Big East M5: 10.16.12 Edition

Posted by Will Tucker on October 16th, 2012

  1. Rick Pitino’s highly touted Louisville squad took the court for the first time in the annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday. It’s obviously hard to derive any significant conclusions from this sort of event, but the scrimmage provided Cardinal fans with their first glimpse of newcomer Montrezl Harrell. The former Virginia Tech commitment –– who’s earned the title “Baby Chane”  — did not disappoint, posing 17 points and 12 rebounds in his first public performance as a Cardinal. His performance substantiated the notion that that 6’8″, 235-pound Harrell can replace the departed Jared Swopshire and Rakeem Buckles as a serviceable backup to both Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng. Louisville’s frontcourt rotation suddenly appears more talented than even the 2009 team, which featured future NBA players Earl Clark and Samardo Samuels in the post.
  2. It’s already been covered at length by both the sports and general news media, but the stabbing incident that cut short Syracuse’s Orange Madness event last Friday bears mentioning in light of new developments. The victim was identified as 25-year-old Shoquinn Benton, someone who was unaffiliated with the university, uncooperative with police, and subsequently seems to have discharged himself from the hospital with little fanfare. Athletic Director Daryl Gross indicated that while this was an isolated incident at an otherwise positive event, the school will take steps to avoid the environment that fostered multiple fights at last weekend’s Orange Madness: “What we’re going to do is make sure that we ensure that you can’t even get that storm together again… Obviously, we’re going to be meeting a lot about this.” Sean Keeley at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician speculates that those meetings may result in measures like charging admission to the event for non-students and non-ticket holders.
  3. Speaking of Syracuse, last Friday we noted that not only does this season mark the 37th year of Jim Boeheim’s head coaching tenure there, but also the 50th anniversary of the coach’s matriculation to Syracuse as a college freshman. For his part, Boeheim isn’t eager to celebrate the occasion: “Nobody knew about it. I shouldn’t have told anybody.” He’s 67 years old and non-committal about retirement (saying “it’s getting close”), but he doesn’t hesitate to gush over his squad’s preparation heading into the season. Given Jim Calhoun’s recent retirement, Boeheim’s equivocation about hanging up the towel, and recent comments from Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, it’s entirely possible that Rick Pitino could enter the 2013-14 season as the only Big East coach with a national title.
  4. This week is a big one for Georgetown recruiting. Notable Big East recruit Roddy Peters will make his college decision this morning at 9 AM ET. The Suitland, Maryland, point guard will reportedly decide between Georgetown, Rutgers, Maryland and Xavier. Another Georgetown target and consensus top-50 recruit, Johnathan Williams III, will also decide later this week between the Hoyas, Michigan State, Tennessee and Missouri.
  5. According to Friar Blog, Providence is appealing the NCAA to have Ricky Ledo eligible to play in the second semester. Ledo had been declared a partial qualifier in September, making him eligible to practice but not to play in the upcoming season. Even getting the precocious freshman eligible for a handful of Big East games would be a huge lift for Ed Cooley and Providence fans eager to see what he can do. Complemented by heralded freshman point guard Kris Dunn, PC would immediately have one of the most talented backcourts in the conference. This is certainly a storyline worth watching as we head into the winter months.
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