James Flint

The Secondary Break: Wednesday’s Links

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Flint explains Drexel’s scheduling difficulty (PhilaHoops)
The fight for respect has been a difficult one for Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint in regards to his program’s relationship with the other five Division I schools in Philadelphia. And in no area has that been more apparent than in scheduling, with the Dragons finding it increasingly difficult to schedule home game against solid competition. And it seems as if Flint’s had enough of making concessions in regards to home-and-home series.

Cal’s Richard Solomon brings his karate agility to the court (Sports Illustrated)
Cal was without the services of senior big man Richard Solomon for their Maui Invitational semifinal against Syracuse on Tuesday, as Solomon suffered an eye injury against Arkansas. But beyond this tournament the growth of Solomon is a key factor for the Golden Bears as they look to return to the NCAA tournament and enjoy more success once there.

Purvis can’t play this year, but UConn uses his talent (Hartford Courant)
N.C. State transfer Rodney Purvis isn’t eligible to take the court for the UConn Huskies this season, but his year in residency is something that can benefit both the player and the program. With that in mind, UConn has used Purvis on the scout team as the opposition’s best perimeter player. So when there was a need to imitate a Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) or Dez Wells (Maryland), it was Purvis who was entrusted to do so.

VanDerveer remains student of the game (ESPN)
Stanford women’s head coach tara VanDerveer moved one win closer to the 900-win plateau on Tuesday night as the Cardinal beat Purdue by the final score of 86-69. Stanford will look to give VanDerveer the 900th victory of her career on Wednesday against FGCU, and a win would make the great coach the fifth in the history of women’s college basketball to reach the 900-win mark.

Missouri AD Alden ejects Antlers student fan group (Associated Press)
For the second time in as many games The Antlers, a group of college students who attend Missouri basketball games, were ejected from Mizzou Arena for inappropriate chants. The group, which is not the officially sanctioned student section (the Zou Crew is), was established in 1976 and has been known to push the envelope with some of its chants. Apparently, enough is enough in the eyes of the athletic department.

College athlete may not be able to keep $20,000 he won for hitting half-court shot (Think Progress)
23-year old Carlos Rodriguez, who hit a half-court shot to win $20,000 at an Oklahoma City Thunder game, should be thinking of ways in which to spend in his recently earned money. Instead, thanks to his being a member of the basketball team at Southwestern College in Kansas, Rodriguez may not be able to keep the money if he’s to remain eligible.

Charlotte 49ers basketball team shows potential to be special (Charlotte Observer)
One of the big winners this weekend was Charlotte, which beat Michigan in the game’s final second to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title. And the early success experienced by Alan Major’s squad has some thinking that the 49ers could be in line for a special season in the first season of their second run in Conference USA.

Ole Miss closes loan on new basketball arena (Ole Miss Athletics)
Monday was a big day in the history of Ole Miss basketball, as the school closed the loan that will finance a new basketball arena. The Rebels’ current home, Tad Smith Coliseum, opened in 1966 and despite multiple renovation projects the facility lagged behind others in the SEC. The hope is to have the new arena ready to go by January 2016, and it’s something head coach Andy Kennedy and his staff will be able to sell to recruits.

Richmond’s Mooney returns to happy basketball memories at Clune Arena (Colorado Springs Gazette)
On Wednesday night the Richmond Spiders take on the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs, and the game marks the first time that Richmond head coach Chris Mooney has been in Clune Arena since 2005. Mooney spent four seasons as an assistant on Joe Scott’s staff at Air Force, winning a Mountain West regular season title in 2004, before taking over as head coach for one season in 2004-05.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.