstar defender Chris Singleton on the team.
  5. Winston-Salem Journal: North Carolina finally settled on a replacement for Dick Baddour, hiring Tulsa’s Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham as athletic director over the weekend. He got the nickname “Bubba” because his younger siblings struggled to pronounce “brother.” On top of a $525,000 base salary, Cunningham will receive bonuses for success in football and both men’s and women’s basketball. His first task will be dealing with the upcoming meetings with the NCAA and finding a permanent football coach.
Share this story

Morning Five: 07.29.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 29th, 2011

  1. Yesterday, Oklahoma released a 430-page report (full report here) regarding its investigation into wrongdoing by former assistant basketball coach Oronde Taliaferro, who is accused of committing two major violations while he coached under Jeff Capel (yes, this happened after the Kelvin Sampson fiasco). The first violation was failing to report impermissible benefits to an unnamed player (Tiny Gallon), who received $3,000 from a financial adviser linked to Taliaferro to pay for his high school transcripts and enable him to enter college. The second violation was the standard lying to the NCAA about the first violation. The most important part about this report is that the school concedes that, by definition, it is a “repeat violator” and thus subject to a minimum penalty of having the sport dropped for one or two years with no scholarships provided during those seasons. Of course, the NCAA can override that minimum and impose less harsh sanctions, which is what Oklahoma is hoping for as it claims that Taliaferro acted alone with Capel and the rest of the staff had no knowledge of the wrongdoing. Oklahoma has asked the NCAA to put its basketball program on two years of probation, vacate its 2009-10 season, and take away one scholarship, two official visits, and 10 in-person recruiting days during the upcoming academic year. With the NCAA’s apparent indifference to schools breaking its rules (it’s OK for the schools run by grown men, but not for teenagers) there will be a sizable group calling for the NCAA to take a stand here, but we wouldn’t count on it.
  2. The big winner out of the Oklahoma scandal? It might be Butler, who is the other reported finalist for the services of Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke. With just one year of eligibility remaining the Oklahoma native and all-time leading scorer in Oklahoma high school basketball history may have to think twice about transferring to a program that has asked the NCAA to put it on probation for two years. Clarke was supposed to make his decision by the end of the week and many expected him to select Oklahoma, but with the new report he may wind up at Butler or at the very least will spend some more time before deciding where to transfer.
  3. Speaking of scandals and programs in trouble, UNC athletic director Dick Baddour stepped down yesterday, a day after the school fired its football coach. Although the scandal appears to be just within the football program, Baddour’s decision to leave, which was thought to be inevitable after Davis was fired, may have a significant ripple effect in the college sports community as many athletic administrators will be angling for a move up the ladder when the dominoes start falling as the first athletic director moves from his or her current position to take over at UNC. We doubt that this will have much of an effect on the well-oiled UNC basketball machine, but it may have a much larger effect on many other schools.
  4. With the NBA lockout in place, many former college stars are having to find ways to keep themselves occupied. Nolan Smith is one such player who has chosen to do so by coaching a DC-based AAU team. On Wednesday night, Smith, who had never been ejected from a game as a player, was tossed out of the game with his team down by 19. Smith claims that the “refs were missing some obvious calls.” (Duke haters can make their own jokes here.) Smith’s team ended up losing the game by two (perhaps from the two technical free throws that the other team shot?) and ended up going 8-2 in the tournament. While some might criticize Smith as another arrogant Duke player, it is nice to see that he learned something from Mike Krzyzewski during his four years in Durham.
  5. The top 100 players in Division 1 list by Basketball Prospectus generated a lot of debate (mainly on where individual players were ranked). It appears that there may not have even been a consensus within the Basketball Prospectus office as Drew Cannon, the person who came up with the list, and several other members of the staff engaged in a friendly debate about how to rank players. There isn’t really anything ground-breaking in it, but it is interesting to see how these basketball analysts evaluate players and make their predictions at least on a theoretical level.
Share this story