BOZICH | Another Pitino book, another recruiting nugget, another Top 25
Another book about Rick Pitino. Louisville battles Villanova for a recruit. Another pre-season Top 25. A look at Indiana's Big Ten schedule.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Only 198 days until college basketball games resumes. That makes today, or any day, a great day for a College Basketball Notebook.
The Book on Pitino
I’m not certain how this item will fit into the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry, but I’m sure somebody will find room for it.
The folks at Penguin Random House announced that Michael Sokolove, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, is finishing a book about the scandals that stained college basketball this season.
Guess which coach earned top billing as well as the cover shot?
Sokolove’s book, titled, “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino,” will be his first on the former U of L and Kentucky coach, but it will not be his first about basketball in the Bluegrass.
If you recognized the author, you likely purchased one or two of his latest books, which were written with John Calipari. Those were “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out,” and “Success is the Only Option: The Art of Coaching Extreme Talent.”
He also wrote, “Hustle: The Myth, Life and Lies of Pete Rose.”
According to the promotional materials, the book will be, “A Shakespearean drama of greed and desperation involving some of the biggest characters in the arena of sports, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO will be the definitive chronicle of this scandal and its broader echoes.”
The publishing date is Sept. 25, 2018.
Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruiting
There are likely schools that have produced more NBA players that DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md. I can’t name them.
Adrian Dantley, Danny Ferry, Keith Bogans, Adrian Branch, Sid Catlett, Joseph Forte, Jerami Grant, Jerian Grant, Victor Oladipo, Markelle Fultz, Sidney Lowe and Derek Whittenburg is your starter set of DeMatha alum. (Gregg Popovich and former University of Louisville assistant coach Jerry Jones is where the lists starts and stops at my high school.)
There’s another big-time DeMatha player in the Class of 2019 – and Louisville is battling NCAA champion Villanova, Wake Forest and Maryland for his commitment.
The player is Justin Moore. He is 6 feet 4 and 187 pounds. He averaged 16.6 points for DeMatha last season, after recovering from an ACL tear in 2017. Louisville assistant coach Mike Pegues is a DeMatha grad and was with U of L head coach Chris Mack for an in-home visit.
“[Mack] made a lot of key points about how he would help me get ready for the college level and what he would do to possibly be a pro, too,” Moore told Samantha Pell of the Washington Post in this story.
Villanova might have upped the ante last week when the Wildcats entire four-man coaching staff made its visit.
Another Pre-Season Top 25
Pre-season Top 25 rankings are risky in November. They’re one step beyond a dartboard or pulling names from a hat in April. Recruiting is not finished. There’s still time for guys to withdraw from the NBA Draft.
The show must go on. On Friday, Rob Dauster of NBCSports shared his updated Top 25 for next season. (The link.)
Kentucky made the cut – at Number 3, behind Kansas and Villanova, but just ahead of Duke and Gonzaga. Louisville also made the cut at No. 16, ahead of Oregon, Maryland, UCLA and TCU.
Don’t Diss Virginia
One mistake I will not repeat is leaving Virginia out of my Top 25. Dauster agrees. He ranked the Cavaliers Number 7, despite the departures of Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins and Nigel Johnson.
Here is a good reason – De'Andre Hunter will return for his sophomore season.
Although Hunter was a reserve, he was often the Cavaliers’ most talented player last season, a 38 percent three-point shooter who averaged more than 9 points per game while playing less than 20 minutes. His absence, with a broken wrist, does not explain Virginia’s air ball against UMBC in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But it didn’t help.
Indiana Schedule Update
Nobody will confirm this item, but there is news beyond Romeo Langford’s pending college decision percolating around Archie Miller’s Indiana basketball program.
The Big Ten confirmed that the league will play a 20-game conference schedule next season. Every team will play seven schools twice, three only at home and three on the road. Here is the Indiana breakdown:
Single Play in Bloomington: Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Single Play on the Road: Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State
Home-and-Away: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers.
How did the Hoosiers fare in the home/away breakdown?
No trip to Wisconsin, where they have not won since the Earth cooled. No trip to Nebraska or Ohio State, two spots where they lost last season.
Penn State will lose its best player, point guard Tony Carr, from a squad that won the NIT. Minnesota will lose its top scorer, Nate Mason, but will benefit from the return of injured Amir Coffey. Former Louisville backup Matz Stockman will be eligible after sitting out his transfer season. The Hoosiers are 0-2 at College Park in the four seasons since the Terps joined the Big Ten.
Could have been worse.
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