You Say You Don’t Love Me … ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan writes, "Duke desperately needed to add to its 2012 recruiting class. On Tuesday, after one of the most drawn-out recruitments in recent history, Amile Jefferson signed with Duke, spurning NC State, Kentucky, Ohio State and Villanova. The decision was surprising. Jefferson's mother even carried an NC State hat in her purse." Did Jefferson seriously consider playing at Villanova? Rick O’Brien of the Philadelphia Inquirer got this quote from Jefferson: "I thought going out of state would be best for me. When you face challenges and obstacles, you can't just come home. You have to stick with it, fight through it. I think I'll grow from that."
The Courier Journal reports that Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean added a fourth commitment to his 2013 recruiting class, signing 6-foot-3 guard Stanford Robinson of Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. Robinson is ranked No. 46 in the junior class by ESPN. Robinson, picked the Hoosiers over Texas, Rutgers, Villanova and Maryland."
This Is Your Team … CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein counts Villanova’s Ty Johnson among his predicted ten top breakout players for next season, writing, "With both Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek opting to bypass their senior seasons and enter the NBA Draft, Johnson is now Jay Wright’s primary ball handler. The 6-foot-3 sophomore possesses good size, solid instincts, and showed major promise during a stretch in the middle of the season when Wayns’ was injured. Look for Johnson to be one of the Big East’s most improved players as he attempts to lead Villanova back into the postseason picture." [Editor’s Note: "I was hoping you would support who we are, not who we are not." Coach Norman Dale, Hoosiers]
One of the Best ... Jeremy Bauman of SlamOnline calls Villanova 6-3 rising freshman guard, Ryan Arcidiacono, "one of the best 2012 lead guards in the nation. He brings [outside shooting] and an extremely unselfish attitude and willingness to get his teammates involved on the hardwood. "As a point guard, if you’re a pass-first point guard, that’s everything you can dream for as a big man," explained fellow Nova 2012 recruit, forward Daniel Ochefu. "I know that if he passes the ball to me in the paint I can always kick it back out and he’s going to knock down the three, so that’s always a good look right there." Says Ryan, "We have a ton of solid big men. I’m just excited to get out there and play and represent Villanova in the right way. About being the 3-point shooter that Villanova desperately needs, Ryan says, "Hopefully I shoot really well -- 38 % to 40% from three. I’m not really worried about what I shoot; I’m just hoping to get everybody involved. About restoring Villanova’s winning tradition, Ryan says, 'We just need to improve as a team on and off the court.' Arch is going to be a popular guy, continuing the tradition of excellent floor generals at the Philadelphia school. Jay Wright and the Wildcats faithful are in for some exciting basketball."
Thanks for the Head’s Up … In an article discussing this year’s impact of the NCAA deadline of April 10 for players to declare for the NBA draft, ESPN’s Andy Katz writes, "Villanova’s Jay Wright also benefited from early notification by two of his players, Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek. "It worked out exactly how the rule is planned to," Wright said. "Those two made decisions that allowed us to get involved with two transfers, Wake Forest's Tony Chennault and Rice's Dylan Ennis, who we probably wouldn't have taken if we had Wayns and Cheek back."
Give and You Will Be Repaid Ten Times Over … Jay Wright, Lou Holtz and Gary Williams were honored last night at the annual Dick Vitale Gala, recognizing the trio's work in support of The Jimmy V Foundation. Host Dick Vitale was hopeful of raising well over $1 million for cancer research, with the event sold out at $1,500 per plate. "Jimmy said everyday in your life, you should do three things. You should be moved to tears, you should be moved to humor and laughter, and you should be moved to thought," Vitale said. "You do that every day of your life and you will have a full life. "It's like the Martin Luther King Jr., speech,'' Wright said. "People know that speech because it's retold for generations. ''Mike Kern of the Philadelphia Daily News quoted Jay Wright before the event saying, "It’s very humbling, especially to be included with those guys." I think [Vitale] must have picked me before the season. I know I’ll definitely be the only one being honored coming off a losing record."
Speaking About Getting Paid Ten Times Over … USA Today reports that "Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski brought in more than $7.2 million in compensation during the 2010 calendar year, second only to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, who pulled in over $8.9 million. Coach K’s comp includes $2 million in base compensation, $3.7 million in incentives, and $1.5 million in deferred compensation. Writes Adam Zagoria, "Men’s college basketball coaches make slightly less on average than their football brethren, with an average salary of $1.4 million among coaches at public universities who made the NCAA tournament."
Georgetown to Host 2013 East Regional … NCAA.com reports that the "Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has selected Washington, D.C. as the site of the 2013 tournament’s East Regional on March 28 and 30 at the Verizon Center. Georgetown University will be the host institution for the event, which returns to the nation’s capital for the sixth time since 1998."
Slippery When Wet … NCAA.com reports " temporary decals and logos may cause players to slip, so the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Rules Committees are recommending a rules change that requires the court be "of a consistent surface" so student-athlete safety is not compromised."
UK Packs Them In … NCAA.com reports that "Men’s basketball attendance for all three NCAA divisions in 2011-12 totaled 32.8 million fans, a slight increase from the 2010-11 season and fifth all-time. The record is 33.4 million from the 2008 season. For the seventh consecutive year and for the 16th time in the past 17 seasons, Kentucky led the nation in home attendance average at 23,721 fans per game. Syracuse was second at 23,618. The Big Ten Conference led the nation for the 36th consecutive year in conference attendance, averaging 12,868 per game. The Southeastern (11,513), Big 12 (11,057), Big East (10,881) and Atlantic Coast (9,876) rounded out the top five in conference attendance average per game. The 16 teams of the Big East totaled 3,133,782 fans, the fourth most ever for a conference."
Providence Tops In Big East Recruiting … ESPN’s Dave Telep writes, "Coach Ed Cooley did his job this year and then some. The homegrown head coach needed a talent infusion and he went straight to the New Englanders to get it done. Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn are not your typical recruits. Dunn is the nation's No. 2 point guard and owns the best physical attributes of anyone at his position. Ledo is one of the best at getting buckets in the entire country."