Friday, December 9, 2011
3-point shot: Big East's uncertain future
By Andy Katz
1. The Big East will have some pressing questions to decide in the coming weeks/months. Navy has put off the Big East for the immediate future, meaning the league might have to press the Naval Academy for a definitive answer so it can move forward. The Big East is still determined to get to 12 football-playing members and that will mean still pursuing other schools, possibly Temple, Memphis and East Carolina, according to sources. Air Force is out. If Navy ends up being gone too, then two of the three could come from the aforementioned list. If that occurs, then there is still hope that the Big East can improve its basketball by getting Temple and/or Memphis. The Big East lost three great programs in Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia. It needs to add a program that could compete for the league title. Temple and Memphis have that potential. The rest of the schools don’t.
2. The official decision from the NBA to keep the age limit the same, at 19 years old and one year out of high school, will likely gut Kentucky with the possible departure of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (sophomore Terrence Jones is likely to go as well). But the Wildcats can absorb that kind of hit as they have the past two seasons. College basketball would have been strengthened by a two-year age limit, but it wasn’t a high priority for the NBA or the players association. Still, there will be players who stick who aren’t projected to do so like this season. All is not lost for college hoops. This is a hit to the college game, but in reporting on this topic for the past year I hardly found someone in the college game who believed the NBA would change the age limit even though they were hoping it would be increased.
3. The departure of the high-energy and erratic Nurideen Lindsey from St. John’s is a hit on the court. Two weeks ago, he was the one St. John’s player who continued to push toward the basket. He didn’t always convert but he was active. But the Red Storm lost both games. And, according to a source, Lindsey was simply not a good fit for the team. Lindsey had a frustrating game against Kentucky, missing all three shots and fouling out with 5 turnovers. He had 6 turnovers in a loss at Detroit. In the long run, if Lindsey isn’t clicking with Steve Lavin or Mike Dunlap, then it’s best he move on to another destination. But what this departure and the ineligibility of key newcomers proves is that the rebuilding job in Queens will be a long-term project.