Big East Morning Five: 02.23.12 Edition

Posted by Patrick Prendergast on February 23rd, 2012

  1. Temple may become the next all-sport member of the Big East and could begin conference play as early as next season.  Currently Temple is a member of the MAC in football whose commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher confirmed yesterday that he was aware the Big East and Temple were discussing a reunion.  Temple played football in the Big East from 1991-2004 before being jettisoned. West Virginia now leaving for the Big 12 next year after a legal settlement, the Big East is short a team which accounts for the hastened Temple timing. If the Big East and Temple ultimately come to terms, they will have to sit down with Steinbrecher and the MAC to negotiate cost and timing as MAC bylaws currently require two football seasons advance notice and a $2.5 million exit fee.
  2. Another reason for the perceived urgency around the Big East’s discussions with Temple is that Boise State confirmed yesterday that it will remain in the Mountain West for another year.  The school was believed to be an option to fill the void created by West Virginia’s Big 12 departure for the upcoming football season.  The Big East and Boise State discussed an earlier move but the school’s President, Bob Kustra, cited “too many obstacles to overcome” and said accelerating the schedule “would not be fiscally responsible.” Boise State will become a football-only member of the Big East for the 2012-13 season. While it has not yet been finalized, Boise’s other athletic programs are likely to compete in the Western Athletic Conference in all remaining sports, except wrestling which is a Pac-12 sport for the Broncos.
  3. As anticipated, Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun, who has been on medical leave since February 3 due to spinal stenosis, met with his doctor yesterday to review progress and discuss options that ranged anywhere from a possible return to the sideline this weekend to season-ending surgery.  As it turns out Calhoun will have a surgical procedure performed next Monday but he still has hopes of rejoining his team this season. The procedure will keep him out at least another two games — Saturday against Syracuse and Tuesday at Providence.  It is not known for certain whether Calhoun will be able to return for the Huskies’ regular season finale on March 3 against Pittsburgh.  Despite the rest and treatment over the past few weeks, Calhoun has remained in pain so the intent of the procedure is to alleviate his condition.
  4. If you are scoring at home it’s Syracuse and Jim Boeheim: 1, Bobby Davis and Mike Lang: 0.  New York State Supreme Court judge Brian DeJoseph ruled yesterday that the slander case brought by Davis and Lang against Boeheim and SU will be moved from New York City to Onondaga County (NY). Attorneys for Davis and Lang filed the suit in New York City saying that it would be impossible to get a fair trial in the Syracuse area due to the stature of Orange basketball and the strong connection between the university and its community. Boeheim and Syracuse countered the case should remain local because none of the participants reside near the city. Davis and Lang have accused former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine of sexually molesting them and are accusing Boeheim of slander for comments he made about their motives in the Fine matter.  None of the named parties were in court on Wednesday where DeJoseph ruled that attorneys for the prosecution failed to prove their argument.  The decision will not be appealed per a statement from Gloria Allred, one of the attorneys representing Davis and Lang.
  5. Louisville freshman Chane Behanan likely had tonight plugged into his smart phone calendar for some time because he is heading home to Cincinnati when his Cardinals the floor at Cincinnati. It will represent a homecoming for the forward, who prepped at Cincinnati’s Aiken High School.  However, Behanan could draw the ire of or at least a little ribbing from some Bearcat faithful as they will remember that Behanan committed to Cincinnati after his freshman year before de-committing in his junior year.  While it is extremely common for a recruit to change his mind before signing with a team, the fact that Behanan was a hometown star could shift some attention his way tonight.  Cincinnati has its own home grown hero in senior center Yancy Gates who attended local Withrow High School.  Behanan and Gates’ teams faced off in high school and Behanan said he has never gotten the better of Gates. “That was a big rivalry every time we played against each other,” Behanan told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “Me and him always went head-to-head and I mean, I never beat him so hopefully that will change.”
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Big East Morning Five: 12.14.11 Edition

Posted by mlemaire on December 14th, 2011

  1. News from the Bernie Fine saga has slowed to a trickle in recent weeks but that doesn’t mean it is done causing Syracuse headaches. Today brought word that accusers Mike Lang and Bobby Davis have retained noted publicity hound Gloria Allred to sue the university and Jim Boeheim for defamation. It is difficult to feel for Boeheim in this situation because he brought it upon himself with his strong comments in the wake of the initial news. If you thought Boeheim and his team were going to face distractions before, things are probably going to get a lot worse now that Allred will have microphones in front of her face. The most intriguing dynamic in all of this is that the Orange are good enough and deep enough to overcome these serious obstacles, but we will have to wait to see how they handle the microscope.
  2. Seton Hall is off to a great start at 8-1 this season and they should be getting more help in the frontcourt when talented freshman Brandon Mobley returnsafter he was cleared to play Sunday against Mercer. Mobley is a skilled offensive player but Pirates’ fans should temper their expectations as it will take time for him to adjust to live game-action. At the same time, Kevin Willard’s team is thin at the forward position and adding a player like Mobley will give him some flexibility.
  3. After Temple students taunted Villanova with eight roll-out signs and beat the Wildcats in their latest annual matchup, maybe Villanova should start letting its students bring signs into the games from now on. It can’t hurt. The Wildcats are off to a lackluster start and even needed to come back from a halftime deficit to beat Boston University last night. It certainly doesn’t look like much has changed for Jay Wright and his team after last season’s late meltdown. Mouphtao Yarou is quickly becoming a solid two-way big man but Maalik Wayns reminds many of Corey Fisher, and it is because of his shot selection and penchant for turnovers rather than his star qualities. The team can still make the NCAA Tournament but they are young and it may be another year or two before they are true contenders again.
  4. I love Andy Glockner from Sports Illustrated and there is nothing wrong with his latest article, but I was hoping for a theme less obvious than  ”Connecticut is getting really good again.” As always, Glockner excellently analyzes UConn’s first nine games and highlights the emergence of Ryan Boatright and Andre Drummond as big reasons for the team’s recent success. But I am not buying the take that this team isn’t generating a lot of buzz, especially considering they had a preseason first-team All-American, another preseason Freshman of the Year favorite, and a preseason Top 5 ranking. They haven’t really surprised anybody, as they remain a very good team and a national title contender.
  5. The DePaul Blue Demons don’t spend much time in the focus of Big East basketball fans, but Oliver Purnell is starting to get the resurrection of the program going, beginning with recruiting. Freshman Jamee Crockett is an excellent example of Purnell’s early work. Now a starter, Crockett is becoming a consistent scorer for the Blue Demons and his athleticism is a welcome spark for a team trying to compete in one of the nation’s most difficult conferences. He probably won’t make a big difference this season, but it is still a good sign for Purnell and his ongoing rebuilding effort.
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