Sean Miller

Is the new schedule for July’s evaluation periods too much of a grind?

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This July marks the second year of the NCAA’s new schedule regarding the summer’s live-recruiting period.

In the past, there have two two ten-day evaluation periods in July, with a week and a half in between them. The new rules lessen the number of days that coaches can be on the road recruiting, but they are now broken up into three five-day live periods in consecutive weeks. Starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, coaches are allowed in the gym at summer events evaluating, getting a full 96 hours of access before they are kicked out at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Lather, rinse, repeat, for three straight weeks.

On the surface, this seems like a great idea.

The kids spend five straight days on the road instead of ten, and coaches are only allowed to be in the gym for 96 hours.

In reality, however, the new rules have made July that much more grueling. Think about it like this: instead of grinding for 10 days and getting more than a week to get their legs back and recover from any nagging injuries, these athletes travel home on Sunday night or Monday morning just to head back out on the road on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Pretend you are Stanley Johnson, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014 from California. You just spent the last five days in Georgia playing in the Peach Jam. You have to fly all the way back to California to spend less than two days at home before making the trip to Washington DC to play in the Nike Global Challenge. That’s exhausting. Now, Johnson is talented enough that is doesn’t really matter how tired his legs are; he’s going to be able to go to any school that he wants. What about the players that aren’t known commodities like that? Will they lose out on a chance to earn a scholarship because their legs gave out this month?

Another example? Stephen Zimmermann, who some believe is the top recruit in the Class of 2015, spent the last six days in Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational and he’ll be spending the next seven days in Milwaukee for the Under Armour Summer Jam. At least he’s lucky enough to be from Las Vegas, so he can spend the last period playing ‘home games’.

There may eventually be enough force behind this opinion to get the rule changed, and it will likely happen sooner or later if more coaches with the name cache of Arizona’s Sean Miller speak out:

I’d encourage you to read through all of Miller’s twitter feed, as he spent a couple of hours this morning ranting. It’s one of the beauties or social media; you get a glimpse into issues that bother college coaches in realtime.

Who knows if this rule will eventually be changed and what the new setup will look like, but the one thing that most people seem to agree upon is that this is not the best possible model.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.