Morning Five: 03.03.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on March 3rd, 2011

  1. Jason Wright of the Deseret News sums up what he saw from the San Diego State students during last Saturday’s BYU vs SDSU game, and is still none too happy about it. After reading his account, we had some questions of our own for him: how can you blame the crowd for your daughter hearing that often-used and ineffective two-syllable expletive chant (it’s one word, by the way, Jason) after a bad call when it’s your hand holding the remote? You shouldn’t have had a problem changing the channel if this really was one of two games you’ve watched from start to finish this year, as you admit. And as far as BYU going off “to find other places to play?” Well, they did. Care to wager if the reception is any better in the WCC next season?
  2. This isn’t a recycling of a previous M5 nugget, but it is a link to a story about a former Michigan State guard transferring to Iowa State. Last summer, it was Chris Allen. Now it’s Korie Lucious who’s headed to Ames. They’ll practice but won’t play together, since Allen will be on the court next year, a season Lucious must sit out before he returns for 2012-2013. Korie cited ISU coach Fred Hoiberg’s NBA connections as a reason for choosing the Cyclones.
  3. At the Villanova @ Seton Hall game on February 15th, it has been alleged that the partner of Keon Lawrence’s mother (Lawrence had already been dismissed from the team) assaulted the mother of SHU guard Jordan Theodore in the stands. Later that night, Theodore, flanked by two dudes in ski masks, allegedly knocked on Lawrence’s dorm room door while packing a gun. Yeesh. Theodore now faces a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm on school property, despite the questionable testimony that led to it.
  4. The glare problem in Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena has been remedied, but the midcourt line controversy remains. That may soon change. In this story at the blog of The Oregonian, floor designer Tinker Hatfield comments on his inspiration for the court’s design, how he loves the controversy about it, what the symbols on the floor mean, and the competitive advantages that may be inherent in the design. As a defense for the lack of a highly visible half court line, he says that the center line at Kansas‘ Allen Fieldhouse is partially obscured by the large Jayhawk logo at midcourt [Ed. note: I’m looking at KU’s floor as I type this, and the whole center line is visible].
  5. Tell us we haven’t seen the last of Fang Mitchell at Coppin State. The Eagles have been to the NCAA Tournament four times (1990, 1993, 1997, 2008) and Mitchell has been at the helm for each one. In his 26-year tenure, he’s won four MEAC Coach of the Year awards, and from 1992-98 his squads won 54 of 55 conference games. It’s been a tough decade for CSU, though, despite this year’s squad posting a 10-5 MEAC record going into their senior night game this evening against Morgan State. The Baltimore Sun’s Ken Murray writes that the winds of change may be swirling in Baltimore. Despite his evidence, we still hope it isn’t true.
Share this story

The NCAA’s Verdicts On Calhoun & Pearl Raise More Questions

Posted by nvr1983 on February 23rd, 2011

Within a span of 24 hours the NCAA released a pair of statements that sent shock waves through NCAA coaching circles. The first involving Connecticut and its Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun had been expected since Yahoo! Sports broke the story on the recruitment of Nate Miles in March 2009, while the other involved Tennessee and both its basketball and football programs in an ongoing process, but just came to the media’s attention within the past year. While the verdict on Calhoun and the release of the NCAA’s notice of allegations against Tennessee has created quite a bit of controversy, they also raise a lot of questions.

Calhoun was less than thrilled with the NCAA's ruling

Before we get into the questions, it’s probably best to lay out each of the cases:


The Huskies were cited for the recruitment of Nate Miles that involved the use of a former student-manager-turned-agent Josh Nochimson who reportedly helped direct Miles to Storrs. Nochimson reportedly dealt with two UConn assistants in Patrick Sellars and Beau Archibald, both of whom are no longer with the program. According to the NCAA’s official release “the case includes more than $6,000 in improper recruiting inducements, (150) impermissible phone calls and (190) text messages to prospective student-athletes, failure to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance by the head coach, failure to monitor by the university, and unethical conduct by the former operations director, among other violations.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

The Other 26: Week 13

Posted by KDoyle on February 11th, 2011

Kevin Doyle is an RTC contributor.


