Morning Five: 08.19.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 19th, 2013


  1. New Butler coach Brandon Miller was probably already facing an uphill battle replacing Brad Stevens. Not only did he have to contend with a conference change from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East and the departure of several key seniors, but he was also facing Stevens’ considerable shadow. Now he will have to do all of this without Roosevelt Jones, who was perhaps the team’s top returning player, is out for the season after tearing ligaments in his left wrist during the team’s trip to Australia. Butler was going to have a tough time dealing with all the changes and now doing so without Jones might be too much for Miller (or even Stevens if he had stayed) as the Bulldogs seem destined for the bottom of the Big East this season.
  2. The NCAA has found itself in quite few politically unpopular situations over the years, but they may have topped themselves with their latest act–taking a year of eligibility away from a Marine veteran for playing games on the base. The latest poster boy for the NCAA’s ongoing quest for bad publicity is Steven Rhodes, a 24-year-old freshman at Middle Tennessee State, who just finished a five-year stint with the Marines and was planing on coming back to play college football. Unfortunately his plans have been put on hold as the NCAA has ruled that Rhodes has to sit out this season. Although Middle Tennessee State is not the typical site for major NCAA stories, we have a feeling that this will turn into a national story in the near-future.
  3. The start of the college basketball season is getting very close, which you will be reminded of with the onslaught of college basketball previews that you will see online once the college football season starts and we are pretty much ready for the season to start, but one name–Chris Walker–remains in limbo. Walker, one of the top players in the class of 2013, is still waiting for clearance from the NCAA, but it appears that the NCAA Clearinghouse is reviewing his grades now. We have no idea how long it will take the NCAA to review his grades, but they will need to clear him by this coming week for him to be eligible to play this fall, but if he is eligible by December he could enroll at Florida and play the second half of the year. If neither of those options work, we get the feeling that he might pursue the Ricky Ledo option.
  4. When Shivaughn Wiggins announced that he was transferring from Mount St. Mary’s we figured it would not take long before he found a new home and it only took a few weeks as he announced that he was transferring to Coastal Carolina. Wiggins, the NEC Rookie of the Year, averaged 9.6 points per game last season and should be a huge pick-up for Coastal Carolina when he is eligible to play in the 2014-15 season. If you are looking for a more in-depth evaluation of Wiggins’ potential impact on the team, check out the breakdown put together by Big Apple Buckets.
  5. Out of all of the Candid Coaches questions that CBS has released the one about which elite 2014 prospect will struggle the most in college is certainly the most controversial. We won’t pretend to know much about any of the 2014 prospects at this point outside of recognizing a few names, but it will be interesting to see if these anonymous comments will affect their ranking at all and whether it might scare off a few coaches. We doubt that it actually will, but we imagine that several of the prospects listed here (and more specifically their parents) will be concerned about that. While this is interesting on some level and will certainly make its way around the message boards we are actually more interested in seeing this come out for the incoming freshman since we will be able to judge those evaluations right away.
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Morning Five: 08.12.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 12th, 2013


  1. Early August is certainly a strange time for a team to announce that a player is transferring, but that appears to be the case for Mount Saint Mary’s, which granted Shivaughn Wiggins a release to transfer. Wiggins, the NEC Rookie of the Year last season, averaged 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season. We have no idea where Wiggins is looking at transferring or what his reasons for transferring are, but we imagine there will be quite a few mid-major programs that will be looking for a player of his talents particularly with three more seasons of eligibility remaining.
  2. The news that the rental car that was driven by P.J. Hairston had received 12 parking citations over a two-month period should not necessarily add any more weight to the case against Hairston, but given all of the evidence–circumstantial or otherwise–building up against Hairston it certainly does not help his case. It should be noted that it is unclear if Hairston was in possession of the car at this time and given the fact that the people handing over the keys to this car did not seem to be screening the drivers too closely it might be difficult ever finding that out. Still given the noise around Hairston somehow this has turned into another “major” story about him. We are assuming that North Carolina and Roy Williams will see through this (one of the few times that we can say that about a recent scandal at North Carolina) and wait for more evidence to come out. Of course, with the way things are going for Hairston this summer it might not be too long before that evidence comes out.
  3. For the third part of their Candid Coaches series, the writers at CBS Sports asked coaches whether it is realistic to assume that they can prevent a player from accepting impermissible benefits. It is not surprising that 96% said they did not think it was realistic. Some of our more cynical readers might point out that this is somewhat self-serving in the event that the coaches get embroiled in a scandal, but we were more interested in the 4% (maybe one coach out of 25 since they do not specify how many coaches they talked to) who thinks that a coaching staff can prevent a player from doing so. We have read the reasoning behind his vote, but it seems incredibly naive. Coaches and programs can certainly do things to reduce the likelihood of these infractions, but it is ridiculous to think that it can be prevented completely.
  4. The rest of the country may have football (or Breaking Bad) on their mind, but we are still counting down to the start of the college basketball season. With that in mind Seth Davis spoke with five prominent coaches–Travis Ford, Josh Pastner, Cuonzo Martin, Mark Few, and Steve Alford–to discuss their off-seasons and thoughts about the upcoming season. None of them gave any shocking quotes (or at least ones that Davis printed), but it was interesting to see how publicly confident they all seemed to be. We are particularly interested in seeing how Alford and Pastner react to their new school and conference over the next few months particularly since they are both in the most precarious situations of any of the five coaches interviewed.
  5. Last week we linked to a story about former Northern Colorado assistant Christopher Craig and warnings that police had issued to local churches about the threat he posed. On Thursday, he was arrested for an outstanding misdemeanor drug possession warrant. Craig, who had been labelled an “Islamic jihadist”, was found with marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and shotgun shells. While this certainly is not the ideal outcome for Craig it is certainly a better resolution (for the time being) that what could have been envisioned when he was at large after having made threats against members of churches and was being pursued by authorities. We have no idea what was going on in Craig’s life, but we hope that he can straighten himself out.
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