Monday, March 31, 2008

College Hoops Rumors: Get 'Em While They're Hot

These tidbits from a pretty well placed source that I consider legit and whose word I respect, but still take them however you like:

1. One main reason for UConn's late season meltdown was that a few weeks ago agents "got to" 7'3" center Hasheem Thabeet and that he decided back then to turn pro after the season. Up until that point he was the Big East defensive player of the year and a defensive force. Since the alleged decision, apparently he has not been focused and Calhoun could not get him to stay focused on the job at hand. Subsequently UConn was outrebounded in a loss to West Virginia in the Big East tournament, then outrebounded in a loss to San Diego, and HT underperformed in both games. Look for him to declare for the NBA draft any time now.

1a. Allegedly UConn point guard and best player AJ Price had decided that if Thabeet was coming out, then he was going to as well, as he didn't want to carry the load all by himself next year. His knee injury means that he now does not have a choice in the matter, and will have to rehab and try to make a comeback at the college level.

2. Allegedly LSU is going to throw a lot of money at USC head coach Tim Floyd to move to LSU, and if this happens than USC's 1st choice is Jamie Dixon of Pitt, who like Ben Howland at UCLA is a California native and extremely successful coach in the Big East. If it plays out like that then it's another step up for the PAC10- having Howland and Dixon in LA is such a massive improvement over just a few years ago when it was Lavin & Bibby running things.

3. Many of the coaches not just in the Big East but around the country were rooting hard for Georgetown to win the title this year, so that they could then go back to kids and say "see- unselfish team basketball works", as in recent years the me first 1 on 1 game has taken over college basketball to a large degree. Now that G'town is out apparently many are wishing UCLA wins it for the same reasons.

Oh, and don't feel too bad for Stanford's Robin Lopez that his team got dumped out of the tournament on Friday by Texas. Apparently he's dating Michelle Wie, so that's something nice to fall back on. No worries about not being able to eat well when your college freshman girlfriend is a multimillionaire.


beast in 'bama said...

That's interesting about UConn. You know, ever since they won it all in '04, they haven't been the same - a LOT of off-court incidents have kept them from being one of the top 8-10 teams in the country.

No worries about not being able to eat well when your college freshman girlfriend is a multimillionaire.

Every time I look at those Lopez twins, I think about their poor mother trying to keep them fed growing up. My own six year-old son eats roughly the weight equivalent of his four year-old sister every day. I shudder to think what he's going to be like when he turns 13.

DC Trojan said...

1) If rumor #2 is for real, I could live with it. Floyd's been a real shot in the arm for the program, but I am not entirely convinced that he's a long term program builder... but then, what do I know.

2) First reaction to the Lopez - Wie hookup story - is that the one with the big hair or the high-and-tight look? Second reaction, after reading the story, was that I bet I can guess what she might have been doing that would result in a left wrist injury. [cough tugjob cough]

Kanu said...


I kind of see what you are saying, but on the other hand UConn was 30-4 in 2006, a #1 seed, and lost to a George Mason team that hit 6-7 on three's in the 2nd half and 6-7 FG in overtime {granted, they were the deepest team in America and sleptwalked not only through that game but through that entire tournament}, but they were certainly one of the top 3 teams in America as recently as 2006.

It is so hard these days when all of your good players bolt for the NBA after 1 or two years, but Calhoun has done an amazing job of keeping UConn at a consistently high level. He actually did one of his best coaching jobs this year given what he had to work with, and I fully believe that when he gets some more good recruits in and can avoid some serious injuries and off the court things then he'll be right back up there. Remember: when he started at UConn they were playing home games in a field house that was worse than many high school facilities, and also that there are only 14 programs with more than 1 NCAA title, and UConn is one of them, and only 5 programs in America have more titles than UConn's two {UCLA, Kentucky, UNC, Indiana, Duke}.

As long a Calhoun is at UConn I have every confidence that they will challenge for the whole ball of wax every 2-3 years. When he leaves then the sky will start to fall a bit.

DCT- Agreed. Floyd is good, but Dixon is better, and as a SoCal native he wouldn't leave for a long, long time, just like Howland.

AS far as Wie's injury, I'm not touching that one with a 2 iron...