A few nuggets to get you going this morning:
- I'd like to pass along a warm welcome to all of the Iowa Hawkeye basketball fans who are linking over to us from their Rivals premium board. Based on our tracking several hundred of you are spending time here on the blog checking out the latest Tom Crean 'rumors'. Hawkeyes, is Tom Crean going to Iowa? What is the buzz in Iowa City? Seems like wasted energy to me . . . . Crean might leave MU someday but not for Hawkeye (or Wolverine) nation. The Iowa job is suicidal right now considering the dramatic upgrade in the Big Televen coaching ranks these last couple of years. Sampson, Matta, and Tubby will finally help the Big Ten deliver a better product in the coming years, and at a school like Iowa where you can't outfit a top 20 team consistently with home-grown talent --- that makes a difficult job even more untenable. Kentucky? Well that is another matter.
- Second item of interest: Rick Majerus was on Mike & Mike in the Morning moments ago talking about the possibility of a college coach taking over the Miami Heat job next season. There are strong rumors that Billy Donovan could get a shot at the manning the sidelines on South Beach. While professing no inside information, Majerus openly speculated that the only other college coach he could see jumping to the Heat (if Donovan didn't take the job) was Tom Crean based on his relationship with Wade. Well, we'll see. College coaches making the jump to the NBA is not exactly a successful fraternity.
- Kudos to Dwyane Wade for remembering and embracing his roots at Richards High School in Oak Lawn. Check out DWade's work with his high school alma mater via this article at the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Cassie takes McNeal to task far too much, calling him a "disappointment" and teeing off on his shot selection by claiming he had "a willingness to settle for the outside shot that spread to the rest of the team." Where to begin, eh ('disappointment' is so ridiculous I won't address it futher. That's a mindless claim.). While shot selection may have been the case in the non-conference schedule, that assertion does not hold up in conference play. Overall, McNeal shot 31% from three-point range last season, but a closer look shows that he shot a respectable 38% in conference play -- a substantial increase in his final 14 outings. Contrary to Cassie's contention, McNeal actually took fewer three-point shots per game in conference play (3.2 attempts per game) than in non-conference action (3.4 attempts per game) and hit them at a much higher rate.
- Cassie, you might be disappointed to know that James, Matthews, Fitzgerald, and Cubillan all showed depressed three-point shooting percentages in conference play. Good thing McNeal bucked the trend.
- MU attempted more than 23 three-pointers per game on the non-conference slate. During Big East play that number decreased nearly 22% to a more palatable 18 attempts from deep each game. The notion that "the team was too content to stand out on the perimeter and jack threes" was true in spurts in certain games (and due to injury late in the season), but hardly a problem that plagued their overall offensive effectiveness as the season played out.
- One more nit with her blog, "Other than David Cubillan there was not a guy on the team who didn’t make you cringe when he jacked one up." Cassie, Dan Fitzgerald hit more three-pointers than Cubillan last year, and was nearly equal in shooting percentage (.423 to .425). Fitzgerald also made more threes and had a higher shooting percentage from deep in conference play than Cubillan.