CRAWFORD MORNING LINE | Noel, Dieng overrated? Coach K touts new ACC
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In its weekly "5-on-5" feature (Insider content) ESPN asked five of its hoops experts to weigh in on the NBA Draft. The first question out was which Draft prospect is the most overrated.
Fran Fraschilla and Amin Elhassan weighed in with the same name: Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. Fraschilla gave Noel the nod simply because of position. "It's not his fault that right now he is the consensus No. 1 pick. Given his injury and his lithe frame, it will be hard for Noel to succeed early."
Elhassan said, "The mantle of being No. 1 brings the burden of being a franchise-altering pick, and I don't know that Noel is that. . . . He's a good prospect, but not a great one."
Chad Ford had another nominee -- Louisville's Gorgui Dieng. He says Dieng "rode Louisville's great NCAA championship game into the first round," and adds "He's old and still pretty raw. He has high bust potential."
The news wasn't all bad for local players. Both Elhassan and Dave Telep listed Indiana's Cody Zeller as the draft's most underrated prospect. Elhassan said he's "6-11 with good athleticism and great feel, and he can play inside or out. He's the type of player who falls on draft day, then a few years later everyone wonders how he could have lasted that long."
Telep notes that "Every Zeller has been better than the last, and that bodes well for Cody."
COACH K SAYS NEW ACC WILL BE 10-BID LEAGUE
At the end of a news conference to announce his return to coach Team USA, Mike Krzyzewski Thursday threw in a few comments about the ACC as it will soon be constituted, with the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville.
"We're going to be a 10-bid conference," Krzyzewski said. "We're going to be the best conference in the history of the game."
Krzyzewski was a major influence in the league going after Syracuse, which is hardly a football power, but added significant punch to the league's already strong basketball profile.
According to The Sporting News, the ACC has averaged only five NCAA Tournament bids since expanding to add Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College nine years ago.
"I think it'll be great," Krzyzewski said. "I think it will be great, just from a basketball guy, a lifer, to have so many brands and basketball brands in this conference and the level of coaching and accomplishment that this conference will have, I think it will be great for the game. I'm really excited about it."
MAYS SHOWS OFF POINT GUARD SKILLS FOR NETS
Kentucky guard Julius Mays worked out for the New Jersey Nets with his old head coach John Calipari in attendance on Thursday. He told Adam Zagoria that his one year at Kentucky, after transferring from Wright State, was the reason he's getting a hard look from NBA teams.
"If I didn't make that decision, I wouldn't be here right now," Mays said. "Even with the season we had, I'd make that decision 10 more times just knowing the outcome and just to get the opportunity to play for Coach Cal."
One interesting note. Mays showed off some nice ball handling skills at the Nets combine, and when asked about it, said, "I was playing in a position (at UK) I wasn't really used to playing with the ball out of my hands, running off screens, but it taught me a lot. It put another dimension into my game."
As he watched a more point-minded Mays work out, Calipari quipped to Zagoria, "He handled the ball well and from what I saw, I probably should have played him more at point guard."
PURDUE'S BURKE COMPARES BIG 10, SEC MODELS
Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel put an interesting question to Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke. His premise: The Big Ten and SEC are the two richest football conferences by far, with the greatest traditions and largest fan followings. His question: Why has the SEC gotten so far ahead in football?
"The SEC model, almost across the board, is sponsoring the minimum number of sports (16)," Burke told the News-Sentinel. "I'm not being negative toward the SEC, but their strategy has been to take seven men's sports and nine women's sports. That puts them in a gender equity balance. If you are getting 80,000 to 90,000 in your stadium, what that means is you're spending an awful lot on football. You have to call it what it is. I'm not saying it's wrong.
"The Big Ten model is, let's get more kids, more opportunities. We have a larger athlete base. Our grant in aid [scholarship] base is bigger. It's not that we don't spend, but football in the south is a religion. It just is. When you look at the dollars and models, they're very different."
Let the back-and-forth begin. Hat tip to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com for recapping this.
BRIDGEWATER NON-HEISMAN CAMPAIGN GETS NATIONAL PUB
Predictably, word of University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's request to not be the subject of a Heisman campaign has gotten more publicity than any other Heisman-related story so far this summer.
Fox Sports National radio was discussing it Thursday night, and the news got some play on ESPN's College Football Live. In general Bridgewater has been praised for his stand on Heisman campaigns, which most view as only marginally effective anyway.
Most of the national websites have weighed in, but Chris Huston (Mr. Heisman Pundit himself) offering perhaps the most interesting take at CBS Sports.com. He said, "Louisville should politely ignore Bridgewater's request and promote him anyway."
Meanwhile, over at The Sporting News, Matt Hayes says Bridgewater is saving U of L from disaster by dialing down the hype. You can read his reasoning here.
YOUTUBE MOMENT OF THE DAY
Shared this on Facebook a few days back, but you need to check out Morgan Freeman appearing on a morning show in Seattle, then falling asleep during the interview. [Watch it here]
Needless to say, this wouldn't have happened if he'd been talking with WDRB News in the Morning.
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