Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:33 am
 

Southland's UT Arlington with monster game tonite

By Jeff Goodman

Baylor goes to College Station tonight and plays Texas A&M. UConn travels to Georgetown and Indiana will play Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

But the Game of the Night will be played in the brand-new College Park Center when UT San Antonio faces UT Arlington tonight. Ok, maybe I'm getting a little carried away. But this is a huge matchup by Southland Conference standards. 

UT Arlington is 15-5 overall, flawless in league play at 7-0 and carrying a school-record 11-game winning streak into the contest. Brooks Thompson's UTSA squad comes in with a 14-7 overall mark and a game back in conference play at 6-1. 

Not a bad night to open up the 7,000-seat, $78 million facility.  

"It should be a great atmosphere. It's been sold out for a while now," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "I think it's the nicest facility I've ever stepped foot in." 

Scott was optimistic about his team entering the season, but one of the primary reasons was due to the addition of junior college point guard Jorge Redmon. Well, Redmon is no longer on the team due to academics, but Cross said that sophomore Shaquille White-Miller has been terrific in running the club. 

"He mirrors my personality," Cross said. "He's a pit bull who makes enough shots, has a high number of assists and is a bulldog on defense." 

Bo Ingram (11.7) and Kevin Butler (10.6 ppg) both average in double-figures and junior big man Jordan Reves (8.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) has made strides to become of the Southland's top big men, but the primary reason for the Mavericks success is senior guard LaMarcus Reed III, who is averaging 16.1 points and has made big shot after big shot for Cross. 

"We used to lose all the close games last year," Cross said. "But now anytime the game's on the line, he wants the ball. He's begging for it. You can see it in his eyes." 

Cross said his team had UTSA down double-digits last season, but was unable to close out the victory. In the offseason, he made it one of his primary focuses to prepare against UTSA's stellar zone defense that is similar to the one Baylor's Scott Drew utilizes. 

"We've worked on it plenty," Cross said. "They are really good at it." 

Cross admitted Wednesday night's contest may be the second most important game in his tenure next to the league championship game in 2008 that gave the Mavericks their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.A victory would give the Mavericks a two-game advantage in the standings over UTSA -- and could put UT Arlington in position to win the league in its final year in the Southland. 

UTA, UTSA and Texas State will all head to the WAC next season while Oral Roberts and Houston Baptist will enter the league. 

Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:17 pm
 

Murray State focused despite St. Mary's looming

By Jeff Goodman

Murray State's players ran back to its locker room last night following practice, anxiously awaiting to hear its opponent on Feb. 18 in the BracketBusters event. 

Saint Mary's got the nod as the team that many feel will be the Racers obstacle to an undefeated regular-season, but Murray State star point guard Isaiah Canaan and his teammates aren't overlooking the next five Ohio Valley contests leading up to Feb. 18. 

"We made it clear right after we found out who we were playing that we need to take care of business," Canaan said on SiriusXM's Inside College Basketball on Tuesday. "We all realize it. We don't want anyone rushing the floor on us." 

Murray State puts its 21-0 mark on the line Thursday at home against second-place Southeast Missouri State. Then comes a road contest against Tennessee-Martin, followed by home dates with Tennessee State and Austin Peay and a road game at SEMO. 

Everyone is talking about the possibility of running the table -- and Canaan would be lying if he said the thought of going undefeated doesn't cross his mind at times.

"It has its pros and cons," Canaan said. "It's important and I'm sure a lot of our fans are enjoying it, but we've got to stay focused. It's motivation for us every game." 

The game against Saint Mary's, though, will give the Racers an opportunity to prove itself to the naysayers who don't feel that Murray State is worthy of a spot on the top four lines come March when the seedings are announced. 

Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 7:05 am
 

Boatright's lawyer takes shots at NCAA

By Jeff Goodman

Ryan Boatright was cleared by the NCAA yesterday -- for the second time. 

Boatright and his mother received more than $8,000 in impermissible benefits prior to and after he enrolled at UConn from an least two individuals linked to nonscholastic basketball and professional sports. 

The NCAA posted specific information on its website yesterday, including the reasons why Boatright was granted limited immunity by the NCAA's Committee of Infractions. 

His lawyer, Scott Tompsett, just sent an email to numerous media members concerning the information that the NCAA publicly released in reference to Boatright. 

"I am astounded that the NCAA released confidential information about Ryan’s case. Ryan and his mother Tanesha cooperated fully with the NCAA with the clear understanding that the information they provided would be kept confidential and would not be released to the public. The NCAA has violated the Boatrights’ privacy by releasing their personal information.

Moreover, the NCAA’s statement contains false and misleading information. For example, the statement implies that the benefits in question were provided to influence Ryan’s decision either to attend UConn or choose an agent, if and when he goes pro. That is false and the NCAA knows it. In fact, the two individuals who provided the benefits are friends of the Boatrights. They were simply helping the family with no expectation of repayment or reciprocation. And there’s not a shred of evidence that they influenced Ryan’s decision to attend UConn or that they intend to represent Ryan if he ever goes pro. The public also should know that the NCAA never told Tanesha and Ryan who made the accusations about them or told them the substance of the accusations so they could defend themselves. Further, contrary to the NCAA’s statement, neither Tanesha nor Ryan received a car from anyone.

Until the NCAA released its statement, the Boatrights considered this matter closed. But the NCAA’s improper release of private and false information has caused the Boatrights to consider their legal options."

Scott W. Tompsett, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP


UPDATE: The NCAA has responded to Tompsett's allegations with a statement of its own. Here goes:

<tt>"Scott Tompsett’s allegations are not accurate. The NCAA statement regarding Ryan Boatright is factual and in response to numerous public misstatements and the resulting inaccurate reporting by some media. The NCAA acted appropriately to ensure the misleading accounts did not continue. The NCAA did not violate the student-athlete or family’s privacy in anyway, nor did it imply that the benefits were used to influence Ryan Boatright to attend the University of Connecticut.

"In fact, both UCONN and Mr. Boatright should be commended for their cooperation throughout the process to gather information. The school and student-athlete’s dedication to uncover the facts should be viewed as a positive example, not somehow construed negatively. Had Ms. Boatright cooperated fully from the beginning, this matter could have been settled months ago"</tt>


Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:52 am
 

Arizona's Parrom latest adversity: done for year

By Jeff Goodman

The past six months have not been kind to Kevin Parrom. 

The latest bout of adversity for the Arizona junior wing came last night, when the school announced he'll miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone is his right foot. 

Parrom was shot in the same leg back in September back home in New York and there was some thought that he would miss the entire season. However, he was even more motivated to return to the court after his mother lost her fight with cancer in October. 

Parrom returned after sitting out the first two games of the season, but he never looked like the player Sean Miller envisioned prior to the injury. He averaged just 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game, down from 7.6 points and 3.4 boards a year ago, prior to suffering the injury late in the first half of Arizona's 69-67 home loss against Washington. 

The school also said that the most recent injury is unrelated to the one suffered back in September. 

Parrom took to twitter after the game and posted the following: 

"I love all u guys thanks 4 all of ya support. Ill be ok. Just like mommy said Just another bump on the road. Ill be back stronger than ever! Just wanna let all the fans know that this season isnt over and we gonna be just fine. Just gotta keep workin harder and learn how to win!  Zona zoo there is no time to feel sorry for me or my injury. I really appreciate all the love and support but we still got to win the pac12!"

Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:28 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 2:20 am
 

Night Court: Towson wins, Iowa State upsets KU

Clint Steindl (16 points) and Saint Mary's were a step ahead of BYU all night in the Gaels' 80-66 win. (AP)

By Jeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Syracuse holding off West Virginia with the help of referee Karl Hess. The Orange played their third consecutive game without big man Fab Melo (academics) and it was close most of the way. Bob Huggins' team had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Hess and the officiating crew missed a clear goaltending call from 'Cuse big man Baye Keita that could have sent the game to overtime. Huggins after the game when asked about whether it was a goaltend: "I know it was. I just saw the replay." 

Game of the Day, Vol. 2: Drake and Wichita State went into three overtimes, before the home Bulldogs finally put the Shockers away for good. Ben Simons helped Drake overcome an uneven performance from Rayvonte Rice en route to a 93-86 win in 55 minutes. 

Win to brag about: I was set to go with Marquette's come-from-behind road win at Villanova, but Iowa State's home win against Kansas was the most important in Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg's young coaching career. It snapped a 13-game losing streak against the Jayhawks and also may be just the resume victory that Iowa State will need come March in order to get on the right side of The Bubble. 

Win to brag about, Vol. 2: BYU was 99-7 at the Marriott Center heading into Saturday night's revenge game against Saint Mary's. The Cougars are now 99-8, after the Gaels went into BYU's building and throttled the Cougars, 80-66. Saint Mary's got off to a big lead in the first half, but BYU fought back to make it a nine point game. The Gaels didn't let them get any closer -- Saint Mary's is clearly the cream of the crop out West.

Loss to hide from: This one is easy. It's Buzz Peterson and UNC Wilmington falling to a Towson program that came into the game riding an NCAA-record 41-game losing streak. 

Loss to hide from, Vol. 2: Dayton looked like the best team in the Atlantic-10 last weekend when it blew out Xavier. This week, not so much. The Flyers played host to 3-18 Rhode Island -- and lost, 86-81.

Player who deserves improper benefits: UMass' long and talented big man Rapiael Putney has finally started to match production with his potential. Putney finished with 22 points, 10 boards and five steals in the Minutemen 72-59 victory over Saint Louis in Amherst. Derek Kellogg's team is now 16-5 overall and 5-2 in A-10 play -- which is atop the league. 

Player who also deserves improper benefits: Steven Pledger scored 30 minutes to lead Oklahoma to a 63-60 win at Kansas State -- the Sooners' second win over the Wildcats this season. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Villanova's Mouph Yarou needs to give Jay Wright more than 11 foul-ridden minutes -- and more than two points and four rebounds if the Wildcats are to do anything the rest of the season. 

Player who also does not deserve improper benefits: Weber State lost on a buzzer-beating 3-point by Idaho State's Kenny McGowan. The Wildcats likely wouldn't have been in that position, though, had Damian Lillard not shot 5-for-14 from the field -- getting held to far below his 24.8 points per game. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 1: With Towson getting into the win column, that leaves Binghamton as the lone D-1 team without a victory. 
  • 8: Duke big man Mason Plumlee had 15 points and 17 boards, which was the eighth time this season he's recorded a double-double. 
  • 878: Jim Boeheim's career victory total. It's also one shy of catching Dean Smith for third on the all-time list. 
  • 6: UNC Greensboro interim coach Wes Miller and his team have reeled off six consecutive wins and are now 6-4 in SoCon play. 
  • 8:22: Virginia did not score a field goal in the last eight-plus minutes, and only had four field goals in the entire second half, but still beat NC State, 61-60.
  • 33: Miami (Ohio) scored its first 33 points against Western Michigan on 3-pointers.
  • 12-0: Pittsburgh improved to 12-0 against top-10 opponents at the Peterson Events Center after its win over Georgetown.

Other notable results:

  • Florida took care of Mississippi State in Gainesville, 67-59. 
  • Vanderbilt held off a Middle Tennessee State team that came into the game with a 12-game winning streak. The good news for the Commodores is that Festus Ezeli had a season-high 21 points in the 84-77 victory. 
  • Marquette came back from 18 down and wound up getting an important road win at Villanova. Darius Johnson-Odom had 26 points and Jae Crowder finished with 20 points and 11 boards.
  • Alabama edged Arkansas in a game that Anthony Grant & Co. could ill-afford to lose. The Crimson Tide are 14-7 and 3-4 in SEC play. 
  • Oklahoma State followed up its big win over Missouri ... with a 15-point loss at Texas A&M.
  • Louisville held Seton Hall to six points in the first 13 minutes en route to a 60-51 win. Seton Hall has now lost four in a row.
  • Cincinnati lost its third in a row, this time at Rutgers, 61-54. The Scarlet Knights now have wins over Florida, UConn, Cincinnati and at Pitt.
  • Purdue's Robbie Hummel hit the go-ahead baseline jumper then contested the final shot defensively, as the Boilermakers beat Northwestern on the road. 
  • Illinois lost its third straight close game, falling at Minnesota in overtime.
  • Memphis made a nice comeback in the second half to beat Marshall at home, 83-76.
  • UCF followed up its big home win over Memphis with its second straight loss -- a 13-point defeat at home against Southern Miss.
  • Tony Wroten made plenty of big plays in the second half, none bigger than his block of Josiah Turner's lay-up at the buzzer, as Washington beat Arizona, 69-67.
  • UNLV seemed fatigued in overtime against Air Force, but the Runnin' Rebels came back to win, 65-63.
  • New Mexico rolled over TCU, 71-54.
  • Doug McDermott had 24 points to lead Creighton over Bradley, 73-59.
  • Davidson suffered its first Southern loss of the season, 77-74, to Samford. 
  • St. Francis (N.Y.) hammered Robert Morris on the road, moving to 8-2 in the Northeast. Not bad, considering they got off to a 3-8 start in non-conference play.
  • Temple and Xavier both won.
  • Kentucky will stay as the No. 1 team in the country on Monday, as the Wildcats dominated LSU.

