The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

Where do we even begin today?

National News Story #1:

– Jim Calhoun is going to announce his retirement later today after 26 years as head coach of the UConn Huskies. Former-Husky and current assistant coach Kevin Ollie is reportedly set to take over the reigns from the legendary ball coach. The program isn’t exactly on stable ground, but at least they know what lies ahead.  Aside from the three national championships and decades of dominance, Calhoun was the finest example of a blue-collar head coach the game may have ever seen

– Here are all the best-reads from the heavy-hitters on Calhoun’s retirement and legacy: Garry Parrish, Jeff Goodman, Mike DeCourcy, and Dana O’Neil

– Some other very good-reads regarding the retirement: Rob Dauster, Mike Miller, Jeff Eisenberg, and Quinn Rochford

– Can Kevin Ollie actually succeed as head coach of UConn? Replacing a legend is not an easy thing to do

– Calhoun built up a near library of entertaining soundbites and quotes during his time in Storrs. Here are all the best ones

The Top-10 moments from the Calhoun Era

– Jim Cahloun and the UConn Huskies had three “One Shining Moment” montages. Which one is your favorite?

– Here is how the Twittershphere reacted to the news of Calhoun’s retirement decision

National News Story #2:

Notre Dame is leaving the Big East in order to join the ACC for all sports except hockey and football. I’ll give $100 to anybody who can convince me that South Bend is on the Atlantic Coast. Leave your best attempt in the comments section below. I’ll be waiting.

– Here’s what a bunch of the heavy-hitters had to say (Most of them share the same opinions): Gary Parrish, Jeff GoodmanDan Wetzel, Mike DeCourcy, and Kevin McNamara

– Jason McIntyre thinks the league is dead in the water

– The addition of Notre Dame brings the ACC to a grand total of 15 teams. Could the conference be looking to add a 16th team to make things even across the board?

The rest of the College Hoops World:

– USC guard Maurice Jones, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, has decided to transfer. This decision comes just a week after it was determined that the Trojan’s guard had been ruled academically ineligible

Andy Glockner chimes in on the Billy Clyde Gilispie fiasco down in Lubbock, TX. The school has a difficult decision to make believe it or not

– Chrishawn Hopkins has been dismissed from the Butler Bulldogs program for violating team rules

– Robbie Hummel just cannot catch a break. The former-Boilermaker and fan favorite partially tore his meniscus and will miss 3-4 weeks of the Euro hoops schedule

– The top non-conference games of 2012-2013 featuring NEC teams

Larry Drew II has been named the starting guard at UCLA. Coach Howland calls the former Tar Heel “our most indispensable player”. They’re doomed

– Who are the top centers in the Missouri Valley Conference? Mid-Major Madness has the answers

– Remember the ticket scalping scandal that engulfed the Kansas athletic department a few years back? Of course you did. Well, we have ourselves an update. I bet you didn’t see that coming today

Remember, if you find an article that is worthy of being in The Morning Mix, be sure to use the #ReadoftheDay hashtag on Twitter. 

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

Three LSU players accused of shooting paintballs at pedestrian

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Three LSU basketball players were issued a summons earlier this month for allegedly shooting paintballs at a pedestrian, according to a report from the Daily Reveille.

The incident involving the three players, Galen Alexander, Wayde Sims and Mayan Kiir, occurred on June 16.

“I’m aware of the situation and we are dealing with the matter internally,” first-year Tigers coach Will Wade said in a statement, according to The Advocate. “I’m extremely disappointed in these players and the poor judgement they used. This is no way to represent LSU or our basketball program. They have a clear understanding of what our expectations are as a program both on and off the court.”

Alexander and Kiir are both freshmen while Sims is a sophomore who averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 19 minutes per game last season.

Grayson Allen is…funny?

Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
1 Comment

The last year led to a lot of people having opinions on Grayson Allen. The Duke star invited most of them thanks to his tripping and his outbursts, as well as the simple fact he plays for the Blue Devils, who always seem to attract plenty of hate from the masses.

While Allen is one of college basketball’s best players, he’s also one of its most ridiculed. More people than not probably have a poor opinion about the guy due to his bizarre tripping habit and the bench meltdown from last season. He’s an easy target that brought a lot of criticism on himself with his actions.

This summer, though, Allen has started to show another side to his personality through social media. It turns out he might actually be funny.

The world is full of surprises.

Here’s an example from today, with Allen not only some comedy chops, but some self-deprecation and self-awareness – two important traits for someone who might need some reputation rehab – as he pokes fun of the Internet’s suggestion that he’s a dead ringer for Texas senator Ted Cruz, as well as Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, apparently.

That was just the most recent example, though. Earlier this month, he ribbed maybe the Internet’s only more favorite villain, LaVar Ball.

And before that, he had some fun with the fact that he’ll almost assuredly be tabbed to our Perry Ellis All-Stars team for his final collegiate season this fall.

So, yeah, Grayson Allen’s rep took a bunch of hits last year for some bad behavior. Maybe there’s more there, though.

IUPUI to become Horizon League’s 10th member

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Horizon League officially announced this week that IUPUI will be replacing Valparaiso as the league’s 10th member. Valpo left to replace Wichita State in the Missouri Valley.

“We are excited to welcome IUPUI to the Horizon League family,” Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone said. “The Jaguars bring us tremendous competitive potential, particularly in men’s basketball, along with an engaged and energized city. Their addition solidifies our broad community partnerships in Indianapolis and is the right school at the right time.”

IUPUI — which stands for Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis — has been a member of the Summit League, which will be left with eight teams now that the Jaguars have departed. They’ve made it to one NCAA tournament, back in 2003, and have been a full-fledged member of Division I for 19 years. That was the year before NBA point guard George Hill enrolled. Current head coach Jason Gardner has been there for three years but has yet to record a winning season; IUPUI has not been over .500 since 2011, when Ron Hunter was still the head coach.

“We are excited about engaging with the other Horizon League member institutions to enhance the overall competitiveness of the league,” said IUPUI Director of Athletics Dr. Roderick Perry. “As an institution and athletics department, our mission, vision, and core values align closely with the Horizon League. This is an important step forward in the life of our athletics department.”

Former Louisville standout Chris Jones shot in Memphis

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Leave a comment

Former Louisville point guard Chris Jones was shot while playing basketball in his native Memphis on Tuesday night.

According to a report from FOX 13 in Memphis, shortly after 11 p.m. shots rang out on in Halle Park after an altercation on the court. Two people were taken to the hospital, one with a head injury stemming from a fight. The other was Jones, who was shot in the leg twice, according to the Courier-Journal. His injuries are not life-threatening and he has already been released from the hospital, according to Steve Forbes, his former Junior College coach.

Jones played at Melrose High in Memphis before spending two years at Northwest Florida Junior College and two more seasons at Louisville.

This past year, he spent time playing professionally in Greece and in France, although he played just a grand total of three games in the two leagues.

Perhaps the craziest part about this story is that Jones was shot on a court that is next to a police station. This is a screengrab from FOX 13’s live shot from the basketball courts, and you can see the police cars in the station’s parking lot in the back ground:

Preaching patience, new Pitt AD says hoops program “a complete rebuild”

AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds
2 Comments

Things did not go particularly well for Kevin Stallings in his first year at Pitt. The program, which essentially pushed Jamie Dixon out the door for being consistently good but not often enough great, struggled, going 16-17 overall and 4-14 in the ACC, just two games out of the cellar.

On top of that, six players prematurely left the program this spring.

Not great, especially when you’ve got a new boss that didn’t hire you, as is the case for Stallings with new Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke, who came aboard in March. In her first meeting with Stallings, Lyke asked a rather blunt question.

“Do you want to be here?” according to the Beaver County Times.

Stallings answered that he did, and his new athletic director would appear to be willing to give her predecessor’s hire time to reclaim and rebuild the program.

“It’s a steep climb, if you will,” Lyke said. “It’s not something that’s going to come easy and it takes an incredible amount of work.”

Stallings’ personal reputation took a significant amount of damage this spring when he attempted to block Cameron Johnson from an intra-ACC transfer to North Carolina. NBC Sports’ Scott Phillips called him a “town-deaf clown” in his attempt to keep Johnson from being a Tar Heel, a position he later relinquished, allowing Johnson to head to Chapel Hill.

Losing Johnson certainly won’t help Stallings and the Panthers recover from the difficult first season. Pitt didn’t hit any grand-slams in recruiting but is adding four-star guard Marcus Carr in its 2017 class.

The immediate outlook doesn’t look particularly bright, but Pitt appears to be positioning itself to exhibit some patience.

“If you look at the team, it is a complete rebuild,” Lyke said. “So I do think that (Stallings) is going to need a little time to develop it.

“But, we’ve got to be headed in the right direction. There’s some things that have got to get better and noticeable improvements. I’ve already seen those things start to happen.”