Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: December 29, 2011 4:19 pm
 

It's a big night for some disappointing teams

By Gary Parrish

There are exactly 10 schools that were ranked in the preseason AP poll that are no longer ranked.

The schools are:
  • No. 7 Vanderbilt
  • No. 11 Memphis
  • No. 14 Xavier
  • No. 16 Arizona
  • No. 17 UCLA
  • No. 19 Alabama
  • No. 20 Texas A&M
  • No. 21 Cincinnati
  • No. 23 Gonzaga
  • No. 24California

Those schools have gone from ranked to unranked for a variety of reasons -- injuries, suspensions, dismissals, fights, overscheduling, etc., -- but the fact remains that on Nov. 7 those 10 teams were ranked and on Dec. 29th they are not. And I just realized that six of those 10 play tonight.

So let's call Thursday Night of the Underachievers.

Here's the list of games:

  • Vanderbilt at Marquette
  • Robert Morris at Memphis
  • Arkansas Tech at Texas A&M
  • USC at California
  • Jacksonville at Alabama
  • Oklahoma at Cincinnati

Can Vandy avoid its fifth loss by getting a marquee win?

Can Memphis stay undefeated against unranked opponents?

Can Cincinnati keep winning with four guards and without Yancy Gates?

Will any of these schools prove good enough to enter the Top 25 again this season?

The answers to those questions (in my opinion) are probably not, probably so, probably so and almost certainly yes. But either way, this is a big night for six schools that've gone from ranked to unranked in a span of seven weeks. So wish them luck. Because, to date, they haven't had much.

Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Rosario likely to play against old team Thursday

By Gary Parrish

Looks like Mike Rosario will get to play against his former school after all.

Florida coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday that the reserve wing -- who spent his first two seasons at Rutgers -- participated in practice Monday and went full-contact on Tuesday, according to the Gators' official Twitter feed. Rosario had missed Florida's past two games with a back strain, and Donovan had previously listed him as "doubtful" for Thursday's game at Rutgers.

But that's changed now.

Which adds a storyline to the week.

Rosario averaged 16.2 points as a freshman and 16.7 points as a sophomore at Rutgers.

The 6-foot-3 New Jersey native transferred after his sophomore season.

He's averaging 9.4 points for the 10th-ranked Gators this season.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:54 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 11:56 pm
 

Night Court: Gerald Robinson might've traveled



By Gary Parrish


Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Don't let the 81-72 final margin fool you. Illinois-Minnesota was close. In fact, it was a double-overtime thriller made possible only because Meyers Leonard hit a pair of free throws to tie the score with seven seconds left in regulation. In other words, Minnesota was basically a missed-Leonard-free-throw away from starting Big Ten play 1-0. Instead, the Gophers are 0-1 in the league with a nine-point loss.

Win to brag about: Road wins in the Big Ten are going to be hard to come by this year, which makes Wisconsin's 64-40 victory at Nebraska worth noting. Trust me when I tell you that a good team -- a team ranked in the Top 25 -- will lose at Nebraska this season. But it won't be the 11th-ranked Badgers, who held the Huskers to just 15 field goals.

Loss to hide from: Jamie Dixon deserves the benefit of doubt given what he accomplished through eight years at Pittsburgh, but I'm losing confidence in this version of his Panthers. Their 72-59 loss at Notre Dame was their third "bad" loss of the season and second straight thanks to last Friday's home loss to Wagner. And just in case you're about to email and tell me that losing at Notre Dame isn't a "bad" loss, allow me to remind you that the Irish entered with five losses including defeats to Georgia and Maryland, and that Mike Brey is coaching without his best player -- Tim Abromaitis, who suffered a torn ACL earlier this season. So, yes, this is a bad loss -- especially for a team that started the season ranked 10th and is still, somehow, ranked 22nd.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Moe Harkless (above, at front) is one of Steve Lavin's heralded recruits who actually got eligible to start the season, and he had the best performance of his young career in St. John's 91-67 win over Providence. The 6-foot-8 wing took 17 shots, made 14 and finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He's now averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Who's in charge of stopping the ball in transition for Winthrop? Because whomever that guy is, that's the guy who failed the Eagles in the final seconds of regulation while Georgia's Gerald Robinson drove coast-to-coast for a layup that tied the score and forced overtime in what was an eventual 92-86 win for the Bulldogs. (Of course, a Winthrop fan sent me a clip that shows Robinson might've traveled before his layup. Click this link and check the play. I'll let you be the judge.)

Numbers don’t lie
  • 2: That's how many offensive rebounds Texas Tech grabbed against Cal State Bakersfield. But the Red Raiders still beat the Roadrunners 74-58.
  • 11: That's how many steals Western Illinois had in its 73-52 win over Eureka.
  • 38.6: That's the percentage BYU is shooting from 3-point range this season after a 79-51 win over Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars only shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc last season, you know, when Jimmer Fredette was a part of the team.
Three other notable results
  1. Virginia improved to 11-1 with a 69-42 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The 23rd-ranked Cavaliers got 13 points from reserve Darion Atkins.
  2. Saint Louis improved to 12-1 with a 71-39 win over Texas Southern. The Billikens held TSU to just 15 field goals.
  3. Southern Miss improved to 11-2 with a 93-48 win over Belhaven. The Golden Eagles got 24 points from Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson.
Notes
  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Tuesday that he'll retire when his contract expires in 2017. Who knows if he'll actually do it? But he did actually say it. So it's news.
  • Crandall Head announced Tuesday that he's transferring out of the Illinois program. "I’m just looking for a fresh start," Head told Illini beat writer Paul Klee. "I mean, I wanted to stay. But I just can’t do it anymore. I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me."
  • Rhode Island's leading scorer, Jamal Wilson, was dismissed from the team on Tuesday. He was averaging 16.4 points per game. But Rhode Island was just 1-11 in those games, so what does it really matter?
On tap: Wednesday is gonna be a great night for college basketball. Top-ranked Syracuse is hosting Seton Hall, which is 11-1 this season. No. 12 Georgetown is at No. 4 Louisville. No. 6 Baylor and No. 15 Mississippi State are playing in Dallas. No. 13 Indiana is at No. 16 Michigan State. And my colleague Jeff Goodman will be courtside for Missouri State at No. 21 Creighton. That's where he'll get his first look at National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:49 pm
 

Night Court: Gerald Robinson might've traveled

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Don't let the 81-72 final margin fool you. Illinois-Minnesota was close. In fact, it was a double-overtime thriller made possible only because Meyers Leonard hit a pair of free throws to tie the score with seven seconds left in regulation. In other words, Minnesota was basically a missed-Leonard-free-throw away from starting Big Ten play 1-0. Instead, the Gophers are 0-1 in the league with a nine-point loss.

Win to brag about: Road wins in the Big Ten are going to be hard to come by this year, which makes Wisconsin's 64-40 victory at Nebraska worth noting. Trust me when I tell you that a good team -- a team ranked in the Top 25 -- will lose at Nebraska this season. But it won't be the 11th-ranked Badgers, who held the Huskers to just 15 field goals.

Loss to hide from: Jamie Dixon deserves the benefit of doubt given what he accomplished through eight years at Pittsburgh, but I'm losing confidence in this version of his Panthers. Their 72-59 loss at Notre Dame was their third "bad" loss of the season and second straight thanks to last Friday's home loss to Wagner. And just in case you're about to email and tell me that losing at Notre Dame isn't a "bad" loss, allow me to remind you that the Irish entered with five losses including defeats to Georgia and Maryland, and that Mike Brey is coaching without his best player -- Tim Abromaitis, who suffered a torn ACL earlier this season. So, yes, this is a bad loss -- especially for a team that started the season ranked 10th and is still, somehow, ranked 22nd.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Moe Harkless is one of Steve Lavin's heralded recruits who actually got eligible to start the season, and he had the best performance of his young career in St. John's 91-67 win over Providence. The 6-foot-8 wing took 17 shots, made 14 and finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He's now averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Who's in charge of stopping the ball in transition for Winthrop? Because whomever that guy is, that's the guy who failed the Eagles in the final seconds of regulation while Georgia's Gerald Robinson drove coast-to-coast for a layup that tied the score and forced overtime in what was an eventual 92-86 win for the Bulldogs. (Of course, a Winthrop fan sent me a clip that shows Robinson might've traveled before his layup. Click this link and check the play. I'll let you be the judge.)

Numbers don’t lie
  • 2: That's how many offensive rebounds Texas Tech grabbed against Cal State Bakersfield. But the Red Raiders still beat the Roadrunners 74-58.
  • 11: That's how many steals Western Illinois had in its 73-52 win over Eureka.
  • 38.6: That's the percentage BYU is shooting from 3-point range this season after a 79-51 win over Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars only shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc last season, you know, when Jimmer Fredette was a part of the team.
Three other notable results
  1. Virginia improved to 11-1 with a 69-42 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The 23rd-ranked Cavaliers got 13 points from reserve Darion Atkins.
  2. Saint Louis improved to 12-1 with a 71-39 win over Texas Southern. The Billikens held TSU to just 15 field goals.
  3. Southern Miss improved to 11-2 with a 93-48 win over Belhaven. The Golden Eagles got 24 points from Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson.
Notes
  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Tuesday that he'll retire when his contract expires in 2017. Who knows if he'll actually do it? But he did actually say it. So it's news.
  • Crandall Head announced Tuesday that he's transferring out of the Illinois program. "I’m just looking for a fresh start," Head told Illini beat writer Paul Klee. "I mean, I wanted to stay. But I just can’t do it anymore. I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me."
  • Rhode Island's leading scorer, Jamal Wilson, was dismissed from the team on Tuesday. He was averaging 16.4 points per game. But Rhode Island was just 1-11 in those games, so what does it really matter?
On tap: Wednesday is gonna be a great night for college basketball. Top-ranked Syracuse is hosting Seton Hall, which is 11-1 this season. No. 12 Georgetown is at No. 4 Louisville. No. 6 Baylor and No. 15 Mississippi State are playing in Dallas. No. 13 Indiana is at No. 16 Michigan State. And my colleague Jeff Goodman will be courtside for Missouri State at No. 21 Creighton. That's where he'll get his first look at National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:43 pm
 

Night Court: Gerald Robinson might've traveled

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Don't let the 81-72 final margin fool you. Illinois-Minnesota was close. In fact, it was a double-overtime thriller made possible only because Meyers Leonard hit a pair of free throws to tie the score with seven seconds left in regulation. In other words, Minnesota was basically a missed-Leonard-free-throw away from starting Big Ten play 1-0. Instead, the Gophers are 0-1 in the league with a nine-point loss.

Win to brag about: Road wins in the Big Ten are going to be hard to come by this year, which makes Wisconsin's 64-40 victory at Nebraska worth noting. Trust me when I tell you that a good team -- a team ranked in the Top 25 -- will lose at Nebraska this season. But it won't be the 11th-ranked Badgers, who held the Huskers to just 15 field goals.

Loss to hide from: Jamie Dixon deserves the benefit of doubt given what he accomplished through eight years at Pittsburgh, but I'm losing confidence in this version of his Panthers. Their 72-59 loss at Notre Dame was their third "bad" loss of the season and second straight thanks to last Friday's home loss to Wagner. And just in case you're about to email and tell me that losing at Notre Dame isn't a "bad" loss, allow me to remind you that the Irish entered with five losses including defeats to Georgia and Maryland, and that Mike Brey is coaching without his best player -- Tim Abromaitis, who suffered a torn ACL earlier this season. So, yes, this is a bad loss -- especially for a team that started the season ranked 10th and is still, somehow, ranked 22nd.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Moe Harkless is one of Steve Lavin's heralded recruits who actually got eligible to start the season, and he had the best performance of his young career in St. John's 91-67 win over Providence. The 6-foot-8 wing took 17 shots, made 14 and finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He's now averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Who's in charge of stopping the ball in transition for Winthrop? Because whomever that guy is, that's the guy who failed the Eagles in the final seconds of regulation while Georgia's Gerald Robinson drove coast-to-coast for a layup that tied the score and forced overtime in what was an eventual 92-86 win for the Bulldogs. (Of course, a Winthrop fan sent me a clip that shows Robinson might've traveled before his layup. Click this link and check the play. I'll let you be the judge.)

