Countdown to (Financial) Doomsday: Stern Issues Ultimatum

Countdown to (Financial) Doomsday: Stern Issues Ultimatum

If there was any remaining optimism that owners and players were going to be able to get their act together, it's probably dead now.

Unless David Stern is telling "untruths," it may be time to begin bracing for the serious possibility that the NBA will not be playing basketball any time in the near future. Bad has a chance to meet Good sometime within the next four days; otherwise, it might joining in a long-time partnership with Worse.

What are we talking about? Call it basketball oblivion. Call its starting point this coming Wednesday.

Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter and company are set to reject the owners' latest proposal that would grant the players a 51% share of the league's basketball related income (BRI). Under the previous model, the players enjoyed a 57% share of the figure. Throughout the negotiations, they've claimed willing to come down to a 52-48 split. That extra one percent—from 51 to 52, a figure allegedly estimated to be somewhere in the ballpark of $40 million—could wind up costing them four-times its own amount.

If the players do not accept the owner's proposal by Wednesday—a proposal they've called "unfit" and "unfair" to vote on in conference—David Stern has guaranteed that the next deal offered will swing the balance of BRI power, with the players receiving just 47% of revenues. Stern has made mention that the shift in tactics is motivated by a league effort to recoup lockout-related losses. Accordingly, the longer this mess goes on, the worse—Stern claims—it will get for the players.

If 51% really is unacceptable and the offers really are only going to get worse because the owners will not accept loss, unless those losses are on the backs of the players, then you better get seriously invested in hockey or college basketball. If it wasn't already ugly, it's about to get ugly.

If you want basketball, and the players want as much money as possible, it's come time to sign a deal. Otherwise, neither you nor they will be getting any getting any of either.

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

Villanova headlined Philly college basketball action today with a 78-68 win over Providence, led by Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins (see full recap). The win is dampened with the news that Phil Booth is increasingly unlikely to return this season as he still deals with knee discomfort (see story).

Here's a snapshot from the rest of area hoops today.

Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The way it played this week, No. 21 Purdue is acting like a team that is determined to be in the race for the Big Ten championship all the way to the end of the regular season.

Caleb Swanigan had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Purdue built an 18-point halftime lead and coasted to a 77-52 victory over Penn State on Saturday, four days after shooting 60.4 percent in a 91-68 victory against Illinois.

Against Penn State, the Boilermakers (16-4, 5-2) got 13 points from freshman guard Carsen Edwards and 10 each from Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards.

"I would just say we were coming out ready to play," said Vince Edwards, who added seven rebounds and three assists. "Our goal is to win the Big Ten. Our focus is to take care of business."

Josh Reaves led Penn State (11-9, 3-4) with 12 points. The Nittany Lions made only 20 of 64 field goal attempts (31.3 percent) and were outrebounded 39-30. Purdue shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) (see full recap).

Drexel drops road game at CAA-leading UNC Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Devontae Cacok scored 12 points and set a Colonial Athletic Association record with 24 rebounds, helping UNC Wilmington stay perfect in conference with an 87-74 win over Drexel on Saturday.

Cacok, whose previous career-high rebounding was 16, broke the school record (21) and conference record (22) late in the second half as the Seahawks cruised to their ninth straight home win, tying the best mark in program history.

UNC Wilmington (19-2, 8-0) led 53-51 with 15:01 left before four players combined to rattle off 12 straight points. Cacok capped the run with one of his 11 offensive rebounds and a dunk to give the Seahawks a 65-51 lead with 11:23 remaining.

UNC Wilmington is off to its best start ever and has won 24 of its last 26 conference games, including 12 straight. Chris Flemmings led the Seahawks with 17 points.

Sammy Mojica had 15 points and Rodney Williams added 14 for Drexel (7-13, 1-6), which has lost seven of eight (see full recap).

Delaware swept in season series with Towson
NEWARK, Del. -- Mike Morsell and Arnaud William Adala Moto pulled down a dozen boards as Towson won its fourth straight and a season sweep of Delaware with a 75-58 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers are fresh off a win over Hofstra that saw them erase a 16-point first-half deficit, and momentum carried over when they built a 17-point lead at halftime.

Alex Thomas and John Davis added 13 and 12 points, respectively, but Towson saw its streak of three-straight games shooting better than 50 percent end. The Tigers hit 26 of 55 shots from the floor (47.3 percent), including 6 of 15 from deep.

Delaware snapped a six-game losing streak Thursday with a win over Northeastern. Ryan Daly scored 21 points for Delaware and became the first freshman in school history to post six 20-plus efforts in a season. He reached double-digits for the 12th time in 13 games (see full recap).