Tag:Big East
Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:15 am

Wakeup Call: How to improve the game

The LSU student section brought it, but UVa still got the win.(US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander

Have you ever done anything like this for someone before? // Brilliant idea, but I couldn't make it past Jan. 4 without ruining my year. // "What May Happen in the Next 100 Years" -- from 1900. // I'd absolutely embed this amazingly snarky, tongue-in-cheek Iowa video if not for the NSFW language. Click and laugh. // Football recruits can be just as high-maintenance as hoops ones ...

★ Last night was the first SEC road win for Virginia in program history.

★ Ken Pomeroy predictably gave a follow-up to my bad-offense piece and went so beyond what I was getting at. It's embarrassing how heartily I agree with his solutions.

★ UConn goes to Seton Hall tonight. Better game than most expected a month ago. The Drummond-doesn't-know-Herb-Pope is a non-issue, though.
★ Seth Davis' annual stock report is such a dense read. I can't recommend it enough, though.
Dayton losing Josh Benson is problematic for the Flyers.

★ I don't know if the Valley can get four bids, but it's getting three. I'm extraordinarily confident this will happen.
★ Ivan Aska, a valuable senior forward for Murray State, has a fractured fourth-metacarpal. Undefeated run coming to an end this week?

Tony Wroten has already done nice things. Later this year, he will do big things.

★ Doug Gottlieb has reached the point in the season where he's angering fan bases. I genuinely love when this happens. Please tell me Syracuse is on the hit list again this year.

That's just wrong!

★ One of the most underrated wins you'll see this week came in Athens, Ohio, last night. And they won despite 31 turnovers. Amazing.

★ Looking for another type of team ranking? Got one for you.

★ I've got a funky feeling this one will be close tonight.

► Some dude on Twitter was tweeting this video out to every person associated with college basketball media. So here you go, man. Elijah Johnson does something done on practice courts every day.

♬ If you don't know Umphrey's McGee, you don't know the best "improg" group out there. "Cemetary Walk" gets very Floydish at the 28-second mark, then bumps out of that about 15 seconds later. One of their better tunes. And just a supremely competent live band. If you like Widespread Panic, Phish, Disco Biscuits and moe., you either know of or are already into these guys, who hail from South Bend, Ind.

Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:30 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 4:38 pm

College basketball's December: in photos

By Matt Norlander

Here they are, some of the best stories captured through picture in the final month of 2011.

Carmelo Anthony attends Florida-Syracuse and reminds most in attendance that he is their God. (US PRESSWIRE)

Well, well ... who's that misunderstood rapscallion with the tan jacket and laptop cracked open? Looks like an earnest, eager young fella just dying to ask Jim Boeheim if he's sorry. (AP/Kevin Rivoli)

Jim Boeheim is sorry: confirmed. (US PRESSWIRE)

Anthony Davis blocks John Henson to give UK a win over UNC. Davis' home planet has still not been disclosed by Kentucky sports infromation. (AP/The News & Observer, Robert Willett)

Jae Crowder, right, and Vander Blue celebrate defeating the Washington Huskies during the Jimmy V Men's Basketball Classic on Dec. 6. It was a great game.
(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Kevin Dillard implores grumpy man at scorer's table for massage. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Kansas players high five the crowd after the Jayhawks defeated Ohio State on Dec. 10.  (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Just an unbelievable photo. I've heard the Jayhawk can be hired to creep out exes who can't let go. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kansas Jayhawk fans cheer at Allen Fieldhouse. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Elon's Kevin Blake gets perpendicular. (Elon athletics)

Billy Donovan's face really tells the story of pride that comes with winning the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Indiana's Victor Oladipo goes in for a dunk  against Stetson. Love the arm jolting into the frame. (AP/Darron Cummings)

Dick Vitale thanks the heavens Digger Phelps left him alone on Dec. 5, when he was honored at the University of Detroit.
(AP/Carlos Osorio)

Vitale is shown with some of his players during an unveiling of a basketball court in his honor at Calihan Hall.
(AP/Carlos Osorio)

Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates, right, punches Xavier guard Landen Amos. What shot. (AP/Al Behrman)

Kenny Frease gets out of the scrum while Cincy and Xavier players continue to disgrace the sport. (US PRESSWIRE)

Frease is unexplainably triumphant. Xavier coach Chris Mack looks unapprovingly in the background. (Frank Victores/US PRESSWIRE)

