Saturday, May 15, 2010

Departures -- Cincinnati Thru Georgetown

The Clearing Fog...Part 1 of 4
I do not understand how, with the air thick with rumors (and news) of coaching changes, underclassmen putting in for the NBA draft or of transferring, analysts can make a projection of next season's Top 25. Even if the roster is inert -- staff and players stay in place and no new faces in the rotation for next season -- player development and life altering events remain the variables in the team dynamics.

The deadline has passed for pulling out of the NBA draft, and (for now) all head coaching positions in the Big East are staffed. A pause, to enumerate those departed and consider the changes, may in order. I have listed the losses to each team (seniors and NBA draft hopefuls, academic casualties and late-breaking coaching turnovers may affect each team's standing.


Lance StephensonFRFDraft-In
Steve ToyloySRCGrad
Deonta VaughnSRGGrad

Vaughn and Toyloy were known, but the loss of Stephenson, especially after he announced he would return for his sophomore year, was surprising and a frankly disappointing. Vaughn was a scoring point guard who tended to be more efficient when someone else (Jamal Warren for example) ran the point and let him come off screens. Cashmire Wright should get a long look at the #1, but someone (or a combination of someones) will have to supply the instant offense that Vaughn and Stephenson did last season. Coach Mick Cronin finished his fourth season and touts a 61-68 (0.473) record, with two trips to the (non-NCAA) post season to show for his tenure. Any in the Bearcat Nation looking for a speedy bounce back from the aftermath of Huggins/Kennedy have to be disappointed now.


Jerome DysonSRGGrad
Gavin EdwardsSRF/CGrad
Alex HornatSRFGrad
Jonathan MandeldoveSRCGrad
Stanley RobinsonSRFGrad

The first time in three (off) seasons the program has not had an early entry into the NBA draft...a good sign. The second time in the past four seasons the Huskies have not made the NCAAs either...a bad sign. The program is under investigation over the Nate Miles recruitment. The specifics, though undisclosed, have warranted the (additional) expense of a Kansas City law firm that specializes in NCAA-related offenses, retained to represent the program as they work to answer the charges. The fees, according published reports, will exceed $300,000. Coach Calhoun, who has missed games in each of the last three seasons, has recently signed a new contract that promises to keep him in Storrs through the 2014 season. Though he will be 73 in that contract's last year, the new contract was welcomed as a sign to potential recruits, that the long-time coach expects to continue. Whispers from the staff suggest the senior losses are addition by subtraction, and Coach Calhoun raved about the incoming class, generally regarded as second in the conference to Syracuse's, at a recent press conference.


Mac KoshwalJRF/CDraft-In
Will Walker SRG Grad

Walker and Koshwal were the team's most reliable/prolific scorers. The Demons come through a tumultuous season, one that saw five year head Coach Jerry Wainwright fired in December, and the interim coach, Terry Webster, not retained when Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell, took over in early April. Reaction to Oliver's hire and Webster's termination was (at best...) very mixed, with some area Public League coaches appreciative of early telephone contact, and AAU coaches unhappy about Webster's fate. Purnell's offense system is very different from Wainwright's, hopefully DePaul's administration and fan-base are not expecting a quick recovery.


Greg MonroeSOCDraft-In

The Hoyas have no graduating seniors and lose Greg Monroe to the NBA draft. Coach Thompson signed a contract extension last season, and though Georgetown took an unexpected quick exit from the NCAAs (97-83 first round loss to #14 seed Ohio University), continues to have the confidence of the administration and fans. The Hoyas are penciled into a few preseason Top 25s and a watch list or two.

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