Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 1:06 pm

Time-lapse vid of Carrier Classic transformation

By Matt Norlander

I feel the need, the need for speed-themed videos.

Time-lapse mini films have become instant viral feed in the past 12 months. There are plenty of really great ones out there, but over time, there's a diminishing-returns factor to them. No matter, I was wondering how the metamorphosis of a 60,000-ton ship into a basketball venue would take place. Someone was smart enough to perch a camera a few hundred feet above the USS Carl Vinson and document to slow-but-speedy transformation.

Lots of cranes, forklifts, the usual. The day/night turnover is also fun. The court looks a little more blasé than I'd expected, but this is a game taking place to honor our military, so it's appropriate to go straight-laced.


Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:39 am

Naismith Preseason Top 50 - Early Edition

By Jeff Goodman

The Naismith Preseason List will be released this afternoon, but CBSSports.com has obtained a bootleg copy of it (OK, not really - but that sounds cool).

Anyway, the major difference between the Naismith and the Wooden (and why I prefer the Naismith) is that it includes freshmen.

There were seven frosh on the Preseason list: Three from Kentucky (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague), Brad Beal (Florida), Andre Drummond (UConn), Quincy Miller (Baylor) and Austin Rivers (Duke).

Two teams - North Carolina and Kentucky - have four players on the list. UConn, Ohio State and Vandy each have a trio.

Here is the complete list:


Tim Abromaitis, F, Sr., Notre Dame
Harrison Barnes, F, Soph., North Carolina
Will Barton, G, Soph., Memphis
Brad Beal, G, Fr., Florida
William Buford, G, Sr., Ohio State
Aaron Craft, G, Soph., Ohio State
Anthony Davis, F, Fr., Kentucky
Marcus Denmon, G, Sr., Missouri
Andre Drummond, C, Fr., UConn
Festus Ezeli, C, Sr., Vanderbilt
Ashton Gibbs, G, Sr., Pittsburgh
Michael Glover, F, Sr., Iona
Drew Gordon, F, Sr., New Mexico
Draymond Green, F, Sr., Michigan State
JaMychal Green, F, Sr., Alabama
Tim Hardaway Jr., G, Soph., Michigan
Elias Harris, F, Jr., Gonzaga
John Henson, F, Jr., North Carolina
Tu Holloway, G, Sr., Xavier
Robbie Hummel, F, Sr., Purdue
Joe Jackson, G, Soph., Memphis
John Jenkins, G, Soph., Vanderbilt
Orlando Johnson, G, Sr., UC Santa Barbara
Darius Johnson-Odom, G, Sr., Marquette
Perry Jones III, F, Soph., Baylor
Terrence Jones, F, Soph., Kentucky
Kevin Jones, F, Sr., West Virginia
Kris Joseph, F, Sr., Syracuse
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Fr., Kentucky
Jeremy Lamb, G, Soph., UConn
Kendall Marshall, G, Soph., North Carolina
Ray McCallum, G, Soph., Detroit
Doug McDermott, F, Soph., Creighton
Khris Middleton, F, Jr., Texas A&M
Quincy Miller, F, Fr., Baylor
Reeves Nelson, F, Jr., UCLA
Andrew Nicholson, F, Sr., St. Bonaventure
Alex Oriakhi, C, Jr., UConn
Austin Rivers, G, Fr., Duke
Thomas Robinson, F, Jr., Kansas
Terrence Ross, G, Soph., Washington
John Shurna, F, Sr., Northwestern
Peyton Siva, G, Jr., Louisville
Josh Smith, C, Soph., UCLA
Jared Sullinger, C, Soph., Ohio State
Jordan Taylor, G, Sr., Wisconsin
Jeffery Taylor, G/F, Sr., Vanderbilt
Marquis Teague, G, Fr., Kentucky
Patric Young, C, Soph., Florida
Tyler Zeller, F, Sr., North Carolina
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:27 am

So this is what the Carrier Classic winner gets

By Matt Norlander

Was anyone really clamoring for a trophy to go along with the spectacle of the Carrier Classic?

Like it or not -- um, not is the verdict over here -- that hideous piece of hardware is going back to either East Lansing or Chapel Hill. Now, the cool part about the trophy is, it's made out of the same metal and wood that go into building an aircraft carrier. So that's a nice touch.

I guess it's equally as tasteful as it is ugly. I built prettier-looking things with Lego when I was 5. Don't get wrong here, I totally appreciate the craftsmanship, hard-working people and passion that went into this thing.

But what came out has the same amount of appeal as seeing Draymond Green in a bathing suit.

From QuickenLoansCarrierClassic.com, here's the story behind the trophy's genesis.
Created by the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Va., the trophy is crafted from the same molten pewter that is used in the construction of ships. As a matter of fact, many of the materials and processes used to create the trophy are the exact same materials and processes used to build the very ship on which the game will be played. Let’s think about that for a second. The trophy that will be awarded to the winning team was created in the same manner that the ship they are playing on was.
The award weighs 85 pounds -- or half the volume of Roy Williams. Lifting it over one's head probably requires two spotters and a waiver to be filled out.

Here's a video on how it came to be. The game is one week from today, when the season starts in earnest.

Photo via QuickenLoansCarrierClassic.com

Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 11:15 am

ACL injury benches Thompson for 2nd straight year

By Jeff Goodman

J.T. Thompson may have Robbie Hummel beat.

The Virginia Tech fifth-year senior tore his other knee on Wednesday afternoon, meaning he'll miss a second consecutive season.

Hummel, a star forward at Purdue, also suffered a pair of torn ACL's and has been out for nearly two years.

You've got to feel for both of these guys.

Thompson's injuries go beyond the ACL's. He also had a major ankle injury and a double-hernia. There was an MCL injury as well.

"He's such a good kid," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg told CBSSports.com. "It's brutal. He had worked his butt off and was playing great the last couple of weeks."

Thompson was slated to start this season. He averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior a couple years ago.

Greenberg said that injury came in practice as Thompson was driving baseline and spun around. Thompson could petition the NCAA for another year of eligibility next season, but Greenberg said they haven't discussed it yet.

This is the latest injury for a team that has been snakebitten over the last couple of years.

Thompson and Cadarian Raines have both missed the last two seasons, Dorenzo Hudson sat out nearly all of last year and Allan Chaney was diagnosed with a heart condition that has kept him off the court for the last two years.

"We're not looking at this as an excuse and feeling sorry for ourselves," Greenberg said. "It's disheartening for the kid, but there's no time for us to feel sorry for ourselves."

"We're not going to build an excuse," he added. "My heart goes out to the kid. He's done anything and everything he's been asked to do."

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 2, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 10:18 pm

Ranking the BCS leagues in strength of schedule

By Matt Norlander

I know, the season is almost here. Hope you've enjoyed a lot of what we've cooked up for you here at the blog and on the site. Now, here we have something I had blast doing, even if it took about a month to slowly boil to. I put more than 20 hours into the writing and research of the non-conference schedule piece that you can read about it right here. That chart is daunting -- yet, oh, so pretty -- in some ways, but easy to maneuver and systematize to your liking. I think you'll like it. I hope you do, at the very least.

Might I suggest you toss on some fun-loving background music and get to clicking. There's a lot to explore. Look at your favorite team and compare it with the rest of the BCS, or just within its conference. Feel free to link and share it, too. I hope to do something like that in some statistical arena of the game a couple of times each month throughout the season.

Season tips Nov. 7
There is one over-arching statistical database that didn't get into the chart, though. I wanted to showcase it to you here. It's the collective look at each major conference, and how each has prepared its dockets. The feature deals with schools and how they contrast with their brethren. This blog post is about the leagues as a whole.

Below, I've assembled and calculated the median conference ranking for the major stat categories in the aforementioned linked feature. The only omission is the 20-win teams total, as that factors well into the overall average win total, ranked first below.

All things considered, if I had to rank each conference's scheduling best to worst -- taking all statistical information at face value -- I’d say it goes:
  1. ACC
  2. SEC
  3. Pac-12
  4. Big East
  5. Big Ten
  6. Big 12
First, which league did the best job calling teams with the best record from 2010-11? The SEC.

Average Win Total Last Year
1) SEC: 17.6
2) Pac-12: 17.3
3) Big 12: 16.8
4) ACC: 16.6
5) Big Ten: 16.4
6) Big East: 15.7

With semi- and full-blown unpredictable factors in many non-conference schedules (read: early season tournaments with an assortment of possible opponents), the best, undeniable metric of a team's guts and gumption can be found in the true road game. Which league is bucking up and hitting opponents' gyms the most? The ACC. The Big 12 is a bunch of fraidy cats, I'm sorry to report.

True Road Games
1) ACC: 31
1) SEC: 31
3) Big East: 30
4) Pac-12: 27
5) Big Ten: 21
6) Big 12: 15

The inverse order the better here; the lower the number the lesser the cupcakes. Plenty of bad teams won 12 games last year, but to see which conference stockpiled on truly pitiful competition, look no further than the Big East and Big Ten.

Single-Digit-Win Opponents
1) Pac-12: 12
2) Big 12: 15
3) ACC: 16
3) SEC: 16
5) Big Ten: 22
6) Big East: 33

BCS opponents is a tricky barometer. You can have really good ones, and really bad ones. Over a conference's choosings, though, I think you get a fair estimation of what the league's doing. With 16 teams, no reason for the Big East not to be leading the way here. Huge contrast between two 12-team leagues, when you look at the SEC taking on 25 more Big Six teams than the Pac-12.

BCS Opponents
1) SEC: 43
2) ACC: 38
3) Big East: 37
4) Big Ten: 31
5) Big 12: 27
6) Pac-12: 18

Finally, which league scheduled the most teams that were in college basketball's premier event? The Big East steps up here.

2011 Tournament Teams
1) Big East: 37
1) SEC: 37
3) ACC: 36
4) Big Ten: 28
5) Pac-12: 24
6) Big 12: 22

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 2, 2011 5:17 pm

Maryland 7-footer hit with 10-game suspension

By Jeff Goodman

Maryland's Mark Turgeon won't have talented Ukrainian 7-footer Alex Len for the first 10 games.

That's the penalty imposed by the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon due to the amateurism rules. Len played on a pro club team overseas.

On the surface, it appears as though it's a crushing blow for Turgeon and the Terps.

But let's face it: Maryland is unlikely an NCAA tournament team this season - with or without Len for 10 contests.

This is a program that will take time to get back to national prominence - and Len, according to several who have seen him, could be a major factor in the resurgence.

“Alex has been working very hard to prepare himself for this opportunity,” Turgeon said in a statement. “We look forward to having him on the court and to see how he’ll fit into what we want to do offensively and defensively.”

The Terps, who will also be without guard Pe'Shon Howard for the first month or so of the season, are in need of talent on the frontline and while they will be thin for the first 10 games, the positive is that Len will be allowed to practice with the team.
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 10:40 am

Turgeon will limit small ball in College Park now

By Jeff Goodman

Mark Turgeon's version of Small Ball will be put on hold a while.

Following the news of Pe'Shon Howard's broken foot - which could sideline him anywhere from six weeks to three months (yes, that's a wide range) - Maryland's new head coach has had to re-assess.

"I really felt good about the eight guys we've got," Turgeon told CBSSports.com on Thursday afternoon.

Season tips Nov. 7
Now they are done to seven - at least for the early part of the season.

That's four perimeter players and three up front.

Turgeon was set to play an undersized lineup for much of the time that had Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley and either freshman Nick Faust or sophomore Mychal Parker. In that scenario, the 6-foot-4 Mosley would likely be at the four spot.

"We can't do that now - at least not as much," Turgeon admitted. "Not with just four perimeter guys. That makes it tough."

Turgeon raved about Stoglin's ability to score the basketball (and his abiliity overall) and also said that Parker has been extremely coachable - an area that's been questioned in the past.

He also said he's optimistic that Howard could return sooner than the 2-3 months that doctors project.

"I'm going to pray," he said.

Turgeon will also be praying that the NCAA doesn't hit Ukrainian 7-footer Alex Len with a stiff penalty. He's only got three big guys - and all three are unproven.

James Padgett averaged just 8.7 minutes per game last season, skilled senior Berend Weijs averaged 5.2 minutes and Ashton Pankey, who will bring a defensive/rebounding presence, redshirted last year.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:36 pm

Maryland loses Pe'Shon Howard for 2-3 months

By Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman

It was already going to be a long season for new Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.

He inherited a mediocre team at best following Gary Williams' offseason retirement. The Terps are painfully thin up front after Jordan Williams' decision to leave early for the NBA. The strength was in the backcourt - but now that's taken a hit as well with the news that sophomore point guard Pe'Shon Howard will miss about 2-3 months with a broken foot.

"I did it one day in practice," Howard told Borzello by phone. "I thought it was a cut, it didn't really hurt that bad."

He said the doctors think it's a broken bone in his left foot, right under his big toe. Because he will miss up to three months, redshirting is a potential option for Howard.

"We're not sure," he said. "We'll see an MRI and decide. I'm taking it a day at time. I'll talk to the coaches and see what they think."

Howard averaged 5.4 points and 3.2 assists last season, and was expected to be one of the top guards on the team. During the summer, he worked to become more of a coach on the floor -- getting players in the right position, cutting down on his turnovers.

Turgeon still has senior Sean Mosley and sophomore Terrell Stoglin - as well as talented freshman Nick Faust - on the perimeter. But Howard was set to be a key component if the Terps were to make any sort of postseason appearances.

"If healthy, we have a great team," Howard said. "But that's with everyone perfect."

Turgeon is also awaiting word from the NCAA on 7-foot Ukrainian Alex Len. Howard said he has not heard any new information about Len.

While Howard is disappointed, he will spend his time on the mend focusing on the system and X's and O's so he will be ready to roll when he finally gets healthy.

"I was really excited, but it's not like it's life or death. It's still basketball," Howard said. "I'll just keep learning and getting better."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com