Wednesday, August 15, 2012
3-point shot: Strange situation at EMU
By Andy Katz
1. The Eastern Michigan staff said it is in the dark as of Wednesday morning as to what head coach Rob Murphy was going to do after a report that he was leaving for a scouting job with the Orlando Magic. Murphy was the MAC Coach of the Year in his first season with the school, finishing 9-7 and in first place in the MAC West, 14-18 overall. Murphy was strangely enough at the predraft camp in Chicago in June, the only active college coach there without a player. Technically, Murphy was there to watch Syracuse’s Kris Joseph, whom he recruited when he was an assistant. Still, if Murphy leaves EMU in August for a scouting job it would be quite a slap in the face to the school that gave him a head-coaching job, to his staff members who are currently wondering if they’ll have a job, and the players expecting to be coached by this staff in a few weeks.
2. The NCAA had to grant a waiver allowing Billy Baron to play immediately at Canisius after doing the same to allow Trey Zeigler to play without sitting out at Pitt. The two cases were extremely similar. Zeigler’s father, Ernie, was fired at Central Michigan. That was the reason the NCAA allowed Zeigler to transfer without the one-year-in-residence penalty. Baron played for his father, Jim, at Rhode Island. Once Baron was fired, it was clear that Billy wasn’t staying at URI. He decided to transfer to Canisius where his father is the head coach. Billy Baron will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He’s the second of the Baron boys to play for their father; Jimmy Baron played for Jim at URI.
3. Incoming freshman Shabazz Muhammad’s eligibility questions are yet another reason putting UCLA too high in polls is premature. The Bruins have had injury issues in the offseason. The point guard position is a huge question mark with enigmatic UNC transfer Larry Drew II cast as the savior at the position. The trip to China this month can help develop some sort of cohesion. But putting the Bruins ahead of Arizona, and maybe even Stanford, is still not convincing. UCLA will have to show well in November in Brooklyn, beat Georgetown and push Indiana. Short of that, the Bruins will spend the rest of the pre-Pac-12 schedule proving themselves.