Posted by Matt Patton on March 18th, 2014
- Boston Globe: Great story from Bob Hohler on Boston College‘s worst sports scandal, which is being made into a 30 for 30 (which, assuming they got everyone to talk, could be awesome). Basically, mobsters — some of the ones who would later inspire the movie Goodfellas — decided that they could make money on the Eagles fading games. So they recruited three players (really coerced two after recruiting one) to help shave points in a few of their games. They weren’t really successful, but the story came to light when one of the mobsters was trying to make a deal with the feds a few years later. Fascinating stuff.
- ESPN: As had been rumored, James Johnson is gone at Virginia Tech. He certainly struggled during his two years in Blacksburg, but athletic director Jim Weaver put him in an almost impossible situation (especially for a coach with no previous head coaching experience). Gobbler Country does a good job running down why many of the team’s struggles weren’t his fault, but when it came down to it, new athletic director Whit Babcock decided Johnson wasn’t the man for the job. It’s not going to be easy to find a home run replacement, though (read: one better than Seth Greenberg).
- Bluefield Daily Telegraph: Speaking of replacements, you can check out some “when hell freezes over” possibilities elsewhere, but Brian Woodson nails at least one candidate who I think is closer to where the Hokies will end up (unless Babcock is ready to shell out some serious money). Woodson points to Mike Young, the current head coach at Wofford. That said, I think it’s really dangerous to mention Gregg Marshall’s name around any long-tenured coach at a small conference school (he’s definitely the exception, not the rule). Tim Thomas also does a good job throwing out a little higher-profile (but still mostly reasonable) possibilities for Jones’ replacement too.
- College Chalk Talk: Here’s some insight from Leonard Hamilton’s right hand man Stan Jones on five things Florida State looks to develop in players over their career. This reads a little like a speech from a coaching camp, but it’s still interesting to get a feel for the big picture goals that top programs have for their players. Also, I’m a big fan of starting off paragraphs with quotes. Jones shows a remarkable amount of breadth in his quoting, pulling everyone from Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst to George Bernard Shaw. Bravo.
- Engadget: Cool news as the ACC released an Apple TV channel dedicated solely to the league. I am on board with the idea that we’re moving to an a la carte television model where more people will use Apple TV or other streaming services to engage with content. Props to the conference for trying to be on the forefront of that shift with this move. Essentially, it sounds like the channel will offer similar things to the ACC Digital Network, but having it all in one place is great.
Posted by mpatton on January 28th, 2013
- Miami Herald: Leonard Hamilton was really impressed by Miami after he saw them beat Duke by 27. My guess is that impression only got stronger after the Hurricanes dismantled his team Sunday evening. The blowout appears to have sparked some interest in Miami basketball, but it’s hard to determine whether this run is just a flash in the pan. Kenny Kadji said after the win, “I still don’t think that many people respect us. I keep reading more about how bad Duke played than how good we played.” I want to put in my two cents right now: The Hurricanes played so well they broke Duke. It wasn’t that Duke didn’t play well, it’s that they stopped fighting. Every time it looked like the Blue Devils might make a moral victory run, Miami would hit a big basket. It was the most impressive game I’ve seen this season, with or without Ryan Kelly. Also, it’s time to stop wondering if Miami can win the regular season conference title. Right now it’s theirs to lose (with a two-game lead in the loss column).
- Tallahassee Democrat: The story of Stan Jones — Leonard Hamilton’s right hand man — is a warning (and testament in a way) to how hard it is to get noticed and work your way up the ladder in the coaching business. Jones was a very successful high school coach in Tennessee, winning a state title at a private school during his third year — but it took a long 14 years before he got the call from Hamilton to join him at Miami in the 1990s. He’s essentially been with him ever since. The two appear inseparable, though my guess is Jones is getting a lot more phone calls nowadays. Don’t be surprised if a major conference (or high level mid-major) school offers him a shot to be their head coach soon. Also I wouldn’t be surprised if he ultimately succeeds Hamilton (who is the second oldest coach in the ACC) at Florida State.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: I had my doubts (and based on the Yellow Jackets’ conference record, it’s tough to argue if some people still have their doubts) about Georgia Tech‘s progress coming into the season, but Brian Gregory’s team is really competing. They also appear to have some really good pieces going forward (Chris Bolden, Robert Carter Jr., and Daniel Miller). This doesn’t mean the rebuilding act will finish next season, but things are moving along.
- Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina‘s game against NC State was a tale of two halves. The first half showcased a veteran Wolfpack team totally dominant against a young and lost North Carolina team. But in the final 13 minutes, the Tar Heels scored a ludicrous 50 points. Read that again: In the final 13 minutes of the game, NC State gave up and North Carolina scored 50 points. That’s totally insane. North Carolina showed a lot of heart clawing back to a two-possession game in Raleigh on Saturday. That said, you can’t ignore either team’s first half performance. The Wolfpack shined on both ends of the floor, showing another glimpse into the talent that caused the ACC media to pick them first in the preseason.
- BC Interruption: If you’ve ever attended a normal Boston College game (not against Duke or North Carolina), you know that there’s a serious lack of interest in basketball. This was somewhat true even before the Eagles tanked, though getting bad assuredly killed off attendance pretty quickly. The national championship men’s hockey team draws more winter sports love, but the basketball team should do itself a favor in feeding off that team’s success. BC Interruption suggests moving the students to the sidelines instead of the baselines (like Cameron Indoor Stadium), but I think the Eagles also need someone to sell the program. That isn’t likely to be Steve Donahue — other than he’ll indirectly help things by making the team better — so it may have to be a player or prominent alumnus. Unfortunately it’s a bit of circular logic. You can’t get atmosphere without talent, and it’s probably hard to attract talent without atmosphere.