LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There are weeks when the topics bounce off the walls in every direction.
Then there is the week after the NBA Draft, the week after the University exits the College World Series and the week when college football is still out there in the binoculars.
That's this week. And this is the Monday Muse.
1. Conference Realignment: Regrets Only
For all the chatter about Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas, one school has won four NCAA men's basketball championships the last two decades.
That school was Connecticut -- 1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014.
The same UConn that finished this season ranked 98th nationally in Ken Pomeroy's power ratings. The same UConn that has missed the NCAA Tournament three consecutive seasons. The same UConn that has not advanced to the Sweet 16 since the Huskies won their fourth national title in 2014.
Last weekend, UConn conceded it had done the wrong thing by chasing the football dream over staying in its lane with a Top 10 basketball program.
The Huskies became the first school to admit they fumbled the conference realignment game by taking their talents out of the Big East to the American Athletic Conference.
Their football program remained irrelevant. Their basketball program became irrelevant.
So they’re crawling to the Big East to save their basketball program. They'll figure out what to do about football later. (My suggestion: Downsize.)
CBS Sports reported Saturday the AAC isn't retaining @UConnFootball with move to @BIGEAST. Interesting revenue note: AAC teams will be making $6-$7 million per year in new deal. @BIGEAST schools make $4.17 per year. https://t.co/SbRdaKKVcg— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) June 24, 2019
It's not only the right move. It's their only move.
Next question: What other programs would take a do over?
Not Louisville, which has benefited as much as anybody by moving uptown to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Not Texas A&M, which is loving life in the Southeastern Conference. Not Utah, which taken advantage of the Pac-12.
I'd start my list with West Virginia. The Mountaineers belong in the Big East. I've never seen the fit with the Big 12. There's nothing fan friendly about playing in a league where you're 869 miles from your closest rival.
Maryland and Rutgers make my list. Spare me the talk about Big Ten network money, and the New York and Washington D.C. TV markets enhancing the conference. The Terps belong in the ACC with the Virginia and the North Carolina schools while Rutgers should make a U-turn into the Big East.
They can take Syracuse with him. Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova and UConn were the heartbeat of the Big East. Destroying that dynamic to pretend that Syracuse was an ACC football program was impulse shopping.
2. D'Angelo Russell & The Lakers, Part II?
There are a million reasons Magic Johnson had to walk the plank as a decision maker for the Los Angeles Lakers, but his decision to trade D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn sits at the top of the list.
Johnson quit on Russell after two seasons. The Nets made the Eastern Conference playoffs this season as Russell averaged a career high 21.1 points per game. The Lakers did not make the Western Conference playoffs because Johnson failed to line up enough help for LeBron James.
Russell might be changing coasts again. A Louisville native who played his freshman season at Central High School, Russell is a free-agent who appears intent on leaving Brooklyn, which seems determined to sign Kyrie Irving.
The two teams mentioned most consistently with Russell are the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Lakers.
Which one would you choose?
3. NBA Fashion Week
I expect NBA Draft coverage from Yahoo, ESPN, SLAM and Bleacher Report.
I do not expect it from the New Yorker.
But the media and NBA are changing. The New Yorker had a photographer chasing Zion Williamson, Tyler Herro, Romeo Langford, Ja Morant and others last week in New York.
If you want another look at the incredible fashion those guys flashed, you'll enjoy this story, especially the picture of Herro with his younger brother.
The fashion in the room on N.B.A. draft night was, as expected, spectacular. @ZionWilliamson and @DariusGarland22 were among the dazzling draftees we photographed shortly after selection. https://t.co/w3EvJRUUTk pic.twitter.com/X6fQH1zBpC— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) June 24, 2019
4. Peter Vecsey For the Win
Before there was Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst, Rachel Nichols and the others, Peter Vecsey was the Go-To Guy for NBA gossip.
For me, Vecsey still is a Must-Follow on Twitter.
Because of posts like this, where Vecsey called out Knicks' management as well as the New York media for not doing enough to stop the Knicks from bullying the New York Daily News.
There are 2 solutions to James Dolan’s decision to bar Daily News reporters from Knix press conferences or any other team function: Adam Silver must put an immediate stop to such Trumpish behavior. Or the metropolitan media must boycott the Knicks; cease covering them entirely!— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 23, 2019
Keep doing what you do, Peter.
5. Ten Best Players Not Taken in NBA Draft
Reid Travis was not selected in the NBA Draft, despite delivering a solid senior season at Kentucky. Ditto for Juwan Morgan of Indiana.
Undrafted guys become major contributors to the NBA every year. Ask the Toronto Raptors about Fred VanVleet.
Kurt Helin of NBC Sports Talk made his list of the 10 Best Players Not Selected last Thursday.
Did Travis or Morgan make it?
6. Willie Wants Out
The Sacramento Kings were one of the most improved teams in the NBA last season. Although they missed the playoffs, they won a dozen more games that they did in 2018.
With De'Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and other young stars, the Kings are primed to begin a window of contention.
Former Kentucky star Willie Cauley-Stein is not convinced. His agent informed the Kings that Cauley-Stein wants a change of address form.
Four seasons of living in the shadow of the Golden State Warriors is enough.
"It's time for Willie to move on and we'd really like him to move on." https://t.co/d3U9Tw6MNq— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 24, 2019
Seems like a strange time to leave.
7. The Price of More Legroom
How much would somebody have to pay you to give up a seat with king-sized leg room on your next flight? Make it a transAtlantic flight likely to require seven or eight hours.
Would $500 do it? How about $1,000? Or $1,500?
Even the final number did not work for a passenger making his way to the U. S. from Paris because that is how much Carolina quarterback Cam Newton unsuccessfully offered to change seats on his way home from Fashion Week.
I'm 6 feet, 4 1/2 inches. I've endured plenty of miserable experiences, especially on commuter planes. I value leg room.
I'd take the $1,500.
8. Welcome Back, Will Smith
I was surprised when the Dodgers returned former Louisville and Kentucky Country Day catcher Will Smith to the minor leagues after his first two-week stay in The Show.
I'll be stunned if they do it again.
In case you missed it, this is what Smith did for the Dodgers Sunday, hours after he was recalled to Los Angeles from Oklahoma City.
For the record, that is three big-league home runs in 22 at bats.
9. MLB Top 5
1. Dodgers -- Best record in baseball. Six-game winning streak. Run differential of plus-133. Proceed to October.
2. Yankees -- The band is back together. You don't want to pitch to this lineup.
3. Twins -- Rocco Baldelli's team is going through its first bad stretch and has an eight-game edge on the Indians.
4. Astros -- Third-best record in the American League despite injuries to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer.
5. Braves -- Let's see if they're legit against the Cubs this week.
10. Rick Pitino Tweet of the Week
Euroleague was so much fun. Great coaches and players. Really going to miss everyone! Thanks to all for your warm welcome.— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) June 23, 2019
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