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FBI trial highlights college basketball’s biggest problems

You don’t need to be told these things, but at least they’re out in the open for everyone now.

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NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Loyola vs Michigan Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball’s issues have long been understood by dedicated fans of top programs, but the sport’s biggest problems seem to be drowned out by the cheers and student sections and bands and bracket busters every March. The general public, largely casually tuning in come tournament time, hasn’t seen what the rest of us have seen since the one-and-done era began.

Well, that probably ends with the FBI trial, as it’s all being laid bare for everyone to see the corrupt dealings and money being tossed all over by institutions that “can’t pay the players.”

The Athletic’s Dana O’Neill covered one specific issue around the shift in the recruiting process that is at the center of what’s ailed college hoops: coaches and programs focusing on simply getting perceived players (according to rankings, offers) over discovering talent to develop over time.

We’ve seen the adjusted philosophy everywhere, as one-and-dones take over the sport and teams like Duke and Kentucky bring in new starting fives every year. Even Syracuse isn’t above the change in approach, though part of Jim Boeheim’s adjusted style has been due to (over-the-top) NCAA sanctions and some attrition that left the Orange hampered from a personnel standpoint.

The article’s worth a read as it speaks to quite a few sources on the matter. But the biggest takeaway is that the dynamics at play are going to be hard to fix without major changes to the way college basketball works. We’ll see if meaningful enough changes are actually instituted in the coming years.

The rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

The lack of emphasis on finding, developing players laid bare at FBI trial (The Athletic)

There are all sorts of root causes and systemic problems that led to the public airing of college basketball’s very dirty laundry — an amateur system that is based on an idyllic version of the world; the involvement of too many periphery characters all trying to score a buck; and above all else, coaches all too willing to break NCAA rules. But beneath all that, beneath the moral arguments and displaced blame, there is an even more basic issue at work. Coaches stopped doing their jobs.

Midseason All-ACC team: Finley, Willis lead the way (David Hale)

Get ready to get angry! After consulting with the far more insightful Andrea Adelson, here are our midseason All-ACC selections. Keep in mind, we based this exclusively on production thus far, not accounting for preseason expectations or predictions on where things will end.

Syracuse basketball lineups: Jim Boeheim will have more options this year (

(With Video) Last year, the Syracuse basketball team depth had very little depth due to injuries and defections, but this year’s roster has enough depth and versatility to give SU coach Jim Boeheim several lineup options. Syracuse’s lack of depth last year was severe.

How Syracuse women’s basketball built a powerful international recruiting pipeline (

The abundance of international talent is not accidental. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman three years ago determined the most efficient way to restock his basketball program, particularly with forwards and centers, might be to shop the international market. He hired Adeniyi Amadou, a 6-foot-7 former college basketball player born in Benin and raised in Paris, to coach his forwards and concentrate solely on international recruiting.

Interesting names pop up in Bowling Green’s coaching search (Toledo Blade)

Brian Ward, Syracuse defensive coordinator: Ward was nominated for the Broyles Award as the top assistant in the country in 2017, and he spent a year on BG’s staff (and one game as the interim head coach) before following Dino Babers to Syracuse. He spent three years as an NAIA head coach and helped BG win the Mid-American Conference title in 2015.

Top spots to eat, drink before or after SU games at the Carrier Dome (

New Syracuse women’s basketball player already in sync for season (

ACC preview #9 - Syracuse (Duke Basketball Report)

Five things to know about Pelicans forward Wesley Johnson (New Orleans Pelicans)

ACC’s Coastal Division isn’t quite a chaotic mess - yet (The Virginian-Pilot)

Vote for Tyus Battle over Kyle Guy because you shouldn’t need a reason to do so (Twitter)