Non-Big East news and links: Brad Pitt played hoops too... elite basketball classes don't mean elite success... Alabama football star Trent Richardson is taking a leukemia survivor to her prom... a mostly dry winter has led to abnormally dry/ drought-like conditions around the USA... a public service announcement to combat the rise in sexually transitted diseases among seniors... mirror portraits on Flickr...goggles that help you eat less.
This offseason, we'll have fairly regular links from around the Big East to
pass the time stay informed about the state of the basketball programs - and give us a place to discuss the happenings in the league.
If you have suggestions, or inclusions that should be added for next week's Around the League roundup, please leave them in the comments or email them to us.
On UConn, fake allegations, transfers and professional decisions - after the jump.
The Courant asks for the specifics I've been dying to know about UConn and Andre Drummond - what "financial aid" ruse did they use to have the elite center (Drummond, before coming to college anyway) enroll as a walk-on? Asked about it, Calhoun replies "none of your business", which seems in character. And the player who was going to give up his scholarship to accomodate Drummond, Michael Bradley, is transferring.
In good Husky news, UConn has a new player - a graduating senior from Holy Cross named R.J. Evans. He didn't rate a quick analysis in our look at immediately-eligible senior transfers; offensively, he's been inefficient, though he has played major minutes in the Patriot League. He is a 6'3 guard who can pass credibly, shot around 50% inside the arc and drew fouls (indicating that he can get to the basket), but hasn't shot more than 22% from outside the arc in any of his seasons. If he's quick enough to hang with the players in the league, he could be a solid guard off of the bench.
Providence still has sophomore guard Bryce Cotton on the roster; he was rumored to be transferring out. But a dissatisfied player could be dissatisfied after another semester - especially if his playing time goes down.
One of the men who accused former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of child sexual abuse has recanted his story.
Pittsburgh has landed transfer Trey Zeigler from Central Michigan, where his father was fired last month. Zeigler was an elite recruit and has talent. He may not have to sit for a year; there may be precedent for him to be eligible next season and help a Pitt program that struggled in Ashton Gibbs' senior year.
Louisville's Jared Swopshire will transfer to Northwestern for his final season of eligibility.
The Big East "Future Neighbors"
The Central Florida Golden Knights went before the NCAA yesterday to respond to allegations that UCF's sports programs were involved with runners, sports agents, and financial gifts to recruits. From TampaBay.com:
UCF's self-imposed sanctions include: three years of probation, vacation of all men's basketball wins for 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, reducing its scholarships by one each of the next two years in basketball, and the reduction of recruiting days by basketball and football coaches.
UCF spokesman Grant Heston released a statement that expressed optimism about the meeting. "UCF has worked with the NCAA transparently and collaboratively, enhanced our athletics compliance efforts and self-imposed significant penalties," the statement said.
The Houston Cougars lose two players to transfer (Alandise Harris and Kirk Van Slyke) and one to professional basketball (Jonathon Simmons). The Cougars have a number of highly-rated recruits coming to campus, and Pitt transfer J.J. Richardson eligible next season.
Southern Methodist is still looking for a coach -
and the Mustangs are now competing with Louisiana State for North Texas coach Johnny Jones. Larry Brown is said to be the next target. Yes, the former Knicks (and everyone else) coach. Yes, the 71-year old coach who can't stay in one place. Marquette assistant Tony Bedford is also of interest.
Bonus: Though he didn't choose Georgetown or Syracuse, top national recruit Nerlens Noel's reveal of his school choice was awesome.
See also St. John's recruiting