Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.
In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.
Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.
#Content to Read
One of our own has a scoop about Hassan Martin’s future (Mid-Major Madness)
Ellie Lieberman, a writer on this wonderful site that you’re smart for having read and visited, broke the news earlier that former Rhode Island Ram Hassan Martin will be playing for the Orlando Magic this summer.
After going undrafted two nights ago, Martin—a former star on an A-10 title-winning Rams team—signed on to play for the Magic during the Summer League in an attempt to crack the roster.
Looking at one of the best days in Richmond Spiders history (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
This wonderful piece from Richmond-area sportswriter John O’Connor examines June 26, 1981, the day that Richmond hired Dick Tarrant. Spiders fans know Tarrant as the man who worked miracles with their ailing program. Other CAA fans know Tarrant as the guy that constantly beat their teams.
O’Connor goes on to recount the story of Tarrant, who took a program that was just limping by, and made it into a formidable mid-major program best known for being the first No. 15 seed to win an NCAA Tournament game. O’Connor even goes on to write about the first win that illustrated that this coach was the right fit:
The Spiders opened the Tarrant Era – he was on a one-year contract – with uncertainty enveloping the program. UR started with a home game against No. 13 Wake Forest, which Richmond shocked 64-61. Tarrant said his parking space was 100 yards from the Robins Center before the Wake game, just outside the arena’s front door the morning after. Members of the Robins family congratulated Tarrant.
"It wasn't a fluke, no freak win," Tarrant said. "We led the whole game."
Eric Mika’s going to be playing for the Heat (Vanquish the Foe)
One of the more disappointing mid-major stories of this college basketball offseason was Eric Mika’s decision to go pro and his inability to gain traction on draft boards.
Mika, a center who spent two seasons in Provo, shocked some when he decided to declare for the draft, and then proceed to stay in it. He didn’t get drafted, but he will be playing on the Miami Heat’s Summer League team. Given what Robby McCombs wrote about his skills, Mika has solid potential:
One of Mika’s best attributes is his motor. Mika is a relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor, and is adept at drawing fouls. He was the #3 player in college basketball this past in fouls drawn per 40 minutes. He shot 76% from the foul line, up from 61% his freshman season. Mika developed his range out to about 18 feet this year, and his free throw percentage suggests that he could be a solid jump shooter at the NBA level.
2018 Mock draft features one mid-major player (SB Nation)
Ricky O’Donnell, a basketball writer for our overlords, already published his mock draft for 2018, and only one mid-major player found his way into the first round. In fact, he found his way into the 11th overall selection.
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s none other than Mitchell Robinson.
Western Kentucky looks like a rejuvenated program under Rick Stansbury, and they haven’t even played a game yet. Still, the presence Robinson adds—along with the other guys Stansbury brought in—is sure to make them one of the nation’s premier mid-majors next season.
Marcus Keene’s headed to the nation’s capital [kind of] (Hustle Belt)
Last season, Marcus Keene scored 30 points per game for the Central Michigan Chippewas, which was obviously the highest in the nation. Unfortunately, he couldn’t parlay his NCAA success into a draft selection, as his name wasn’t called on Thursday night.
Still, Keene will get his chance to set fire to NBA nets, as he will be playing for the Washington Wizards in the Summer League.
Paul Krebs, the former New Mexico Athletic Director, retired spontaneously earlier this year due to a scandal. In addition to being the Lobos’ AD, he was also on the NCAA Selection Committee, a position he also had to relinquish.
Filling his place will be Craig Thompson, the current commissioner of the Mountain West Conference. As Matt Norlander notes, Thompson’s addition to the Selection Committee provides us with an interesting piece of trivia:
He is the rare case of a two-time committee member. Thompson previously served on the committee during the 64-team era, from 1995-96 through 1999-2000, serving as the committee chair in his final season.
Thompson joins former North Carolina and Navy men's basketball coach Ben Carnevale in the small club of two-time members on the committee.
Tweets of Interest
Russ got demolished by Rebecca Lobo
You're not a big anything.— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) June 23, 2017
Blue Raiders are losing a guy
Let’s take a moment to honor the Doctor
I’m a Blazers fan now
Call us a broken record, but the hat looks nice. pic.twitter.com/CjCoxqJD09— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) June 23, 2017
Not gonna explain why this is a bad, bad opinion to say
To all underclassmen with dreams of "testing the waters": Look at the players who went undrafted last night & how good they were in college.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 23, 2017
Great news for a former Big Sky star:
A reminder that Jeremy Senglin might shoot well enough to earn a roster spot:
Made a quick thing where I sorted the undrafted guards invited to Summer League by their True Shooting Percentage. pic.twitter.com/Mw9bdXztTe— Ridiculous Upside (@RidicUpside) June 24, 2017
A pure display of absurdity
BBQ is better in New York than it is in Texas.— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) June 23, 2017
We aren’t afraid to speak truth to power
We wish the best of luck to two good guys who are leaving one of our fellow sites
Former Loyola (MD) G Austin Harriott is transferring to Bloomsburg (DII). https://t.co/pM0hrvsCru— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) June 23, 2017
Jonathan Sanks (6'4, SG, 2017) of Spartanburg Methodist has committed to Canisius @GOSMCBASKETBALL— JucoRecruiting.com (@JucoRecruiting) June 22, 2017