It’s not surprising that UConn is losing players left and right following the news that the program will be banned from the 2013 NCAA tournament. The only surprise is that it’s taking so long for some of the team’s most talented players to make the decision to flee the sinking ship.
Per Jeff Goodman at CBSSports.com, the latest departure billet has been filled out in the name of Roscoe Smith. The junior-to-be has never really thrived as a Husky, averaging under 10 points per game, but his improving rebounding skills made him an important role player in the recently concluded season. Smith’s decision-making skills may have held him back more than anything, however. He became a youtube sensation as a sophomore, thanks to his affinity for launching full-court shots with plenty of time left on the clock.
Smith is 6’8″, 205 lbs. and has the long arms that make him a valuable defensive presence. He was born in Baltimore, so don’t be surprised to see Mark Turgeon make a run at him. Smith could be a valuable cog in Maryland’s rebuilding process, and could achieve his star potential if his brain catches up with his body – a situation tailor-made for a transfer who will be required to sit out a season before he can play again.
Still, this is Roscoe Smith we’re talking about. He may zig when we expect him to zag.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He likes to crack wise and talk college hoops @stfhoops on Twitter.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.