The split second after Christian Watford's shot fell through at the buzzer, giving IU what was then thought to be an incredible upset. We've since learned Indiana will be winning the 2012 national title. (US PRESSWIRE)

If I were an Indiana fan, I get thee to Kinko's and blow this up to three feet by six feet. Then I frame it. (Brian Spurlock/US PRESSWIRE)

Watford (2) celebrates with teammates, from left, Will Sheehey, Verdell Jones III and Victor Oladipo. (AP/Darron Cummings)

How can I not take advantage of a good fish-eye shot? (US PRESSWIRE)

Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III stands by his niece, Jania Hope Moten-Griffin during a ceremony honoring Griffin at halftime of the Bethune-Cookman game. I hope the Bears draft RG3. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

Missouri's Phil Pressey gets his fingers above a coral of others, saving the ball in the process. Meanwhile, Bill Simmons doppelganger continues to call game on radio. (AP/L.G. Patterson)

OH MY GOD JEFF WITHEY WILL KILL A M-----------. (Nick Krug/Lawrence Journal-World)

Thomas Robinson puts one up for two; Long Beach State's Edis Dervisevic simultaneously remembers he locked his keys in his car. (Nick Krug/Lawrence Journal-World)

Now we know how Mike Hopkins (left), Baye Keita (middle) and Jim Boeheim would react when placed in front of a Dallas Cowboys game on television.

Kevin Stallings reacts to hearing that Gary Parrish thinks highly of his team

Like last March, Kentucky beats North Carolina.

Ryan Boatright spots the pep band member who just won't stop staring him down

Tu Holloway: tortured soul, gangsta.

Xavier's Mark Lyons and Purdue's Lewis Jackson fight like toy soldiers while going after the orange
. (Getty Images)

Somebody help out Sean Miller here. This is getting awkward

How can you love this?

How can you not love THIS!

You can spend five minutes analyzing the reaction shots from Oral Roberts' win after the most unlikely buzzer-beater of the season.


"Seriously, man? We're trying to watch a game here." The guy in the brown jacket, to the right, wins this photo. In second is everyone else pictured completely ignoring the 200-pound body entering their lives. In last place is Phil Martelli, not pictured, who still hasn't released Todd O'Brien to play at UAB.

Without photogs, we miss out on things like this

I'm a huge sucker for photos that look like paintings. I'd love this one framed

Jeffery Taylor, no one will ever take a better picture of you playing basketball

Ryan Willen can't will the ball from going out of bounds

John Calipari is caught in mid-thought, presumably remembering how DeMarcus Cousins aged him four years

I now know more about Jeremy Lamb than I ever wanted. (Kim Klement/US PRESSWIRE)

No snark here. Enjoy it while you can, kid

Rick Barnes will resemble RoboCop by Selection Sunday

That's levitation, Holmes. Sam Thompson dunks against Indiana on New Year's Eve.
(Brian Spurlock/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:29 am

Wakeup Call: A new year for hoops, too

By Matt Norlander

One final look-back at 2011: the 10 most powerful front pages. // We are putting iPads in the hands of monkeys. // Did you miss this? Sneaky and scary that this bill was passed. If only the public could actually have it repealed. // Nobody panic, but a bunch of birds died from the sky again ...

★ Rutgers, that's a bad look, losing to South Florida after getting over on Florida last week. Consistency, etc.

Top 25 and One is up. See how we can tick you off.

★ Leftover stats to consider from Kentucky's win Saturday.

★ North Dakota is now without a nickname. The whole thing is dumb, NCAA. Just dumb. And I guess UND is without a moniker until 2015? If it's slow, post on this could be coming today.

★ The pay-the-players argument continues to fascinate me. I know a lot of folks get tired of it, but I don't -- and I don't think it's going away or quieting down.

★ When headline writers get obvious and lazy. The Towson story intrigues me -- most grand losing streaks and bad teams do.

Stupid-nice dunk from the Ohio State-Indiana game.

★ Now this is a diamond-in-the-rough stat. I'd love to investigate further.

Where will Khem Birch be visiting this week?

★ Billy Donovan says his team's home game against Yale was the first time Mike Rosario didn't scare him, defensively.

★ Very sad: 37-year-old high school coach in Jersey died after collapsing during a game last week.

★ It's not often Duke goes dark, but the Devils have been quiet for almost a month now.

★ From the best X/O source you could ask for, part of why Indiana's been so good this year.

