Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:17 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 8:36 pm

Khem Birch chooses UNLV over Florida

By Jeff Goodman

It’s only been three weeks, but the recruitment of Khem Birch has taken plenty of twists and turns since rumors first started that he was leaving Pittsburgh.

On Monday, it ended: Birch is headed to UNLV, a source told CBSSports.com.

The 6-foot-9 Canadian power forward chose the Runnin’ Rebels over Florida. Xavier, Gonzaga, New Mexico and others were also in the mix at one point.

Birch was the highest-ranked player to ever commit to the Panthers, but he left the program after 10 games. He said in late December that he didn’t bond well enough with his teammates at Pittsburgh, and also that the style of play wasn’t ideal for him.

He averaged 4.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks at Pittsburgh.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:06 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 2:15 pm

Todd O'Brien to CBSSports: 'I'll waive anything'

                                                                                                                                                                                       (US Presswire)

By Jeff Goodman

Todd O'Brien told CBSSports.com he's willing to sign anything, waive anything -- in order for Saint Joseph's to finally divulge the reason why it hasn't allowed him to play this season at UAB. 

"I have nothing to hide," O'Brien said on Monday. ""I'll sign whatever they want. "

A call to Saint Joseph's athletic director Don DiJulia was not immediately returned Monday in an effort to see if the school had any response to O'Brien's willingness to waive student privacy laws. 

O'Brien, if you recall, averaged one point per game last season at St. Joe's and transferred to UAB. He was hoping to take advantage of the NCAA's rule which allows a player to utilize his final season of eligibility immediately - pending he has graduated and will study a major that wasn't offered at his previous institution. 

St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli and the administration didn't sign off on O'Brien being allowed to compete at UAB this year -- and the NCAA upheld the decision. 

O'Brien told CBSSports.com his latest appeal by the NCAA was denied. 

No one truly knows the reason that St. Joe's hasn't allowed O'Brien the opportunity to finish his college career. 

There has been speculation that O'Brien's involvement in a stolen laptop incident -- one in which he was cleared -- played a factor. Others believe it's because Martelli felt O'Brien wasn't truthful and used the school to pay for summer classes while he knew he was transferring. There are those who feel as though Martelli won't sign it because O'Brien isn't going to UAB for academics. 

"We respect the fact we can't comment," St. Joe's athletic director Don DiJulia told CBSSports.com last week. "Due to federal privacy laws." 

But now O'Brien has made it clear he will waive whatever laws exist so that the school is forced to state its case. 

"I just want the truth to come out," O'Brien said. 

Martelli told CBSSports.com last week it was an NCAA matter and that his position remains in tune with the university. 

"That's all I can say," Martelli said. "We stand by the NCAA's decision." 

"The problem is that the NCAA is saying it's St. Joe's decision and the school is putting it on the NCAA," O'Brien said. "It's ridiculous." 

What's ridiculous is if St. Joe's continues to remain tight-lipped.

Posted on: January 8, 2012 5:48 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 (17-0)
  2. Kentucky (15-1)
  3. North Carolina (14-2)
  4. Baylor (15-0)
  5. Michigan State (14-2)
  6. Indiana (15-1)
  7. Ohio State (15-2)
  8. Duke (13-2)
  9. UNLV (16-2)
  10. Missouri (14-1)
  11. Kansas (12-3)
  12. Georgetown (13-2)
  13. Kansas State (12-2)
  14. Louisville (13-3)
  15. Virginia (14-1)
  16. Michigan (13-3)
  17. Creighton (13-2)
  18. San Diego State
  19. Seton Hall (14-2)
  20. Murray State (16-0)
  21. Gonzaga (13-2)
  22. Mississippi State (13-3)
  23. Marquette (12-4)
  24. Wisconsin (12-5)
  25. Alabama (12-3)
  26. West Virginia (12-4)
Posted on: January 7, 2012 9:33 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 11:21 am

Night Court: Mizzou, Florida, Louisville all fall

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 Saturday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: No surprise that it was the tilt between Louisville and Notre Dame. These two teams had gone to overtime each of the last three times they met - and this one went to double-overtime before Notre Dame came out on top. The Cards had won 20 straight at the Yum! Center before losing two straight - one to Georgetown and now against the Irish. Notre Dame's Eric Atkins made the game-winning on a pull-up with 14.5 seconds left in double-OT. 

Most exciting game: Stanford's 103-101 quadruple-overtime win over Oregon State in Corvallis. Stanford's Josh Owens' bucket at the end of regulation came just after time had expired -- and the game-winner wasn't until the fourth overtime when Chasson Randle hit a shot with 37 seconds remaining. There were 171 field goal attempts in the game. 

Win to brag about: Kansas State didn't just beat undefeated Missouri. Frank Martin's club, coming off a poor loss to in-state rival Kansas in Lawrence, dominated the Tigers. Rodney McGruder led the way, but this was a team effort - especially on the defensive side. The final score. 75-59. 

