Though it's nearly time for the first football game of the season, we've got some tidbits and notes to pass along regarding recent rumblings about the conference situation and also from the basketball front.
C-USA to Big East
The rumblings are getting louder and the time appears close at hand for the Cards to receive official word of their invitation to the Big East Conference. Several sources around town have told us in recent days that an announcement could be forthcoming at any time.
As for the make up of the new conference, ITV expects the current Big East Conference to remain intact, while possibly adding four additional schools. Our prediction on the four new invitees? Louisville is obvious. Cincinnati likely joins in all sports. Marquette gets in on the basketball side. And Xavier and DePaul slug it out for the last spot on the basketball only side. Those additions added to the current Big East members would bring the new total membership of the Big East to a whopping 16 teams, 9 on the football side (assuming Notre Dame remains affiliated) and 7 on the basketball only portion. Keep in mind, to balance the basketball side the Irish could flip to the basketball only side for that sport.
But the big question still remaining and the likely reason for the holdup is Notre Dame's status with the Big East. Will the Irish play a partial Big East football schedule and become semi- affiliated with the football conference and its BCS tie in? We'll see...stay tuned.
Rajon Rondo, formerly of Eastern High School, heads to Oak Hill (VA) Academy next Monday. Classes begin at Oak Hill the following day. Rondo, who has been playing with the current Cardinals in pick up games, is excited about going to his new school next week. Rondo tells ITV that he's hearing the most from Georgia and Charlotte and that's it's been a while since he's talked with the Cardinal coaching staff. The 49ers are said to be making a hard push that began in early July, shortly after the adidas ABCD Camp.
As ITV reported earlier this week, 6'6 Claremont, CA forward Perrin Johnson is on campus, attending classes, and participating in daily pick up games with current members of the team. Johnson, an extremely athletic player who finishes well in transition, appears to be a big time steal for Coach Pitino and staff as a walk-on this season.
Remember Aaron Agnew, the 6'9, 350 center from Bellaire, OH? Well, while he makes an official visit to Duquesne this weekend, Brian Merritt, his former AAU coach and trainer, has landed a gig with the Cardinals this season as a graduate assistant to Coach Pitino. Merritt is familiar with the adidas grassroots system and appears to have an interest in coaching in the future.
Nate Daniels, the 6'7 junior college forward from Broward (FL) C.C., certainly has the look of a great shooter. While he could benefit from Coach Pitino's conditioning program, Daniels has good size and from first glance looks like a player who could have an immediate and important impact for the Cards this season.
While 6'8 forward Ellis Myles will red-shirt this season because of a knee injury suffered last February in a home game against Marquette, he seems to be walking just fine unaided, has been shooting around in the gym and appears in good spirits.
Larry O'Bannon is enrolled at UofL this semester and is competing daily in campus pick up games with current members of the Cardinal team. Talk of a possible transfer earlier this summer appears unlikely by the junior from Louisville Male High School.