Afternoon Links: Above the law
December, 9, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
What we're reading amid what might be the first truly dead night of the season.
- Creighton's Grant Gibbs is living the dream. How do I know? Gibbs is a college basketball player, for starters, which is pretty great in and of itself. But he is also in his sixth year of college eligibility; I envy anyone who figured out how to stay in college for longer than five years. Oh, and his coach loves him, to the point that Gibbs can commit a hilarious and probably ill-considered Flagrant 2 by basically swan-diving on a prone opponent, as he did against Nebraska Sunday, and receive nothing but tweeted praise from Creighton coach Greg McDermott. Then, like icing on the cake, noted rap-blog luminary Big Ghost Face called Grant "Gangster Gibbs." Like I said: living the dream.
- NBC's Rob Dauster has a good list of the nation's most improved players to date -- some of which we expected (Shaq Goodwin, Perry Ellis), and some of which have materialized from the ether (Casey Prather, Xavier Thames).
- ""We have a good shot at being very good before our conference rolls around because we have great players and we are a group that stays together. We battled and I'm very encouraged with what I saw." That was UNLV coach Dave Rice after the Rebels' hard-fought loss to newly crowned No. 1 Arizona on Saturday, and he's right. Even in a loss, UNLV showed more than it has all season against far less sophisticated opponents than the Wildcats.
- "For Alex Murphy, the decision comes at an interesting time in his career. The NCAA gives athletes five years to complete their four years of eligibility. Because Murphy was redshirted during his first season at Duke, he’s already in his third year of eligibility. He’ll likely have to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, meaning he likely won’t have more than 1 ½ seasons of eligibility wherever he lands. Many players, like Seth Curry or Rodney Hood, simply use their redshirt year to count toward the year they have to sit out when transferring. Murphy is in a difficult position because his redshirt year has already been used." -- Duke Report's David Aldridge on what lies ahead for Alex Murphy after his decision to transfer.
- Gary Parrish is relentless in his (mostly) lighthearted Monday Poll Attacks, but today's edition was a little more stern, and understandably so: At least one voter has Baylor ranked behind Colorado and Kentucky. Wrath ensues.