We are not ready to tell you to jump off the Kevin Ware bandwagon, but his story took an interesting turn yesterday. Ware, to many the story of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, made his triumphant return to the Louisville lineup recently and appeared to be working his way back into the Cardinal rotation. That is until he was cited for driving 95 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour work zone and then missing his court date for that offense. So what is Rick Pitino going to do? Apparently nothing as Pitino said, “That is his business. That has nothing to do with basketball.” We can almost feel an Allen Iverson “Practice” rant coming on. The part of the story that many people will latch onto is that Ware was driving a 2013 Dodge Charger. Before that gets out of control, current reports indicate that it belonged to a “friend” of Ware’s. What that actually means is anybody’s guess.
Fordham will be without junior center Ryan Canty for an undetermined length of time as he has taken “a leave of absence from the team to address personal issues.” Canty, who averaged 6.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season, has seen his production to drop to 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game this year. The decision should be a pretty big blow for the Rams who probably expected big things from Canty after a successful sophomore season. However, after all the things we have heard about players struggling with “personal issues” we hope that he gets whatever is wrong sorted out well before he returns to a court.
One of the things that we often miss in the big upsets is the back stories that never get mentioned. Although we would question how big of an upset Belmont’s win over North Carolina was given the current state of the Tar Heels, that does not make the story of J.J. Mann any less remarkable. Mann, who Rick Byrd gave a scholarship to despite his players protesting, keyed the win with his career-high 28 points including 11 in the final 2:22 topped off by the game-winning three with 13.1 seconds left. We are not sure how the rest of Mann’s career will go, but stories like his are part of what make college basketball so great.
If you are looking for more team-focused telecasts for the Final Four, then you are in luck. Turner plans on using its three networks–TNT, TBS, and TruTV–to telecast the national semifinals with national announcers on one telecast and team-specific announcers on the other two networks. Turner only plans on using this concept for the national semifinals as the championship game will be telecast on CBS. The proposition is interesting for us on a number of levels not the least of which is what kind of ratings they will get on cable versus the regular broadcast. And of course, we also wonder how advertisers will react to getting a split audience although you could argue that Turner can negotiate three fees instead of one.
We have big proponent of advanced analytics on this site, but sometimes we think they go too far or in the case of “korfball” indicate that someone has way too much time on his/her hands. Essentially what korfball comes down to is trying to figure out the last date that two teams both lost on. According to Pomeroy, the leaders in this “game” are Ohio State and Kansas with Duke and Kansas coming in a close second. For some reason this was fairly popular on Twitter (maybe we follow the wrong people), but we are having a hard time believing this is anything other that a joke that took way too much time. Anyways, we have gotten some criticism for being too heavily into advanced analytics so here is our shot at the field.
Xavier's Tu Holloway Is A First-Team All-American Candidate And One Of The Nation's Best Seniors
A-10 to Barclays in 2013: Barclays Center, under construction in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is in the market for multi-day sporting events while the Atlantic 10 is looking for a bigger stage for their post season tournament — a perfect match perhaps? The two announced a deal late last month that will move the 2012-13 A-10 Conference Tournament to the 675,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that will feature an 18,000 seat arena for basketball. The Atlantic 10 has vacillated between rotating campus sites and a “permanent neutral” site since the first conference tournament in 1976-77. The current location since the 2006-07 tournament, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, is a 10,500 seat amphitheater. While technically neutral, the attendance is up when one or more of the Philadelphia contingent (La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and/or Temple) advances to the quarterfinal round and beyond, and down when they do not. The conference will return to Boardwalk Hall for their 2011-12 tournament, then move over to Barclays Center the following season.
With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our Atlantic 10 correspondent, Joe Dzuback. You can read more of his in-depth writing and analysis at Villanova By The Numbers.
Reader’s Take I
Bobinski to Chair NCAA Selection Committee: While the conference again sent seven teams, half of its membership, to the postseason — three to the NCAA, one to the NIT and three to the CBI, the Final Four runs by Butler (Horizon League) and Virginia Commonwealth (Colonial Athletic Association) overshadowed a showing, Xavier’s loss to Marquette excepted, that exceeded 2010’s NCAA results. The NCAA announced that Xavier Athletic Director Mike Bobinski will succeed Connecticut’s Jeff Hathaway as Chairman of the 2012 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Bobinski just completed his third year of a five-year term on the Selection Committee. While the Atlantic 10 has been the most successful non-BCS conference in placing teams in the tournament field (with 20 NCAA bids allotted to six teams since 2004), its representatives have tended to draw the short straw when it comes to seeding, and Bobinski will likely lobby hard for that cause.
The Coaching Carousel: The conference had two coaching vacancies during the early phase of the coaching carousel. If the 2010 offseason saw coaching turnovers due to firings, the 2011 offseason saw suitors come to call on the Atlantic 10 coaching fraternity. Tennessee, having fired Bruce Pearl on March 21, made its first call to Xavier to talk with Chris Mack. Mack reportedly turned aside an offer of $2 million per year to coach the Volunteers in favor of staying in Cincinnati with the Musketeers. Richmond’s Chris Mooney signed a 10-year contract extension, his second extension in two years, ending Georgia Tech’s courtship. Mooney’s decision triggered a spate of articles (see “Old coaching assumptions are fading” by Dana O’Neil for example) about non-BCS coaches who pass on BCS offers to stay with their programs. The Yellow Jackets turned their attention to Dayton’s Brian Gregory, who succumbed to the lure of the BCS and packed his bags for Atlanta on March 28. Dayton conducted a six-day search and hired Archie Miller, brother of former Xavier head man Sean Miller, away from Arizona to succeed Gregory. In late April, George Washington’s Athletic Director, Patrick Nero, fired 10-year veteran Karl Hobbs. Nero, who succeeded retiring AD Jack Kvancz on June 30, was hired on April 20, and wasted no time in turning over the men’s basketball staff. Nero reached into his old stomping grounds, the American East Conference, and hired the league’s premier head basketball coach, MikeLonergan of Vermont, on May 6 to replace Hobbs. The resignation of Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis on May 24 (DeChellis took over the Navy program) triggered a few tense days among the Duquesne faithful as coach Ron Everhart landed an interview for the Happy Valley position. The Dukes exhaled on June 1 when Everhart withdrew his name from consideration in favor of staying with the Pittsburgh school next season.
Media Coverage: The Atlantic 10 and ESPN renewed their deal to have eight games (selected by ESPN) televised on either ESPN or ESPN2 in each of the next two seasons. The ESPN networks are committed to broadcasting the Women’s Championship and up to 32 appearances in each of the next two seasons.