Morning Five: 08.20.13 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on August 20th, 2013


  1. You know the NCAA has done something incredibly dumb when it completely reverses a decision it just made, but when the public was made aware of the NCAA’s decision to take away a year of Steven Rhodes‘ eligibility because he participated in games on a military base while serving as a Marine it became clear that the NCAA had to reverse its decision. We are going to assume that the original decision made by someone who was just reviewing the case and following the letter of the law without looking at the bigger picture and definitely without consulting his or her superiors. We will give the NCAA some credit for reversing course quickly, but we suspect that there was some external pressure placed on the organization to reverse its prior decision.
  2. We are still anxiously waiting for the release of full schedules, but the powers that be have decided to release the schedules in bits and pieces. The latest part of the schedule to be released is ESPN’s Super Tuesday schedule. As you would expect given the relative strength of the two conferences the Big Ten slate is more compelling and the SEC one features a lof of Kentucky. Obviously the SEC slate is banking on Kentucky rebounding from last season’s collapse and the solid play of this year’s incoming freshman class, but it is hurt quite a bit by the lack of either Florida-Kentucky game since both will probably be featured CBS weekend broadcasts.
  3. When we saw that there was news about the First Four we were initially excited by the possibility that the NCAA had finally gotten rid of the farce that is the First Four. Unfortunately, the news was merely that the NCAA was considering alternatives to Dayton as the site of future First Fours. Dayton already has the rights to the next two First Fours secured, but the bidding for the 2016-18 iterations remains open. According to David Worlock of the NCAA, the issue is not so much that Dayton has not been a suitable host, but instead is reflective of conference realignment. Honestly, we have no idea what that means unless the NCAA is planning on changing the format of the NCAA Tournament because of the changes in conference structure since it should not affect the location of what essentially amount to play-in games.
  4. Yesterday we mentioned the ongoing issues around Chris Walker’s eligibility at Florida and how it remained one of the major outstanding issues heading into the season. While Jamal Aytes would not be classified in the same category as Walker he remained one of the top uncommitted players in the class of 2013. That is until he committed to UNLV yesterday. A 6’6″ power forward usually does not attract a lot of attention, but Aytes managed to crack the top 100 for most recruiting services. His addition will not be enough to make anybody in Las Vegas forget about Anthony Bennett or Mike Moser, but he could help ease the transition by committee.
  5. As those of you who are on Twitter are aware there are some coaches who seem to get social media and those who do not. With that in mind Sporting News put together a list breaking down the best and worst of college basketball coaches on Twitter. Most of the names on the best/worst lists should not exactly surprise you although the names on the worst lists might have such a minuscule presence online that you might not have even been aware that they were on Twitter. We have no idea if this type of stuff has any influence on potential recruits, but we will say it does not hurt to be able to speak their language.
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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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