Around The Blogosphere: August 25, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on August 25th, 2011

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to We will add to this post throughout the day as the submissions come in so keep on sending them.

General News

  • Longhorn Basketball Recruit Kevin Thomas Fails to Qualify: “The bad news just keeps coming for the Texas Longhorns basketball team. Canadian Kevin Thomas, a 6-7 wing from the same AAU program that produced Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, and Myck Kabongo, failed to qualify academically and will attend a junior college this season, according to a Longhorn official Wednesday.” (Burnt Orange Nation)
  • The NCAA Hands Down Penalties For Tennessee: “The hammer has finally fallen on Tennessee, albeit rather gently and without much damage to their sports programs.  Not so for coach Bruce Pearl and his assistants.” (A Sea of Blue)
  • Schedules for the 2011-2012 Season: Several major programs released their schedules for the coming season. (UNC: Tar Heel Fan; Maryland: Testudo Times; NC State: State Fans Nation; Virginia Tech: Tech Hoops)
  • Jordan Hulls talks about leadership role: “Indiana guard Jordan Hulls was made available to the media this afternoon and there was plenty of talk about embracing a leadership role as he prepares for his junior season.” (Inside the Hall)
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Morning Five: 08.25.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 25th, 2011

  1. Bruce Pearl received his punishment yesterday from the NCAA and although he did receive a show cause penalty under the language of the document (PDF here) he would be allowed to be hired by a university, but could not participate in any recruiting activities until August 23, 2014. While some consider this to be a harsh penalty there are ways to work around this (having a strong recruiting staff that can talk up Pearl). In the end it seems to be a much lighter penalty than we would have expected for a head coach who willfully violated NCAA rules and then lied to the NCAA about having done so (don’t forget that Dez Bryant lost all of his eligibility for lying about something that wasn’t even a violation). Put another way, the violation is light enough that Mike DeCourcy at The Sporting News is advocating for Pearl to be hired. If the NCAA wants to coaches and administrators to follow their rules they need to put in place that would make violators radioactive.
  2. Recently-retired Maryland head coach Gary Williams will receive $400,000 per year for the next five years for his job to help with fundraising and speaking engagement “from time to time as reasonably requested”. While the figure is a far cry from the $2.3 million that Williams received in 2010 it is a substantial paycheck for someone who no longer has to deal with the rigors of coaching in the ACC. We aren’t sure what Williams deems reasonable, but that actually doesn’t sound like a horrible deal when you consider that the new coach Mark Turgeon will be making $1.9 million and Williams will probably raise a lot more money on the road than a coach that is unproven at the school.
  3. After initially committing to Xavier as a member of the class of 2012, 7’5″ recruit Sim Bhullar has decided to enroll at New Mexico State this fall due to what Bhullar and his family call “unique clearinghouse issues that have forced us to really examine the best course of action”. Neither Bhullar nor the involved programs have expounded on what those issues were, but apparently they were big enough that Bhullar opted not to spend a year in prep school in West Virginia before trying to become eligible and instead will pay his way at New Mexico State for the first year. Bhullar, who has a stated intention of playing in the NBA in two years, will join a roster that features five other Canadians.
  4. Texas was dealt a setback today when Kevin Thomas, an incoming freshman from Canada, was declared academically ineligible. Normally losing a three-star recruit wouldn’t be a big blow to a team with a roster as talented as what the Longhorns, but this isn’t a typical Rick Barnes team. Instead of a roster that goes ten deep, the Longhorns are currently left with a team of eight scholarship players with five of those being freshman and only three of the eight being frontcourt players. The announcement means that the Longhorns will be pushing even harder for Pittsburgh to release Jaylen Bond from his signed letter of intent and allow him to play for Texas now instead of having to sit out a year.
  5. We have been hearing fans claiming for years that Tom Crean has Indiana on the road back to glory. Today, they have ESPN’s new recruiting rankings for the class of 2012 to point to as proof after ESPN ranked the Hoosiers current recruiting class of 2012 as the best in the country (may or may not require Insider access). Realistically though it is way too early to even bother with class rankings. Just scanning the order of these rankings, which has several programs that aren’t considered traditional recruiting powers at the top, should tell you something is a bit fishy with these rankings. Basically none of the top players have committed, which makes these rankings meaningless. Pittsburgh, for example, is ranked 4th in the country with one recruit. Kentucky, which has dominated the recruiting circuit since John Calipari‘s arrival, isn’t even in the top 25 because nobody has committed to them yet since they are recruiting all the top guys in the class. We are pretty sure the Wildcats will find a way to sneak into the top 25 when all is said and done.
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Who’s Got Next? Top Uncommitted Prospects To Commit Soon…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 18th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at


From an important commitment Monday to an important commitment today, we’re bringing you everything you’ve missed in the past week in the world of recruiting including new developments in a top ten prospect’s recruitment, the meteoric rise of a somewhat unknown recruit, more rankings being released, a challenge issued to two powerhouse programs on Tobacco Road, and how an ACC program’s recruiting class is falling apart.

