Last week we asked about your Mount Rushmore candidates for Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana hoops, this week the results are in . . .
Grab your chisels, it's Mount Rushmore time
Last week The Notebook shared the words of John Akers, editor/publisher of Basketball Times. He picked the four players from the basketball programs at Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana that he would carve into the Mount Rushmore of Hoops for the local schools.
That inspired a question for readers of The Notebook: Who are your picks? We asked. You answered.
Here are your selections. You broadened the criteria to include coaches, something Akers did not do. We'll forgive you. The Notebook is also going to include the choices of Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich because they'd love to keep the conversation going. Rick stuck to the original plan of players only, considering only four spots are open and each school has a signature coach (or two).
KENTUCKY -- Readers: Adolph Rupp, Dan Issel, Anthony Davis, Jamal Mashburn. Crawford: Rupp, Cawood Ledford, Bill Keightley, Jack Givens. Bozich: Issel, Ralph Beard, Anthony Davis, Givens.
INDIANA -- Readers: Bob Knight, Isiah Thomas, Scott May, Steve Alford. Crawford: Knight, May, Alford, Thomas. Bozich: Calbert Cheaney, Scott May, Isiah Thomas, Quinn Buckner
Kuric inks pro contract in Spain
Kyle Kuric is heading to Spain after signing a two-year deal announced last week. According to SoloBasket.com, Kuric will play for Asefa Estudiantes in Madrid, one of the nation's more well-known teams, that plays in the 15,000-seat Palacio de Deportes.
Former Tennessee guard and Kentucky Mr. Basketball Chris Lofton played for the team last season.
How good was UK? Clark Kellogg speaks
More than four months have passed since Kentucky won the 2012 NCAA championship in New Orleans, but the Wildcats were so good and so entertaining that there are always more things to say about Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and friends.
In fact, the folks at TheBigLead.com went to CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg with more questions about Kentucky. They wondered where the Wildcats ranked with some of the great college teams of all time.
Here is what Kellogg told TheBigLead:
"I think there are a number of outstanding championship teams. I don't know that I would have them in the top 15 of all-time, but I think they belong in the next tier. They were unique in that they had five guys, six guys, all of whom averaged double figures. They had tremendous talent, four guys (actually five) who were NBA first-round draft picks. That speaks to their talent.
"But it's more than that. I was impressed with what a talented, unselfish, team-oriented group they were. It was not two or three superstars and a bunch of role players. They truly came together as a unit.
"Now, as for the truly great teams in college hoops, you're talking the John Wooden UCLA teams of the 1960s, the great UNLV teams, Duke in 1991 and 1992. For that matter, you can go back to the 1950s, the San Francisco teams with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. I don't think last season's Kentucky team rises to that level, but the Wildcats are in the next tier."
National title raises royalty revenue
Business Week reported that UK's revenue from athletic merchandise royalties rose 40 percent last season, with the men's basketball national title being the main driver.
UK took in $6.73 million in athletic merchandise royalties in the past athletic year, up from $4.80 million the year before.
That increase doesn't just mean more athletic revenue, but because UK athletics splits its merchandise revenues with the university on a 50-50 basis, that's an extra $965,000 that will go into the university's coffers -- the same additional amount that athletics will keep.
It's Official: Cody Zeller Is A Seven-Footer
The guys at CBSSports.com shared the results of the first five polls they conducted with nearly 100 coaches during the July recruiting evaluation period. Coaches were allowed to remain anonymous with their votes, but there was one category that the folks at Indiana University don't want to remain a secret:
Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers' sophomore center, was selected as the player that most coaches would like on their team.
IU coach Tom Crean does not disagree, and he was happy to be identified and quoted on the topic.
"When he left (for a short summer break), the measurements were as good as they've ever been for him," Crean said. "He was squatting 400 (pounds). He was benching 305. He did 185, 22 times, which is incredible. He came in doing 10 a year ago. That's the kind of jump that he's had in that time frame.
"He's grown. He's a legit 7-foot in his shoes. His vertical (jump) has gone up three inches since he's been at Indiana. I think he's gaining more and more confidence in all those other aspects. I think he's really bought into it that we want to make him the hardest cover in college basketball."
Most improved? Most likely to slip?
Nobody loves college basketball more than the guys at KenPom.com. The Notebook say it is the best $20 you'll invest in the game because keeps you one click away from statistics, year-by-year records, player comparisons and other goodies.
