News just came across, obviously a huge development for the USC basketball program and the landscape of the Pac-10 for a long time. More reaction soon.
Category Archives: National News
If you have not heard the news, the Memphis basketball program is facing “major” allegations of fraudulent behavior that occurred during the 2007-2008 season. That season was the year that the Tigers lost the NCAA final in a heartbreaking loss to Kansas, and if the charges prove to be true, the entire season will be wiped from the record books.
The allegations are that someone took an SAT test for a Memphis recruit (widely presumed to be Derrick Rose, Memphis’ star one-and-done player that year).
This is obviously a major violation and the basketball community could see incredible sanctions placed on the Memphis program as well as John Calipari, who left Memphis to take the Kentucky job during the off-season.
The fact that Calipari is now in Lexington creates an interesting dynamic to the story. First, Memphis was notified of an investigation back in January while Calipari was still the head coach of the Tigers. There is absolutely no doubt that the possible sanctions that could be placed on Memphis pushed him even further towards accepting the Kentucky job. Continue reading
While it was completely obvious it would happen as soon as the final buzzer went off today at Hec Ed, the Huskies are now getting the national media attention that comes with being the team in sole possession of the Pac-10.
The first article to jump on the Washington bandwagon comes from Andy Katz of ESPN, where he leads off his weekly “What We Learned Saturday” championing the Huskies for their superb playing this season. Katz is someone who talked about the Huskies often as a team that he thought would surprise people this season, but would later call out the Dawgs as the biggest disappointment in the Pac-10 after the infamous Portland-Kansas-Florida stretch. But to his credit he has stuck with the Huskies, giving them a surprising amount of coverage.
Here are some of the highlights of the article…
- Get to know these Huskies because there’s no reason why they should simply disappear over the next month from the national conversation.
- “These guys have been on a mission since they were recruited to come here,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said by phone late Saturday night. “We were in the Sweet 16 when [the seniors were freshmen], but since then we haven’t been at a high level and they were running out of time.”
- “Washington is back,” Dentmon said by phone from Seattle. “It’s a new beginning for the Huskies. We’re playing great basketball.”
- The easy thing would be to fall flat after that disappointment. Instead, the Huskies showed resiliency and swept through the Oregon schools, beat back USC by five (78-73) and outlasted UCLA by 11 for the Huskies’ fifth straight win over the Bruins in Seattle.
Expect more news from the national media to begin trickling in as the season progresses. This coverage could be pivotal in recruiting as coaches can tell recruits that if you come to Washington everyone in the country will know your name. In a recruiting season when Josh Smith’s name is up for grabs, there might not ever be a better season for the media to catch on.
But as a fan it is just nice to see the coverage. It sucks at times being in the Northwest where we get as much coverage as the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but when I see any of my teams in the national news it makes it that much more exciting. It’s always nice to see ESPN break away from their infatuation with Brett Favre and the daily Cowboys drama.
Evidently I have a curse on my Top 25 as two days after naming Wake Forest as my #1 team, the Demon Deacons go down to a very average Virginia Tech team. Wake Forest was the only remaining team to be undefeated, and it appeared the next significant test would come when they would host #2 Duke next week in a battle for the #1 ranking in the country. But it now appears that Duke will have a strangle hold on the top spot when they arrive in Winston-Salem on the 28th. All that stands in the way is facing a mediocre Maryland team.
Speaking of Maryland, who would have thought that the significance of a game against Duke would lose so much muster so quickly. It was only a few years ago this one of the fiercest rivalries in College Basketball. Gary Williams has some work to do, he could very well be nearing the end of his Brian Billick Timeframe (a coach who lives off one championship for the rest of his career despite a long stretch of mediocrity).
The other upset of the day that has somewhat of a Husky tie-in is that New Jersey Institute of Technology ended their 51 game losing streak with a win over Bryant University. If you don’t remember, one of the Huskies first games last year came against NJIT in which Washington handled them 88-47. The game was scene as a positive sign that we could handle the bad teams so easily. Thing is we did not know at the time how bad NJIT actually was, and we saw how the rest of the season played out for the Huskies.
But Jheryl Wilson paced the Highlanders with 26 points, while Isaiah Wilkerson contributed 14 points in 40 minutes. Interestingly NJIT was able to win despite shooting 36.2 percent from the field, Bryant University countered with 34%.