Inside the SEC: Sept. 27

27 Sep

By Matt Fultz
National Hoops Report

Texas A&M To Join SEC July 1, 2012

When the Southeastern Conference Presidents voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M several weeks ago, there was one condition, that the conference would not be sued by the Big XII or any of its member schools.

With the announcement Sunday night that the Aggies would officially join the conference on July 1, 2012, it appears that that condition has been met, although not explicitly stated

“On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence—athletically, academically and culturally.”

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Lofton offered up part of the schools reasoning for joining the SEC.

“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” he said in a statement released by the conference.  “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference.  This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”

When the idea of adding a fourteenth team was brought up at Texas A&M’s press conference Monday, Commissioner Mike Slive said, “We anticipate being a 13-team league.” He did acknowledge that scheduling would be a challenge with the odd number.

“Clearly scheduling with 13 is not easy, and we’ll work through that,” he said. “But we will remain very thoughtful and very strategic about what we do in terms of further expansion.”

Georgia Signee Gets Go Ahead

Georgia’s top recruit Kentavios Caldwell-Pope has been cleared by the NCAA to suit up for the Bulldogs.

“The University of Georgia compliance office was notified by the NCAA on Tuesday that freshman basketball player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been cleared to compete in the 2011-12 season,” the school said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Caldwell-Pope’s eligibility was in question because his mother’s cell phone bill was paid for by Tony Adams out of an unauthorized bank account. Adams coached the Georgia Blazers AAU team, which was sponsored by the Columbus, Georgia Parks and Recreation Department and apart of the EYBL.  Adams used the unauthorized account to pay for the phone bill as well as plane tickets for former USC linebacker and current Georgia player Jarvis Jones. Jones was declared eligible earlier this month.

“I am pleased that the situation regarding Kentavious’ eligibility has been resolved,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said in the statement. “Kentavious can now put these issues behind him and focus on becoming a better student-athlete.  We can all move forward in our preparations for the coming season.”

Earlier in the summer it was unclear whether or not the 5-star shooting guard would qualify academically, but the issue was resolved in early June.

Goodwin Gives Wildcats First 2012 Commitment

Archie Goodwin’s plan had always been to wait things out and sign in the spring, but after some deliberation the 6-foot-4 guard knew there was no reason to wait any longer.

The consensus top-15 player in the county gave Coach Calipari and the University of Kentucky his verbal commitment late last Tuesday night, becoming the first commitment of the 2012 class for the school.

“If you don’t know by now I’m a Wildcat,” he announced on Twitter.

The Little Rock native chose Kentucky over Arkansas and Memphis.

Not everyone in Arkansas was happy with Goodwin’s decision to head out of state, so he tried to explain his rationale to ESPN’s Dave Telep.

“That’s one thing that is the toughest. Growing up here and with so many expectations to go there, it’s been a lot of pressure,” he told Telep “Arkansas is a great school and I love Coach [Mike] Anderson and his staff. I love my state but it’s a business decision and this is best for my career and my family.”

It wasn’t playing time that Coach Cal promised the shooting guard; actually it was quite the opposite.

“Coach Cal already told me that it’s not going to be easy. I don’t want anyone to give me anything. I’ve worked for stuff my whole life,” Goodwin said. “I’m going to compete and that’s going to make me and my teammates better. I want to go work every day. From a competitive standpoint, it’s the best decision for me.”

The competition could be very still at the guard spot by the time Kentucky’s recruiting class is done. The Wildcats will we hosting the number one player in the country Shabazz Muhammad on October 14th for Big Blue Madness, and they have recently increased their recruitment of Gary Harris, another highly ranker shooter. That doesn’t even take into account the possibility of Doron Lamb, returning to Lexington for his junior season, either.

Goodwin has already spoken to several top recruits, including Harris, about joining him in Lexington. Coach Calipari and staff have quite the list of visitors headed to Big Blue Madness and there is no doubt Goodwin will be in the ear of all of them.

Poythress Down to Four; Walker Sets Date

One of the top forwards in the 2012 class, Alex Poythress, has narrowed his list of college suitors to Vanderbilt, Memphis, Florida, and Kentucky.

The 6-foot-8 native of Clarksville, Tennessee eliminated the Duke Blue Devils from consideration.

Another recruit who severeal SEC schools are hot on the trail of is 2013 forward Chris Walker. Walker announced on Twitter he would be announcing his college decision on November 15th.

The native of Holmes, Florida will choose from Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky, Florida State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, and Memphis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: