Morning Five: 10.25.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on October 25th, 2013


  1. Just one week after saying that Chane Behanan was no longer on the Louisville team and would suspended for a “long time”, Rick Pitino reversed course saying that Behanan should be back “in a short period of time”. The supposed impetus for Pitino’s change of heart is that Behanan “told the truth” regarding whatever he did to get himself kicked off the team a week ago. Like many we expected Behanan to return to the team eventually and most likely before they played Kentucky on December 28 and we don’t know what “a short period of time” means, but the sudden aboutface by Pitino is pretty stunning even by his standards with the first game of the season still a few weeks away.
  2. Like basically everybody else we are baffled by the NCAA’s decision to grant Josh Smith a waiver to play at Georgetown immediately. Surprisingly that might not even be the most confusing transfer case that we have heard of recently as Old Dominion reportedly received a decision from the NCAA regarding a transfer waiver for Trey Freeman, who left Campbell to be closer to his mother, several weeks ago, but is not disclosing the NCAA’s decision. Now we all know that Old Dominion has its issues with the NCAA and the way that it handles eligibility decisions (see Donte Hill), but we have no idea why the school would not disclose the NCAA’s decision one way or the other. If the story that is being published about Freeman’s reasons for transferring are correct, we would be shocked if the NCAA actually turned down Freeman’s waiver given the way that they have been handing out waivers these days. The decision is of particular importance to Old Dominion as Freeman would like be the team’s best player after averaging 14.4 points and 5.8 assists per game last season.
  3. Khadeem Lattin‘s announcement that he was committing to play for Oklahoma might move the needle in Norman and in recruiting circles. To be sure, the addition of a 4-star recruit is a significant one for almost any program. However, to us the bigger topic of discussion is Lattin’s background as he decided to spend his sophomore year in Spain making him the first elite recruit to spend a high school season playing in Europe outside of the professional ranks before returning to Houston to be home-schooled. As you would expect, Lattin’s decision to go overseas was controversial and he likely slipped in the recruiting rankings temporarily as a result, but we will be interested to see how his time in Europe translates to the college game.
  4. Yesterday, the NCAA released the most recent recommendations for proposed rule changes during the 2013-14 season. The headline stories will be about the change in when colleges can begin actively recruiting, but since it doesn’t pertain to basketball or football it probably will not resonate (particularly not here). The one thing that does jump out at us is the proposal to allow student-athletes to be given the highest meal plan available at a school. Now that may seem like a mundane thing especially to our older readers, but with the way that many schools have meal plans that provide money for use at off-campus restaurants as part of their meal plans it seems to suggest that this could be a step towards the cost of attendance measures that many have been advocating for the past few years.
  5. Earlier this week we discussed how Ken Pomeroy was tweaking his rating system to try to make it have better predictive outcomes. It turns out that he is not the only member of the advanced metrics community who has been adjusting his formulas as Dan Hanner announced yesterday morning that he had adjusted his lineup-based prediction model for the upcoming season. The details regarding the adjustments are fairly complex, but they essentially boil down to the following things: simulating a season 10,000 times to give best-case, median-case, and worst-case scenario; predicting variance based on player background; including more player evaluation data (including that of JUCO players and non-top 100 high school recruits; and a few other minor tweaks. We will be interested to see how Hanner’s projections pan out given the unpredictability of projection how many of the incoming recruits will do in their new environments.
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Morning Five: 06.21.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on June 21st, 2013


  1. Billy Donovan did not come out and say that Scottie Wilbekin will be on next year’s Florida team, but his statement regarding the specifics of Wilbekin’s suspension suggest that it should not be too hard for Wilbekin to continue to play in Gainesville. Wilbekin is not allowed to workout with the team, but is allowed to lift weights on his own and workout with the coaching staff. Given those details we would be surprised if Wilbekin is not back with the team next season unless he does something dumb (again).
  2. There was a lot of action in the ongoing Ed O’Bannon lawsuit even if the actual trial has not started yet. You can read an excellent recap of yesterday’s action courtesy of Stewart Mandel. The most interesting aspect that came out yesterday was that there will be current athletes involved in the case. We are not going to go so far as to call these individuals trail blazers, but we imagine that any current athletes that join this lawsuit can expect to have the NCAA investigating everything about their recruitment and eligibility.
  3. You might want to hold back on those WNBA jokes around the new Big East commissioner. That is if the report from ESPN is true that Val Ackerman, the former WNBA commissioner, is in negotiations to become the next commissioner of the Big East. You may have heard Ackerman’s name mentioned recently for her report on how to improve women’s college basketball. Looking through Ackerman’s credentials she appears to be a pretty competitive candidate for the job and would appear to be a good fit for a job in a turbulent market with teams shifting conferences quite frequently although it will be interesting to see how a high-level female administrator would be accepted in an area that tends to be dominated by older males.
  4. When we saw an article about Wichita State beating Gonzaga pop-up in our RSS Reader yesterday we assumed it was some glitch sending an article from March, but it turns out that it was not. Instead, Andy Glockner decided to take a look back at the Shockers ridiculous 23-point outburst in 9 possessions that led to another disappointing early exit for Gonzaga. This sequence will not be talked about for years (most of you outside of the Spokane area probably have already forgotten about it), but it was one of the more remarkable things you will see.
  5. This year’s NBA Finals led to quite a bit of debate about the way that basketball is played/taught in the US and overseas. As you would have expected this led to quite a bit of bitter discussion from certain groups, but in reality is that there is probably something to be gained from exposure to both world. One example of this is Khadeem Lattin, a highly rated recruit who spent his sophomore year of high school in Spain. In the short term, the lack of exposure to US high school basketball scouts led to Lattin’s stock dropping, but as Jeff Borzello points out Lattin’s improved game and increased maturity could lead to bigger long-term gains for Lattin.
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Morning Five: 06.19.12 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 19th, 2012

  1. Mike Brey has built Notre Dame into an annual fixture in the Top 25 during his tenure in South Bend, and the three-time Big East COY who has led the Irish to six straight 20-win seasons will be rewarded with long term job security as a result. Reports indicate that the school on Tuesday will announce a 10-year extension to Brey’s contract, ostensibly keeping him at the school well into his 60s (he’s currently 53). It’s a proactive move by Notre Dame brass who are looking to shore up a winning program that has arguably been more successful than its football counterpart over the same period, while also signaling to potential poachers that Brey is going to cost quite a bit of coin to attract him away from northern Indiana.
  2. It’s June 19, so what better time than to debate the relative merits for three top contenders for next year’s national title? The gents from — Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish, and Matt Norlander — each chose a team on Monday and made their case. Goodman chose Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals; Parrish chose John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats; and Norlander chose Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers. If you believe these guys, the Mesopatamia of college basketball in 2012-13 lies somewhere near Otisco, Indiana.
  3. In reading about the way friends, family and even recruiters treated high school star Khadeem Lattin‘s year spent in Spain at Canarias Basketball Academy, we weren’t sure whether to laugh or cry at the absurdity of it all. Despite going to a skills academy run by an American that has sent 41 Europeans to D-I schools over the years, the general consensus stateside was that Lattin was somehow hurting his career by taking the year to hone his skills in a European environment. He was removed from the ESPN rankings altogether per a policy regarding ranking only US players, and his rating was downgraded from four stars to three after a lackluster showing in the spring. And people wonder why the abominable AAU system of prep basketball in the US never improves — they hold all the cards, man.
  4. Sometimes we openly wonder whether the hardship waiver transfer rule has gotten completely out of hand, but in the case of Villanova’s Tony Chennault (a transfer from Wake Forest), we understand why the rule exists. The school announced on Monday that the NCAA had approved Chennault’s waiver request, making him eligible to take over a decimated VU backcourt effective in 2012-13. Chennault’s mother suffered some health issues recently, but more tragically than that, he lost his brother, Mike Jay, recently. Villanova is coming off its toughest season under Jay Wright’s stewardship, but with a solid interior crew surrounded by the talented Chennault and another promising player or two, maybe the Wildcats can find their typical game next season with a different cast of characters.
  5. Finally this morning, we’re about six weeks removed from the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics and players from around the world are preparing to compete in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament to earn a spot in London. The Dagger took a look at seven college (or recently graduated) players who will play in that tournament, with a few notable names such as Creighton’s Gregory Echinique (Venezuela), Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim (Nigeria), and Florida State’s Deivydas Dulkys (Lithuania) leading the way. Of course, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is one of the finalists for the US men’s national team, but his odds of making the final roster remain a long shot at best.
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