BOZICH | Monday Muse: Louisville's 18-point edge adding to pressure on Kentucky's Stoops
A national college football analyst questions the Mark Stoops hiring; Charlie Strong takes advantage of Baylor's issues; Coach K has four surgeries. A jam-packed Monday Muse.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – No NBA Draft to look forward to this week – unless you want to start breaking down 2017. Pete Rose Weekend is in the books. College football practice is more than a month away.
What is there to fuss about?
Plenty. There’s always plenty. There’s always an overflow of material in the Monday Muse. The envelope, please.
1. Cards Over Cats By … A Ton
Apparently the folks in Vegas have heard the story that Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino was not ecstatic when receivers coach Lamar Thomas left U of L to work for Mark Stoops at Kentucky.
Or maybe the folks in Vegas simply believe this will be a season where the Cardinals will name their score against the Wildcats.
What Vegas has decided is this: If you’re going to make a future book play on the Cardinals for their home game against the Wildcats on Nov. 26, you have to give 18 points (and then pray Lamar Jackson stays healthy, of course).
That’s the largest point spread for any number posted on Rivalry Saturday by South Point Sports Book.
It also produced this zinger from Dave Bartoo, an analytics guy from CollegeFootballMatrix. (Bartoo was responding to a Tweet by Lachlan McLane of ESPN680 and WLKY.com).
Said Bartoo: “After 4 yrs of (UK coach Mark) stoops getting better talent than UofL, +18. Huge #coacheffect gap. Weak, high risk hire from day.”
I’ll hang up and listen. Stoops' status with the UK faithful is going to be a story in Year Four. He's also listed at #8 at CoachesHotSeat.com, just ahead of Charlie Strong.
2. No Alabama Coronation – Yet
Phil Steele’s college football yearbook, the most expensive and (for many) the most comprehensive on the planet, is due on newsstands Tuesday.
One scoop has leaked: Steele does not rank Alabama Number One.
No misprint: DOES NOT.
Unlike ESPN The Magazine, Athlon, Lindy’s and The Sporting News, Steele preferred Florida State, the team that will appear in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at noon Sept. 17 against Louisville.
"I went out of the box,” Steele told Al.com. "This is the third year of the playoffs. Everyone just assumes it will be one team per conference. But I think this year, Alabama and LSU are so loaded that the SEC can get two teams into the playoffs."
Louisville, for the record, is ranked 21st by Steele, trailing three teams on the Cards’ schedule -- #1 Florida State, Clemson #5 and Houston #20.
3. Charlie Strong Making His Move
A number of things have bugged Texas fans about the first two seasons of the Charlie Strong Era in Austin.
Mostly it’s been a lack of victories. But there has also been considerable annoyance that while the Longhorns have been down, Baylor has been up. Baylor?
That’s against the natural order of Chinstrap in the Longhorn State.
Life is returning to form. With the firing of coach Art Briles and the gutting of his recruiting class, Baylor is about to return to the fringe of the Big 12.
Of the five 2016 recruits that Baylor released from letters of intent last week, three have remained in the Big 12 to play for Texas. Devin Duvernay, a four-star receiving prospect who picked Texas over Oklahoma and TCU, headlines the group.
No wonder Strong tapped out this message on Twitter over the weekend:
“Great way to finish off a big day in ATX! #LetsRide.”
Riding is fine, Charlie. Winning is better.
4. Dream Team College Breakdown
LeBron James, Steph Curry and others took a pass on playing for Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics, but 12 hands did go up for the opportunity presented by Coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball.
You likely know the names that were released Monday morning. But I’ll introduce them again, this time by college affiliation. Interesting tidbit:
No program has more than one player on the team and there is no evidence of favoritism toward Duke players by Coach K.
Your 2016 Dream Team:
Kentucky – DeMarcus Cousins.
Duke – Kyrie Irving.
Texas A&M – DeAndre Jordan.
USC – DeMar DeRozan.
Villanova – Kyle Lowry.
North Carolina – Harrison Barnes.
Marquette – Jimmy Butler.
Texas – Kevin Durant.
Fresno State – Paul George.
Michigan State – Draymond Green.
