The Morning Mix

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What a game. What a season.

The 2012-2013 college basketball season is officially in the books and we were sent off into the sunset with arguably the best game of the season. Last night’s National Championship game between Louisville and Michigan was better than anything we could have asked for.

Let’s hit the links.

Read of the Day:
A fascinating-read from Shane Ryan on a crew of Louisville stat-keepers that changed the way numbers were crunched. Plus “dead-ball rebounds”. What the heck is that? (Grantland)

Observations & Insight:
– Montrezl Harrell and Tim Hardaway Jr. threw down two of the best dunks of the entire tournament. (College Basketball Talk)

– College basketball officiating has been atrocious as of late. If you agree with this statement, I highly recommend you click the following link. (Deadspin)

– Despite not having a team win the National Championship, this season was a resounding success for the Big Ten Conference. (Big Ten Network)

– Everybody remembers the winners, but we shouldn’t forget about what Spike Albrecht conjured up in the first half last night. (Eye on College Basketball)

– Jon Beilein’s late-game coaching gaffe didn’t cost his team the National Championship, but it did make matters difficult down the stretch. (USA Today)

– I know it’s just Tuesday, but Rick Pitino may have just capped off the best week ever. (Dallas Star-Telegram)

– Was Trey Burke’s block/foul on Peyton Siva the turning point in the National Championship game? (The Dagger)

– An inside the numbers look at Louisville’s National Championship victory over Michigan. (ESPN)

– Louisville had to fend off nearly perfect halves from both Wichita State and Michigan. But the Cardinals never panicked and never wavered. (Courier-Journal)

– Recruiting guru Reggie Rankin provides an outlook for the Michigan Wolverines in 2013-2014. (ESPN Insider)

– The early odds for the 2014 National Championship. Kentucky is the strong favorite. No sign of Wichita State or Florida Gulf Coast. (The Gazette)

Hoops Housekeeping:
– Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley has shown interested in the opening at Florida Gulf Coast. (The Hoosier Scoop)

– Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard has decided to transfer after an injury-plagued career in College Park. (D1sCourse.com)

– Tim Pernetti is no longer the Athletic Director at Rutgers, but he will still get $1.2-million in salary and an iPad. (Sports Illustrated)

– Kansas State sophomore guard Adrian Diaz is set to transfer out of “The Little Apple”. (Kansas City Star)

– UCLA freshman forward Anthony Parker has opted against transferring and will stay in Westwood. (Larry Brown Sports)

Odds & Ends:
– Fans of the program are aware that @CBTonNBC was first on the scene with the coining of “Dunk City”. Finally we get the recognition we deserve. (The Post Game)

– Bill Clinton wrote an awesome letter to Chris Webber following C-Web’s legendary National Championship game gaffe against North Carolina. (Deadspin)

– It looks like Kobe Bryant did not watch the National Championship game. (Dime Magazine)

– Some D-list video vixen is trying to expose Peyton Siva as a fraud. Good grief. (Black Sports Online)

– Some of the best photos from the National Championship Game. (Sports Illustrated)

– And from the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” files: Manti Te’O’s fake-girlfriend won the entire ESPN bracket challenge. (USA Today)

Picture of the Day:
The National Player of the Year has nothing to be ashamed of. Helluva game. Helluva season.


.GIF of the Day:
Rick Pitino was not ready for the celebratory fireworks.

.GIF of the Day:
Peyton Siva’s dad is the best.

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Coach Hamilton likes mix on Florida State basketball roster

ACC Basketball Tournament: Florida State v North Carolina
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State is the only team in the Atlantic Coast Conference that returns all five of its starters from last season.

For most teams that would be cause for celebration. For coach Leonard Hamilton it means he is hoping the struggles of the past two seasons have been valuable experience.

The Seminoles had their first practice on Wednesday as they are looking to bounce back from a season in which they went 17-16 and didn’t play in a postseason tournament for the first time in 10 years.

