Tag:Mike Rice
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:35 am

Notebook: Big East Media Day news and notes

By Jeff Borzello

NEW YORK – Conference media days are a dream for writers that want a lot of information and people in one place. Simply put, they provide a treasure trove of nuggets on each team in the league. There were too many leftovers in the notebook to leave out and not share with everyone. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits gathered on Wednesday at Big East Media Day.

- Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis was recently suspended for four games after the NCAA ruled on a violation he committed three years ago. “We tried to fight it, but a rule is a rule,” Abromaitis said. “I accepted it.”

- Who will replace Ben Hansbrough at the point guard spot? Sophomore Eric Atkins (above), who led the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio last season. “He was our sixth man last year, but he’s ready to elevate his game,” Abromaitis said.

- Sophomore Jerian Grant received rave reviews for his work over the summer and in the early part of the fall. “He’s playing really well,” Abromaitis said. “He’s learning things as a player, moving without the ball, guarding his man. That’s what we’ll need him to do.”

- DePaul received three pieces of bad news in the past week. Junior forward Tony Freeland will miss the season with a shoulder injury, while freshman Montray Clemons is done for the year after rupturing a tendon in his knee. Moreover, the NCAA ruled freshman Macari Brooks ineligible. “We thought we were pretty deep,” head coach Oliver Purnell said. “We can’t afford any more injuries.”

- Purnell thinks Cleveland Melvin (right) is somewhat underrated on a national level, after averaging 14.3 points and winning Big East Rookie of the Year honors. “Probably so,” Purnell said. “He had a good freshman year and a really good summer.”

- Rutgers brought in a highly-touted freshman class – and the incoming guards are impressing early on. “Our guards have a little more experience than our big men,” forward Dane Miller said, pointing to Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears. Coach Mike Rice, however, thinks Eli Carter could make more of an impact than both of them. “He might lead my freshman in points per game.”

- Rice is impressed with Kansas State transfer Wally Judge. “He’s a physical specimen. He just has to develop that consistency.”

- Forward Kadeem Jack will likely be out until mid-January with a foot injury. Jack was looking like he would have a major impact in the frontcourt. “He’s somebody where the light was already on,” Rice said.

- Marquette forward Jae Crowder is pegging sophomore Vander Blue (right) as a true breakout performer. “He had a great summer, played in the Pro/Am, played for USA basketball,” Crowder said. “His confidence is up; last year, he lost confidence. A lot of pressure is on him.”

- Out of the freshmen, California native Juan Anderson has stood out the most to Crowder. “He’s athletic, he goes hard, has a great motor,” Crowder said. “Buzz [Williams] loves it, I love it.”

- Despite the loss of three starters from last season, West Virginia forward Kevin Jones thinks highly of this year’s team. “This is the most talented team I’ve been on,” he said – and that includes the Elite Eight group that had Da’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks.

- Freshman point guard Jabarie Hinds was cleared to play late in the process, but he’s already been impressive. “He had to catch up,” Jones said. “But he’s looking real good, doing the right things.”

- With Czech Republican native Patrik Auda and Latvian guard Haralds Karlis in the fold, Seton Hall has taken a foreign turn recently. “It’s fun,” guard Jordan Theodore said. “I’m trying new foods, trying to teach them slang.”

- Fun fact: Auda knows five languages – Dutch, Spanish, Czech, English and Russian.

- Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson said the Hoyas still laugh about the infamous brawl in China over the summer. “It was a great bonding experience,” Thompson said.

- Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, Dwyane Wade and other NBA players came back to Georgetown to work out during the lockout. Thompson said the one who benefitted the most was Henry Sims, who played against Hibbert on a regular basis.

Photo: US Presswire (Eric Atkins, Cleveland Melvin, Vander Blue)

Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:28 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 9:32 pm

Mike Rice: Kadeem Jack had started to mature

By Jeff Goodman

First it was Mo Creek. Now Kadeem Jack.

Indiana's Creek had surgery on Monday and will likely be lost for the season while Jack, a talented Rutgers freshman big man, will miss the next 3-4 months due to a broken bone in his right foot.

"It's tough because he was really making progress," Rutgers coach Mike Rice told CBSSports.com on Monday. "He had really started to mature."

Jack is raw, but plenty of big-time schools saw the upside in the Trinidad native - including North Carolina.

He ultimately chose Rutgers and it was considered a major coup for Rice and his staff.

The tough part is that Jack will not be able to take a medical redshirt because he enrolled in the middle of last season and redshirted.

Jack's progress will be hindered with the injury, but Rice said he expects to have him back in the fold at some point in January.

"He's an energy guy who can rebound the ball and he runs like a two-guard," Rice said. "It's not like we're asking him to score 20 or run the team. He's an energy guy and he'll be able to come back and play quickly."

"He has gifts athletically that a lot of people don't have - especially at 6-9" he added. "He was starting to get stronger and put together the fundamentals."

Now Rice said that freshmen big men Derrick Randall and Greg Lewis will likely become the beneficiaries of Jack's absence for the first few months of the season.

"I was probably going to redshirt one of them," Rice admitted. "Now they'll probably get Kadeem's 20 or so minutes."

Rice was also raving about the rest of his freshman class: Guards Myles Mack, Jerome Seagears and Eli Carter.

The young core will team with sophomore Gil Biruta and Kansas State transfer Wally Judge over the next few years. Dane Miller and Austin Johnson are the only upperclassmen on the team and both are juniors.

"We're going to be pretty good in a couple of years," Rice said.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 10:30 am

Rutgers pioneers Big Lebowski-style recruiting

"Gutter ball! Drop and give me twenty!"

Posted by Eric Angevine

You hear a lot of crazy stories these days about the lengths a coach will go to when he wants to land a prized recruit. Aggressively friendly women, intoxication and the occasional luxurious gift make headlines from time to time.

In case you're worried about what Mike Rice is doing at Rutgers, it seems things are pretty much above board. Jerry Carino of New Jersey Hoops Haven recently told the story of an unlikely bonding experience that helped Rice and the Scarlet Knights land two coveted players.

The website for Lucky Strike Lanes, an upscale bowling lounge on the West Side of Manhattan, invites patrons to “eat, drink and knock down pins.” 

It says nothing about doing push-ups.

No matter to members of the Rutgers men’s basketball team. There they were, on a Friday night in mid-April, dropping and giving 20 on the spot after losing an intrasquad bowling match.

“In this program, if you lose you do push-ups,” Rutgers coach Mike Rice said. “It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing.”

The players were there entertaining recruits Eli Carter and Wally Judge, and the evening apparently made a good impression because both eventually committed to Rice.

“It was a good time. I meshed with the players real good,” said Carter, who wound up doing push-ups with the losers despite rolling an impressive 170 in the second game. “That part was funny.”

That's right. An evening of rented shoes and punitive calesthenics turned out to be a positive aspect of the recruiting process for Rice, who begins his second season at Rutgers in fine style, landing a scoring combo guard and a burly 6-foot-9 forward who showed flashes of top-notch potential in his two years at Kansas State.

Apparently, it's not all nudie bars and free Navigators at the highest echelons of college hoops recruiting. Sometimes heat-lamp pizza and an extra frame or two is all it takes.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 8:43 pm

Rice's response makes refs look even worse

Posted by Matt Norlander

NEW YORK — Who would’ve blamed Mike Rice if he had Jim Boeheim/Jim Calhoun-like moment?


The referees screwed up the ending of the Rutgers-St. John’s game in a way that wasn’t with precedent this year, and is extremely unlikely to be duplicated any time soon. Because of a no-call (read: a lazy no-call; a no-call that should bring down a punishment for three officials who are considered on the level of a tenured professor), Rutgers didn’t have a chance to earn an upset. It’s unlikely Rutgers would’ve won against St. John’s, but of course that’s not the point.

The point is they didn’t get the chance. The point is the game ended 65-63, Red Storm. Rice had his chance to blow off some steam. He did that on the court, when he thought a foul was committed on Robert Lumpkins. Then, after he saw the video on his SID’s iPhone, Rice, maybe let loose some more—behind closed doors.

But when put in front of hundreds of media members, Rice was reasonable, funny, understanding and paced.

“It’s a judgment call,” he said. “It’s something three great officials — I’ve had ‘em all throughout the year, impeccable reputation, it’s unfortunate. Believe me, there is going to be blood coming through my tongue right now, but it’s what it is. We’re going to control how we respond.”

And so Rice took question after question about the final 10 seconds of the game. When a mistake is this grand, everything else that leads up to it is deemed insignificant.

“Was there a mistake made? I saw it on YouTube,” he said. “There was a mistake. They will admit it.”

To the Big East’s credit, the conference immediately did. It came out with an official response. It reads:

“The Big East acknowledges that two separate officiating errors occurred at the conclusion of the St. John’s vs. Rutgers game. Both missed violations should have caused the game clock to stop and a change of possession to occur prior to the endof the game. Neither error is reviewable or correctable under NCAA playing rules.”

The officials, for the record, were Tim Higgins, Jim Burr and Carl Walton.

The reason why Rice wins here: he remained composed. He was self-deprecating and made light of the situation as best he could. Not a lot of coaches can or are willing to do that. Especially when they’ve just lost their last chance to earn an NCAA bid.

“I was a lunatic, to be honest with you,” he said. “And I lost some self-control, I admit it, and I thought he (Lumpkins) got — again, it was a judgment call. Had I known it was 1.2 (seconds), I might have literally held on, done a Van Gundy and held one of their legs on the court.”

So what do we learn? Foremost, we learn Rutgers made the right choice in choosing Rice last spring after it fired Fred Hill. In his most-exposed moment this season, the Scarlet Knights’ head coach handled himself in a way that flies in the face of what the three men in stripes did at the end of the game.

Photo: AP

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