College Basketball Nation: Joel Branstrom
January, 28, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
Want to sneak something in the Afternoon Links? Follow me on Twitter and send me your stuff. Off we go:
- Storming The Floor came up with a fantastic idea yesterday. Since SEC commissioner (Who else hears Heath Ledger's Joker snarling "coMISSioner" in their head every time they read that word? Anyone? Just me?) Mike Slive seems hell-bent on punishing South Carolina for a perfectly legitimate, joyous court storm, and seems intent on collecting $25,000 from the Gamecocks in doing so, how about this? How about we send that $25,000 to Haiti? How about we make it count? The country is still in shambles after a devastating earthquake, but it sounds like aid and relief efforts are helping to stem the tide somewhat, and every little bit helps. Plus, South Carolina students were more than willing to hand over the money to the athletics program to offset their joy, and really, does the SEC need another $25,000 in its coffers? Storming The Floor's Eric is asking you to tweet "send SC's fine to #Haiti' to @SEC_Hoops, and tell 'em @STFHoops sent ya." Sounds like a plan to me.
- Speaking of court storming, Chris Dobbertean claims last night's Providence-UConn game was the moment court storming officially jumped the shark. I hate to say this, but we're way past that point. The shark was leapfrogged long ago. (Can you leapfrog a shark? Someone should totally try.) When you've got Indiana racing onto the court after a home win over Minnesota and UCLA fans trying to break onto their home floor after a buzzer-beater win over Washington, storming the court no longer means what it used to. I'm over it. Fans are over it. Let's call the whole "getting mad every time a school has a dumb court-storm" thing off. The subsequent complaining is almost as bad as the act itself.
- A familiar lad named Andy Katz zeroes in on Mike Davis, who is leading the UAB Blazers to their best season under his tenure and a possible at-large bid even if they don't end up winning the C-USA tourney.
- Former DePaul star Tyrone Corbin, now an assistant with the Utah Jazz, says he's interested in the DePaul job. Chris Lowery and Craig Robinson still seem like much better choices, but life is full of wonderful options, am I right?
- The Basketball Prospectus boys go back and forth on the subject of Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe's future: Will he go pro this year? Should he? If Bledsoe keeps climbing into the lottery, it's hard to argue he shouldn't, but a John Wall-less year in the driver's seat of John Calipari's Porsche sounds like a surefire way to boost your draft stock.
- On why Evan Turner's insanely quick recovery from a broken back -- it's hard to keep in mind that Turner literally broke his freaking back earlier this season -- has saved the Ohio State Buckeyes from surefire mediocrity. It wasn't too damaging to Turner's draft stock, either. Meanwhile, here's a non-Eamonn argument for why Turner deserves player of the year honors.
- Ahead of tonight's interesting Wisconsin-Purdue matchup, Rush The Court checks in on the Big Ten and finds Michigan State in the driver's seat. What else is new?
- Speaking of Michigan State, Kalin Lucas is hearing the finest plaudits a Michigan State point guard can hear. What? No, they're not comparing him to Magic Johnson. I suppose I should have thought of that. No, Mateen Cleaves! They're comparing him to Mateen Cleaves. I guess Magic Johnson would have been better, but you get the point.
- Calipari and Texas coach Rick Barnes discussed the perils of gaining the No. 1 seed only to lose it shortly thereafter. I can't imagine this conversation lasted all that long. "It's bummer, right bro?" "Yep. Totally, bro. Total bummer." ... "Uh, so what else is up? Wife and kids good?"
- Joel Branstrom, the high school coach who hit the half-court shot with a blindfold on -- he was being pranked by his students, who'd promised him Final Four tickets if he made it; they were going to pretend the shot went in and were foiled when it, you know, actually went in -- will end up getting those Final Four tickets after all. Let that be a lesson to you kids: Overpromise and underdeliver, and as long as you have a fun viral video clip, you can achieve anything.
- Which is a bigger rivalry: Syracuse-Georgetown or Connecticut-Syracuse?