While Joel has been breaking down the numbers comparing VCU to George Mason and Butler to Temple, I've been tirelessly scouring the internet for the very most compelling stories in college basketball. Half of that statement is true (click the links for analysis you won't get anywhere else), but there have been a few decent stories that have come out in this, the doldrums of the college basketball year. At least Reds fans can bask in the four homeruns Josh Hamilton hit this week. Oh, wait...
- Dominating most of the news this week is Jay Bilas' idiotic argument for shrinking the NCAA D1. Yes, you read that correctly, Jay Bilas is arguing that fewer teams, and thus fewer upsets, fewer conference tournaments, and fewer Bryce Drews and Kyle O'Quinns is a good thing. If listening to Bilas call a game didn't convince you he was clueless, reading that piece of ESPN Insider drivel should. Thankfully, Myron Medcalf makes a lot more sense.
- The next article isn't the most newsworthy, but it does focus on VCU in a manner. Shaka Smart is the coach of the Rams and spent a decade as an assistant coach before he landed with the Rams. Also mentioned in the article is the meteoric ascent of Pat Kelsey, the former Xavier assistant who is now the head coach at Winthrop. Being an assistant of any type is not a glamorous job. The young guys who are breaking in at low and mid majors have put in hundreds of hours watching film, driving their personal vehicles all over the country, and generally being put upon for very little money. Now, they get the opportunity to actually coach.
- In completely not shocking at all news, the NCAA is looking into the finances and eligibility of UK recruit Nerlens Noel. Nothing major has been uncovered yet, but the fact that the NCAA is sending enforcement staff around his prized
free agent signing recruit has to make John Calipari nervous. It just makes everyone else happy.
- Mark Lyons has been labeled by some as the "most important transfer" of the year. If you have misgivings about giving up on extremely talented players, I don't recommend reading this article. Lyons figures to take the majority of the time at the point for Sean Miller and could be the piece that turns Arizona from an NCAA tournament team to a legitimate contender. Tremendous.
- The Ivy League toyed with the idea of a conference tournament over the offseason but eventually decided against it. English Premier League-like, the Ivy lets the regular season standings determine their automatic bid to the NCAAs. They are currently the only league in D1 that determines their bid this way. If every conference did, at least Iona wouldn't have been quite so absurd a pick.