Morning Five: 08.25.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 25th, 2010

  1. Despite a unanimous (16-0) vote by league coaches to dump the double-bye format for the four top seeds, the Big East decided yesterday to not make the change to the Big East Tournament as league officials and ADs felt uncomfortable with the change for a number of reasons including financial and logistical  considerations.   Last year three of the four double-bye teams (Syracuse, Villanova and Pittsburgh) lost their initial tournament games, so coaches were pushing for a traditional sixteen-team bracket in part so that they can load up on some easy wins prior to playing the tougher teams in the later rounds, and in part so that everyone could plan on the same start date.  Won’t happen, at least not this coming year.
  2. Gary Parrish has a good read on former summer basketball camp organizer Sonny Vaccaro, the Godfather of AAU basketball, who has been out of the game the last three summers but apparently has the pieces in place to make another run at world domination of elite schoolboy prospects, just like the good old days.
  3. We mentioned last week the possibility that class of 2011 top twenty prospect DeAndre Daniels may attempt to move up his entrance into college by a year, Scottie Wilbekin-style, but he has made the decision to attend prep school next year and will graduate with his class.  He originally committed to Texas, but has re-opened his recruitment, with Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee and the Longhorns on his current list.
  4. We found this interesting nugget in an article about something completely different (Jenn Brown’s possible beer ad career), but did you know that the average age of ESPN’s college basketball-watching audience is 48 (!!!) years old?!?!?  For some reason, this is a lot higher than the NBA audience (39), and a year older than that of college football (47).  For some reason, we’re stunned by this — maybe we’ve just been deluded by the much-younger internet audience, but wow.
  5. We hope to have a post on this up later today, but both Scout and Rivals have updated their post-summer recruiting rankings.  Their previous lists both had 6’6 wing Michael Gilchrist from Elizabeth, NJ, as the top player in the class of 2011, but both services have downgraded him coming out of the summer as a result of concerns over his shooting touch.  The new #1s?  Austin Rivers (Rivals) and Anthony Davis (Scout).  Let the debates commence.
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Morning Five: 08.23.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 23rd, 2010

  1. Our correspondent Andrew Murawa put the Mountain West/WAC situation into understandable terms over the weekend, but we wanted to highlight one area of particular concern.  It certainly appears that BYU will now remain a member of the MWC, while the WAC’s Fresno State and Nevada will join up with its new league as soon as possible; but the real wildcard in all of this is Utah State.  If the Mountain West is able to recruit it’s twelfth school USU over to its side, that would leave the WAC with a mere five teams, less than the requisite six needed (for five consecutive years) to retain its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The current mixture of automatic/at-large bids in the Big Dance exists at 31/37.  If the WAC implodes, another at-large team could be getting a bid as soon as the 2012 Tourney.  Somewhere in southwest Virginia Seth Greenberg just danced a jig.
  2. Jason King at Yahoo! Sports takes a look at one of the most unappreciated aspects of college basketball recruiting, the top assistant coaches who get the job done in the trenches so that the head coach can later take all the credit and glory of those hotshot players.  It should be no surprise to you that the names of assistants at Ohio State, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Kansas and Michigan State are all represented on this list.   What is odd is that nobody from Duke or UNC are here — perhaps Coach K and Roy Williams are simply all that is needed to get the job done at those schools.
  3. Chris Allen, the Michigan State guard who did not meet the standards required of him by head coach Tom Izzo, will re-surface at Iowa State in the 2011-12 season.  His decision to transfer to ISU over UTEP and St. John’s is a major boon for Fred Hoiberg’s rebuilding project in Ames.  Allen, a full-time starter on the 2009-10 Spartans, will bring a toughness and solid three-point stroke to the Cyclone program for his senior campaign.  Let’s hope, though, that whatever it was that put him in the doghouse in East Lansing will be left behind among the unused moving boxes.
  4. MaxPreps has released its post-summer top 100 recruits for the Class of 2011, and Michael Gilchrist (Elizabeth, NJ) remains at the top despite strong summers from several competitors.  Kentucky’s John Calipari has already received verbals from three of the top nine — Gilchrist, Anthony Davis (Chicago, IL), and Marquis Teague (Indianapolis, IN).  Interesting note: if you want to see great HS talent in person next season, the Commonwealth of Virginia, with nine players, is where you should be.
  5. This is a must-read every summer, as Luke Winn gives us his 2010-11 Breakout Five players.  He uses Pomeroy statistics to make educated determinations as to the players most likely to have impact sophomore campaigns, and his findings are worth the time.  The biggest surprise name on the list?  Miami (FL)’s Reggie Johnson.
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Is Calipari’s Three-Year Recruiting Run the Best Ever?

