Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Early August Odds and Ends Around the Big East

The Dog Days of summer are approaching, but the basketball news continues...

Puerto Rico Tip-Off tidbits
Villanova's potential 2nd round opponent Georgia Tech reported that freshman forward Kammeon Holsey tore his ACL on August 1 and will undergo surgery Wednesday. Holsey will red shirt for the 2009-10 season. Holsey, part of the consensus best recruiting class in the country going into 2009-10, is not the biggest name in the group (that honor goes to consensus #1 recruit Derrick Favors), but his loss will be a blow to the Jackets, who are expected to be competitive in the ACC this season.

A possible 3rd round opponent Mississippi announced the return (and complete recovery) of guards Chris Warren and Trevor Gaskins, along with guard-forward Eniel Polynice, all red shirt injuries from the 2009 season. Warren, Gaskins and Polynice are expected to be cleared to resume all basketball activities within the next 2 weeks. Zach Graham, limited by a partial tear of his patella tendon, underwent surgery at season's end, and has according to Coach Andy Kennedy, made considerable progress and should be cleared before the beginning of the season.

Change in the Big East Tournament Format?
Kevin McNamara over at the Providence Journal penned an article for the Sunday paper that the Big East was looking at a Tuesday round that would match the #1 - #4 seeds against the #13 - #16 seeds in Madison Square Garden. The winners would "lay over" until Thursday when they would play the winners from the Wednesday round (#5 - #8 seeds matched against the #9 - #12 seeds). In this proposed format, the #1 through #4 seeds would trade a two round bye for a Tournament Week mini-break. Losing two of the four top seeds in their first outing (the quarterfinal game on Thursday), while a third, Villanova, needed a last (literally) second shot to beat Marquette no doubt provoked some second thoughts. And ESPN passed on televising the first round game, which I am sure played a role too. Under the proposed format teams #1 through #8 would play in the first days, giving ESPN a number of (possibly) interesting match ups to televise. The conference's Presidents will decide sometime in September.

Pittsburgh Picks Up Another pg
The Panthers accepted Centenary College's point guard, 5-11 rising junior Chase Adams, as a transfer for the 2009-10 season earlier this week. Adams, slated to be a senior with a single season of eligibility remaining, will have his one season waiting period waived because Centenary voted to downgrade to DIII last month. Pittsburgh blogger Chris Dokish fills out the details (and thinking) on this late summer "roster move" as part of a longer (and more detailed) look at the state of the Pitt program, over at the New Big East Report.

Jeff Goodman penned a late summer look at the Marquette Golden Eagles as part of his summer series. The staff will rebuild with a mixed bag of JUCOs and high school recruits, several of whom are well regarded, but for the most part flying under the national media radar.

Also from the New Big East Report blogger Zach Smart offers a look at the St. John's Red Storm. The lead in to Smart's piece not surprisingly, is Coach Robert's status. Smart provides a run down on old and new faces. To date the bloggers over at the New Big East Report have rolled out only 5 "summer reports". Better get busy guys, you need to start the official previews (late) next month.

Christmas on the Mainline?
Sorry could not resist. Speculation (and excitement) over Top 10 recruit, Class of 2011 forward Rakeem Christmas is rising as the 6-9 220 pound forward announced his short list of 8 schools. Villanova, along with fellow Big East member Georgetown are still in the running for the Philadelphia high schoolers verbal. Also on the list are elite schools Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Baylor. Looks like the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC are represented.

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