Thursday, March 26, 2009

Curry Out, Cherry In

Just when you thought basketball season was over, right?


Two big news items hit this week that will make some ripples in Big South men's hoops in the coming seasons.

First came the story out of Lynchburg that Seth Curry was preparing to leave the school, seeking a transfer to an as-yet-unnamed program to further his basketball plans.

Frankly, that's a shame--for a few reasons...yes, the Big South admittedly got some attention for having the "son of Dell, brother of Stephen" at Liberty, but that's somewhat beside the point now. No conference wants to see its Freshman of the Year, a recognition of early success and virtual designation of future greatness, unplugged from the league--whether by transfer, "one and done" jumping, or injury...it's just bad news, the removal of such potential from the big picture.

Meanwhile, if you're Coach Ritchie McKay and the Flames, don't you have a multi-year plan in the works that has Curry's offensive output as a major factor? Combine Curry's early exit with Brolin Floyd's transfer and Anthony Smith's graduation and it's a whole different picture being painted in the Vines Center next year.

The games will go on, and one player's presence or absence will never change that. Curry's historic freshman season will be just that--history, an end rather than a beginning. So be it.

It's just unfortunate that the Big South was made a bit of a scapegoat in his departure for "opportunities that may be available...in a higher rated conference" somewhere else, but I won't belabor that point--I'll let someone else stick up for us on that one...read Tom Sorenson's blog/column for the Charlotte Observer on this subject.

In other news...

Earlier today, High Point University announced its new Head Coach for Men's Basketball: Scott Cherry (pictured). Cherry leaves South Carolina, where he was an assistant under Darrin Horn for the NIT-qualifying Gamecocks out of the SEC. Prior to that, Cherry was with Horn in Western Kentucky for a year and had previously been on the staff at George Mason for four seasons (including the memorable Final Four run for the Patriots in 2006). Read more at BigSouthSports.com.

Cherry has name recognition in the region for his playing days as well, thanks to his days with the North Carolina Tar Heels--which included membership on the 1993 National Championship team.

RECAP...
In the last SHOUT, we said that only Liberty's men's team was left to carry the Big South banner through the basketball post-season...well, that didn't last the night, unfortunately, as James Madison doused the Flames and ended the on-court action for the year (jump-starting the off-court info discussed above).

Okay, time for this weeks' "On The EDGE," although I'd take some of the program suggestions with a grain of salt, as the weather forecast for the region seems a little dicey...we'll see.

video

By the way, it's my birthday as I write this...I won't bother with how old I am, but I'm obviously older than the Big South itself--that should be enough (Hey, is that a SHOUT-out to myself? Wow, that's the very definition of self-serving. Oh well...).

Thanks for reading!!!

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