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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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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

Wrong place, wrong time, he’s still tall: on Anthony DiLoreto

July 28, 2009 3 comments

You may have seen that CBS’ Gary Parrish wrote that Anthony DiLoreto is out of jail, facing two felony charges… all while playing with an AAU team in a tournament in Las Vegas, and has a scholarship offer from the Rick Majerus and Saint Louis University.

Anthony DiLoretoYou may also know (possibly from this blog or others) that Anthony DiLoreto was the getaway driver in a bank robbery in Wisconsin, near to where DiLoreto lives in Minnesota. This was in the summer (2008) before the lanky center was to report to the Cal Poly campus. Way to party your summer away.

Now I’d like to say I’m all for second chances. But I think it’s suspect that athletes, at times, find themselves in the “wrong place, wrong time” like Tyreke Evans who happened to be the getaway driver after a fatal shooting but didn’t know what was going on. At least there is some deniability there. But in DiLoreto’s case… this is certainly less deniable, unless there are some facts we don’t know about.

And does it matter? His compass is obviously off, and not by a little; this is no hormonal aggressive teenager abusing a woman. This is no friend/ homeboy with a beef that erupts into a fight or even a shooting. Those things are wrong, those actions are illegal, but they happen enough that when crimes happen, a person can be allowed to come up with caveats, hike down from the moral high ground, and cheer on that player. Much, much respect to the people who don’t; but I understand the line of thinking.

But a bank robbery? Saying no one got hurt when one party had a sawed off shotgun (unloaded, supposedly), and a getaway car? The potential for real uninvolved innocents to get hurt while just going about their day – that’s real. That, honestly, is the kind of crime that should put a fear in people. The fact that no one got hurt should not mask the possibility of what could have happened. This is not a crime that is in the normal course of athletes being assholes.


The sliding scale of crime heinosity that a bank robbery is on can be debated; but the way college basketball is, if the kid can play, he will be considered if he is eligible (i.e., not in jail) to play. And that is the long and short of it. And the fact is, his profile has never been higher. He has a plea bargain scheduled

Anthony DiLoreto should never have told Parrish what school offered him a scholarship. I would think that kid like that would want to keep a low profile. He’s not obligated to answer questions. Moreover, I would bet cash money that he does not get in to St. Louis; the school’s students can muster up some Catholic moral high ground.

But whatever happens with that school, as long as he can avoid much of his jail time, we will hear a story about how he has gotten better, realized his mistake. We heard it with AJ Price and Marcus WIlliams. Those two Connecticut players were given gauzy screened, soft-music treatment by the sports media once their penalties were up. All DiLoreto has to do now is sign with a decent school, get on a CBS Saturday afternoon game, and watch the sympathetic stories come in…

It’s the way of college basketball.

Jason Kidd Doesn’t Chase ‘Em

August 13, 2008 Comments off

May Andersen modelThough he is no longer on the east coast, Jason Kidd’s dating life is amusing to watch.

Remember those classic lines from Biggie’s One More Chance (lyrics NSFW)? The original, not the remix with Mary J. Blige. Well, Jason Kidd, he’s breaking up with his current model girlfriend May Andersen. The Danish former SI swimsuit model (also famous for dating Kid Rock and hitting flight attendants) has been partying too much and it was distracting to Jason Kidd’s Olympic preparation, apparently.

In totally unrelated news, the Big Lead passes on the note that Olympic organizers passed out 100,000 condoms at the Olympic Village… since other Olympics ran out.

Keep it wrapped, J-Kidd.

Updates to Roster

June 26, 2008 Comments off

Check out the StJ08-09 page for updates to the official roster, as taken from St. John’s Official Site.

Note that Sean Evans is taking Larry Wright’s old number 5, and DJ Kennedy has given up his number 10 to Quincy Roberts, taking the number 1 instead. That’s a lot of responsibility, Kennedy!

Sports Linx 06.26.08

June 26, 2008 Comments off

Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon choked general manager Ed Wade during an argument.

In Euro 2008, Turkey finally loses. But not without another ill last 15 minutes goal, which was answered in the 90th minute by a German goal for the win.

Tonight is the NBA draft; Chad Ford and Bill Simmons chat about the top picks (I like Chad Ford’s work, and his comments here).

The University of South Florida recruit Dwan McMillan has problems with his academic record and will likely not suit up for South Florida this coming season.

Photos from the Steve Nash charity soccer event in Manhattan, including Theirry Henry, Baron Davis, Raja Bell, Leandro Barbosa, and Jason Kidd.

The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy disagrees with he feasibility of Brandon Jennings’ European basketball plan, making salient logistical points. I don’t agree with all his assertions, but why would a European team make an investment, and then, why would they play him?:

It starts with the notion there would be a huge market for a player in Jennings’ circumstance. His stated intention is to be a part of the 2009 draft. So why would a European team want to make any sort of investment in him? The agent wouldn’t rule out the possibility that some rogue owner might take a flyer, but he considers it highly unlikely. He said it’s not like it was when Danny Ferry was lured to Europe for a time after he went No. 2 overall in the 1989 draft. The money is not as loose for American players now.

“The only guarantee with contracts in Europe,” he said, “is that you’re guaranteed not to get all the money you’re expecting.”

There also is the fact we’re talking about Jennings, not LeBron James or Greg Oden or even O.J. Mayo. Jennings is an appealing prospect for the Arizona Wildcats, but he is not nearly as well known or established as some of his predecessors. He is a score-first point guard, and European coaches, who tend to be “play the right way” types in the Larry Brown mold, are unlikely to be excited about his style.

Many teams in Europe are loathe to play the young talents that are homegrown and under contract. French big man Alexis Ajinca should be one of the first international prospects taken in Thursday’s draft; he averaged 11 minutes a game for Hyeres-Toulon last winter. Turkish center Omer Asik, another first-round prospect, got about 18 minutes a game for Fenerbache in Euroleague competition.

In order to actually play, Jennings might have to go to a much lower level where the salaries are limited and collecting at payday can be an adventure. Indeed, if any of those teams will have him.

This is not the revolutionary moment in basketball that opponents of the NBA’s draft age limit dream it to be. Even if Jennings were find an interested team, sign a lucrative deal, navigate the likely cultural and linguistic barriers, crack his team’s lineup and excel on the floor — he’s more likely to go 0-for-5 in those pursuits than 5-for-5 — this still would not be the best avenue for elite prospects to follow because it removes players from the consciousness of the American sports fan.

NCAA antagonists have convinced a generation of players their time in college basketball is uncompensated, but it’s a lie. Beyond the education, living expenses and high-level training provided to all Division I basketball players, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony signed contracts with Nike worth a combined $81 million based on the reputations they gained in one college season each — Durant as 2007 national player of the year, Anthony as 2003 NCAA Tournament most outstanding player. They became famous, and therefore their endorsements became valuable, because of college basketball. There would be precious little marketing appeal in a player who went from Oak Hill Academy to Europe.

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