And the goodies don't stop during the off-season. Drew Cannon helps Ken Pomeroy with the site. Last week on the KenPom.com blog, Cannon posted projections for a long list of returning players. Included in his post were Cannon's picks for the guys who figured to be the Most Improved Players next season as well as guys who don't figure to play as well as they did last winter.
First, the nominees for Most Improved: LeBryan Nash of Oklahoma State; Joshua Smith of UCLA; Adonis Thomas of Memphis and James Michael McAdoo of North Carolina.
Which guys are going to have trouble performing as well as they did last season?
Cannon picked Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan and Creighton forward Doug McDermott. What's going to go wrong with Canaan, other than spelling his last name differently than Drew? He made nearly 46 percent of his three-point shots last season. Cannon doesn't believe he can duplicate that percentage, which will lead to a drop in his scoring average.
Notes from all over . . .
They're always ready to talk basketball in the Big East, which is a primary reason The Notebook loves that league. Just last week, the league released its summer preview. That made it a perfect time to share these August nuggets:
*Big East teams have averaged nearly nine NCAA Tournament bids over the last four seasons, earning nine in 2012, 11 in 2011, eight in 2010 and seven in 2009.
*There's a major gap between the Big East and the rest of the college hoops world in producing NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen teams over the last decade. The Big East has 31, 10 more than the runner-up Big 12. The ACC and Big Ten have each had 20.
*The Big East is the only league to produce at least one Elite Eight team every season since 2002.
*The Big East led all leagues in conference tournament attendance, drawing 160,456 over the week at Madison Square Garden while averaging 20,057 per session. This will be the final Big East Tournament for Syracuse and Pittsburgh. If you've never been to the party in Madison Square Garden, get yourself to New York City next March.
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Longtime golf commentator and 1964 U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi died today, and there's nearly no need to add to the tributes that surely will come, because there's a greatMore >>
Ken Venturi left a lasting memory in Louisville when he opened Hunting Creek Country Club's championship course with a record that still stands, and with a simple gesture to a sportswriter 25 years later.More >>
Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:25 PM EDT2013-05-14 21:25:36 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I like Andrew Wiggins. Here's a kid who didn't want to make a spectacle of his recruitment, despite being the top-ranked basketball recruit in the nation and being hailed as theMore >>
Eric Crawford surveys the carnage of the Andrew Wiggins circus, and ponders what it means for the future of civilization.More >>
Sunday, May 12 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-13 03:30:46 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban simply said out loud what people have been talking about for some time last week during a stop on his offseason "Crimson Caravan."RespondingMore >>
Alabama coach Nick Saban's idea for power conference football team to play only teams from other elite conferences sounds good -- but most programs would never accept it.More >>
Saturday, May 11 2013 10:26 AM EDT2013-05-11 14:26:43 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The NCAA basketball rules committee has wrapped up its most recent round of talks with more tweaks.It didn't reduce the shot clock, but it did try to streamline the video reviewMore >>
Ten suggestions to get the game of college basketball moving again. More >>
Thursday, May 9 2013 4:47 PM EDT2013-05-09 20:47:58 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Welcome to the Life Aquatic of Rick Pitino. At a time when most of college basketball is fixated on who will land the biggest fish on the recruiting trail -- Andrew Wiggins --More >>
University of Louisville basketball coach is living it up post-NCAA championship. The latest: He landed an 80-pound white marlin and a Maker's Mark commemorative bottle.More >>
Thursday, May 9 2013 2:14 PM EDT2013-05-09 18:14:01 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- By this point, the University of Louisville's 2013 football schedule has been the butt of more jokes than airplane food. But over the past couple of weeks, the program has alsoMore >>
Positive press in the offseason could mean a lot for a University of Louisville football program hoping to receive respect in 2013 season polls. More >>
Wednesday, May 8 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-09 00:43:18 GMT
NOTE: I write this with the knowledge that the only people who may find interest are a few fellow journalists. It's a personal reflection, meant more to share a perspective than to influence action. Thanks.LOUISVILLE,More >>
Eric Crawford offers a personal reflection on the change of venue for writers and other media covering the Kentucky Derby.More >>
Wednesday, May 8 2013 7:34 AM EDT2013-05-08 11:34:38 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Not-so humble brag: The last column I wrote about the NBA and Louisville was longer than the just-released Executive Summary of a Greater Louisville Inc. commissioned PriceWaterhouseCoopersMore >>
Today's GLI-commisioned study on Louisville's suitability for the NBA shed little new light on the issue, but some reaction to it did.More >>