Wednesday, April 25, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/25/2012

2012-13 Comprehensive Early Season Events List--Eye On College Basketball


Dates: Nov. 19-21

Teams: Butler, Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Texas, USC, Chaminade

For some, home really is sweet--ESPN

SMU is hardly alone on a list of schools that have had trouble hiring coaches in recent years. Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens both turned down a $2.6 million offer last month to coach Illinois, which eventually hired Ohio's John Groce.

Valparaiso's Bryce Drew spurned an opportunity to coach at Mississippi State, and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall said "no thanks" when Nebraska showed interest.
On the flip side, Marshall feels mid-major schools stand just as good a chance of going on a postseason run and reaching the Final Four as does, say, the sixth-place team from a major conference such as the Big 12 or Big Ten.

Butler and VCU are proof.

The Bulldogs reached the NCAA title game in 2010 and '11. And VCU made the Final Four in 2011.Because of that, it's no surprise that VCU's Smart and Butler's Stevens are among the first names that pop up whenever a job becomes available in a top-six conference. Both have been content to stay put.
Stevens has faced those same kinds of questions ever since leading Butler to a near-upset of Duke in the 2010 NCAA title game -- and they only intensified one year later, when the Bulldogs reached the championship once again.

"What everyone might consider to be a great job on the outside … it may not be looked at that way among coaches," Stevens said. "To each his own. What's important to one person may not be important to another."

Illinois has hardly been the only suitor for Stevens, who doesn't seem to have intentions of leaving Butler.

At least not in the immediate future.

Stevens, who is married with two young children, said it's difficult to imagine uprooting his wife and two young children and moving to a different city or state. Stevens grew up in Indiana and began his coaching career as an assistant at Butler in 2001.

"The coaching carousel is a lot of fun to talk about and form opinions on and speculate about -- until it hits your family," Stevens said. "Then it's not fun. It's not fun to think about the impact it has on your family. No decision is made, no move is made until you examine the impact it has on your family."

My mom lives here, my dad lives here. I know people all over town. It's a great job. A great life. I don't know if it'd be like that everywhere else. But I know it's like that here.

"Most coaches at non-BCS schools aren't compensated as well as Stevens, Smart and Marshall. But even the chance to earn twice as much money isn't appealing enough for some to leave a successful program to take over one that is in bad shape.
Another factor that can make non-BCS coaches think twice before jumping to power conferences is recruiting. Bigger schools often pursue higher-caliber players, which sometimes means dealing with the underbelly of college basketball.

"Recruiting at the high-major level is extremely complicated and, in many cases, corrupt," said one coach from a mid-major school. "If I was to take a high-major job, I could be entering myself in all sorts of scenarios that I can usually avoid where I am now. That's a factor for certain people.

"If you go to that level and you go about it the 'right way,' the deck could be stacked against you."

It's a scenario coaches like Marshall, Smart and Stevens likely won't have to deal with any time soon.If ever."I never even dreamed I'd be the coach at Butler," Stevens said. "I sure as heck never had a goal -- and still don't -- to have a BCS job. I don't have any goals written on a napkin. In a lot of ways, this has already been a fairy tale."

Morning Five: 04.23.12 Edition--Rush The Court

It’s the offseason so clearly it’s time for schools to haphazardly jump around again. And you thought this M5 would only focus on player transfers? A report by the New York Post’s Lenn Robbins on Friday afternoon claimed for the second time in a month that CAA stalwarts George Mason and VCU were preparing to move to the Atlantic 10 as soon as early May, and that Horizon League and national power Butler is also ready to join a new and improved A-10. At this point, all interested parties are publicly denying everything, but if we’ve learned anything in the past two years of conference realignment madness, such denials are virtually meaningless. Assuming that Xavier and St. Louis aren’t headed anywhere, the top of the Atlantic 10 could be poised to become one heck of a basketball league for years to come.

Early Preseason Top 40 for 2012-13--ESPN

Analysis: Brad Stevens' team will be back in the big picture. Rotnei Clarke, the transfer from Arkansas, will help from long range.

Does the Utah Jazz’s ‘big lineup’ make them dangerous in the NBA playoffs--Ball Don't Lie

Heading into Tuesday night's action, the Jazz had played Jefferson, Millsap and Favors together for a shade over 97 total minutes on the season — just under 51 minutes with the backcourt of Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward, just under 30 with Hayward and backup point guard Jamaal Tinsley, and less than 10 minutes each in stints with the combinations of Tinsley and rookie Alec Burks, Burks and Harris, Burks and Earl Watson, and Hayward and Watson, according to's Jazz lineup numbers. In those 97.27 minutes, lineups featuring the Jefferson/Favors/Millsap troika scored 115.8 points per 100 possessions for the Jazz, while allowing just 84-per-100. A Wednesday morning update following the win over the Suns via Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe shows a dip in the offensive efficiency numbers to 111.9-per-100, but even stronger defensive stats, as Utah's big lineups have now allowed just 82.3-per-100 in 113 total minutes together.
Add to that the defensive activity of moving, engaged wings like Hayward, Burks and Harris, and while 84 points per 100 possessions seems like an awful tough number to continually replicate, you definitely have the makings of a defensive lineup that can hold up better than it seems to on paper.

Utah Jazz punch playoff ticket with 100-88 win over Suns--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, one of seven Jazz players who've never been in the NBA postseason, added 11 points and eight assists.
Gordon Hayward, Devin Harris and Favors all played strong in the second quarter, leading the Jazz to a 49-42 halftime lead.

Harris and Hayward sent the Jazz into the locker room with something to cheer about. Harris poked the ball away from Nash and it ended up in Hayward's hands. He flung it downcourt to a sprinting Harris, who finished off the sequence with a layup.

Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns report card--Deseret News

GUARDS: Devin Harris did more than just hold his own against Steve Nash and the rest of the Suns' backcourt. He produced with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. But his biggest play probably came when he drew a charge on Sebastian Telfair with 6:15 remaining as the Jazz led 82-78. Gordon Hayward didn't shoot the ball well but was otherwise outstanding. He played great defense and had two steals to go along with 11 points and eight assists. Steve Nash's stat line was similar to the last time the Suns played in Utah, but he didn't impact the game nearly as much. Shannon Brown had decent stats, but his turnovers and overall sloppy play were a detriment to Phoenix.

Grade: A-

Utah Jazz-Phoenix Suns: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Undeniably talented: The much-touted core of Utah’s youngsters were integral in the playoffs-clinching win. In quiet fashion, sophomore guard Gordon Hayward used his exceptional passing skills to help jumpstart a sometimes sputtering offense. He finished with eight assists, as well as 11 points and a pair of steals. He also recorded no turnovers.

Utah Jazz big men dominate the paint, guards hold Nash in check--Deseret News

After a timeout, Phoenix was going for a final shot, but Devin Harris came up from behind Nash and knocked the ball forward, right to Gordon Hayward, who in turn flung a pass to a streaking Harris for a layup. Instead of possibly leading by three, the Jazz went into halftime with a seven-point advantage.

Utah Jazz players moving past just being kids with big win--Deseret News

Kids. They can find the darndest things to enjoy. Enes Kanter looked like it was his birthday. Same with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Veteran Devin Harris emotionally hugged coach Ty Corbin. Even the "old" guys like 27-year-old Al Jefferson fought back the emotion.

That's understandable. Eight years in the league and Jefferson hasn't paid many visits to Respectville. Just one previous playoff appearance. But after scoring eight straight points to pull the Jazz ahead for good, he's not just Big Al the scorer, he's Big Al the possible postseason leader. It's not just Gordon Hayward, the promising young player, it's Hayward the veteran. As for playoff intensity, now they can all enjoy the feel. Asked whether this team was more excited than those that routinely make the playoffs, Harris said, "I would think so. It's just a young group not expected to do anything."

Utah Jazz big men come up big to put team in postseason--Deseret News

And with Devin Harris adding 14 points, Gordon Hayward 11 points with eight assists and rookie Alec Burks chipping in eight more key points off the bench, it propelled an over-achieving Jazz ballclub — one which most so-called experts expected very little success from in their preseason predictions — into postseason play as either the No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
For guys like second-year players Favors and Hayward, and the rookie Burks, the wait won't be nearly so long as Jefferson's, but it'll be their first taste of postseason play in their young NBA careers.

Clinched: After season-long struggle, Utah Jazz secure spot in playoffs--Deseret News

Gordon Hayward, one of seven Jazz players who've never been in the NBA postseason, added 11 points and eight assists. Alec Burks added eight points, and the Jazz even had a nice four-point contribution from Josh Howard, back after a month rehab from knee surgery.

Jazz notes: Utah’s top players stay healthy in lockout season--Salt Lake Tribune

After taking the court Tuesday night against Phoenix, rookie Enes Kanter and second-year forward Gordon Hayward have played in all 65 of the Jazz’s games. With Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Devin Harris recording time in at least 62 with one game to go, Utah’s on the verge of having most of its top athletes successfully navigate what’s been an injury-plagued season for many teams.

Monson: Good news, bad news — the Jazz are headed to the playoffs--Salt Lake Tribune

Gordon Hayward was so caught up in the moment, he actually said, without laughing: "The goal isn’t just to get to the playoffs, it’s to win the whole thing."

Utah Jazz make NBA playoffs with 100-88 win over Phoenix--Salt Lake Tribune

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor was smiling. President Randy Rigby was giving fist bumps. Jefferson joked and hollered, while everyone from Gordon Hayward to Harris beamed while discussing their team — one they told anyone who’d listen all season never to count out.

Utah Jazz: Top Jazz players likely to get a breather against Portland--Salt Lake Tribune

Although Corbin said beating the Blazers remains a priority, the victory over the Suns puts less pressure on the Jazz to do so. As a result, players like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris might get a little more rest than usual.
• Hayward played 42 minutes against Phoenix. He has played at least 34 minutes in 15 straight games, going back to March 18.

Ernie Grunfeld, Wizards need to stick together--Washington Post

On draft day this year, Grunfeld used the sixth pick on Jan Vesely, the 18th pick on Singleton and the 34th pick on Shelvin Mack, who have shown during the second half of this season they can be complementary players.

Ernie Grunfeld to stay with Wizards, who beat Charlotte, 101-73--Washington Post

Vesely scored a career-high 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting against the Bobcats, but he and fellow rookies Singleton and Shelvin Mack have had minimal impact in their rookie seasons, despite plenty of opportunity to contribute.

Gordon Hayward prepares for 1st NBA playoff game--The Indy Star
Hayward goes to first playoffs--Indy Star Butler Insider
Ronald Nored Earns Academic All-League

Heat Big Three insist chemistry still there as they sit out 78-66 loss to Celtics--South Florida Sun Sentinel

With James getting his hoped-for rest, Wade working his way through a dislocated left index finger and Bosh dealing with a lingering hamstring issue, the Heat left the challenge of the Celtics to the likes of Dexter Pittman, Norris Cole and Juwan Howard.

Cedric Jackson Wins Ring Down Under--Let's Go Vikes!

Seven Titans Named to Horizon League Winter Academic

The 2011-12 Season Is Just A Start For The

Howard Moore Visits Wrigley

Loyola Places Six On Academic All-Horizon League
1963 Ramblers Honored At State
Join The Ramblers On A Tour Of Italy This

Phoenix Basketball's Top-10: Individual Efforts of

UWM searching again for AD--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Change before change--PantherU
Timeline of Turmoil--PantherU
Panthers Land League-Best 13 On Winter All-Academic

Valpo men lose Harris, add Rice transfer--The Post-Tribune
Jay Harris transferring from Valparaiso--Off The Mark
David Chadwick transferring to Valparaiso--Off The Mark
Jay Harris to leave Valparaiso men's hoops team--The NWI Times
Chadwick commits to VU men's basketball team--The NWI Times
Harris leaves Valparaiso--Inside VU Sports
Harris to Transfer From Crusader Men’s Basketball
Chadwick to Join Valpo Men's Basketball

Valparaiso selects Dorow to be its new women’s basketball coach--The Post-Tribune
Dorow named new Valparaiso women’s basketball coach--The NWI Times
Tracey Dorow Named Valpo’s Women’s Basketball
Westendorp Named Valpo Women’s Hoops
Gerardot Named to Horizon League’s All-Academic

Commentary: Rowdies lured top talent to WSU--Dayton Daily News

Raiders sign 3 recruits, 2 locals--Dayton Daily News
Women's Basketball Adds Three to

Infusion of height, talent--The Jambar

Penguins Land Eight on Winter Horizon League All-Academic

Tracey Dorow Named Valparaiso's Women's Basketball Coach--Horizon League Network

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