Hellllllllllllllo, Panthers!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written on PantherU.  I said this on the message board, but I took some time for myself away from the blog for a couple months.  It’s very busy with the job search, working close to full time, and updating the house that I am about to move into with my parents.  Forgive me that it’s taken so long for me to write something, anything, when there has been a ton of news. By now, even without this blog, you all should be updated to most of what’s going on in the Horizon League world.

A quick update:

– Shelvin Mack and Norris Cole were taken in the first round of the NBA Draft.  Cole looks to find his way on the floor immediately for the Miami Heat and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s starting by his sophomore season.

– Brandon Wood transferred to Michigan State from Valparaiso, after graduating and enrolling in a graduate program that VU does not offer.  This left Homer Drew without a huge chunk of his fourth place team, and now the team is left without…

– Homer Drew. The living legend retired after coaching longer at VU than most of his final roster was alive.  He finishes his career as one of the all-time greats coaching mid-major college basketball.

– Recruiting has gone further, with the Panthers having bona fide offers on Wally Ellenson and Johnny Woodard, which we knew before.  The other is Zak Showalter, the sharpshooter from Germantown whose father played with coach Jeter at UW-Platteville.

– The Milwaukee Pro-Am, successful last season, is going to happen again this year, now at Greenfield High School.  It was popular in its first year, and now that it is embedded right in one of the closer city suburbs, it should see a bigger turnout in year two.  Panthers participating:

Ricky Franklin, playing for Baird; Kyle Kelm, for Gruber Law Offices; Ryan Haggerty, for Hodan, Doster & Ganzer; Allan Hanson, for AthletiCo; Deion James, for RYCO; Avery Smith and Joah Tucker, for IWB Sports; James Haarsma and Tony Meier, for a team without a sponsor; and Jason Averkamp, whose team also doesn’t have a sponsor.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Haarsma and Meier’s team, as they are two likely starters heading into the 2011-12 season, as well as the fact that they’re teaming up with Charlie Averkamp, who is a big ball of awesomeness.

The Milwaukee Pro-Am begins a week from today at Greenfield HS. The schedule will come out soon, here.

– Butler could be replacing their huge scoring loss for the 2012-13 season. The Indy Star’s David Woods is reporting Rotnei Clarke, who just got his release from Arkansas, could be heading to play with the Dawgs.  He will have to sit out next season, per NCAA transfer regulations.

– The Washington Wizards are pleased with Mack, as per the Washington Post. His introductory press conference was shared with first round pick Chris Singleton.

– Cleveland sports blog Waiting For Next Year (what an apt title for a Cleveland blog) nominated the Cleveland State Vikings as their “Non-Big 3 Sports Team” of the year.  I’m assuming they don’t include the Cavaliers or Browns…oh they do? Well, the Lake Erie Monsters won the award, but it was good to see someone in Cleveland had heard of the Vikings. The stands said different.

– DaShaun Wood, hero of the 2006-07 Wright State Raiders, stopped by Billy Donlon’s coaching camp and talked to the youngsters and they shared a release on the university web site.

– The Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik made a noble effort to highlight how many mid-major coaches are choosing to stay in their current situations rather than bolt for higher-paying high major jobs.  The obvious players are mentioned – Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, Chris Mooney – but then he brings up how Pat Chambers left Boston University for the Penn State job (thank whoever’s up there he did), as if Boston U is a mid-major and not a low-major.

The difference between high-majors and mid-majors is easy to see.  The difference between mid-majors and low-majors is almost as easy. But rarely anyone recognizes that difference, so Pat Chambers and his 200k salary at Boston are lumped in with mid-majors like us, where only two of our H-League coaches were making Boston U money.  The fact is, mid-major coaches are finding that where they are is worth sticking around past the first offer.  But the schools still need to make sure assistant salaries and facilities are competitive.

– The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana tackles the idea of paying athletes.  It’s been hacked at a million times. I’m with Jay Bilas, who thinks they should be allowed to make money in the Olympic model (endorsements).  Bored with the article? Scavenger Hunt! See if you can find an example of Matt Painter racism!

I’ll have some longer posts after the weekend. My sister is having a baby shower for her first born and my first nephew on Sunday! You best believe that kid will have some Panther clothes immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *