All the notable news, links, pictures, and video in and around Friartown and college basketball all in one digestible, tasty place
Marshon had a successful week in Russia, meeting Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, dealing with Russian vodka, and spending some time teaching young Euros how to play the basketball. This picture really makes me want to play Tetris. Original Gameboy Tetris was where it was at.
ESPN New York: Brooks’ goal: Sixth Man Award
Our boy Marshon is all growns up. Creating opportunities!?!
“I feel like the sixth man is a much more important role these days. It’s used a lot of different,” Brooks said. “I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with the Thunder’s perspective. I think with James Harden coming off the bench, they could run their offense through him — and that’s what I can do. I’m just going to provide that spark for the team in any way possible. I’m going to look to create opportunities for my teammates as well as score the ball.”
I’m glad the Nets were able to keep him, as I enjoy the ability to throw on YES on any given night with the chance to catch Marshon in action.
“It was tough,” Brooks told Newsday on Thursday in a conversation from Moscow, Russia, where he’s participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. “It was my first time going through that, my first time going through trade rumors. But at the end of the day, I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, ‘We are talking about Dwight Howard right now, so get out your feelings, young man.’
“Dwight Howard is Dwight Howard, so I got over it as time went on. But it was tough at first, seeing my name in so many different trade rumors. But I got over it. It’s a business. This is what I signed up for, so this is what I get.”
I like the idea of playing three teams twice. More of a chance of getting the Jersey teams on the schedule, so I can actually go to the games. That is of course, if all of the Jersey teams are still in the conference in a couple of years. I’m slowly shaking my fist at you, Rutgers.
2. The Big East might not be clamoring for a Notre Dame replacement to go to 18 teams. Associate league commissioner Tom Odjakjian, who handles the scheduling, said that 17 is definitely an easier number to schedule. Scheduling 17 teams means that the Big East would have more flexibility if the league were to go to 18 games in 2013-14, with each team playing every other at least once, and two teams twice. If the Big East went to 18 games with 18 teams, there would only be one team that each team played twice. That’s why Big East was discussing 20 league games, to create more inventory for the league during its television negotiations. Odjakjian has no say on expansion — he’s looking at this strictly from scheduling.
Ed Cooley put in more work yesterday at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire to see talented 2014 forward Abdul Malik Abu. His coach Michael Olson called him a classy man who cares about kids.
Speaking of Abu, here is an update by Adam Finkelstein on the New England prep scene.
After making his ESPN 60 debut last month, Abdul-Malik Abu (Boston/Kimball Union) is continuing to add new elements to his game. His perimeter skill set is progressing at a rapid rate and at this point he’s more comfortable facing the basket than playing with his back to it.
Ryan Gomes is trying out for the Charlotte Bobcats next week. First the Minnesota Timberwolves, then the Clippers, now possibly the Bobcats? Listen, I LOVE Ryan Gomes, but if he gets rejected by the Bobcats I don’t know where he should go from there.
Ed Cooley on Jim Calhoun:
Providence Journal: Jim Calhoun, the toughest cat in the East
That’s the Jim Calhoun I’ll remember. When a Big East team faced UConn, you’d have to deal with stars like Cliff Robinson, Chris Smith, Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor and Kemba Walker. But the toughest cat in the house was always their coach. He was loud, he was obnoxious, he embarrassed his players. But for some reason those players all seemed to love him and return to Storrs and help the program reach greater heights.
Everyone in Friartown has been talking about the Calhoun/Ryan Gomes rant this week. One of my other favorite quotes from him about PC was this one on John Linehan. “I’m going to come to John Linehan’s graduation. I’ll give him a limo. He’s the biggest pain in the rear I’ve ever played against. We played against Alonzo Mourning and other people, but he’s just terrific. You wouldn’t think a guy 5’9″ could change a game, but he does. He’s really almost a one-man trap.”. John seemed to like it himself!
Sports Illustrated: By The Numbers: Big East suffers big hit in latest conference jostling
Yeah, Aresco, about that “still being the best basketball conference”. Luke Winn of SI does some math wizardry to dispute this claim. Here is what he thinks after going through the numbers.
The Big East, meanwhile, is unlikely to keep receiving hauls of nine NCAA bids like it did in 2012. It can’t afford to lose another one of its hoops powers, yet there remains the chance that Louisville, Georgetown or UConn could be poached by a league with more stability (and more money). An optimist might say that the Big East’s weaker new additions, such as SMU, Houston and Central Florida, will increase basketball spending enough to get more competitive and close the gap. But four perennial tournament teams are leaving and a Hall-of-Fame coach has retired; there is no quick way to fill that void.
Friar Basketball: 20 in 60″: #13 Year of Opportunity for Kofane
Brice Kofane blocks everything, including me on Twitter. What’s the deal with that?
Kofane showed flashes of it a season ago, most notably when he blocked seven shots in a mere 19 minutes against Boston College in early December. Unfortunately for Providence, those flashes turned more flicker once the Big East season came around, as Kofane struggled to find consistency during conference play, wracking up three DNP-CDs in a four game span in February.
Jalen Lindsey, the big 2014 recruit that Cooley is targeting off the bat this year, is visiting Tennessee this weekend. I really hope he dislikes football as much as I do.