Monday, October 24, 2011

Dallas Ouano, JayVaughn Pinkston Make BIAH's All...Team!

The bloggers over at the Ballin' is a Habit blog have recognized Villanova guard Dallas Ouano and forward JayVaughn Pinkston to their All Teams this season. Dallas joins Denver Holmes from Evansville, fellow Big East player Cleveland Melvin from DePaul, Conroy Baltimore from Lehigh and Montreal Scott from Prairie View A&M. Pinkston was named to the All-Make-Your-Mind First Team, along with Brockeith Payne from Utah State, Chrishawn Hopkins from Butler, Kennesaw State's Markeith Cummings and Drake's RayVonte Rice. The Villanovans were members of a 256 Division I player contingent who were named to 48 separate All-Name Teams (along with a handful of Honorable Mentions) by BIAH.

Congratulations to Dallas and JayVaughn

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Signs of the Offseason 2011-08 -- Conference Realignment: Big East Agonistes

We Have All Been Here Before?
New York Times sportswriter Pete Thamel reports that the Big East Presidents will hold a conference call on Monday October 10. This will be the second conference call in three days and the third time in eight days that the Presidents of the 14 remaining schools have huddled over the future of the conference. Thamel suggests the agenda will include raising the exit fee. As reported by, the fees will settle " the 10 million dollar range". Neither nor Thamel anticipate that any invitations will be acted on during the meeting. Denver Post sportswriter Mark Kiszla reports that Air Force is preparing to move to the Big East, the announcement scheduled for (possibly) the end of October. The Falcons will play football in the Big East while moving their other sports (basketball included) to the Missouri Valley Conference.

Here and There...
Tom Luicci of the Star Ledger is reporting that the Big East, in addition to the military academies, is also courting Boise State of the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos could help the conference retain their automatic qualifier status in the BCS system. Like the Air Force, the Boise State invitation is for football only. The Broncos would have to find a home for their other sports. Unconfirmed by Boise State, file this one among the Rumors for the time being.

In the immediate aftermath of Syracuse and Pittsbughs announced exit Connecticut President Susan Herbst seemed more involved in pursuing an exit strategy rather than raising the conference standard and rallying the disheartened among the Big East members. That task was left to Louisville AD Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino. The very public lobbying of the Atlantic Coast Conference conducted by several Connecticut newspapers came to nothing when ACC Commissioner John Swofford indicated in September 28 interviews that the conference is "...very settled" at 14 members. Boston Globe sportswriter Mark Blaudschun offered another explanation for the ACC expansion today however. While virtually all of the movement for the past two years has been to build revenue streams on football programs, Blaudschun suggested the ACC move to snap up Syracuse and Pittsburgh was motivated by basketball, and the Big Easts recent surge to the head of the class. Raiding the Big East to grab two of the conferences most successful basketball programs was, Blaudschun reports, was meant to apease basketball powers North Carolina and Duke, both of whom felt the 2004 raid which brought Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College into the conference further diluted the basketball side of their conference. Connecticut Blaudschun asserts, was left out at the behest of regional rival Boston College who was still unhappy at the lawsuits filed when the Eagles left in 2004. What goes around comes around...

H/T: & Pete Thamel

Friday, October 7, 2011

Signs of the Offseason 2011-07 -- Conference Realignment: "Pick up on Line #1 -- Its the Big East"

Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye
New York Times sportswriter Pete Thamel reports that in the wake of Texas Christian University's decision to accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference, Big East league Presidents will conference call this morning to sort out their options. Topping the makeshift agenda will be who to invite to join in an effort to bolster the football side of the house. With the departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh as of last month, combined with the non-arrival of TCU, the Big East football conference is down to six members, not enough to sustain their AQ status at the BCS table. While there is no confirmation that invitations will be extended today (Commissioner John Marinatto was directed to move quickly on this last Sunday), Cincinnati Enquirer sportswriter Bill Koch reports that the Presidents will vote to extend invitations to the University of Central Florida and East Carolina University today.

But What About?...
The Nova Blog reports that while Temple and Villanova continue to be mentioned as possible candidates, there is no indication that either will be addressed by the meeting.

