Monday, April 16, 2007

Marshall Out, Other News

A few interesting tidbits from around the nation:

The most interesting story for me is Gregg Marshall leaving Winthrop for Wichita State. Obviously from his point of view it's a great promotion, he's moving to a significantly better conference where he'll be able to recruit better players, and his salary will triple. Winthrop had offered to move his salary from $270k per year to $400k, but the Shockers offered $750k. For one thing, I was surprised to see how quickly Winthrop fans turned on Marshall for the fact that he didn't inform his players in person before the news broke in the media. Forget being loyal for all the winning he has done there, but there was also the fact that he only had a few days to run full practices before he is forbidden by NCAA rules. There's no point to waste two of those days flying back home when the news would probably break before he landed anyway. Rumors are that he atleast texted his players before the news broke, which is all that you can really ask of him.

Moving onto the more important issues, I do question how successful Marshall will be in the Valley. Without question, he's a great coach, and I loved what he did with Winthrop. But the Valley is a much different style of play. In the Big South, Marshall was successful by using a lot of athleticism and a slew of outstanding three point shooters. Dice and slice, then kick out for the three as Clyde Frazier would say. The Valley, however, requires a much more deliberate style. Excellent defense, big guys to rebound, few easy and open three pointers. The Valley is more like the Big Ten than the Big South. I still think Gregg Marshall will be successful, but he's not going to dominate like he did at Winthrop.

Meanwhile, a lot of news on the Will He Go Or Not front. You can see ESPN's updated list here. Honestly, ESPN is always so afraid of jumping to conclusions, and they have guys "50-50" that we pretty much know for a fact aren't going pro (like Chase Budinger). A much better website is this one. Most of the recent entrants have been as expected, though some are a little more surprising. For example, a lot of people thought Jeff Green wouldn't go pro after his awful last game. Still, if he does stick with the draft, he will definitely be a first rounder. And you can't criticize anyone who wants to cash in. You can get injured at any time, so it's natural to take the money when you can get it. As for the "One foot in the door" crowd, everyone and their sister knows that Greg Oden will go pro. I expect Conley to go also. And since it seems apparent that Mike Conley Sr. will represent all of the OSU kids, I'm thinking more and more that Daequan Cook will go pro with his two friends. I think it would be in his best interest to stick around another year, however, as I don't see him as a likely first rounder. Still, it just seems like Cook, Conley and Oden will all be a package, leaving at the same time with the same agent. And we all know Oden's going pro. Once that is announced, I think the chips will fall.

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