Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:09 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:18 am

Memphis shows toughness in blowout win of Vols

By Gary Parrish

MEMPHIS -- Antonio Barton has never actually heard anybody call Memphis soft. So he has no idea if it's really happening. All he knows is that Josh Pastner won't stop saying it's happening.

"I don't know if teams are saying that or if Coach is just telling us that to motivate us, but nobody on our team likes hearing we're soft," Barton said. "We're not soft. … We're not trying to come and start fights or anything. But we're not gonna let nobody walk over us."

Memphis beat Tennessee 69-51 Wednesday here at FedExForum. The Tigers were a few bad things in the win. Like ...
  • Careless with the basketball.
  • Subpar beyond the arc.
  • Sometimes confused in halfcourt sets.

But they weren't soft.

Nobody can call them soft after this performance because Memphis scrapped and pushed (both figuratively and literally) and righted some of the wrongs from its double-overtime win against Tennessee that came in November during the Maui Invitational. In that game, the Tigers were out-rebounded by a 47-32 margin while giving up 17 offensive boards. In this game, Memphis out-rebounded the Vols by a 36-26 margin and only allowed eight offensive boards. UT's Jeronne Maymon got 32 points and 20 rebounds in the first meeting while Memphis' Tarik Black was held to six points and two rebounds. Black got 18 points and seven rebounds in this meeting while Maymon was limited to nine points (on a 4-of-15 shooting effort) and nine rebounds.

Memphis held Tennessee to 36.2 percent shooting, 23.8 percent from 3-point range.

The players fought through screens nonstop with a purpose.

They also nearly fought the Vols.

"We had to show them we're not scared," Joe Jackson answered when asked about the scrum that followed a fastbreak that ended with the sophomore guard being fouled hard. "They say our team's soft and all that. But I'm not soft. And from here on out I'm gonna play with that edge."

The win pushed the Tigers to 9-5 and was particularly fun for most of the 18,334 people in attendance because there's nothing Memphis fans enjoy more than beating Tennessee in something, but Pastner liked the game for other reasons. He knows it won't catapult his program back into the national rankings, and I'm assuming he knows that if you strip away the names this was merely a lopsided victory over what will ultimately be a bottom-tier SEC team. But, still, something clicked. The Tigers guarded in a way they haven't guarded all season and worked to secure missed shots and loose balls. They didn't look like the top 10 team they were projected to be back in October, exactly. But they did look very much like an outfit equipped to run though the Conference USA portion of their schedule, record around 25 or 26 victories and make the NCAA tournament.

The talent is in place.

The points have always come.

The only real questions about this team have been questions about toughness and heart and togetherness.

And, at least for a night, those questions were answered.

"People say we don't play hard and that we can't rebound," Black said. "I think we proved them wrong."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:19 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 10:29 pm

Hall of Fame coach Gene Bartow dies

John Wooden, left, and Gene Bartow at a press conference on March 26, 1973, in St. Louis. Bartow was coaching against Wooden while at Memphis State. He would succeed him at UCLA less than three years later. (AP)

By Gary Parrish

Hall of Fame basketball coach Gene Bartow died Tuesday night after a long battle with cancer.

He was 81.

Bartow is a notable figure in the sport for three reasons:
  1. He coached Memphis (then Memphis State) to the 1973 national championship game.
  2. He replaced John Wooden at UCLA.
  3. He built UAB's basketball program from scratch.
Memphis coach Josh Pastner told CBSSports.com that he spoke with Bartow just last week.

"I called him before our game against Robert Morris, and I told him he was my associate head coach and that I just wanted to get osmosis through him, and he chuckled about that," Pastner said. "When you look at that 1973 team with Coach Bartow and Larry Finch and Ronnie Robinson, that is Tiger Basketball. And it's an honor and a privilage for me to sit in the same chair where he once sat."

Bartow spent his final years working with the Memphis Grizzlies.

That's when I got to know him.

I won't pretend I knew him well because I didn't. But I knew him a little and he was a gentlemen, just one of the best people you could ever hope to meet. People love in times like these to talk about how an individual was a better person than player or better person than actor or whatever, and I almost always roll my eyes because it's cliche and usually untrue. But it really might be true in Bartow's case. He was a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame man. I've never heard anybody say a bad word about him.

"Gene Bartow was a coach that cared about other coaches," Tweeted former coach Tom Penders. "If you didn't like Gene Bartow, you had a problem."
Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:36 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 2:53 pm

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

You think adopting a cute dog will keep you out of the Poll Attacks?

Think again, Toni.

Think again.

Let's go!

Associated Press poll: Pittsburgh is 11-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big East.

And yet the Panthers are still getting points in the AP poll.


The good news is that all four of Pitt's points came from the same voter, which means 64 of the AP's 65 voters understand the Panthers belong nowhere close to a Top 25 ballot. The bad news is that one voter isn't quite as tuned in. Her name is Toni Ginnetti, and this might be the first time I've ever Poll Attacked a woman. (Insert joke here.) Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable. But how can she have Pitt ranked 22nd?

Pittsburgh has no good wins and four bad losses (on the road at Notre Dame and at home to Long Beach State, Wagner and Cincinnati), which means the Panthers are in the running for the nation's most disappointing team considering they were ranked 10th in the preseason. And yet Toni has them ranked 22nd. Which is silly. She also has Xavier ranked 18th. Which is also silly considering the Musketeers have dropped four of their past five games, including Saturday's home game to a Gonzaga team that is now 11-2 and ranked 25th but somehow unranked on Toni's ballot.

In summary, Toni is the only person giving Pitt and Xavier votes.

So she's smarter than everybody or completely unaware of what's happened the past two weeks.

The latter seems more likely.

But, either way, let's end this on a good note. Seems Toni just adopted the cutest dog in the world. I'm for stuff like that. So because she's so generous I promise to never Poll Attack her again ... as long as she gets Jamie Dixon's underachieving Panthers off her ballot by next Monday.

Coaches poll: Jeff Goodman and I ranked Indiana seventh in the Top 25 (and one).

Now for the question you're asking ...

Do we really believe there are just six teams better than Tom Crean's Hoosiers?

Answer: No.

But what do you do with a team that's 13-1 with no bad losses and wins over Kentucky and Ohio State? At some point you have to throw away what you think you know and just rely on the body of work, and IU's body of work is among the nation's best. Again, the Hoosiers are 13-1. The only loss is a loss at Michigan State, and Indiana actually led that game with less than nine minutes remaining. (Michigan State, by the way, is 13-2 with losses only to North Carolina and Duke. So, like I said, IU's loss at Michigan State is not a bad loss.) Meantime, the Hoosiers have wins over Kentucky, Ohio State and Butler. That's really good at this point in the season and why I can't understand the coaches ranking IU 12th.

Let's compare the Hoosiers' body of work to one team ranked ahead of them -- Louisville.

The Cards are 12-2.

They have zero wins over teams currently ranked.

They have a loss to the Kentucky team that IU has already topped.

And, if you're into this sort of thing, the Cards are nine spots behind Indiana at KenPom.com.

So how is Louisville ranked ahead of Indiana? And why is Indiana still outside of the top 10? If the Hoosiers are fraudelant, we'll find out soon enough and adjust accordingly. But for now, they probably belong in the top 10, and they definitely belong ahead of Louisville.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:45 am

Oklahoma State's Olukemi done for season

By Gary Parrish

Oklahoma State's bad season has turned worse.

Coach Travis Ford announced Monday that Jean-Paul Olukemi will miss the remainder of the year with a torn ACL, according to the Tulsa World's Jimmie Trammel. The 6-foot-5 wing was averaging 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He suffered the injury in Saturday's loss to Virginia Tech.

Oklahoma State has lost four of its past five to drop to 7-6.

The Cowboys open Big 12 play Wednesday night against Texas Tech.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 8:44 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

The Top 25 (and one) will be updated on the college basketball page shortly.

