1) The Washington Post is in the midst of a three-part series detailing the specifics behind the stunningly fast fall of Maryland basketball since that 2002 National Championship. Part I sort of explains what has happened on the court. "Some say (Gary Williams's disdain for under-the-table recruiting tactics has left him out of touch with the influential summer league circuit; others say he has grown complacent, delegating most recruiting duties to an ever-changing group of assistants. Clearly, Maryland has been hurt by landing highly touted recruits whose potential was never fulfilled and by failing to identify less-heralded future stars, many of whom attended high schools within short drives of College Park."
But Part 2 is probably what will win some journalism awards, it's that good. In it the Eric Prisbell and Steve Yanda of the Washington Post go into great length about Maryland's failure to land local and faraway products like Rudy Gay (UCONN, Memphis Grizzlies), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Deron Williams (Illinois, Utah Jazz), Joe Alexander (West Virginia, Milwaukee Bucks), and a couple others. It also talks extensively about the AAU circuit and exactly what the shady side of it all actually entails.
"(Rudy Gay) was merely one player, one recruiting battle lost by Williams amid hundreds that coaches routinely lose throughout their careers. But those closely familiar with the veteran coach's recruiting say Gay's decision was a turning point. Gay's recruitment, so scrutinized that it appeared to be the impetus for an NCAA rule change in its aftermath, cemented Williams's belief that signing the most sought-after recruits in the current climate often depends on practices he is unwilling to undertake. As a result of that experience, they say Williams has steadfastly avoided pursuing relationships with many of the most influential power brokers in the recruiting world."
2) I'm just glad it wasn't Graham's house. "Federal investigators arrived in the hamlet of Clarence Center, N.Y., on Friday morning to begin investigating the crash of a Continental Airlines flight from Newark to Buffalo late Thursday that killed 50 people."
3) Red Hots will no longer be a stone's throw away from my old stomping grounds, 814 East University. "(The owner) Slade closed Red Hot Lovers during winter break, expecting to resolve the conflict with Johnston by the time students came back to campus. When break ended, the restaurant needed some renovations, so without a decision from Johnston, Slade decided to keep it closed rather than invest more money in a location he might have had to leave soon." Have no fear, though, the article goes onto say the dude is planning on opening up a new Red Hot Lovers on either State Street or South University.
4) Apparently, Kansas center Cole Aldrich's cell number got posted on a Kansas State message board and prank calling ensued. Instead of changing his number or just ignoring the calls, Aldrich decided to call someone back and leave a message of his own.
Yo what's up, this is Cole Aldrich talking back. Yeah, I got your message. I can't wait to come to Manhattan and dunk the ball all over you motherfuckers. It will be the greatest day in Kansas basketball history. I can't wait to go in there and fucking drop 20-10 on you goddamned motherfuckers. See you there, bitch."
5) In a truly shocking development, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick got a high paying job now that he's out of jail. He's now working for Compuware. "(CEO Peter Karmanos), a longtime Kilkpatrick advocate, said "we hired a very talented person with a very checkered background ... to do a job that he is uniquely qualified for." "Our organization is hiring Kwame Kilpatrick because it is a good business decision, and that's it."
Oh yeah and I like this caveat, even if Karmanos says they are totally unrelated. "The hiring comes just as Compuware announced the layoffs of 250 employees." It's good to know as mayor of Detroit, you can rip off an entire city with government-funded party boats, not do any work while in office thanks to a litany of sexy text messages, be put in jail for 99 days, then get five years probation, and still come out of it all with the ability to butt everyone else in the unemployment line. And people wonder why Detroit is so fucked up. You can't mess with people's heads like this.
Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor of second, third, fourth, fifth, and maybe even sixth chances. Or I guess we can just start calling him our generation's Marion Barry. I can totally see him as a Detroit city council member in 40 years blocking the construction of the stadium that will replace Comerica.