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Archive for August, 2009

Corey Chandler taking visits to nearby colleges

August 27, 2009 Comments off

Following up on the earlier post, Corey Chandler is looking at Binghamton and St. Bonaventure to transfer to now that he has been dismissed from Rutgers. Personally, I’d like to see the Bonnies land an impact player… even though there is some evidence that he has some work to do in his shooting. And those two teams have game planned against him before, successfully:

  • He went 1-6 against St. Bonaventure last year (3 points, 2 assists, 3 turnovers) in 19 minutes;
  • 2-7 against Binghamton (9 points – 6 free throw attempts, 2 assists, 6 turnovers, 6 rebounds);

And during the non conference schedule, Chandler dropped these clunkers:

  • 0-7 against Rider (0 points, 6 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers);
  • 3-10 against Delaware State (12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers)

Chandler had some decent games as well:

  • 7-13 against Lehigh (15 points, 1 turnover)
  • 5-11 against North Carolina (14 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers)
  • 7-16 against Pittsburgh (where they looked like they might pull off the big upset until Pitt went to zone defense, slowing Chandler and Mike Rosario in the second half, Corey had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers)

Watching a highly regarded player move from one college to a lower level is always interesting; athletic ability should allow that player to be a superior competitor, but the mental aspect of the game has to come as well. Talent is little without shot selection and knowledge of teammates.  Some players transfer and fade into obscurity… others really thrive.

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Anthony DiLoreto to Utah State

August 26, 2009 3 comments

Being tall really does get you a chance, as stated earlier: Anthony DiLoreto, famous nationwide for participating in a botched bank robbery (and stealing a tank of gas for said robbery), has a scholarship from the Utah State University Aggies and Coach Stew Morrill.

If he’s good, we’re going to get those gauzy-toned ESPN specials with gentle piano/ organ music, a downplay of what the player did, and how he’s on the right track. I suppose everyone should get a second chance… but I do feel like there are some very hypocritical moralists out there who will say DiLoreto “paid his debt” or “deserves a second chance” or “will be better because he’s living with Mormons” just because he plays for Utah State. Armed robbery is much worse than:

  1. affairs
  2. cheating on one’s SAT’s
  3. and possibly, worse than stealing laptops, like AJ Price and Marcus Williams of U Conn.

Just so you know where I stand.

Official press release from Utah State; coverage from Deseret News.

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St. John’s credentials microblogger for college basketball next season

August 26, 2009 Comments off

I’ve been reading Peter Robert Casey‘s stuff for a while on his blog and on his twitter. Now he’s caused a buzz by becoming the first person to get a press pass to St. John’s games to twitter his reports.

Often, I would look at this with skepticism, but for basketball, I’ve found that twitter is bringing more eyes to this blog and allowing me to follow others. And Peter’s stuff is very good. Congratulations to him and to Mark Fratto, Associate Athletic Director for Communications at St. John’s (who seems to be pretty responsive, as well). St. John’s twitter account is http://twitter.com/STJ_Basketball; and big props to getting the St. John’s name out. That’s how it should be; N-Y-C should be in the forefront of cutting edge communications.

More coverage from Mashable, and ESPN, and ESPN’s Andy Katz again.

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A Few Thoughts on John Calipari

August 21, 2009 1 comment

(Pico’s note: this is by Raycroft, the head and Reverend of the Church of Bracketology.)

What a strange couple of weeks in College Hoops have just passed. I am not even going to touch the Pitino story.  We will save that for another day.

But, I do have a serious gripe with the John Calipari/Memphis situation and as the Reverend of The First Church of Bracketology, it is hard for me to just sit back and be quiet. (And, thanks to The East Coast Bias for providing me the forum.)

All I hear from people, time and time again, is how John Calipari is dirty and it is ‘only a matter of time’ before it catches up to him. It’s a simple thought because in these times of steroids and hanging chads, there is a natural skepticism from anyone when someone the other side excels to the top.

John Calipari has coached two Final Four teams and both times they have been vacated.  That’s right, Memphis too.  See, it’s happening again.  But, what is he guilty of? What has he done wrong?  What rules has he broken?

…I’m still waiting.

Exactly.  According to the NCAA, absolutely nothing.

