Morning Five: 09.10.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 10th, 2010

  1. We’d already heard rumors about the NCAA sniffing into Tennessee’s recruitment of Kansas point guard Josh Selby, and it now appears that there is some fire behind the smoke.  According to several reports, the NCAA is investigating allegations of excessive phone calls and the use of unauthorized phones by UT staff, which could potentially land the Vol program in just as much hot water as its current football team faces.  Is it just us, or could it be that the long-awaited cleansing of college basketball’s seamy side appears to be taking hold?  We know that the NCAA has hired a considerable amount of new personnel for basketball investigations in recent years…could those investments actually begin paying off soon?
  2. Speaking of NCAA brass, ever wonder what top NCAA execs make for running the governing body of the sportThe Chronicle of Higher Education revealed the top fourteen NCAA earners in 2009, a group who collectively made over $6M during that time period.  Given the huge dollars that the NCAA brings in (through television rights for the NCAA Tournament and ticket sales for its championships, mostly), we don’t have a problem with these salaries, but we have two additional thoughts on this matter: 1) let’s keep investing that money to catch and punish the wrongdoers in the sport; and 2) where and to whom do we send our application?
  3. John R. Wooden Drive will be dedicated on Saturday afternoon to commemorate the legend’s nearly-100 years of teaching basketball and touching lives.  But it won’t be located in Westwood, and in fact, not even in the city of Los Angeles at all.  Rather, Purdue University — Wooden’s alma mater, where he was a three-time all-American and NPOY in 1932 — will be doing the honors.  This is great to see.  In fact, we’d be the top blogging evangelist if the NCAA decided to dedicate the entire 2011 regular season and/or NCAA Tournament to the Wizard of Westwood (hint, hint).  His legacy deserves it.
  4. Tough news from WVU yesterday, as incoming freshman Darrious Curry was determined too medically risky to play basketball anymore.  The 6’7 forward’s issue was not disclosed, but all indications point toward a heart condition.  You hate to see this, but you hate even more to see the scary alternative.
  5. The FIBA world championships are moving into the semifinal round, and Team USA is set to play Lithuania on Saturday with a medal (at least a bronze) on the line.  Luke Winn takes a look at the NCAA players who have been involved in the WCs and determines that only Rice’s Arsalan Kazemi (Iran) has had a summer to remember, averaging 12/7/3 SPG for his team.  A few of the other notables involved in this year’s tournament are Gonzaga’s Elias Harris (Germany), Robert Sacre (Canada) and Cal’s Max Zhang (China).
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Team USA Select Team Chosen: Get to Know Them

Posted by rtmsf on August 4th, 2010

This news almost slipped past us, but that’s why we wear those specially-made stick-em gloves everywhere we go.  You know the ones.  Anyway, with the US men’s national team preparing for the 2010 World Championships later this month in Turkey, players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Durant need someone to scrimmage against.  That’s where the collegians come in.  On Monday, USA Basketball selected ten of the best rising juniors and seniors from the collegiate ranks to provide competition for the NBA stars in a series of practice games to be played next week.  The final list is below:

2010 USA Basketball Select Team – New York
JaJuan Johnson F 6-10 216 2011 Purdue / Indianapolis, Ind.
Jon Leuer C 6-10 230 2011 Wisconsin / Orono, Minn.
Shelvin Mack G 6-3 215 2012 Butler / Lexington, Kent.
Kyle Singler F 6-8 230 2011 Duke / Medford, Ore.
Chris Singleton F 6-9 227 2012 Florida State / Canton, Ga.
Nolan Smith G 6-2 185 2011 Duke / Upper Marlboro, Mary.
Howard Thompkins F 6-10 247 2012 Georgia / Lithonia, Ga.
Mike Tisdale C 7-1 235 2011 Illinois / Riverton, Ill.
Kemba Walker G 6-1 172 2012 Connecticut / Bronx, N.Y.
Chris Wright F 6-8 226 2012 Dayton / Trotwood, OH
Head Coach: Jay Wright, Villanova

The original group of twenty candidates was whittled in half with the above selections, and the remainder gives a fair representation of some of the strength of college basketball next season.  Two Dookies (Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith) and three Big Ten players (Jon Leuer, JaJuan Johnson and Mike Tisdale) lead the way, but the list also shows just how much these two classes have been raided by the NBA Draft.  In fact, three of the players on the national team roster — Kevin Love, Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon — would have been seniors in the Class of 2011 had they remained in school.

Admit It: You Wouldn't Be Able To Pick Leuer Out of a Lineup

Still, there are several players on the Select Team who may be poised to break out in a big way next season.  Johnson, Mack, Walker, Singler, Smith and Wright are known commodities, but few people outside of the Big Ten know who Jon Leuer plays for, much less that he dropped 15/6 in a very productive season at Wisconsin last year.  Or that Georgia’s Trey Thompkins (with his 18/8 averages) is the only all-SEC first teamer who will return in that league next season.  What about the Illini’s Mike Tisdale, a true seven-footer who dropped 12/6 last year while leading  the Big Ten in field goal percentage at 59%?  Or FSU’s Chris Singleton, who effectively uses his long, wiry frame to shut down just about everyone he guards in the ACC?

We’d love to get our hands on some of the footage of next week’s scrimmages, but regardless of that, the names above are without question several of the upperclassmen that you should either re-acquaint yourselves with or get to know.  You’ll be hearing from them a lot more this coming year.

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