Numbers don’t lie
  • 2: That's how many offensive rebounds Texas Tech grabbed against Cal State Bakersfield. But the Red Raiders still beat the Roadrunners 74-58.
  • 11: That's how many steals Western Illinois had in its 73-52 win over Eureka.
  • 38.6: That's the percentage BYU is shooting from 3-point range this season after a 79-51 win over Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars only shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc last season, you know, when Jimmer Fredette was a part of the team.
Three other notable results
  1. Virginia improved to 11-1 with a 69-42 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The 23rd-ranked Cavaliers got 13 points from reserve Darion Atkins.
  2. Saint Louis improved to 12-1 with a 71-39 win over Texas Southern. The Billikens held TSU to just 15 field goals.
  3. Southern Miss improved to 11-2 with a 93-48 win over Belhaven. The Golden Eagles got 24 points from Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson.
Notes
  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Tuesday that he'll retire when his contract expires in 2017. Who knows if he'll actually do it? But he did actually say it. So it's news.
  • Crandall Head announced Tuesday that he's transferring out of the Illinois program. "I’m just looking for a fresh start," Head told Illini beat writer Paul Klee. "I mean, I wanted to stay. But I just can’t do it anymore. I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me."
  • Rhode Island's leading scorer, Jamal Wilson, was dismissed from the team on Tuesday. He was averaging 16.4 points per game. But Rhode Island was just 1-11 in those games, so what does it really matter?
On tap: Wednesday is gonna be a great night for college basketball. Top-ranked Syracuse is hosting Seton Hall, which is 11-1 this season. No. 12 Georgetown is at No. 4 Louisville. No. 6 Baylor and No. 15 Mississippi State are playing in Dallas. No. 13 Indiana is at No. 16 Michigan State. And my colleague Jeff Goodman will be courtside for Missouri State at No. 21 Creighton. That's where he'll get his first look at National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 1:36 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?



By Gary Parrish

So I was on the Tim Brando Show early Tuesday chatting with guest host Jon Rothstein, and he asked what Big Ten team could slip now that conference play is beginning. My answer: Pretty much any of them except Ohio State.

And I really do think that's true.

That's how deep and competitive the Big Ten is this season.

The league is rated No. 1 at CollegeRPI.com and -- as Ohio State beat writer Bob Baptist points out -- its lead over the second-rated conference (ACC) is greater than the margin separating the conferences rated second (ACC) through sixth (MWC). Translation: It's not even close. Furthermore, the Big Ten has 67 percent of its members (or eight teams) ranked in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com and 75 percent of its members (or nine teams) ranked in the top 60 at KenPom.com. No other league has more than 58 percent of its members in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com or 63 percent of its members in the the top 60 at KenPom.com. Those facts suggest the Big Ten is the nation's most competitive league from top to bottom.

Which brings me back to that conversation with Rothstein.

While I believe Ohio State is a level above the rest and going to be the regular-season champion as long as Jared Sullinger remains healthy, I really do think second-place through about seventh-place is completely up for grabs. I won't be surprised if Indiana finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue. Likewise, I won't be surprised if Michigan finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois and, say, Northwestern.

My guess is Ohio State finishes something like 15-3 in the league, somebody else will finish 14-4 or 13-5, somebody else will finish 12-6, and then we'll get a group of teams -- probably five but perhaps as many as six -- in that 10-8/9-9/8-10 range. Again, I have no idea how the schools will finish, but I do know this: Big Ten play starts tonight with Wisconsin-Nebraska and Minnesota-Illinois, and I can't wait to watch it unfold. The competitiveness thanks to stronger-than-expected starts from a few members, most notably Indiana, should make for a fun two-plus months in the land of so-called Legends and Leaders.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 26, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Want to watch UK practice? Today you can

By Gary Parrish

Ever wanted to watch John Calipari run a basketball practice?

If so, today is your lucky day.

