Big 12 Morning Five: 03.01.12 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on March 1st, 2012

  1. Fans and media are notorious for playing “what-if” games. While the players play the game, it’s up to the writers to quibble about statistics, legacies and revisionist history. Oklahoma State is no different, as this writer asks what would have happened had the legendary Eddie Sutton not had a bout with alcoholism. It forced him to step down after a sub-par year in the mid-2000s, and his son Sean Sutton did not fare well afterward. It’s an interesting thought, at the very least.
  2. Sorry, but here’s yet another feature on Frank Haith. This one’s a good one, though. We’re not sure we agree with the headline, as Haith hasn’t really changed the culture as much as simply building on what Mike Anderson had already implemented. Still, he’s done a terrific job and his story is remarkable. But you know that already. Just read the article and learn it again.
  3. Five Big 12 players landed on the Naismith “Midseason 30″ list, and none of them will surprise you: Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon, Perry Jones, Thomas Robinson, and Royce White. That ties the league with the SEC as having the most selections. It’s interesting to see MU land two players, whereas Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor did not make the list. Close call.
  4. If you’re interested in multimedia, check out this discussion of Oklahoma State guard Keiton Page. Yes, we’ve linked to a lot of articles about Page’s legacy during the past few months, but the senior is a divisive and intriguing player. It’s worth a look if you have the time.
  5. It may not have booked its NCAA Tournament trip, but Texas stayed alive with a victory over rival Oklahoma last night. Now, it’s time for the Longhorns to figure out a way to beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. True, Missouri proved that the Jayhawks are at least mortal and beatable on their home floor, but that was, well, Missouri. This is Texas, and the talent level in Austin this year is not nearly the same. Wilder things have happened though in sports, so that’s what Rick Barnes is going to have to bank on.
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Big 12 Morning Five: 11.15.11 Edition

Posted by dnspewak on November 15th, 2011

  1. In the midst of signing week, Kansas State hauled in a big-time talent in Robert Upshaw, a 7’0” center out of California. Upshaw, the eighth-ranked center according to Rivals.com, opted to play for Frank Martin over offers from Louisville and Georgetown. After Huggins helped recruit Bill Walker and Michael Beasley several years ago, Martin has continued the strong recruiting tradition, and Upshaw could be the next elite big man in the Big 12. With Jordan Henriquez already in the fold, Martin will have a monstrous twin towers to work with next year.
  2. Although the Oral Roberts/Oklahoma State game tonight is an interesting match-up in and of itself, it’s a little more interesting due to the Sean Sutton storyline. Sutton, an assistant to his brother, Scott, at ORU, says he hasn’t even stepped inside Gallagher-Iba since his firing a few years ago, but we’ll have to see how he’s welcomed by the OSU faithful. Our guess is the fans will be classy: Sutton’s on-the-court results weren’t great, but he’s turned his life around after a bout with drug addiction and he’s part of the Cowboys’ first family. There shouldn’t be any boos tonight.
  3. Royce White hadn’t played a basketball game in months, but he scored 25 points against Lehigh on Friday for Iowa State and earned Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors. Sure, it was only Lehigh, but the dominant performance showcased just exactly how dangerous White could be this season. He may look a little rusty here in the early months, but he’s so physically gifted it’s not even funny. White will certainly be one of the top forwards in the Big 12 this season if Iowa State continues to emphasize his role in the offense.
  4. And keeping with awards… J’Covan Brown of Texas earned the league’s first Big 12 Player of the Week honors, scoring 28 points on 10-19 shooting against Boston University. Brown, who’s stepping into a new role as the Longhorns’ unquestioned leader, was an easy choice here. He turned in exactly the kind of performance Rick Barnes needs out of his guard, as he’s trying to mesh a young team full of newcomers. Brown has been around the block before, and he’s got to continue to lead like this.
  5. Nobody has much faith in Oklahoma this season, even though Lon Kruger has won everywhere he’s been. One newspaper has at least a little faith, claiming OU should at least aim for the NIT. That’s not an unattainable goal for a team with decent guards, a rising star in Cameron Clark and a good big man in Andrew Fitzgerald. Kruger won’t turn this program around overnight, but he’s got enough to work with for a post-season appearance this season.
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RTC Summer Update: Summit League

Posted by Brian Goodman on July 12th, 2011

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. The newest update comes from our Summit League correspondent, Charlie Parks.

