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July 9, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, July 9th

Keem ’em Separated: The NCAA Tournament selection committee announced that they are considering changing the method by which the top teams are seeded. Under the proposal, no longer will the top two teams be in the same bracket, as Arizona and Kentucky were this year. Starting this season, the committee will no longer pre-determine which regions will meet in the National Semifinals (such as the South plays the West). Instead, that bracket will be determined on Selection Sunday, once all the teams are seeded. The committee also has proposed dropping “directional” labels to each regional, citing confusion in the pod system. Last year’s winners in Spokane (Wisconsin and UConn) fed into two different regionals, the Midwest and South, respectively. Now the games will be referred to by city. For 2004, the four regional sites will be Atlanta, St. Louis, Phoenix, and East Rutherford, New Jersey. The committee was adamant about not re-seeding after the regional finals. The proposals will be voted on in September.

New Lobo Cleared: Former Bradley forward Danny Granger has been cleared to resume his collegiate career in New Mexico. Granger, whose transfer resulted in rules violations against New Mexico, quit the Braves in January, and thus, due to NCAA transfer rules, will not be eligible to play for the Lobos until January of this season. New Mexico head coach Ritchie McKay said that in March assistant coach Duane Broussard violated a rule in contacting Granger while he was still enrolled at Bradley. The school self-reported the violation, and the NCAA levied a two-day recruiting period penalty, thus shortening their available recruiting window, and Broussard must attend a compliance seminar. Bradley, for their part, refused to release Granger from his scholarship, so he’s paying his way through the first semester this fall at least.

No to Notes: In a blow to US Prosecutors, US District Judge Nancy Edmunds has ruled that prosecutors in the Chris Webber perjury case cannot use handwritten notes from former Michigan booster Ed Martin. Martin, who passed away last February at the age of 69, was unable to testify before a grand jury, and prosecutors were hoping to use his handwritten notes as evidence. However, a note indicating “$20,000 – Bronco”, which prosecutors hoped would show Martin providing Webber with a vehicular gift, was deemed not to be evidence, as Martin was prevented from giving the gift to Webber by his parents. Additionally, judge Edmunds indicated that prosecutors could not call other former Michigan players to testify as to how much money they received, as well as wiretaps in which Martin alleges amounts of money that Webber owed him. Webber, currently with the Sacramento Kings, has denied taking anything of value from Martin.

Recruiting Update: North Carolina has landed Washington State’s top recruit in Marvin Williams. Williams, a 6-8 forward from Bremerton, is considered to be among the nation’s top 15 players. Meanwhile, Indiana announced that they have landed Moundsville, Alabama, star D.J. White, a 6-7, 230 pound power forward. White, one of the nation’s top 25 prep stars, joins a talented Hoosier recruiting class. Tennessee has received a verbal commitment from 6-10 center Damien Harris from Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, South Carolina, who averaged 16 points and 14 boards last season. Lastly, Detroit Renaissance forward Joe Crawford has backed out of his verbal commitment to Michigan, stating that he wants to “experience the recruiting process”. Along with Michigan, Crawford plans on visiting Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Ress-tless: Texas A&M University has announced that 7-foot senior center Tomas Ress is leaving the school, bailing on his final season of eligibility to play pro basketball in his native Italy. Ress, who graduates in August, averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds last season. A 12-game starter his freshman year, Ress missed the 2001-02 season with a staph infection that almost ended his playing days.

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