Tuesday, April 6, 2010

basketball bits and recruiting board update

Time for a little housekeeping. Basketball stuff's been happening.

- First, not to put it too bluntly or anything, but Jeff Jones is gone. So much for keeping the recruiting class of 2007 intact like I mentioned a few weeks ago. My take: shit. Long-term it's not a huge deal as Jones only had a year left, but it's a big problem for next year. Jones' shooting improved dramatically this year; it was still streaky, but the good streaks were a lot longer than the bad ones this time. When all was said and done he was the best three-point shooter we had. For the three games Sylven Landesberg was out, Jones stepped up as a go-to guy, averaged 15 points, and shot 9-for-15 from three-point land. That was Jones' one job on this team. It's fair to say that under Leitao he was a total bust, and equally fair to say he had turned it around under Bennett in a big way, becoming one of the most important players on the team. This team needed Jones's stroke from deep to succeed.

Scholarship-wise there's almost no impact, other than to make it even more likely that Will Sherrill gets off the hook for paying his way. For next year's rotation, the biggest beneficiary is likely Joe Harris, supposedly the best shooter of the bunch. I still have no interest in trying to predict a rotation - I recommend a ouija board if you really must know - but Jones was the player Harris was most similar to, and it's not hard to project him to an increased role now. Meantime I hope Sammy, Bub, and Mu are shooting 1,000 jump shots a day.

- Second: the ACC coaching carousel spins and spins. Boston College fired the winningest coach in school history and has replaced him with Steve Donahue, who you might recognize as the guy who brought Cornell to the Sweet 16. I have no opinion on Donahue, and recommend you check out BC Interruption if you want to know more. Doug Doughty has some interesting things to say, pointing out that the atmosphere surrounding the BC-UVA game in Boston this year was a huge symptom of the reasons behind Al Skinner's dismissal. "Atmosphere" is a poor choice of words, because there was none; I was at that game, and Doughty can use the "official" attendance figure all he likes, but the attendance at that game would have had to triple for the place to be half full. I'm guessing 1,500 was more like it. BC was lousy this year and nobody noticed; Skinner's firing was a given.

Less of a given (a lot less) was the news coming down from on high today that Oliver Purnell would be leaving Clemson for DePaul, a Big East member that's been trampled underfoot lately. Dave Leitao did a good job at that school and then Jerry Wainwright completely cratered it; Purnell is coming in to fix it and earn a dumptruckload of money in the process.

This could go either very well or very badly for Clemson. Lately, when filling out my tournament brackets, I had an ironclad rule that never failed me: When in doubt, never ever ever bet on Oliver Purnell. His teams always raced out to a big start to the season and folded like a cheap card table down the stretch, culminating in a loss to some double-digit seed in the tournament. Still: tournament. My gut feeling is Clemson won't really be able to attract quite the talent they'd like for the head coaching job, and will take a semi-permanent step backwards.

- Jeff White has a nice article on the unprecedented success of the swim teams. Unprecedented: yes. Unrepeated: I very much doubt it. The future is bright here, as both teams continue to return the bulk of their talent and Bernardino continues to succeed on the recruiting trail.

Lastly, the recruiting board gets another update. It's looking pretty robust these days, as you'd expect in the time where the coaches have fired off a bunch of offers and most the players are still not ready to narrow down the list yet. Here are the changes:

- Added WR Daniel Adams, CB Jeremiah Hendy, LB Zeek Bigger, and QB David Watford to yellow.

- Added CB Kyshoen Jarrett to red.

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