Weekend Roundup (8-17-09)

Meet Tim Hardaway Jr.

hardaway-jr-srIsrael Gutierrez wrote a great feature story on Tim Hardaway Jr. and his relationship with his father in the Miami Herald.

The article details the strain that basketball put on their relationship and how Hardaway finally reassessed his approach this winter.

“One day, I just sat up there and looked at the game,” Hardaway said. “When I looked at it it was really my fault. I saw why I almost broke up a happy home. Because I was always on him.”

Their relationship has steadily improved since then and Hardaway Jr. has continued his steady play. Here are two more quotes that stood out:

“You know how people say, `Play the right way?’ He plays the right way,” Hardaway said. “He understands the game inside and out, because I’m always talking to him about it.”

“I definitely see the [NBA] potential in him,” Hardaway said. “But he’s got a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

The whole article is worth a read and you can read it here here.

Best in New England?

smotryczNot quite, however the New England Recruiting Report updated their 2010 rankings and Evan Smotrycz moved up to the #3 slot behind only Nate Lubick (Georgetown) and Gerard Coleman (Providence).

Not only did NERR slide him up their rankings, they also raved about his game.

Evan Smotrycz cracks the top three for the first time and that’s a very deserving honor when you consider the type of AAU season he’s had.  Ever since his commitment to Michigan in the spring Smotrycz has been on an absolute role [sic].  Always dangerous off the catch, the skilled forward has become much better with the ball in his hands and can now consistently create his own shot with the dribble.  Another thing that bodes well from Smotrycz is that he plays his best when the lights are on the brightest.  The proof is in the pudding as he’s played to rave reviews at the Pittsburgh & Providence Jam Fests this year in addition to the Rumble in the Bronx and NBA Players Camp.

There is no doubt that Smotrycz and Hardaway are a very good start to the class of 2010, but adding Zeigler or Prather would take the class from very good to one of the best to head to Ann Arbor for a long time.

Ethics Committee’s Mike Rothstein has jumped head first into the Michigan basketball beat. This weekend he put together an intriguing series of pieces discussing John Beilein and the ethics committee. The three pieces include Beilein’s goals for the committee, how Beilein’s past has led him to the committee, and finally a look at what other coaches would like to see.

The problem with addressing “ethics” in college basketball is that there are simply too many issues to tackle. Beilein realizes it’s a slow process, and change won’t come overnight, but he also doesn’t want to committee to do any policing. Because the NCAA doesn’t have much policing ability to begin with, I think the whole idea is a bit hollow. You can make as many rules as you want, but at the end of the day the NCAA just doesn’t have the power to enforce many of them.

The committee will have no shortage of issues to talk about. Whether it’s selling “programs” at AAU events that cost several hundred dollars, the Nate Miles situation at UConn, or the precarious Renardo Sidney situation. Since the committee is focusing on education, maybe they could teach Rick Pitino a lesson too.

My issue with the NCAA is that there are so many of these stories (these are just a couple from the last several months) but we hardly ever see any punishment handed down for things that seem like real issues at high-major schools. But, never fear punishment is on the way… for Southeast Missouri State. SEMO is being slapped with three years of probation, scholarship reductions, and vacation of wins from 2006-2008. Why the punishment?

The committee found that the impermissible presence of men’s basketball coaching staff members during summer strength and conditioning activities and observation of out-of-season pick-up games occurred in 2006 and 2007. The committee also found that impermissible extra benefits were given to two men’s basketball student-athletes: one in the amount of $239 for unpaid institutional fees in August 2007, and the other when the former assistant coach drove a student-athlete 171 miles from campus to Memphis in October 2006.

A ride, $300, and coaches watching pickup games.

Manny Makes Andy Katz’ Wooden Watch List

manny-clemson manny-airplane

Manny made Andy Katz’ list of 50 players to watch for the Wooden award in 2009-10. He wasn’t fortunate enough to make Katz’ top 15 though, although three other Big Ten players did, Hummel (5), Lucas (6), and Turner (12).

If you want to start thinking about this year’s schedule, Katz calls Kansas the consensus #1 team in the country and they number one and three players on the list in Aldrich and Collins. Speaking of the Kansas game, Jeff Goodman listed the Michigan/Kansas game as one of his top non-conference games of 2009-10. He’s understandably not too keen on Michigan’s chances in Lawrence:

The Wolverines knocked off Duke and UCLA last year, but this would be mammoth if they could go to Lawrence and pull off the upset.

The Michigan/UConn game also made the list and Michigan’s game against Boston College qualifies as one of the “next 40”.

Schedule Updates

Finalized schedules are due out this week but the Cedar Raids Gazette got a hold of Iowa’s schedule. Per a tweet from Mark Snyder, Michigan will host Iowa on January 30th at 3:30 PM and travel to Iowa City for a game on February 16th at 8 PM.

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