What We Learned

Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) might stay in Wichita.

Wichita State Has a Realistic Shot at Perry Ellis. Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) has long had the same list of six schools (Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma, and Wichita State) that’s he interested in, but lately, it seems as though there has been some movement as to who his favorite is. The latest shift involves Wichita State after they hired assistant coach Dana Ford, who has a longstanding relationship with the Ellis family. Ford has watched Ellis play since his first middle school game and even worked out with Ellis several years ago when Ford was a Shocker intern. The WSU coaching staff also met with Ellis and his family last Wednesday and emphasized how much they wanted to keep Perry in Wichita (Ellis attends Wichita Heights HS). Some other news involving Ellis includes the fact that Minnesota is now starting to recruit him and head coach Tubby Smith called him on the phone recently. A source very close to the situation also says that they suspect Kansas and Kentucky are two of the front-runners in Ellis’ recruitment.

Mitch McGary is Becoming a Top 2012 Talent. This time of year last year you probably didn’t know who class of 2012 power forward Mitch McGary was; well now he is one of the best players in his class. McGary has become significantly better in all parts of his game over the past 12 months and is a force to reckon with both inside and out. He is a tough, strong, big man to handle in the paint and has the ability to step out and score on the perimeter. However, the biggest reason he has received much more attention lately is because of his incessant motor and the fact that he has gotten his grades in order. Now that schools don’t have to worry about whether he will qualify or not, programs such as Duke, Kansas and Kentucky are in near-constant contact with him. He says that his recruitment is wide open and that he will likely wait until late in the process to make his decision. He also says location isn’t a factor in his choice. As of January, before top programs began taking notice of McGary, he had visited Purdue, Indiana, Illinois and Marquette.

Maryland’s Recruiting Class is Falling Apart. Many people wondered what would happen to Maryland’s recruiting class when the Terps found their new coach and whether their commitments would stay with Maryland or seek releases from their letters of intent; well now we know. The Terrapins have lost every recruit in its Class of 2011 after the university granted shooting guard Nick Faust (#38), point guard Sterling Gibbs and power forward Martin Breunig releases from their signed letters of intent. To make matters even worse, just days after his release was granted, Gibbs committed to the Texas Longhorns (read more about this in the “What You Missed” section below). However the Terps still have a shot at Faust, who is now the second highest rated uncommitted prospect and still likes Maryland (Check out the “What They’re Saying” section below to find out why), and Breunig, who visited Washington Monday night. Keep in mind Faust and Gibbs are good friends so Gibbs’ commitment to Texas might push Faust away from College Park. This coaching change is also affecting Maryland’s 2012 class since small forward Justin Anderson (#45) said Sunday in a text that he isn’t sure whether he will open his recruitment back up. On the brighter side of things for Terps fans, head coach Mark Turgeon picked up Class of 2012 shooting guard Seth Allen who is a prolific scorer and can get the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court.

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Conference Report Card: Big 12

Posted by Brian Goodman on April 25th, 2011



Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

Year In Review

Before the start of the season, pollsters bought into Kansas State as the sexy pick to take the Big 12 in 2011 on the heels of an Elite Eight appearance in 2010. The Big 12 was not overly impressive in non-conference play, as the Wildcats fell hard to Duke in a de facto home game in Kansas City, and Missouri did the same against Georgetown in one of the more thrilling matchups of the early season.

As league play began, the preseason #3 Wildcats disappointed, starting 2-5, and the usual stalwarts of the Big 12, Kansas and Texas, rose to the top. After topping the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse in January, the Longhorns looked to be in the driver’s seat, especially after Kansas was blindsided at Bramlage Coliseum to give Texas a two-game lead. However, Rick Barnes‘ team suffered another late-season collapse, going 2-3 to finish the regular season while the Jayhawks dusted off the competition to pull ahead to take their seventh straight conference crown.

Elsewhere in the conference, the Wildcats bounced back to end the season in third place. The middle of the conference wasn’t settled until the latter stages of the season with Missouri falling lat and Texas A&MColorado and Nebraska treading water. Baylor underachieved, given the talented personnel in Waco, and Oklahoma State never really looked in sync. OklahomaTexas Tech and Iowa State all had awful seasons to finish at the bottom of the standings.

In the conference tournament final, Kansas played its best basketball of the season, topping Texas to gain some revenge entering the Big Dance. Colorado was snubbed on Selection Sunday despite beating Kansas State three times, but the Big 12 still managed to get five teams into the NCAA Tournament. However, only the Jayhawks made it out of opening weekend alive, and they fell short of expectations as they lost to Shaka Smart and the Rams’ reign of BCS destruction.

KU's front line of Thomas Robinson (left) and the Morris twins evolved into a strength, and the Jayhawks struggled most when they weren't utilized on offense. (AP/Jamie Squire)

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