In last week’s article I touched on the notion of parity and how great it is within the world of sports. After analyzing many of the Other 26 conferences this week, I could not help but notice how in several of the conference there is not one team that has distinguished themselves from the pack yet, and we are already nearing mid-February. In some cases, there are not even two or three teams that are running away with the league. Competitiveness or mediocrity? Well, does it really matter? All this means is that conference tournament week becomes that much more unpredictable and exciting. Here are a few of the conferences that are still completely wide open:

  • Atlantic 10: Four teams—Xavier, Duquesne, Temple, and Richmond—have records between 8-2 and 8-1.
  • CAA: Four teams—George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion, and Hofstra—have records between 12-2 and 10-4.
  • The A10 and CAA are both very similar as each have four teams in legitimate contention, and both appear to be two-bid leagues at the moment.
  • Conference USA: Six teams—UTEP, Southern Mississippi, UAB, Memphis, SMU, and Tulsa—have records between 6-2 and 7-3.
  • Horizon League: Five teams—Valparaiso, Cleveland State, Wright State, Butler, and Wisconsin Milwaukee—have records between 10-3 and 9-5.
  • MAC: Eight teams—Kent State, Buffalo, Miami (OH), Bowling Green, Akron, Ohio, Ball State, and Western Michigan—have records between 7-2 and 5-4.
  • Southern Conference: Four teams—Charleston, Furman, Wofford, and Chattanooga—have records between 11-2 and 10-3.
  • Southland Conference: Nine teams—Northwestern State, McNeese State, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, UTSA, and Texas Arlington—have records between 7-3 and 5-4.

Very elaborate, I know. But, it is pretty remarkable the balance in the leagues. Of these seven conferences, there are a total of 40 teams who can still say they are capable and have a legit shot at winning their conference. What does this all mean? A great week of basketball during the conference tournaments, followed by more weeks of deliciousness during the NCAA Tournament. Enjoy.

The Other 26 Rankings

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Around The Blogosphere: December 21, 2010

Posted by nvr1983 on December 21st, 2010

If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to We will add to this post throughout the day as the submissions come in so keep on sending them.

Top 25 Games

  • #4 Syracuse 97, Morgan State 55: “Sure, the way this game went you’d pretty much be disappointed if Southerland hadn’t set a career-high with eighteen points (12 of which were on three-pointers). Still, couple that with his five rebounds and you’d be remiss not to appreciate what Southerland did during his audition for a spot in the Big East rotation in 12-0 Syracuse’s 97-55 romp over Morgan State (4-5).” (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)

Pre-Game Analysis

  • Preview: UNC-Ashville at #2 Ohio State: “Fresh off a 79-57 stomping of South Carolina behind 30 points and 19 boards from Jared “Big Ten Freshman of the Week” Sullinger, the Buckeyes welcome UNC-Asheville to the Schott for the third time since 2008, beginning a stretch of three games in seven days to finish up the non-conference slate.” (Eleven Warriors)
  • Know Your Braggin’ Rights Rival: Illinois: “Braggin’ Rights is upon us once again, though both teams stumble into St. Louis a bit. Illinois fell into a small funk that culminated in a shocking loss to Illinois-Chicago on Saturday; meanwhile, Mizzou was playing much, much better but has to deal with more adversity, this time in the form of an injury to Phil Pressey. Illinois is a thin team anyway, and it appears Mizzou will continue to play with a shorter bench than Mike Anderson would prefer. Of course, Illinois was thin last year and Mizzou was dealing with injury (okay, illness) then too, and that turned out pretty well for Mizzou, right?” (Rock M Nation)
  • Sizing Up the Bears: “The Jayhawks wrap up their Pac10 tour this week against the Golden Bears of California. The Bears are picked to be a middle of the pack team in their conference, behind three teams Kansas has already beat and the two Washington schools. That’s not to say this game is going to be a cakewalk. All three games against the teams from out west this year have been far from smooth and the Jayhawks benefited from having two of those at home. This game comes at a time when Kansas seems to be struggling a bit and it is their first true road game of the season.” (Rock Chalk Talk)
  • UCLA v. MSU Preview: “Don’t think it will ever happen again”: “UCLA plays Montana State tonight at 7:30 Pacific.; All you local fans better go to the game as it will only be on Bank West (Jumbotron) Bruin TV. Montana State(MS) has lost four of their last five, with their only win in that span coming against Johnson and Wales a law firm NAIA school. Montana State has also not won on the road this year. So this game should be a cake walk right?” (Bruins Nation)
  • Sleeping With The Enemy: The Tigers of Memphis: Putting the spotlight on the Memphis-Georgetown game. (Casual Hoya)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Around The Blogosphere: A Night At Madison Square Garden