Washington State – Klay Thompson.
Syracuse – Carmelo Anthony.
5. Coach K – Not One, Not Two, Not Three, But Four
Several NBA players did not have the appetite to grind all summer for another gold medal, but don’t put Coach K in that category. This is his final appearance as the US national coach before he hands the keys to Gregg Popovich.
Coach K will head to Brazil after making multiple visits to the hospital.
Both knees have been replaced. He also underwent hernia surgery. And there was work done on one of his ankles. That is the surgery that has caused him the most issues, according to this story at NBCSportsTalk.
“It’s been a good spring to get better,” Krzyzewski told the Charlotte Observer. “My knee replacement has gone unbelievably well. My rehab could not be better. My hernia surgery, unbelievable. Never pain. The ankle has had some complications. I didn’t know I was going to have to do that but it needed to be done. … That was fairly intense. But it’s worked.”
Now, let’s see how he gets along with DeMarcus Cousins.
6. Malik Newman Tosses WKU a Curveball
Last week this was the narrative across the recruiting grapevine:
Western Kentucky was positioned to get Malik Newman, the 2015 McDonald’s all-American who was granted his release by Mississippi State. The Hilltoppers had a slight edge on North Carolina State.
Don’t purchase your Malik Newman Hilltoppers’ jersey yet. Kansas has entered the arena.
Actually it’s more alarming than that. Kansas has entered the game, and the Jayhawks figure to have multiple spots to fill in their 2017 recruiting class because guys are completing their eligibility or likely rushing to the NBA after next season.
Newman is expected to visit Lawrence Tuesday.
As you’d expect, predictions are trending toward a Kansas commit.
7. Willie Cauley-Stein Didn’t Do Many Rookie Things
Slam magazine delivers many creative ideas while covering basketball. Last week the magazine continued that tradition.
Slam asked Marquette big man Henry Ellenson to interview former Kentucky star Willie Cauley-Stein about the adjustment from life in college basketball to being a rookie in the NBA.
As usual, Cauley-Stein was forthcoming. One of the most interesting parts of their talk dealt with rookie hazing. In many pro sports, first-year guys are expected to carry bags, run errands and generally be on call as a high-end valet for veterans.
Cauley-Stein wasn’t into that.
He said he did carry a bag for Rajon Rondo. He did earn $300 for fetching a Coke for Caron Butler. But other than that?
“I ain’t really mess with the rookie duties,” Cauley-Stein said. “I thought it was a bunch of bull. I didn’t do it.
“They were on me hard too because I wouldn’t do a lot of the stuff. My mindset was I’m putting in the same hours as y’all. I just have a different mentality than most. Also, I wasn’t in a program that’s very traditional. A lot of us are young, so it wasn’t like I had a bunch of vets over me that could force me to do some stuff.”
You can read the complete article by clicking here.
8. Coastal Carolina Vs. Arizona?
The College World Series will start tonight in Omaha, matching Arizona vs. Coastal Carolina.
Neither program was ranked in the Top 10 in the RPI or the coaches’ poll when the 64-team tournament began.
Coastal Carolina was 12th in the RPI and 16 in the coaches’ poll. All the Chanticleers have done is take down North Carolina State, Louisiana State, TCU, Texas Tech and Florida.
Get this: Arizona is a bigger long shot.
The Wildcats were ranked 28th in the coaches’ poll and 21st in the RPI when the tournament started. Arizona handled Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Lafayette in the regional, Mississippi State in the Super Regional and Miami, UC-Santa Barbara and Oklahoma State in Omaha.
By the way, what is a Chanticleer?
It is a proud and fierce rooster that comes from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. For the record the correct pronunciation is SHON-ti-clear.
9. Poll Results, Part 2
Do you agree with Athlon Sports that the Atlantic Coast Conference has five of the top 16 coaches in college football while the only Southeastern Conference coach in the top 16 is Nick Saban of Alabama?
Yes, 77.4 percent.
No, 22.6 percent.
10. Poll Results, Part 2.
Magic Johnson said that LeBron James has confirmed his status as one of basketball’s five all-time greats. Do you agree?
Yes, 70.9 percent
No, 29.1 percent.
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