Posted by rtmsf on August 16th, 2010

An interesting question came up among the Twitterati over the weekend when it was learned that Rivals #8 (and rising) recruit in the Class of 2011, Anthony Davishad formally committed to Kentucky.  Davis’ commitment marks the third top ten recruit in that class to have committed to John Calipari’s Wildcats, and the seventh in the 2009-11 recruiting cycles, a ridiculous feat. 

  • John Wall (#2, 2009)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (#3 , 2009)
  • Brandon Knight (#4, 2010)
  • Enes Kanter (#7, 2010)
  • Michael Gilchrist (#1, 2011)
  • Marquis Teague (#5, 2011)
  • Anthony Davis (#8, 2011)

Throw in a few other high-level recruits such as Daniel Orton (#19, 2009), Eric Bledsoe (#52, 2009), Terrence Jones (#11, 2010), Doron Lamb (#26, 2010), and an unnamed superstar or two to be named later (Quincy MillerLeBryan Nash?), and suddenly there is a realization that we could be in the midst of the single greatest run of recruiting prowess since the Wizard of Westwood had every blue-chipper from coast to coast lining up to play for him.

Calipari Continues to Rack Up Blue-Chippers (LHL/M. Cornelison)

This is what Calipari was referring to when he infamously said on draft night in June that having five UK players selected was the greatest night in the program’s history.  It’s all marketing.  As Kentucky blog A Sea of Blue notes when referring to Anthony Davis’ quotes about the commitment, Calipari isn’t selling the Wildcat program of all hoops-all the time as much as the dream; the dream, of course, being a fast-track to the League. 

But notice what is not mentioned — Kentucky tradition, the facilities at UK, playing in front of 24,000 every game, being on TV all the time — none of these things are mentioned.  Recruiting has changed.  Calipari has taken the NBA one-and-done rule and used it like the Pied Piper, tempting players to Kentucky not with cash to families or under-the-table deals, but with a short path to all the riches they desire.

Whether you believe the last sentence or not, the truth remains that players are beelining for Lexington, which brings us to the point of this article.  We have to dig pretty deep in our memory banks to remember a recruiting run that even begins to approach this concentration of elite talent.  Granted, there’s a bit of an apples/oranges confounder here — much of the reason that Calipari can load up on talent every single year is because there’s a reasonable expectation that the previous year’s competition for minutes will be gone (see: Wall begets Knight begets Teague, for example).  Still, we’ve come up with one strong comparison in the modern era (we hope you add your own in the comments below): Duke 1997-99.  As a brief aside, UNC from 1990-93, Michigan from 1991-94 and Duke from 1999-2002 were also very strong periods of recruiting at those schools, but over four recruiting cycles rather than three. 

Duke 1997-99 (recruited by Mike Krzyzewski)

  • Elton Brand (#1, 1997)
  • Chris Burgess (#7, 1997)
  • Shane Battier (#8, 1997)
  • William Avery (#14, 1997)
  • Corey Maggette (#16, 1998)
  • Jason Williams (#3, 1999)
  • Carlos Boozer (#8, 1999)
  • Casey Sanders (#16, 1999)
  • Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (#26, 1999)

The recruiting rankings alone are nasty, but when you consider the actual accomplishments of this group, it takes on a whole new meaning.  Six lottery picks, three NPOYs, two title game appearances and a national championship (2001).  In two of the years where they didn’t cut the nets down, (1999 and 2002), Duke was the prohibitive favorite to win the title (finishing #1 in the final AP poll every year from 1999-2002) in large part because they had more talent than anybody else.  They actually won it all in 2001, but we’re still trying to figure out how Jim Calhoun’s vastly underrated (but also undermanned) Huskies were able to slay the Duke dragon in 1999 (oh, right, Trajan Langdon).  It was an amazing run of talent acquisition, and we haven’t seen anything like it for at least a decade.