Reader’s Take – Almost every team in the Summit has its star this year, but to win this conference and have a legitimate shot at upsetting a powerhouse in March, you need a #2 option that is just as reliable in a big situation.

IUPUI appears to have the most talent with Alex Young and Leroy Nobles, as either guy can get you 20-plus easy-looking points at any given moment. But keep in mind, its not just the most talented duo, but also the two guys that give you the best opportunity to win. What doesn’t always show in the stat column can and often does show up in the win column (that little bit of Bobby knight-wisdom was for free).

Summer Storylines

  • Coaching Carousel – There have been a few key coaching changes this offseason in the Summit League. The one that could affect the balance of power the most in the conference is the departure of Ron Hunter  from IUPUI. After 17 years leading the Jags, Hunter took the job at Georgia State. His longtime assistant, Todd Howard, was promoted to fill the vacancy. Hunter led IUPUI to its only NCAA berth back in 2003, but you could sense a change was needed and that Hunter had taken IUPUI as far as it was going to go under his direction. He is a solid coach, but the new scenery may be beneficial for the Jags.
  • More Carousel.  The other coaching change of note is the departure of Dane Fife from IPFW. Fife moved on to accept a position on Tim Izzo’s staff at Michigan State. The move is a big bummer for the Mastodons, who have been steadily improving over the last six years under Fife, culminating in last year’s 18-12 record. His baby-faced assistant, Tony Jasick, now has the challenge of taking IPFW to the next level. IPFW may have taken a small step back in its ongoing quest for a conference title.
  • Sutton Returns to Coaching.  One team that improved with a new coaching change has to be Oral Roberts who hired former Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton. Sean served at ORU last year in an unofficial manner but he wasn’t able to really interact with players. But this year, the son of one of the legendary coaches in college basketball will try to bring the Golden Eagles back to the top. Sean was known as one of the best recruiters in the country during his long tenure as assistant coach under his father at Oklahoma State, so it will be interesting to see what kind of talent he will be able to attract to Tulsa.
  • Rolling Out The Welcome Mat – Two new teams have joined the Summit League, and Division I: South Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha. Personally, I was hoping for an already established D-I school to join the fray, but The Summit obviously has an agenda by grabbing these start-up teams. UNO is the new “ooey-pooey” of the Summit League, at least as far as nicknames go. South Dakota will begin play this year, whereas UNO will start next season.
  • Keith Benson Goes League – Keith Benson became the first Oakland player ever drafted when he was taken in the second round (48th overall) of the NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. Reviews for Benson have so far been mixed, but he will definitely get his opportunities assuming the NBA plays basketball again.

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Morning Five: 06.28.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 28th, 2011

