College Hoops Notebook | Decommitment central, UK-UCLA, and more - WDRB 41 Louisville News

College Hoops Notebook | Decommitment central, UK-UCLA, and more

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Welcome to The 'Book, which this week becomes Decommitment Central. Want to decommit from something, we're the place. It happens on the heels of a couple of high-profile decommitments from the local basketball ranks.

Quentin Snider got it going when he opened up his recruitment after having pledged himself to the University of Louisville for two seasons. His father told various outlets that his main concern was a growing backlog at the guard spot for the Cardinals.

One of the schools Snider since has spoken with has been Indiana, which coincidentally had James Blackmon Jr. reopen his commitment last week -- after having been an IU commitment for three years. One of the first schools to jump in with Blackmon in the process has been the University of Kentucky, where his father played.

Not all of the sharks are on the Discovery Channel, kids, but it's all perfectly legit in the world of college hoops recruiting, where commitments aren't exactly for life. And that's all right.

As soon as a player signs on the dotted line of a National Letter of Intent, the entire balance of power shifts to the school. Players owe it to themselves to do whatever they feel like they need to do to make the best choice. It is, after all, a college choice.

They shouldn't be criticized for changed minds or looking around. They deserve some understanding in the process.

But they also don't need to be committing so early. It's a silly practice, and gets sillier every time a high-profile kid changes his mind.


Calipari, via his Twitter account, asked Big Blue Nation to "welcome @UCLACoachAlford to Twitter. We are planning big things between our programs."

A series between the Bruins and Wildcats would be a big thing. The programs have met only 10 times in their history, and have not met since the 2006 Maui Classic.

Cal doesn't shy away from big non-conference games, the Indiana series notwithstanding. This would be an East-West rivalry that would be good for both programs, and for college hoops.


Tom Crean didn't accept Rick Pitino's invitation to play last season, or this season, but next season the two programs will finally get together.

The Indianapolis Star broke the story last week, via a contract that came in an open-records request. The two teams have signed to play on Dec. 14, 2014, in Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.

Rick Pitino confirmed it to The Courier-Journal's C.L. Brown via text message, saying that he's "excited to be playing back in a special arena where we won back-to-back Big East championships."


Speaking of the Garden, it'll be a busy place on Super Bowl Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. According to CBS Sports, Marquette and St. John's will play at 12:30, followed by Michigan State and Georgetown at 3, then the Miami Heat and New York Knicks at 8:30.

The New York Jets will host the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in the city. This basketball event is being billed as a gala. The college games will be televised by Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1.


Jay Bilas scored a small victory over the NCAA last week when he famously pointed out that the organization sells replica jerseys on its website, but doesn't allow players to make money from the sale of their own numbered jerseys. NCAA president Mark Emmert admitted that the practice is hypocritical, and stopped jersey sales on the NCAA's third-party website host.

But Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, in a discussion on The Drive with Jack Ebling in East Lansing, said last week that the answers aren't so simple. Responding to questions about autograph-gate and other controversies firing up, Izzo said that the question of player compensation is complicated.

"Jay is getting upset with the NCAA, which I understand, but the NCAA is our universities, so it's not just the president of the NCAA,'' Izzo said. "When he says open it up to autographs and helmets and jerseys and sign anything and get what you can get, I just see that as the Wild Wild West.

"You think about around the country, is an autograph worth $50,000, $20,000, $100,000?''

The problem, Izzo says, is keeping the playing field somewhat level while not allowing a few programs to get major advantages.

"I think they should get some money, but if it's open market … there's some boosters in Alabama and LSU that I don't think you guys can want to deal with on a daily basis,'' Izzo said. "You think that's going to be good? I don't know, I'd rather pay them a stipend and figure out some ways to do it.

"This open-open (allowing athletes to make unlimited money on autograph sales) isn't good, nor do I think the NCAA should make money off them.''


Michael Jordan has long since traded in his Nike sneakers for professional wear as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, but last week showed campers at his Michael Jordan Flight School that he can still get up.

The 50-year-old former NBA and North Carolina star dunked for campers at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Twitter pictures of Jordan's dunk spread quickly on Saturday. Check one out by clicking here.

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