Nothing to report on the new assistant front.
The end of the season basketball banquet took place. Here’s the list of award recipients:
Most Valuable Player: Brad Wanamaker, Ashton Gibbs
Most Improved Player: Travon Woodall
Best Defensive Player: Jermaine Dixon, Gary McGhee
Captains Award: Jermaine Dixon, Brad Wanamaker
Team Rebounding Leader: Gary McGhee (6.8 rpg)
Free Throw Shooting Leader: Ashton Gibbs (88.4%)
Most Inspirational Player: Nasir Robinson
Coaches Award: Gilbert Brown, Chase Adams
Academic Excellence Award: Dante Taylor
Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award: J.J. Richardson
Everyone is still waiting to find out if J.J. Moore will qualify academically for the fall, or if someone (*cough* Dwight Miller *cough*) transfers. Moore, though, was impressive at the Jordan Brand Classic and Adam Zagoria has a story.
“Those guys definitely shined through,” said Mike Kelly, the Suburban Team coach who also coaches at Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep. “Fu does so many things. Fu really played hard and J.J. Moore is an incredible talent. He is an incredible talent. And I’m a Pitt alum so I’m going to be happy with him up at Pittsburgh.”
“The biggest development from when he was at Brentwood to this year at South Kent is his ability to score from outside of defenses. He can hit the 3 off the catch consistently. In the past that wasn’t something he could do. He was always athletic. He was always a great transition scorer, he could always get to the basket,” said Tom Konchalski, who has covered New York high school basketball for four decades.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon called Moore “his next Sam Young,” the former Big East star now with the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Wow, that’s pretty incredible,” Kelly said. “He’s got the strength and power that Sam Young has. I think he shoots the ball deeper than Young did. He’s got the body and he’s a great kid.”
Asked how it felt to be compared to an NBA player, Moore said: “It makes me feel confident that I can definitely be able to be in the NBA and play at the next level.”
In other news, Louisville sold the naming rights to their new arena: the KFC Yum! Center. As you can imagine, the Double Down cracks are already in full swing. Nothing like having a randomly inserted, meaningless bit of punctuation tossed in the name.
In what passes for good news/bad news, it looks like CBS will retain the rights to the NCAA Tournament — no matter how bloated it gets.
ESPN has told the NCAA that it will not increase its bid to obtain the NCAA men’s basketball tournament rights, clearing the way for CBS and Turner to share the rights starting next year, according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks.
CBS and Turner have a 14-year deal on the table that is worth more than the $710 million annual fee that CBS would have to pay over the last three years of the existing deal, source said. No deal has been formalized, though, and the NCAA still hopes to reengage ESPN in some way.
The good news is that it means no Dick Vitale calling the games. Always a good thing. Not to mention the continuing presence of Gus Johnson on the NCAA Tournament. It also means that CBS will still give something of a passing care to college basketball once the NFL season is finished.
The bad news is that it means the extra incentive for ESPN to upgrade their ESPNU broadcast center located in North Carolina to HD is lost. To say nothing of the hideous bloat of a 96-team tournament.