Friday, April 26, 2013
3-point shot: Big East eyes Zaninovich
By Andy Katz
1. The new Big East presidents are expected to meet in the next week to interview four or five finalists for the commissioner's job. Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said Thursday the 10 athletic directors haven't been told of the finalists, but Rasmussen is hopeful West Coast Conference commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is one of the five and gets the job. "We need a commissioner who has been successful, who has the background, who has the knowledge that can make decisions,'' said Rasmussen. "Jamie Zaninovich would be a tremendous person to put in that position.'' Rasmussen said the new Big East must hire a commissioner who has held that job, especially in a landscape where having a powerful figure is important amid a changing and aggressive college sports landscape. Zaninovich has long been rumored as a candidate and when asked at the Final Four in Atlanta, Zaninovich had no comment. Zaninovich is on the men's basketball selection committee, but would probably lose his spot if he left his West Coast position since the committee has a national balance.
2. Baylor coach Scott Drew said Isaiah Austin has told him all along that he would take his NBA draft decision down to the final weekend. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Cory Jefferson made up his mind to stay and Austin is still quiet at this point. Drew said Austin wasn't planning on making too much of a fuss about his decision and will probably let it be known without much fanfare. But if Jefferson and Austin return, Baylor will have one of the most athletic and intimidating frontcourts in the country. Of course, they need quality guards to ensure they are a top three finisher in the Big 12 after losing Pierre Jackson from the NIT champs.
3. UConn coach Kevin Ollie wasn't sure what Shabazz Napier would do this weekend before the NBA draft deadline Sunday night. Napier should come back if he wants a chance to play in the NCAA tournament and improve his position. He would run the real risk of going undrafted if he were to declare. Napier would start out as a preseason American Conference potential player of the year with Louisville's Russ Smith, Memphis' Joe Jackson and Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick.