The Big Blue Linkapalooza: Thursday Catch-up Edition

I didn't get to the linkapalooza yesterday, so today we will be playing a bit of catch-up, just in case you missed a few of the stories out there.  Of course, at this time of year, there just aren't a great many, but we try to stay abreast of all we can.

Today's big news in the Big Blue Blogosphere is that Matt Jones has left CBS and will be returning to whatever it was he was doing before joining CBS.  Here is his post of explanation, which I think is very good, and pretty much validates my perception of the relationship.  I also get the feeling that with all his other media duties, Matt might have bitten off a touch more than he could chew with that gig, but of course that's just an outsider's viewpoint on the matter.

Welcome back to the Big Blue Blogosphere, Matt, where you belong.  Now, for the rest of the links:

  • Ballin' is a Habit: Chris Smith, Kyle Kuric, and Elisha Justice to walk-on at Louisville next season

    Smith and Kuric -- and Justice, for that matter (he turned down a scholarship offer from UK out of high school because of his loyalty to Louisville) -- should be praised for their selflessness and dedication to the team.

    But don't make the mistake of assuming that that selflessness was voluntary.

    This is fascinating.  After Calipari's first year, many expected it would be him who was doing the oversigning.  Instead, it's Pitino, and Calipari seems to always have scholarships to spare.

  • DeAndre Liggins Interview with Dime Magazine
  • DraftExpress: Finding a Niche for Enes Kanter
    This is not exactly what I would like to hear, which means it is probably right. Personally, I have seen very little of Kanter other than the aforementioned Nike Hoop Summit and some pre-draft work. Kanter has the one thing that nobody can teach -- size -- but his question marks on defense and lack of off-hand skill, as well as a lack of competitive play, has to be a concern.

  • Three from Louisville, four from Kentucky taken in MLB draft :: The Courier-Journal
    Congratulations to all involved.

  • 2011 Mock Draft 2.0 (Picks 1-30) :: Lakers Nation

    This is interesting in that Lakers Nation thinks the Jazz will take Enes Kanter over Brandon Knight, with Knight slipping to the fourth spot.

    Prognostications are all over the place about Kanter, with some claiming he is the second coming of Karl Malone and others worried that he can't defend his position, and that all the available information on him is too sketchy to risk.  This will be an interesting pick, and who would have thought it would come down to two Kentucky guys?

  • DeAndre Daniel Top Recruit Chooses Connecticut Out Of Nowhere | LostLettermen.com

    DeAndre Daniels is going to Connecticut – for now.

    Heh.  The operative words, "for now" seem especially apropos given the flighty nature of this guy.  I have watched Daniels' recruitment with extreme disinterest.  I have no confidence in the ability of someone this indecisive to make a good teammate, regardless of his supposed skill.  Maybe he will prove me wrong, but this guy seems as weird as Willie Warren.

  • Final Four 2012: North Carolina but no Duke?
    That's right, no Duke.

  • John Calipari nominated for regional Emmy :: Kentucky.com
    I never knew there was such a thing as a "regional Emmy," but I'm glad to see Coach Cal get recognized for his charitable work.

  • Teague taking class, ready for All-Star series :: Jody Demling - Recruiting

    University of Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague starts college on Thursday, attending his first class in Lexington.

    A very good thing.  Getting an early leg up on classes is something that has helped every UK player since Calipari came to Lexington.

  • Stepped Up NCAA Enforcement Is An Incomplete Solution - Team Speed Kills

    Year2 is right that stepping up enforcement is an incomplete solution.  Cheating is a complex behavior that is usually a gradual progression from little cheats to bigger ones.

    I think I would adjust Year2's formula a bit to include a factor for short term vs. long term gains.  In many cases, the fear of long-term damage inhibits short-term cheating.  But when the long-term damage becomes less painful, the decision to cheat can become easier to make.

    Where we seem to see the most cheating among athletes is after they feel secure that getting caught will not do real long-term damage.  Marcus Camby and Reggie Bush seem to both be in this group, as their cheating began after they had been at college and established themselves as future professionals.  Every college player knows that their professional career is largely unaffected by cheating in college.  The pros do allegedly consider character, but talent often seems to override most character flaws unless they are drug-related.

    Of course, the young players and the older coaches have different triggers for that sort of behavior, but coaches commonly seem to want to rationalize cheating as minor or unimportant, a la Bruce Pearl.  They get into the most trouble when they try to cover up the small cheat instead of just owning up to it when they get caught.

    It's a little harder to figure what motivated Tressel, but his deception was in some ways worse than Pearl's.  Perhaps, like Bobby Knight, he thought the rule against selling memorabilia was simply a stupid rule, and rationalized not reporting it that way.  Or perhaps he simply couldn't live with the consequences of being without the offending players.  He claimed he didn't know who to report it to, but that is a patent lie, which makes me want to believe the second case.

    Which brings us back to Year2's post.  The NCAA should require formal, documented training of all student athletes in the rules, annually at least, using case studies such as Ohio State, etc.  As the article linked above showed, students who know something is explicitly wrong tend not to do it.  Many cases of cheating seem to be rationalization by deliberate ignorance.  Remove the ignorance, and maybe the motivation not to cheat will be stronger.

  • Louisville’s "roster management" merely oversigning? :: John Clay’s Sidelines

    The Louisville question goes back to the honesty question. Was Pitino up front with Kuric, who is U of L’s leading returning scorer from last season? And is Kuric being honest in his reaction, or is he putting on a brave, unified front for the good of the program, not to mention his relationship with the head coach?

    This is exactly right.  I think we have to take Pitino's word that this was the case, but it does seem passing strange, given what I have seen of Kuric, that he was recruited as a walk-on.  Having said that, I am hardly in a position to know.

    The bottom line is, as long as everyone understands up front when they come to a school that they are being granted a scholarship only because one was unexpectedly available, it may be withdrawn.  But if you are recruited as a scholarship player, remain in good standing and good behavior, your scholarship should not be withdrawn for another player.  UK has done this in the past also, so we are hardly in a position to take any moral high ground, but I would like to see that practice end.

  • UK only the fourth-best job in the country?
    Eric Lindsey and I are of a mind on this. I think DeCourcy is dead wrong.

  • Bobby Knight defends Ohio State players; calls NCAA rule idiotic
    Heh. Cognitive dissonance, thy name is Bob Knight.

  • Terrelle Pryor’s career at Ohio State over :: CollegeFootballTalk
    I don't think anyone can be surprised at this.

  • Videos Posted by Nets Basketball: DeAndre Liggins @ pre-Draft workout [HQ] | Facebook
    DeAndre Liggins talks about his recent workouts with the Nets.

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