Posted by nvr1983 on November 19th, 2010

Most of the nation had its eyes fixated on Madison Square Garden even though the people of New York City did not feel like actually going to the games, but there was also some action outside of the Manhattan area. Once again, send in your submissions to

Top 25 Games

  • #5 Pittsburgh 79, Maryland 70: “Maryland might not’ve won, but the Terrapins went toe-to-toe with the #4 team in the country with the score just two possessions apart in the final two minutes. In the end, Maryland missed more and more free throws and gave up more and more rebounds to let Pitt pull away, stretching the lead to the final margin of 79-70. In the end, it’s still the most encouraging loss I’ve seen in a very long time.” (Testudo Time: Part 1 and Part 2)
  • Texas 90, #16 Illinois 84 (OT): “The Texas Longhorns (3-0) rode Tristan Thompson’s breakout party to hold on for a 90-84 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1). Behind Thompson’s 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 blocks, along with 25 points from rejuvenated sophomore Jordan Hamilton, Texas won the most entertaining and well-played basketball game of the young 2010 college basketball season.” (Burnt Orange Nation)
  • #17 UNC 107, Hofstra 63: “I’ve tried very hard to tamp down my expectations for this team, and I really don’t want to draw conclusions from games against Lipscomb and Hofstra. (Especially since the Lipscomb game wasn’t very good.) But for the first time since the championship team, watching a Carolina game was fun. There was no pit in my stomach, no anticipation of disaster. Here’s to more games like this moving forward.” (Carolina March)
  • #18 Georgetown 80, Coastal Carolina 61: “Georgetown went down to Charleston and absolutely destroyed the Coastal Carolina Chicklets or whatever they are called. 80-61 is the right final score for a game that was never in question. The Hoyas made 32 field goals on 25 assists and were led by the three guards who are making an early season case for the best backcourt in the country.” (Casual Hoya)

Other Games of Interest

  • Minnesota 95, Western Kentucky 77: The Gophers knocked off the Hilltoppers, but their next opponent (UNC) and uber-freshman Harrison Barnes should provide a more formidable challenge. (Gopher Nation)
  • Providence 77, Morgan State 55: “After three games of great intensity and great results on defense, is it too early to say they are showing amazing improvement? Sure, the offense has some issues, and the Friars will be lucky to win another game shooting SIX POINT THREE PERCENT from downtown. As the competition increases, PC will surely start letting up more points and higher shooting percentages. For now, I don’t want to worry about that just yet. The most important takeaway is that the effort is there and the team is improving. Incredibly refreshing if you ask me.” (Friar Blog)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Starting Tomorrow, We’re Talkin’ About Practices

Posted by jstevrtc on October 14th, 2010

Fall is the most appropriately named season. It is called that because the sun is falling below the celestial equator, for you amateur astronomers out there, but poets and writers far better than this one have described so many other reasons throughout time to illustrate why fall is known as the “season of descent”  — the decreasing number of daylight hours, the leaves, the mercury in your thermometer, the amount of filler material on SportsCenter. Of the few things that do indeed rise at this time of year, one of them has become one of surest signs that fall has arrived…

When the Tents Sprout in Lexington for Big Blue Madness Tickets, You Know That Fall Is Here.

True, in the Driesellian sense, nobody has true “Midnight Madness” anymore. And there’s so much more interaction now between coaches and players that happens prior to that circled mid-October day where once none was allowed. It doesn’t matter, because the psychosis to which college basketball aficionados across the nation willingly give in is real, and it arrives tomorrow.

That’s right, tomorrow. A big black “x” in the October 15th square on your wall calendar means that hoopheads are celebrating their own national holiday, which, inasmuch as it isn’t real Midnight Madness, we’ll call the First Official Day of Practice (FODP). Like it or not, the NCAA still calls the shots, and if they say that that particular day is open season for full-squad, you-can-use-a-ball workouts to begin, then celebrate we will, for the season is short but sweet for certain (apologies to Dave and the boys).

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

West Virginia Loses Darryl Bryant To Broken Foot

Posted by jstevrtc on March 24th, 2010

West Virginia will be without starting sophomore point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant for the rest of the NCAA Tournament.  X-rays taken on Tuesday revealed that Bryant has fractured a bone in the fifth toe of his right foot.  It’s not exactly clear when Bryant sustained the injury, but the cited report above says that he had noticed increased pain in the foot during a recent practice, then today’s imaging showed the broken toe.

The Mountaineers are famous for being chock-full-o-forwards, often playing four forwards and a guard at any given time (they have no true center).  Bryant — who averages 9.3 PPG and 3.1 APG in 24.3 MPG — will most definitely be missed, but he’s not a traditional dime-dishing point guard.  He’s known more for the mental and physical toughness he brings to the table for his team, not so much for his high yield in terms of assists or forcing turnovers.  Da’Sean Butler, Kevin Jones, and Devin Ebanks — the only three Mountaineers who average more than 30 minutes per game — do most of the ball-handling, and will only see a slight increase in touches, which they probably won’t mind.

The Truck, unfortunately, has a bum wheel. (AP/Mel Evans)

WVU also has a ready replacement in Joe Mazzulla, a 6’2 junior point guard averaging 2.2 PPG and 2.3 APG.  Mazzulla redshirted last year after injuring his shoulder, but has seen steadily increasing minutes throughout the season.  Mazzulla actually played more minutes than Bryant in the Mountaineers’ second-round game against Missouri, and the two had no problem with the Tigers’ vaunted full-court press.  His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5 is higher than Bryant’s 1.5, though Mazzulla did average ten fewer minutes per game.  Any further minutes at the guard position will go to 6’4 junior Casey Mitchell (3.8 PPG, 0.4 APG in 8.3 MPG), who only played three minutes against Missouri but did contribute six points, four assists, and two steals with only one turnover in 11 minutes in WVU’s first round 77-50 win over Morgan State.

There’s been no mention of how severe Bryant’s injury is, but most fifth metatarsal fractures do not require surgery and heal on their own over time with the “conservative” therapies — ice for swelling, no weight-bearing on the foot, and immobilization with a splint or cast.

WVU chief Bob Huggins is certainly no stranger to tournament-time injuries when he’s got a team poised for big things.  Back in 2000 — another year in which the Final Four was held in Indianapolis — his #2-seed Cincinnati squad was a favorite to win it all before Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the Conference USA Tournament, and the Bearcats were subsequently dispatched in the second round by Tulsa.  The next time the Final Four is in Indianapolis and Huggins has a highly rated team, don’t blame the man if he sequesters his whole team in a padded room and locks the door, opening it only for games.

Share this story

RTC Bracketology Seed Update: 03.14.10

Posted by zhayes9 on March 14th, 2010

From today until Selection Sunday, keep checking Rush the Court for updates on who’s in, who’s out and seeding.


(Note: each of the four teams in one seed grouping is listed in pecking order in terms of who is closer to moving up a seed line. This is used to determine game location and matchups similar to Joe Lunardi’s S-Curve listing).

Also: play the NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday challenge at to be your own Bracketologist.

Italics indicates conference leaders/champions.

Last update: 03/14, 3:50 PM ET.

