Last we will take a look at what the intrepid crew of writers and basketball pundits have been doing as regular members of society, not spending their days with box scores or rehashing that scoring run. What have people been doing with their free time? What stories are they sick of hearing, like Pitino and Big East Expansion?
This roundtable's participants are below, with links to the pages on their sites with their full answers:
A Raging Bull (South Florida) - ARB
Black and Green Irish Blog (Notre Dame) - B&G
Chicago College Basketball (DePaul) - CCB
Eye of a Panther (Pittsburgh) - EoP
Hoya Prospectus (Georgetown) - HP
I Bleed Blue and White (Villanova) - IBBW
Orange 44 (Syracuse) - O44
Rumble in the Garden (St. John's) - RITG
U Conn Blog - UCB
Villanova by the Numbers - VBTN
I'll be posting the answers - one question at a time - on this site. There are 7 questions in total, and they should all be up in a few days. It's a big league, after all, and large group of participants. Enjoy, spread on the message boards and forums, and comment freely (but with civility).Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 were published earlier, go take a look!
Q. What have you been doing with your time without basketball games?
ARB: I train players in shooting. (4) NBA (6) College and (11) High School players. Most good shooters need help like good actors need a coach. I designed a new ball that helps shooters with release and follow-through.
VBTN: Trolling the international tournaments and following the Big East players this summer. I did some research on the history of the Big 5 (Philadelphia's City Series) and discovered the series records over at the official web site were incorrect. Though I did get a reply to my email, the error has not been corrected. I also did a little (not nearly enough) traveling, spending a week in one of the nation's truly special natural treasures -- the Great Smokies.
IBBW: Looking forward to football and avoiding watching the Mets. College and the pros. Villanova is an FCS program but we’re a Top-5 team this year, so it’s very exciting. And I’m going to have to give a shout out to the New York Football Giants. We’re winning it all again this year.
B&G: Fall at ND is football season. Needless to say, it's a bit difficult to think about a winter sport with such nice weather in South Bend and a team on the gridiron that isn't completely disappointing.
CCB: Without basketball I've been watching a lot of baseball and analyzing last season's college basketball. Also, I've been simulating college basketball games using Classic College Basketball - http://www.theccbgame.com/ - when I need a fix.
TECB: Actual work people pay me for; a couple of trips; following the Mets’ descent into irrelevance; trying to get into soccer (successfully).
O44: I am a huge lacrosse fan, and obviously Syracuse has a great and storied team. After basketball season is lacrosse and the NCAA Tournament, in which Syracuse won in the best final game possibly in lacrosse history. I wrapped up my final year of law school and took the bar exam as well, which took up all of my time from June to August. And now football is rolling again.
HP: Being a good husband and father, a real asset at work and a productive member of society. That will all end soon.
EoP: Big baseball fan, so that's kept me busy. Been following Pitt through training camp and will be gearing up for the NFL and college football. Throw in running a fantasy football league and waiting for the NBA to start and there's plenty on my plate.
Q. The summer is slow; so when Pitino's "mistake" is made public, or when Calipari's former team is penalized, or when someone posits a way for the Big East Conference to pick up new football members, the story tends to stick around a little longer than it would during the season. What college basketball story are you tired of this offseason?
HP: I've been remarkably SportsCenter-free, and generally television-free, this summer, so I don't have any problems with off-season news. I read about it, then move on. It's liberating to go the day without checking out what's on the Worldwide Leader.
IBBW: All of them, although I thoroughly enjoyed Rick Pitino’s out-of-the-blue press conference where he talked about anything and everything but himself. But it is the world we live in. Everyone has an opinion and a forum to voice it. I’m just ready to get back to some good ‘ol fashioned hoops.
O44: I’m tired of the whole Big East expansion talk. 16 teams is huge, and quite enough. The league is awesome, and as much as I would wish we could dump Rutgers and The Hall for better teams, I would rather keep the teams that have been loyal to the conference than look for new, flashy teams. The league was the toughest last season, so why take on even harder teams now? For the record Calipari should be punished, and the Pitino thing is a joy that keeps on giving.
TECB: The yearly "who will the Big East conference add to balance out football" article. It’s a stupid concept, really; the Big East couldn’t take the Big East name and make a football conference because they would have to lose classic Big East teams like St. John's, Providence, and Georgetown. If anything, the football teams would leave and form the Mediocre Eastern Tackle Football and Epic Fail League.
ARB: Pitino and Calipari are in the fraternity, so they will be fine. It's those outside the fraternity who pushed this nonsense (negative press) from the beginning. If you don't know who the fraternity is, I'll let you know during basketball season. They all stick together.
VBTN: Pitino's indiscretion and speculation over the next Big East football school are not basketball stories, yet they appropriate resources that could/ought to go to legitimate "basketball" stories. I am, for example, very curious to learn about "touring teams", unaffiliated with specific schools (but sometimes with specific causes), that are staffed with DI players and appear to tour abroad during the summer. Corey Chandler for example, late of Rutgers, joined one of those teams and toured Europe in late July/early August. When he returned to Rutgers he was dismissed from the program. I am not suggesting a "cause/effect" relationship between those two events, but the timing was curious. How do these teams (there are a number of them) differ from the USA Basketball-sponsored international teams (U16, U19, World University Games, Pan American teams, etc)? Are the players sponsored, or do they pay their own way? How does the selection process operate (are the training/tryout schedules)? Who arranges their opponents/competition? Who are the coaches? How are they selected?
While the talking heads have opined endlessly on whether Memphis' punishments was fair or not fair, no one has tracked down Rose to find out what exactly happened that weekend in Detroit. No one has tracked down the sources to establish a real timeline to account for his activities. The circumstances were peculiar, and potentially illegal. We seem to have 500 commentators and 0 reporters these days.
EoP: Other than the Calipari and Pitino stories, I don't know what else out there has been that hyped. Maybe the Erin Andrews thing. It's terrible what happened to her, but I'm not sure I need to hear about it on Oprah of all places. Also in another round-about type of way, maybe the Greg Paulus/Syracuse football thing. I'll be curious to see how he handles it if they start losing. He seems like an ultra-competitive kid.
B&G:Pitino. He sure seems like a scumbag now, but I really don't need to know the details of his bad decisions. The woman involved is certainly no victim either, but Pitino has further to fall. I'm ready for this to go away.
CCB: The Big East expansion rumors just get more and more ridiculous. The conference isn't going to go above 16 teams and kicking someone out seems like it would end up being quite the process. Sure every once in a while Joe Paterno wants a sweeter deal in the Big Ten, but the Nittany Lions aren't going anywhere. We need to let the conferences settle and stay where they are.