Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Posts Tagged ‘Mike Cook’

Cook Denied Another Year Of Eligibility

Posted by Zach on August 22, 2008

Pittsburgh forward Mike Cook was denied another year of eligibility by the overbearing and completely unfair NCAA this week, marking another instance where the hierarchy that runs college basketball has prevented a scholar athlete from competing in the sport he loves. The reason for the dismissal of Cook’s eligibility waiver centered on the rule where a player who participated in 30% (where do they get that number?) of their team’s games cannot red shirt for the following season. Cook tore his ACL on December 20 against Duke in MSG, a classic contest that concluded in a game winning Levance Fields three-pointer that he dedicated to his friend Cook.

Cook played in Pittsburgh’s first 11 games before the injury accounting for 34% of Pittsburgh’s regular season games. The NCAA imposed a rule for medical red shirt purposes stating that all of the team’s postseason games would count as one total game. Counting postseason, Pitt played in 37 total games, meaning Cook would be eligible, but since the postseason counts as one total game, Cook was denied the ability to play this season. Much like the NCAA has done with recent transfers looking to withhold sitting out a year due to family circumstances, they should have allowed Cook to play this season as an exception.

Now, the Panthers will be denied one of their top performers for this upcoming campaign, one that could potentially end in a Big East title and national championship. Gilbert Brown now takes on a larger role with the team at the forward position, and more pressure lies on Sam Young and Fields to perform. Pitt will battle Notre Dame, Louisville and Connecticut atop the Big East, and Cook would have certainly helped them gain a slight advantage over the pack.

“Situations like this are hard to take when you know how dedicated Mike’s life has been to playing basketball,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a statement released by the university. “Over the last three years, Mike has contributed significantly to our success both on and off the floor and has been an important member of our basketball family.”

The situation outlined means if Cook had torn his ACL two games earlier, he would be eligible to play. These strict and unfair rules imposed by the NCAA, one that now prevents Cook from playing college basketball again after losing his final season due to a severe injury, someone who has been nothing but a positive performer on and off the court for Pitt, once again show a lack of flexibility by the NCAA and a lack of heart for a player who just wanted to suit up in Panthers blue and gold again.

Advertisements

Posted in Quick Posts | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Wednesday News And Notes

Posted by Zach on August 13, 2008

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.

Posted in News And Notes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ACC/Big 10 Challenge Schedule Announced; Cook and Caracter

Posted by Zach on July 16, 2008

We’ve been able to predict some matchups for awhile now based on last year’s standings, but the official schedule for the ACC/B10 challenge was released today. The solo Monday contest will pit Wisconsin and Virginia Tech, two teams that are likely middle seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Tuesday’s most intriguing matchup is Duke @ Purdue in what promises to be a close-knit thriller featuring two top 15 teams. Wednesday’s UNC-Michigan State game will be played at Ford Field and is the headliner that night. Will this finally be the year the Big Ten wins? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Mon., Dec. 1
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech (ESPN2, 7pm)

Tue., Dec. 2
Ohio State at Miami (ESPN, 7pm)
Iowa at Boston College (ESPNU, 7pm)
Clemson at Illinois (ESPN2, 7:30pm)
Duke at Purdue (ESPN, 9pm)
Virginia at Minnesota (ESPN2, 9:30pm)

Wed., Dec. 3
Indiana at Wake Forest (ESPN, 7:15pm)
Penn State at Georgia Tech (ESPN2, 7:30pm)
Michigan at Maryland (ESPNU, 7:30pm)
North Carolina vs. Michigan State (ESPN, 9:15pm)
Florida State at Northwestern (ESPN2, 9:30pm)

————————————

Also, this from Andy Katz:

Pitt was supposed to hear this week from the NCAA about whether Mike Cook would receive a sixth season of eligibility. But the NCAA asked for more information, and Pitt has still not gotten a decision. Cook tore his ACL against Duke on Dec. 20.

I heard the Cook resolution was taken care of by the NCAA and he’d gained eligibility for this season earlier in the summer, but with the NCAA slow as usual in their decision making, Cook is on the fence. With the Panthers senior defensive leader on the floor, they become a top-5 team, possibly a favorite for number two behind North Carolina. Without Cook, the team is still immensely talented and can contend for the Big East crown, but not quite as balanced and dynamic.

Also in the Big East, can you believe Rick Pitino is giving Derrick Caracter another chance? The guy who has been a complete nuisance and selfish act his entire career, at every level, will get yet another shot to redeem his career as Slick Rick stoops to a new low in order to win. Caracter can rejoin the Cardinals in 2009-10 if he follows a list of rules including: attending all classes, finding a Pitino-approved job and getting into shape. Let me go out on a limb and say Caracter will never suit up for Louisville again.

But we all like comeback stories. So why not?

Posted in Preseason Tourneys | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »