I'll admit it: "Afternoon Linkage" is kind of growing on me. It's casual. It's important to keep things casual, right? This is a blog, after all, and blogs are nothing if not -- sorry. Why am I rambling about blogs? Let's hit a few links on this wonderful college hoops Wednesday:
The importance of being earnest tall: Last year, Basketball Prospectus' Ken Pomeroy used his freakishly large brain (there's a study -- how much of an advantage in life is it to be really, really smart? I bet it's considerable!) to figure out just how important height was in college basketball. It's a good refresher, especially since The Only Colors has applied Pomeroy's logic to the Big Ten and come up with some interesting results. The conclusion: Height isn't really all that big of a deal, at least not in the Big Ten. Recruit more short dudes!
Speaking of Basketball Prospectus, John Gasaway weighs in with his 25 most impressive freshman thus far in 2009-10. I bet you can't guess who No. 1 is. (Just kidding, yes you can.)
In case you hadn't heard, the midseason Wooden Award list was released this week. I'll high-five to any list that player of the year list that includes Jeremy Lin and Jimmer Fredette. The larger question we must all grapple with: It's already the middle of the season?!
Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio is in talks with Xavier to figure out an alternative to the Skip Prosser-inspired Wake-Xavier showdown. The likely solution involves a rotating four-team event wherein Wake plays one team and Xavier plays another, saving both schools the awkward aftermath of beating the other in name of their beloved former coach.
Beyond The Arc's Mike Miller argues that while Texas' depth is all well and good, the Longhorns need Damion James on the floor. Like, always.
Rob Dauster takes a look around the Big East and finds that, contrary to the preseason notion that the bloated conference would end up with several very good teams and several very bad ones, the truth is that the Big East seems more balanced from top to bottom than ever.
Kalin Lucas says the Wisconsin Badgers are "dirty." That ought to go over well.
Florida State's pending NCAA penalties case was resolved yesterday, and while the primary culprit (and thus the primary recipient of punishment) is the football team, the basketball team will face a wave of penalties as well.
You may never have heard of Travis "Machine Gun" Grant, but know the name. Grant, who played at all-black Kentucky State in the early 70's, won three straight national titles and became the No. 1 scorer in NCAA history with 4,045 points. And, as FanHouse's David Steele writes, pretty much no one knows who he is.
Quick programming note: Be sure to hang around this evening, as I'll be covering Duke-Iowa State live at the United Center before and after the contest. And I'm sure I'll be tweeting throughout, so follow me, if you're into that sort of thing.