“We have five starters returning from a team that won 17 games. We have guys that have been around, who know their shortcomings and can pass on their wisdom to the younger players,” Hamilton said.

With an experienced roster and a highly regarded recruiting class, Hamilton is hoping to lead the Seminoles back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, which is also the year they won the ACC Tournament.

Jarquez Smith, the leading returning scorer from last season, said the open gyms before the start of practice have been extremely competitive as the incoming recruiting class has tried to assert itself early.

“We’ve been going at each other’s neck and it has gotten very competitive,” Smith said. “Everyone is fighting for their position because the guys coming off the bench are just as athletic as who is on the court.”

The newcomers feature Dwayne Bacon (a McDonald’s All-American selection), Terance Mann (the Gatorade Player of the Year in New Hampshire) and Malik Beasley (the Georgia 1A Player of the Year). There’s also Chris Koumadje, who at 7-foot-4 will be the tallest player in school history, and Benji Bell, who helped lead Northwest Florida State to the JUCO National Title.

“This is a very confident and focused group of inexperienced players,” Hamilton said. “They want to make something special happen but aren’t taking anything for granted.”

Two things that Hamilton will look to work on during preseason practices is defense and figuring out his rotation. The Seminoles suffered from a lack of depth last season but this year he could have a roster that goes 10 deep and allows him to go to more of a full-court pressing style of defense.

Xavier Rahan-Mayes led the team in scoring last season, averaging 14.9 points en route to becoming the first freshman in ACC history to score 30 or more points three times. The one thing he said he noticed in preseason practices were that everyone played off each other’s strengths.

Florida State’s first exhibition game is Nov. 2 against Lynn University before opening the season on Nov. 15 against Nicholls State.

“I think we have a pretty good combination of experience and an influx of new players. Any time you have that type of scenario you appreciate it,” Hamilton said. “It looks like we have it moving in the right direction. We’ve had a good offseason and regrouped.”

Louisville president issues statement supporting AD Tom Jurich

James Ramsay Tom Jurich
Associated Press
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With it being reported earlier Wednesday that one-time Louisville commit JaQuan Lyle “confirmed the gist” of what was written about him in the new book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” things have gotten even more serious for Rick Pitino’s program than anticipated when allegations of former staffer Andre McGee procuring prostitutes for players and recruits began to surface on Friday.

On Friday both Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich stated that they had no knowledge of the activities alleged by Katina Powell taking place (Powell stated that Pitino did know). But even if this is true, in the case of Pitino having NCAA rules violations occur while in charge of a program can lead to penalties even if there is no knowledge of wrongdoing.

Wednesday afternoon Louisville president James Ramsey issued a three-paragraph statement on the current investigation of the basketball program. But while he was clear in stating his support for Jurich during this period, no such statement was made when it came to Pitino. Below is the full statement.

“As was stated last week, when we learned of the allegations toward our men’s basketball team, we immediately hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group to undertake a complete and thorough investigation of the alleged misconduct. Chuck advised us that we should also report these allegations to the NCAA so they could join our investigation.

“For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as athletic director of an exemplary program at UofL. I fully support Tom as we work to identify the facts in this situation, and that is what we are doing. Tom and I are committed to the values that are fundamental to the success of Cardinal athletics.

“As I stated in the recent State of the University address, it is important that the university — all of us — stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding students with a world-class education. The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward.”

Jurich has accomplished a great deal while serving as the school’s athletic director, and his work across all sports is arguably the biggest reason why Louisville finds itself in the ACC today. While showing confidence in his athletic director, Ramsey also appears to distance higher ups from what is alleged to have happened within the basketball program should the NCAA find enough evidence to levy sanctions.

Could that ultimately lead to the school parting ways with its head coach? It’s far too early to answer that question, but this statement gives Louisville some room to do so should the deem that to be the best course of action.

h/t CBS Sports