Tagged with nerlens noel

Narrative-driven discussion of Kevin Ware and the NCAA missed the mark

I spent a lot of time last week ruminatin’ on the discussions that grew out of Kevin Ware’s injury, and the discomfort I felt seeing writers––many of whom seemed to have little prior awareness or knowledge of college basketball––rail against Ware’s exploitation absent any context. It helped shine a lot on the NCAA and temper a bit of the sentimentality with which we wash over the ugly side of college sports every March. But much of the moralizing itself seemed to toe the line between self-serving and exploitative. This was my feeble attempt to advance that discussion, posted about a week too late.

In the days following Kevin Ware’s injury in the Elite Eight, David Sirota and others took the NCAA to task for its failures to protect college players in vulnerable circumstances. Their polemics on the exploitive structure of major college sports were timely and constructive, but in focusing on Ware’s narrative to deliver an accessible argument to a broad audience, it obscures the widely divergent circumstances of student-athletes in major college sports.

Ware making one of many talk show appearances in the ensuing days Continue reading

Gorgui Dieng the key to what could be a historic defense

This entry appears on Rush The Court.

Dieng elevates Louisville's defense from very good to great (US Presswire)

The narrative of today’s defensive match up between #1 Louisville and #6 Syracuse has already been explored extensively. A collision of defensive juggernauts: the nation’s first and third most efficient defenses, respectively. The two lead the Big East and are top-five nationally, again, in creating steals. The Cards check in at #2 in the country in turnovers generated; the Orange: #8. Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams leads the conference with a staggering 3.18 steals per game and combines with Brandon Triche to produce 4.8 SPG; Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are top-five, producing a cumulative 4.6 pilfers.

On paper it’s a push, and a juicy storyline to hype. In reality, Syracuse fields an excellent defense, but Louisville’s has the potential to be historic, and it’s just now hitting its stride. Continue reading