#1 Seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, West Virginia

#2 Seeds: Duke, Ohio State, Kansas State, Georgetown

#3 Seeds: New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Purdue

#4 Seeds: Baylor, Wisconsin, Temple, Tennessee

#5 Seeds: Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Michigan State, BYU

#6 Seeds: Maryland, Butler, Richmond, Xavier

#7 Seeds: Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, Texas, UNLV

#8 Seeds: Notre Dame, Marquette, Clemson, Oklahoma State

#9 Seeds: Florida State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Missouri

#10 Seeds: UTEP, Old Dominion, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State

#11 Seeds: Wake Forest, Washington, California, Siena

#12 Seeds: Utah State, Minnesota, Cornell, Illinois

#13 Seeds: Murray State, New Mexico State, Oakland, Houston

#14 Seeds: Wofford, Sam Houston State, Ohio, Montana

#15 Seeds: Morgan State, UC-Santa Barbara, North Texas, Vermont

#16 Seeds: Robert Morris, East Tennessee State, Lehigh, Winthrop, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Last Four In: California, Utah State, Minnesota, Illinois

Last Four Out: Mississippi State, Florida, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall

Bids per conference: Big East (8), Big 12 (7), Big Ten (6), ACC (5), Mountain West (4), SEC (3), Atlantic 10 (3), Pac-10 (2), West Coast (2), WAC (2), C-USA (2).

Share this story

Set Your Tivo: 03.13.10

Posted by THager on March 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 2012
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game

CUSA Championship – UTEP vs. Houston – 11:30 am on CBS (***)

The Miners have been one of the most underrated teams in the country this season, but if they can finish their run through the Conference USA tournament, they could be looking at a #5 of #6 seed in the NCAA tournament.  They have now won 16 games in a row, and they will face a mediocre Houston team that is just 18-15 on the year.  UTEP is the more talented team, as they rank twelfth in defensive efficiency, but they have had some trouble against the Cougars this year.  The Miners won the most recent matchup, but finished the game just 2-18 from the three-point line.  In the first contest in January, Houston actually won 75-65 thanks to 11-20 shooting from beyond the arc.  UTEP’s Achilles heel has been their free throw shooting, and if Houston doesn’t beat up on themselves (they have a 1.4/1 assist to turnover ratio) the Cougars have a chance to steal a bid.

America East Championship – Boston University vs. Vermont – 12:00 pm on ESPN2 (***)

A few weeks ago, Boston University looked as if they had no business being in the NCAA tournament.  At the end of January, the Terriers stood at just 11-11, and were struggling in the America East conference.  However, BU won eight of their last nine games, and has earned a shot to dance with a 70-63 upset over top seeded Stony Brook in the semifinals.  There has been a few days rest from the semifinal game until today, so they will be more rested than most teams during championship week.  Vermont is an equally hot team, as they are 10-1 in their last 11 games, but they have had close calls against the Terriers this season.  In February, Vermont won in Boston 76-75, and it took Evan Fjeld’s layup with nine seconds left to seal the victory.  The largest lead for either team in the second half was just five points, and Vermont could not stop John Holland, who finished with 29 points.  Holland shoots 85% from the line this season, and if the Terriers can grab a lead heading into the closing minutes, free throw shooting could become a factor.  However, in their first matchup, BU got five points from their bench, while six Catamounts combined for 22 points, and Vermont ran away with a 20 point victory.  Vermont is 9-2 at home this year, and they look strong heading into this game.

MEAC Championship – South Carolina State vs. Morgan State – 2:00 pm on ESPN2 (***)

Morgan State is by far the best team in the MEAC, and the most likely candidate to pull off an upset in the tournament this season.  Nevertheless, they are going to have to get past a dangerous SC State team before they can secure their bid.  The Bulldogs were just 18-13 on the year, but they actually beat Morgan State on the road in their most recent matchup.  The Bears shot just 22% from the three point line, and SC State’s Jason Flagler had 24 points in the 71-68 victory.  The first game was a different matter, as Morgan State won by 15 points despite another poor shooting performance.  The Bulldogs do not rank among the top 250 teams in either offensive or defensive efficiency, while Morgan State ranks a relatively high #125 in offensive efficiency.  If South Carolina State continues to have more turnovers than assists, as they have this whole season, they have no chance of winning this game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story