Friday, June 15, 2007

June 14-15 News and Notes

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg is resigning from his post to take an administrative job with the Big Ten Network, an upstart television station. "There's never a perfect time to depart, but I believe the current time is good," Weiberg told the San Antonio Express-News. "The bottom line for me is that it's time for a change. Nine years is a long time at this job. A change will be good for me and the conference. It's a great job, but for me it's not a two-decade job." He also said that he began thinking about leaving throughout the year. "I began having feelings through the course of this past year that it was time for a change," Weiberg told the Dallas Morning News. "I began to have feelings that nine years was a long time to do it. Parts of the routine were bothering me more than they used to." It took all of the athletic directors in the conference by surprise. "If you knew this was coming, you're in the minority," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione told the Morning News. "I sure didn't. I just didn't expect that. Missouri AD Mike Alden agreed. “It certainly took me by surprise,” he told the Kansas City Star. “It sounds like a good opportunity.” Kansas State AD Tim Weiser said that it is a big loss for the Big 12. "I’m disappointed, and I say that selfishly,” he told the Star. “He’s been a steady influence on this conference.” As for Weiberg’s successor, Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne does not think it is going to be easy to fill his shoes. “He's going to be difficult to replace,” he told the Morning News.

Andy Jasner of the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes about Washington freshman center Spencer Hawes and his forthcoming decision on whether to stay in the Draft or return to the Huskies. "It's hard to put a number on it," Hawes said. "I think I'm feeling pretty good about how my workouts are going. I still have to sit down with my family, people that are close to me, and try to make that decision." Hawes also discussed how the decision is constantly on his mind. "I think it still kind of eats at me, the season we had and the legacy I left," Hawes said. "It didn't work out the way I wanted it to. If that's (UW) the best place to be, to develop -- and I still need to decide that -- then it would be a reason to return. I thought we would at least make the (NCAA) Tournament. We had a tough season. We didn't accomplish what we thought we were going to. That stays on your conscience." According to Jasner, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Billy King was impressed by Hawes. "He's very skilled for his age," King said. "For his size, he has the ability to handle the ball, can shoot, post up. He's got a lot of positives." Hawes averaged 14.9 points and 6.4 rebounds this past season.

Steve King of the Philadelphia Daily News and Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer both write about Virginia junior guard Sean Singletary and his forthcoming decision on whether to stay in the Draft or return to the Cavaliers for his senior season. "I'm ready for it. I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision," Singletary told the Daily News. “I'm going to play in the NBA eventually, I just want to make sure this is the right time. It's a very tough decision, but it's just a part of the process." He added that he was not overly worried about the decision. "I'm just taking all the information in and will sit down and discuss everything with my family," Singletary told the Inquirer. "I'm not stressing out at all." All he wants to do is be able to make an impact in the NBA—either this year or next year. "I definitely want to come in and be an impact player right away," Singletary said to the Daily News. "I don't just want to come in and be another player on an NBA roster just sitting there. I want to come in and be able to help contribute to my team for an entire season." Asked which way he was leaning, Singletary responded to the Inquirer: "Right now all I am trying to do is make an impression on the various general managers.” He averaged 19.0 points and 4.7 assists per game last season.

According to the
Oakland Tribune, San Francisco sophomore guard Antonio Kellogg has decided to leave USF to pursue a career in professional basketball. "I feel that it is in my best interests to move into a pro career and support my family," Kellogg said. "I really enjoyed my time at the University of San Francisco, but right now I feel that this is the proper path for me." Dons coach Jessie Evans said that he understands Kellogg's decision. "We are supportive of what Antonio wants to do," Evans said. "The young man gave us all that he had on the court, but he feels that it is time to move on and take an important step in his life." Kellogg averaged 17.2 points and 3.6 assists per game in his only season with USF after transferring from Connecticut.

According to the
Los Angeles Daily News, UCLA has finalized its non-conference schedule for next season. The marquee match-ups are games at Michigan and home against Texas. The Bruins will also play in the Wooden Classic, for which their opponent is undetermined, and the College Basketball Experience, in which they will be one of the four pod hosts, along with Michigan State, Maryland, and Missouri.

