College Hoops Hottest Summer Storylines
Kentucky Loses Starters
After a dominating season -- and even more impressive tournament run -- Kentucky bid farewell to six of its best early in the 2012 offseason during the NBA draft. Anthony Davis (Hornets), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats), Marquis Teague (Bulls), Terrence Jones (Rockets), Darius Miller (Hornets), Doron Lamb (Bucks) were all selected within the first and second rounds.
SMU Hires Larry Brown
Southern Methodist University shocked the college hoops world when it announced former NBA coach Larry Brown as its new man in charge. The 71-year-old Brown has not coached at the college level since 1988, but did reach the NCAA tournament seven times. Brown has already raised eyebrows with a number of player cuts.
Butler Heads To Atlantic-10
Butler announced early this offseason that instead of waiting until 2013-14 to make its leap to the Atlantic-10, it would leave its days in the Horizon League behind a year early. The move was likely in response to the possibility of the Horizon League not allowing Butler to compete in a postseason conference tournament. "The unexpected circumstances that precipitated Butler's request to move immediately were unfortunate, but we will welcome Butler into the A-10 as a valuable new member," A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade said. "The Atlantic 10 has the potential to have the strongest year in league history in 2012-13 with 16 outstanding programs."
Pat Summitt Steps Down
In April, Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt announced that she would be stepping aside from head coaching duties. After being diagnosed with early-onset demential, Summitt continued to coach the Lady Vols, leading them to the 2012 NCAA tournament's Elite 8. She concluded her 38- year career as the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history.
Shabazz Muhammad's Troubles
Shabazz Muhammad's summer kicked off with a high-profile commitment to Ben Howland's UCLA program and has concluded with an NCAA investigation and a missed trip to an exhibition in China. The NCAA is investigating whether Muhammad received improper benefits during his high-profile recruitment. Muhammad hopes to be cleared for the Bruins' season opener against Indiana State.
Can't they all just get along? Unfortunately they couldn't, as a deal could not be struck to save the storied rivalry game between Indiana and Kentucky. Coaches John Calipari and Tom Crean were unable to agree on a venue for the contest (Crean wanted to continue a home-and-home setup, Calipari favored a matchup in Lucas Oil Stadium). Both schools said the issue would be revisited at a later date.
NCAA Changes Text/Call Rules
The summer recruiting season got a little more hectic for coaches and players alike this year. As of June 15, the NCAA allows coaches to make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited text messages to recruits who have finished their sophomore year in high school. Private messages can also be sent via Facebook and Twitter. Some lauded the move, saying that it would cut back on time-consuming NCAA investigations and on questionable recruiting middle men.
Where Will Jabari Parker Go?
One of the most intriguing recruits in the Class of 2013 and a player whom Sports Illustrated labeled the best H.S. star since LeBron James, Jabari Parker has been courted by college basketball's best for years. But unlike other recruits, Parker flown surprisingly under the radar. One of his only hints came in July when he released a list of 10 schools that have piqued his interest: BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford.
Trouble Brewing At UNC
North Carolina faced some NCAA summer scrutiny as charges of academic impropriety surrounded its football program, as well as its basketball program. Coach Roy Williams came out in strong defense of his team saying it was not a basketball issue. "Regardless of what comes out, am I going to be interested? You're darn right," Williams said. "Am I going to be sad if some negative thing comes out? You're darn right. But ... am I worried about it? I'm worried about it from a university issue, but not from a basketball issue."
Mark Emmert Ups APR Ante
Mark Emmert and the NCAA took a firm stand when it comes to academics among student-athletes. Beginning in 2015, the academic requirements for incoming freshmen and transfer students will undergo considerable increases. Though the changes won't take effect immediately, several schools, most notably UConn have already felt the heat from poor academic showings. The Huskies became the first BCS-conference team to face a postseason ban due to a subpar APR.