Feinstein’s Thursday Lunch: Shaheen-Kebabs

Posted by jstevrtc on April 2nd, 2010

Now that spring is here and the weather has improved over much of the country, we’d like to announce that grilling season officially kicked off today in Indianapolis, but probably not in the way you’re thinking.

The president of the NCAA and/or some other high-ups has always made it a point to take some time on the Thursday or Friday preceding the Final Four to have a press conference to talk about the NCAA Tournament in general and the tournament specific to that year.  This little get-together happened today in Indy.  The media got the chance to hear from Dan Guerrero, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee; Kevin Lennon, VP for academic and membership affairs; and one Greg Shaheen, the NCAA’s senior VP for basketball and business strategies.

Shaheen Isn't Speechless Here

RIGHT HERE is the transcript of this press conference.

IMPORTANT:  Listen, we post a lot of links on this site.  We want you to click every one of them.  We wouldn’t put them up there if we didn’t think it would enhance your enjoyment or understanding of a story or article.  But YOU MUST CLICK ON THAT LINK if you want to get a glimpse into the minds of the people who are trying to change the greatest sporting event in the world, the people who want to increase the number of teams in the NCAA Tournament from 65 to 96.

Before you do that, we need to make sure you understand something — this thing is happening.  The 96-team tournament isn’t something that’s just being discussed, anymore.  This press conference wasn’t an official announcement, but it was everything but that.  We don’t like it any more than you do, but we might as well get used to it. We know why they’re doing it.  Like Joe Pesci said in Casino:

“Always the dollars.  Always the f***in’ dollars…”

You see, the NCAA has to make a decision this summer.  Their current college basketball contract with CBS runs through 2013, but states that the NCAA can opt out of the deal by the end of this July to go searching for a better deal, meaning more money.  The current contract with CBS was finalized in 1999 and is worth about $6 billion.  It also applies to a 65-team tournament.  If they opt out, the NCAA can do whatever it wants to the tournament and market the new version (like, say, one with 96 teams) as their new product as they negotiate for even bigger bucks.  They could even renegotiate with CBS (we wonder if CBS also sees possible bigger profits and actually wants the NCAA to opt out of this thing).

Back to this press conference.  Here’s a little rundown of what happened.  First, Mr. Guerrero took the mic, and to be honest you really don’t have to read his short introduction.  He said very little and then introduced Mr. Lennon.  Lennon’s portion is quite interesting, because he used his time to tell everyone about the improved graduation and retention rates among student-athletes, specifically men’s basketball players.  He noted that student-athletes in ALL sports, and “certainly men’s basketball, are continuing to outperform the student body” as a whole.  Sounds good.

Then came Mr. Shaheen’s turn.  That’s when it got interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Morning Five: 12.22.09 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on December 22nd, 2009

  1. Matt Doherty appears ready to forgive and forget (mostly) his exit from North Carolina five years ago, but one quote in this probing article is revealing.  Speaking as to whether he was forced out because Roy Williams was ready to return to Chapel Hill, he said, “I don’t think that was the case.  But I also do know – I don’t think schools make changes like that without having feelers out there.”  Sounds like Doherty doesn’t believe himself.
  2. Doctors are shutting it down for South Carolina forward Dominique Archie yesterday, after realizing that his rehab would not allow him to return to full strength this season.  He injured the knee in a game against Miami (FL) four weeks ago and had not played since.  This will quite obviously hurt SC’s chances of getting through the rugged SEC East, especially considering the Gamecocks’ troubles on the glass (Archie was leading the team with 6.0 RPG).
  3. UCLA’s Nikola Dragovic pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of felony assault deriving from an incident outside a Hollywood (always up to no good) concert on October 28.  He is alleging self-defense for tackling a guy into a plate glass window which severed the man’s Achilles tendon.  Dragovic is averaging 8/6 for the struggling Bruins, but he has already served a two-game suspension as a result of this ongoing distraction.
  4. Remember this anecdote about Rob Senderoff, the assistant coach caught up in the Kelvin Sampson phone-call fiasco at Indiana, when Memphis gets its final ruling from the NCAA in a few weeks, or whenever.   Does anyone else feel that with Myles Brand not steering the ship that the NCAA is listing frightfully to starboard?
  5. First Laettner, now Bobby Hurley.  If we were Coach K or Grant Hill’s investment manager, we’d probably make sure that their financial tentacles never touch the Bluegrass State.  Those Kentucky people will get it back someway, somehow.  It, of course, meaning $946,961.58.
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09.21.09 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on September 21st, 2009

It was a very quiet weekend in college hoopsland, which is a good thing, because the RTC staff is working madly behind the scenes to get things together for the upcoming season.  You guys realize that we’re seven weeks to the day away from the first game, right (Nov. 9FIU @ UNC in the CvC)?

  • Jeff Goodman wrote a post on his blog last week that asked the question of which teams in 09-10 could be categorized as the deepest in college basketball.  He concluded that Big 12 stalwarts Kansas and Texas along with Kentucky are all bursting at the seams with nasty talent.  We have no dispute with him there – you’d have to be blind to state otherwise.  But after thinking about it a bit, we were left with the so-what question.  Having 10-12 players at your disposal doesn’t mean a whole lot unless you’re willing to use them, and we wondered what Self, Barnes and Calipari’s coaching history could tell us about just how important that depth will be for them this season.  Thanks to KenPom’s site, we did a quick analysis of how these coaches used their benches over the last three years (data was only available from 2007-09).  As you can see in the table below, the two Big 12 coaches are much more likely to ride their starters over the course of a season than Calipari will.  But none of them will often be accused of leading the way in bench usage.  Of course, if we had players like Kevin Durant, Brandon Rush, Derrick Rose and so forth at our disposal, we’d probably be hesitant to bring in their backup also.
  • reserve minutes 07-09
  • Luke Winn broke down his top ten nonconference schedules last week (among the good teams), and we really don’t have much else to say about his analysis, which is spot-on as usual.  Calling out Big East teams Pitt and Syracuse was great, especially since we all know that they’ll use the excuse of being young this year (true), even though they always pull this never-leave-home stuff in the preconference slate (also true).  We also noticed another oddity in Winn’s “Major Generosity” section, where he points out that UNC, Georgetown and Michigan St. will visit such titans as Charleston, Savannah St. and The Citadel, respectively, this season.  Strangely enough, these three homestanding schools are within about a two-hour drive of each other.  A weird confluence of luck , friendships and payback games means that the Low Country will be privileged to host three of the best teams in the nation on their turf within a six-week period starting November 21.  If you live around there, get your tickets now – this will probably never happen again!  Oh, and back at ya, Luke.
  • Quick HitsBilal Batley: yeah, this was itThe Jewish Jordan: retires at 27Greg Monroe: ready to forget about last seasonGene Iba: one more season for Hank’s nephew.  Freshmen in 09-10: seems eminently reasonableArkansas Gangbang: someone will be punished for somethingThe New Myles BrandMichael AdamsJunior Cadougan:  Marquette’s presumed starting PG out for the seasonTruck Bryant: was there ever a questionJosh Tabb:  Tennessee guard suspended indefinitely.
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Tough Day in College Hoopdom…

Posted by rtmsf on September 16th, 2009

A series of unfortunate events came down the pike to ruin what had previously been an exciting day when ESPN released it’s 24 Hours of Hoops schedule for November 17.  Let’s briefly cover each so that we can move on to more pleasant things (hopefully tomorrow).

  • We woke up to the news that Pitt’s best returning player, Jermaine Dixon, broke his right foot for the second time this summer while playing in a pickup game.  Given that it’s already mid-September and the doctors are telling him that it’ll take at least eight weeks to heal, this news clearly puts Jamie Dixon’s squad behind the 8-ball going into October practice and the first few games of the season.  We would be completely shocked if Pitt fell off the map this year because Dixon is such an excellent coach, but on paper the 09-10 team already appears to be the weakest of his seven-year tenure.  Losing their only returning starter for a while near the start of the season cannot help.  And what’s up with that right foot – is this mere coincidence or does he have a problem there?
  • From the crime blotter, Wisconsin freshman guards Jeremy Glover and Diamond Taylor are now off the team (Glover was dismissed; Taylor withdrew) after their arrest for allegedly stealing ipods, a cell phone and $400 in cash last week from a UW dorm.  The two players were expected to provide backcourt depth this season for Bo Ryan’s team, but he’ll need to lean more heavily on returnees Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon than anticipated.
  • Finally, as you’ve probably heard by now, NCAA President-cum-Reformer Myles Brand died today from pancreatic cancer.  As the head honcho of the NCAA over the last six years, we’ve certainly had our fair share of criticism directed at his leadership, mostly with respect to investigations of alleged violations and selective enforcement of the rules.  But there can be no question that we completely respect and admire the work that Brand did in terms tying academic performance of athletes at the sport-level (and soon, coach-level) to key athletic assets such as scholarships and postseason appearances.  The Academic Progress Report (APR) that Brand initiated to achieve this end definitely contains some loopholes, but at the very least, he has schools, ADs and coaches thinking about performance of their players in the classroom, which is a far, far cry from where it was ten years ago.  RTC lauds Myles Brand for this impressive and hopefully lasting achievement, and we hope that to honor his legacy, his replacement will continue to tweak the APR, giving it teeth, so that schools will take it seriously.  RIP, Mr. Brand.
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Myles Brand’s Solution to 1-and-Dones: 2-and-Dones

Posted by rtmsf on July 7th, 2009

We stumbled across an article recently while reading about the latest Sarah Palin tragicomedy, and we were immediately surprised about a couple of things.  First, why is the Huffington Post writing about one-and-done basketball players?  And second, why is the author of the piece, NCAA head honcho Myles Brand, blogging for the HuffPo and not ESPN, CBS Sports, NCAA News or some other sports-related website?  Further investigation revealed that Brand has been writing on this platform since last August – 13 total entries – ranging in topics from the myth of the ‘dumb jock’ to diversity hiring in athletics to pay-for-play.  It made for some interesting browsing, and if you have an extra fifteen or twenty minutes, well worth the time to delve deeper into the mind of someone who has spent countless hours in contemplative thought about the major issues affecting collegiate athletics today.

myles brand painting

Of course, the post that caught our eye initially was written this week and called “Maybe Two is More Than Twice As Good As One,” and the central thesis to Brand’s argument is that there is a media-driven hysteria that significantly overblows the negative impact that one-and-dones have on college basketball.  Brand writes:

Other than all the articles written, it [one-and-dones] has little impact on the college game.  “But wait,” shout the naysayers, “What about the fact that the rule guarantees there will be basketball players — student-athletes — who have no intention of being students and even stop going to classes their second semester? And what about the fact that some may cheat to become eligible for their required one year?”  The problem with the majority of the media reports is that they focus on the same two or three examples and fail to point out that the number of one-and-doners is no more than a handful in any one year.

Brand, in aggregate terms, is right about this part.  We showed in our analysis of one-and-dones last week that there have been 24 total such players in the three year history of the rule, or, roughly eight per year, which accounts for <0.1% of D1 players in a given season.  Of the 24, only two players – USC’s OJ Mayo and Memphis’ Derrick Rose – have been involved in ex post facto allegations of impropriety (roughly 8% of those).  (Note: the class of 2009 with John Wall, Lance Stephenson, Renardo Sidney and others could significantly increase these numbers).  Eight percent of a sample of 0.1% of D1 players is a very small number indeed, and from Brand’s perspective as president of the entire shebang, seemingly insignificant.

The problem is that, from a casual college basketball fan’s perspective, those 24 players are significant.  And for a fan of a particular school that has lost multiple star players in three seasons to the one-and-done rule – schools such as Ohio St. (3), UCLA (2), Georgia Tech (2), Memphis (2), or USC (2) – those players are very significant.   Not to mention fans who are fatigued from watching star players pass through campus for one unfulfilling season before shuffling off to the NBA – keep in mind that of the nineteen one-and-dones, only Rose, Kevin Love and the OSU trio of Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook have played in a Final Four and none has won a championship (Melo, of course, came to Syracuse prior to the NBA rule).  As a result of this rule, college basketball is robbed of its top young players every single year, often before they can make a national splash, and that fact alone makes it increasingly difficult for casual fans to stay tuned in on a year-to-year basis.

Teaming Up Basketball

While we generally take issue with the relative impact of the one-and-done rule according to Brand (it’s a big deal!), we completely agree with his suggested solution: just add another year to the NBA requirement.  We’re as much a right-to-work person as anybody, and by no means do we want to suggest that this is the ‘right’ thing from the perspective of the athletes; however, if the NBA is going to continue to insist on a rule for its own selfish reasons of improved scouting, minimizing competitive risk, and providing players a less stressful opportunity to grow, then a two-year requirement is the proper compromise.  By staying in college for two seasons, Brand mentions that the marketability of stars would increase substantially and it certainly would get more players further along the path toward graduation (4+ semesters vs. 1+), and we completely agree with his assessment.

The word we’ve heard for some time now is that NBA Commish David Stern wanted a two-year requirement during the last collective bargaining negotiations, but he backed off in order to get some other things on his wish list.  With a rough economy taking a bite of the entertainment dollar in NBA cities across the land, Stern may be in good position to push through the two-year rule when the next bargaining session begins in 2011.  And who knows, with Myles Brand lobbying/blogging into his ear, college hoops may just end up better for this in the long run.

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Silent Knight? I’m Not Buying It.

Posted by jstevrtc on February 3rd, 2009

 

John Stevens is a featured writer for RTC.  His column appears on Tuesdays throughout the season.

So of course now there’s speculation that Bob Knight is headed to yet another school where all he’ll have to do is change the logo on his red sweaters and he’s good to go.  I obviously don’t know if he’ll end up taking the position, but despite Knight’s feeble attempt to downplay the issue, I think we can say for sure that he’s considering it.

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Questions, Indeed… (photo credit: daylife.com)

Note how the initial reports stated that “a friend” of Knight’s stated that he was interested in the job.  Ok, fine.  But the General’s response to this?  He didn’t say anything about whether or not he’s talked to friends about the job, he never said anything about how his friends would NEVER talk to local media about Knight’s speculation over a job, he never said anything about how he flatly didn’t want that job.  In fact, he’s made it a point to reiterate his previous statement of “I never said I wouldn’t coach again, I’d be interested if the right situation came along,” though he adds that he hasn’t had any contact with anyone “at Georgia” about that particular vacancy.  “I haven’t talked to anyone from Georgia about it” is not an answer to the question. “Are you thinking about taking a job that an alleged friend of yours said you were interested in?”  Woodward and Bernstein would call that a non-denying denial.  Seems like Knight’s had contact with SOMEONE or else he’d be angrier and more direct in his lack of interest.  And he’d most certainly have this “friend” publicly flogged.
 
Another interesting wrinkle is the timing of this Pat Summitt situation, with her 1000th win coming up sometime soon.  Summitt didn’t get it on Monday, but as you likely know, they had Knight, as the all-time-winningest NCAA men’s coach, calling that game with Brent Musberger for ESPN.  I wonder how easy that is for Knight to be around.  I’m not saying he begrudges Coach Summitt anything, but the worship for the Tennessee coach has increased so much lately ahead of that pending 1000th win.  You don’t think a competitive guy like Knight wouldn’t mind a little of that reverence and adoration, himself?  To go down as the ONLY NCAA men’s coach to get into the quadruple-figures, and therefore don the implied “best-coach-ever” mantle that comes with a number like that?  I think Knight would consider that to be an absolute acquittal and justification for everything he’s ever done, and that might be to tasty a legacy to pass up.

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It was either this, or a shirtless Bruce Pearl. (photo credit: afrothunder.wordpress.com)

On Monday’s “Tirico and Van Pelt” program on ESPN Radio, the first question Mike Tirico asked Coach Knight was about the possibility of Knight taking the Georgia job.  You know Coach Knight’s response (as above).  But later on in that interview, in my opinion, came a more telling moment.  Mr. Tirico asked Knight about how he communicates with his son Pat after incidents like the one Pat just had down at Texas Tech, and specifically inquired whether the conversation more resembles that of a father-son interaction or if it is more like two coaches talking shop (a great question).  In his response, Knight hesitated for a moment, and then stated, “I just can’t stay away from it, Mike…” and explained that he basically let Pat consult him with basketball-related questions from time to time.  I don’t blame Pat Knight for this, of course — I mean, who wouldn’t occasionally call up their winningest-NCAA-men’s-coach-ever-dad for some coaching advice if they had the chance? — but does Bob Knight’s response to the Tirico question sound like a man who is ready to leave the coaching profession behind?  When your name comes up as a possible candidate for a coaching job and you’re saying things in interviews like “I can’t stay away from it,” no matter how you try to downplay your interest, I’m going to call you on it.
 
For what it’s worth, I totally agree with rtmsf’s earlier piece about Knight not being a good fit for Georgia (that second photo makes me think I’m personally a GREAT fit for UGA, but I digress).  He’d be a basketball coach going to a football school and I can’t see Bob Knight going anywhere where he doesn’t have the biggest office and, as Mel Brooks would say, the biggest schwartz, as it were.  And, as Mark Schlabach reported in a phone interview on ESPN.com on Monday night, the current president of the University of Georgia is Michael F. Adams.  And who is Dr. Adams good friends with?  Dr. Myles Brand, the current president of the NCAA…and the man who fired Knight from Indiana in 2000.  Methinks the current UGA administration and Mr. Knight might not see eye-to-eye on a few matters.

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The Smiling General. (photo credit: lubbockonline.com)

But Knight has never been one to back down from a challenge.  It might not be the best idea for Knight to go to UGA.  It’s also not a great idea to throw chairs across floors, physically threaten your AD, or hurl plants in your office, but that didn’t stop him.  Listen, I have no problem with Coach Knight taking the reins at some program.  I can’t blame a man who think he still has it in him to achieve excellence — and indeed, further cement his “all-time” status by breaking that 1000-win barrier.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be known as the all-time greatest at what you do.  I’d miss his wit on the GameDay set, but who knows, maybe he’ll take this job and be reborn and make everyone forget about Dennis Felton and Jim Harrick.  I don’t think it’s the best fit, but he could certainly prove me and rtmsf wrong.  In my view, though, despite his attempts to downplay the issue and make it seem like he’s not interested, I think we have a lot of evidence to the fact that he’s either considering the job…or he likes the attention, and at least wants us to think he’s considering it.

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If You Ain’t Cheatin’, You Ain’t Tryin’…

Posted by rtmsf on October 1st, 2008

Seems Sir Charles was right after all.  Somehow this wonderfully crafted piece by Dan Wetzel at YahooSports got past us for nearly a week before we found it.  Wetzel essentially fires a Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US shot across the bow of the Good Ship NCAA, led by Capt. Myles Brand, for its notably lax invisible investigation and enforcement of NCAA rules among its two revenue cash cow sports, football and basketball.

Doing some solid investigative work himself, Wetzel concludes that it’s been nearly two years since a major college basketball program was hit with a significant violation (Kansas with Ol’ Roy’s largesse in Oct 2006), which is the longest such drought in almost a half-century.  Similarly, it’s been fifteen clean months in college football since the last major violation (Oklahoma in July 2007).  So the reasonable conclusion here is that the NCAA has cleaned up its high-profile sports to the point where schools are by and large playing by the rules, right?  Right?

Wetzel has a slightly different take:

The NCAA has expanded its staff of investigators (its cops) to an all-time high of 20. It now has its infractions committee (its judge and jury) meet as often as seven times per year. Still, it hasn’t been this feeble at catching crooks since a 16-month stretch ending in 1962. Back then, it had one investigator. [...] It never has been so obvious the NCAA is protecting its big-time programs and television money.  It’s gotten to the point where Jerry Tarkanian’s legendary line about the NCAA’s selective enforcement habits – “the NCAA was so mad at Kentucky, it gave Cleveland State two more years of probation” – has become outdated.  These days the NCAA doesn’t even get mad at Kentucky.

Wetzel goes on to describe just how toothless the NCAA investigations staff has become in recent years despite its recent expansion.  Apparently they’re still quite excellent at catching small-school hopscotch coaches who have the audacity to text recruits outside of the mandated contact periods (check the below list from 2008).  But when it comes to the power conference schools who have big money, big boosters, big media and drive the whole ship into port for the NCAA coffers, the investigators are largely missing. 

What a joke.  We harkened back to this problem when the OJ Mayo allegations came out last spring.  With a notorious character like Rodney Guillory hanging around the USC program, how could the NCAA and the LA media have so completely missed it?  We’ll buy the fact that newspapers don’t have the proper resources to perform comprehensive investigative journalism while entire newsrooms are shuttering, but the NCAA still has no excuse.  Especially when we look at the above list and see what those twenty investigators have been so diligently working on for the past nine months.

