The Morning Mix

1 Comment

No intro today.

Just straight news, homey.

Let’s hit the links.

Tuesday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 1 Indiana @ No. 4 Michigan State
7:00 p.m. – Duquesne @ No. 15 Butler
7:00 p.m. – No. 17 Marquette @ Seton Hall
7:00 p.m. – Florida State @ North Carolina State
7:00 p.m. – Wichita State @ Indiana State
7:00 p.m. – LSU @ Tennessee
9:00 p.m. – Virginia @ No. 2 Miami
9:00 p.m. – No. 5 Florida @ Missouri
9:00 p.m. – No.24 VCU @ Saint Louis
9:00 p.m. – North Carolina @ Georgia Tech
9:00 p.m. – Utah State @ BYU
10:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ San Diego State

Read of the Day:
The NCAA released a public report about their improper handling of the Nevin Shapiro case. John Infante is one of the foremost experts in NCAA administration and bylaws. His takeaways from this issue are as good as you will find. (AthleticScholarships.net)

Read of the Day:
Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks. You know what to do. (Eye on College Basketball)
 
 
Top Stories:
VIDEO: Andre Nation’s lob dunk with 00.2 left beats Delaware: This is what happens when you combine a buzzer-beater with an ally-oop slam dunk. It’s glorious.

The NCAA ‘did not violate a specific bylaw’ in their investigation into Miami? Yeah, I’m confused too. This is a messy situation. Blame the NCAA.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Victor Oladipo is expected to play tonight despite injuring his ankle over the weekend. (Inside the Hall)

– Cal head coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference for his physical actions towards Cal player Allen Crabbe. (Cal Golden Blogs)

– The Missouri Valley Conference has disciplined the referees from Sunday’s Wichita State-Illinois State game for incorrectly issuing technical fouls in the waning moments of the game. (Sports Illustrated)

– Southern Utah junior Wade Collie was arrested on drug charges. (Mid-Major Madness)

– Minnesota fans want to fire Tubby Smith. Again. (From the Barn)

– Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard has been reinstated following his indefinite suspension on Friday. He was not on the bench for the Terrapins upset victory over Duke on Saturday. (Testudo Times)

– Former-North Carolina State head coach Sidney Lowe was arrested on Monday for not paying his state taxes. (WRAL-TV)

– Mississippi State has suspended yet another player, bringing their total of available scholarship players to five. (Clarion Ledger)

– The Mountain West Conference Tournament will continue to be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas through 2016. (Mountain West Connection)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– Deadspin examine whether it is ever OK for a coach to put his/her hands on a player and if so, when? (Deadspin)

– Some pretty neat stuff about just how bad a “bad loss” is for a team’s resume. (Eye on College Basketball)

– Last week Michigan State thrashed Michigan in what was billed as “The Biggest Game in Breslin Center History”. So what does that make tonight’s game against No. 1 Indiana? (Detroit Free-Press)

– What makes a team great? Are there pillars or principles than need to be adhered to? Here is a pretty solid answer, with a Purdue Boilermakers tint to it. (Boiled Sports)

– According to advanced statistics, a lot of players this year have better numbers than Michael Jordan. (Alligator Army)

– Is Kelly Olynyk the most efficiently elite player in the country? Or is he the most elite efficient player? Does it matter? (Run the Floor)

– Did Bruce Weber give up on the Illini last year? This post certainly entertains that notion. (Champaign Room)

– I really enjoy reading Jason Lisk’s work leading up to March Madness. His analysis of statistics is of the “easy-to-read” variety. Which is good for anti-math people like myself. (The Big Lead)

– It doesn’t matter when BYU and Utah State play each other. It’s always a heated rivalry. The two teams square off tonight in a game that was postponed when BYU guard Danny Berger collapsed in advance of the game. (Salt Lake Tribune)

– Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart is having a great year. But did you know he’s having the best statistical year in the past 20 season of Oklahoma State basketball? (Pistols Firing)

– A look at the various hot seats in the MAC. With conference tournaments starting up in three weeks, the coaching carousel will be here sooner than we think. (Hustle Belt)
 