Because the Kentucky Wildcats will take the court at around 5:30 p.m. ET, and the entire practice will be streamed live at this link. To my knowledge, no other high-major program has ever done such a thing on a random December day, but it should surprise nobody that Calipari is doing it. The man is always trying to come up with new ways to market and promote his program, and this is merely the latest example. He'll have recruits all over the country on the internet looking in why the AP's third-ranked team practices at the Craft Center, and those recruits will see all those banners representing national championships while they're watching. It's almost like an unofficial visit without the expenses. It's innovative and wise.

Will it be like a real Calipari practice?

Honestly, I doubt it.

I spent four years sitting in on pretty much every practice Calipari conducted at Memphis as his beat writer at The Commercial Appeal, and there's two things I learned while doing it. One is that he's a way better coach than most realize. The other is that virgin ears should be kept away. So my guess is that Calipari will tone down the language and run a simple practice designed to do nothing more than get his players moving around a little post-Christmas break. But it'll still be worth checking out, you know, just in case Terrence Jones starts being kinda selfish.
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:22 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

Only one voter isn't ranking UNLV. And only one voter isn't ranking Michigan State. Turns out, it's the same silly voter. He's about to get Poll Attacked.

Associated Press poll: I explained last week why it was wrong to leave UNLV off a ballot.

And this week it's even more wrong.

But one voter still did it.

His name is Roger Clarkson.

And I'll bet you the $100 gift card to Macy's I got for Christmas that he couldn't intelligently defend his ballot. He's the only one of the 65 AP voters who isn't ranking UNLV or Michigan State. But guess who Roger is ranking? Illinois and Gonzaga. And I'm about to explain why that's sillier than fighting stupid crowds to return unwanted gifts on Dec. 26.

UNLV, Michigan State, Illinois and Gonzaga are all two-loss teams, so I can see why somebody in a rush might look at the records and think they're the same. But they're not the same. The bodies of work that belong to UNLV and Michigan State are undeniably superior to those belonging to Illinois and Gonzaga ... at least in part because UNLV has a win over Illinois in Illinois and Michigan State has a win over Gonzaga at Gonzaga. Of the four teams, nobody has better wins than UNLV and nobody has better losses than Michigan State. The Rebels own wins over North Carolina, California and Illinois, and the Spartans' only two losses are to North Carolina and Duke on neutral courts.

And did I mention UNLV beat Illinois in Illinois?

And that Michigan State beat Gonzaga at Gonzaga?

And that UNLV and MSU are both inside the Top 20 at KenPom.com.

And that Gonzaga and Illinois are both outside the Top 25 and KenPom.com.

Bottom line, rank UNLV, Michigan State, Illinois and Gonzaga if you like. We actually have UNLV, Michigan State and Illinois all ranked in the Top 25 (and one), and I am, in theory, OK with Gonzaga, too. But what I'm not OK with is ranking Illinois and Gonzaga without ranking UNLV and Michigan State. Why? Because it's makes no sense. I've looked at it every way imaginable, and it makes no sense. But if you can explain it, feel free to email me at cbsparrish@gmail.com and give it a shot. In the meantime, I'll be not returning presents, mostly just laying around.

Coaches poll: I've highlighted this nonsensical voting habit before. But it keeps happening, so I'm going to keep writing about it in hopes that one day the nation -- or, at the very least, the coaches who vote in the coaches poll -- will realize that a team losing to a higher-ranked team does not not necessarily mean the lower-ranked team doesn't deserve its ranking.

Yes, I'm talking about Illinois.

The Illini were ranked 24th last week.

They lost by four points on a neutral court to Missouri, which was ranked eighth.

And somehow that convinced voters that Illinois didn't need to be ranked 24th anymore. Or even 25th. Again, it's crazy because a school ranked 24th is supposed to lose on a neutral court to a team ranked eighth. And when it happens, the team ranked 24th shouldn't be penalized for it, especially when the loss only comes by four points.

Just so we're clear, let me say this: If you don't think Illinois is a top 25 team, that's fine. It's debatable. But if you thought the Illini were a Top 25 team last week, why would you think they're not a Top 25 team this week? Because of a four-point loss to a team ranked eighth? Surely you see how stupid that is.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com