We made reference yesterday to coaches like Billy Gillispie finding the grey areas of the NCAA rulebook and making those in charge make decisions.  With what Wetzel has shown us, we ask, why even bother with the gray areas?  Why not just start funnelling booster money directly to recruits instead of worrying about impressing them with big extravaganza weekends?  Make it truly an arms race where the most-moneyed always win.  Then at least we can all walk away from the stench without lying to ourselves as to what’s causing it. 

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US…C.Y.A.

Posted by rtmsf on May 21st, 2008

Now that the gumshoes (an overly generous term if ever there was one) over at the WWL have pretty much made the case for the NCAA that OJ Mayo was taking improper benefits both before and during his short stint at USC, TrojanLand is doing all it can to respond in the most American of ways – by covering their ass.

 

Look Who’s Coming, Trojans!  (photo credit: AP)

Anticpating an imminent NCAA investigation – after all, Myles Brand ain’t nobody’s chump – USC is battoning down the hatches and getting its story together.  According to the LA Daily News:

USC intends to tell the NCAA it knew of no wrongdoing involving O.J. Mayo and banned his mentor, Rodney Guillory, from receiving tickets as an illustration of its attempt to prevent the basketball star from receiving any improper benefits, according to sources.  That will be the outline of the university’s defense, according to officials familiar with the situation.  “Right now, we’re just trying to weather the storm,” said a USC official, who asked not to be identified.

Sounds reasonable enough.  Guillory, the man who gold-foil giftwrapped Mayo for USC, wasn’t allowed to receive tickets to games.  We’re not sure exactly what that proves, as we suppose he could have simply bought tickets off of Craigslist like everyone else.  But what about this little piece of prejudicial information?

But there remain some questions to this defense. Guillory was frequently seen in the basketball offices and also around the locker room, and regularly attended pickup games at the Galen Center when Mayo played last summer. 

So USC’s defense is that they didn’t provide game tickets to Guillory, where unless he was literally sitting in the huddle he wouldn’t have been able to communicate with Mayo anyway; BUT, Guillory was allowed to loiter around the locker room, the basketball offices and the pickup games (where he could ostensibly run into Mayo at any moment).  We’s no lawyerin type, but that sounds like troubles in Troy. 

Of course, it IS the typically-befuddled NCAA we’re talking about.  They might start investigating USC and end up putting UCLA on probation. 

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05.16.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 16th, 2008

Finishing out your week with a bunch of meaningless links – enjoy!

  • OJ Mayo claims he never took nothing from nobody!  Apparently Mayo’s HS in Ohio (North College Hill) will keep its two titles from 2005 and 2006 – the OHSAA only gives you six weeks to contest a violation of any kind! 
    nvr1983 update: I prefer the actual LA Times article/interview. Even though I know it is normal for athletes to get rather large gifts from agents before the draft (rtmsf and I witnessed it in 1998 with Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison and a tricked out Navigator), the last sentence is a classic.
  • UNC’s Alex Stepheson announced that he is transferring closer to home for family reasons (SoCal). 
  • USC may lose a major recruit for 09 in the fallout of the Mayo scandal.
  • UConn guard Doug Wiggins is transferring to UMass – oh, to reminisce on what an uproar this would have caused ca. 1994. 
  • Indiana’s former assistant coach Dan Dakich got bought out for $185k. 
  • BYU’s Trent Plaisted signed with an agent and will stay in the NBA Draft.
  • Here’s Shawn Siegel’s most excellent ratings of the top ten players at each position in this year’s draft class (PGs, SGs, and more to come…)
  • Yes, kids, testing the waters can end up pigeonholing you and hurting your future draft position.
  • Jay Bilas indicts everyone and anyone related to the stink emanating from the business of basketball (and we largely agree with him).  (insider only)
  • Gary Parrish talks about how teams are stealing players from programs going through coaching changes (Duke and UCLA are the latest beneficiaries). 
  • If this isn’t IRONIC in the wake of Huggins’ stint at Kansas State (one-and-done), we don’t know what is…
  • Andy Glockner reports that the mid-majors are getting hit hard by the glut of early entries these days too.
  • Is college basketball being unfairly singled out for additional enforcement (vis-a-vis football) by Myles Brand?
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05.13.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 13th, 2008