 
Odds & Ends:
– Miami released a statement proclaiming that they have been wronged by the NCAA. Stop it already Donna. (Deadspin)

– Andy Kennedy is embracing Marshall Henderson hysteria. (ESPN)

– When conference expansion took over, and people complained about the loss of rivalries, the people in charge told us that new rivalries would be born. Arkansas vs. Missouri is a prime example of this. (Sporting Life Arkansas)

– Bob Knight’s ESPN contract is up at the end of the year. It’s not likely that he will be re-signed. (The Big Lead)
 
 
Picture of the Day:
I understand that yesterday was Presidents Day. nonetheless, this should never happen. EVER.(The Mock Session)

source:
 
 
Video of the Day:
Marshall Henderson finally joined the “Harlem Shake” craze and did so in the most Marshall Henderson-way possible. (Busted Coverage)

Video of the Day:
Illinois’ student section, “The Orange Krush” showed why they are consistently one of the best student sections in the country. This isn’t the first time they’ve infiltrated an opposing arena, but this is arguably their best effort. (Champaign Room)

Video of the Day:
Appalachian State’s Brian Okam has been vindicated. No longer will he be remembered as shooting “the worst foul shot ever”. Nope, this unlucky lady has stolen the title from him.

 
 
Do you like the new Morning Mix? Hate it? Have a suggestion or want something featured? Troy Machir will take all your praise, insults and inquiries via Twitter (@TroyMachir)

Top 2018 recruit R.J. Barrett names final five schools

Nike
Leave a comment

A top player in 2018 is down to five schools.

R.J. Barrett, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Monteverde Academy in Florida, announced Wednesday he’ll consider Arizona, Duke, Michigan, Oregon and Kentucky as his college destination.

Barrett is among those in the mix for the top spot in his class now with Marvin Bagley III reclassifying to 2017 this week and committing to Duke. He starred in Canada’s run to a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships this summer, dropping 38 points on Team USA in a shocking semifinals win for the Canadians, who went on to defeat Italy in the finals. He averaged 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 rebounds per game during the event.

The schools to make the cut for certainly are of little surprise. They’re among the biggest brands in basketball and have been among the recruiting elites for years.

Barrett was originally part of the 2019 class, but decided to reclassify earlier this summer.”Really, it’s been a thought of mine for the last year,” Barrett wrote for USA TODAY, “but I wanted to wait and see how the season would go and how school would go and when everything went well it became more and more real so I made the decision to go ahead and do it.

“I’m right on track to graduate in 2018 and academically everything is great.”

 

Big Ten reveals conference schedule with early-December games

Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Wink Public Relations
1 Comment

We knew it was coming, but seeing it in black-and-white is still plenty jarring.
The Big Ten is going to play conference games in early December.

The league announced its full conference schedule Wednesday, unveiling 14 first-week-of-December games ahead of nearly a month-long hiatus before Big Ten play picks up again in January.

It’s a move that was forced after the Big Ten decided it needed to expand its east coast presence after its expansion to Rutgers and Maryland, and will be playing its conference tournament on the eastern seaboard for the second-consecutive year, this time at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The problem with MSG is that the Big East hosts its annual conference tournament there, meaning the B1G will have to play its tournament a week early, March 1-4. That means a week less of January, February and March for the conference to play its 18 league games. Thus the early December start. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster broke down the situation in even more detail – and bite – last spring here.

Every team in the league will play both a home and a road game during that league’s first week, a soft opening if you will. Whether teams like the change or not will likely come down to circumstance  – what players they have injured or suspended, what players their opponents have injured or suspended and any other host of issues, but it’s hard to believe with all things being equal, Big Ten coaches will like this move. They’re playing extremely meaningful league games less than three weeks into the season with other conferences getting nearly 2 months of preparation before facing their toughest slate of games.

The B1G, though, will have more favorable and interesting games – even if they’re programmed against college football championship games (including their own) – that week than any other conference can boast, which likely means some nice TV ratings. Given why this change is being made, that’s probably the priority anyway.

South Carolina adds Maine grad-transfer Myers

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
1 Comment

South Carolina is adding some immediate help in its follow-up season to a Final Four run.

