Friday, November 12, 2010

Devoe Joseph Suspended, LaceDarius Dunn Set To Return

Sadly, as I feared, Baylor is wiping the LaceDarius Dunn incident under the rug and will let him return after only three regular season games. It really bothers me that again a school is putting sporting success ahead of morality. Dunn punched his girlfriend in the face and broke her jaw - he would have been kicked out of the school if he wasn't a basketball star. When the powerful forces of peer pressure lined up against the poor girl to try to get her to recant her story (the old "Oh no, I tripped and ran my own head into his fist" defense), Baylor chose not to support her.

But from a cold basketball standpoint, this is a huge boost for the Baylor basketball team, which regains its hopes of a Big 12 title. The media has picked Kansas State, but I think that team is overrated and I've picked Texas. Either way, most everybody agrees that this will become a close four way battle between Kansas, Texas, Kansas State and Baylor. And the three game suspension will not affect Baylor's Tournament resume in any way, because they open up with three very easy home games (only a Tuesday home game against La Salle is potentially competitive).


Meanwhile, Minnesota has had yet another off-the-court disaster, and Devoe Joseph has been suspended indefinitely. There are only rumors about what exactly caused the suspension, but he will not be around for their first six or seven games at least, when Minnesota actually has a truly brutal schedule. They open up with very fiesty mid-major opponents in Wofford and Siena, and then they head off to Puerto Rico to play in a tournament that includes the likes of North Carolina, West Virginia and Vanderbilt. Joseph was expected to be Minnesota's top scoring guard, and the primary creator of offense from the perimeter. His loss will really make things tough for the Gophers, and I'll be shocked if they make it through November without picking up at least two or three losses.

If Devoe Joseph doesn't return at all this season, and certainly a few of these recent Minnesota suspensions have led to the player transferring out rather than returning, then Minnesota's Tournament hopes will really begin to come into question. All we can do at this point is keep our eye on the situation to see if Joseph does or does not return.

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