Rob Dauster

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 04:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on in the post game press conference after being defeated by the Wisconsin Badgers during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wisconsin defeated Kentucky 71-64.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Here’s a great story about John Calipari from NY Post columnist

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Mike Vorkunov, a friend of CBT and a sportswriter who writes for anyone and everyone in New Jersey and New York, has launched a new website called -30-, which you can find here.

Much of what’s on the site are Q-and-As with some of the biggest names in sportswriting, and this week, Vorkunov posted a questionnaire with Mike Vaccaro, a longtime journalist for the New York tabloids. And in that Q-and-A, Vaccaro shares a pretty incredible story about John Calipari.

First, let’s set the stage: This story is from 2004, which was just four years after Cal had taken over at Memphis. St. John’s, according to Vaccaro, was planning on putting together a significant push to bring the former UMass and New Jersey Nets head coach to the Big Apple, which is not something that Vaccaro was a fan of. Mike Jarvis and the Johnnies had just parted ways, in large part due to the fact that his players kept getting in trouble with the law, and that was before half the team was dismissed following an embarrassing incident with a stripper after a loss at Pittsburgh that winter. (The details are in the third paragraph here, for those that are wondering.)

So Vaccaro wrote this column, which painted a pretty clear picture of why, at this moment in time, hiring Calipari was not exactly the best idea for a program looking to clean up their image.

From -30-:

Well, the morning the column ran, my sports editor at the time, Greg Gallo, played his voice mail and there was Cal, shouting at peak volume, motherf****** me and motherf****** the Post and motherf****** Gallo, all but taunting him that he didn’t have the balls to call him back but here’s my cell phone anyway. Now one great thing about working for Gallo was: he didn’t give a s*** about who was pissed at us. So he basically shrugged his shoulders, dialed the number. Cal answered.

“John, Greg Gallo here. It sounds like you’re angry.”

Well, Cal basically repeated his entire voice mail, again at peak volume, and if you know Gallo you know he just let him go, didn’t interrupt, let him have his say. Then Cal said, “So let me ask you something, Greg: It’s OK with you if Mike Vaccaro wakes up one morning and says, ‘F*** it, I’m gonna go after Cal today, I’m gonna rip Cal a new a******.’ That’s acceptable to you?”

Gallo paused for a second and then said, “That’s why I pay him, John.”

And Cal, he just laughed and said, “Well, I guess that’s that.” And hung up.

Fantastic.

VIDEO: Georgia’s Yante Maten beats dolphins in dance-off

Georgia forward Yante Maten (1) celebrates Georgia's 69-56 victory over South Carolina after an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Richard Hamm)
AP Photo/Richard Hamm
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Our annual preseason list of potential breakout stars is usually hit or miss. Not every pick is as obvious as Grayson Allen.

One of the names we got right last season was Georgia’s Yante Maten, who ended up averaging 16.5 points and 8.0 boards as a sophomore for the Bulldogs.

The most impressive part?

We predicted that explosive second season without knowing that Maten was A) a Taylor Swift fan and B) someone that would win a dance-off at an aquarium during the team’s trip to Valencia, Spain:

Louisville lands commitment from four-star recruit

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Louisville landed a commitment on Thursday from Malik Williams, a 6-foot-11 four-star forward.

Williams is a top 40 prospect in the class of 2017. He picked the Cardinals over N.C. State, Georgetown, UCLA, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa and Indiana.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made Williams a priority during the July Live Period, and Williams was impressive enough during the month that our Scott Phillips called him the “biggest stock riser” in the class.

UNC’s response to allegations details NCAA procedural errors

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 19:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts on the bench against the Harvard Crimson during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 19, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The NCAA investigation into the academic fraud that occurred at North Carolina has gone on seemingly forever, but, according to the News & Observer, we may now know why it’s August of 2016 and a resolution appears to be months, if not years, away.

First, a quick timeline: North Carolina received their initial Notice of Allegations in the spring of 2015 and had a deadline of early August of the same year to respond. But that response never came. Instead, in April of 2016, the NCAA sent out an amended Notice of Allegations, and that new NoA was noticeably missing a number of things: Any mention of Roy Williams, any mention of the men’s basketball team and any mention of impermissible benefits; initially, the NCAA had ruled that academic advisors directing student-athletes into the bogus classes constituted an impermissible benefit. Knowledge of the fake classes was not known to the student body at-large, the thinking went, so enrollment in those classes was a benefit that was available to a normal UNC student.

You can make a fairly cogent argument that, by definition, that’s an impermissible benefit being provided by the athletic department.

Except, according to North Carolina’s response, the NCAA had already made a ruling on this.

(Again, props to Andrew Carter for picking up on something a lot of us missed.)

From the response the NCAA sent in to the NCAA on Monday and made public on Tuesday:

On March 5, 2013, the then Managing Director of the AMA responded to the enforcement staff in no uncertain terms. He wrote, “There are always concerns with aberrant classes comprised of a significant number of student-athletes in comparison with non-athletes; however, there is nothing definitive in the report [provided by the University] that would validate that there was a systematic effort within the African and African American Studies department motivated by the desire to assist student-athletes with maintaining their eligibility, either in how the courses were created, taught and/or how the grades awarded.” (See Exhibit JUR-5.) AMA’s conclusion confirmed that the NCAA itself had concluded that the anomalous courses and the other academic irregularities in the Department did not violate NCAA rules. (Emphasis added)

The report that the Director of the AMA is referencing is the Martin Report, which was such a train wreck that UNC had to commission the Wainstein Report, which is what provided the most damning evidence of UNC athletics targeting the fraudulent classes to keep kids eligible. What matters there, however, is that the AMA determined this “did not violate NCAA rules”.

The footnote to that blurb is even more interesting:

It is worth noting that the University discovered the exchanges related to the enforcement staff’s request and AMA’s response long after the fact, and purely by happenstance on July 13, 2015. Despite the fact that the enforcement staff had previously represented that the University’s outside counsel could access all materials relevant to the investigation via a secure website, these materials were not included, contrary to the requirements of Bylaw 19.5.9. They were discovered by the University only because its representatives traveled to the national office to review the physical files personally. (Emphasis added)

One of the major talking points after the release of UNC’s response was ‘Why?’ Why is North Carolina trying to play hardball with the NCAA? Why aren’t they self-imposing menial sanctions to try and appease ‘Mark Emmert and The Overlords’? Why is the tone of this response somewhere between “stick to sports” and “come at me, bro”?

That footnote may be the ‘Why’.

Because, the way this reads, UNC is essentially saying that the NCAA had determined in 2013 that no NCAA rules were broken then tried to hide that fact from the university, which is against their own bylaws.

That’s not a good look.

Grayson Allen: ‘I’m trying to put in extra work on my ball-handling’

Grayson Allen, Jake Allsmiller
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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Duke posted their first video from a Summer Grind Series that they do every offseason. It’s Grayson Allen, Duke’s rising junior all-american.

It’s the kind of standard stuff that you see the in-house media operations at college programs produce all the time. A few slow-motion dunks, some video of Allen in the weight room, about a minute of updates on what he’s done for the summer.

Pretty standard stuff:

The only reason I’m posting this here is this quote from Allen: “Now that we’re in the gym all the time, I’m trying to put in extra work on my ball-handling.”

To be fair, that’s one of the most notable flaws in his game. We all saw it against Kentucky at last season’s Champions Classic. He was limited when athletic guards pressured him and forced him out of what he wanted to do.

But is there more to it? One thing that I’ve heard a couple times over the summer is that freshman Frank Jackson is taking a little longer to adjust to playing the point full-time than was initially hoped. One of the words of caution that I mentioned with this Duke team is that they lost their only true point guard when Derryck Thornton opted to transfer back in the spring. Jackson is a lead guard, but he’s still a scorer at heart, a guy who operates best with the ball in his hands while hunting a shot.

The same can be said for Allen, Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum.

That’s a concern.

It also may be the only concern for the Blue Devils, which is why, even if Frank Jackson didn’t exist, it’s hard to imagine Duke not being the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason. When there is that much individual talent on the roster, you don’t need a Russell Westbrook or a Chris Paul to create shots for everyone. You just need a guy that can get the ball over half court and the team into an offense.

They should have the pieces to get that done.

This is just something to be mindful of as we get out of the college basketball doldrums of August.

VIDEO: San Diego State’s Hemsley dunks over Swaggy P

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 12:  Jeremy Hemsley #42 of the San Diego State Aztecs brings the ball up court against the Fresno State Bulldogs during the championship game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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That’s San Diego State point guard Jeremy Hemsley throwing down this dunk over Nick Young, aka Swaggy P.

He didn’t dunk on Swaggy P, however, because Iggy Azalea’s former beau saw what was coming and decided not playing any defense was the better option:

He was probably right. Andre Drummond agrees.