What’s Trending: Rick Pitino, Bill Walton, Wichita State, Michael Sam and More…

Posted by Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) on February 21st, 2014

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) is your weekly host.

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Bill Walton’s Mount Rushmore of Musicians

Bill Walton has no idea how many presidents are on Mount Rushmore. A must watch.

Syracuse is Not Undefeated Anymore

But that is OK. Sometimes losing helps give you perspective and alleviate some unnecessary pressure.

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That Means Wichita State is the Nation’s Lone Unbeaten

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Morning Five: 08.12.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on August 12th, 2011

  1. On July 23, Preston Anderson, a former BYU student and current basketball player for Hartnell College in Salinas, California, jumped on his motorcycle at five o’clock in the morning and drove away from his apartment, his roommates assuming he was headed off to a morning workout. Until three days ago, Anderson’s whereabouts have remained a total mystery. He left his cell phone behind and has contacted none of his family or friends. A credit card transaction at a hotel in Corozal, Belize from August 4 — about which his family learned on Tuesday — is the only way any of them know he’s still alive. Hotel staff confirmed that the guest/cardholder was a 6’9” American, same as Anderson. Preston’s father Corey assumes his son is en route to South America, given the current travel vector. We don’t cover a lot of community college basketball around here, but this has sort of a Chris McCandless vibe about it, only more tropical. We hope it ends better, with more of a Ewan McGregor/Charley Boorman-esque resolution.
  2. In the title to his article yesterday, Sporting News‘ Mike DeCourcy describes the changes the NCAA wants to make to college athletics as “a mixed bag of genius and idiocy.” Contained within is a fine summary of the new provisions the NCAA wants to implement, not to mention a tasty little UCLA dig. Have to say, here…we’ve been fans of the idea of tougher punishments for a long time; currently, the risks of cheating just don’t sufficiently outweigh the possible benefits, and while no set of rules can eradicate all the rascals, cranking up punishments could at long last have presumptive rule-breakers wondering if it’s really worth it. [Ed. Note: 3 of 5 days of M5 goodness for MD this week! Don't think any writer has ever had that many in a M-F cycle. And MD and Luke Winn continue to battle for the all-time lead.]
  3. Can you believe that Facebook and Twitter now comprise 50% of recruiting interactions between recruiters and prospects? It is without question the best way for coaches to make contact with players nowadays, especially since the latter group seems reluctant to even pick up or open a ringing cell phone. Before you write that off to an alleged aloofness among high school recruits, first consider (as Pete Thamel of the New York Times did in his article from Tuesday) the case of Nerlens Noel, a top prospect who attends a prep school in New Hampshire. He has one hour of free time a day. You think he’s going to spend it all on his phone talking to coaches giving him their sales pitches? He says of Facebook: “It’s a great way to contact me.” He’s not alone.
  4. We hope that Chris Webber, Ray Jackson, and Juwan Howard are somewhere laying low and playing it cool right now, since the fates are evidently cracking down on the once-Fab Five. And by the fates, we mean the cops. Jalen Rose is halfway through a 20-day stretch in the pokey after pleading guilty to DUI, and now Jimmy King has been arrested and housed in the same facility (actually, we assume he’s out on bail by now) for failure to pay over $17,000 in child support. As if that wasn’t bad enough, King was arrested on his 38th birthday at a church after authorities saw his name on a basketball camp the church was holding. Whew.
  5. SI.com’s Luke Winn is back with another crop of sophomores likely up for big seasons as predicted by his Breakout Sophomore Formula. In addition to his usual clever and well-evidenced insights, two things in particular that we like about this offering from Winn are 1) the formula is designed to avoid insulting your intelligence by making obvious picks like, say, Jared Sullinger or Jeremy Lamb, and 2) Winn takes the time to examine how last year’s prognostications did. In doing so here, he also got in one of the great phrases we’ve seen in any sports article in some time: “libidinous malcontents.” You should already want to do so, but if that doesn’t make you want to click on the above link and check the article out for yourself, nothing will.
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Morning Five: 06.29.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on June 29th, 2011

  1. There’s been understandably little information coming out of Traverse City, Michigan, about the condition of Austin Hatch since the decision was made on Sunday to attempt to bring him out of the medically-induced coma. We’re hoping, as the saying goes, that no news is good news. For this situation, the NCAA has elected to ease the restrictions regarding communication between schools/coaches and recruits so that the University of Michigan (where Hatch verballed about two weeks ago) may offer whatever support they can for the young man. Around here, we’ve been occasionally critical of the NCAA where we felt it was warranted, but we also try to point out when they do something of which we approve. As far as this decision is concerned, please hold while we stand on our chairs and applaud.
  2. We wondered when this would start happening. There is a pretty prolific long-range bomber who currently finds himself free after a two-year hitch at a Big Six conference program. He’s currently considering new schools. His first visit? Butler. Listen, there are a lot of big-time, blue-chip schools who would love to have this man’s shooting ability as part of their arsenal. He knows that. Still, he’s checking out Butler. And not a single person should be surprised. With the recent success and the family atmosphere Brad Stevens brought to that program, we’ll wager that this won’t be the last time you hear of a top-tier transfer putting Butler on his list of possible landing sites right up there with the more traditional powers.
  3. So, fans of which sport are the most digitally connected of them all? Would we ask that question here if the answer wasn’t college basketball? According to a recent study, college hoopheads dominate use of social media. That doesn’t surprise us terribly, but some of the numbers in the study do — specifically, the comparison of percentages of sports fans who use Twitter vs Facebook, and the chances of a fan buying something of a certain brand if an athlete mentions it on either of those two social networking vehicles.
  4. Larry Drew II is still taking punches. Roy Williams recently spoke to the Asheville Citizen-Times about how he was looking forward to next year’s championship-caliber North Carolina team and a little bit about last season’s Elite Eight squad. Commenting on the calmer atmosphere of the program now compared to last season, Williams said, “I don’t forsee having to dismiss anyone from the team, so that’s more pleasant…I don’t forsee having to watch anyone leave at midseason. That’s more pleasant.” That’s obviously a reference to Drew II in there; John Henson was only slightly less diplomatic, adding, “I hate to say this, but when Larry left we pulled together and became more of a unit.”
  5. Like sports fans everywhere, we’re still saddened and in shock about the way, WAY-too-early loss of Lorenzo Charles. It’s not because he was a basketball player and he hit the most iconic shot in the history of the Tournament. That would imply that his life was reducible to just a few seconds, and we guarantee that he was much more than that to his family and friends. As long as we remind ourselves of that, though, it seems OK to remember that moment in Albuquerque as a symbol of the man rather than something that summarizes him wholly. SI.com’s Joe Posnanski wrote about what Charles’ dunk meant to him, and it’s one of the best things we’ve read in some time. As soon as you finish here, do yourself a favor and click on this link to read it yourself. [Ed. Note: I read the whole story twice; I read the paragraph that begins "Outside our apartment window..." at least six times. Fantastic.]
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