Archive for the ‘player issues’ Category

Anthony DiLoreto sighting

July 26, 2010 Comments off

Anthony DiLoreto once was the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Being 7 feet tall, he still had a chance to play college basketball. But he was kicked off his eventual team at Utah State University following a citation for marijuana possession.

Anthony DiLoreto resurfaces in the JUCO Showcase in Las Vegas over the weekend (full roster here). He is apparently looking for a Junior College team, as his team was listed as TBD.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Drexel ballers arrested after a (poorly plotted) robbery

July 26, 2010 6 comments

I fully understand that teenagers and early-20 year old young men can be stupid. I understand that sometimes they feel their oats and want to fight. And I know there are some bad seeds working off of impulse and the desire to steal things that they want. But it still saddens me when Division I basketball players go out and find new and dumber ways of trying to rob people.

And part of that is I’m not sure how a player who robs people in a small town (like Anthony DiLoreto last summer) while having a distinctive look (7-feet tall, sunken eyes; to his “credit”, DiLoreto was the getaway driver). And I’m not sure how a player (Robert “Stix” Mitchell) robs 8 fellow students with another former star (Kelly Whitney), tying them up along the way, especially when both are unnaturally tall (6’6″ and 6’8″). And now these dumb f**ks from Drexel try to rob a college student, brandishing guns and expecting money.

From a college student? Who lives in the same complex as them? Even the rich kids in college aren’t flush in cash. Only the pot and cocaine dealers in college have money. Come on, son. Don’t you know anything? At least these guys are guards… they could, theoretically look like someone else (unlike the 6’6″ baller).

Assuming this story is all true, the players are Jamie Harris (starting guard) and Kevin Phillip (backup forward). Both are from New York and have surrendered to the police.

With hundreds of college teams, there are bound to be some kids who commit crimes. And I’m not going to be the kind of scold who pretends that all of these kids have a good sense of where their college degree is going to take them if they’re not much of an academic student. And truth is, a lot of kids are in college ball for the basketball, not for the opportunity for education.

But by any standard, for fairly high-profile guys, that’s pretty damned stupid.

Next summer, let’s all spread the word – the summer of no robberies. Let’s stick to fights like Kansas does.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Gossip Day: Tiger Woods

April 8, 2010 Comments off

On the professional “shameless s**t” list, of course, is Tiger Woods, whose most recent revelation was that he carried on with his 22-year old neighbor. Who he’s known for a long time. In all of this, I can’t help but think Tiger married too young (to a woman whose closeness to fame and fortune should be considered suspect, hm?) and should have gotten his “I’m rich and feeling my freaky side” out before popping out kids.

Usually, I feel the “sex addiction” claim is some bull. It’s a combination of power, ability, and lack of perceived restrictions. And I know Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan – often mentioned as Tiger’s friends – have or had their fun. but Tiger’s got a chase problem. The idea of the chase for trim lured him not “away from his family” but to arrange things with people who he could never have thought would stay quiet. He had to know that this would come out, and it’s surprising that it’s only now that the rumors are swirling. Are they all true? Did Elin know? Didn’t these women – even the ones people “feel bad” for – know Tiger was famously married (seriously, come on. Don’t play like an innocent)?

There is always strong appeal to take down golden boys, the perfect, the untouchably famous (though I really would like to hear more about Roger Clemens‘ inability to get up for “night games” with a 15-year old country singer, myself). It’s a leveling mechanism, where people get to feel a little less jealous about what they don’t have and proud of their moral fiber or whatever they pat themselves on the back for. All of this is a fun diversion, but come on. Men have been straying from their wives wince there have been wives. Not everyone does it, but fame and money certainly makes it easier, apparently. It’s sordid, but it happens. (Even if they go to sex therapy on South Park.)

But culture vultures like Gloria Allred and culture outlets – most notably Vanity Fair – are working hard to dig in the dirt. Allred seems to think her client Joslyn James has some claim to an apology, which is shameless and incredible. Especially since James refers to Woods’ wife and kids by name. Shameless. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair seems to think there is some great culture story in photographing the women Tiger slept with in lurid, near-pornographic detail, or in photographing Tiger in a more thuggy-Negro style. If I didn’t know better (or do I know better?), I would think the editors at VF were salivating over ways to make him less human, more animalistic. But maybe that’s just me.

(Of course, this is why you don’t do this kind of shameless s**t, fellas. Keep it in your pants. Besides your love and your vows, this stuff always ends up on blast. Grow up.)

I openly admit that I am rooting for Tiger to kick ass and reclaim his title as the best golfer alive – and possibly of all time.

Addendum: That New Nike ad is disturbing. I won’t be as extreme about it as Dave Zirin is, but… watch. Haunting, strange and… I’m not sure what the point is.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Gossip Day: The Villanova rumor

April 8, 2010 1 comment

Today is gossip day, where I put down some of the wild gossip on the blog for memory/ electronic safekeeping.  feel free to skip these posts, because they’re not about the games we love, they’re about the rumors we invariably follow.

There’s a rumor going ’round that star Villanova Wildcat guards Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds have a beef over a girl, and it’s disrupted team chemistry. Villanova/ Philadelphia bloggers The Nova Blog, Crossing Broad, and VUHoops both call bulls**t.

Unfortunately, the word “pregnancy” is involved, and as we all know, that word takes beef/ chemistry squabble into a filthy rumor-filled place; this “story” will be repeated as truth for a long, long time.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Nut Punch Tuesday!

March 17, 2010 Comments off

In the NIT, nut punching is not allowed. No one told Seton Hall’s Herb Pope… or Jackson State’s Phil Williams:

Seton Hall:

Jackson State

Binghamton staying home from America East conference tournament

March 2, 2010 Comments off

Binghamton University has decided not to continue playing the season after all the well-documented turmoil:

“With the controversy currently surrounding the program it is not appropriate we play in this year’s post-season,” Binghamton president Lois DeFleur said in a news release Monday night.

“This action is being done voluntarily as part of our commitment to move forward as we develop a comprehensive plan to address the recommendations of the recent review,” DeFleur added.

The New York Times indicates that the move was not voluntary on Binghamton’s part.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle , doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.

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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

I highly suggest reading two stories:

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

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

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.