Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Nevada's Carter answering critics with success

Deonte Burton has helped get Nevada out to an 18-3 record. The Wolf Pack are one of the quietest teams in hoops with a really impressive mark. (AP)

By Jeff Goodman

Nevada coach David Carter heard the whispers last season, whether he was the right man for the job. The Wolf Pack had won at least 20 games seven consecutive seasons and expectations had risen in Reno. 

"Oh, yeah," said Carter, who took over for Mark Fox after a decade as an assistant to both Fox and Trent Johnson. "I didn't expect fans to understand, but we had seven freshmen and 10 new players. I knew we were going to struggle." 

But 13-19 doesn't fly at Nevada -- even if you only bring back one starter and lose nearly 90 percent of your offensive production. Well, Carter has those in Reno on his side again, after a 16-3 start -- which includes 13 consecutive wins and a 5-0 start in WAC play. 

Tonight, though, is where Nevada can put some distance between itself and second-place New Mexico State when the teams meet in Las Cruces. 

"I think there's more pressure on New Mexico State to hold at home," Carter said. 

He's right because if the Wolf Pack pull out the road win, Carter's team will hold a two-game lead over the Aggies and still have New Mexico State at home in the final regular-season game. 

Carter's group is led by sophomore point guard Deonte Burton, who is averaging 15.2 points and 4.8 assists per game and went for 31 in a win over Washington and 28 in a loss at UNLV earlier this season.

"Last year was the first time he ever played point guard full time," said Carter, who compares him to one of Jay Wright's old 'Nova guards. "He understands the system and when he goes, we go." 

USC transfer Malik Story dropped about 20 pounds in the offseason and has excelled, averaging 14.5 points while shooting 49 percent from beyond the arc. Another transfer, ex-Duke forward Olek Czyz, is putting up 11.4 points and 6.1 boards and senior big man Dario Hunt is nearly averaging a double-double (9.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg). 

The three losses are all legit: against Missouri State in the season-opener, at UNLV and against BYU. The loss to to the Cougars was the last time that Nevada tasted defeat and that was way back on Nov. 25. 

Carter said the season may have changed on Dec. 2 against a Washington team that pummeled them a year earlier. 

"That was the turning point," he said. "It showed us we belonged." 

Now, if Carter and his players can get a victory tonight at New Mexico State, the Wolf Pack will likely have earned one of the elite spots in the Feb. 18 Bracket Busters event. 

That's reserved for the best mid-major teams in the country.  

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Long Beach pounds UCSB, has case for at-large

By Jeff Goodman

It was a result that somehow managed to slide under the radar. 

Long Beach State 71, UC Santa Barbara 48. 

It was an anticipated matchup this past Saturday between the top two teams in the Big West. UCSB ruined Long Beach's season last year when the Gauchos won the league tournament and thus the automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. Long Beach wanted a measure of revenge -- and got it with a resounding road win in Santa Barbara. 

The 49ers were on everyone's radar early in the season when Dan Monson's team went into the Peterson Events Center and knocked off a Jamie Dixon team that had been nearly invincible in its home building. 

Monson's squad followed it up with a near-win at a San Diego State team that has made its way into the Top 15. There was a hard-fought loss in Allen Fieldhouse against Kansas -- and also a close one in Chapel Hill against Carolina. 

The Beach has done what the NCAA tournament selection committee asks -- go out and play people. 

Have they won them all?  No, but they did get wins over Pittsburgh (with a healthy Travon Woodall), Xavier and Auburn -- and came up just short against Kansas, UNC and San Diego State. 

If Long Beach continues to roll through the Big West (the 49ers are 7-0 thus far in league play) and come up short in the league tourney, as was the case a year ago, Monson & Co. should be rewarded with an automatic bid. 

But I'm not sure it'll come to that. 

This team, according to Monson, is different. First of all, these guys are playing with a common goal to go dancing rather than worrying about individual agendas. Second, this team has a couple guys named James Ennis and Mike Caffey that weren't around last season. 

"These seniors have really bonded as far as one common goal and that's to get to the NCAA tournament," Monson said. "We're more together. They've matured and trust each other." 

But Monson said that wasn't necessarily the case until after the loss to Kansas State out in Hawaii in the championship contest of the Diamond Head Classic. 

"Casper (Ware) didn't trust guys and tried to do too much," Monson said. "I really think that loss helped us." 

"James Ennis and Mike Caffey give us a different dimension," he added. "Caffey is terrific and allows us to play Casper off the ball -- and the guys that come through here say Ennis may be the most talented guy on the entire team. He gives us an athletic wing who changes our team." 

Monson has five guys -- four being seniors -- averaging in double-figures since league play began. There's Ware, one of the nation's top point guards. Larry Anderson has turned himself into a lights-out perimeter shooter. T.J. Robinson is a double-double machine and Eugene Phelps is averaging 10.1 points per game. Then there's the long and athletic Ennis. 

"We're definitely a better team than we were last season," Monson said. "The guys are a year older, and they are on the same page now." 

Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:37 pm
 

Wes Miller, 28-year-old interim, has UNCG rolling

By Jeff Goodman

When Wes Miller was called into UNC Greensboro athletic director Kim Record's office in mid-December, he was informed Mike Dement was out. Miller was also told he was the choice to take the reigns on an interim basis, and the 28-year-old was admittedly nervous. 

"It was so unexpected," Miller said. "I didn't have any time to prepare for it." 

But the former North Carolina guard, who inherited a program that started the season 2-8, began to feel comfortable in the middle of his first game - a loss to East Carolina. 

Five more setbacks followed the loss to ECU and Miller's long-term prognosis didn't appear promising. 

Then came the road victory against Bobby Cremins and the College of Charleston, another road win against The Citadel and two more -- Chattanooga and Samford. 

That's four straight. 

"These kids have responded to adversity," Miller said. "They've come together, worked hard and are believing. They didn't give in." 

Miller spent half a day in Chapel Hill with his former coach, Roy Williams, shortly after getting the interim gig. He speaks with Williams each week, but said that the transition has been easier since he is able to fall back on the way things were down at UNC. 

"If I'm unsure how to do something, I do it like they do at Carolina," Miller said. "Coach Williams has been such a sounding board and he helped me see the big picture." 

Right now UNCG is just a half-game out of first place in the north division of the SoCon, but Miller isn't getting ahead of himself. 

"One of the players told me that, but I haven't even looked at it," Miller said. "I know we're not where we want and need to be. We're not afraid to talk about big goals and dreams, but in order to do that we have to take it one practice and one game at a time." 

Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:14 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 3:06 pm
 

It took SDSU 20 hours to get to Laramie

By Gary Parrish, Jeff Goodman

Steve Fisher told the San Diego Tribune on Sunday that his team's chartered flight for tonight's game at Wyoming had the "potential to be a huge advantage." It was just the second charter in the program's history.

Turns out, it's just been a huge pain in the ass.

“Landed to get gas and now we’re stuck in the snow,” SDSU's Garrett Green Tweeted Monday. “Not looking good.”

Credit Green with an accurate assessment.

The 13th-ranked Aztecs left San Diego around 2:30 p.m. Monday and got stuck in Cedar City, Utah after they were grounded by a snowstorm while stopping to refuel.

"We tried to land and refuel in St. George, but the weather was so bad we had to land in Cedar City," San Diego State spokesman Darin Wong told CBSSports.com on Tuesday afternoon.

They checked-in at a Cedar City hotel, spent the night there and finally reached Laramie today around 1:30 p.m. ET after another stop to refuel, this one in Grand Junction, Colo. That was, as the San Diego Tribune's Mark Zeigler put it, about 20 hours after they left San Diego and just seven hours before their 8:30 p.m. ET tip at Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium.

"Our guys seem to be taking it in stride," Wong said. "Their spirits are high." 

Wong said Fisher scrapped the team's scheduled shootaround, allowing the players to rest in their hotel room prior to the game. The team will get to the arena about 30 minutes before normal so the players can get up extra shots. 

So are the Aztecs about to take their first MWC loss?

Man, I don't know.

But they've got an excuse if they do.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:09 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 11:17 pm
 

Night Court: Syracuse rebounds, KU holds off A&M

How would Mike Krzyzewski feel about this? (AP)

By Jeff Goodman

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)

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

Game of the day: Kansas was down at the break against a Texas A&M team that was without its leading scorer -- at Allen Fieldhouse. Thomas Robinson had an off-night, but did enough in the second half and got enough help from Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey to give the Jayhawks the 64-54 victory. KU is now an impressive 17-3 overall and 7-0 in Big 12 play. 

Win to brag about: Syracuse has experienced off-court adversity this season, but the Orange finally lost its first game over the weekend -- without Fab Melo -- in South Bend. Jim Boeheim's team responded with an impressive road win against Cincinnati even though Dion Waiters was a non-factor. Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine led the way as the 'Cuse, still without its starting center, improved to 21-1. 

Loss to hide from: Iona appeared primed to put some distance between itself and everyone else in the MAAC. However, the Gaels came up short in Albany against a Siena team that limped into the game at 8-10 overall and 3-5 in league play. 

Player who deserves improper benefits: Siena's O.D. Anosike went for 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds -- seven of the offensive variety -- in the Saints upset against Iona. The junior big man is now averaging 14.9 points and 12.7 boards this season and has racked up 15 straight double-doubles. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Humpty Kitchens has one of the best names in college basketball. He's also arguably James Madison's best player. However, Humpty had a great fall on Monday night, committing 10 turnovers in a loss against Georgia State. He also finished with 15 points, but the 10 turnovers can't be overlooked. 

Numbers don’t lie:

877: That's how many career victories Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has won. It's also just two shy of Dean Smith for third in D-1 history. 

10: Georgia State has reeled off 10 straight wins at home after a 74-58 victory over James Madison. James Fields tied his career-high with 21 points and also grabbed a career-high eight boards in the win. 

11: Towson has been held to fewer than 50 points 11 times this season. 

Other notable results:

Towson was only down a pair at halftime at Delaware, but Pat Skerry's team couldn't halt its NCAA Division 1-record 40-game losing skid. Towson fell to 0-21 this season. 

Morgan State got a 71-64 victory over N.C. Central as Bears coach Todd Bozeman returned to the court after a suspension while the school was investigating an incident in which he made contact with one of his players. 

VCU improved to 16-5 and 7-2 in CAA play after a 61-49 win over Hofstra. 

George Mason held off UNC Wilmington, 67-61, and remained in first place in the CAA with an 8-1 league mark. 

Notes:

Texas A&M star Khris Middleton missed the game at Kansas. Middleton, who missed extended time early in the year due to a knee injury, hurt his knee again against Oklahoma. 

Fab Melo missed his second consecutive game for Syracuse. A source told CBSSports.com Melo could return for the team's next game if he gets his academic issues straightened out. 

George Mason freshman big man Erik Copes sat out with a stomach flu. Copes hasn't played since falling on his head in a loss at Drexel a couple weeks ago. 

Murray State coach told CBSSports.com that senior Ivan Aska, who has missed the past six games with a broken hand, has been cleared to play this week. 

On tap: 

Five ranked teams are in action -- including four on the road: 

- Kentucky travels to Athens and faces a Georgia team that's 1-4 in SEC play. 

- Baylor heads to Norman and tries to snap a two-game losing skid against Lon Kruger's Oklahoma club. 

- Marquette hosts a South Florida team that is also 5-2 in Big East play. 

- Michigan goes to West Lafayette and plays a Purdue team that's struggling. Lewis Jackson's back is hurting and Robbie Hummel's shot isn't falling. 

- San Diego State goes to Laramie and faces a surprising 16-3 Wyoming team coached by Larry Shyatt. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:57 pm
 

North Carolina's new backup point: Stilman White

By Jeff Goodman

Stilman White. 

Yes, Stilman White. That's who Roy Williams will give first crack at getting Dexter Strickland's minutes as Kendall Marshall's backup point guard. 

