Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Source: Memphis AD to announce retirement date

By Gary Parrish

Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson will announce Monday that he'll retire by the middle of 2012, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com on Sunday.

The news was first reported by MemphisRoar.com.

Johnson has been the Memphis athletic director since 1995. His tenure will be remembered as a time when the men's basketball program became a national brand and made four Elite Eights and one Final Four under John Calipari, but also for the NCAA violations that vacated the 2007-08 season. Johnson has been heavily criticized locally over the past year because the football program sank to an all-time low, and because he failed to get the athletic department properly positioned to receive an invitation to join a BCS-affiliated league.

Memphis fired football coach Larry Porter on Sunday.

He was only there two years.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 7:34 am

Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

By Gary Parrish

Syracuse University announced Sunday that associate head coach Bernie Fine has been terminated.

"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, (Syracuse associate men's basketball coach) Bernie Fine’s employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Syracuse University Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said via a statement on the school's athletics website.

This development comes on the same day audio was made public from a phone conversation between Fine's wife and Bobby Davis. Davis is one of three men who have alleged they were sexually abused by Fine while they were children. In the conversation, Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, appears to confirm that she was aware that Fine molested Davis. She said her husband "has issues."

"I know everything that went on, you know," she said on the call. "I know everything that went on with him ... Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues ... And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted. ... Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he's somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind."

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim last week strongly defended Fine and accused the first two alleged victims -- former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang -- of lying and trying to extort money. Boeheim released a statement late Sunday about an hour after Fine was fired and indicated he regretted attacking the accusers.

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," Boeheim said. "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged. I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight. What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor also released a statement late Sunday.

"All of us have the responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure that Syracuse University remains a safe place for every campus community member and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis on campus or in the community as part of our learning, scholarship, or work," she said. "We do not tolerate abuse.  If anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that this basic principle is reinforced."

The 65-year-old Fine was in his 36th season at Syracuse. He was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 17 after police confirmed they were investigating charges of molestation, and after ESPN aired interviews of Davis and Lang alleging Fine sexually abused them. The case seemed to stall for a few days after that, but police raided Fine's home Friday, and the damaging audio of the phone conversation between Davis and Fine's wife was made public early Sunday around the same time a third accuser publicly surfaced, too.

"It was the [Jerry] Sandusky stuff that came out that really made me think about it," the third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "A lot of people were slamming ESPN and Bobby for saying anything. I wanted to come out. ... It made me sick to see all that support for Fine at that point. I was positive he was guilty."

Tomaselli, 23, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he's told police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room the night before the Orange played Pittsburgh. He said Fine touched him "multiple times" in that one incident. Tomaselli's father, Fred Tomaselli, told the Associated Press that he thinks his son is lying.

"I'm 100 percent sure that Bernie Fine was never in contact with Zach," Fred Tomaselli said. "He never went to Pittsburgh to a game, never been to that arena. ... I brought him to a couple of games in Syracuse. We always sat in the nosebleed section and left after the game. He never stayed for any overnighters and never even got within shouting distance of Bernie."

Photo: AP

Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:02 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 7:23 pm

UConn wins with new/fun backcourt

By Gary Parrish

They were sloppy at times -- full of questionable decisions and questionable shots. That'll have to improve. And it will. And when it does, watch out. Because after watching Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright play together for the first time (that's Boatright jumping over Napier at UConn's First Night this year) in the fourth-ranked Connecticut's 78-76 overtime win over No. 22 Florida State on Saturday, I'm pretty sure I'm ready to call the tiny playmakers the nation's most entertaining backcourt. What they lacked in composure they made up for with excitement. What they lack in experience they'll gain soon enough.

Napier spent the afternoon bombing away.

He hit six of 13 3-point attempts.

Boatright was crossing anybody and everybody.

He slashed into the lane almost at will.

They took turns playing with the ball and off the ball.

Both seemed mostly comfortable in either role.

Napier finished with 26 points and Boatright got 14 -- none of which were bigger than the three that came via free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score and force overtime. It was the freshman's Darius Washington-moment, and he passed it with ease. These stakes were different than those stakes, sure; a bid to the NCAA tournament wasn't in the balance. This is November, not March. But it was still a pressure-packed moment considering this was a game featuring two ranked schools on national television, and Boatright handled it well.

