Wednesday, August 6, 2008

8/6 - Some Links, Some News

-Syracuse players Jonny Flynn, Scoop Jardine, and Rick Jackson won't be prosecuted for sexual assault charges after an Onondaga county grand jury decided against charging the players. 

These situations are always tough because unless there is some type of physical evidence (which there apparently is not here) they almost always break down into a he-said, she-said, it was consensual, it wasn't consensual back-and-forth argument. Hearing that a grand jury failed to indict the players makes me believe that they are telling the truth, but reading something like this makes me believe otherwise:
Before the end of the year, however, Fitzpatrick said, he met with lawyers for the university, the woman and the players. He was told a resolution had been reached that included some punishment of the players and precluded the need for any criminal investigation, the DA said.

Why would they need a resolution that included some punishment if the players did nothing wrong? Besides, its not the first time Syracuse basketball has had to deal with sexual assault charges - remember Billy Edelin?

Now let me preface this by saying that I know nothing of the case, but if the grand jury did not choose to press charges, then it seems like this is a case of a girl being star struck by these basketball players and getting into a situation that went a little further than she would have liked (read this article, h/t Troy Nunes- apparently there were two incidents, which makes me believe the above theory even more). Right or wrong, I don't want to get into specifics here, like did the players push the girl too far, but what I do want to get into is what has happened to the Syracuse program since their 2003 national title. If it wasn't for a miraculous run (and some unbelievable play by Gerry McNamara) in the 2006 Big East tourney, the 'Cuse would be looking at three straight years of missing the NCAA's (OK, they got jobbed in 2007, but a team four years removed from a title with Jim Boeheim as a coach should not be anywhere near the bubble, especially not three years in a row). I mean, Boeheim has lost 10 or more games 11 times in his 32 year career, and 3 of those 11 were the last three years, including a career high 14 in 2008.

Maybe it has been extenuating circumstances - injuries, suspensions, a bad-luck stretch of recruiting - but the bigger question might be does Boeheim still have it? He's 63, already with 700 wins, a title, and a plaque in the Hall of Fame, and he has a smoking hot wife. My question is, does he still have the drive? With Flynn, Paul Harris, and Arinze Onuaku returning, and Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins coming back from knee injuries, this might be the most talented team Boeheim has had since the back-to-back Big East titles ('05 and '06), and they still aren't a top 5 team in the conference this year.

-The NCAA has released the fields for the Maui Invitational, the Old Spice Classic and the Anaheim Classic. My picks: UNC over Notre Dame in Maui, Gonzaga over Michigan State in the Old Spice, and Wake Forest over Arizona State in Anaheim.

-Luis Fernandez at Draft Express is fast becoming my go-to source for international basketball. Here, he gives up power rankings for the 12 teams playing in the Olympics. Side note, did anyone else see how good Patty Mills of St. Mary's played for Australia against the US. He was getting to the rack pretty easily against the likes of Chris Paul and J-Kidd.

-Good news and bad news for Michigan State. Freshman forward Delvon Roe underwent surgery on his left knee to reduce swelling on it, only seven months after a December surgery on his right knee. But word is that the surgery should heal in about six weeks, and that Roe will be ready to go come October.

-Mick Cronin just landed his biggest recruit, both literally and figuratively, to date at Cincinnati in 7'2" center John Riek. Now the question becomes, will he be healthy and will he be eligible.

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