Afternoon Links: Everybody loves Jimmer
December, 9, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
Afternoon Links are exactly what they say they are. Send in your links and tips here. You can also e-mail me and hit me up on Twitter.
- It was safe to say Jimmer Fredette's return to Glens Falls, N.Y., was going to be a lovefest. Some fans even camped out for tickets. But the level of appreciation for Jimmer in his hometown was, according to the Glens Falls Post-Star, more than even Jimmer bargained for. Apparently, people really love Jimmer Fredette: "For nearly a minute, Jimmer Fredette let the sound wash over him. Standing a few feet onto the hardwood, he raised one arm, then the other. The noise of 6,300 fans enveloped him as he slowly spun to acknowledge all sides of the Glens Falls Civic Center. Before he could make his way down the bench, play resumed behind him. No one noticed. All eyes, as they'd been all night, were on Fredette. [...] Long after the score fades from memory, the moment, months in the making, will remain. 'I was expecting a pretty good ovation, but until you actually go through it, you don't know what emotions you're going to have,' Fredette said. 'And it was just pure joy. I loved it.'"
- Kyle Whelliston was on hand for Purdue's hard-fought win at Valpo Wednesday night, where he saw the manic challenges of Valpo's dedicated but disappointed fan base first-hand.
- Mythbuster time: Do the Michigan State Spartans really begin every season with lackluster nonconference performances? Actually, yes. Yes they do.
- Penn State guard Talor Battle didn't like what he heard from NBA scouts this past summer when he tested the draft waters before pulling his name out and returning to Penn State for his senior year. The news hit him hard, and according to Battle, his game suffered as a result. "He couldn't get into the gym much, he said, and even when he could, he didn't feel right. When he came back to Penn State, he said he was feeling the same way and couldn't find a fix. 'I came back here and I was like, 'Man, my game, I'm just not liking it.' I don't know if I was just over-thinking. I think I just had a lot on my mind, so I wasn't really concentrating fully on basketball. But I knew it was time for me to get out of my comfort zone and go do something.'"
- Rock Chalk Talk united three rival bloggers under one roof for a state-of-the-hoops discussion on Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri as all three prepare for the impending Big 12 season.
- CAA Hoops "placates the stat hounds" and runs through some of the Colonial's funkier numbers so far this season.
- Seth Davis explains to readers why Pittsburgh a) isn't getting as much "love" as some other top teams and b) why the Panthers can make the Final Four this season all the same.
- Rob Dauster highlights a couple of under-the-radar freshmen.
- Bylaw Blog's John Infante discusses the "Cam Newton loophole" in the wake of the dispiriting precedent set by the NCAA's decision to reinstate Newton because the player, Cam, didn't know what his father, Cecil, was doing behind his back. Before getting into the vagaries of the NCAA bylaws, though, Infante issues a worthwhile disclaimer: "I don’t share some of the doom and gloom regarding the impact of the decision going forward. Case precedent, NCAA or otherwise, extends only as far as its facts. And here, the facts are that no money changed hands, the student-athlete did not know about the activity, and the student-athlete did not enroll at the institution where the solicitation occurred. Case precedent can always be extended to logically similar cases, but that takes additional decisions, each of which is a chance to stop a trip down the slippery slope."
- And be sure to check out Diamond's report from San Diego State's win over Cal. Try as he might, he couldn't get the Aztecs to start talking about their now-likely road to a 15-0 start.