In the case of UMass, it was Marcus Camby who took money from an agent, forcing the NCAA to retroactively declare him ineligible thus vacating their Final Four and their wins. Honestly, anyone that knows college sports knows that coaches sometimes break the rules to recruit a player – which may involve money – but a coach is never going to suggest that his player break the rules freely on his own.  If Cal knew anything about the Camby taking money from an agent beforehand, it would be to advise him against it because he knows the repercussions.  And, if he knew about it after the fact, he certainly would not blow the whistle. The argument that Cal was behind that is ridiculous Roveian spin. I have argued this many times with the Barstool Pundits I have met over time.  It goes a little something like this:

BP: Well, you know he know he was paying Camby anyway.

Me: I don’t believe that.

BP: Come on, we all know that.

Me: Really, What evidence do you have?

BP: You just know it.

Wow, so simple. We have many lawyers who are members of the Church of Bracketology, and I’m sure that none of them would even think of walking into to a court room with that as his or her case (I like to believe that my friends are a little bit intelligent.)   I have not seen any evidence to make that case, so until then I do not believe that Cal was involved with Camby’s incident.  But, I will also admit that it is possible that Cal has some violated rules to get where is. I am not going to just ‘know that’ because he seems to be very very good at his job.  I think I am the only person who ever asked the question, “Could he just be that good?”

With Memphis going down this week, the Barstool Pundits have now made their case, so they think.  Seriously, that tells you something when the same coach has another Final Four vacated for playing an ineligible player.  However, once you dig into the case, unlike the UMass case, which was pretty straight forward, you find some major problems with how the NCAA handled it. First, the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled Derrek Rose eligible to play by NCAA rules. Calipari started him. Then the NCAA says his SAT scores were ruled invalid, thus making him ineligible.  When Memphis questioned the NCAA Infractions Committee because the NCAA Clearinghouse made the error, the Infractions Committee said the Clearinghouse couldn’t be trusted to be accurate.  Really??  They are the same people!  There is so much more to the Rose case too which screams of incompetence, it is amazing that this got as far as it did without a smoking gun.  But, that is another story.

Despite what the Barstool Pundits believe, in both the UMass and Memphis situations, the NCAA did not rule that John Calipari committed any infractions.  Therefore he is not punished, so the NCAA had each school’s Final Four vacated.

The question still stands – Is he that good?  There is no doubt that he is ‘that good’ of game coach, ‘that good’ of an ambassador to the community and the media.  But, is he ‘that good’ of a recruiter to land top players at little schools.  Or, is he just ‘that good’ at hiding it all; the Ronald Reagan of college hoops, which nothing sticks to?  Since my agenda is to enjoy college hoops and not rip people down without evidence because they ‘seem shady’, I will believe the first one.

Reverend M.J. Raycroft

The First Church of Bracketology

www.churchofbracketology.com

I highly suggest reading two stories:

1. Matt Vautour’s (UMass beat writer) article about vacating Final Fours:

http://gazettenet.com/2009/08/21/ncaa-vacating039-penalties-have

2. Mike Decourcy (College Hoops correspondent to Sporting News) article about how Memphis should not get penalized:

http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/article/2009-08-20/ncaa-let-rose-play-so-why-does-memphis-have-pay

Chandler leaving Rutgers basketball

August 18, 2009 Comments off

Adam Zagoria, the Newark Star Ledger, and the Courier Journal all report that Corey Chandler‘s time with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball team is over. From the Courier Journal:

The mercurial 6-foot-2 guard, who was supposed to be the cornerstone recruit for Fred Hill’s Scarlet Knights, was dismissed from the program on Tuesday for violating team rules.

Sources close to the program said multiple missteps by Chandler led to the move.

Beset by disciplinary problems as a freshman and sophomore, Chandler appeared poised to transfer in March but changed his mind. Undoubtedly talented, with Big East-quality explosiveness, he had trouble finding a role on the court and struggled to take care of the basketball. His departure leaves the Scarlet Knights thinner and less talented at guard, but questions lingered as to where Chandler would play after junior college point guard James Beatty committed in July.

Well, that clears up the playing time issue at Rutgers, where JUCO James Beatty will likely start at the point guard and Mike Rosario will hold down the 2-guard position, with Mike Coburn backing up possibly both spots. Obviously Chandler wasn’t going to be happy with even less time; he was a heralded recruit when he signed with Fred Hill‘s team.

But the efficiency numbers he has posted… well, as I said in the blog’s early team-by-team preview, imagining Corey Chandler will become a superstar will leave you with unfulfilled fantasies.

Really, the Scarlet Knights might be better off without him. Last year he shot 26% on his three-pointers, and 36% on his shots inside the arc. For a solid athlete, that number inside screams “bad shot selection,” and watching him on television, he sometimes just jacked up shots. He took 28% of the team’s shots while he was on the floor, with an effective field goal percentage (field goal percentage weighted for three pointers) of 37.3%. On the positive side, Chandler dished out some assists, and stole the ball once a game… but he also gave the ball away on more than 26% of his possessions.

There is probably a good shooter in there, as he shot 72% from the free throw line. But he didn’t get to the line enough. A player is more than his shooting. But when a baller shoots that much, that kind of inefficiency further buries his or her team. Perhaps a change of scenery and coaching will help him; but as it stands, maybe the Rutgers staff should wipe the sweat from their brow and work in Pat Jackson and the walk-on Mike Kuhn at guard.

Rob Thomas on Outside the Lines on ESPN

August 11, 2009 4 comments

Coming next in the player review series will be Rob Thomas. But today – a photo set from St. John’s sports of an Outside the Lines piece ESPN will be airing on Rob, focusing on his past (it seems) being homeless at times Uptown.

I’ll be looking out for the airing on ESPN and will keep y’all updated.

Keep the eyes moving all summer: link dump!

August 11, 2009 2 comments

What I’m reading these days:

While you try to figure out why teens are not tweeting; why passengers were stuck on an airplane for a full night on the tarmac; why in heaven’s name Kathy Griffin was at the teen choice awards, and why with Levi Johnston (you may know him from the Palin Family Values campaign tour); why Nancy Grace is writing a fictional book Chevy Volt imageabout… herself.

Or maybe you’re fixated on why “town hall” meetings have not only erupted into (planted) shouting matches, but now include anti-health care reform icons who need to solicit donations for their own health insurance costs, while Sarah Palin is channeling the best of Phyllis Schlafly… as Chuck Norris is ANGRY about lengthy LOGICAL LEAPS he has MADE from a few words of a document?!!

We live in a ridiculously partisan country. And celebrities are selfish, Ayn Rand-loving morons.

I am wondering how someone came up with the idea of a hand cream against sex trafficking… I think it was intentional. And the Chevy Volt’s “230 miles per gallon” number may be a bit exaggerated, dependent on where/ how far you are driving. Still, it may be time to go get your hybrid on. Please enjoy a “what Pico is reading” update, and a picture of Party Down’s Lizzy Caplan looking skeptical below. My wife doesn’t think she’s very cute, I disagree.

Lizzy CaplanBut this is a sports blog, and I am following a few other blog for sports news; I will be returning to the 2008-2009 player in review posts for St. John’s basketball. Technical difficulties got in the way. So to pass time in the slow part of the summer for college basketball fans, I’m checking out…

star iconMLB’s online baseball package… soon coming to the Roku, which I own.

star iconRush the Court‘s “Teams of the 2000s” series, starting with #10, Maryland and #9, Syracuse. I wish I could have convinced people to use the term “the naughty Aughts” for the “zeros” or the “first decade,” but I gave up my crusade in about March of 2000.

star iconVegas Watch is doing a series of ratings/ previews based on Pomeroy’s Pythagorean winning percentage in 2009, returning minutes, and returning points, starting with the ACC.

star iconVillanova By the Numbers is taking a Big East-wide look at returning minutes broken down by returning minutes by year and last year’s Pythagorean winning percentage.

star iconFrom Rivals.com – who do you think are the best basketball tacticians? I like Matt Painter in this list. And what is the best team outside of the Big 6 conferences?

star iconFrom Welsh-Ryan Ramblings, what does need to happen for the perception of Northwestern basketball to change?

star iconCollege Chalk Talk is assessing the team by team losses in the Atlantic 10: Part I and Part II.

star iconGary Williams speaks to Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News. He is aiming at the ACC title next season (every coach is, that’s a non-story), and talks about his incoming size (Jordan Williams and James Padgett) and the criticism he received last year.

star iconNBE Basketball has started a brilliant staff support series, with interviews with the assistant coaches who do some heavy lifting in near-anonymity.

Also: the Big East is looking to eliminate the double-byes from the conference tournament, instead pitting the #1-4 teams against the 13-16 squads… Linas Kleiza, former Mizzou Tiger, signed with Greek team Olympiakos instead of taking the Denver Nuggets‘ qualifying offer… Jamie Dixon and Pitt got a transfer from Centenary College who is eligible to play point guard this year due to Centenary’s dropping down to Division III… former Knick GM, coach, and pariah Isiah Thomas got a big-time recruit to commit to Florida International… and USC‘s football team breaks into song in a meeting:

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