Jim Calhoun is recruiting like a man with no plans to retire. John Calipari and Rick Pitino are messing with each other in June. That should be enough to get me through this Five for the Weekend column.
1. Nobody had a better recruiting week than Connecticut's Jim Calhoun. Surprised?
|After a solid recruiting week, Jim Calhoun doesn't want to entertain any retirement talk. (Getty Images)|
2. So is it now clear Jim Calhoun isn't retiring?
It's never clear that Calhoun isn't retiring because, ultimately, that won't be his call. He's a 69-year-old man with a history of health issues, and there's always the chance that doctors will tell him he's no longer capable of coaching, and it really could happen at anytime. But short of that, yes, it's clear Calhoun has no plans to walk away even if he's hinted in recent weeks that he might. Early this week he locked up the best remaining prospect from the Class of 2011 in DeAndre Daniels, and on Friday he secured a commitment from Omar Calhoun, one of the top scorers in the Class of 2012. Those two developments suggest the Huskies should be a staple in the top 20 for the next two seasons, at least, and I expect Calhoun to coach them provided his health cooperates.
3. How crazy is it that Louisville's top returning scorer will be off scholarship next season?
Not crazy at all, really. Look, I know it's unique that Rick Pitino this week took three players off scholarship to make room for newcomers, and that one of those three players is Kyle Kuric, who averaged 10.8 points last season. But all three players taken off scholarship, including Kuric, are players who entered the Louisville program as walk-ons. They we're placed on scholarship at various points but with the caveat that the scholarships might be pulled at some point in the future. In other words, by all accounts, everybody knew the score. Plus, Kuric's father is a brain surgeon. And because I'm fairly certain brain surgeons make decent money, I'm fairly certain the Kuric family won't spend the next 20 years paying off student loans. So, again, I know it's a unique story worthy of headlines. But I can't imagine it matters much to the Kurics, which is why it shouldn't matter much to anybody else.
4. So how many players will Louisville have on its roster?
I can't really keep track. But my friend Rick Bozich did the math, and he's got the Cardinals with 17 bodies and 15 "real" players. That's a helluva lot -- especially when you consider that last year's national champion (Connecticut) only had seven players who averaged at least 10 minutes per game. Bottom line, Pitino is going to need the type of injuries that plagued his roster last season to resurface this season. Without them, keeping players with egos -- not to mention parents with egos -- satisfied will be the biggest challenge Pitino faces.
5. And what about Pitino calling the SEC a "second-rate" league?
I love it ... and not because it's a shot at the SEC, necessarily, but because it's an example of Pitino in a war of words with Kentucky's John Calipari, which is always fun. Truth be told, I don't care whether Calipari was right to say the Big East is a product of "media hype" or if Pitino's return shot at the SEC is valid. I just like the idea of two rivals talking trash. So I hope Calipari responds, ASAP. Because it's June, for crying out loud, and there's just not much else going on.