First three days of Individual workouts!
Our bigs were first: Gorgui, VT, Zach, and Chane
All of the players were excellent.
Gorgui Dieng- is a quick learner, good foot work and is getting stronger each week.
VT- Needs to become an enforcer on this team. Play with reckless abandonment. If he does that, he will help us win. He can make great strides this year.
Zach Price - Hard worker and eager to learn. Being a lefty is an advantage for a big man. His future is bright.
Chane Behanan- He is flat out gifted. Hard worker with natural talent. It’s all about the fundamentals with him.
Richard had a private work out with Mark Jackson and Wayne Blackshear. It will take Wayne a few weeks before he can compete. He has been inactive for 5 months but should be ready to go by October 14th.
Peyton Siva - speed merchant keeps improving. Top 3 attitudes I have ever coached along with tremendous leadership skills. Improved jump shot. Balance is also the key with him.
Bullet - Efficient offensive player. Does everything but defend. He must get tougher stopping penetration.
Tim Henderson - Very good attitude who has to improve his shooting. We are working on developing a consistent jumper. His shot is sometimes flat.
Russ Smith - Not a great individual workout player. Foot work and balance needs improvement. He has made a big turnaround since moving to the two guard.
Kyle Kuric - The king is consistent and hard working. Has improved his handles. Smart, tough, and versatile .
Luke Hancock - Going to be terrific in our system. Triple threat offensive player. This year sitting out will be great for him. Just love his potential.
Mike Marra - Working hard on his one-on-one moves. Lack of balance is his enemy. Sways left on his jump shot. Great person who is working extremely hard.
Jared Swopshire - Had his first individual in over a year. His toughest road block will be mentally overcoming his injury. Will be ready by October 14th. We need him.
Chris Smith - Hard worker who has to fill in for Preston as a defensive stopper. We are working on his passing skills as he may need to play some back up point.
Angel Nunez - The similarities to Francisco Garcia are striking. He doesn’t have Cisco’s affable personality yet but we will give it time. Potential is what he is all about. Maybe not strong enough especially on defense to contribute this year but his future is extremely bright. Smooth stroke and good rebounder. Can play multiple positions.
Kevin Ware- Still has not been cleared to play.
BIG EAST Preview:
Cincinnati is returning 5 players and is picked fifth by the coaches. Mick Cronin was a valuable coach in our rebuilding years. Hard worker on the court and in recruiting. The UC fans forgot how low the program was before Mick took over. Similar situation as Tom Crean at Indiana. But the Bearcats have turned it around and are now on a path to prosperity. Great defensive teams that will contest every offensive possession. We play them at their place for the second year in a row… Go figure
2011 Record – 26-9 (11-7) Finished- 6th Big East
Preseason Ranking- #20
Significant Returning Players
Yancy Gates 6-9 270 Sr 11.9 pts 6.9 reb
Dion Dixon 6-3 190 Sr 11.6 pts 2.9 reb
Sean Kilpatrick 6-4 215 So 9.7 pts 3.2 reb
Cashmere Wright 6-0 175 Jr 8.9 pts 4.0 asst
Justin Jackson 6-8 215 So 2.5 pts 2.5 reb
Significant Players Returning: 49.6 pts per game
Significant Players Lost: 22.2 pts per game (Bishop, Thomas, Davis, Wilks)
2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 26
Hard-nosed and quick basketball team. Buzz Williams is one of the up and coming college basketball coaches. Relentless worker with a deep passion for the game. Like most BIG EAST teams, they bring their intensity every night. Would not be surprised if they finished in the top 3 of the BIG EAST.
Marquette Golden Eagles
2011 Record – 22-15 (9-9) Finished- 11th Big East
Preseason Ranking- #42
Significant Returning Players
Darius Johnson-Odom 6-2 215 Sr 15.8 pts 3.0 reb
Jae Crowder 6-6 235 Sr 11.8 pts 6.8 reb
Chris Otule 6-11 265 Jr 5.1 pts 3.6 reb
Vander Blue 6-4 200 So 5.1 pts 2.8 reb
Davante Gardner 6-8 290 So 4.6 pts 2.2 reb
Junior Cadougan 6-1 205 Jr 4.0 pts 3.2 asst
Significant Players Returning: 46.4 pts per game
Significant Players Lost: 29.9 pts per game (Butler, Buycks, Fulce, Williams)
2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 39
Food for Thought
Coaches being fired, athletic directors resigning, universities taking major blows to their athletic departments. Is the system imploding? I can honestly say not much has changed for me since the early 70’s except technology. Our rapid forms of communication have caught people violating rules instantaneously. It’s not about a man looking to sell a book. How does this all happen in front of communities, athletic compliance workers, and athletic administrators?
I have heard all the excuses throughout the years. The enforcement arm of the NCAA does not have enough people to keep everyone in check. The system of keeping the athletic department compliant is no different than that of lawyers, doctors, and Wall Street firms. We all have our regulators, except ours is not proactive.
What is the solution?
I believe the policing must come from within. Our compliance department at Louisville is first class with honorable people doing an excellent job on a daily basis. There is always a “but” and this is no exception. I believe the remedy lies in the compliance area. Here is where I see the solution to be:
A) All compliance personal answer monthly to the NCAA. They are the NCAA!
B) They are paid by the university but only report improprieties to the Athletic Director and NCAA simultaneously.
C) They are the arm of the enforcement department. It is their job to enforce the rules, rid programs of undesirable boosters, and eliminate runners and agents from the program. They are the NCAA!
D) They lose their jobs like coaches if the athletic teams fail to be compliant. They are without arrogance but with total autonomy. They are the police force to keep our system clean.
Some coaches will not like all the questions regarding the way things are done. Some administrators will not like the freedom the enforcement area will have to investigate.
Shoe companies indirectly fund runners. Runners are tied into AAU programs. Agents are pulling the strings of the top high school players and families. Everyone senses it but does not know how to alleviate the problem.
It is now the job of the NCAA enforcement area to have their guardian angels step up and right the ship. Compliance now becomes the undermanned enforcement arm. Just food for thought …
As you get older, being positive is a must rather than the opposite. But when I walked into the Saratoga Race track for my annual golf tournament, I was shocked.
Imagine the Cheers Bar ripped out in Boston or PJ Clarks in Manhattan. Those favorite landmarks you like to visit. That’s just what happened in Saratoga. Every year I would have the same routine. A Bud Light and a hello to Spanky the bartender, who is also a high school coach, in the famous landmark at the Jim Dandy Bar. I was shocked to see the circular bar ripped out and the hundred plus year landmark torn apart. It is now a flat bar with tall cocktail tables. The room is a disaster, tradition flushed down the toilet. Whoever created this mess should have to immediately travel to Lexington for six months of studying with Barbara Ricke (interior design extraordinaire). What a mess -- will someone inform me who’s responsible so I can make them run suicides?!