Today in the Morning Rumble, Billy Donovan thanks Gator fans, North Carolina receives their Notice of Allegations, Bobby Hurley throws out the first pitch at the Diamondbacks game and an SEC coach earned a contract extension.
We will start on the diamond where the St. John's baseball team has punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after knocking off Creighton, 8-7, in the Big East Tournament Championship Game. Led by Big East Coach of the Year Ed Blankmeyer, the Johnnies have won 15 games in a row and won the Conference crown for the eighth time in the program's history.
As they continue their quest to Omaha, the Johnnies will figure out where they are headed Monday but it may not matter as the confidence is at an all time high in Queens.
Last week, surprising news came out of Providence as Paschal Chukwu decided to announce that he is transferring out of the program. According to NBC Sports College Basketball Talk, the 7'2" big man has already sparked interest from multiple teams, including Kansas, who he will visit during the first weekend of June, and Nebraska.
Even though Chukwu is very raw, no coach (even Bill Self) can teach size and the center would be a major addition or upgrade to any program who is in the need of interior depth.
Billy Donovan will always be in the hearts of Gator fans and this was some really cool stuff from the current Oklahoma City Thunder head coach.
Donovan decided to say good bye by using a full page advertisement in The Gainesville Sun. Surprisingly, he even made a joke about his first attempted jump to the NBA that ended up in the coach returning to Florida before the Orlando Magic could even introduce him.
This time the circumstances were clearly different as Donovan did not want to pass up a chance to coach two of the ten best players in the world in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. There will be no dramatic return this time with former Louisiana Tech coach Michael White taking over the reins.
Meanwhile, down in North Carolina the Tar Heels finally have received their Notice of Allegations relating to the academic misconduct investigation that was recently reopened by the NCAA. The school has not released the document to the public as they are currently reviewing it closely, but this is just the beginning of what could be a long difficult process for the basketball program.
Not only is this effecting recruiting, but it has a possible impact on a preseason top five squad and National Championship contender this season. No one knows when the penalties are going to come down because the NCAA is just way to unpredictable with these investigations so the legacy of coach Roy Williams hangs on the thread of a needle.
The "Curtain of Distraction" has emerged! New Arizona State head coach and former Duke point guard Bobby Hurley threw out the first pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks game Sunday and of course the "Curtain of Distraction" had to be present.
More importantly, the pitch was solid. Maybe Bobby played some league little back in the day.
In more coaching news, Georgia's Mark Fox received a five year contract extension on Friday after leading the Bulldogs back to the NCAA Tournament last season (losing to Michigan State in the Round of 64).
Fox is 106-89 in his first six seasons with the program and he has given the program it's first back-to-back 20 win seasons since the 1990s.
Finally, Providence was involved in Richmond graduate transfer Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (as a possible replacement for Chukwu this season) but the shot blocker committed to Pittsburgh. That is the second graduate transfer that the Panthers have landed this offseason as they snagged former Brown Bear Rafael Maia to help their front line.