► All my thanks to Tim Ryan for passing this along on Twitter. Not hoops-related, but how can I not share? It's just ... so ... not of this world? Are we sure this isn't a parallel universe?

♬ The first music rec of 2012: I wish we'd gotten more memorable material out of the D. Perhaps Tenacious D has something epic still up their sleeve, but its eponymous album, now more than a decade old, waits to be topped. Wonderboyyyyy ...

Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:22 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 10:27 pm

Night Court: Gates-less Bearcats win -- again

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 Sunday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Cincinnati became the third team to go into the Peterson Events Center and come away with a victory this season. Pittsburgh entered Sunday with a 156-14 mark in the building and the Panthers had won 62 of their past 66 home games at the Pete. The Bearcats won 66-63 and run their record since The Brawl to a perfect 6-0. 

Win to brag about: Akron has been difficult to figure this season. The Zips handed Mississippi State a win in Starkville early in the season and got another big road victory Sunday, a fairly easy 67-51 win at Marshall -- a team expected to challenge Memphis for the C-USA title. Five guys finished in double-figures in a game that was delayed for an hour due to a bent rim on one of the baskets. 

Loss to hide from: Pittsburgh is now 0-2 in the Big East and has lost three straight games overall after the setback to Cincinnati. Jamie Dixon has seen Khem Birch leave the program after 10 games and was without Travon Woodall again on Sunday as he sat out for precautionary reasons. 

Player who deserves improper benefits: Michigan freshman Trey Burke is making those in Ann Arbor say, "Darius Who?" Burke went for a career-high 27 points in a win over Minnesota and has made Michigan fans forget about last year's point guard Darius Morris -- who left early for the NBA. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Villanova's Dominic Cheek was a big-time recruit. Frankly, he just hasn't lived up to expectations. Cheek was just 2-of-10 from the field, 1-of-7 from long distance and had nearly as many fouls (5) as points (6) in 'Nova's loss at Marquette. 

Numbers don’t lie:

26: That's how many consecutive field goal attempts that Bowling Green's Torian Oglesby has converted. He was 10-for-10 in a loss to UTSA on Sunday. 

6: That's the number of times already this season that North Carolina sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall has managed double-figure assists. He had 11 in the rout over Monmouth. 

42: That's the percentage that North Carolina's trio of Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston are shooting from beyond the arc. They are a combined 72-of-173 this season. 

Three Other notable results:

Syracuse ran its record to 15-0 after an easy road win at DePaul. The Orange started 18-0 a year ago and the program's best start was 19-0 in 1999-2000. 

Marquette knocked off Villanova, 81-77, in Milwaukee. Darius Johnson-Odom went for 24 points and 'Nova fell to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in league play. 

Michigan jumped out to a 2-0 start in Big Ten play with a 61-56 victory over Minnesota in Ann Arbor. 


Rutgers talented freshman big man Kadeem Jack made his debut against Florida, playing three minutes in the win, and logged five minutes in the loss to South Florida. 

Joe Jackson's former summer league coach told CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish that the Memphis point guard won't transfer and will remain with the Tigers. 

Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin told CBSSports.com that Jarnell Stokes -- who has enrolled early -- won't play against his hometown Memphis Tigers even if he's cleared by the NCAA in time for Wednesday's game. 

On tap: 

It's a fairly light Monday, one that's headlined by a Big 12 matchup between Texas A&M and Baylor. Towson has its best shot of ending its futility streak prior to setting the Division 1 record when it hosts Northeastern at 7 p.m. ET. Marquette lost in Baton Rouge to LSU earlier this season. Now Trent Johnson gets a chance at what appears to be the third-best team in the ACC: Virginia. 

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 9:09 am
Edited on: December 30, 2011 9:16 am

Wakeup Call: 2011, it was good, but we'll see ya

By Matt Norlander

That is Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis at last night's Kansas game. She is beyond reproach in that cap. He looks like the lucky doofus he is. Let's get to the final Wakeup Call of the year.

Many are angry about Verizon's $2 fee to pay their bill, but if you set up autopay you're in the clear. // This thing, this horrifying more-than-animal, didn't get discovered until 2011. // Boston as America's drunkest city, since I guess we're celebrating such a thing. // Cringe-worthy after-date text-messaging. We all know someone like this. The question is, were/are YOU like this? ...

Nice move by former Rutgers guard Mike Rosario after last night's loss against his former team.

★ Insane story: Juco school with 13-3 record kicks all but two players off its team and forfeits the rest of its season.

