Didn’t see this one coming.
Nine college hoops coaches spoke with SI.com’s Seth Davis last week to “size up their 2011-12 teams,” which made for some interesting reading.
It covers the usual suspects – Duke, Louisville, Ohio State, among others – along with some you might not expect like Belmont and Oklahoma.
Yet the section on Michigan State opened with a statement by Davis that surprised me when I read it, and surprises me now:
Tom Izzo wouldn’t come out and say it, but if you read between the lines it’s not hard to discern that there’s a part of him that thinks losing Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers will amount to addition by subtraction. That is not an indictment on the character of those two youngsters — and nobody would claim they lacked talent — but the chemistry on last year’s team was clearly lacking. A fresh turnover of leadership may be just what Dr. Sparty ordered.
Davis’ larger point is on target: Michigan State needs a fresh start after a 19-15 season. No denying that.
But to say that Lucas and Summers will go down as addition by subtraction? I know neither closed their Spartan careers on a good note, but I never would’ve thought of either as significant problems to team chemistry. Maybe Summers never lived up to his potential and Lucas tried to do too much on offense last season, but bidding them a happy adieu seems strong.
I have no doubt Izzo’s happy to put last season behind him. But moving on would be easier to do with Lucas running the point again.
Even better would be a healthy frontcourt that hits the boards like an Izzo team usually does and manages to score without too many issues. Those were the problems in ’10-’11. If there were chemistry issues, they stemmed from those issues and losses.
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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?
Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.
The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.
Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.
Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.
During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.
Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.
North Carolina and the NCAA have released additional responses and set the dates for a future hearing on Tuesday amid an investigation into paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department.
The NCAA’s allegations center around UNC’s athletes — most notably members of football, men’s and women’s basketball teams — allegedly being guided to the fake classes in order to keep GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The fake classes typically had a high number of athletes enrolled each semester.
While North Carolina argued in May that this should be a school matter and not an NCAA matter, the NCAA responded to the matter in its belief that it has the right to investigate the classes. North Carolina is facing five top-level charges in the case with lack of institutional control among the charges.
A two-day hearing will be held with the NCAA in Nashville on August 16-17.
“The hearing is the next step in bringing closure to this longstanding issue by allowing us the opportunity to address the Committee on Infractions and present the facts,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor of University communications. “The NCAA has requested certain individuals from the University attend the proceedings. It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a notice of allegations to attend. Therefore, Coaches Larry Fedora (football), Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) and Roy Williams (men’s basketball) will accompany University representatives to the hearing.”