More blah on a blah day around the net…

  • Doc Rivers’ kid is transferring to Indiana – too bad he can’t suit up next year. 
  • Orange & Blue Hue did a nice analysis on why Jai Lucas cost the Gators an NCAA bid this season.
  • Duquesne’s Kojo Mensah is staying in the NBA Draft.  Yeah, the L really values 6’1 guys from small colleges who averaged 12ppg last season.  Wait, Duquesne?
  • 11 months later, Billy D. still hasn’t signed his contract extension from Florida (to be fair, neither has Billy G. at UK or Bob Huggins at WVU). 
  • Too little, too late, Myles Brand.  Is this “new info” the old info that we all already know about?
  • All the summer recruiting links you could ever want.  You too can find an eighth grader of your own!
  • …and the obligatory Erin Andews video link.
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Are the NCAA & NBA forming an alliance to corrupt America’s youth?

Posted by nvr1983 on March 18th, 2008

Anthony Schoettle of the Indianapolis Business Journal reports on a very interesting development: the NCAA and NBA are planning on developing year-round training programs for high-school players with academies for elite players and conduct sanctioned tournaments and leagues. In addition, they are also considering training programs for coaches and officials (hello, Tim Donaghy) and finding corporate sponsors for the program (as if commercializing the sport wasn’t enough).

While we agree that youth basketball in the US is rampant with shady dealings and kids these days don’t learn fundamentals, we get the sense that these two organizations are more concerned about their own interests. By taking over AAU and high school basketball, both organizations can control the supply of their product (that is all these kids are to the NCAA and NBA) and mold it just the way they would like.

If we had our way, Myles Brand and David Stern would be questioned on issues like this, but somehow we think they will get their way without too much resistance if they really want it.

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10.22.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on October 22nd, 2007

The hits just keep on comin’…

  • Tough week at Pepperdine.  First, their top returning player Kingsley Costain was dismissed from the school; now they don’t have anywhere to practice due to the insane fires in Malibu.
  • Now that Maryland has instituted a new alcohol awareness program, what’s the over/under on some Terp like James Gist getting a DWI?  Or maybe it’ll be our favorite tool, Gus Gilchrist?  He committed to the Terps over the weekend and will play next season.
  • Maybe Purdue’s Gordon Watt should transfer to Maryland now – he was kicked out of Purdue for a DWI last week.
  • In a nice gesture, the ACC renamed its Scholar-Athlete award in honor of Skip Prosser.
  • BYU extended head coach Dave Rose‘s contract through 2011.
  • Bob Knight really hates cell phones.
  • Beginning next year, the Preseason NIT will guarantee each participant four games at on-campus sites, even for those teams that lose in the first two rounds.
  • We hadn’t seen this yet, but ESPN announced its College Gameday sites a week or two ago.  We cannot wait until Jan. 26 – Creighton at S. Illinois.
  • Thankfully, Myles Brand says there will be no expansion of the NCAA Tournament anytime soon.
  • Raymond Felton didn’t help Roy after all – Iman Shumpert chose Georgia Tech over UNC and Marquette.
  • Andy Katz has a really interesting article about Kevin Love asking the Wizard of Westwood (who turned 97 Sunday) for advice.  We like this kid already.
  • Thad Matta is hobbling around after back surgery this summer.
  • More Preseason Chatter –
    • ACC Media Days – the Research Triangle schools came in 1 (UNC), 2 (Duke), 3 (NC State) in the preseason conference poll.
    • Seth Davis breaks down Indiana‘s prospects.
    • Katz explains why Calipari opted to stay in Memphis over taking the NC State job two years ago.
    • DeCourcy gives USC some love for tough scheduling (even though they’re going to lose all those games), while he rates crosstown rival UCLA #1 in his poll.
    • STF gets us up to speed on what the mid-major conferences are bringing to the table this year.
    • SEC Hoops:TGTBTD chooses Jamont Gordon over Chris Lofton for SEC POY.   Interesting…
    • Final thought – believe it or not, the Colorado Lady Buffaloes actually have a Brittany Spears and a Whitney Houston on their squad this season.   Coke dealers in Boulder are already calculating their profits.
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