Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 1:26 pm
By Gary Parrish
Looks like Mike Rosario will get to play against his former school after all.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday that the reserve wing -- who spent his first two seasons at Rutgers -- participated in practice Monday and went full-contact on Tuesday, according to the Gators' official Twitter feed. Rosario had missed Florida's past two games with a back strain, and Donovan had previously listed him as "doubtful" for Thursday's game at Rutgers.
But that's changed now.
Which adds a storyline to the week.
Rosario averaged 16.2 points as a freshman and 16.7 points as a sophomore at Rutgers.
The 6-foot-3 New Jersey native transferred after his sophomore season.
He's averaging 9.4 points for the 10th-ranked Gators this season.
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:35 am
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)
Tags: Big East, Cleveland Melvin, Dane Miller, DePaul, Eli Carter, Eric Atkins, Georgetown, Haralds Karlis, Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson, Jabarie Hinds, Jae Crowder, Jeff Borzello, Jerian Grant, Jerome Seagears, Jordan Theodore, Juan Anderson, Kadeem Jack, Kevin Jones, Macari Brooks, Marquette, Mike Rice, Montray Clemons, Myles Mack, Notre Dame, Oliver Purnell, Patrik Auda, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Tim Abromaitis, Tony Freeland, Vander Blue, Wally Judge, West Virginia
Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 9:40 am
By Jeff Borzello
NEW YORK – This year’s Big East Media Day featured the likes of Jim Boeheim, Jamie Dixon and others.
Once the conference shakeup is over, what will it look like? Will we have Donnie Jones, James Dickey and Matt Doherty instead?
The overarching theme of the 2011 Big East media day was, unsurprisingly, realignment. Boeheim, Dixon, Mike Brey, Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Jay Wright, Bob Huggins and the other nine coaches in the conference were each peppered with countless questions about who is going where, when it’s happening and what they think of it.
Many of the coaches clearly were getting tired of the same questions, over and over.
“I think it sucks like everyone else does,” Huggins told a group of reporters. “Yeah, [it’s a shame]. I think it was a shame the first time. It’s got to stop somewhere.”
The only thing set in stone right now is that Pittsburgh and Syracuse will be leaving the conference at some point, but the timeline is still indefinite. Technically, they’re not allowed to leave for more than two years, but that could be an awkward 27 months.
Dixon said the goal of Pittsburgh is not to leave the Big East without a plan for its future as a conference.
“When it’s in the best interest of the Big East for us to move, that’s when we’ll leave,” he said. “Whether it’s 27 months, 12 months or five months.”
The fate of several teams is also still undecided, with West Virginia and Louisville being linked to the Big 12, Connecticut to the ACC, Notre Dame to the ACC (and Big Ten, as always), with Rutgers also thrown around as a potential Big Ten or ACC target.
While the realignment mess could hinder some of the schools, Pitino and Brey are confident their institutions will handle it well.
“Unlike some others, we’re going to land on our feet,” Brey said. “I like the Big East, but we’ll land on our feet.”
“We’ll be fine in the Big East or in the other place,” Pitino said.
Connecticut was expected to follow suit to the ACC after Syracuse and Pittsburgh, and while that’s still a possibility, the Big 12 has also opened up as a potential landing spot for the Huskies.
Calhoun made it clear he is not sitting still and hoping everything just stays the same. He is being proactive as a result of all the changes around him.
“The Big East is special, I am proud to be a member of it. But sometimes what you want is not where you end up being. We are seeing the start of change,” he said. “My obligation to UConn is to be in an advisory capacity and reach out to my friends, particularly in the ACC and Big 12 and see what’s [happening].”
When the realignment carousel eventually stops spinning – whenever that may be – it’s not a stretch to say that the Big East will look very different. There could be a 20-team football conference and a 12-team basketball conference, with some variation of Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston, SMU and a host of other schools in the mix.
Huggins said the new faces wouldn’t change the way he views his opponents in the conference.
“They were these guys at one time,” he said of younger coaches potentially replacing the Boeheims, Dixons and Calhouns of the league. “Somebody is going to finish last and someone is going to finish first. Whether it’s someone in the league now, or someone new.
“We had 11 teams reach the NCAA tournament last year, and nine of them will still be around. That would still have been a record.”
Not everyone feels that way – Pitino thinks certain intra-conference matchups won’t carry the same juice and luster as they previously did.
“Syracuse is playing Clemson on TV tonight!” he said. “It’s not Syracuse-Georgetown.”
Conference commissioner John Marinatto opened up the media day by saying he was glad that he finally could talk about basketball – but soon was bombarded with questions about realignment. This wasn’t what Marinatto signed up for, he said. It’s not what he wanted.
His comments beg the question – if Marinatto didn’t see it coming, how did we get here?
Dixon pointed to the lack of cohesion between the basketball and football sides of the conference. A 16-team basketball conference and an eight-team football conference clearly don’t align perfectly.
“If that is the best situation, more conferences would do it,” he said. “And we’re the only one that does it.”
When it boils down to it, though, money is the biggest factor in the entire proceedings. Pitino put some of the blame on the greed of the school presidents.
“The big is eating up the small,” he said. “The presidents have always said to put the athletes first. The last thing they’ve talked about is the athletes. So there’s a bit of hypocrisy in the presidents and their answer today.”
