Checking In On… the MAC

Posted by rtmsf on December 9th, 2011

Bill Hupp is the RTC correspondent for the MAC. Follow him on Twitter (@Bill_Hupp) for his thoughts on hoops, food, Russian nesting dolls and life.

Reader’s Take


The Week That Was

  • Non-Conference MAC MVP? Miami (OH) may be mired at the bottom of the East Division with a 2-4 record, but it’s not because of Julian Mavunga. The 6’8’’ senior forward from Indianapolis is averaging nearly a double-double, and leads the conference in both scoring (21.5 PPG) and rebounding (9.8 RPG).
  • Western Michigan’s Rough Non-Conference Schedule: While the Western Michigan brass deserves some credit for scheduling a rigorous non-conference slate to steel them for the rigors of the MAC, they may have overdone it a bit. The Broncos are 1-7 and still have difficult road games left against Oakland and Duke before MAC play begins. WMU has lost to the likes of Gonzaga, Temple, Purdue and Detroit to start the season. Whether or not this helps them win the West remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that the Broncos will almost certainly have to win the conference tourney if they have any Big Dance aspirations.
  • Northern Illinois is Awful: There’s really no polite way to say it.  New coach Mark Montgomery probably knew his squad was going to struggle in his first season, but he couldn’t have imagined dropping non-conference games to the likes of Utah Valley State and Nebraska-Omaha. There aren’t a lot of easy answers, either. The Huskies (0-7) are allowing more than 73 points per game and offensively are shooting a dreadful 35% from the field. To make matters worse, NIU turns it over 17 times per game. To be fair, the Huskies are very young. Five of NIU’s 10 regulars are true freshmen. Stud rookie Abdel Nader (10.1 PPG/3.9 RPG) has shown some early promise, but things are looking ugly in DeKalb.

Miami of Ohio's Julian Mavunga is Off to a Tremendous Start This Season (AP/Amy Sancetta)

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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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Mike Bellman: Mizzou’s Bartman?

Posted by rtmsf on September 29th, 2009

It’s a good thing for the University of Missouri that Kelvin Sampson and Rob Senderoff haven’t been in their employ in recent years.  Otherwise, the Big 12 school would undoubtedly be facing the death penalty with the goldmine of information about coach’s calls, text messages and general cell phone usage that Mizzou is practically giving away to people off the street (actual price: $7.60 per phone).  Mike Bellman, a Columbia-area information specialist for the public school system, bought twenty-five of the old phones from the UM athletic department, and was surprised to find that the private information stored on them hadn’t been erased.  From the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune:

text msg

Mike Bellman thought he was buying a box of old cellular phones he planned to resell as parts. Instead, he wound up with a collection of electronic information from the University of Missouri’s Athletics Department.  Now, Bellman is auctioning former Athletics Department staff phones as collector’s items. He’s asking $3,000 for all 25 phones.  One cell phone, a Sprint Treo, belonged to MU basketball Coach Mike Anderson, according to Bellman’s online inventory. Photos of the phone’s screen show text messages between Anderson and MU football Coach Gary Pinkel and Athletics Director Mike Alden. The messages appear to be well wishes for upcoming games and congratulations after victories.  Other phones from assistant coaches and Athletics Department staff have hundreds of contact phone numbers, e-mail messages and text messages.

Somewhere in a dungeon on that campus, the intern responsible for this is getting flogged by the Ghost of Norm Stewart. 

Bellman is insane if he thinks these phones will nab three-large, but he’s definitely onto something with respect to marketing the information to rival schools (especially those Jayhawks down the road a piece).  All we know is that Missouri AD Mike Alden better be having a candid conversation with head coaches Mike Anderson and Gary Pinkel before they allow these phones into the wrong hands.  “Hypothetically speaking, Coach, is there anything you’d not want people to know about what’s on those phones?  Just in case, you know?”  Of course, if there is some kind of illegal text messaging or evidence of foul play on those phones (and for the record, we have NO reason to believe that there is), would Bellman become the Steve Bartman of Missouri?  That’s an interesting question.  Let’s wait until tomorrow (the deadline Bellman has imposed for sale at $3000) to see what happens here. 