Here's how it will look ...
  1. Syracuse (15-0)
  2. Kentucky (13-1)
  3. North Carolina (13-2)
  4. Duke (12-1)
  5. Baylor (13-0)
  6. Michigan State (13-2)
  7. Indiana (13-1)
  8. Ohio State (13-2)
  9. Missouri (13-0)
  10. Connecticut (12-1)
  11. Georgetown (12-1)
  12. UNLV (15-2)
  13. Louisville (12-2)
  14. Kansas (10-3)
  15. Florida (11-3)
  16. Mississippi State (13-2)
  17. Michigan (12-2)
  18. Harvard (12-1)
  19. Marquette (12-2)
  20. Wisconsin (12-3)
  21. Creighton (11-2)
  22. San Diego State (12-2)
  23. Murray State(14-0)
  24. Virginia (12-1)
  25. Kansas State (11-1)
  26. Gonzaga (11-2)
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:22 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 2:30 pm

Jackson opts against transfer to stay at Memphis

By Gary Parrish

Memphis sophomore Joe Jackson has decided against transferring and will remain with the Tigers, Eric Robinson, Jackson's former summer coach, told CBSSports.com on Sunday.

Jackson missed Saturday's win over Charlotte after meeting with Pastner on Friday to discuss his future, and multiple sources told CBSSports.com that the possibility of transferring was discussed. The sources said Pastner told Jackson to "take a couple of days" to think about it, which he did. On Sunday, the Memphis native decided to return to the team. He is expected to play Wednesday against Tennessee.

Jackson is averaging 11.9 points and 3.1 assists this season.

Memphis is 8-5 with five losses to opponents currently ranked in the AP Top 25.
Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 2:27 pm

Is MKG Kentucky's most important player?

By Gary Parrish

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Terrence Jones was the Preseason SEC Player of the Year.

Anthony Davis will be the No. 1 pick in next June's NBA Draft.

But is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Kentucky's best player?

It's a fair question to ask after the freshman wing got 24 points and 19 rebounds in the third-ranked Wildcats' 69-62 victory over No. 4 Louisville here at Rupp Arena. Because though there were better prospects (Davis) and bigger stars (Jay Z and Ashley Judd) in the building on Saturday, there wasn't a more important college basketball player on the court than the kid with the hyphenated name on the back of his jersey who dominated this rivalry game from the opening tip till the final buzzer.

He was terrific.

The Camden native had 16 points and nine rebounds at the half, and his motor never stopped. Kidd-Gilchrist continued to defend like crazy on one end of the court and make winning plays on the other, none of which were bigger than his offensive rebound and putback with 3:41 remaining. Louisville's Kyle Kuric fouled Kidd-Gilchrist on the shot but the ball still went in. As it fell though the net, Kidd-Gilchrist, with his back to the rim, stood and flexed. He then made the ensuing free throw, Kentucky led 61-50 and Louisville never got closer than seven points again.

So now Kentucky is 13-1 and Louisville is 12-2.

Bragging rights belong in Lexington for at least another year.

Credit Kidd-Gilchrist as the main reason why.

Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 8:33 am

Transferring a 'possibility' for Memphis' Jackson

By Gary Parrish

Memphis sophomore Joe Jackson is "confused, unhappy and not having fun," and transferring out of the program "is an option" before the start of the second semester, Jackson's former summer coach Eric Robinson told CBSSports.com late Friday.

Jackson will not play Saturday night against Charlotte.

He's supposed to meet with Memphis coach Josh Pastner again on Sunday.

"My opinion is he might not wear a uniform in Memphis again," Robinson told CBSSports.com by phone. "It's nobody's fault. Josh has a system [but] I don't know where Joe fits in it, and Joe said he's confused, unhappy and not having fun. And I always say if you're not happy you need to do something about it.

"They're trying to work things out, and I hope they can work things out," Robinson added. "But if not, Joe and the Tigers might have to part ways."

This development comes one day after Jackson was omitted from the starting lineup for the first time this season. The tiny combo guard started the Tigers' first 11 games -- sometimes at point, other times off the ball -- but struggled with consistency while Memphis limped to a 6-5 record. The Tigers improved to 7-5 on Thursday with a win over Robert Morris, but Jackson did not start that game. He instead came off the bench and went scoreless in 21 minutes. Now, Robinson said, transferring "could be a possibility."

Jackson is averaging 11.9 points and 3.1 assists this season.

He's a former McDonald's All-American and was among Pastner's first high-profile signings.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com