Top 5 Big East teams through Week 5 — Tuesday Top 5

Photo Courtesy of News House/Flickr

1. Syracuse (8-0) – The Orange remain unbeaten and pick up a non-conference top-10 win over Florida.

2. Louisville (7-0) – Peyton Siva and his Louisville Cardinals look very impressive early, like Cuse, picked up a big win in the Big East/SEC Challenge over No. 19 Vanderbilt.

3. Marquette (7-0) – Have to move the Golden Eagles up in the rankings after winning a road game at the Kohl Center over Wisconsin. It’s rare to win on the road against Bo Ryan’s Badgers and it needs to be recognized.

4. Connecticut (7-1)Ryan Boatright has already started to help this team and now the Huskies can also move up in the rankings next week if they beat newly-ranked Harvard this week.

5. Pittsburgh (7-1) – Still waiting for Jamie Dixon and Ashton Gibbs to really make this team move. After a weird loss to Long Beach State, the Panthers have won five straight. A positive is Pitt doesn’t play a ranked opponent until 2012, which means Pitt should be racking up more and more wins.

Advertisements

Big East/SEC Challenge isn’t even close — Weekend Review

The Big East, shocker, dominated the SEC, shocker!

Kentucky blows out St. John’s – The Red Storm got blocked 18 times and the Wildcats look like a team that could win a national title, while St. John’s is a young team with a lot of potential. God’sgift Achiuwa had a strong performance with 18 points and 10 boards.

Georgetown upsets No. 12 Alabama – Jason Clark is doing exactly what he has to do and that is dominate for the Hoyas. The senior guard had 22 points, while big man Henry Sims has provided a nice contribution this year. The Hoyas weren’t projected for their typical high seed, but this could be a season changer for G’Town.

Syracuse tops the SEC’s best, Florida – The two top teams in each conference hit the court at the Carrier Dome and better team prevailed. Fab Melo has really impressed me this season and I believe Cuse is a team that can be a Final Four contender. With another tough season of Big East basketball ahead, this win against at top-10 team will go a long way.

Louisville downs No. 19 Vanderbilt – Peyton Siva is clutch, plain and simple. Louisville has impressed me early and I think Siva has the chance to have a special year. He’s proven that he is capable of big-game moments and this Cardinal squad has a backcourt that can compete with the Big East’s best.

Marquette picks up big road win over Wisconsin – No one wins at the Kohl Center, I mean nobody. That is unless you play in the Big East. Even without starting point guard Junior Cadougan, who was suspended for team violations, the Golden Eagles still were able to knock off the No. 7 Badgers. Marquette could be another team that joins the ranks of – Cuse, UConn, and L’Ville as the tops of the Big East in 2011-2012.

Providence 76, South Carolina 67

Ole Miss 70, DePaul 68

Seton Hall 81, Auburn 59

Cincinnati 57, Georgia 51

24 Mississippi State 75, West Virginia 62

10 Connecticut 75, Arkansas 62

17 Pittsburgh 61, Tennessee 16

LSU 55, Rutgers 50

Top 5 Big East teams through Week 4 — Tuesday Top 5

1. Syracuse (7-0)

Photo Courtesy of SU Basketball/Flickr

The Orange look good to start off the year with a NIT Season Tip-Off Championship and solid wins over Virginia Tech and Stanford, but the real test comes Friday, Dec. 2 vs. Florida. Syracuse has the deepest team I’ve seen in a while with 10 guys that can contribute. I like the slimmer versions of Dion Waiters and Fab Melo to go along with a great core that includes Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, and Brandon Triche.

2. Louisville (7-0)
Louisville remains unbeaten and got a nice victory over Butler without starting point guard Peyton Siva. With Siva running the show I think the Cardinals could be an explosive team. For that to be true Louisville also needs to stay healthy, especially the strong backcourt of Siva, Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric.

3. UConn (6-1)
Blowing a 17-point lead and losing to Central Florida was a wakeup call to the defending National Champions. It was the first tournament loss in a long time, but showed the gaps they need to fill without Kemba Walker. The next day in an overtime win over No. 20 Florida State, the Huskies may have found it in Ryan Boatright. The freshman guard is another playmaker and can help running the team with Shabazz Napier being an improved scorer this season.

4. Marquette (6-0)
I’ve been saying this all offseason, that Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder will be the one-two punch that carries the Golden Eagles. They are undefeated, but still they haven’t played anyone. Besides the two-point nail biter against Norfolk State, Marquette hasn’t been challenged. They will this Saturday though, when they take on the No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers on the road at the tough-to-win-at Kohl Center. If they win, a slide up in the rankings is likely.

5. Pittsburgh (5-1)
The Panthers took a rough 86-76 home loss to Long Beach State early in the season, but have recovered with three straight. I still like this team. Ashton Gibbs is a great player to have at the center of your team and if Khem Birch can do what he’s done in his first two starts (10 rebounds vs. Penn; 11 vs. Robert Morris –both wins), Pitt might have a shot this year.

Bernie Fine Scandal — Fine’s wife Laurie’s phone conversation with Bobby Davis

Bobby Davis -- David Lassman / The Post-Standard, 2002

The Bernie Fine saga took a huge turn when it surfaced that accuser Bobby Davis had recorded a phone conversation between himself and Fine’s wife, Laurie.

The most shocking part was that Laurie Fine openly admitted to knowing about the sexual abuse. Davis had lived with the Fines from time to time and one night Laurie said she saw Fine molesting Davis through the basement window.

Syracuse.com has a transcript of the 2002 phone call between Laurie Fine and Bobby Davis.

Laurie Fine -- Gary Walts / The Post-Standard

Basically this puts everyone on the hot seat, including Laurie Fine. She openly acknowledges knowing about the husband’s sexual abuse of Davis. What’s even more bizarre is that Davis claimed he had a sexual relationship with Laurie Fine starting at age 18.

But anyways, this tape shows that these guys really might be telling the truth. I was a little skeptical at first. I found it odd that the one person Davis needed to corroborate his story was his stepbrother, Mike Lang. I also wasn’t sold on the third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, who is also facing sexual assault charges, had his estranged father call him a liar.

This tape is a game changer. This could get real ugly fast for Cuse. In a few weeks this could be a full-blown Penn State ordeal. You got to thing Boeheim, after going over the top to defend Fine, is on the hot seat.

This is bad either way.

Is Jim Boeheim the next to be fired?

Photo Courtesy of Adot87/Flickr

In the wake of the Bernie Fine scandal it appears that Jim Boeheim, much like JoePa, could be the next to be fired at Syracuse University.

Boeheim defended Fine early in the accusations and it could turn out to be his downfall.

Nov. 18, Bud Poliquin of the Post-Standard posted a story with Boeheim ripping accuser Bobby Davis.

Boeheim did admit that Davis, who lived in Fine’s basement for a while as a teen and served for a time as an Orange ball boy, did periodically travel with the SU basketball team. But, Boeheim offered, Davis traveled for a practical reason.

“I know Bobby,” Boeheim said. “He was one of 300 ball boys we’ve had. This kid ended up being a babysitter for Bernie. He babysat Bernie’s kids. That’s why he was on the trips. He’d babysit. The kid only traveled, to my knowledge, if he was babysitting Bernie’s kids. This is when he was 18 years old. He was helping to babysit the kids. That’s the only time I know about, from talking with Bernie.”

Asked what Davis’ possible motivation would be to tell his disturbing story at this time, Boeheim hesitated not at all.

“Here’s why,” he said. “The Penn State thing came out and the kid behind this is trying to get money. He’s tried before. And now he’s trying again. If he gets this, he’s going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I’d say about $50 million. That’s what this is about. Money.”

Yesterday when Fine was fired, Boeheim through SU came out with an apology to the accusers.

“I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse,” he said

I don’t know if this can save Boehiem’s job. Syracuse University is now being pressured to fire the long-time coach.

UConn upset, Cuse wins NIT, Abromaitis out for year – Weekend Review

UConn loses to Central Florida – Huskies blow a 17-point lead and struggles against a 2-3 zone. Need lots of work if they want to top Syracuse. Ryan Boatright played his first game Saturday in a 78-76 overtime win over No. 20 Florida State. The freshman had 14 points and three assists. He adds another ball handler and will help this team in the long run.

Photo Courtesy of Brandon Weight

Syracuse wins NIT – The Orange, in the wake of the Bernie Fine scandal, won the NIT Season Tip-Off in a convincing win against a solid Stanford club. This Cuse team is deeper than usual. Also Fab Melo looks great since dropping over 30 lbs. in the offseason. Right now tops in the Big East.

Louisville sneaks out win over Ohio – Rick Pitino won his 250th game with Louisville in a close one, but I like Louisville right now. They beat Butler without Peyton Siva, who is their key player and would I picked to have a breakout season.

Villanova downed by Saint Louis – This loss isn’t terrible because I believe that Saint Louis is an overlooked team, they’ll compete against Xavier and Temple this year. The Wildcats are young, but Maalik Wayns had a career-high 29 points.

Cincinnati upset by Marshall in OT – I really think the Bearcats could take that next step and be a legitimate Big East contender this year, but after this loss I don’t know. The Thundering Herd could be the second-best team in C-USA, but this is a win Cincy should have had at home.

Pitt takes care of Penn/Robert Morris– Panthers had a little hiccup in that loss to Long Beach State, but I think they’ll make up for it if they can get good wins over Tennessee and Oklahoma State. Also Khem Birch recording 10 boards in his first start against Penn is a positive. The freshman added 11 in a 10-point win against Robert Morris.

Photo Courtesy of Matt Wickham

DePaul moves to 4-1 – The Blue Demons picked up a pair of wins against Texas Tech and Arizona State this weekend. I like this team. Oliver Purnell shows he can rebuild. He’s got two good young pieces in Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin and from this point on a pretty easy non-conference schedule.

South Florida takes care of FAU – A couple of nice wins against Georgia Southern and Florida Atlantic without Augustus Gilchrist. They need the big man back soon with road games against VCU and No. 14 Kansas coming up.

Notre Dame loses Abromaitis – Senior forward Tim Abromaitis is out for the season with a torn ACL. Abromaitis was averaging 14 points and seven rebounds on the year. Mike Brey is a great coach and will see how good he is in the coming months.

St. John’s loses to Northeastern – It’s a young team and a short rotation. Also not favored by a tough schedule. The Red Storm have losses against No. 16 Arizona and No. 18 Texas A&M. Coming up is a game against soon to be No. 1 Kentucky.

Friars lose first two – It’s going to be a process by I feel Ed Cooley has this team on the right track. This year is just going to be a tough one for Providence. However Vincent Council has a had a good year averaging 18 points and 5 dimes.

Syracuse Assistant Bernie Fine Accused of Child Molestation

The Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal may have opened a box that the NCAA didn’t

Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

want to hear about. Late Thursday evening, two former Cuse ball boys – Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, now grown adults accused long-time Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine of molesting him.

“I remember being disgusted in a sense,” Davis told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “He would start put his hand on my leg, then gradually put his hand in my pants and try to touch my penis.”

“If I resisted, which I did, he would get more aggressive.”

The story has been out since 2003, but not reported due to no corroboration, until Davis’ 45 year old stepbrother, Lang came out and said he had also been molested after spending a lot of time with Fine.

“Probably 15-20 times,” said Lang, answering how many times Fine had groped him. “I didn’t feel right about it and I told that ‘Bernie please don’t do that to me.

“This matter was fully investigated by the university in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would been involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support,” said Boeheim.

“This kid came forward and there was no one to corroborate his story. Not one. Not one. … This just is not true,” Boeheim told the Associated Press.

This isn’t good at all, especially with all the fire surrounding Penn State. You hope it doesn’t affect the team or the school, but that’s a secondary issue. The main issue is whether this really happened and whether or not people knew about this.

Fine is a very well respected coach in that area and after JoePa’s legacy went in the garbage, you hope the same won’t happen here.

Not making any decision on how I feel until more information comes out.