Playing Hurt Podcast: Let’s Fix the University of Memphis Men’s Basketball Program

TOMJoin Cerrito Live producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during Playing Hurt Podcast.

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Playing Hurt Podcast: Let’s Fix the Memphis Grizzlies

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Join Cerrito Live producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during Playing Hurt Podcast.

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Playing Hurt Podcast: Top Memphis Grizzlies Moments From 2014-2015 Season

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Join Cerrito Live producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during Playing Hurt Podcast.

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Playing Hurt Podcast: Will The Grizzlies Win the NBA Finals

beleivememphis-113908431-630_0Join Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.

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Playing Hurt Podcast: NBA Playoff Preview

nba-playoffsJoin Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.

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Thanks to Recent Coaching Hires SEC Basketball No Longer A Two Team League

SEC basketball courtWhen most fans think of the Southeastern Conference football immediately comes to mind, and justifiably so.  After all, the SEC did go on that seven consecutive year tear where they won seven straight BCS Championships from 2006-2012 .  Also, it seems like the mighty SEC always leads the other FBS conferences with ranked teams at the end of every football season (they tied with the Pac-12 this year as both conferences had six teams to end the year in the AP Poll).

Billy Donovan has contributed to the basketball success of the SEC. He is the fifth highest paid college basketball coach in the nation and has led the Florida Gators to four Final Four appearances in his 19 years as head coach. He is also one of two coaches to reach 500 career wins before the age of 50.

Billy Donovan has contributed to the basketball success and prestige of the SEC. He is the fifth highest paid college basketball coach in the nation and has led the Florida Gators to four Final Four appearances in his 19 years as head coach. He is also one of two coaches to reach 500 career wins before the age of 50.

Yet, for some reason basketball has not had the same type of success (or at least it does not have the same perception) as football the past decade or so.  One reason may be that the conference RPI has been down the past five years.  According to CBSsports.com, the conference is fifth in RPI this year behind the Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, and ACC.  That is the highest RPI the SEC has managed since 2011-2012 season when they finished third, and in the last five years 2011-2012 was the only season that the conference finished in the top three nationally in RPI.

Even though the confernce RPI is down, the SEC does fare well in postseason play.  The conference has three National Championships and seven Final Four appearances in the last ten years.  That is pretty good, especially when you consider that the Big Ten has 10 Final Four teams and no National Championships, the Pac-12 has just three Final Four teams and no championships, and the Big 12 has 2 Final Four teams with one championship in that span. Even the mighty ACC only has five Final Four teams and three championships in the last 10 years.

So why does basketball not garner the same type of reverence that football does in the Southeastern Conference? Probably because just two teams make up those seven Final Four appearances, Kentucky and Florida.  Moreover, in the last ten years there are just two coaches, John Calipari and Billy Donovan, who account for the most (if not all) of the success the conference has.

Compare that to the four different BCS Championship teams (led by four different head coaches) that were a part of that historic seven year run, and you see that football has something that basketball does not have in the SEC. Depth.

Since coming to Kentucky from Memphis in 2009 Coach John Calipari's Wildcats have run the SEC.  They have three regular season championships, three conference championships, five Elite Eight appearances, and four Final Four appearances.

Since coming to Kentucky from Memphis in 2009, Coach John Calipari’s Wildcats have run the SEC. They have three regular season championships, three SEC Tournament Championships, five Elite Eight appearances, and four Final Four appearances.

Kentucky and Florida have been regular season champions eight times while winning the SEC Tournament seven times in the last ten years.  In fact you have to go back six years to find a team other than the Gators and Wildcats that won the regular season crown, seven years to find a SEC Tournament Championship game that did not feature at least on of those two teams, and 19 years to find a SEC Final Four team that was not named Kentucky or Florida (Mississippi State in 1996 ironically Kentucky won the National Championship that year).

However, there will be some changes at the top of the conference real soon thanks to the additions of some high profile coaches the last couple of years.  From Auburn’s Bruce Pearl to Frank Martin in South Carolina, the SEC is now full of exceptional coaches who are more than capable of taking down the Gators and Wildcats.

Now there is this report from Gary Parish about the Alabama coaching situation, and with Tennessee hiring Rick Barnes and Mississippi State snagging Ben Howland it is beginning to look like the conference will have some much needed parody soon.

CJ Hurt is the producer for Cerrito Live and he covers college basketball for MemphiSport. You can hear him on the Playing Hurt Podcast and follow him on twitter @Conradicalness for live tweets from games.

SEE ALSO:

Playing Hurt Podcast: Sweet 16 Preview

sweet 16Join Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.
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Playing Hurt Podcast: Who Will Win March Madness?

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Join Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.
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Q & A: The NorthStars ballers celebrate 13-3 mark capped by elusive championship

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just recently, Wesley Louis explained in detail what makes his Dallas-area NorthStars 10-and-under basketball so special. As Louis tells it, this young, vibrant, speedy bunch has overcome an assortment of odds and he explained that and other subjects with MemphiSport senior Andre Johnson recently. Take a peep.

Wes5ANDRE: What is the actually name of your team?
WESLEY: We are the NorthStars Basketball
ANDRE: And who is your assistant or assistants?
WESLEY: My assistant if Delon Grace
ANDRE: What is the age group of your ballers?
WESLEY: The age group for our players is 10-and-under.
ANDRE: Wesley, where are you originally from?
WESLEY? Originally, I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas.
ANDRE: So, tell our readers what exactly makes the NorthStars ballers so special?
WESLEY: What makes this team so special is that we are out-sized in every position, but we work and train harder than others and we have a will to beat all odds.
ANDRE: What do you love the most about your team?
WESLEY: The thing I like the most about the team is that we all count on one another; we are our brother’s keeper. We strongly believe in unity and playing as one well-oiled machine.
ANDRE: Congratulations on winning that elusive championship. How does it feel?
WESLEY: Words can’t express how happy I am that we won the championship. Beating all odds in all phases was well worth it. I’m one proud coach.
ANDRE: Wesley, what is the biggest, most underlying lesson you’ve learned this year as a team?
WESLEY: The biggest lesson I learned about this team is the effort and hard work they have put in to be the best they can be. Our overall record is 13-3. Building on this success, we will look back at the battles and how we won the war, continue to train and practice with an intense purpose to be great on and off the court.
ANDRE: Looking ahead, why is the sky’s the limit for your bunch in their quest to repeat as champs?
WESLEY: The sky is limited for us moving forward because of the foundation that’s been set and the high expectation level that is expected.

THE 2014-15 NORTHSTARS

Kaelen Jackson

Joshua Wilson

Demonte Greene

Cameron Bradix

Benjamin Whitfield

Davon Whitehead

Trenton Payton

Demarcus Grace

DreColumnAndre Johnson covers the NFL for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Playing Hurt Podcast: Who Should Replace Josh Pastner?

Josh PastnerJoin Cerrito Live and HardBashin producer CJ Hurt and Sports 56 producer and WUMR Sports  host Drew Barrett as they take you on a sports odyssey full of twists, turns, and a good time during  Playing Hurt Podcast.
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