  1. Coaches whose teams participated in the First Four in Dayton last March were repeatedly asked if they felt like they were part of “the real NCAA Tournament.” Our favorite answer came from VCU’s Shaka Smart, who noted that the backdrop behind him in the interview area was bedecked with NCAA logos and there was a big one in the middle of the court. Then his team went out and obliterated any future need for anyone to ask that question. We enjoyed the First Four — not just for the games, but because we also got to meet USC’s Song Girls (thank you, God), say hello to Kyle Whelliston and Bally, and groove with the bands from VCU (“You don’t wanna go to waaaaaar!…”) and Alabama State, the latter of which absolutely brought the house down and should have sold CDs at the door. Dayton has earned the right to keep this event. It belongs there. For the next couple of years, at least, it looks like the NCAA agrees. Don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff.
  2. What would you say to making just a shade over $5.4 million for each of the next eight years? Counting endorsements and incentives, that’s what Kentucky will be direct-depositing, on average, into John Calipari’s bank account from now until 2019 after a little re-working and extending of his contract. The Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Clay points out that, despite the big dollar amounts and talk of seasons in the distant future, all of this isn’t as meaningful as it sounds, since (like most big-time coaches) Calipari can leave any time he wants with little to no penalty. And we agree with Mr. Clay’s assertion that if Calipari leaves for the NBA someday, it will be for one reason and one reason only, and it has nothing to do with money.
  3. It’s been a tough couple of years for former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton, to say the least, but now he’s officially back into coaching. Sutton has fought a lengthy battle with an addiction to prescription painkillers and was arrested in February of 2010 for attempted possession of controlled substances after leaving a rehab program. His brother Scott, the head coach at Oral Roberts, brought Sean aboard as an unpaid advisor last season, but obviously those volunteering days are over with Sean’s promotion to lead assistant. We hope it’s safe to assume that his ascent at ORU indicates that he’s doing well and staying clean. Glad to hear it.
  4. This Ed O’Bannon “likenesses lawsuit” still has a little life, yet, though it’s not clear how much. Yesterday, a cease-and-desist letter was sent by O’Bannon’s attorney (who also represents other previous athletes who’ve joined up) to ESPN, CBS, and other major media entities alerting them to the fact that they have no right to use the names, images, or likenesses of former college athletes without asking. Like any threat, a cease-and-desist letter is only as powerful as the punishment that could follow if the recipient doesn’t comply, which in this case is…well, nothing, right now. But if someone with power decides in the future that these guys have a point and the law then changes, O’Bannon’s representatives can now at least say, “Yeah, you were warned.”
  5. You may have heard that Jeff Goodman is now the FNG over in CBS Sports’ college basketball wing, which means that 1) he’s getting hazed like a freshman pledge by Seth Davis and Gary Parrish, and 2) Parrish got the first pick in the mock draft for 2012 that the two gentlemen posted yesterday. Seniority and all that, you know. Interesting picks and enjoyable comments reside therein, especially for a couple of rabid fanbases whose schools — we’re not going to tell you who they are, but they’re more loaded than Christina Hendricks — produced six of the first ten picks in the thing.
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Checking in on… the Summit League

Posted by Brian Goodman on December 18th, 2010

Eli Linton is the RTC correspondent for the Summit League.

A Look Back

Oakland finally gets their upset—an 89-82 road victory over the #7 Tennessee Volunteers.

It will be known from now on as the program’s signature win, just the second top 25 win in Oakland history. Keith Benson was fantastic—draining mid-range jumpers and even two three pointers on his way to a 26/10 night. One observer said he looked like Amare Stoudemire with his mid-range game. He proved to be more than just a post presence; He is an all-around, NBA-ready, mid-major star.

Benson Was Dominant

In case you missed it, this was Oakland’s close call earlier in the week against Michigan State.

In other news: Oral Roberts got pounded in their rubber-match with Missouri, 81-62, in a game the #12 Tigers called “a revenge game” after the Golden Eagles shocked them in the final seconds last year. It was close early, with the Golden Eagles up 22-19, but the Tigers used an 18-2 run before halftime to put them away. Oklahoma used a similar first-half run in Oral Roberts previous game to put them to bed early. Apparently, the ORU coaching staff thinks halves last 15 minutes.

Power Rankings:

  1. Oakland (6-5, 2-0) —Surprise! Imagine if they had beaten Michigan State the other night, would they crack the top 25 this week? Oakland has three players averaging double figures; they are the best offense in the Summit League, despite little production from one of their main guys, starting guard Larry Wright. They have the best coach in the conference, and the best player to ever play in the Summit League/Mid-Con conference (apologies to George Hill, Bryce Drew, and Caleb Green). By the way, I am predicting Keith Benson will be a lottery pick in the NBA draft. In fact I will go as far to say top 10 to Detroit. This is not Hyperbole. If you were able to see this guy in the Big East every night on ESPN, you would be saying the same thing. Benson dismantled the Vols—posting a 26 point 10 rebound and zero turnover night. He is only the fifth player in 15 years to do that against a ranked opponent. The other four: David Noel (UNC, 2005-06), Troy Murphy (Notre Dame, 1999-00), Brad Miller (Purdue, 1997-98), and Raef LaFrentz (Kansas, 1996-97). It’s time to sit back and enjoy this, Summit fans, because I don’t think you will see a player like Benson for quite a while. You heard it here first.
  2. North Dakota State (7-3, 1-0) —I love this team. They are like a mini version of Oakland. They score a lot of points (second in the conference with 79.3, 36th in the NCAA), and they play good defense (68 points allowed per game), those numbers are similar to past champions. They are just a well-rounded group. The Bison have been quietly gaining experience and confidence, and this team is a somewhat of a dark horse to make a run. They just dismantled their cross-tundra rival, North Dakota, 81-55, and they already beat the previous #2 team in the conference, South Dakota State. It’s still way too early, but they look good. Did I mention they have the fifth-highest three-point field goal percentage in the nation? Okay, just checking.
  3. Oral Roberts (4-6, 2-0) — let’s face it, the Golden Eagles are good, but they’re not Oakland-good. That doesn’t necessarily mean this team can’t win the conference title—anything can happen in a conference tournament—but it means they will have to be near-perfect if they want to beat a mature, complete team like The Golden Benson’s (err, I mean, Golden Grizzlies). Oral Roberts has the talent to win the conference, but it is young, raw, talent (that’s code for: “why the hell did they just do that!?”). Right now, I would describe the Golden Eagles as a team in search of its soul. Don’t count them out, they have over 200 wins, 16 NCAA Tournaments appearances and two final four appearances on the bench between Scott and Sean Sutton. Dominique Morrison is steady leader, fourth in scoring with 17.3 points per game (less than a point behind Keith Benson), but it may take more to rise above Oakland.
  4. South Dakota State (7-2, 0-1) —You see the 7-2 record and the 79.3 points per game and think this team might have something. They had two nice wins against Iowa and Nevada—but so far, they really haven’t beaten anyone. They have lost two of their last three (the win came against Mayville State). If you are an SDSU fan, fourth-best is not a bad spot to be right now with guys like Nate Wolters (17.2 PPG, 48% from three) and Clint Sargent (13.1 PPG).
  5. IPFW (7-2, 2-0) — They are sitting on top of the Summit standings—but they beat the teams at the very bottom to get there. Until they face and beat a tougher opponent (like one of the teams above them on this list) this is where they deserve to be ranked. Valparaiso, Purdue, and ORU await the Mastadons. Let’s see how they look after that.
  6. IUPUI (5-6, 1-1) —Ooey-Pooey beat Ohio, and they gave Ohio State everything they could before fading late and losing by 11. However, they did lose at home to ORU. This team was the preseason #3 in the Summit, and I still think it will shake out that way, but right now they just look mediocre at best. They play good defense, which will have to be their mantra for the season. Ron Hunter is relying solely on Alex Young and Leroy Nobles to carry this team offensively; they are combining to average 34 of the team’s 66 points per game.
  7. Western Illinois (5-5, 1-1) — Every once in a while, they will show flashes of goodness, especially on defense. But they struggle to score points, posting only 61 per game. Matt Landers is second in the conference in scoring with 17.9 per contest, and when they start getting production from their all-conference first team selection, Ceola Clark, they will stay competitive in most of their games.
  8. UMKC (5-4, 0-2) — The Roos have fallen pretty far down the list, losing both conference games. But I expect them to bounce back, especially with their duel threat in Spencer Johnson and Jay Couisnard. Right now, I see UMKC battling for that fourth-to-sixth place in the conference tournament for the rest of the year.
  9. Southern Utah (3-7, 0-2) — They lost to Weber State by six, the best in the Big Sky Conference, which is the silver lining in the dark storm clouds. What does that mean? Maybe nothing, but it could mean the Summit League is better than the Big Sky Conference. Let the debate begin!
  10. Centenary (0-2, 0-11) — No one should lose them all, but right now, Centenary is in danger of doing just that. The Summit League has been improving steadily, and it will be extremely difficult for this team to escape with a win or two. You can’t blame them; they just don’t have D-I talent. I hate watching teams suffer like this, so let’s just ignore the situation.

A Look Ahead

  • Saturday, Oakland takes on Michigan in Ann Arbor. Oakland could really get heads turning if they could deal with the Wolverines on the road. Then on Thursday, December 30, Oakland will go on the road to take on ORU in Tulsa. Both of these teams should be undefeated in the conference going into this game, and it will be the best the Summit League has to offer. If you only watch one Summit League game a year, this should be it.
  • The Summit League is ranked #16 in the December 14 Sagarin Ratings. Oakland is currently #12 on the collegeinsider.com top 25 mid-major poll, while South Dakota State is #18, but I suspect both of those will change. Oakland will be in the top 10, especially after the win at Tennessee.
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Morning Five: 10.08.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on October 8th, 2010

  1. Players are doing individual workouts and getting a good amount of fullcourt run on their own time as they ramp up to the start of practice next weekend, so injuries are inevitable.  A couple of notable ones reported yesterday include St. Peter’s star forward Wesley Jenkins, who is suffering from a partial tear of his ACL, and Michigan State freshman Russell Byrd, who has a stress fracture in his foot.  MSU will be fine without their youngster in the lineup, but St. Peter’s is a team expected to contend in the MAAC this season, so potentially losing Jenkins and his 14/5 averages from 2009-10 could seriously hurt the long-term fortunes of the Peacocks.
  2. Better to be injured than dismissed from the program, we suppose.  UNC’s Will Graves, a player who seems to have been in Tar Heel blue since Matt Doherty was hanging out at Top of the Hill, has been kicked off the team for failing to comply with team rules.  The 6’6 redshirt senior was supposed to be UNC’s top returning scorer (9.8 PPG) and three-point shooter (73 treys last year), but Roy Williams is going to have to find offense elsewhere now.  That Harrison Barnes kid better be pretty good, or it’s progressively looking like another rough season in Chapel Hill.
  3. A little nepotism never hurts, especially when your brother is a successful basketball coach and you’re looking to get back into the game.  Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton has hired his big brother Sean as an advisor, er, “executive advisor to the coaching staff,” which essentially means help out where you can but stay the hell outta my way.  The position is a voluntary one, which means that Sean can advise the coaches but he cannot interrelate with the players.  Of course Sean is coming off an ugly addiction to painkillers that resulted in several felony charges for which he pled guilty, but if he can keep his nose clean the next six months while assisting his brother, we’re sure that a college somewhere out there will be willing to take another chance on him.
  4. Luke Winn’s transparency with how he picked his 53-player Naismith Award ballot last week shows a remarkably similar process as to how we here at RTC went through the country to pick our sixty Impact Players for 2010-11.  What’s that saying? — great minds…  although we’re going to definitely take some heat in coming weeks for a few of our omissions.  No doubt about it.
  5. There were a couple of big commitments yesterday in the recruiting world.  Tony Wroten, a 6’4 point guard from Seattle ranked in the top 30 on Rivals.com, signed with his hometown school Washington over Louisville, UConn, Villanova and Seattle.  Down the I-5 a piece, new head coach Dana Altman got a huge recruiting coup for Oregon by grabbing 6’4 shooting guard and #22-rated Jabari Brown out of Oakland over Arizona State, Washington, Georgia Tech and UConn.  Brown specifically stated that the Nike affiliation and the new facilities drew him to Eugene.  There are now only seventeen uncommitted players in the top 50 of the class of 2011.
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Morning Five: 08.16.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 16th, 2010

  1. Former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a result of his February arrest for possession of painkillers without a prescription.  Sutton recently spent 115 days in a rehab program in Sundance, Utah, and will face no jail time for his three-year probation period so long as he stays clean, pays a $2,850 fine and performs 100 hours of community service.  In an interview prior to the hearing last week, Sutton stated that the down time in the two years since he was forced out at OSU contributed to his addiction: “Idle time is no good for anybody.”   Texas head coach Rick Barnes, for one, doesn’t think Sutton’s coaching days are over.  Of course, his father, 800-game winner Eddie Sutton, has had his own demons with alcohol addiction over the years.  Let’s hope both Suttons have put those days behind them.
  2. Kentucky fans filled a tiny gymnasium in Windsor, Ontario, on Sunday night, as John Calipari’s 2010-11 team played the first of a three-game set in Canada to break in the many new faces wearing Wildcat blue next season.  We mentioned UNC freshman Harrison Barnes blowing up in the Bahamas last week; well, Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight made sure that we remembered his prodigious talents as well.  Knight’s line:  31 pts, 9 rebs, 4 assts with ZERO turnovers in 29 minutes of action.  Let the hero-worship begin.
  3. Connecticut requested and received an additional two weeks to respond to the eight NCAA alleged rules violations meted out by the governing body in May.  The new deadline will be September 3, which means that the compliance folks in Storrs may actually get to enjoy Labor Day weekend.  The Hartford Courant interviewed several experts to give readers a sense as to how the school may respond.   The general consensus is that UConn should show that it takes the charges seriously and can police itself; anything short of that may give the NCAA cause to bring the hammer down.
  4. Ohio State center Zisis Sarikopoulos is reportedly on the verge of signing a professional contract with a team in his native Greece, which could impact Thad Matta’s inside depth next season.  Sarikopoulos was expected to provide spot minutes for returnee Dallas Lauderdale and incoming stud Jared Sullinger, but OSU may be without that option in a matter of days if this is true.
  5. Memphis is heading to the Bahamas this week, but three of their newcomers won’t be making the trip as a result of eligiblity issues with the NCAA.  According to Dan Wolken at the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, the trio of Will Barton, Hippolyte Tsafack and Chris Crawford still have to be cleared by the NCAA before they will be allowed to play.  Barton is appealing the NCAA’s denial of his eligibility, while Tsafack and Crawford are still waiting to hear on their initial review.   In an unrelated personal issue, Jelan Kendrick is also not making the trip because he needed to head home to Atlanta.  Not a good way to start the season for Josh Pastner’s crew.
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Morning Five: 03.05.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on March 5th, 2010

  1. Eddie Sutton made his first public comments about the charges and the future of his son Sean Sutton in an interview with Tulsa World yesterday.  Sean Sutton was arrested back on February 11th and charged with attempting to possess controlled substances, and soon after admitted an addiction to pain killers.  The elder Sutton expressed confidence in his son, saying “He’ll be all right because he’s a strong person who just made a mistake.”
  2. Santa Clara sophomore Troy Alexander is impressive.  His stats this season: 1.1 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG in 30 games.  Ah, but his most meaningful stat is found in the “Lives Saved” column.  He’s been raising awareness about the malaria epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and has been raising money via Facebook and Twitter to buy mosquito-repellent nets for children’s beds.  The nets are draped over the beds so the kids don’t get bitten and contract the disease while they sleep.  The cost of one net?  Ten lousy bucks.  A life saved.  If you don’t think malaria is a big deal, there are some studies out there that say malaria has actually killed one out of every two people who has ever lived.  Alexander initially wanted to raise $1,000, but has already tripled that.  He does this through the Nothing But Nets campaign, an organization jump-started by everyone’s favorite punching bag these days — Rick Reilly.  We won’t post Troy’s Facebook page, but we will link his page at NothingButNets.net.  Bravo, brother.
  3. According to the 49 responding journalists in AnnArbor.com’s final player of the year poll, Evan Turner is widening his lead over John Wall.  Interestingly, Turner was the only player named on every ballot.  Three voters didn’t have Wall ranked first, second, OR third, and 32 of them didn’t name Wesley Johnson anywhere.  Wow.
  4. The host schools — that is to say, the teams that automatically advance to the “championship rounds,” win or lose — have been announced for next season’s O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas CityDuke, Kansas State, Gonzaga, and Marquette will be the sites for the regional round games from November 14-17, and then will move on to the Sprint Center on November 22-23 to play each other in matchups to be determined later.
  5. Are referees working too much?  It’s been a big topic for some time, and especially this year.  Conference bigwigs and coaches may think refs are overworked, but the referees seem to disagree.  ACC referees’ supervisor John Clougherty, though, feels the critics might have a point, saying of his refs, “They are independent contractors.  I can’t tell them how many times to work.”  Interesting piece by Ray Glier of the New York Times.
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Morning Five: 02.17.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 17th, 2010

  1. Wisconsin center Jon Leuer had a pain-free practice on Monday and will be back in action for his team tonight against his home state Minnesota Gophers.  The Badgers were 6-3 in his nine-game absence, even though the Wisconsin defense clearly wasn’t as effective without the 6’10 junior in the lineup.
  2. Former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton pled not guilty through his attorney to four felony charges involving painkillers, and he is supposedly in a rehab center already.  Sutton hasn’t coached since his dismissal from OSU in 2008, but we’re all aware of the dangers of the abuse of these drugs, so we’re hopeful that he’ll be able to get his life back on track.
  3. Staying in Stillwater, OSU point guard Ray Penn will miss the remainder of the season to allow time for a stress reaction in his right knee to heal.  The lightning-quick Penn averaged 8/3 APG in just over thirty minutes per game this year, and he should be back at 100% by next season.
  4. You’ve probably heard  what former Senator and HOFer Bill Bradley is up to these days (winning awards from the NABC), but did you know that former non-Senator and non-HOFer Todd MacCulloch is #91 in the world in professional pinball?  We’re not sure to be incredibly impressed or a lot scared, but Lost Letterman ranks MacCulloch and several other former hoopsters who are now making their living in other odd capacities.
  5. This is superb analysis by Vegas Watch in which he compares his adjusted Pomeroy ratings with the current odds you can get for teams to win the 2010 national title, and then makes some assessments as to their current value.  Duke, Wisconsin and Missouri are the big value buys right now, while Kentucky, Syracuse and Villanova appear overvalued.
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Sean Sutton Nabbed On Drug Charge

Posted by jstevrtc on February 12th, 2010

Former Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton, son of famed coach Eddie Sutton, was arrested on Thursday for attempting to fraudulently possess controlled substances.  He was jailed in Stillwater, Oklahoma last night and the original report from Tulsa World did not specify a time for his arraignment.

Also from the report, an extra wrinkle to this is that Sutton used his cell phone as a means to obtaining the substances and had been receiving shipments from multiple states (New York and Washington are specified in the story) containing the drugs.  A parcel had arrived for Sutton in Stillwater on Thursday; when he went to pick it up, Oklahoma narcotics agents confronted Sutton, who eventually confessed that he was “addicted to painkillers” and had been ordering the controlled substances to feed the addiction.  There is also the question of Sutton having made multiple visits to physicians but not revealing to the individual doctors that he was doing so, as a means to obtain the drugs.

The package snagged by the Oklahoma agents reportedly contained “Adderall and clonazepam.”  Adderall is a brand name for a combination drug containing dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, substances that increase the amount of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.  It increases awareness and wakefulness, as  well as libido, and decreases appetite.  It’s usually used for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it has a very high potential for addiction.  The street value comes from the effects mentioned above, and it’s frequently abused a stimulant and a weight-loss drug.

