The Floyd Street Tribune: Louisville needs guards
Inside: Guards, guards, guards ... can Louisville find any? What's up with Emoni Bates? What other options are out there? Plus: A reiteration of an IARP point.
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Bullet-point thoughts to start your weekend
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: This is a big weekend for the University of Louisville, its athletics department and its men’s basketball program. This weekend marks a very significant step toward closure from an era of harmful publicity for U of L that has lingered more than your uncle’s post-Thanksgiving stench.
As the University of Louisville prepares for its hearing in front of the Independent Resolution Panel — the last step in the Independent Accountability Resolution Process — I again go back to the new language in the NCAA constitution that insists the divisions and conferences do not pursue postseason bans as punishment for infractions. The reasoning: Such penalties, often doled out years after the people involved in the original rule-breaking have left the school in question, only hurt coaches and students who weren’t involved.
I agree with that sentiment. And that language is why I’m not so sure Louisville gets hit with a postseason ban after all this. I just don’t think the argument for persistent major rule-breaking will win out when the rules on so many of the issues in question have changed in the past few years. Alas, I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. For the sake of my friends who are Louisville fans, I hope I am right on this: I see financial penalties, scholarship reductions, recruiting sanctions ... and that’s it.
And remember: There are no appeals. Whatever decision comes from this hearing is final from the NCAA infractions standpoint.
Yeah, Louisville needs one or two. Two would be great for depth; one would be great for, ya know, just having more than one ballhandler on the roster. I spent last week’s newsletter running through individual player profiles of each scholarship player on Louisville’s roster. There are some pieces there, but really only El Ellis is a true ballhandling guard. Mike James can help in the backcourt as a 2-guard, but he is coming back from a significant injury and is more of a wing than a guard. Same goes for Devin Ree. Even a secondary ballhandler who can help spell Ellis for five minutes a game would be helpful, albeit a Plan B behind finding a backup point guard.
That said, it’s getting awfully late. What’re the options left?
* Emoni Bates
Industry sources have indicated that high-major programs remain interested in Bates, with new ones potentially looking to get involved as recently as this week. But there’s also speculation that Bates could opt to drop down a level and suit up for a traditionally mid-major program. While it’s unclear if other mid-majors have gotten involved since he originally cut his list, Eastern Michigan was included when he announced his final six in early May.
I put in my newsletter two weeks ago that Michigan had some buzz. Now I guess the best way of putting it is that this is just difficult to read. I don’t even know how involved Louisville — or anyone else, for that matter — is anymore.
* Kevin Miller
I’m confident Miller is the first of a handful of transfers who will come up this summer. The former Central Michigan point guard starred as a freshman and announced his intentions to transfer, though his name was not in the portal as of Thursday evening. Miller told me his name will be in there Friday. Who knows if Louisville will pursue him. But we can certainly dive into what he’s all about …