Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Morning News: Oregon Suspensions, Craig Robinson Fired, Myles Turner, And Much More

Craig Robinson celebrating his semifinal win in the 2009 CBI. Oregon State's CBI title that season was the highlight of Robinson's tenure in Corvallis.
It's been almost a week since my last Morning News post, so let's catch up on the news of the last few days:

Oregon Loses Dominic Artis, Perhaps More This story just broke late last night, so I might have to come back to it another Morning News post later this summer. But it looks very bad for Oregon in multiple ways. Artis has been accused of rape, along with Damyeon Dotson and Brandon Austin. All three have been suspended indefinitely, and Artis has already announced his transfer. If the story is true and can be proven in court, all three will be looking at jail time... although we all know how this tends to go with star athletes, unfortunately. But even if the three avoid jail time, I doubt we'll see any of these three guys suit up for Oregon next season.

The fact that this was reported to police even before the Pac-12 tournament tips off means that Dana Altman is going to have to answer some hard questions about why these players were not suspended during the season. Stay tuned.

Oregon State Fires Craig Robinson Robinson was fired yesterday, which is the only part that makes it a bit odd. Many people, including myself, thought Robinson would be fired after six seasons of zero positive program momentum and with a likely terrible team next season. But instead, the school gave him a vote of confidence... and then fired him a month later when it's much harder to find a new coach. Perhaps it took them this long to find a booster willing to pay his buyout.

There's an argument to be made that Robinson did a good job... namely that it's incredibly hard to win at Oregon State. In fact, his winning percentage (.469) was the best by any Oregon State coach since Ralph Miller, who was also the last Oregon State coach to have consistent success of any kind. Oregon State's last NCAA Tournament trip was in 1990, the year after Miller retired. That team was led by Gary Payton, who was a senior. Grasp how long ago that was. But still, there was no sense that Robinson was going to get this team to the NCAA Tournament at any time in the foreseeable future. So the next coach could easily be worse than Robinson... but maybe they swing and hit a home run hire. We'll have to see who they get.

Nick Faust Transferring To Oregon State Or... maybe he isn't. This news broke a few days ago, which means that we now have to see if Faust is going to stick it out with the new coach. Faust would be one of the best players on Oregon State (his one season of eligibility will come in 2015-16) if he does stay.

Texas Lands Myles Turner Turner was the last significant 2014 recruit who had yet to sign, so the big 7-footer is a coup for Rick Barnes. That said, this is the type of move that isn't going to pay off as much next season as the media is making it out. There's always this misperception that if a team has a quality X and adds player with a quality Y that the new team will be (X+Y) good. It doesn't work that way.

Texas was a team that already had a physically dominant front line. They led the Big 12 in offensive rebounding percentage but were dead last in 3P% and second to last in eFG%. Turner's minutes will just eat into the minutes of Cameron Ridley, Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh, none of whom can play outside the paint. And even Johnathan Holmes can't really play with two other bigs, even though he can hit jump shots from the perimeter. Texas still is in need of significantly improved backcourt play to win a Big 12 title. Isaiah Taylor is a great prospect, but they need more than just him.

Southern Miss Hires Doc Sadler With Donnie Tyndall taking the Tennessee job, this seems like a reasonable hire for Southern Miss. It's easy to see Sadler as a failure at Nebraska considering what Tim Miles has accomplished, but I don't think that's quite fair. Miles is one of the best coaches in college basketball and he also benefited in a big way from the move to the Big Ten, a new arena, and a significant increase in the basketball budget. Sadler should be a solid hire for Southern Miss.

Big Ten/Big East Announce Series Of Games The Big Ten and Big East have announced an annual series of eight games each year. So not every team will play every season, but the more quality games the better. It's always good to have a sport, unlike college football, that rewards tough schedules. It means more entertainment during non-conference play.

Naadir Tharpe Transferring Tharpe was the starting Kansas point guard this past season, but there was a reasonable chance that he was going to be replaced next season, which might be the primary motivation for this transfer. Frank Mason could take over the point next season, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Kansas go without a true point guard in a guy like Conner Frankamp. Despite this loss, I still think Kansas has to be the preseason Big 12 favorite. I wouldn't be surprised if the media goes with Texas, but see my comments above on Myles Turner for why I believe Texas will be overrated.

Desmond Simmons To Saint Mary's The Gaels needed an influx of talent to challenge Gonzaga and BYU atop the WCC, and Simmons joins Aaron Bright as a key pair of transfers. Simmons isn't much of a scorer, but he's an awfully athletic 6'7" and he should give St. Mary's a lot of rebounding if nothing else. The WCC is going to be very strong next season, and I had St. Mary's only 5th in my 2014-15 previews, but these two signings will potentially get them right back onto the Tournament bubble.

Maryland Loses Seth Allen The Terps are now up to four transfers this offseason, and this is the most worrying of the bunch. Mark Turgeon had oversigned, and three players had to transfer originally, but there was no reason for Allen to go. Also, Allen was the team's starting point guard as a sophomore and has a bright future at the position. With Roddy Peters one of the other transfers, the Terps don't return a single scholarship point guard from this past season. Maryland was looking like a Top 25 team, but they're treading closer and closer to looking like a bubble team.


Anonymous said...

The timing of Craig Robinson's firing is odd. Only a conspiracy theorist would think he was fired yesterday -- purposely before the news today about three of Robinson's players being accused of sexual assault, with one of the players being a former Providence College player who was accused of similar sexual assault in Rhode Island. Robinson previously worked in Rhode Island as a coach at Brown University. The timing could have been such to avoid a scandal linking Robinson -- who has ties to the White House because he is the brother of First Lady Michele Obama -- to an active sexual assault investigation of his own players. The headline yesterday was simply that he, Michele Obama's brother, was fired. If he was not fired yesterday, the headlines would have been "Sexual Assault Investigation into Oregon Players Coached by Michele Obama's Brother."

Jeff said...

You know that Craig Robinson was the coach of Oregon State, right? The sexual assaults happened at Oregon. I don't think the Obamas have connections to Dana Altman.

Zach said...

I'm late on this post obviously, must admit I don't read college stuff during the offseason, particularly during the NBA playoffs.


Just thought I'd mention that it isn't just superstar athletes who get away with rape, its men throughout the culture. Woody Allen. That French politician a few years ago. Polanski. And not just powerful men, but just random dudes getting women black out drunk at parties all over and then the women getting called sluts the next day, even by the police.

Jeff said...

I certainly wasn't trying to suggest that it's only star athletes who get away with rapes. Hollywood is famously terrible in this regard also.