Morning Five: 03.17.11 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 17th, 2011

  1. There has been quite a bit of talk about the “Fab 5″ documentary that ESPN aired about the Michigan teams of the early ’90s in particular their inflammatory comments about Duke. One of the players that they went after was Grant Hill and talked about their dislike of him at the time and the perceived elitism of Duke and his traditional upbringing. Hill responded yesterday with a biting attack at Jalen Rose. To be fair to the Michigan players it seems like their statements were in reference to how they felt as teenagers about their opponents rather than the 30-/40-somethings that they are now. We are still somewhat amused that Michigan students would play the elitism card with anybody.
  2. We often laugh at the concept of a “vote of confidence” that administrations give to coaches in an attempt to convince the public that they aren’t going to fire the coach any time soon although they often do. Having said that the response that the Tennessee administration gave to a question about Bruce Pearl‘s job status should be considered ominous. We suspect that Pearl might be contacting a real estate agent in the Knoxville area pretty soon.
  3. Last year we were all impressed by the NCAA’s decision the create The Vault, which was a collection of full-length video of classic NCAA Tournament games. This year the NCAA has decided to build on that technology to create an interactive bracket pairing games against each other until they select the greatest game of the past 30 years (note: it looks like they are only missing the full-length video for the 1973 UCLA-Memphis State game). We have to say that the “First Four” games in this bracket are something we could definitely get behind.
  4. Speaking of great games. . .Most of you are probably going to be pretty busy today working watching the first round, but we highly recommend the recent piece by Time about Princeton‘s upset of defending national champion UCLA in 1996. It’s a rather long article, but definitely worth your time and if you get their early enough it should pump you up for the day’s games and the possibility of another historic upset.
  5. Yesterday we gave you what we provided you with a link to a bracket by LeBron James. It turns out that LeBron actually has two brackets, but the one on his personal site has Duke not Ohio State winning it all. Taking a quick glance at his bracket it looks like LeBron is a big fan of chalk for his brackets as well as pre-game routines.
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Morning Five: 01.24.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on January 24th, 2011

  1. A painter can be convinced that they’re in the process of creating a masterpiece and then, suddenly, pick up their brushes one day and lose all feel for what they were doing or what they wanted to say. The only option then is to leave it or trash it and work on something else. A similar thing happens in sports, and especially college basketball. Players and coaches can fall victim to burnout, chemistry problems, communication breakdowns, or any host of difficulties that can ruin a season. Not one person here would be surprised if Michigan State lost the rest of their conference games and then coasted through the Big Ten Tournament, but certainly nobody predicted the kind of season the Spartans are having. MSU site The Only Colors weighs in on what they think the problems are in East Lansing.
  2. Sophomore forward Dan Jennings must have had a plane to catch on Sunday, or perhaps he just figured he had better things to do than to sit on the bench with his West Virginia teammates as the Mountaineers defeated South Florida. Jennings, who’s played in 14 of WVU’s 18 games and averages 2.1 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 8.6 MPG, just up and left the bench with about 18 minutes left in the game yesterday, “never to be seen again, I guess,” according to Bob Huggins. Dan, buddy…apologize to your team and your coach and enjoy any role your team gives you. You’re a young forward on a team with a few guys playing better than you at that position. Keep working and your time will come.
  3. Having just one loss and a player of the year candidate on your team will put a smile on any coach’s face, but The Daily Herald’sJason Franchuk says the best evidence that BYU coach Dave Rose is having fun this seasonis that the coach has actually made it a point to take time to needle the writer consistently about ths condition of the latter’s cell phone. Franchuk also notes that Jimmer Fredette and Kyle Collinswoth are “looking forward to the fun” of playing San Diego State this Wednesday night. So are we, boys.
  4. How would you like to be a D-I baller caught in a situation in which, on one hand, you’ve got mobsters calling you in your dorm room telling you what they’d like the margin of tonight’s game to be, and, on the other, your coaches, university officials, and the FBI telling you how to handle yourself in this little conundrum? This piece from the Jackson Sun describes how former Memphis State player Lowery Kirk found himself in just that spot in 1961, back in the days when college basketball was much more within the reach of the wiseguy demimonde.
  5. If you have ESPN Insider access, we encourage you to check out the Doug Gottlieb article about getting comfortable as a college freshman, and not just because it had us reminiscing about those trembling and reluctant first few college days of our own. We certainly won’t give away Gottlieb’s whole list, but two fellows who appear on it whom we’re most impressed by are Missouri’s Phil Pressey and Ohio State’s Aaron Craft. Just a few weeks ago, Pressey was lost and downright intimidated but has found his rhythm and you can see confidence where there once was none. And for a while it looked like Craft would be primarily known as “the guy in the Bruce Pearl photo,” but his solid play for the Buckeyes has been too good for people to even care about that.
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