College Basketball Nation: Pat Summit
January, 14, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
- Way back when the men's basketball hoops program at Tennessee was merely an afterthought, back before Lane Kiffin looked around and convinced himself he hit a triple (great line), women's coach Pat Summit was running one of the greatest and most successful programs in college athletics. Now that Tennessee's basketball program has suffered the indignity of drug arrests and its football coach has left for USC under auspicious circumstances, Summit has to answer the questions like a concerned friend trying to explain away her troubled buddies' behavior. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
- Ballin' Is A Habit joins the chorus of those who think Purdue's lack of point guard depth is a major problem for the potential Final Four team.
- Luke Winn profiles Trevon Hughes, whose big performance led Wisconsin over Northwestern last night. Hughes is from New York City, and his adjustment to life in Madison has, at the very least, included a barber shop where he can get his hair properly cut. If Hughes was afraid of the small-town life, he chose his college appropriately: As big Midwestern college towns go, Madison is one of the more cosmopolitan and urban. Which isn't saying much, but still.
- You'd think that was the only SI story about a New York native moving inland. Alas, it is not, as Paul Daugherty evaluates Lance Stephenson's transition from NYC and concludes that Stephenson merely needed a change of scenery to block out the many distractions that plagued his high school years and weighed down his recruitment.
- Deposed Tennessee player Tyler Smith has hired an agent. Insert joke about whether that agent doubles as a criminal attorney ... here.
- Former Rutgers center Greg Echenique has decided where he wants to transfer: Creighton. The Bluejays were one of Echenique's final options in high school, and they'll benefit greatly from his arrival. (They'll need to; Creighton is not rebounding from last year's near NCAA tourney miss very well.)
- John Wall gets some advice from former SI cover athlete Don Buckley. I can just see it now: "Um ... thanks?"
- Kentucky fan Truzenzuzex (go figure: I can spell this name correctly, but consistently screw up Coach K's) takes a long view of Kentucky's rise from the ashes of Billy Gillispie's tenure. My favorite sentence: "Suddenly, even surprisingly, the dark gray funk was lifted. It didn't go gently. It went with difficulty, like childbirth, and not without pain." Does that make former Kentucky player A.J. Stewart the afterbirth? (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
- Dana O'Neil returned from Storrs with some strong impressions of the Big East-undefeated Pittsburgh Panthers; O'Neil sees much of their home city in the way this year's iteration plays.
- Polls are unreliable; objective consensus is fickle. But it's still fun to get a bunch of sports bloggers together and see what their poll looks like, which is exactly what SB Nation does with its myriad college hoops bloggers every week. Be forewarned: These guys know their stuff.