1. Providence isn’t the only school facing eligibility questions regarding an incoming star. North Carolina State guard Rodney Purvis won’t travel with the Wolfpack on their upcoming trip to Spain as the NCAA looks further into his eligibility. Providence’s Ricardo Ledo and Purvis are considered the top scoring guards in the class of 2012. NC State, of course, could be PC’s opponent in the second round of the Puerto Rico tip-off in November.
2. Coaches are facing an interesting internal debate now that they are allowed to text recruits as often as they’d like: how much is too much? ESPN’s Myron Medcalf caught up with a few coaches who provided varying opinions on how to approach kids in the social media age. Good read.
3. Maybe it’s time to start paying closer attention to Iowa State. When Fred Hoiberg left the NBA to return to Ames to turn around the Cyclones he gave up a potential career running an NBA program to the surprise of some. In his second season his Royce White-led group soundly defeated Connecticut in their first NCAA Tournament game before falling to Kentucky.
More significantly for Providence fans is the presence Iowa State is building in the New England recruiting scene. Last spring, Hoiberg was the one high major coach that was a consistent in pressing Massachusetts power forward Georges Niang and he was rewarded with a spring commitment from the skilled big man who saw his stock soar later that summer after a monster AAU season. Niang now a top 75 player (56 according to ESPN) a year later that local high majors were hesitant to pull the trigger on, despite him playing on a big stage for three years. Admittedly, his game had grown significantly from previous years, but Hoiberg was relentless from the first time he saw him. He’s the highest rated player of a very good 2012 haul.
Hoiberg has already landed a pair of top 100 talents in the class of 2013, albeit from outside of New England, but when local kids list the schools pursuing them Iowa State continues to pop up. From Abdul Malik Abu to Jared Terrell, Chris McCullough, Alec Brennan, Jaylen Brantley, and seemingly countless others, the Cyclones have been a constant recruiting New England and may become a more desirable destination as a program grows.
4. Nerlens Noel finished two classes at Everett High School this summer and is now eligible to play for Kentucky this coming season, leaving PC fans to question “why can’t it ever be that easy for us?”
5. Interesting note from Jeff Goodman of CBS this week: Rutgers has never finished above .500 in the Big East. Mike Rice thinks this is the year Rutgers could break the streak, and with a trio of good sophomore guards in Eli Carter (a former Brewster product), high school All American Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears joining Dane Miller (one of the more underrated players in the conference) and a pair of high-ceiling bigs in Kadeem Jack and Kansas State transfer Wally Judge they certainly have a chance.
The loss of Gil Biruta to URI hurts, but the hope is that Judge can live up to his billing coming out of high school to help make up for the loss.
6. Looking for consistency from the NCAA? In their final year in Conference USA before coming to the Big East Central Florida was hit with a postseason ban in both football and basketball for their relationship with “outside third party” Ken Caldwell who reportedly has connections to agent Andy Miller and has been on the radar of reporters and the NCAA for at least a year.
For a conference that could use some positive publicity in the wake of the latest conference realignment, which cost them Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, this certainly doesn’t help the Big East’s image.
It also begs the question, what makes this circumstance different than what happened a Connecticut a few years back?
7. Jared Terrell and Kaleb Joseph highlights: