Time for a Wednesday edition of News and Notes before Pat and I head out to DC for a week (don‘t expect any candid John Thompson III interviews, we apologize in advance)…
- Some news that flew way under the radar was the confirmed ineligibility of Patrick Beverley from the Arkansas basketball team this past week. While Arkansas’s NCAA hopes and chances to contend in the SEC West were slim anyway, losing your best player is a crushing blow for coach John Pelphrey. Beverley will now decide whether to transfer to another school in hopes of gaining another year of eligibility or turn professional and play overseas. He led the Razorbacks in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (6.6) last season in their march to the NCAA tournament second round in Pelphrey’s first season at the helm. The former SEC newcomer of the year was hoping to get his life back on track in time for a productive season, but it appears any future accomplishments for Beverley on the court won’t happen in Fayetteville.
- Updates on three players attempting to gain eligibility this season:
1. Augustus Gilchrist, USF- Coach Stan Heath may get word by the end of this week whether the 6’8 Maryland transfer can suit up for the Bulls this season. He’d be a big help to a team that lost Kentrell Gransberry and is in need of scoring and rebounding to stay competitive in the Big East. Gilchrist is a complicated story: he enrolled at Virginia Tech, rescinded and committed to Maryland, enrolled for the second semester there, then transferred to South Florida. Gilchrist, much like Vernon Macklin received with his transfer to Florida State, is hoping for a waiver to allow him to play this season due to family issues.
2. Mike Cook, Pittsburgh- Pitt coach Jamie Dixon has to be getting frustrated with the NCAA for their lack of progression on the status of the valuable Cook this season. Cook tore his ACL in the classic Duke game last December and is hoping for a sixth year of eligibility. Cook’s appeal could go into the second semester and really drag on through the year. Recovering from that ACL tear, Cook still hasn’t been able to participate in 5-on-5 drills.
3. Keon Lawrence, Seton Hall- Much like Gilchrist, Lawrence is aiming at acquiring a waiver that will allow him to play for the Pirates this season due to family issues. Lawrence transferred from Missouri to Seton Hall to be closer to his family because of their “serious medical issues,” according to an advisor to Lawrence. Lawrence hails from Newark and his addition would take pressure off Eugene Harvey and Jordan Theodore in the backcourt.
- Jim Calhoun is just starting to return to his normal coaching routine and preparation for this season after a bout with skin cancer this summer. He had surgery May 6 to remove a lump in his salivary gland and, after stressful and painful chemotherapy, is finally returning to 100% and is excited about his team’s potential. And why not? With stars like Jeff Adrien, Hasheem Thabeet, A.J. Price, Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker, the Huskies could have a tremendous season. The coach told Andy Katz he feels Nate Miles is going to explode onto the scene with the talent around him. Calhoun will take two more weeks to relax before school starts.
- Mario Chalmers’ tenure at Kansas is complete, concluding with one of the most famous shots in NCAA tournament history. Now the director of basketball operations for the Jayhawks is resigning. What’s the connection? The director is none other than the father of Mario Chalmers, Ronnie Chalmers. The package deal worked out pretty well for Coach Self, wouldn’t you say? Ronnie was probably hired just for the commitment of his son, Mario. Now you’re seeing the same thing happen with Baylor hiring prized recruit John Wall’s coach to the same position with the Bears. The NCAA may need to step in and try to prevent this pattern from re-occurring, but there’s not much they can really do.
- This news is a week old or so, but Kansas coach Bill Self signed a new 10 year, $30 million deal to stay in Lawrence after flirting with the Oklahoma State job this April. The accepted deal has been in the works since then and includes big raises for his coaching staff. Self was one Jason Richards three away from being labeled as a perennial tournament choker with talented Kansas teams, but advanced to the Final Four and won his first national title in defeating Memphis. Self is now up there with Billy Donovan and Tom Crean as the highest paid college basketball coaches.