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IU Still Struggling With the Whole Illegal Phone Call Thing…

Posted by rtmsf on February 25th, 2009

Tom Crean should be proud of his Indiana team this year – despite basically playing with D2 talent, the Hoosiers have used grit and hustle to compete in nearly every Big Ten game, even winning one against Iowa a few weeks ago.  Furthermore, the stench of impropriety and illicit activity that enveloped Bloomington during the tenure of Kelvin Sanctions is finally, like a soupy fog lingering to mid-day, starting to lift.  As a result, the phone lines at the athletic department are free and clear; nobody is hiding under their desks trying to, um, get a signal (yeah, that’s you, Senderoff). 

What’s that? 

Please Pick Me Up and Call a Recruit

Please Pick Me Up and Call a Recruit

Oh, maybe the stink hasn’t quite dissipated after all.  Perhaps there’s something about the phones in that place that is so magnificent… so wonderful… so awe-inspiring, that coaches just can’t resist the siren-like urge to pick it up and call someone.  Someone like, oh we dunno, just thinking out loud here, maybe… a recruit!  From the Indy Star:

Indiana University reported a secondary NCAA violation involving what the school said was an inadvertent extra phone call by the men’s basketball staff to recruit Bawa Muniru in October.  IU punished itself by not making any recruiting phone calls for a week in December, according to the report, revealed through a public records request by The Indianapolis Star.

Rumors and Rants had an excellent set of suggestions for the Indiana coaching brass, seeing as how they have loads of trouble getting all these confounding phone rules right (i.e., two calls per week, fellas).  Here are their best two recommendations:

The smoke signal: This is one of the oldest forms of communication known to man, dating back to ancient China, and it’s particularly useful for long distances. The smoke signal will be most effective when courting in-state recruits in places like Indianapolis, Richmond and Terre Haute.

The heliograph: Here’s another one where knowing Morse Code will come in handy. A heliograph was standard issue in the British and Australian armies until the 1960s, and involves using a flashes of sunlight to convey Morse Code with, basically, a mirror. It works, according to Wikipedia, to 50 kilometers or more, which is perfect if you want to get in touch with a player while recruiting in Canada or Europe.

Agreed.  Nothing says Ironic Indiana U. basketball like using smoke signals to communicate with each other.  Right, Eric?

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Some Thursday Musings…

Posted by rtmsf on November 1st, 2007

A few stories that are bouncing around this week that we wanted to hit before they got too stale…

  • Reno 911 Indeed. So everyone has already heard the certifiably insane story involving Nevada Wolfpack forward Tyrone Hanson, but in case you haven’t, here’s the quick recap. Nevada Coach Mark Fox forbids players from going out last Saturday night. Hanson goes to a Halloween party anyway (no word on whether he was dressed as a chump). Some rabblerousers show up and are asked to leave the party. When they don’t leave, they decide to give Hanson (6’6, 195 lbs) a wicked beatdown, knocking him unconscious and robbing him of his wallet and other belongings before shooting and killing three other people on their way out. So what’s Hanson’s big welcome back to campus? Ummmm…. he gets booted from the team for breaking the mandated curfew. After receiving the disappointing news, a bewildered Hanson was overheard muttering to Mark Fox, “I mean, what’s your encore, do you, like, anally rape my mother while pouring sugar in my gas tank?” Fox had no comment.
  • Eric Gordon on Line 3. The phone call story from Indiana just won’t quit. On Tuesday, assistant coach Rob Senderoff resigned from his position, effectively making himself the fall guy for Kelvin Sampson’s impermissible phone calls to recruits. Does anyone else find it a little funny that he ‘resigned’ two weeks after the report came out, yet IU was willing to pay him over $66k in severance pay? Or is that hush money to keep the heat off the athletic department? There’s something rotten in Denmark Bloomington, folks. And we’re not the only blogger out there that thinks something else might be afoot. the IU blog Inside the Hall is just as confused by the timing as we are, and at least several of the commenters also believe there’s something very fishy going on in Bloomington.
  • RIP Robert Goulet. Like everyone else, we mourned the passing of Mr. Goulet earlier this week, not because of any great affinity for his musical career (which was prodigious); rather, those incredibly entertaining mid-90s ESPN commercials (you remember, when ESPN was original and creative…) for college basketball. Apparently he won an Emmy for those brilliant spots. All sixteen are available on his site, but our favorite one will always be the one below, we’re just sayin… (that “Duncan kid” turned out ok, didn’t he?).

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