Strickland tore his ACL last week and is done for the season -- which essentially means that the Tar Heels don't have a backup point guard. This could be critical at some point in the NCAA tournament if the Tar Heels -- the preseason favorites -- are to cut down the nets in New Orleans. 

"We're going to try and give Stilman time there," Williams said on Monday. "We'll see how that works out." 

White is a mid-major recruit from Wilmington, N.C., that has logged a grand total of 65 minutes thus far in his UNC career. 

Losing Strickand is costly in two primary areas: He's the team's top perimeter defender and also only legit backup floor leader. Williams said he'll move Reggie Bullock into the starting lineup in place of Strickland, which should help offensively -- especially in terms of spacing. 

"Reggie deserves it," Williams said.

However, while Bullock has improved significantly on the defensive end, he's still no Strickland. Williams said that Strickland averaged about three minutes per half in spelling Marshall at the point.  

The alternative isn't pretty: It's Harrison Barnes, Bullock or P.J. Hairston. 

"It's a big-time loss," Williams said of losing Strickland. 

One that isn't getting nearly enough attention. 

Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:03 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. Kentucky (19-1)
  2. Missouri (18-1)
  3. Syracuse (20-1)
  4. Ohio State (17-3)
  5. Kansas (16-3)
  6. Baylor (17-2)
  7. North Carolina (16-3)
  8. Duke (16-3)
  9. Michigan State (16-4)
  10. Creighton (18-2)
  11. San Diego State (17-2)
  12. UNLV (18-3)
  13. Georgetown (16-3)
  14. Kansas State (14-4)
  15. Indiana (16-4)
  16. Murray State (20-0)
  17. Virginia (15-3)
  18. Mississippi State (16-4)
  19. Michigan (15-5)
  20. Marquette (16-4)
  21. Wisconsin (16-5)
  22. West Virginia (15-5)
  23. Florida (15-4)
  24. Florida State (13-6)
  25. Saint Mary's (19-2)
  26. Connecticut (14-5)
In: Florida, Florida State, Saint Mary's
Out: Alabama, Seton Hall, Illinois
Posted on: January 21, 2012 4:37 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 4:53 pm
 

Missouri proves itself as legit in Waco

The most unlikely great team in college hoops keeps winning. Missouri is 18-1. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Jeff Goodman

No one had Missouri winning in Waco. 

It appeared to be the ultimate mismatch. Mizzou's lack of size and depth on the road against the endless length and big bodies that reside in Scott Drew's program. 

Missouri's non-conference body of work had been questioned. Then the diminutive and short-handed Tigers went on the road and got smacked in Manhattan by Kansas State a couple weeks ago. 

There were those -- myself included -- who needed to see more from Frank Haith's club. 

This is a team that has one legitimate post player in Ricardo Ratliffe. Haith had no option but to utilize Kim English -- a perimeter player -- on the inside as the power forward. 

The rebounding margin could be embarrassing against the Big Bad Baylor Bears. 

It was. For Drew & Co. 

Missouri actually won the battle on the glass on Saturday afternoon -- and held off Baylor in Waco on Saturday, giving the Tigers the inside track -- along Kansas -- for the Big 12 title. 

Haith's Tigers are now 18-1 with the lone loss coming at K-State. This team just dispatched of the third-ranked team in the nation on its home court, arguably the most impressive victory for any team this season. 

Missouri will host Kansas on Feb. 4 and then face the Jayhawks in Lawrence on Feb. 25. 

Those two games could determine the Big 12 crown and also whether Missouri can earn a No. 1 seed come March. 

Ratliffe was a man in the paint and pint-sized and jet-quick point guard Phil Pressey controlled the tempo, make life easier for his teammates and created havoc for Baylor's ball-handlers. On the "flip" side, Perry Jones III was a no-show for virtually the entire game while freshman Quincy Miller kept Baylor in the game. 

The final score, 89-88, wasn't indicative of how Missouri controlled this game. It was Mizzou dominance. On the perimeter, in the paint. Just about everywhere.

It's about time we started taking this team seriously. Yes, as a Final Four contender. 


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