According to the Associated Press, Wofford junior guard Drew Gibson has announced that he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to the Terriers for his senior season. Coach Mike Young was excited about the news. "We are delighted to have Drew back as we assumed we would when we discussed this back in March," Young said. Gibson averaged 12.8 points and 5.4 assists this past season.

According to the
Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville freshman center Derrick Caracter will undergo surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee after suffering the injury in a pickup basketball game this week. "He has a very small tear of the meniscus," coach Rick Pitino said. "He'll probably be out 4-6 weeks. It's a very minor surgery, but it has to be fixed." Pitino also said that Caracter would have to watch his weight when he is not playing. "He's going to go on an all-vegetable diet," Pitino said. "He has to be on a very strict diet, because if he doesn't play, (his weight) can be a problem." Caracter averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season, and also had multiple suspensions due to various off-court problems.

According to Andy Katz of, Memphis has added a four-year series against Georgetown to its schedule for next season and, as a result, dropped Mississippi from the 2007-2008 slate. With the addition of the Hoyas, John Calipari and the top-five Tigers have home games against Georgetown, Arizona, Gonzaga and Tennessee, as well as neutral-site match-ups against USC in the Jimmy V Classic and likely two more in the Coaches vs. Cancer benefit tournament in November. Both Calipari and athletic director R.J. Johnson consider it the nation’s toughest schedule. The Tigers were not forced to pay a buyout to the Rebels because the Ole Miss football team asked the Tigers to drop the final two years of a four-year series in football.

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Eastern Washington has hired UNC-Wilmington associate head coach Kirk Earlywine to replace the fired Mike Burns as its head basketball coach. “This has always been my goal and I’ve prepared myself for this for 22 years,” Earlywine said. “It’s very humbling because there are only 325 NCAA Division I jobs and not everyone gets this opportunity. I’m very excited to work at a school I’m so familiar with.” EWU President Rudolfo Aravelo was excited with the choice. “After making several rounds of reference calls, it solidified in my mind the final selection,” Aravelo said. “Kirk’s experience with coach Rick Majerus and his success at Weber State, coupled with the caliber of recommendations we received, made this a great choice for Eastern.” Prior to being an associate coach at UNCW, Earlywine was an assistant coach at Weber State, Ball State, and Utah, the latter two under the tutelage of Rick Majerus.

Kentucky sophomore center Jared Carter has re-injured the right shoulder that limited him to three games last season. He injured it in a pick-up game last week, according to the school. Kentucky spokesman Scott Stricklin said that school is awaiting test results to determine the extent of the injury and the needed corrective measures. Last season, Carter injured the shoulder in November, only to return for three games and injure it again. The Wildcats are awaiting word whether Carter will get a medical redshirt for last year.

Jeff Goodman of and Andy Katz of both discuss the optimism that coach Norm Roberts has for his St. John’s squad heading into next season. “We’re going to be much more athletic and versatile,” Roberts told FOXSports. “We’re going to be able to spread the court and play faster.” He was also very excited about incoming freshman Justin Burrell. "He's got a chance to be great," Roberts told "He's so big, so active. We'll be so much more athletic with him." Roberts also thinks that junior Anthony Mason, Jr. is primed for a break-out season. "He's really ready to take off," Roberts said to The Red Storm finished 16-15 last season, 7-9 in the Big East.

Frank Dascenzo of the Durham Herald-Sun writes that Duke will not miss NBA Draft early entrant Josh McRoberts. He discusses how they lost eleven games with McRoberts in the lineup, including defeats in the first round of both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. “The truth is McRoberts could have had most anyone hold the door for him,” Dascenzo writes. He also discusses how coach Mike Krzyzewski recruited high school star Patrick Patterson heavily because of the anticipated departure of McRoberts, and that “rumor has it Duke's basketball loyalists are more depressed about [Patterson’s decision to attend Kentucky] than McRoberts'.”

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