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.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim makes TV appearance to talk Carmelo Anthony

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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has drawn attention for some recent comments about former Orange star Carmelo Anthony.

After Anthony captured his record third gold medal with USA Basketball, his former college coach told Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard that Anthony didn’t have a great chance at winning an NBA title.

“He’s unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim said of Anthony. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title.”

Boeheim maintains that he was speaking of Melo’s legacy being about more than an NBA title and that he’s one of the game’s greats thanks to other accomplishments like the Syracuse title and gold medals. On SportsCenter, Boeheim made sure to stress where those comments were coming from, while also making sure his kids would stop being mad at him.

It’s much easier to understand where Boeheim is coming from in this instance and it clears up something that will probably go away now.

Big Ten releases conference schedule

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The Big Ten released its 2016-17 conference schedule on Thursday as the conference season begins on Dec. 27 with a four-game set.

Conference play will conclude on March 5th before the 20th annual Big Ten Tournament is played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. from March 8-12.

Some notable games include Penn State hosting Michigan State at the Palestra on Jan. 7.

You can view the full Big Ten schedule here.

Arizona’s Talbott Denny injures knee, out for season

AP Photo
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona senior forward Talbott Denny will miss the season after tearing the ACL and medial meniscus in his left knee.

The school said Wednesday that the 6-foot-5 graduate transfer from Lipscomb will have surgery.

Denny, from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School, missed all of last season at Lipscomb because of a shoulder injury.

Roy Williams: ‘There’s no question’ more ACC games equal no Kentucky in non-conference

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Back in June, when the ACC officially announced that they would be expanding the league schedule to 20 games in 2019, I tried to warn you that it was going to put a dent into the non-conference schedule and the amount of quality, on-campus games that we’ll get prior to January.

Roy Williams essentially confirmed this as fact this week.

The North Carolina head coach hopped on a podcast with ESPN and more or less said that the bigger league schedule is going to lead to an end of some of UNC’s marquee home-and-home series.

“My feeling right now, and it could change by ’19, heck I could be fired by ’19, but my feeling right now is to play our conference schedule, play one exempt event where you have really good teams, and other than that play home games to help out your revenue and help out your budget,” Williams said. “We have the ACC/Big Ten and that’s not going to go away. So it’s 21 games already scheduled.”

When asked specifically if this would put an end to UNC’s series with Kentucky, Williams said, “Oh yeah, there’s no question. Why would I need to do that?”

There’s two reasons this makes sense. On the one hand, North Carolina needs to fill their home arena a certain number of times to help with the bottom line of the athletic department. They make enough off of ticket sales, merchandise sales, parking fees and food and beverage that they can afford to pay out more than $50,000 to bring a smaller opponent into their arena. More than that, playing a series of weaklings early in the year allows players to gain confidence, it allows Williams to figure out what his rotation will be and who can handle playing at this level, and it gives newcomers a chance to assimilate into his team against players that just aren’t that good.

And when a larger ACC schedule severely limits the number of non-conference games that UNC will be able to play, what’s going to get cut are the contracts that require the Tar Heels to play on the road when they don’t have to.

So buh-bye, Kentucky, it is.