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Midday Rumble: Balamou, Mussini, Ellison on Big East Academic list

Plus Nova’s star freshman waiting for clearance, players with two fouls, and more

St. John's Red Storm v Villanova Wildcats Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Some news and notes from this week:

Not just ballers: The Big East announced that over 2,000 athletes were selected as members of the 2015-16 Big East All-Academic team. On the basketball side, St. John’s placed outgoing senior Felix Balamou and now-sophomores Malik Ellison and Federico Mussini on the All-Academic team. Women’s basketball added Sandra Udobi-Ofogu and Akina Wellere to the list.

Some other notable names reaching the All Academic list:

Baseball’s Ty Blankmeyer and Thomas Hackimer, both drafted by MLB teams this spring; women’s goalkeeper Diana Poulin, along with sophomore forwards Lucy Whipp and Christina Bellero, senior midfielder Emily Cubbage and many others; Lacrosse’s Jason Bonanno, and many, many more - for a total of 203 names from the Red Storm’s scholarship athletic programs.

Big East’s PDF of awardees is here.

If you’re wondering about the criteria, from the Big East’s release:

To be eligible for the honor, a nominee must have competed in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport, attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of academic work, with a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credits, not including remedial courses.

Villanova is waiting... forward Omari Spellman is waiting to be judged academically eligible by the NCAA, and will travel with but not play on the Wildcats’ European tour in Spain. The National Champions expect to play Spellman heavy minutes as a freshman; center Daniel Ochefu has graduated.

Our Marquette friends take a summer reset look at the Red Storm, get upset at the idea that Marcus LoVett might be the Rookie of the Year (ok, there’s a LOT of ball to play, geez! Presumptive much?) but are generally high on St. John’s chances this season.

The recuperating fifth-year senior Isaiah Zierden of Creighton thinks that Creighton could be a Sweet Sixteen team - which would apparently be the first one for the Blue Jays? I haven’t fact-checked that one yet.

Ken Pomeroy takes an occasionally wonky look at how players play with two fouls at the end of a half. The golden nugget is this:

The main argument against sitting players in foul trouble is that players rarely foul out and sitting them is just depriving the best players of playing time. However, you could reframe the debate. Instead of maximizing minutes for his best players, a coach’s job is also to minimize bad minutes. There’s a self-preservation instinct in most players and in situations where that instinct is the strongest, there figures to be a negative impact on the player’s defense.

Fans sometimes get upset with coaches who preserve players with foul trouble; but if that player is a revolving door on the perimeter or at the rim, those are bad defensive minutes, aren’t they? (Unless they were already terrible at defense to begin with.)

Major League Soccer franchising fees sure do look like a bubble.