With the originally scheduled start date to the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit right around the corner, the NCAA is still hard at work to convince Judge Claudia Wilken to delay the start of the job. According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, the defendants filed a motion to have the start of the suit delayed until February 2015.
If the request were granted that would allow the NCAA to not only use the extra time to strengthen its position, but also try the suit at the same time as the Sam Keller lawsuit.
This latest development comes a week after a three-member panel denied the NCAA’s request to fight Wilken’s decision to grant the plaintiffs class-action certification. However there is an issue with the NCAA’s most recent move, as Berkowitz notes that the motion is “largely based on a legal argument that Wilken seemed to reject during a hearing last Thursday.”
Most critically for the purpose of Tuesday’s filing, the Keller case involves a monetary damages claim and would involve a jury while the O’Bannon case has been narrowed to a bid for an injunction that will be decided Wilken. The NCAA is arguing that elements of the O’Bannon case related to video games will have to be heard by the jury in the Keller case, so a ruling that Wilken makes in the O’Bannon case could affect how a jury rules in Keller case. That, claims the NCAA, would result in a violation of its Seventh Amendment right to an un-encumbered jury hearing of its case.
The NCAA is pursuing this line of argument so vigorously that its Tuesday filing did not even address its prior request that Wilken either sever all evidence and claims related to video games from the O’Bannon case or delay it.
While the Keller lawsuit focuses solely on the use of player likenesses in video games, the O’Bannon suit deals with all aspects of the uses of player likenesses. So there are differences in the two cases despite their being grouped together in many circles. For that reason the O’Bannon plaintiffs would like to keep the suits separate from a timing standpoint, and to this point the rulings made by Judge Wilken have been in their favor.
Proceedings in the O’Bannon suit are scheduled to begin on June 9, and given the NCAA’s success rate in the filing of prior motions that may remain the case.
Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.
Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.
Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.
Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.
Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.
O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:
O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.
Is he a one-and-done prospect?
Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.
But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.
Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.
The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.
Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.
That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.
Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.
The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.
The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.
Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools
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.