Already halfway through the calendar, which means that we’re almost equally distant from Midnight Madness as we are from last Selection Sunday…
- Rumors Be Damned. In case you missed it, the rumor mill has been flaring up considerably this week. Lance Stephenson to Cincinnati – confirmed. Xavier Henry and brother CJ to Kentucky – denied. Coach K to the Lakers – not a chance. RTC to Vansterdam – pending. The rumor that had us vexed was the Henrys leaving KU story. When your father is going on talk radio shows and spouting off about his kids’ unhappiness and unwillingness to stay in a particular place (Kansas), that’s usually pretty convincing evidence that something is afoot. Turns out, though, that Carl Henry is just a smidge on the aft side of crazy athlete-dads, and he came off as a real sh*t-stirrer in follow-up radio interviews he gave earlier this week. If Bill Self can manage to get the Henrys to sacrifice self for team, that’ll be a really impressive accomplishment, it appears.
- All Games Are Presumed Equal. Even though some are more equal than others. Um, ok. The NCAA revised its Tournament criteria to remove the “last 12” record analysis (which used to be “last 10”) because the selection committee found it confusing to give more value to games played later in the season over games earlier in the season. In other words, every game is now supposed to count equally in their analysis. The conventional wisdom is that this is a good thing, but we’re uncertain. Think about it: all else being equal, would you want a team that started 15-1 but finished 4-8 getting into the Dance over a team that started 9-7, but finished 10-2? We think that there needs to be some reward for finishing strong. Basketball is a tournament sport, and teams are built to be working on all cylinders by the time tournament season rolls around, not in November and December. Our general feeling is that committee members will still reward strong closers over strong starters, but it just won’t be officially sanctioned. Let’s hope they do, at least.
- Bruins Pony Up. In what’s becoming a national trend in both football and basketball, schools are holding their long-time season ticket holders hostage by requiring enormous donations to reserve the best seats at their venues. We recently read about this occurring as Cal upgrades its football stadium, and now UCLA is requiring up to a half-million dollars worth of largesse to get the choicest seats courtside at the new and improved Pauley Pavilion (set to re-open in 2012). Schools can obviously do whatever they want with the seats in their stadiums, but it seems absurd that a family that has held on to seats for generations but may not have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around won’t be able to keep them.
- 2010 Mock Drafts. Here’s a version from Jeff Goodman, NBADraft.net, DraftExpress, and Draft Depot. Everybody and their brother has Kentucky PG John Wall as the #1 guy right now.
- More Quick Hits. Cameron Dollar: high hopes for fledgling Seattle U. SEC Coaches: we don’t suck! Craig Brackins: two national articles on the Iowa St. big man in the same week! Ohio St. AD Gene Smith: will chair the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Tournament Cmtes. Renardo Sidney: NCAA eligibility meetings postponed to next week. Greivis Vasquez: sweeping the ACC titles next season. UNC: University of Nike Carolina. Coach K: of course he doesn’t like the one-and-done rule. Of course he doesn’t. Tom Brennan: first Whelliston, now Brennan. ESPN is shedding all of its best CBB studio people, and that’s sad.