—It was a wild morning in the college basketball world with Roy Williams announcing his retirement and Chris Beard moving from Texas Tech to Texas.
—Roy did not mince words in his farewell press conference.
Roy Williams: "I no longer feel that I am the right man by the job."— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) April 1, 2021
Says that is the only thing, outside of health, that could have expedited his departure.
—Dana Evans was the runner-up for the AP women’s basketball player of the year award. UConn star Paige Bueckers became the first freshman in history to win the award.
—The Louisville baseball team will kick off a seven-game homestand on Friday.
—On the final weekend of the regular season, the 13th-ranked Louisville volleyball team will try to capture another ACC regular season title.
—That is a large number.
In college basketball’s traditional No. 1 market (by ratings), a bit of a shakeup for Tuesday regional finals.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) April 1, 2021
USC-Gonzaga (CBS) 6.0
UCLA-Michigan (CBS) 5.6
Louisville-Stanford (ESPN) 7.6 pic.twitter.com/LBYq2UiGzk
—Louisville remains on the list for Jaylon Glover, a running back from the same high school that produced Bilal Powell.
—Charles Bassey is leaving Western Kentucky and entering the NBA Draft.
—Three of Memphis State’s best players have entered the transfer portal.
—There is no longer much faith (Athletic link) from anyone in NCAA president Mark Emmert.
“I just can’t think of an instance where they’ve been upstream on anything,” one FBS AD said. “To see what happened and unfolded with regards to the tournament was one of the least surprising things that I’ve seen. I just think it fits very well within kind of how the national office has not been out in front of anything.”
“We’re just always behind the eight ball,” one Power 5 commissioner said. “The business nature of college athletics has outgrown the structure of the NCAA.”
Nimble is not a word anyone would use to describe the NCAA as an organization; it’s marred by bureaucracy and filled with member schools of varying sizes, budgets, goals and competing interests. Subcommittees have their own subcommittees. No issue moves through the organization quickly.
“It’s like turning a container ship around in the Suez Canal. You can’t do it,” one AD said, chuckling.
But that doesn’t mean administrators haven’t tried, particularly in areas of transfer policy reform — an issue that has had too many iterations of working groups to count — and NIL. As lawsuits challenging the collegiate model made their way through the courts in the past decade, the NCAA pushed back and delayed any action on NIL reform; now, these parameters and rules will be decided by Congress. The Department of Justice has chimed in on transfer legislation, too. During the arguments in NCAA v. Alston on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas brought up how college coaches have seen their salaries balloon in recent years while the athletes have been barred from receiving any compensation beyond the cost of their scholarships.
It’s clear that the ground upon which college sports stands is shifting.
“The real question for the leader of the NCAA is, What does the next iteration of college athletics look like?” one Power 5 AD said. “How do we manage it? How do we govern it? Who is involved in it?
“The leader of a non-profit volunteer group is the one who sets the vision and gets support from the membership. Right now, there’s no vision and there’s no support for the leadership because there’s no vision. We’re floundering.”
—Dana Evans is a Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American.
—Despite a challenging year, U of L is posting strong enrollment figures for the 2020-21 academic year.
—Michigan’s Juwan Howard is the AP men’s basketball coach of the year.
—Incoming Cardinal El Ellis has picked up his second straight Panhandle Conference Player of the Year award.
Major congrats to @elellis3 for winning Panhandle Conference Player of the Year in BACK to BACK seasons! Amazing representative of @GoToTCC and @TCCEagles. El averaged 17.7 pts, 4.3 ast, 3.4 reb for Panhandle Conference Champions @TCCeaglesMBB. More awards to come for other ! pic.twitter.com/29bBhSIMb4— Tallahassee CC Men's Basketball (@TCCeaglesMBB) April 1, 2021
—DePaul has once again hired someone other than me to be its new men’s basketball coach. Enjoy another five years at the bottom of the Big East. I’ll still be here in 2026.
—A new Covid vaccination site has now opened in West Louisville.
—Saturday Down South reacts to the news of Louisville and Georgia scheduling a home-and-home.
—Jeff Greer’s latest Floyd Street Tribune newsletter is out. He starts off by talking about new Cardinal Jarrod West, who is transferring in after four seasons at Marshall.
From my own eyes … I see a good shooter, passer and defender with the potential to make some really nice plays. He is deceptively quick in small spaces. But I also notice the lack of high-level athleticism and size still makes it hard for him to finish around the rim and in traffic and complete tough passes in those areas. Against some of Conference USA’s bigger guards — North Texas’s 6-5 guard Javion Hamlet, for example — he had trouble staying in front without giving up too much space for a shooter. The packline’s gap defending can help, but the packline is also entirely predicated on your ability to stay in front of your man, something Louisville struggled with this past season. That said, he also has sneaky hands and the ability to poke away dribbles and create turnovers even in the halfcourt.
How he fits at Louisville ... Because Noah Locke, Justin Powell (more on him later) and Rocket Watts all want to play the off-guard spot as secondary ballhandlers, this addition seems to be for point guard, where West sometimes played for Marshall. (In the games I watched, he rotated between primary and secondary handler.) West falls into that same category as El Ellis as a ballhandling combo guard. If Carlik Jones comes back, my best guess is West and Ellis back Jones up on the ball for 10-12 minutes a game and then share minutes at the other guard spot. If Jones doesn’t return, Ellis is the likeliest starting point guard with West backing him up.
My bottom line … I’m not as sold as others, but don’t mistake my skepticism and assessment of all the numbers as signs of blanket disapproval of the addition. West can help through his shooting alone. My primary concern for Louisville’s backcourt was its lack of athleticism and size, and this addition doesn’t help there. Regardless of whether Jones returns, West is a complementary option off the bench, especially if Louisville can either solve Josh Nickelberry’s scoring problems or find a shooting guard with size, length and quickness who can pair with the smaller guys.
Greer also shares an extremely insightful response from Charles Minlend about just how much all of the Covid issues affected Louisville this past season.
—Au’Diese Toney, Pitt’s second leading scorer this past season, is transferring to Arkansas.
—I really, really want Locke to become a Card.
Florida transfer @_NoahLocke has scheduled Zooms with :— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 1, 2021
—Fiver former Louisville baseball standouts are on Opening Day MLB rosters.
—The Charleston Gazette covers Jarrod West’s commitment to Louisville.
—And finally, WDRB covers the news that Louisville is headed back to the Maui Invitational in 2022.