Wednesday Market Watch

By - May 16, 2007

Your weekly peek around the hardwood from a bulls and bears point of view.

Saint Louis: Rick Majerus didn't wait three days from his hiring before landing his first recruit with the May 3 inking of 6-foot-7 juco stud Barry Eberhardt. And the newly installed coach of the Billikens didn't wait three weeks before securing his first high school prospect -- with the Tuesday commitment of 6-foot-11, 250-pound center Brett Thompson. The Illinois native averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and eight blocked shots for Vienna High and chose the Atlantic 10 school over BCS programs like Indiana, Iowa State, Purdue, Notre Dame and Alabama -- citing his desire to play for a coach with a big name over a school with one.

Kentucky: Losing blue chip point guard and longtime recruiting target Jai Lucas to league rival Florida must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Big Blue. But the Southeastern Conference's old guard saved face Wednesday in locking up Huntington (W.Va.) post man Patrick Patterson, the lone unsigned five-star prospect from the Class of 2007.

The Horizon League: Remember "The Bizarro Jerry" episode of Seinfeld when Elaine starts hanging with a group of friends that are mirror images of Jerry, George and Kramer -- a reference to the Bizarro World concept from the old Superman comics? In the 24 hours since the newly coined Summit League changed its name, has anyone else observed that the League Formerly Known As The Mid-Continent Conference has become a Bizarro Horizon League before our eyes? Both conferences are comprised of midwest schools and both have taken regionally ambiguous names that connote positive abstractions like the future, dreams, greatness and achievement. Whatever cache the Horizon League moniker had as far as individuality was lost with Tuesday's announcement. Even a Summit fanatic would concede that the similarities are kind of funny. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: The Islanders lost rising coaching star Ronnie Arrow to South Alabama but the potential defection of reigning Southland Conference player of the year Chris Daniels to the NBA Draft could have proven a crippling blow to the program's hopes of a title defense. It's good news for incoming coach Perry Clark that the seven-footer from San Antonio, who averaged team highs with 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, announced Sunday his intent to return for his final season.

Iowa State: They might need to install a turnstile in Hilton Coliseum to accommodate all the transfers for a team that has been hemhorraging student-athletes over the past year or so. Combo guard Dodie Dunson, who averaged 5.2 points while playing in each of the team's 31 games as a freshman, announced his intent to play for another school Monday -- the program's third transfer in as many months. Around this time last year, Tasheed Carr announced his intent to transfer to Saint Joseph's (where the Philly native is expected to start come November). The announcement came just one week following the release of a NCAA Academic Progress Rate report which saw the Cyclones penalized two scholarships this past season for their substandard performance.

California: The hoops program in Berkeley might not have done a lot this past week to warrant an upward trend -- but you can bet the athletic department has attracted legions of new fans with the meteoric rise of Internet sensation du semaine Allison Stokke, the heralded pole vaulter who signed with the Bears back in November.

Posted by at 04:17 PM on May 16, 2007

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