Morning Five: 11.22.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on November 22nd, 2013


  1. It did not take long for the latest John Calipari to the NBA rumors to start this season and this time they involve the New York Knicks. Of course, this rumor is based on one writer’s belief that Calipari’s CAA ties and the team’s early season struggles will lead the two together. He does provide quotes from anonymous NBA executives who offer vague comments that seem to reflect more about the current state of the Knicks rather than about the likelihood of Calipari actually leaving Lexington for New York City. Obviously the money would be great and at some level Calipari almost certainly wants to have chance to rewrite his record as a NBA coach, but we cannot imagine that the Knicks with their high-profile job with a demanding media, atrocious salary cap situation, and even worse draft situation would be the ideal landing spot for Calipari if he wants to succeed at the NBA level.
  2. It seems crazy that just a few years ago people were wondering if Mike Krzyzewski was starting to slip as he was coaching the US National Team and routinely missing out on big-name recruits. Less than a week after landing two top-five recruits in Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, Krzyzewski secured the #1 recruiting class this year when Justice Winslow committed to play at Duke yesterday. The announcement was not unexpected as Duke was the clear favorite coming into the announcement. With Winslow the Blue Devils now have four five-star players (Okafor, Jones, Winslow, and Grayson Allen) who have already committed to play for them next year. We will leave the issues surrounding Krzyzewski’s moves to adjust to the one-and-done era for another post, but will just say that they are interesting.
  3. It has not taken long for Rutgers and Julie Hermann to get back in the news. The school, which defended its decision to keep Hermann even after allegations of past abuse came out before she took over as the school’s athletic director, will now have to look into allegations that Hermann’s discussions with the father of a football player who was reportedly abused never actually happened. The entire thing is so ridiculous that although the parents of the football player apparently believe it we have to think that the athletic department and possibly the school will have to do something about it. Firing her might seem harsh to some, but the school has already dealt with so much negative publicity with its previous abuse incident that when combined with the questions surrounding Hermann’s hiring and this latest incident it would not be outside the realm of possibility.
  4. As usual Luke Winn’s Power Rankings are filled with useful and interesting information even if he is holding off on bringing back the Aaron Craft and Russ Smith Turnometers (to his credit, he created a VCU Turnometer although he picked the wrong day to unveil it). The two statistics that jump out at us this week are the ridiculous percentage of minutes that Kentucky‘s freshmen are playing this season (75.3%), which far exceeds what the 1991-92 Michigan or 2006-07 Texas freshmen did, and Jabari Parker‘s ridiculous usage rate (34.1%), that exceeds even that of Michael Beasley (33.5%) and Kevin Durant (31.6%). We expect Parker’s number to come back down as he gets more used to his teammates and Duke’s players adapt to playing with him. We cannot say the same for Kentucky’s freshman as we would suspect that their minutes would actually go up as the season goes on particularly for the freshmen who will be role players as they take minutes from their more experienced teammates as the season progresses.
  5. Some of you may remember the horrifying case involving Devonta Pollard‘s mother, who kidnapped a six-year-old relative in a dispute over land and a storage shed. Yesterday, a jury took less than an hour to convict her on all three counts: conspiracy, kidnapping, and obstruction. Devonta assisted the prosecution in the case against his mother and claimed that he was unaware of the involvement of his mother and other relatives until after the kidnapping. Prosecutors are recommending deferred prosecution for Devonta for his role in the case. His mother is not as fortunate as she will be sentenced on February 18 and is looking at 20 years to life in prison.
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Morning Five: 07.26.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 26th, 2013


  1. It seems like just yesterday that Adam Morrison was engaged in a nightly duel with J.J. Redick before exiting the NCAA Tournament crying. The years since have not been much kinder to Morrison than the Internet was after his infamous exit. Now it appears that Morrison will be returning to his roots at Gonzaga where he will serve as a student assistant coach. Morrison may not be the most accomplished former player serving as an assistant coach, but he might be the most iconic given his recent fame and ridiculous mustache. This hiring will certainly make headlines, but we remain skeptical as to whether it will have any impact on Gonzaga or whether Morrison will ever become a legitimate coach, but it should be an interesting experiment.
  2. With all of the news swirling around the Rutgers program in the past few months we have grown kind of numb to much that comes out of the campus, but the news that new athletic director Julie Hermann revealed in her official school biography that she is a lesbian (the very last sentence) caught our attention. Now her sexual preference is none of our business and we do not particularly care, but we were surprised by the amount of attention the announcement has received. Ideally, we as I society would one day progress to a point where Hermann’s sexual orientation is not even a story. We all know she had plenty of other things going on at Rutgers to worry about and this should not be one of them.
  3. If you are looking for another reason to visit Las Vegas we have found one. Well at least for the next three years. Beginning this December 21 the MGM Grand will host a doubleheader for the next three years. This year’s event will feature Marquette against New Mexico and Oklahoma State against Colorado and will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN2 respectively with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society via Coaches vs Cancer. Outside of match-ups, which should be interesting we are somewhat surprised to see another big college basketball event being held in a casino (we have been to the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Mohegan Sun, which is not even in the same league as any of the Vegas casinos). If you are interested in attending any of the games, tickets are already available.
  4. We are a little less than four months away from the start of college basketball season, which means that it is time to start familiarizing with the incoming and returning players for various teams. If you are still struggling to figure out who is going to be good and bad this year (outside of the obvious teams from last season), has a decent recap of which teams are going to be vastly improved this season and which teams are going to be taking a step back. Outside of a few picks the predictions are not particularly revelatory, but Myron Medcalf and Jason King do a solid job of explaining their rationale and might even remind you of significant arrivals and departures since last season before we start getting flooded with college basketball previews.
  5. Both the NCAA and North Carolina may not be taking the academic fraud scandal at the school as seriously as we would like, but it appears that the White House is taking the matter a little more seriously. Sort of. A new petition was created asking President Obama to investigate the academic fraud at UNC because the school receives federal funds. We are not sure which fans (Duke or North Carolina State are our best guesses) created this and the lack of response so far speaks volumes to how ridiculous the idea is in theory, but it would be amusing at some level if this actually got enough votes to merit an actual response from the White House (aside from the fact that it would be a waste of the government’s time to address this issue when there are more pressing concerns facing our country.
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