By JEREMY WOO
Special to ZAGSBLOG
A pair of talented 2014 prospects came off the board Wednesday, as highly rated guard JaQuan Lyle pledged his services to Rick Pitino and defending national champion Louisville while rising forward Malek Harris announced he will play for Buzz Williams at Marquette.
Former WNBA Commissioner Val Ackerman will be the new Commissioner of the Big East Conference, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
Ackerman, 53, was the head of the WNBA from 1995-2006. She also served as an NBA staff attorney and was the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005 to 2008.
“She brings all of that experience with intelligence, a keen analytical ability, an intense work ethic and a winning management style,” NBA Commissioner David Stern told Bloomberg via e-mail. To read more of this story, click here
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was updated on June 18 to reflect the news of the torn ACL suffered by Georgetown’s Greg Whittington.***
This isn’t your father’s Big East Conference.
The Big East Conference of 2013-14 won’t have traditional Final Four contenders Syracuse and Louisville. The Jimmy and Ricky Show has moved on to a Denny’s somewhere near Greensboro (Rick Pitino will have to wait until Louisville joins the ACC in 2014 for that).
Six other schools — Cincinnati, UConn, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh Rutgers and USF — are also gone.
Enter Butler, Creighton and Xavier to the new 10-team Big East that managed to keep the conference name and the postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden when it broke off with the football schools. To read more of this story, click here
The former Big East Conference will call itself the American Athletic Conference.
“We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names,” said league commissioner Mike Aresco.
“Versions that included the word ‘American’ led every list. American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.
Once again, here’s how the new Big East and the American Athletic Conference will look going forward.
CATHOLIC 7/NEW BIG EAST BASKETBALL 2013-14 (10 teams)
Georgetown To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Just came from the Big East/Fox Sports press conference in midtown Manhattan and here are the highlights.
**As has been widely reported, Butler, Creighton and Xavier will officially join the new 10-team league as of July 1 and begin play next year in men’s and women’s hoops and all Olympic sports. They will join the Catholic 7 of DePaul, Georgetown Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova. Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s and Seton Hall are all founding members of the Big East, which began conference play in 1979. Villanova was added in 1980, while DePaul and Marquette joined in 2006.
**The league announced a 12-year deal with Fox Sports and its new Fox Sports 1 multi-sport channel, which launches Aug. 17. Father Brian J. Shanley of Providence College said the deal — reportedly worth $500 million — offers “stability” to the Big East. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Jay Bilas is a former Duke basketball player, an attorney and maybe the smartest man in the room when it comes to college basketball.
So when he says it’s inevitable that the ACC Tournament will eventually come to Madison Square Garden, we should probably pay attention.
“I always thought the ACC Tournament was the best tournament,” Bilas told SNY.tv prior to calling Louisville’s 78-61 victory over Syracuse in the Big East championship for ESPN.
“This is the best tournament, the Big East. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Jim Boeheim isn’t alone in thinking that moving the ACC Tournament to Madison Square Garden is a good idea.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the ACC would benefit from such a move, too.
“I don’t know if they would go for it, like Duke and Carolina, but I think they would benefit greatly,” Pitino told SNY.tv following Louisville’s 74-55 victory over Villanova in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
He added: “I would love to see it, I don’t know if they can pull it off.” To read more of this story, click here
With the last Big East Tournament as we know it set to tip off today, here is a video and a few news updates to keep you posted.
**Above is the SNY Big East Tournament preview featuring Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco. The league also formally announced Tuesday that the Catholic 7 would get to keep the “Big East” name going forward, and said it would soon provide more information about “the expected broadcast media deal, season-ending tournament and additional members of the new conference,” which are expected to be Butler, Creighton and Xavier.
“We think it all worked out logically,” Aresco told SNY, “in terms of the name, the Garden and the finances.”
**At 5 p.m. today, the Big East will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year. Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. will be named the Player of the Year.
**For the Big East Tournament schedule, click here.
**Meantime, the Big East officially announced that Notre Dame will head to the ACC on July 1, joining Syracuse and Pitt, meaning that the 14 teams in this current Big East tournament will go to three separate leagues next year.
“This decision makes sense for the Big East,” said Aresco. “In view of Notre Dame’s expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the Big East and we wish them well.”
“From the time of our decision to join the ACC we have stressed our commitment to ensuring that our departure was achieved in a collegial manner,” Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “This agreement realizes that intention and we are very grateful to the members of the Big East and Commissioner Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition.”
Here’s how it breaks down: To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK - Gorgui Dieng
, Louisville’s junior center, has been named Big East Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
The league also announced that Kadeem Batts of Providence and Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse are co-winners of the Big East Most Improved Player Award. Marquette junior forward Davante Gardner has won the Big East Sixth Man Award. His teammate Junior Cadougan has been named the winner of the Big East Sportsmanship Award.
Dieng, a 6-11 center from Kebemer, Senegal, was the force in the paint who helped Louisville tie for the Big East regular-season title. Dieng averaged 10.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots in all games. In Big East play, he was the league rebounding champion with a 10.8 average and was second in blocked shots with an average of 2.8. To read more of this story, click here
As first reported by SNY.tv
, Georgetown forward Otto Porter, Jr.
was named unanimously to the All-Big East First Team and thus will be named the league’s Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The conference will also name Big East Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday.
In addition to Porter, Louisville placed two players on the first team, guard Russ Smith and center Gorgui Dieng. The other first team selections were Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley and Providence guard Bryce Cotton.
Porter, a 6-8 sophomore, led the Hoyas to the Big East regular-season crown and was the only unanimous selection. In league games, he was second in the Big East in scoring with an 18.1 average, fifth in rebounding with a 7.3 mark and tied for third in steals with a 1.8 average. He made 44.1 percent from 3-point range, which ranked second in the league.
Smith, a 6-0 junior, was second in the Big East in overall scoring, averaging 17.9 points. He was third in steals with a 2.0 mark. Dieng, a 6-11 junior, averaged 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds in all games. In Big East play, he was the league rebounding champion with a 10.8 average and was second in blocked shots with an average of 2.8. To read more of this story, click here