Big East M5: 12.18.12 Edition

Posted by mlemaire on December 18th, 2012


  1.  Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim won his 900th game narrowly over Detroit last night and while the rest of the Internet is off celebrating his worthy and incredible milestone, the good folks over at Casual Hoya decided to celebrate the occasion in a much different way — by putting together an exhaustive list of all the issues and arrests involving the Syracuse basketball program since Boeheim has been in charge.  Of course every coach who has that many years under his belt is sure to have overseen his fair share of less-than-savory characters and many programs have similar legal issues, but it is still quite an impressive list of mischief, borderline criminal behavior, and outright criminal behavior displayed by the fine men who have worn the orange. I am sure plenty of folks from the righteous corners of the Internet will condemn a post of this nature in the wake of Boeheim’s big day, but in my opinion, the money he earns and his own candor in interviews make the head coach fair game for some excellent tongue-in-cheek ribbing like this. In fact, I wish we could see a list like this for every coach who has stayed with one program for more than two decades.
  2. Poor Kevin Ollie. The first-year Connecticut coach has almost no job security, a limited roster from a talent standpoint, and now he has to deal with the fallout of the crumbling of the Big East. This guy just can’t catch a break. When asked for his feelings on the sudden departures of the Catholic 7, Ollie basically said he didn’t have any, which is good, because worrying about conference realignment is not his job and he clearly has enough on his plate already. The Huskies are the clear losers in conference realignment, left for dead in the shell of the Big East with an unknown future, and as that situation grows murkier, the more you will hear calls for UConn athletic director Warde Manuel to give Ollie the job. Manuel seems set on waiting for a larger sample size of games before extending his rookie head coach, which is fine, but he just better hope that if Ollie isn’t the guy that he has someone else in mind, because selling a UConn job with stormy weather still ahead won’t be easy.
  3. This is a cool financial look at what’s ahead for members of the Catholic 7, involving a lot of rough math on whether these new schools will be able to stay afloat without the financial support of a football conference. Marquette, Villanova, and Providence were the only members of the seven to turn a profit from their basketball programs and concerns about NCAA Tournament units and TV deal revenues mean that the schools will need to find creative ways to make a buck or two from their hoops squads, which, as you might expect, spend a lot of money. There is a lot of good, in-depth information in this piece that the average fan might not be aware of, so be sure to read through the entire thing, even if it is quite lengthy.
  4. Tomorrow will be the first Crosstown Classic between intracity rivals Xavier and Cincinnati since last season’s infamous brawl, but while everyone in the media pretty much insists on using the brawl as their story peg, most of the players and coaches involved have moved on and are hoping that everyone else can do the same. Bearcats’ point guard Cashmere Wright‘s point about all the players actually involved in the brawl now gone is a fair one. Yancy Gates, Mark Lyons, Tu Holloway, and Octavius Ellis have all moved on and it seems unlikely that any of the current players will bring back any bad blood. These programs play tough, physical, hard-nosed basketball, and it would be a shame if that brand of basketball didn’t show up on Wednesday night for fear of inciting yet another fracas. The hope for everyone, fans included, is that the game can remain competitive and gritty without getting violent. If that happens, we will likely be treated to an excellent game and the first true test of the season for Mick Cronin’s undefeated Bearcats.
  5. Who is ready for a good ole fashioned family affair on Wednesday night when Rick Pitino and Louisville square off with son Richard Pitino and Florida International? You better believe that Pitino’s ever-quotable wife Joanne would have something to say on the matter (as a side note, Joanne Pitino is rapidly shattering records for most spousal mentions on a college basketball blog), and it sounds like everyone is predicting a Cardinals’ blowout. The younger Pitino inherited a depleted squad at FIU and is just beginning the rebuilding effort, with help from his overbearing father, who just can’t seem to stop coaching basketball even when his own team isn’t involved. This story doesn’t involve any earth-shattering information, but it is a chance for the entertaining Pitino family to get another chance to introduce themselves to the public and frankly, they don’t disappoint. I, for one, hope the elder Pitino never retires. College basketball just won’t be the same without him.
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