The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

Your must-read of the day comes from Mike Vaccaro, who wrote a magnificent article about St. Bonaventure’s making it back to the NCAA Tournament

– St. Bonaventure’s got “a hero’s welcome” upon returning to school from the Atlantic-10 Tournament……at 2:30AM

– The gap between graduation rates for white and black players at schools in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament has shrunk for the first time since 2009

– If North Carolina and Creighton meet in the third round, it will be a battle of former-high school teammates in Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott

– A fantastic-read from John Ezekowitz on the importance of rebounding and turnovers in NCAA Tournament upsets

– A manager for the Georgia Tech basketball team has been dismissed for his involvement in a shooting incident prior to the ACC Tournament

68 interesting tidbits about the coaches representing the NCAA Tournament teams

– South Carolina’s two-sport star Bruce Ellington has decided to hang up the football cleats and focus specifically on basketball

– Mike DeCourcy ranks the Tournament teams based on their National Championship chances

– West Virginia freshman Tommy McCune has decided to leave the program. The Mountaineers are left with JUST seven freshman on the roster. That’s obscene.

– Georgetown has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years. That fourth year? They didn’t make the tournament. They also have not a single player on their roster with tournament experience. That being said, is an upset loss to Belmont likely to happen?

– Virginia will need to find scoring production from somebody other than Mike Scott if they want any chance to advance

Is Iona going to be this season’s VCU? Not if they can’t learn to defend the basketball better

– Speaking of VCU, the Rams took out an ad in the newspaper telling us that they are “back to bust your brackets”

– A nice-read on the senior class at Southern Mississippi

– This is arguably the most logical reasoning as to why it’s a good thing that Vermont is playing in the Play-In Game

Another great-read on Loyola (Md.) head coach Jimmy Patsos, one of the most entertaining coaches in the country

– Rick Pitino believes that Davidson is the toughest first round opponent he’s ever faced. Clearly he’s unaware that a) Steph Curry is long gone and b) they play in the second round, not the first

– The Morehead State program took some time off from basketball in order to help out tornado victims in Kentucky

–  We shouldn’t complain about tournament snubs because the number of legitimate snubs is declining every year

– Yeah, I’m with Jason Lisk on this one: Stop bragging about projecting bracket selections

the Busted Mug Tournament is one of the most under-appreciated bracket-style challenges out there. It’s also wildly hilarious

– Speaking of wildly hilarious, you just can’t go wrong with a Mascot Madness bracket

– Is Scoop Jardine dating the daughter of Michael Jordan?

I don’t think this is the change that President Obama was talking about

– This is just the most bizarre and disgusting basketball-related story we’ve seen in a long time: Middle school coach bites off ear of opposing coach after a loss

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

VIDEO: University of New Orleans aids area flood victims

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 7.21.45 PM
Leave a comment

After over 20 inches of rain fell over three days and over 60,000 homes were damaged in southeastern Louisiana, New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger called his acquaintance, John Derenbecker, in the area to check in. Derenbecker and his family were fine, Slessinger learned, but many in the area were not.

I told (Derenbecker) to figure out who needed the help the most,” Slessinger told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “that I had my whole crew who could come help out on Saturday and Sunday.”

That led Slessinger and his team to the home of an elderly couple, Elbert and Ione Norred, whose house was ravaged by over four feet of flood water. The Privateers helped slog out debris, cut away wet insulation and whatever else needed removing from the soaked home.

“I appreciate everything you have done,” Ione Elbert told the Privateers. “Nobody knows how long it would have taken us to have done this.”

The Red Cross estimates that the relief effort for the flooding could cost upwards of $30 million in the region. To make a donation to the organization call 1-800-RED CROSS.

UNO’s baseball team also got in on the aid effort, heading to Baton Rouge over the weekend.

“We are proud to see our student-athletes, coaches and staff serve our fellow Louisianians in their time of need,” UNO Director of Athletics Derek Morel said in a statement. “The men and women of our program understand the importance of serving others and using our resources to help those in less-fortunate situations. We will continue to play for neighbors.”

Rutgers land 7-foot grad transfer from UNC Wilmington

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Brandon Ingram #14 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket as he is defended by C.J. Gettys #23 of the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks in the second half of their game during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rutgers landed a commitment from seven-footer C.J. Gettys on Monday night.

Gettys is a graduate transfer from UNC-Wilmington, where he averaged 5.3 points, 5.1 boards and 1.4 blocks for a team that reached the NCAA tournament. Gettys is a slow-footed back-to-the-basket player, however, and that didn’t exactly fit with the way that UNCW head coach Kevin Keatts likes to play; think Shaka Smart’s VCU teams.

So Gettys opted for Rutgers, picking the Scarlet Knights over Dayton, Purdue and Chattanooga.

He is the fifth member of new head coach Steve Pikiell’s first recruiting class.

VIDEO: Seventh Woods dunks on UNC student

Leave a comment

Some poor UNC student decided that he was going to try and block Seventh Woods, a freshman point guard for the Tar Heels, on a dunk attempt.

What ended up happening was that he got windmilled on.

To quote Samuel L. Jackson, as portrayed the great philosopher Dave Chappelle, “You ain’t never seen my movies?” Woods was doing this as a freshman … in HIGH SCHOOL.

Former National Player of the Year Michael Brooks dies at 58

Brooks for All-American Brochure
Courtesy La Salle Athletics
1 Comment

A Philadelphia basketball legend and a former National Player of the Year passed away on Monday night.

Michael Brooks, a 6-foot-7 forward who was named the NABC National Player of the Year in 1980, died in Switzerland on Monday night due to a massive stroke, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He was just 58 years old.

Brooks finished his career with 2,628 points and 1,372 rebounds. He never averaged less than 20 points in his four seasons in college. (Think about that for a second.) He was the No. 9 pick in the 1980 NBA Draft and averaged double-figures for four years before season-ending knee injuries sent him to Europe to play. Brooks was also named the captain of the 1980 Olympic team that missed out on the Moscow games due to the USA’s boycott.

Brooks, according to the Inquirer, had aplastic anemia, which required him to receive a bone marrow transplant last week. His body rejected the marrow, which resulted in the strokes that ended his life.

UCLA cruises in opener on Australian tour

UCLA head coach Steve Alford, second from right, watches action against Cal Poly with his assistant coaches in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Baker)
AP Photo/Michael Baker
Leave a comment

UCLA, who will be the most interesting team in all of college basketball this season, played their first game of an Australian tour on Tuesday morning, and they won in pretty impressive fashion.

The Bruins had triple digits on the board early in the fourth quarter, eventually beating a club in Sydney by the score of 123-76. For comparison’s sake, Washington and potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz beat the same team 101-80 a couple of weeks ago, so the win and the margin of victory is somewhat impressive.

Also worth noting: None of UCLA’s freshmen started. Steve Alford rolled with Aaron Holiday, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton on the perimeter — Holiday and Hamilton combined for 27 points, 18 assists and 11 boards while Alford had 17 points on just 10 shots — with G.G. Golomon and Thomas Welsh up front.

But the noteworthy performances here were from the McDonald’s All-Americans that Steve Alford brought into the program. In his first game in the blue and gold, Lonzo Ball, a potential top ten pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was just OK. He finished with nine points and four assists while shooting 3-for-9 from the floor. Leaf, however, was terrific, as he led the team with 21 points to go along with nine boards and three assists.

The first exhibition game is hardly a great way to predict how a season is going to play out, but given the pressure and expectations currently surrounding the program, everything the Bruins do this season is going to be scrutinized.

This isn’t a bad way to start.