Duke Had Three NPOYs in Four Seasons (SI)

Therein lies the rub.  With boatloads of talent comes expectations, and winning the press conference is great for tone-setting, but getting to and winning Final Fours is what matters most in Lexington.  Again, the Duke era was different in that with the exception of Corey Maggette in 1999, Coach K did not lose any players as 1-and-dones; but that won’t deter the vultures from ripping Calipari if he continues to sign elite talent without bringing back the accompanying hardware to support it.  The biggest case in point of this thinking is how Michigan’s Fab Five class of 1991 is often considered a failure for merely going to two straight NCAA championship games and losing.  It remains to be seen how this era of Kentucky basketball will play out (so far, one Elite Eight appearance), but we already know that the level of recruiting enjoyed by Calipari in his first three classes there rivals anything experienced in the modern era.  Coach K’s classes from 1997-99 set the bar very high — it’s now up to the individual players — from Knight/Kanter/Jones to Gilchrist/Teague/Davis — to match or exceed their accomplishments.   

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Davis To Kentucky Gives UK (At Worst) Three In 2011’s Top 12

Posted by jstevrtc on August 13th, 2010

ChicagoHoops.com has reported in the last few moments that class of 2011 star Anthony Davis has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.  According to the story by writer Cavan Walsh, Davis’ father, Anthony Sr., said “I am glad the process is finally over,” and added that they regarded Kentucky as “the right fit for Anthony academically, athletically, and socially.”

Davis Adds to an Unbelievable UK Class in 2011.

Recruiting guru Evan Daniels also tweeted news of the commitment moments ago.

Using the ESPN-U 100 rankings, Davis joins top-ranked Michael Gilchrist, third-ranked Marquis Teague in the 2011 class for John Calipari and Kentucky.  Davis is ranked 12th.  On Rivals’ list, the trio of Gilchrist, Teague, and Davis would rank first, fifth, and eighth, respectively.  No matter which list you prefer, it’s a legendary class for the Wildcats, and it probably isn’t even complete.

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 08.02.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 2nd, 2010

It was a relatively quiet week for recruiting after the crazy week last week in Las Vegas, but we should start to get more news over the next few weeks as recruits start narrowing down their list or even committing to schools.

  • Austin Rivers got the headlines in Orlando this week, but we hope that everyone paid attention to a solid performance from Trevor Lacey, who had 22 points to Rivers’ 24 points, as they combined to lead their team to victory. The game was supposed to be a showdown between Rivers and Michael Gilchrist that was scrapped when Gilchrist’s mom shut him down for the summer, but there was still plenty of star power as Rivers and Lacey knocked off Ben McLemore and Bradley Beal.
  • Speaking of Rivers…by now you have probably already read it, but for those of you who haven’t, FanHouse has a pretty lengthy profile on Rivers, his dad’s influence on his game, and the schools he is looking at.
  • It seems like a weekly thing now, but we have another update for Anthony Davis. The talented power forward has apparently expanded his list to include DePaul. Even though that is his hometown team I’m sure the Illinois faithful are wondering why Bruce Weber can’t elicit any interest from an in-state recruit like Davis.
  • Maurice Harkless is starting to turn some heads especially after his solid performance at the Fab 48 and after beating out a number of big names for MVP honors at the Desert Duel. Harkless, who had previously committed to UConn, will be releasing his list later this month and if the names of the coaches watching him this summer are any indication the list should be full of big names.
  • Dayton received a commitment from Percy Gibson, a 6’8 big man from Detroit who the Flyers reportedly had as their #1 big man target. [Ed. Note: Does a school ever pick up a player who wasn’t their #1 target?]
  • Meanwhile, Rutgers added its own big man in Derrick Randall, who has stated that he will try to bring his AAU point guard (and St. Anthony’s recruit) Myles Mack with him.
  • With so few highly rated big men in this year’s class, every solid interior player is drawing a lot of interest and Johnny O’Bryant is no exception, as he is drawing interest from big names like Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisville.
  • Nick Kerr, son of former NBA sharpshooter Steve Kerr, won’t be following in his father’s footsteps at Arizona, opting to stay in California (where the family resides now) and committing to play at San Diego. Like his father, Nick possesses a sweet jump shot (41% from 3-point range and 85% from the free throw line as a junior) and has not been heavily recruited out of high school.
  • Although this isn’t what you normally think about when you consider recruiting, Andy Glockner brings us an analysis of incoming transfers who are basically new recruits. Teams are unlikely to get game-changers like a star freshman, but some of these transfers could give their teams just the little bit extra they need to get over the hump whether it is into the NCAA Tournament, into the Sweet 16, or cutting down the nets in San Antonio in April.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

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Recruiting Makes For Strange Bedfellows: Kentucky v. Washington

Posted by rtmsf on July 26th, 2010

You’d be hard pressed to find two major state research universities with as little in common as the Seattle-based University of Washington and the Lexington-based University of Kentucky.  UW is an urban university located in the gorgeous setting of the wet and wild Pacific Northwest, filled with faculty and students who intravenously inject java into their arms and generally fall on the crunchier side of the political spectrum.  UK, on the other hand, is a suburban school located in the heart of America’s unparalleled horse country, just as proud of its southern hospitality and bourbon as its staid conservativism.  To call these two schools separated by 2,450 miles burgeoning rivals on the basketball court seems as weird as offering Florida v. Minnesota or Arizona v. Rutgers as reasonable comparisons.

A New Rivalry on the Horizon?

Yet over the last few months, the two basketball programs have made up for their lack of on-court rivalry (Kentucky leads the all-time series 1-0) with one in the hideaway gyms and family rooms of blue-chip prospects.  The long arm of UK coach John Calipari’s recruiting prowess has collided squarely with the growing hotbed of talent residing in the upper left corner of the country, resulting in several high-profile head-to-head battles over recruits and most notably impacting Lorenzo Romar’s UW program.    The latest in that string of faceoffs has come in recent weeks over the services of Seattle guard Tony Wroten, Jr., a 6’5 lefty guard and rising senior who missed all of last year due to a football-related knee injury, yet whom most scouts believe has top ten talent

Wroten (@ToneTone13) is a Twitter phenomenon, playing up his ongoing recruitment with re-tweets of others’ speculation, but despite a recent statement that all the schools on his list have an equal chance for his services, the smart money suggests that he’s down to his hometown school and the lure of the bluegrass.  Part of the reason for this is that he’s good friends with two other UK commitments in the Class of 2011 — top ten prospects Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague – but seeing John Wall and Eric Bledsoe coexist and excel in UK’s dribble-drive offense last season is another big carrot.  Nevertheless, the pressure is on Romar to hang onto a local product who grew up playing pickup ball on the Washington campus and who is the second cousin of former Husky star Nate Robinson, especially in light of the fact that only a few months ago Calipari recruited two players to Kentucky — Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones — after both had verbally committed to play in Seattle.  In many UW circles, Wroten is a must-get for Romar. 

After losing out on two big-time prospects and potentially a third to Kentucky, Washington fans are in no mood for another sucker-punch to the gut from Calipari on the recruiting trail, but there could be an opportunity for Husky supporters to exact revenge where it really counts — on the basketball court.  Both teams are participants in the 2010 Maui Invitational this coming November, and although the brackets are not yet set, we have to believe that ESPN and the Maui officials will bend over backwards to make a UK-UW game happen.  Washington guard Isaiah Thomas is apparently ready for it, as he has already gotten snippy with his comment over the weekend that Kentucky fans (along with regional rival Oregon) are “both kinda stupid.”  Regardless of whether Wroten eventually commits to UK or UW later this summer or fall, the heat in this bizarre intersectional rivalry stands to increase and we as the impartial onlookers will just sit back and enjoy it. 

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Recruiting Rumor Mill: 07.26.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 26th, 2010

This week’s action was mostly centered around Las Vegas (and we will certainly talk about Vegas), but there as always there was news from across the rest of the nation. Based on the way that these AAU tournaments run most of our “news” comes from tweets from courtside observers, but we do have a few articles sprinkled in here. If you have a hot recruiting tip or news that you want to share with us, e-mail us at rushthecourt@gmail.com.

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Anthony Davis Narrows It Down To 3 Schools

Posted by nvr1983 on July 23rd, 2010

Earlier this week we brought you a short feature on Anthony Davis, the star power forward recruit out of Chicago who has been lighting up the AAU summer circuit. With his rise up the recruiting rankings we expected the number of offers for Davis to be rising by the day. Instead, as Adam Zagoria reported earlier today, Davis has been narrowing down his list and after eliminating UNC from consideration the list stands at just three schools: Syracuse, Ohio State, and Kentucky. Although his father Anthony Davis Sr. states that his son “should have a decision hopefully soon” he adds that the family “doesn’t have a timetable.” So at this point we don’t know if Davis will commit before his senior season starts (Davis will reportedly take “a couple looks” at each of the three schools so don’t expect an announcement in the next week or two) or this could drag on to be another Terrence Jones situation. In any event, this announcement will only make college basketball fans salivate even more over the potential for Davis playing alongside Fab Melo, Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, and Dion Waiters at Syracuse or alongside Jared Sullinger, William Buford, and Deshaun Thomas at Ohio State or alongside Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, and Terrence Jones at Kentucky when the 2011 NBA lockout happens.

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Morning Five: 07.23.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 23rd, 2010

  1. We hope to have more up on this later today, but this article by Dana O’Neil quoting prominent college coaches (anonymously, of course) about what is wrong with college basketball is reaching an epic level of buzz right now.  There is so much good material here that it’s difficult to pinpoint the best part, but one particular quote stuck out…  “One of my players [who left early for the draft] was working out with another top-five draft pick,” a coach said. “They got to talking and my kid said something about not having money or whatever on campus. The other kid said, ‘My coach set up expense accounts all over town for me. Yours didn’t?” If we assume that the coach is referring to the 2009-10 season, he’s got to be talking about Kentucky, Ohio State, Georgia Tech or Syracuse, right?  Who is your money on?
  2. Luke Winn gets all the tough assignments.  This week he’s reporting back the Alps of Austria with the twenty NCAA players who performed the best in the European Under-20 Championships.  Ok, maybe he wasn’t actually there (we have no idea, actually), but he still comes up with a good list.   Leading the way is… say it with us, now…  Arizona’s Kyryl Natyazhko from the Ukraine.  The 6’11 rising sophomore averaged 17/8 in the tournament, which is great news for Sean Miller’s team as they bring back a deep front line with Derrick Williams, Jamelle Horne and Solomon Hill.  Natyazhko only played eleven minutes per game last year, but with numbers like that, there are signs that he could have a breakout year in the desert in 10-11.
  3. In this article, Seth Greenberg comments on the First Four expansion of the NCAA Tournament, which some folks are humorously calling the Virginia Tech Invitational.  You have to figure that the Hokies would have gotten a bid in two of the last three seasons had there been a 68-team field, so there’s probably some truth to that quip.
  4. Rob Harrington of USA Today takes a look at the summer recruiting circuit to see what themes have emerged as Las Vegas gears up with over 600 AAU teams in town for its various events this weekend.  A quick primer — Michael Gilchrist is still #1, there has been no apparent “Butler Effect,” and players are milking the process to announce in made-for-tv style events.
  5. CBS Sportsline is doing an interesting piece called the Flourishing Five to while away the summer months where they break down the top five college programs in America who are at the top of the heap in both basketball and football.  Their #5 choice is Pittsburgh, an interesting one to say the least.  The obvious choices for the top two are Texas and Ohio State, but who are the others?  Florida has to be considered among the top four, but the other one is a bit perplexing.  Would UNC be an option with Butch Davis now at the helm in football?  How about Wisconsin with Bo Ryan and Bret Bielema getting it done?  The top four should be released over the next couple of weeks.
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Morning Five: 07.21.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 21st, 2010

  1. The biggest news in the world of college athletics came out of South Central today as USC announced that its longtime athletic director Mike Garrett will step down in the wake of probation for both the football and men’s basketball programs on his watch.  Pat Haden, another former USC quarterback, will take over for Garrett in that capacity.  New USC president Max Nikias, still weeks away from formally taking over, also decreed that the school will remove all athletic references (photos, murals and the like) to Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo prior to the arrival of incoming students next month.  They’re even sending Bush’s Heisman Trophy back!  Former head coach Tim Floyd, currently whiling his time away in El Paso, had little to say about the matter.
  2. Notre Dame’s Mike Brey to his irresponsible players Tim Abromaitis and Eric Atkins:  “A lot of sweating will be involved.”  Here’s hoping that they have to run a mile for every beer imbibed.  Y’know, because of the extra calories.
  3. Some coaching news from yesterday.  UIC’s Jimmy Collins announced his retirement effective at the end of August after fourteen seasons at the school — including three NCAA Tournament appearances and six other winning campaigns.  As Goodman reports, the timing of this is odd given that it’s currently the height of recruiting season, but Collins has had medical issues in the past.  We hope he’s ok.
  4. One piece of player news that slipped past us over the weekend — Gonzaga (ok, RTC) fan favorite Bol Kong is leaving Spokane for personal reasons.  Kong averaged 4.5 PPG in his only season for the Zags, but showed promise with a solid three-point stroke (43%) and a nose for the ball.  We hope to see him re-surface somewhere soon.
  5. Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander did a cool thing to get ready for this weekend’s recruiting extravaganza in Vegas.  They polled the top recruits to see whom they would choose as the best in several categories, and the results were interesting.  Austin Rivers was named the top player, Michael Gilchrist the best defender and hardest worker, Brad Beal the best shooter, Marquis Teague the best shooter, and Anthony Davis the best rebounder.  Oh, and best trash-talker: Quincy Miller (no surprise if you read his tweets).  It should be a fun weekend sorting through all of these players out in the desert.
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The Meteoric Rise Of Anthony Davis

