Morning Five: 03.13.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 13th, 2013


  1. The swag that college football teams get at bowl games may garner plenty of attention, but they are not the only college athletes to receive significant amounts of swag. Participants in the NCAA Tournament will receive an estimated $750,000 in gifts with the value of the gifts escalating if teams make it to the Final Four. Unlike college football (at least to our knowledge) the gifts are not limited to just teams that make the equivalent of a bowl game (the NCAA Tournament) as players in nearly every conference tournament will be taking home gifts ranging for t-shirts to televisions. We won’t try to argue that this is comparable to a stipend that many are advocating, but it is a nice bonus.
  2. All programs are subject to up and down periods, but mid-majors are more subject to these extremes than most teams in power conferences and Siena is a prime example. It was not that long ago that the Saints made three straight NCAA Tournaments (2008-10), but once Fran McCaffery left things went downhill quickly as they went 35-59 in the following three seasons and yesterday that led to the firing of Mitch Buonaguro, McCaffery’s lead assistant and replacement. Given the sudden drop-off that the program experienced and the lack of progress the team showed in regaining its former glory the decision should not be too surprising. We doubt that we will see Siena reach the heights they saw under McCaffery, but the initiative the administration has shown and the tradition that McCaffery built should make it an appealing destination for a long-time assistant looking for his first job or a coach at a mid-major looking to move up in the college basketball world.
  3. We wish we could say the same about UMKC, which fired Matt Brown yesterday, but we are must more skeptical that the Kangaroos (yes, that is actually their nickname) will become a real mid-major threat. Even that lowered expectation was not enough to save the job of Brown, who went 64-122 in six seasons including 8-24 this season. Looking through Brown’s record at UMKC it is not hard to see why Brown was fired even with what we would expect are fairly low expectations at a school that has the misfortune of being surrounded by three basketball powerhouses.
  4. We have not seen many significant recruits opt to go the overseas rather than head to college (Brandon Jennings is the most notable exception), but Seton Hall commit Aquille Carr appears to joining that small group. The decision is not exactly shocking for people who have followed Carr closely as the 5’6″ guard had previously mentioned playing in Europe and his arrest last summer for assault and reckless endangerment raised further questions about whether he would end up on a college campus. Still Carr’s decision is the latest in a series of blows for Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, who went 3-15 in the Big East this season and now has lost two of the guards he was looking forward to bringing to campus next season (both also already carried criminal charges).
  5. With the regular season winding down every analyst’s rankings becomes a little less hot debated as we are finally getting to the point of the season where teams control their “ranking” based on what they do on the court rather than how impressive they are in doing so. That does not mean that Luke Winn’s Power Rankings are not as useful as ever with their usual wealth of information. Winn decided to go a little heavier in terms of subjective rankings than usual to offer his Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Freshman of the Year ballots, but he still has plenty of other interesting data including an analysis of how unique Gonzaga’s offensive distribution is and showing just how badly Florida’s guards are shooting.
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Set Your Tivo: 12.13.10

Posted by Brian Otskey on December 13th, 2010

***** – quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** – best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** – set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** – set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2013
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game

Brian Otskey is an RTC contributor.

Tonight begins a week of almost nothing of significance in the college basketball world. Many schools have finals this week resulting in the annual light schedule for this week.  All rankings from RTC and all times eastern.

Florida Atlantic @ Siena – 7:30 pm on Time Warner Cable Sports (*)

Siena enters the game at 2-6 coming off three straight losses. The Saints were expected to contend at the top of the MAAC but they’ve looked ordinary so far. It would be foolish to write them off however as they have quality talent for a mid-major league, talent that’s experienced for the most part. Surprisingly, Siena is 0-4 at home under the direction of first year head coach Mitch Buonaguro. He does have two star players though as Ryan Rossiter and Clarence Jackson are back for their senior seasons in upstate New York. Rossiter has been outstanding, averaging 20/13. Those 13 rebounds are good enough for second in the country behind Kenneth Faried of Morehead State. A key matchup in this game will be Rossiter against FAU’s Kore White who had 18/8 in a win at Mississippi State and was 5-8 from the floor in a victory over South Florida. At 6’8/245, White possesses the height and strength to bang with the 6’9/235 Rossiter. The Owls are 5-4 against D1 competition and have won three straight, including the wins against MSU and USF. They’re led by former St. John’s head coach Mike Jarvis who is trying to work his way back up the coaching ladder. Florida Atlantic takes good care of the ball, ranked eighth in offensive turnover percentage. They should win the turnover battle against a Siena team that averages 16 turnovers a game. Siena may be shorthanded as Owen Wignot missed their last game against Fairfield with a head injury. Wignot has been a valuable weapon, hitting 13 of his 21 three point attempts this season. Jarvis has a shooter of his own in leading scorer Gregg Gantt, averaging 15 PPG and 40% from three. The senior duo of Rossiter and Jackson should do most of the scoring for Siena and Rossiter should especially look to take advantage inside. FAU gives up 51% shooting from inside the arc on average but White should be able to contain him somewhat, at least you’d think so. This should be a pretty good game between two decent mid-major teams, despite Siena’s record.

Green Bay @ Wisconsin – 8 pm on Big Ten Network (*)

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Morning Five: 11.23.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on November 23rd, 2010

  1. Seth Davis submits his annual predictions on who will be this year’s breakout sophomores, and even though that concept alone is enough to hook us, there are two other reasons that make this particular endeavor well worth a read. First, Davis disqualifies several low-risk examples (your Boyntons, Leonards, etc) from consideration and restricts himself to less obvious choices; second, he doesn’t just ask that you take him on faith. He revisits last year’s predictions to see how he did. We respect such honesty.
  2. Former Ohio State all-American (in terms of blogging, at least) Mark Titus may have graduated, but he and Club Trillion are still going strong. If you’ve ever read his site, you know how it is both fitting and funny that Titus writes a three-part college basketball preview…that finishes two weeks after the season’s already started. If you’re looking for in-depth conference breakdowns and NCAA Tournament prognostications, you might want to look elsewhere. If, however, you like to view college basketball through the twin lenses of professional wrestling and FIFA video soccer, then this is the link for you (it takes you to Part I). We think you’ll enjoy it (unless you’re a Duke or Kentucky fan).
  3.’s Jeff Goodman writes that the sky is still in its rightful place in Chapel Hill, and that the, er, slow start by the Tar Heels is no cause for alarm, adding that by the end of the season the Heels should be “a legitimate Top 25 team.” We doubt UNC supporters will find that to be much confort, though. If you’re a North Carolina fan, we want to hear from you: we know it’s extremely early, but with this freshman class and specifically the arrival of Harrison Barnes, would Top 25 legitimacy by the end of the season represent the type of 2010-11 campaign you had in mind before it began?
  4. In case it slipped by you, we have to remind that what we had on Monday was a case of a team that won a “tournament” game a few days ago playing its subsequent game in a small-college gym in Ohio while the loser from that same tournament game “advanced” to play (and lose) in a huge arena on national television. San Diego State is just fine with obscurity, though, and invites the college basketball world to continue to look the other way.
  5. Mitch Buonaguro claims that in 15 tries as an assistant coach, he’s never beaten Butler (Ed. note: this may not be accurate). Now, Buonaguro is the head coach at Siena. Guess who’s coming to Loudonville, NY for a game tonight? You got it. In this piece from the Albany Times Union, you can see that Coach Buonaguro has nothing but respect and great things to say about his opponent. You can also tell how badly he wants that victory over them.
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