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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 Columns, Podcasts No Comments

Welcome to the latest edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis. NBA Draft night is approaching, but the college game has a couple of big news items to talk about.

We get into the NBA Draft briefly at the end, and include a couple of housekeeping notes like our conference post-mortems and upcoming coverage, but we start with a surprising story and its aftermath.

June is an odd time for a school to fire a coach. The season has been over for over two months, so the coaching carousel is done. About the only sensible reason to fire a coach now would seem to be from something that just happened – an NCAA investigation or the outcome of one, or off-court matters. None of that happened at Ohio State, but athletic director Gene Smith felt it was a good time to fire Thad Matta.

To be sure, Ohio State has been trending down. The Buckeyes have missed the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, not even being on the bubble this time around. Recruiting isn’t what it was in the earlier days under Matta, when the Buckeyes scored plenty of big-time prospects and had several one-and-done players. Of course, having that kind of talent brings in other issues, like not having that talent around for long, and only a very select few programs can really reload constantly.

Still, as we discuss, why fire Matta now? He can’t really go for another head coaching job if he wanted to, aside from perhaps a return to Butler since Chris Holtmann left there to succeed Matta in Columbus. Holtmann has to scramble to get a staff in place before July, as do new Butler head coach LaVall Jordan and new Milwaukee head coach Pat Baldwin, the latter of who enters that job after being an assistant at Northwestern.

What of Holtmann at Ohio State? He steered Butler through a lot of adversity in his tenure, from stabilizing them after Brandon Miller’s sudden departure to the deaths of cherished alumni. He also got a top 100 prospect to follow him from Indianapolis to Columbus, which is a start, though the real judgment on how he affects recruiting should come with the class of 2019, one he and his staff will have a chance to recruit for over a year.

Jordan was a bit of a hot name, though he didn’t have a great year at Milwaukee. His team, however, came on later, making a run to the Horizon League championship game before bowing out to Northern Kentucky. He played at Butler, and that had to be a lot of the attraction – he knows the landscape there.

We then go on to the story at Louisville, where the NCAA has responded in a big way to allegations surrounding an escort. The Cardinals have a long list of punishments – a five-game ACC suspension for head coach Rick Pitino, scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, forfeiture of NCAA Tournament shares, four years of probation among them – but avoided a further postseason ban, which is always what a program hopes for.

From a historical standpoint, however, one punishment may be remembered more than anything else: vacating wins from 2010-14, which would include their 2013 national championship. It would be the first one ever vacated and the 12th Final Four appearance.

The Cardinals will appeal this, which means the story will live on. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will have the personnel to be one of the best teams in the country next season, so it will be another test of how Rick Pitino can focus his team.

We conclude by talking about the NBA Draft, though we don’t get too deep into it. We note some of the big trades that occurred on Tuesday, as there is an immense amount of activity leading up to what is widely viewed as a deep draft.

We hope you enjoy it, and make sure you share it with your fellow college basketball fans. Then stay tuned for our coverage of the draft, including a special edition of the Morning Dish to appear on Friday morning.

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

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