Clonazepam is the generic name for a drug more widely known as Klonopin, a drug most often used as treatment for seizure disorders like epilepsy, or as a treatment for anxiety.  Because it has an overall net “depressant” effect, it is often abused as a sedative or in conjunction with other drugs to enhance the first drug’s effect.

No other substances were named in the Tulsa World report.

(h/t: @TheBigLead)

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Not again. . .

Posted by nvr1983 on April 1st, 2008

Lost in the news of Tom Crean’s decision to go to Indiana is the possibility that the Kansas Jayhawks are once again going into the Final 4 with rumors that their head coach is going to leave them. The last time they were here in 2003, they went through this with Roy Williams, who initially denied any interest in the open position, but left Kansas anyways a week later. With Sean Sutton’s resignation after his ill-fated attempt to succeed his father Eddie, there is an opening in Stillwater for one head ball coach.

Although Bill Self, an OSU alum, has stated that he is not running in the running to be the Cowboys next head coach, his press conference left us less than convinced that he is definitely staying in Lawrence. As Seth Davis noted last week (scroll to bottom), OSU has some serious Boone Pickens money to throw around. That and the chance to go back to his alma mater (potentially ending their ceaseless requests for donations) may be enough to convince Self to leave the Jayhawks empty-handed once again.

Stillwater bound?

I would have a hard time understanding why Self would leave Kansas. I know that he is an OSU alum and maybe I went to a school with absolutely no school spirit (stupid city campus), but it just seems like Self has fewer reasons to go from KU to OSU than Williams had to go from KU to UNC. I would consider KU and UNC to be on the same level in terms of historic significance and about the same in terms of ability to recruit (slight edge to UNC), but KU absolutely destroys OSU in any objective or subjective measure (other than number of fans in Stillwater).

I just hope the Roy Williams tearfest this week isn’t interrupted by this. Seriously though if Self leaves for OSU, who would Kansas trust after getting screwed over by 2 coaches who hadn’t won a title yet and left their team after/during (depending on your level of cynicism) a trip to the Final 4? Danny Manning?

I am sure this will hang over the heads of Jayhawk fans during what should be the best week of their year (unless they beat UNC/Roy and the winner of UCLA/Memphis) as will the memory of Roy high-tailing it out of town for Chapel Hill. The thing that should really bother them is that Self has a history of this having left a big-time basketball school (Illinois at the time) for another school (Kansas). The thing is that he may be leaving them this time.

He's done it before. . .

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Checking in on… the Big 12.

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2008

Continuing our midseason check in with the BCS conferences… next, the Big 12.

Big 12 Midseason Check In

F4 Caliber. Kansas would be another huge disappointment if they’re not playing in April this year. Texas and Texas A&M both have the talent to make the F4 if things broke right, although we’d say the Horns have the better shot. Neither team is a favorite to make it, though.

Most Likely to Collapse. Kansas St. This team has seemed shaky in the nonconference schedule, and the rugged Big 12 is no place for teams to get their sea legs. Michael Beasley is awesome, but the rest of the team doesn’t seem to understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

Most Likely to Rise. Missouri. The Tigers have better talent and coaching than their record indicates. If Anderson can get his 40MoH style clicking, Mizzou could be considerably better by late February/early March.

Biggest Surprise. Baylor. One of the biggest in the nation in our eyes. The Bears have several solid wins on neutral courts and played Wazzu and Arkansas very tough in their only two losses. Let’s see if they can improve upon consecutive 4-12 finishes in the Big 12.

Biggest Disappointment. Oklahoma St. Sean Sutton’s tenure hasn’t been marked with the same tenacious defense that his father’s teams were notorious for. A third straight NIT appearance won’t be handled very well in Stillwater.

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