We've some basketball news piling up in recent days.
1. Frank Haith speaks
Q: How good can Jordan Clarkson be?
A: He's a stud. He's a stud. He's good. He's really good. I don't want to put so much pressure on him, but I talk about him like I talked about Jabari. I think Jabari answered the bell, too. I think Jabari, shoot, he'll be one of the leading scorers returning in the SEC. I remember telling you guys how good I think Jabari is, and he was really just a freshman. I think Jordan is equally as good.
Q: And more seasoned.
A: Yeah, because he's played college ball for two years. He does everything. He can do everything on the basketball court. There is nothing he can't do. He can handle it, he can shoot it, he can pass it, he's athletic, he's quick, he's got a burst at 6-(foot)-5. He can low-post you and score in the paint, he can drive you off the bounce and he can catch and shoot. He's a versatile guy. I would anticipate him being one of our main guys, frontline guys. There's no secret that I think he and Jabari and EJ (Earnest Ross) will be guys that can help us offensively. All three of those guys.
Really nice Q&A from Haith and Steve Walentik. Haith talks about toughness and improvement on defense -- as he points out, Mizzou really did improve defensively in 2012-13 but certainly didn't improve quite enough -- and goes into detail about college basketball's transfer culture, the incoming newcomers, rules changes, SEC Network, etc. And yeah, I'm all for Clarkson being a stud; can he play defense?
2. A judge says no to bank records petition
Frank Haith’s petition to subpoena Bank of America employees has been denied by a federal judge in Florida.
Haith, Missouri’s men’s basketball coach, filed a Rule 27 petition — a tool used to collect testimony or evidence that could be used in a future lawsuit — on Monday to determine whether the bank shared detailed records from his personal business account during the NCAA’s two-year investigation of the University of Miami.
Pompano Beach, Fla., attorney Michael Buckner, who represents Haith, hoped the petition would at least lead to a hearing, which could have led to a judge allowing Haith’s lawyers to subpoena the bank and depose employees who may have had access to the account. It could have also prohibited the bank from destroying pertinent evidence.
But U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum ruled Thursday that Haith had no basis for such a request and that he failed to satisfy the requirements for a hearing.
I was really looking forward to NCAA officials being subpoenaed. Damn.
3. The 2013-14 schedule takes further shape
As part of the event Missouri will host two home games at Mizzou Arena and will then travel to Las Vegas for games against Northwestern and Nevada. The tournament will be hosted as a "Classic" with Mizzou and UCLA scheduled to finish a home and home series at Mizzou Arena next season.
Missouri's home opponents for the first two rounds of the Invitational will be announced by tournament organizers at a later date. Teams making up the rest of the Las Vegas Invitational field include: the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), Morehead State (Ky.) and Gardner Webb University (NC).
So ... Northwestern, Nevada, UCLA, Illinois, and N.C. State thus far? Am I missing anybody? Certainly not a murderer's row, but not bad. Honestly, Mizzou is undergoing enough of a personality change next year that it doesn't need a murderer's row. This, plus an improved SEC, should suffice.
4. Phil Pressey is going to the NBA Combine; Alex Oriakhi is not
The Mizzou center who transferred from Connecticut before his senior season shot 63.9 percent from the field and averaged 11.2 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Tigers this year.
At 6-foot-9, 240-pounds, he is a bit undersized for his position. Still, an argument could be made that his strength, rebounding and offensive efficiency could have qualified him for a combine nod — especially since this year's draft class is nothing to write home about.
Instead, the former Tigers' big man who has signed with agent Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group will have to catch scouts' eyes another way, like the workout he recently had with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He will be a late second-round pick, if he gets drafted at all. No invitation to the combine tends to be an unfavorable sign.
I guess neither Pressey's inclusion nor Oriakhi's exclusion should be much of a surprise. Here's to hoping Oriakhi catches on somewhere.