Notes:

  • College of Charleston, just a day after Bobby Cremins announced he was stepping away for the rest of the season due to health reasons, lost against Wofford. Interim coach Mark Byington has a difficult task since he's taken over a group ravaged by injuries. 
  • UConn freshman Ryan Boatright was cleared to play Sunday against Notre Dame. 
  • Referee Karl Hess was working his 21st game in the past 28 days. It's inexcusable that the NCAA doesn't do something to take over -- and limit -- the officiating assignments. 
  • Arizona announced that Kevin Parrom has a broken foot and is out for the rest of the season.
  • Mississippi Valley State, Bucknell, Long Beach State, Nevada, Oral Roberts and Norfolk State all continued to stay unbeaten in conference play. 

On tap: 

  • Michigan at Ohio State, 1 p.m. - Trey Burke goes back home and plays against his former high school teammate, Jared Sullinger. 
  • Notre Dame at UConn, 12 p.m. - The Huskies get freshman Ryan Boatright back from his second NCAA suspension. 
  • Iowa at Indiana, 6 p.m. - The Hoosiers need this one to get back on track. 
  • Stanford at Cal, 8:30 p.m. - This one could help determine the Pac-12 regular-season champs. 
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:04 pm
 

Towson's record streak of futility is history

By Jeff Goodman

THE STREAK is over.

Towson's 41-game losing skid, the longest losing streak in Division 1 history, came to an end on Saturday afternoon when Pat Skerry's team knocked off UNC Wilmington, 66-61.

It was the program's first win since Dec. 10, 2010.

Skerry took over a program in the offseason that dropped its final 19 games under Pat Kennedy a year ago and took a team with just one returnee and began this season 0-22.

That's 41 straight, but Skerry was undeterred and told CBSSports.com on Friday night that he had a feeling about Saturday's contest against Buzz Peterson's club.

Skerry had to sweat it out, though. UNC Wilmington had a chance to take the lead with 20 seconds left, but missed a pair of free throws. Then the team's one returning letterwinner, Erique Gumbs, put the team up 64-61 on a dunk with 9.3 seconds left. UNCW's 3-point attempt with a few seconds left was blocked.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 27, 2012 3:23 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Rick Pitino's Cards finally settling on roles

By Jeff Goodman

Rick Pitino knows what to expect now. 

Mike Marra isn't walking through that door. Neither is Rakeem Buckles. Louisville's coach also says it's highly unlikely that big man Stephan Van Treese will return this season and the timetable for talented freshman Wayne Blackshear has been pushed back to March due to one issue after another. 

"We've been so used to shuffling the lineup," Pitino said. "This group has weathered the storm and outside of one game, they've played good basketball." 

If you had told Pitino and Cardinals fans that with this rash of injuries, their team would still be 15-5 overall, they would have gladly taken it. However, after a 12-0 start, many that frequent the Yum! Center had a false sense of what this team is all about. 

It's a good team, but not a great one. 

Even with a healthy Marra, Buckles and Van Treese, it's probably not a team capable of cutting down any nets - whether it be in Madison Square Garden or New Orleans. 

But Pitino still doesn't feel as though it's out of the question for this group -- now that roles are becoming clearer -- to make a run at second place in the Big East. Right now Louisville sits at 4-4 in the league, just two games behind second-place Georgetown and Marquette. 

"It's possible," Pitino said.

Peyton Siva played well in the second half against Pittsburgh and also in the victory over Villanova, but Pitino said the key to this team -- as much as anything else these days - is making certain that much-improved big man Gorgui Dieng is on the floor as much as possible. 