H/T: The Nova Blog & Voodo Five

Monday, October 3, 2011

Maalik Wayns Named to Wooden Award Watch List

The Bob Cousy Award
The Villanova Athletic Department and the Los Angeles Athletic Club made simultaneous announcements this afternoon that junior point guard Maalik Wayns had been named to the 2011 Preseason Wooden Award Watch List. Maalik follows in the footsteps of Corey Fisher, Scottie Reynolds and Randy Foye, Villanova guards who have been named to the Watch List in previous preseasons. A total of 10 players (two each from Connecticut and Syracuse) were named to the list released earlier this afternoon. They include...

Jeremy LambFSoConnecticut
Alex OriakhiF/CJrConnecticut
Peyton SivaPGJrLouisville
Darius Johnson-OdomGSrMarquette
Tim AbromaitisFGSNotre Dame
Ashton GibbsPGSrPittsburgh
Scoop JardineGSrSyracuse
Kris JosephFJrSyracuse
Maalik WaynsPGSrVillanova
Kevin JonesFSrWest Virginia

The Big East contingent is, as usual, contains a large portion of senior & 5th year nominees. Abromaitis, along with DJO, Gibbs, Jardine, Jones, Siva and Joseph have all been named to conference teams (or honorable mentions) in 2011. Jeremy Lamb, named to the conference Rookie Team, played on the U19 team that competed for the U19 World Championship last summer in Latvia.

Other Nominees of Interest
From the Atlantic-10 Conference, Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure) and Tu Holloway (Xavier) were also recognized.

Congratulations Maalik
& all of the nominees

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Signs of the Offseason 2011-06 -- Conference Realignment: Sunday Afternoon in Washington

They Were Not There for the Fall Foliage
The Hartford Courant sports writer Dom Amore has been sending out tweets since 10:00 am this morning about the Big East President's meeting in Washington. After a fortnight that started with the SEC and Texas A∓M formalizing their new relationship and rumors surrounding the two Oklahoma schools, along with Texas and Texas Tech in negotiations with the Pac-12 conference, the conference realignment shifted dramatically east last weekend with the simultaneous announcements by the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pittsburgh and Syracuse that the Panthers and Orange had applied to and been accepted by the ACC for full membership. The conference, staggered by the exit of a second charter member along with a 30 year, multiple conference title holder in basketball tried an initial, football members only meeting in New York City. That the Tuesday night meeting ended in chaos and acrimony strengthened a feeling throughout Division 1 athletics that the conference was taking a last gasp as a player in the BCS football mix. Amore reported (tweeted) that the conference meeting broke up after the projected 3:00 pm deadline. He added the following tweets as part of a post meeting press conference with Big East Commissioner John Marinatto....

1. West Virginia's President did not storm out, as had been rumored around 2pm.
2. BE Presidents voted unanimously to pursue discussions with schools that have expressed interest in joining.
3. Reference to football membership -- "military academies fit the profile".
4. UConn's President Susan Herbst was "terrific in the meeting" and promised to work to strengthen the conference.
5. Presidents will consider bylaws changes to "strengthen the conference" -- up the exit fees.
6. Texas Christian University's President attended and reaffirmed their intent to join the conference next season. According to Commissioner Marinatto, TCU "never wavered" during a very stressful week.

As an observation Amore added that Marinetto apparently felt this was a more positive meeting than the one Tuesday in NYC. "The shock has worn off". Amore followed wth a blog post that indicated the focus for new members will be football playing schools (membership not clear), with a profile that values "high academic standards and strong athletic performance,".

What About Villanova?!
The tweets and Commissioner Marinatto's comments suggest that no invitations were extended today. This leaves fans of Villanova, Temple, East Carolina, Central Florida and Memphis in something of a fog. The Big East Conference issued an official press release shortly after Commissioner Marinatto's press conference ended. Interesting to note that the Presidents were unanimous in authorizing "the Commissioner to aggressively pursue discussions with a select number of institutions that have indicated a strong interest in joining the BIG EAST Conference..." but were not unanimous about "...considering changes to the Conference’s governing bylaws to further solidify the membership of the Conference...". A strong ongoing commitment to the conference is crucial as the conference negotiates with the Air Force and Navy about football-only membership. Those two, rumored to be close to throwing in with the Big East in the days before Syracuse and Pittsburgh defected, were said to be wavering about a membership invitation due to the chaos of the past week. Hopefully the wording will give Commissioner Marinatto the authority to push ahead and successfully close out negotiations with the service academies while working through applications submitted by other institutions.