ACC M5: 03.28.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on March 28th, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Blogger So Dear: Wake Forest improved markedly this season under Jeff Bzdelik. But this isn’t a good sign going forward, as Bzdelik’s first recruit — Chase Fischer – is reportedly planning to transfer. That’s a bad look on a very young team that lacks perimeter depth (much less outside shooting). Throw in this six-part interview with Ron Wellman from Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem Journal and Gary Parrish’s blackjack metaphor looks more and more fitting. Lacking tangible results (i.e., wins) Wellman’s only defenses for keeping Bzdelik on board are that he inherited an impossible situation to turn around quickly (true), and that he’s building a strong foundation of players who love the program. This latest news calls the latter into question.
  2. Richmond Times-Dispatch: Speaking of transfers from programs that look to be in a rough spot going into next season, Robert Brown has decided to transfer closer to home (likely somewhere in Florida) following his roller coaster sophomore season. His transfer puts the Hokies in a tough spot, as James Johnson likely would have looked for Brown to carry an increased load next year, especially in the scoring column. Johnson has a couple of wings coming in this year, but who knows if they’re ready to compete at the ACC level night in and night out.
  3. WRAL: Mark Gottfried ended his 48-hour Twitter hiatus by seemingly quashing any UCLA rumors saying, “#WPN I am committed to being at @NCState for a long time [sic] Still as dedicated to rebuilding the program as I was 2 yrs ago when I arrived.” But coaches often do these sorts of vague non-denials. The truth is that if UCLA wants Gottfried, the school will have to shell out a ton of money for him (notably, it will have to cover his $3.5 million buyout). That said, I think this is a “dream job” trump card if Gottfried is offered the job. Basically, despite Gottfried’s tweet, this is still something to watch.
  4. CBSSports.com: Jeff Goodman has a nice piece on the resurgence (or “surgence”?) of Miami‘s basketball program. The real challenge lies ahead, both for this year’s team and going forward. Miami’s ACC championship means a lot to many fan bases, but a deep run in the NCAA Tournament would solidify the program’s status in what looks to be a rebuilding year next season. But if Jim Larranaga can keep the excitement going, Miami could very well be on its way to a consistently relevant program. Think about it… It’s in Miami — how hard can it be to get college kids to come live by the beach for four years?
  5. Raleigh News & Observer: Chris Collins took the Northwestern job, which he will start as soon as Duke’s season is complete. Rumors are that he’ll be hiring Greg Paulus to join his staff (Paulus has been working as a video coordinator for Ohio State, so he knows the Big Ten well). Coach K sounded thrilled for Collins, who’s coached as K’s right hand man at Duke since 2000. The immediate impact for the Blue Devils is that Nate James will move back into his previous position as an assistant coach.
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Morning Five: 03.28.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 28th, 2013

morning5

  1. If you are a Minnesota or UCLA fan dreaming about having Shaka Smart coach your team you can wake up now because that is nothing more than a fantasy as Smart announced that he will be staying at VCU with a new extension. When comparing the two potential destinations UCLA would have been a much more desirable destination than Minnesota except that the current athletic director at Minnesota was the person who hired Smart at VCU when he was a relative unknown. Although VCU fans have to be thrilled with keeping Smart he also makes out quite well thanks to the threat of his departure as his annual salary is expected to go up from $1.2 million to $1.5 million per year with the extension running through 2023.
  2. He is not nearly the hot commodity that Shaka is, but Josh Pastner has also announced that he will be staying at Memphis. We are not quite sure why he felt the need to make this announcement because we are not sure which better position (USC? #DausterForUSC) there is out there that would want Pastner as he has not exactly overwhelmed us with his success. Honestly if the Tigers had not won a game in the NCAA Tournament this season we would have questioned whether the administration there should look at moving in a different direction. Instead, he wins one NCAA Tournament game and gets an extension, which is still be worked out. It will be several weeks before details of the extension are worked out, but it might say something about the financial state of college athletics that a guy coaching at one of the best programs in the country can get an extension off of a two-point win over a WCC bubble team.
  3. One (former assistant) coach who is on the move is Chris Collins. As we mentioned yesterday morning the Duke assistant was the frontrunner for the Northwestern opening and last night the school made it official. Collins will stay with the Blue Devils until the end of their NCAA Tournament run with Nate James being promoted to assistant coach at Duke to fill the void left by Collins. As we said yesterday Collins has the pedigree (not only from the Krzyzewski tree, but also from his father Doug), but as Jeff Eisenberg points out many of Krzyzewski’s disciples have been unsuccessful when they are not by his side.
  4. If you thought the NCAA’s mess handling the Miami case was going to stop being ugly, you would be wrong as the school is now accusing the NCAA of having another investigator work with Nevin Shapiro’s attorney. They also accuse the NCAA of other “unethical” behavior including use false statements to convince other witnesses to confess to offenses that they otherwise would not admit to. At this point the case has gotten so messy and damaging to the reputation of the NCAA that if we were the NCAA we would seriously consider dropping it because any punishment handed down would likely be laughed at by the public and member institutions given how sloppily the case has been handled thus far.
  5. The Marshall Henderson story has been rehashed by nearly every media outlet in the country by now, but the thing that gets left out of most stories is the question of why we as college basketball fans are willing to put up with Henderson’s antics and background when the public shuns African-American players with similar problems. The article focuses on how Tyrann Mathieu was treated by the media and his program for offenses that if you compare them to what Henderson has been convicted of seem fairly tame in comparison. A few people will see this article as an attempt at trolling, but to us it seems like a question worth discussing as it pertains not just to sports, but society in general.
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ESPN To Offer Rare Glimpse At Duke Basketball

Posted by nvr1983 on October 30th, 2010

As we gear up for the upcoming season we will be spending an inordinate amount of time learning about up-and-coming programs and future March Madness heroes. In that vein, ESPN has announced that it will be airing a multi-episode series on the relatively unknown Duke Blue Devils. Perhaps you have heard of them? All kidding aside this is the first time we have heard of Coach K allowing camera crews into Duke’s practices. The “ESPNU All-Access” program will be based on 9 days that ESPN spent with the players and coaches while filming practices, film sessions, and leadership activities (you all surely remember that Coach K is “a leader who happens to coach basketball”) beginning with their Countdown to Crazieness.

He just happens to coach basketball

Perhaps it is a sign of Coach K becoming hip by allowing camera crews to follow him along with the previous insights he offered through his XM radio show and the variety of video content provided by Duke basketball sites about their players. Of course the more cynical fans might point out that Duke is just taking advantage of the media (and ESPN in particular) giving them another avenue to recruit and grow their brand (as if their nationally televised schedule wasn’t enough). In any event, this would appear to draw off of HBO’s wildly popular “Hard Knocks” series that followed a NFL team during their mini-camp and preseason (ESPN also did a similar feature on Alabama, the defending BCS National Champs earlier this year). It’s unclear if they will focus on players on the fringe of being cut from the team or will focus on the team’s more engaging personalities. We are confident in saying that no Duke player will play the role of a Chad Ochocinco and Coach K will not be giving his team a snack speech.

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Notes from the East Region Open Practice

Posted by nvr1983 on March 25th, 2009

Because of the NCAA’s refusal to give us a media credential (or discuss the issue and our side of the case), we were forced to go to today’s open practice to get an up-close look at the teams. As an aside, if anybody has extra tickets for the games in Boston for the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8 (in case your team gets cheated by the refs), send me an e-mail at rushthecourt@gmail.com and I might be able to take them off your hands.

The guys who don't want me covering the game

The guys who don't want me covering the game

Let’s get one thing out of the way. The East Region open practice might have been the most boring 5 hours of my life (not counting lectures). There’s a reason the NCAA makes this event free (outside of the fact that they more than make up for it through the $8 programs, $5 Cokes, and $23 baseball caps). The crowd was 95% white males in their mid-30s or above along with a handful of kids chasing autographs from players who they were looking up during the practices checking to see which ones had the best stats. My favorites were the old guys sitting behind me who kept on commenting on how good Gary McGhee and Brian Zoubek were (the tallest guys on the court) and what outstanding pros they were going to be. Anyways, here are my thoughts and pictures (some pictures are from my iPhone because I forgot to charge my digital camera) from each team’s “practice”.

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05.07.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on May 7th, 2008

Today’s rantings of a wild man…

  • Duke promoted former Devil (96-01) Nate James to assistant coach in Johnny Dawkins’ old spot, ensuring that K’s bench is now filled with former underachievers feisty players.
  • Lots of bad things happening at Arizona these days.
  • South Carolina’s Devan Downey apparently decked someone on campus last week (he has been suspended). 
  • Transfers – Jeremiah Rivers (Doc’s son) is leaving Georgetown, and Indiana’s Eli Holman (of potted plant fame) is following an assistant coach (Ray McCallum) to Detroit Mercy. 
  • Bob Huggins’ new contract with WVU stipulates he can be fired for habitual intoxication.  Habitual intoxication…  is that three or four times a week?
  • Billy Gillispie has his eye on a few more middle schoolers besides Michael Avery for the class of 2012.
  • There were 69 early entries this year, many of whom are only “testing the waters.”  Goodman says this puts coaches in a bind. 
  • The Jewish Jordan (Zach Feinstein) seeks to top the NBA Draft this year…
  • Alabama St. (mostly football) and Florida International show that not only the big boys are cheating these days. 
  • We missed this a week or so ago, but Dan Hanner at YABB has some great data (regressions are fun, kids!) on coaches and how well they recruit and perform in the regular season and NCAA Tournament. 
  • M2M is counting down the top 10 most embarrassing moments in college basketball history.  Some good stuff on there. 
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