Loss to hide from: Cincinnati had reeled off seven consecutive wins since The Brawl - including one at Pittsburgh. The Bearcats had renewed promise of climbing back into the NCAA tournament picture, but those hopes took a significant step back with a loss at home to St. John's. The Red Storm blew a late lead, but came away with the win after a game-winning tip from freshman Moe Harkless. 

Another one to hide from: Florida State was believed to be the No. 3 team in the ACC behind North Carolina and Duke. The Seminoles are now 9-6 overall and got thumped on the road against a mediocre Clemson team. Leonard Hamilton's team has dropped three of its last four games - including a triple-overtime setback at home against Princeton. 

And yet another: UConn got Jim Calhoun back, but the Huskies lost their second straight on the road - this time at Rutgers. It followed a setback at Seton Hall with associate head coach George Blaney running the show. Rutgers has now taken down Florida and UConn on its home court in the last week or so.  

Player who deserves improper benefits: Iowa State's Royce White is one of the best passing big men to come around in a while. The Cyclones finished with a triple-double -- 10 points, 18 boards and 10 assists -- in a 74-50 rout over Texas A&M in College Station. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: As good as Louisville's Russ Smith has been lately, the Cardinals guard was just 1-for-9 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc and finished with just three points in the double-overtime loss to Notre Dame. 

Numbers don’t lie:

0: That's how many points Xavier point guard Tu Holloway managed. It was the first time Holloway went scoreless since his freshman season. 

11: That's how many double-doubles West Virginia's Kevin Jones has this season after going for 22 points and 16 boards in a win over Georgetown. 

17-0: Syracuse began the season with 17 straight wins last season - and Jim Boeheim's club has done it again after holding off a late Marquette charge. 

3-0: Colorado's record in Pac-12 play, which means the Buffs are in first place in the league. No one expected that. Not even Tad Boyle. 

Five Other notable results:

Florida lost in Knoxville to Tennessee and the Gators will likely fall out of the Top 25. First it was Rutgers and now Tennessee. 

Virginia Tech lost at Wake Forest, 58-55. That's not good news for Seth Greenberg and the Hokies - who will likely be on The Bubble again this March. 

Xavier got a win at Fordham, 67-59. The Musketeers needed this one badly after losing five of six since The Fight. 

Duke struggled to get a win at Georgia Tech. The final score was 81-74, but it was closer than that. 

Temple knocked off Duke earlier in the week. Dayton defeated the Owls in Philly, 87-77. 


Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, following the loss at Temple, opted to start freshman Quinn Cook at point guard and also re-insert Miles Plumlee into the starting lineup. 

Marquette coach Buzz Williams told CBSSports.com that big man Chris Otule will have season-ending knee surgery Tuesday. 

Kentucky wing Stacey Poole is transferring to Georgia Tech, according to numerous reports. 

Towson set an NCAA Division 1 record with its 35th consecutive setback in a 75-38 loss to Old Dominion. 

On tap: 

Sunday isn't loaded, but there are a few quality matchups. Here's what leads the way: 

Wisconsin at Michigan, 1:30 p.m. ET - The Badgers are struggling and Michigan is coming off a tough loss at Indiana. 

Purdue at Minnesota, 6 p.m. - After the slip-up at Penn State, Robbie Hummel & Co., can ill-afford to slip-up against a Minnesota team that is 0-3 thus far in Big Ten play.

Maryland at N.C. State, 6 p.m. - One of these teams could finish in the Top 5 of the ACC, so this game could be important down the line. 

VCU at Drexel, 8 p.m. - Shaka Smart's team is 2-1 in CAA play while Drexel is 1-2. However, this is an intriguing league matchup. 

Posted on: January 7, 2012 7:32 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 7:33 pm

Marquette starting center's season over

By Jeff Goodman

Marquette junior big man Chris Otule's season is over.

Otule suffered a left knee injury on Dec. 6, but was making progress and Marquette coach Buzz Williams anticipated he would return sometime in Big East play. 

However, Williams told CBSSports.com -- shortly after his team's loss at Syracuse on Saturday -- that Otule will have season-ending surgery on Tuesday after a setback last week. 

"We will apply for a sixth-year two years from now," Williams said. 

Otule wasn't a guy who put up impressive numbers (5.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg), but he was key for Williams because he was a legitimate center. Now the Golden Eagles are either forced to play Davante Gardner extended minutes or have to play forwards Jae Crowder or Jamil Wilson in the middle. 

Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:15 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 5:44 pm

Mizzou suffers 1st loss; size, schedule exploited

By Jeff Goodman

Missouri's strength of schedule, no matter how you cut it, was lackluster. The RPI has the Tigers strength of schedule in the low 200's and for good reason. 

The Tigers had played just one "true" road game in their 14-0 start, a close call last weekend at an Old Dominion team that is young and still trying to find its identity. 

The wins that appeared impressive -- routs over Cal and Notre Dame in nearly Kansas City, a victory over Villanova in New York and a win against Illinois in St. Louis -- don't look all that powerful any more.  None of those four teams are locks to make the NCAA tournament and it's not crazy to claim all four could wind up as NIT teams. 

Well, Missouri took its first loss on Saturday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum, where the Tigers were truly never even in the game against Kansas State. 

Now, let's be clear: Road wins in league play are tough to come by. Just ask Georgetown, which lost Saturday at West Virginia; or Florida, which dropped one at Tennessee. But for those who tabbed Missouri as the Big 12 favorites after its hot start, let's wait a while. 

Sure, their offensive numbers are eye-popping. They've been extremely effective and efficient. Marcus Denmon has All-American'ish numbers. Kim English has shot the you-know-what out of the ball and Phil Pressey has controlled tempo and make plays when necessary as the Tigers have climbed their way into the Top 10. 

But this is a team that could have difficulty in league play.

Kansas State is a difficult place to play and the Wildcats, despite getting smacked by Kansas in Lawrence earlier in the week, are a fringe Top 25 team. The Wildcats crushed Missouri in the paint. 

Remember, Missouri has just one legitimate big man in Ricardo Ratliffe. Virtually no depth on the frontcourt. 

K-State exploited its size advantage - and if Mizzou thought the Wildcats were big, strong and long, just wait until they see Kansas and Baylor. 

Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:35 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:44 am

Jay Wright, Jamie Dixon appear unlikely to dance

No Dixon, no Wright in the tournament? It's looking more likely, folks. (AP)

By Jeff Goodman

Jay Wright and Jamie Dixon were supposed to, at one time before Pittsburgh decided to bolt for the ACC, carry the torch for the Big East once senior citizens Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun left. 

Wright and Dixon have been two of the hottest coaches in America over the past few years. Both have spurned no shortage of big-time suitors and both have built their programs into national contenders. 

Both may be watching the NCAA tournament as spectators this season. 

Wright has led 'Nova to seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances - including an Elite Eight in 2006 and a Final Four in 2009. But this current group is just 7-8 after last night's home loss to South Florida. 

Dixon may not have led the Panthers to a Final Four, but he's been just as successful, going to the Big Dance in each of his eight seasons since taking the reigns from Ben Howland. Dixon actually had a chance to go to the Final Four, but lost to Wright in the Elite Eight in 2009. 

Now his team has lost four straight for the first time in the Dixon Era following last night's road setback to DePaul. The Panthers sit -- along with 'Nova and Providence -- at the bottom of the Big East with an 0-3 mark. 

Villanova, with a sub-.500 overall mark, has virtually no shot of getting to the NCAA tournament this season unless the Wildcats go on an insane run in the Big East. 

Pittsburgh has dug itself quite a hole with losses to two mid-tier Big East teams (Cincinnati and Notre Dame) as well as DePaul. The Panthers most impressive win to date? I'm not sure there is one. 

Dixon needs Travon Woodall back. He has missed eight games due to injury -- including the losses to Wagner, Cincinnati and Depaul. He played 18 minutes in the setback against Cincinnati, but was ineffective and has missed two games since. 

With Woodall, the Panthers can still make a run. However, he needs to come back healthy soon. Next up is a home game against Rutgers, but then comes the key stretch whether Pittsburgh can jump back into the NCAA tournament equation. Four of its next five come against ranked teams - including road games at Marquette and Syracuse to start. 

Just about everyone has down years. It happened to Kentucky in the Billy Clyde Gillispie Era, Jim Calhoun and Roy Williams were in the NIT not all that long ago. 

But few saw this coming with both Dixon and Wright. 

Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:22 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 4:12 pm

Louisiana-Lafayette wins game with six on court

By Jeff Goodman

I wasn't a math major, but I sure can tell from the video below that Louisiana-Lafayette had six players on the court for the game-winning possession. 

I was also taught that that's one more than is allowed. 

Unfortunately, the officiating crew didn't catch it - and Western Kentucky was on the losing end of a game-winning shot because they had to guard six players for the final 21 seconds of overtime. 

Hilltoppers coach Ken McDonald had no idea that Louisiana-Lafayette had six players on the court until after the final horn sounded. 

The game was tied at 70-all as Lafayette inbounded the ball with 21 seconds remaining in overtime. The officiating crew had no idea that the Ragin' Cajuns had an extra player on the court. 

The officials are supposed to count the number of players on each sides on the floor. 

"It's a hard pill to swallow," said McDonald, who team nearly forced a turnover despite being a man down. "What really hurts is the kids. They really played hard." 

"The refs made a mistake," he added. 

McDonald said by the time everyone figured out what had transpired, the officiating crew was already off the court. He was told that he can't appeal. 

"Once they leave the court, you can't review it," McDonald said. "From what I've been told, you can't appeal it, either." 

McDonald was surprisingly calm for a coach whose young team (he starts four freshmen) could have used this victory. 

"It's a tough way to lose," McDonald said. "But we can still take a lot of positives from this game." 

Video via Tim Burke of Deadspin, who was on the ball with this shortly after it ended.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com