★ Boston College is not good this year. Think how good it would be if all these players were still on the team.

★ George Blaney's multitude of looks will get your weekend off to the right start.

★ If you'd like to see the personal side of Seth Davis, you'd best read this start to finish.

★ And here's Seth's 10 predictions for hoops in 2012. His final one I'd love to see happen, of course, but we'll disagree.

★ Good hustle from Jeff Eisenberg to present the back story on the revival of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry.

★ The cookie is great, but the Christmas card from DeMarcus Cousins is beyond words.

★ I'd absolutely put the A10 and Mountain West ahead of the Pac-12 right now, wouldn't you?
★ A Stanford pick to win the Pac-12. I can see it happening.

★ This was great: a thorough takedown of the primary reason Washington State is limited.

★ The work of an occupied headline writer with more important matters to attend to.

The case is made for Louisville-Kentucky being a better rivalry thank any other in college hoops.

► This ought to get you fired up for tomorrow at noon.

♬ We'll close up shop in 2011 by playing one of my favorite songs off one of my favorite 2011 albums. My Morning Jacket is the best live rock act going. "The Day Is Coming" is a good lookahead to twenty twelve.

Pic via Twitter
Posted on: December 29, 2011 5:21 pm

$4.5 million gift gives UConn practice facility

By Matt Norlander

Some seriously good news for UConn came down today. The school announced its largest donation toward athletics in school history-- a $4.5 million gesture that will go toward building a practice facility. The donation was made by the Werth family, located in Woodbridge, Conn., which is a town where I once refereed a private school basketball game. There are many white fences.  

“The entire University of Connecticut community is grateful to the Werth family for the leadership role they are taking with this generous commitment towards the building of our new men’s and women’s basketball facility,” Susan Herbst, the president of UConn, said in a statement. “This historic gift will help us maintain the excellence that has long been synonymous with our University and its outstanding athletic programs.”

So, who are the appropriately named Werths? Peter Werth is the founder and CEO of Chemwerth Inc., which is a 29-year-old "drug development and supply company" in the Nutmeg State. Werth has been one of the biggest boosters at UConn for eight years.

“We are proud to make this commitment to UConn and its outstanding basketball programs,” the Werths said in a statement. “UConn Basketball is part of the fabric of our state, and we know that this facility will help the men’s and women’s teams be successful for years to come.”

The strange thing is ... I'm not so sure UConn needs a practice facility. Who knows; maybe it does. But Gampel Pavilion is smack-dab in the middle of the campus, and players are in there constantly. This will be another way to lure recruits, and in fact the facility probably won't even be finished until the end of/after Jim Calhoun's tenure.

New toys in the shapes of buildings are always morale-boosters and recruiting weapons. UConn just received quite the addition to its arsenal.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 10:14 am

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

By Jeff Goodman

Khem Birch wants to make a couple things clear. 

First of all, he didn't bolt Pittsburgh because he's in a rush to get to the NBA. Second, he didn't leave because of those around him telling him that Jamie Dixon's program wasn't best for him. 

Birch said he left because he wasn't happy at Pittsburgh and didn't feel it was the right fit. The soft-spoken Canadian, who left the Panthers after just 10 games, admitted that he didn't "bond with the players on the team" -- and that the style of play wasn't ultimately one that suits his game in an ideal manner. 

"Coach (Jamie) Dixon is a great coach and a terrific person," Birch told CBSSports.com from his home in Canada. "I just didn't think it was the best place for me." 

The bottom line is that Birch, who was the highest rated recruit in Dixon's tenure, wasn't happy. There are some who felt he should have stuck it out longer, but Birch said that he and his mother decided it was best for him to play elsewhere. 

"I'm not in a rush to get to the NBA," he said "I know I have a lot of work to do." 

Birch reiterated that he wants to go somewhere more up-tempo and a spot where he can develop his four-man skills. "I want to play more four," he said. "That's one of the main reasons I went to Pittsburgh in the first place. I know I don't have the four-man skills yet, but I want to develop them." 

He said that several schools have expressed interest thus far. His early list includes Florida, UNLV, Gonzaga, Washington, Xavier and New Mexico State. Birch is close with fellow Canadian Kevin Pangos at Gonzaga and also developed a friendship with big man Sim Bhullar - who is at New Mexico State. 

"I'm going to try and take a few visits soon," he said. "I just want to make the right decision." 

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