Afternoon Delights: NCAA Commentary, Coach Chat, and Alex Len

Posted by KCarpenter on November 2nd, 2011

Some afternoons, we’re going to do our best to point you to the developing stories and thoughtful writing from all over the ACC that has turned up during the course of the day.  So without further ado, here’s your Afternoon Delight.

What's More delightful Than Wake Forest's Muggsy Bogues Playing Defense Against Maryland's Chris Gatlin? Nothing (Courtesy of @si_vault)

  • Charles P. Pierce at Grantland joins the fray with a gleeful and thoughtful evisceration of the NCAA. It’s the must-read piece of the day, but there are a number of excellent places that are joining voices in a chorus of criticism. In particular, I appreciated this Inside Higher Ed piece that includes Duke’s own Shane Battier weighing in on the bizarre experience of being a college athlete.
  • A few ACC coaches also sat down to talk the last couple of days. At a charity event for the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation, current and past Maryland coaches Mark Turgeon and Gary Williams, as well as Villanova coach Jay Wright, participated in  a roundtable style-talk that included topics like the challenges of recruiting in Baltimore and their thoughts on conference realignment. There were no earth-shattering revelations here, but it’s interesting to learn what these guys had to say. In a really thorough interview, Boston College blog Around the Res has also been posting the transcript of an interview with Eagles head coach, Steve Donahue. The first two installments of the chat, touching on interesting topics like the team’s conditioning efforts and plans to integrate more post play, have already been posted with more to come.
  • College Park nervously awaits the word on the eligibility of Alex Len, the promising 7’0″ Ukranian center who could be a big help to a shorthanded Maryland team. Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun published a tantalizing report that Len should be declared eligible to practice today, though he will probably face a suspension of some number of games. So far, there has been no official confirmation that Len has been cleared, but understandably folks are eager for the news. Len’s eligibility is in doubt because of a number of games he played with BC Dnipro, a professional team overseas (similar to Deniz Kilicli’s situation at West Virginia). So while we wait for more news about Len, here is a totally bizarre clip of the cheerleaders for BC Dnipro dancing.
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Morning Five: 06.30.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 30th, 2011

  1. Ohio State welcomed home one of its own yesterday by hiring Chris Jent as an assistant coach. Jent has been an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the last couple of years and even served as a personal shooting coach for some guy who took his talents to South Beach last year. Jent was a solid swingman for the Buckeyes from 1988-92, and, if anyone had actually kept a crowd-dives or floorburns stat, Jent would have been on top with no real challengers. Good to have him back in the college game.
  2. Remember Chuck Culpepper? He’s written for Newsday, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Los Angeles Times, he wrote a book about how he discovered and came to love English soccer, and now he writes for The National — not the former daily sports newspaper from 1990-91, or the utterly freaking phenomenal rock band from Cincinnati/New York, but an English-language paper published in the United Arab Emirates. In yesterday’s edition, he had a go at explaining John Calipari’s new $36.5 million deal to his readers in Abu Dhabi. It’s fun reading how he tries to explain to folks in the UAE that, yes, this does happen at the college level, and it does happen in Kentucky.
  3. Nice writeup here by Steve Walentik of the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune about the recent group of coaches who turned down big names and big bucks to stay at their smaller programs, and how athletic directors are having (and will continue to have) a tougher time convincing these guys to stick around, what with the offered salaries getting ever larger, conferences that have TV networks attached to them, etc. We love that gentlemen like Brad Stevens, Chris Mack, Shaka Smart, et al, stayed at their respective current locales, but let us say now that if/when they leave for so-called “bigger” jobs, how unfair it would be to say they left just for the money. One of the things that makes great athletes and coaches great is their competetive drive, and if any of those fellows decides someday to move to a Big Six conference position, it will be for that reason more than it will be for the cash.
  4. We’ve loved seeing all the articles and tributes to Lorenzo Charles. It’s hard to go wrong with something like that, you know…paying respects to an obviously widely-beloved man who happens to be responsible for the most famous highlight in the history of our game, especially when he leaves us at such a young age. On Tuesday night, a Greensboro television station brought in former Terp Keith Gatlin to talk a little about Charles, since the two were friends and played together for the CBA’s Quad City Thunder. Gatlin offered a few quick comments, which were nice, and left us wanting more. Then, oddly, Gatlin (who at this point had to be thinking, “Someone please tell me why we’re doing this…”) and the anchor running the segment attempt an ill-conceived recreation of Charles’ iconic highlight. You can see how it went (video in that link). Bizarre.
  5. Is the knee-jerk impulse of players to transfer from one school to another a reflection of a problem within the current generation of kids? Evidently, Arizona State’s Herb Sendek and a fellow named Buddy Hobart (who helped Sendek write his book) think so. Sendek/Hobart describe Generation Y — of which today’s student-athletes are all members – as a group “not willing to pay their dues” and “impatient” because they feel today’s players would rather cut and run from an unpleasant situation than stick it out and see what happens. Um…don’t coaches do the same thing all the time? Sendek admits this, at least, but the author of the article conveniently forgets that point. It’s remarkable how every generation always bemoans the one that follows as unquestionably inferior in every way, the sentiment itself a mere rite of passage.
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