Posted by nvr1983 on July 20th, 2010

For most of his high school career, Michael Gilchrist (a recent Kentucky verbal commit), has been the top-rated player in his class. Now it looks like the talented small foward might be losing his place atop those rankings through no fault of his own. Instead, the reason for his drop is the spectacular play of Anthony Davis over the past few weeks, which has prompted many analysts to anoint the 6’10” power forward out of the “Mean Streets” of Chicago (that’s actually his AAU team’s name) as the new #1 player in the rising senior class. Davis has been rising up the charts so rapidly that even in-state schools like Illinois have only began to pay particular attention to him in the past few months. An ESPN Chicago writer took a look at the rise of Davis back in May while he was rocketing up the class rankings, but was still not receiving “#1 in the class” praise. Currently, the only listed “schools of interest” are SyracuseOhio State, and Kentucky although there are reports that UNC is reportedly interested in Davis (and which school wouldn’t be?). However it appears that the Tar Heels sit in 4th position at the moment while the Davis family analyzes UNC’s current situation.

Credit: David Dixon/Natural Talent Scouting

Where will Davis land?

All of this begs the question as to how someone as talented as Davis could go relatively unnoticed in the over-saturated recruiting landscape. The only comparison player we could think of who rocketed up this quickly this late was Tracy McGrady who went from a relative unknown coming into the summer before his senior year to the top recruit in his class by the time he graduated a little over a decade ago, but that was pre-YouTube and even pre-Google (yes, there was a world before Google). Part of the reason that Davis has shot up the rankings is because of a ridiculous growth spurt during his sophomore and junior years (6-7 inches in 18 months according to Evan Daniels). Still some Illinois recruiting gurus [Ed. Note: We are imagining a Hoop Dreams-like TV segment here.] only had him as the #9 player in the state of Illinois after the high school season ended just a few months ago. There has been some speculation amongst Illinois high school basketball fans that Davis may have been ranked so low coming into the summer because he played in a weak Chicago Public League division that most of the recruiting gurus paid little attention to and until this summer he had skipped the AAU summer circuit. All of this seems perfectly reasonable although somewhat surprising so we are left to wonder just how good Davis actually is. For that we turned to Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports and Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog, who have seen Davis in person and spoken with Davis and people close to him.

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Morning Five: 07.13.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on July 12th, 2010

So we heard there was some news about our beloved NCAA Tournament yesterday. . .

  1. As was reported here at RTC, the NCAA has announced the format of the “First Four”. Over the next few days you will see a ton of analysis online, but be sure to keep checking back here, as we’ll probably have more to say on this topic, and we want to hear your takes as well.  Later this morning, our first Bracketology taking into account the 68-team field for 2011 will be released.
  2. Some of you may remember Royce White from his bizarre YouTube exit from Minnesota almost seven months ago. White recently announced that he intends to play for Iowa State and Fred Hoiberg.  White is filing an appeal to play for the Cyclones next year instead of sitting out the usual one season. Hoiberg could really use some talent inside after losing Craig Brackins and a group of other decent-if-not-great inside players to NCAA rulings or transfers.
  3. To all the couch coaches out there, you will have to wait there until at least the middle of November as Chicago State filled the final head coaching vacancy in Division 1 men’s basketball when they named Tracy Dildy as their new head coach yesterday. We would like to congratulate Dildy on his first college head coaching position after spending nearly two decades as an assistant at six different schools.
  4. Boise State rising senior guard La’Shard Anderson was arrested on Saturday night on two misdemeanors: disorderly household and resisting/obstructing officers. Based on reports, it seems like police responded to a loud party complaint at Anderson’s residence and he refused to cooperate with police when he spoke with them outside the house. A hearing is set for August 2nd. To date, Boise State’s only response is that the school is reviewing their conduct policy (read: hoping that the charges against Anderson are dropped so the school can give him the minimum punishment possible).
  5. Some good news for Kentucky fans although it will be hard to ever top getting five 1st round picks (I’m joking.  Seriously, don’t shut down GMail with hate mail). Fresh off their FIBA U17 World Championship, future Wildcats Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchirst talk about how winning is more important to them than stats (shocking thing to say in the news), but UK fans have to be impressed with the stats that the future Wildcats put up even though Teague did struggle with his shooting during the tournament.
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