With so many questions still waiting to be answered, no one is sure about what is next – not the coaches, athletic directors, presidents, commissioners. The future of several conferences is completely up in the air.
What’s next? Brey summed it best.
“Leagues are listed as day-to-day now.”
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 11:32 am
By Jeff Goodman
Mike Rosario has heard it plenty.
It's basically the only question that everyone asks about this year's Florida Gators.
"How are these guys going to co-exist with just one ball?"
Let's face it: Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton were difficult to watch at times last year - and the year prior - due to their ill-advised shot selection.
Now Billy Donovan is adding two more guards - Rosario (a Rutgers transfer, thus the photo) and talented freshman Brad Beal - to the mix.
Both are known for their ability to score the ball.
"We've heard that a lot," admitted Rosario, who led Rutgers in scoring as a freshman and sophomore prior to transferring to Florida. "But I think it's going to be great for us because we can really make it easy for each other."
Junior big man Erik Murphy has been gushing about Rosario and Beal, how both are extremely unselfish and possess high basketball IQs. Rosario was considered a volume shooter at Rutgers, but much of that was by default - as the Scarlet Knights needed him to score.
But now he realizes he doesn't have to do it all.
"I came here to win," Rosario said. "Everyone knows I can score the ball, but I came here to surround myself with great players."
Rosario said he thinks Donovan will employ a four-guard lineup at times, depending on the matchup, but he also realizes that one of the four guards will likely start on the bench.
"Coach (Donovan) talks to us a lot about sacrifice," Rosario said. "Guys are going to have to be ready to sacrifice."
If the guards do wind up putting team first, this could be a scary group. Beal is a smooth guard in the Ray Allen-mold, Murphy - according to Donovan and Rosario - have been playing with more of an edge this offseason - and Patric Young can be a beast in the paint and on the glass.
"I feel like we have the type of team where we can determine our whole path," Rosario said. "It's really up to us."
Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: October 11, 2011 10:58 am
By Jeff Goodman
Dwaun Anderson was Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan. He's an athletic wing who was a freshman on campus this past summer and ready to play for Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
However, Anderson's mother died in the spring and the school put out a statement that he was withdrawing from school back in August.
"The last two years have been a very rough time for me as I’ve had to deal with some personal tragedies, including the sickness and death of my mother," Anderson said in the statement. "I’ve been in counseling as I attempt to cope with these issues, and I plan to undergo further counseling. I want to get all my personal issues in order before moving on to the next stage of my life."
Now the 6-foot-4 Anderson, who comes from a remote part of northern Michigan, is apparently prepared for the next stage and is exploring his options to return to college.
Anderson took an unofficial visit to Rutgers on Monday, is expected to go to Drexel today and will go to Wagner on Wednesday - a source told CBSSports.com. Georgetown is likely to get a visit from Anderson on Saturday and he is set to head to Seton Hall on Sunday. A trip to La Salle has been set up for Oct. 20.
"He's wide open," the source said.
Anderson may also visit Villanova and Central Michigan.
Anderson played with Team NJABC in the summer because of the close relationship between Team NJABC coach Matt Pauls and Anderson's former high school coach at Suttons Bay in Michigan, Todd Hursey.
"He has a chance to be eligible in January," the source said. "And he'd be an unbelievable pickup for someone - especially this late."
Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:28 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 9:32 pm
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: September 23, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 2:31 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Some guys just aren't cut out to be head coaches. They make better assistants.
Big East Commissioner John Marinatto may be one of those guys.
"I firmly believe we would manage this a lot better with a different leader," said one Big East head coach, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "He's a good man, a good right-hand man. But I think he's in over his head."
To be fair, Marinatto was thrust into an unenviable situation, following the late Dave Gavitt and Mike Tranghese as the leaders of the Big East.
Marinatto's resume reads as follows: A Providence kid who graduated from Providence College in 1979, then later went onto become the athletic director at the school for 14 years. He was the associate commissioner of the Big East from 2002-2009, when he took over for Tranghese.
"There's just no way it would have gotten to this point if Dave or Mike were still in charge," another Big East head man said.
One thing is for certain: Gavitt and/or Tranghese wouldn't have had the news of Syracuse and Pittsburgh's departure delivered to him in a football press box on Saturday - as has been reported to be the case with Marinatto.
"I'm not sure how it would have worked out, but it would have," a coach in the league said about the overall situation the league now finds itself.
``I doubt it," answered yet another when posed the question whether this would have occurred under previous leadership.
However, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh departing for the ACC at some point (likely prior to 2014) and UConn begging and pleading to join the exodus, Marinatto has come under fire.
While there are certainly those who are skeptical, Marinatto does still have his share of support.
"I think eventually this would have happened anyway," one coach said. "Everyone wants to put it on Marinatto, but this is a league that's been built on instability."
Now the future of the Big East - and the way it'll be comprised - is in jeopardy. Will it add a couple members to replace what is has lost - and may lose - and move forward? Or will it re-shape itself for improved long-term stability and go the route of the "basketball-only" schools, thus going hard after Xavier and Butler?
We'll see what Marinatto does - and whether his fate mirrors that of outgoing Big 12 commish Dan Beebe, who's at left of Marinatto in the photo above.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:08 am
By Jeff Goodman