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Big Blue Nation Linkapalooza: Farewell to Pat Summitt Edition

Pat Summitt stepped down today as head coach of the Lady Volunteers after 38 years of coaching.
Pat Summitt stepped down today as head coach of the Lady Volunteers after 38 years of coaching.

Today, Pat Summitt, one of the greatest coaches ever to take the floor in college basketball, bids a reluctant farewell to her head coaching edition by reason of her diagnosis earlier this year with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's-type. As a long-time fan of college basketball, I am very sad to see this day arrive so soon, and under these circumstances.

In other news, Nerlens Noel sent in his NLI today, and Anthony Bennett culled his list down to four.

Now, for today's links:

Pat Summitt gave all she had in final season as Lady Vols head coach // Alex Wolff -

But simply in the trying, Summitt struck a blow against Alzheimer's. Yes, she could have spent another season or two on the sidelines, triangulating between her three assistants over here, and a brace of Lady Vols over there. But there was a more responsible decision to be made. This is how her son Tyler -- named to the women's staff at Marquette yesterday, the very day that his mother made her announcement -- put it this afternoon: "This was her decision. My mom's always told me, put the team before yourself. She did what was best for the Lady Vols program."

Awesome. She has done a lot for the game, and this is just proof that she takes her own advice.

White House: Summitt to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom //

Congratulations. And well deserved.

Anthony Bennett drops Washington //The Seattle Times

Washington chances at landing a marquee 2012 recruit appear to be over after Anthony Bennett, the five-star forward from Canada, nixed the Huskies from his list.

Noel Signs with Wildcats // Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site

The Kentucky men’s basketball program has added the nation’s top recruit in Nerlens Noel, head coach John Calipari announced on Thursday.

Officially official.

Big Ten makes changes to transfer rule // College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN

The Big Ten has altered its transfer rule within the conference for the 2011-12 season and beyond.

The league is allowing players to receive grant-in-aid, but it is also putting a harsher eligibility penalty in place that takes away a year of play from the transfer.

I really don't have a problem with this. I do object to coaches putting a long list of additional schools off limits, like Bo Ryan initially did. That practice needs to stop, or be outlawed.

Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Among Kentucky Players To Declare For 2012 NBA Draft

Can Calipari keep replacing players who seem irreplaceable? Will Noel be another one-and-done prodigy? More importantly, does he truly have their best interests at heart? Would the self-appointed protectors of the sanctity of college basketball really be doing someone like Davis a disservice by convincing him to return to campus for another year?

Taking them one at a time: Yes, no player is irreplaceable. Yes, he likely will. Yes, he definitely does, because if he was convincing them to stay, he's costing them more money than a college degree is worth in a lifetime. Yes, see the previous answer, and are two years really that much better than one, in an education sense?

Reaction to Pat Summitt stepping down at Tennessee // John Clay's Sidelines

Kentucky Exit Interview: Anthony Davis -- Big man loves campus and cops // The Courier-Journal

C-J: Some people are going to roll their eyes at you saying you love school.

Davis: Most definitely, but it’s the honest truth. I really do love school. I’ve always had a 3.5 (GPA) or higher in class, always had A’s and B’s since high school, middle school.

This is something that most people would be surprised to know, but not me. He went to an academic high school, not a basketball school.

Kentucky coach John Calipari gets long-awaited national title - Tampa Bay Times

But, yeah, this was for Calipari, too. If winning wasn't important, they wouldn't have scoreboards, and if titles weren't important, they wouldn't have resumes, and if trophies weren't so cool, the rest of college basketball wouldn't feel so much envy.

That's what I'm talking about!

Larry Brown? Have SMU officials gone crazy? // Yahoo! Sports

In another potential move to prop up Brown, SMU reportedly is talking to Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich about becoming coach-in-waiting. This is absurd. If the school has identified Jankovich as its coach of the future, make him its coach of the present, too.

This is Forde being typically obtuse. Did you know SMU had a basketball program? I actually never thought about that question. How do you make an unknown program into something very quickly? You create buzz. How do you do that? By hiring a Larry Brown in any capacity whatsoever. Jankovich is worth zero buzz, and needs something to jump start the place.

Bennett Down to Four Schools (UPDATED) //

I actually think he's down to two -- UK and Florida.

Checking in on the Kentucky Wildcats // SEC Blog - ESPN

Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith has impressed his coaches and his teammates with the way he’s thrown the ball this spring. He still has to hold off senior Morgan Newton once preseason practice resumes, but it’s Smith’s job to lose at this point. Newton is still recovering from a shoulder injury and not participating through the spring.

Now, if only the receivers can catch it ...

Sports Radio Interviews // John Calipari: The Man Creating More Millionaires Than a Wall-Street Firm

On Larry Brown possibly returning to coaching:

"He wants to coach. He’s a coach. They’ve got a great AD, they’re moving into the Big East, they’ve got to get some players, good players, but they’ve got to get Big East level players, he’s putting a great staff together, and Pat (O’Brien) you know Coach Brown. Coach Brown’s age, they say 71 but Pat how old is he really when you’re with him? (Host: 40.) Is he 55, 56, 40, you know what I’m saying? He’s not 71-years-old.

Heh. Cal being Cal.

No. 2 Baseball Hosts No. 1 LSU in Clash of Nation's Best // Kentucky Wildcats Official Athletic Site

I'll have a Q&A with the LSU blog And The Valley Shook tomorrow morning.

Bo Ryan Backs Down, Wayyyyy Down // Rick Bozich

And, as I wrote earlier today, Ryan’s appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Show this morning was such a complete PR disaster that it was inevitable somebody at Wisconsin was going to step in and tell Bo to knock it off.


Hall Of Famer Larry Brown Named Head Basketball Coach At SMU // SMUMUSTANGS.COM

Well, it's officially official.

Nerlens Noel named National High School Player of the Year.