Wesley Myers, a graduate transfer from Maine, is joining the Gamecocks’ program, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

The 6-foot-2 guard gives Frank Martin’s team an instant infusion of scoring as they look to replace SEC player of the year Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier. Myers 16.9 points per game last year on 43.7 percent shooting, including a 34.3 percent mark from 3-point range.

He’s the second grad-transfer Martin has picked up this offseason, joining Florida Atlantic’s Frank Booker. The pair should help ease the transition from last year’s success to a much less experienced team that returns just a pair of starters.

Myers, though, doesn’t arrive in Columbia without some notable history.

Last year, after transferring to Maine from Niagara, was suspended after an altercation with a teammate, according to reports. He and teammate Marko Pirovic argued over locker room music, and the alleged ensuing altercation left Pirovic with a broken jaw, according to reports. Three other Maine players were suspended after telling a team athletic trainer that Pirovic had injured himself in a fall in the shower. Pirovic declined to press charges.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett: ‘We believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent’

Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP
3 Comments

Virginia’s Tony Bennett finally spoke out on last weekend’s clash between white supremacists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and counter-protesters that resulted in the deaths of a 32-year old woman named Heather Heyer and two police officers involved in a helicopter crash:

Bennett does not exactly take a hard-line stance — the message is more about healing within the community and how much he loves his current hometown than it is about condemning what happened — but he does say “we believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent.”

Kyle Guy, a sophomore on the Virginia roster, had this to say on Sunday:

UNC academic case finally reaches NCAA infractions hearing

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It has taken more than two years for North Carolina to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel since initially being charged with five top-level violations amid its long-running academic scandal.

The two-day hearing begins Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee. The panel will ultimately determine whether the school faces penalties that could include fines, probation or vacated wins and championships, making this a major step toward resolution in an oft-delayed case filled with starts, stops and twice-rewritten charges.

“The hearing stage, no matter what size of a case, it’s a big deal to any university,” said Michael L. Buckner, a Florida-based attorney who has worked on infractions cases. “I’ve been a part of what you’d consider small cases, I’ve been a part of one of the largest cases. And trust me: The client feels the same anxiousness and apprehension no matter what size of a case it is.

“But I can definitely imagine with North Carolina, this is definitely a momentous occasion.”

The charges include lack of institutional control in a case tied to irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. The case is an offshoot of a 2010 football probe, with the NCAA reopening an investigation in summer 2014, filing charges in May 2015, revising them in April 2016 and then again in December.

The panel, which would typically issue a ruling weeks to months later, is chaired by Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and includes former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

UNC’s representatives were seen arriving for the closed-door hearing at a Nashville hotel Wednesday morning. The contingent included athletic director Bubba Cunningham, men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. Jan Boxill and Deborah Crowder, two former UNC employees charged individually in the case, were also seen with their attorneys.

None of the coaches are charged with a violation. But football and men’s basketball are referenced in a broad-based improper benefits charge tied to athlete access to the irregular courses, while women’s basketball is tied to a charge focused on a former professor and academic counselor providing improper assistance on assignments.

Fedora wasn’t working at UNC during the time in question.

“There’s nothing that I can add to what happened before I ever got here,” Fedora said last week. “But I’m there for support. I think me being there is important — not only for the NCAA but the university — that it shows compliance is important to me and our program.”

The focus is independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn’t meet and required a research paper or two for typically high grades. In a 2014 investigation, former U.S. Justice Department official Keorneth Wainstein estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes making up roughly half the enrollments.

The NCAA has said UNC used those courses to help keep athletes eligible.

UNC has challenged the NCAA’s jurisdiction, saying its accreditation agency — which sanctioned the school with a year of probation — was the proper authority. In a May filing , the school stated it “fundamentally believes that the matters at issue here were of an academic nature” and don’t involve NCAA bylaws.

The NCAA enforcement staff countered in a July filing: “The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA’s business.”

UNC has argued non-athletes had access to the courses and athletes didn’t receive special treatment. It has also challenged Wainstein’s estimate of athlete enrollments, saying Wainstein counted athletes who were no longer team members and putting the figure at less than 30 percent.

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter