Chalk this one up as weird, but one of Gonzaga’s returning players, Demetri “Meech” Goodson, is giving up his senior season in Spokane to transfer back home to play… football? You read that correctly. The junior guard from Spring, Texas, and younger brother of Carolina Panther running back Mike Goodson, will have two years of NCAA eligibility remaining upon his arrival on an undetermined campus (likely Texas A&M) next season. Goodson started all of Gonzaga’s 35 games last year, but he’s consistently struggled with shooting the ball and his departure will represent the seventh Zag transferring out of Mark Few’s program in the last two years. Everyone of course remembers Greg Paulus’ one-year stint as the quarterback at Syracuse after a four-year basketball career at Duke, but it’s not often that you see a player transfer to play a different sport midstream through their career (it helps that GU doesn’t have a football team).
As everyone is well aware, the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline is next Sunday, so decisions from players on the fence will be trickling out all week. Two players Tuesday announced that they would be staying in the June draft despite currently facing a second round (if any) projection. Louisville forward Terrence Jennings and Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert must have coaches at both schools shaking their heads, as neither appears to be a first round lock even in a weak draft. Shumpert was second team all-ACC last year, going for 17/6/4 APG in a dreadful Yellow Jackets season, but Jennings in particular is an interesting case. His collegiate numbers of 10/5 last season were not exactly dominant in the Big East, but he says that he’s getting good feedback from scouts and thinks that the NBA will have a place for him. This has been a tough week all around for Rick Pitino, as he not only learned that Jennings was officially leaving school, but elite 2012 recruit Rodney Purvisrescinded his verbal commitment to the Cards on Monday.
New Pac-10, er, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott must know how to turn water to wine in light of news breaking on Tuesday that his conference has inked the most lucrative television deal in college sports history with Fox and ESPN for twelve years beginning in 2012-13. The twelve western schools (now including Colorado and Utah) will average approximately a quarter-billion dollar payout every year over the life of the deal, out-distancing the recent Big Ten ($220M), SEC ($205M), ACC ($155M) and Big 12 ($130M) mega-deals. The league will also go the Big Ten route with its own Pac-12 Network, and the rest of the games will be split between the two other national networks — now that ESPN will be showing Pac-12 basketball four days a week in addition to all of its other commitments, we wonder if there are plans for a few more ESPN channels. There simply isn’t enough space on the existing family of networks to cover everything they have in the stable. You might be wondering how Scott pulled this off given that many national viewers never see a Pac-10/12 football or basketball game all season long — the answer is in the numbers. Eight of the top twenty-seven US media markets are within the Pac-12 regional footprint, the best such aggregate total in the nation (we shudder to imagine if Scott had pulled off getting Texas too!).
Taking a page from the “pro day” that some major football programs have held in the past for their professional prospects, Kentuckyheld a similarly-styled event for its three early entries Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins, in addition to graduating senior Josh Harrellson. All thirty NBA teams were invited to the event to have an opportunity to observe the UK players going through workouts at least once prior to the deadline on Sunday, and a good number of those showed up for at least one of the two sessions this week. Knight told a reporter that he was still at “50/50″ on a final decision, but he is expected to leave; Liggins, on the other hand, is expected back next season, while Jones’ decision will no doubt be predictably unpredictable (see: his recruitment).
Tennessee forward/impresario Renaldo Woolridge was feeling particularly patriotic on Sunday night after the news about Osama bin Laden’s capture was released, so the junior who only scored 13 points in eight games last year did what he does best — he wrote and produced a new rap video. “Thank You (USA Troops)” was released Monday afternoon, and as Mike DeCourcy points out, the line packing a punch comes at the 2:20 mark: Almost 10 years/feeling kinda alone/But the fact is/Osama is gone. Full video below.
The MAAC conference tournament gave us another buzzer-beater last night. Saint Peter’s guard Desi Washington rushed down the court and nailed a trey to eliminate Fairfield 65-62 on Washington’s THIRD game-winning buzzer-beater against the Stags this season.
Clown, thy name is UCSB fan. Although players and coaches alike are expected to behave professionally, fans also have a responsibility to contain themselves. Incidents like last night’s approach by a rabid UCSB fan are dangerous for everyone involved.