"We're a good team as long as he's on the floor," Pitino said. "He's our most valuable player." 

Pitino said that Blackshear, the prize of a stellar recruiting class that also consisted of Chane Behanan, Zach Price and Kevin Ware, has only practiced once since returning from the shoulder injury that has kept him on the shelf all season. A stomach flu has shut him down since then. 

"I was hoping to get him back for the Big East regular-season, but now I'm hoping we can have him for the Big East tournament," Pitino said. "If he practices well, we'll play him. If not, he'll redshirt." 

Ware, who joined the team after the first semester, isn't ready to contribute. "I like him, but he's not ready -- and it's not his fault. It'd rather go with Elijah Justice as my fourth guard right now." 

Pitino said that he may start to play Price, who has seen in action in just eight games this season, especially against big front lines. The last week or so was the first time all season when this group practiced knowing what it had in its arsenal. 

"I still like this team," he said.

Especially in a league that isn't quite as top-heavy as in recent years. 

"The top four aren't as good as they've been in the past," he said. "But the bottom is also better. It seems like anyone is capable of beating anyone." 

Pitino went onto say that's the way it is around the entire country -- except for maybe one program that resides down the road. 

"Kentucky is the only dominant team in terms of talent," he said.

Pitino gushed about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, about his talent, attitude and motor. "He's going to get better and better," he said. 

And the secret to knocking off the Wildcats?

"You've got to find a way to get (Anthony) Davis off the court," Pitino said. "You've got to get him in foul trouble and make sure he plays less than 25 minutes." 

Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:00 am
 

Somehow, Brey has Notre Dame in the mix - again

By Jeff Goodman

Just about every year, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey enters the season hoping to make things interesting. He knows what he's up against in South Bend, going up against guys named Boeheim, Calhoun, Pitino, Huggins and even Dixon and Wright for a chance to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. 

It's not an easy task. 

This year it became more than just interesting when Brey's top player and one of the elite guys in the Big East, Tim Abromaitis, went down with a season-ending injury after playing just two games. 

"If you told me we'd be 5-3 in the league after Gonzaga made us look like a JV team for 40 minutes, I'd have fallen off my chair into the showers," Brey said. "But that's what's so great about our game and the length of the season." 

Especially, Brey maintains, in the Big East. 

"You just have to pick off a few," Brey said. "You don't have to win them all, but if you win the right ones, you can be in the discussion." 

Well, Brey and the Irish have picked off Louisville and Seton Hall on the road -- and got a huge one last weekend when they handed Syracuse it's lone setback of the season. 

"As proud as I was of our guys Saturday against Syracuse, I was even more proud of them against Seton Hall," Brey said. "They had every reason not to be ready to go after what happened Saturday. Fans were still talking about our Syracuse game, but we figured out a way to win on the road against an NCAA tournament team." 

Now Notre Dame, the team that lost to Georgia back in late-November and also couldn't get past Maryland in early-December, has made its way into the discussion. Brey said that it's taken time to get accustomed to being without Ambromaitis and a few other guys. 

"We had a dysfunctional November and December," Brey admitted. "Abro was in and out, Scott Martin (ankle) missed three weeks of practice, (Jack) missed the Maryland game and Atkins missed two games, It was crazy." 

What's nuts is that we're talking about Notre Dame, even after losing the potential Big East Player of the Year, being in the mix for the NCAA tournament. Brey said he wasn't expecting to hand the keys over to his sophomore backcourt -- Atkins and Jerian Grant. However, that's exactly what he's done and the duo has responded. 

"We've never had two guys with that kind of speed and athleticism in the backcourt," Brey said. "It changes us on both ends of the floor." 

And Cooley is starting to become known for his play on the court instead of his facial comparison to ex-Irish star Luke Harangody. He's averaging 12.9 points and 9.8 boards in league play. 

Next up for the Irish is a trip to Hartford and a matchup against UConn on Sunday. But Brey is smart enough to realize this game won't define Notre Dame's chances to make the NCAA tournament for what would be the fifth time in the past six years. 

"Two years ago, we went from 6-8 in the league and a flat-out NIT team to a number six seed," Brey said. "That's what's great about our league. But on the flip side, a few years back we lost seven in a row. It can bite you quick, but you always have opportunities." 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com