"I was just thinking about winning," Boatright told CBSSports.com by phone. "I knew I had to make them."

Which is precisely what he did.

That it came in his college debut only made it more impressive.

Boatright, as you know, was caught accepting extra benefits from his summer coach before enrolling in college. The NCAA suspended him for six games. That forced him to miss UConn's first five ... plus Friday's loss to unranked UCF.

"It was tough sitting out," Boatright said. "No way to describe the feeling. Watching made me sick to my stomach."

But he won't have to watch anymore.

And he's going to make the Huskies a bigger problem than they otherwise would be in the Big East, because now Jim Calhoun has two dynamic ball-handlers to go with an All-American wing (Jeremy Lamb) and a pro big (Andre Drummond). Sprinkle in the pieces that are Alex Oriakhi, Tyler Olander, DeAndre Daniels and Roscoe Smith, and forget about how the Huskies look now. Think ahead to March and how they could look then.

It's scary.

The pieces are in place to compete for another title.

"We just got that last piece," Lamb told CBSSports.com by phone. "Boatright was great today. He gives us another ball-handler. So I don't know how long it's gonna take, but I think we'll get there. I think we're gonna get there."

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 26, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:01 am

President Obama to attend Towson-Oregon State

By Gary Parrish

Pat Skerry's home debut as Towson's head coach just became more noteable.


Because President Barack Obama and his family will attend.

Towson's opponent Saturday is Oregon State.

The Beavers are coached by President Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson.

The game tips at 2 p.m. ET. Fans have been encouraged to arrive earlier than normal because of what should be an unusual crowd and increased security measures at the arena, which is only about 60 miles from The White House. This will be the second college basketball game President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have attended this season. They were also courtside for the Carrier Classic between top-ranked North Carolina and Michigan State.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 25, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 6:40 pm

Notre Dame's Abromaitis tears ACL

By Gary Parrish

Notre Dame announced Friday that senior Tim Abromaitis tore his ACL in a morning practice.

Now his season -- and almost certainly his college career -- is over.

"Tim Abromaitis is one of the great stories in college athletics and represents everything that is good about college basketball," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "We are all disappointed for Tim because of all that he has meant to our program. He has been such a big part of our success over the past three seasons. Tim is such a special young man and an unbelievable representative of Notre Dame both on and off the basketball court."

Abromaitis was a lightly regarded recruit who turned into an All-Big East performer. The 6-foot-8 forward played just 3.3 minutes per game as a freshman, redshirted the following year, then averaged 16.1 points and 4.7 rebounds as a sophomore and 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior. He was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds this season.

It's unclear whether Abromaitis could get a sixth year of eligibility, and Brey told CBSSports.com on Friday that it's also unclear whether Abromaitis would even want one considering what he's already accomplished academically. Abromaitis graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in finance in May 2010 and received an MBA from the Mendoza College of Business in May 2011.

"We can put the waiver in for a sixth year, but what does Abro want to do will be the question," Brey texted. "There is nothing left to challenge him academically here anymore."

Photo: AP
Posted on: November 25, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 5:27 pm

SLU making shots, winning quality games

By Gary Parrish

When I spoke to Rick Majerus earlier this week it was clear to me that he liked his team and the direction of his program in general, but he kept coming back to the same phrase: "We've only won three games."

That was Majerus' way of tapping the breaks after a 77-64 win over Washington.

But now look.

The Billikens moved from 3-0 to 5-0 with Thursday's 62-51 win over Boston College and Friday's 80-68 win over Villanova, and now they're just a win over Oklahoma or Santa Clara away from winning the 76 Classic and breaking into the Associated Press and Coaches polls. They received votes in both last week and were the first team left out of the CBSSports.com Top 25 (and one).

So there's a reason for SLU fans to be excited -- and it's not just because the Billikens are undefeated.

Lots of teams are still undefeated because of how they schedule, but this is not a cupcake-induced record. SLU already owns wins over a Pac-12 school (Washington), an ACC school (Boston College) and a Big East school (Villanova), and the wins over Washington and Villanova are quality considering both of those teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25 (and one). Also worth noting: All of SLU's wins are by double-digits, meaning the Billikens are beating folks solidly and convincingly. And they're doing it with the 3-point shot.

SLU is averaging 8.4 3-point makes per game.

SLU is shooting 42.9 percent as a team from beyond the arc.

SLU made nine threes against Washington and 14 against Villanova.

So, yes, it's still early, and I suppose the Billikens could stop making shots in time. But that 3-0 record has now moved to 5-0, and it looks like Xavier and Temple are gonna have some company at the top of the Atlantic 10.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 24, 2011 12:25 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:33 am

Night Court: Duke remains undefeated in Maui

By Gary Parrish

(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 Wednesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Sixth-ranked Duke trailed at halftime and even with 75 seconds remaining before closing on an 8-0 run to beat No. 14 Kansas 68-61 in the title game of the Maui Invitational. The run was started and highlighted by Tyler Thornton. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining to put Duke ahead by two points, then another with 21 seconds remaining to stretch the lead to five. The Blue Devils are now 15-0 in the Maui Invitational. Simply put, they don't lose on that island -- especially when an opposing guard (in this case, KU's Tyshawn Taylor) has 11 turnovers.

(Other) Game of the day: Memphis played extra minutes for the second straight day, but this time, against Georgetown, the eighth-ranked Tigers lost. The final score was 91-88. Henry Sims did his best Jeronne Maymon impression. He got 24 points and eight rebounds, meaning opposing bigs averaged 28 points and 14 rebounds against Memphis in the Tigers' final two games in Maui. Translation: Post defense is a problem.

Win to brag about: A night after California got destroyed by a Big 12 school (Missouri), Stanford destroyed a Big 12 school (Oklahoma State). The Cardinal used a 32-7 run to break open a close game and win 82-67. Josh Owens finished with 21 points. He made 10-of-12 field goal attempts.

Loss to hide from: UCLA fell to 1-4 overall -- and 0-4 against Division I teams -- with a 79-63 loss to No. 15 Michigan. The Bruins are the nation's most disappointing team to date. They were ranked in the preseason Top 25 (and one).

Player who deserves improper benefits: Michael Glover got 34 points and 15 rebounds in Iona's 104-99 double-overtime win over Saint Joseph's. The 6-7 forward was 15-of-26 from the field. Nine of his rebounds were offensive.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Solomon Hill took six 3-pointers and missed five of them in No. 23 Arizona's 61-57 loss to San Diego State. The worst part about that stat is that Hill has never been a good 3-point shooter. He shot 22.2 percent from beyond the arc as a freshman and 35.4 percent last season. He entered this game shooting 30.0 percent. So why is he taking six 3-pointers in a game?

Numbers don’t lie

  • 4: That's the number of blocks Kentucky forward Anthony Davis had in the second-ranked Wildcats' 88-40 win over Radford. He's now averaging 4.4 blocks per game.
  • 6: That's the number of times Austin Peay has lost this season. The latest loss was a 94-93 loss at Detroit. The Governors are the nation's first six-loss team.
  • 31: That's the number of points No. 3 Ohio State is beating opponents by on average after a 103-68 win over VMI. The only team the Buckeyes haven't beaten by at least 31 is Florida.
Three other notable results
  • Michigan State won for the third time in three games since starting the season 0-2 with losses to North Carolina and Duke. The Spartans beat Milwaukee 68-55. Draymond Green had 18 points and eight rebounds.
  • Butler rallied from a 15-point deficit at home to beat Gardner-Webb 68-66. Chrishawn Hopkins made 7-of-14 shots and finished with 22 points.
  • No. 9 Baylor remained undefeated with a 75-65 win over UT-Arlington. That means the Bears didn't slip while Perry Jones missed the first five games because of an NCAA suspension that's now complete.
  • Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon only played two minutes in the Vols' 86-60 win over Chaminade. He was resting a tight Achilles tendon ... and just resting in general. The 6-foot-7 forward had played 40 minutes less than 24 hours earlier against Memphis.
  • Alabama forward Tony Mitchell had to leave the Crimson Tide's 82-45 win over Alabama A&M because of an ankle injury. He spent the final moments of the game sitting on the bench with his ankle wrapped. There's no official word on the severity of the injury, but Tuscaloosa News columnist Cecil Hurt Tweeted that coach Anthony Grant said it appeared to be "nothing more than an ankle sprain right now."
  • Louisville forward Rakeem Buckles has been cleared by doctors to start practicing. Buckles had been sidelined because of ACL surgery.
On tap: No. 4 Connecticut plays UNC-Asheville in the Bahamas while No. 22 Florida State plays UMass. Texas Tech and Indiana State play in Orlando. Oklahoma and Washington State play in Anaheim.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 23, 2011 12:22 am
Edited on: November 23, 2011 10:10 am

Night Court: Memphis-Tennessee was fun

By Gary Parrish

(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 Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Nothing like a double-overtime, high-scoring, up-and-down affair on a weekday afternoon to get the day started. So thank you, Memphis and Tennessee. It wasn't the prettiest game ever played, and I can't begin to make sense of Wesley Witherspoon traveling at the buzzer and giving UT a second chance to force a third overtime or even win. But the eighth-ranked (for now) Tigers 99-97 victory was ... exciting. And Jeronne Maymon was awesome. The UT forward got 32 points and 20 rebounds against a foul-plagued and disappointing Memphis front line. The last guy to post a 30-20 game in college basketball was named Blake Griffin. The year was 2009.

Win to brag about: Duke is rated higher, and the Blue Devils were the favorite. But that doesn't make their 82-75 win over the 15th-ranked Michigan any less impressive. The sixth-ranked Blue Devils got 20 points from Austin Rivers, 17 from Seth Curry, 17 from Ryan Kelly and 14 for Andre Dawkins. They were balanced, and they shot 5

Loss to hide from: Josh Smith is super talented. He should never score just one point in a college basketball game. But that's what he did in UCLA's 72-56 loss to No. 14 Kansas. He was 0-for-1 from the field with five fouls.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Jim Mower plays for Lafayette. You've likely never heard of him. But he went wild in the Leopards' 85-74 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The senior guard was 12-of-16 from the field, 10-of-13 from 3-point range. He finished with 37 points. That's a career-high.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Jorge Gutierrez took 11 shots, missed seven and finished with just 11 points in No. 20 California's 92-53 loss to No. 21 Missouri. (Frank Haith is off to an OK start, right?)

Numbers don’t lie

  • 14: That's how many games Mike Krzyzewski has won in the Maui Invitational. He's lost zero.
  • 15: That's how many assists North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall recorded in top-ranked North Carolina's 92-58 win over Tennessee State. I can't wait till next Wednesday night when Marshall goes head-to-head with Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor. (Yes, I plan to be in attendance.)
  • 24: That's the field goal percentage No. 7 Louisville held Arkansas State to in a 54-27 victory. ASU shot only 10 percent from 3-point range.

Three other notable results

  • Georgia lost by 24 to California on Monday but recovered nicely. The Bulldogs got 16 points from freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and beat Notre Dame 61-57.
  • Wisconsin shot 52.6 percent from the field, 48.1 percent from 3-point range and cruised -- and I mean really cruised -- to a 77-31 win over UMKC. Jared Berggren led the 11th-ranked Badgers with 21 points. He was 8-of-9 from the field.
  • No. 17 Pittsburgh continued to struggle with inferior teams. The Panthers only beat La Salle 73-69.å


  • Arkansas confirmed its fans worst fear on Tuesday -- that Marshawn Powell is done for the season with a knee injury. He was the Hogs' leading returning scorer and rebounder.
  • Steve Lavin did not coach St. John's in its x-x win over St. Francis because, according to the school, he's still recovering from surgery related to a cancer diagnosis.

On tap: No. 8 Memphis plays Georgetown in the afternoon. No. 6 Duke plays No. 14 Kansas at night.

Photo: AP

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