Tag:Texas Tech
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:24 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:23 am

Night Court: Western Carolina wins by ... 102?!

Trey Burke had 20 points, including the game-winning assist, to lead Michigan to a 60-59 win over Michigan St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Michigan struggled defensively for much of the second half, but the Wolverines came up big down the stretch to hold on to a 60-59 victory over Michigan State. Stu Douglass made the game-winning layup with 36.5 seconds left, off a terrific pass from Trey Burke. Draymond Green missed a potential game-winning shot and tip-in on the Spartans’ final possession. Burke led the way with 20 points.

Win to brag about: Beating Maryland in itself isn’t that impressive, but Florida State continues to turn it around after an embarrassing loss to Clemson two weeks ago. The Seminoles used a 21-3 run in the second half to dispatch of the Terrapins, 84-70. For a team that has the reputation of being offensively inept, Florida State has now scored at least 84 points in three of its last five games. Ian Miller and Okaro White combined for 31 points off the bench.

Loss to hide from: I have no clue how Toccoa Falls does against its usual competition (it's 3-6), but it apparently can’t handle Division-I opposition. Western Carolina had nine guys score in double figures, defeating the Eagles, 141-39. The Catamounts outrebounded Toccoa Falls 62-16, and only three players did not reach double-figures in scoring.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis has had several impressive performances this season, but Tuesday’s game took the cake. The Kentucky freshman had 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Wildcats to an 86-63 win over Arkansas. Moreover, he broke the school’s single-season record for blocks – with 12 games left in the regular season.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert has been one of the most underrated freshmen in the country this season, but Tuesday didn’t show that. Tolbert went just 1-for-10 from the field and turned it over five times before fouling out. The Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma, 64-55.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3: After losing 18 of 21 in the rivalry, Michigan has now defeated Michigan State three straight times.
  • 102: The margin in Western Carolina’s win over Toccoa Falls was the third-largest in Division-I history.
  • 15: It’s been 15 years since an SEC player had 27 points, 14 boards and seven blocks in a game. Anthony Davis did it tonight.

Three other notable results:

  1. With first place in the Big South on the line, UNC-Asheville improved to 8-0 with a victory over second-place Coastal Carolina. J.P. Primm had 23 points, helping UNCA overcome six guys scoring in double-figures for Coastal.
  2. Purdue bounced back from last week’s loss to Wisconsin with a 75-68 win over Iowa. The Boilermakers overcame a five-point halftime deficit.
  3. Jason Clark scored 31 points despite going just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line, leading Georgetown to an 83-75 road win at DePaul.


  • The lone overtime game on Tuesday was between LSU and Auburn. Auburn’s Varez Ward sent it into an extra session with a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left, but LSU dominated the overtime for a 65-58 win.
  • Boise State freshman Anthony Drmic had a chance to make a name for himself early in Mountain West play, but he shot just 1-for-8 from the field in a 66-55 loss to Colorado State.
  • North Dakota State, currently 6-2 in Summit League play, went into North Dakota – a team with three D-I wins this season – and lost, 59-54.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:43 am

Gillispie says he's sober, has a new view on life

By Matt Norlander

With the release of its coaches poll today, USA Today has opted to pair that noteworthy college hoops news bit with a hearty profile on Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie.

Texas Tech will not be included in the Top 25 of either the coaches or the AP poll, to be clear. Still, Gillispie's certainly a good subject to tackle. He's among the most enigmatic, polarizing, confusing and curious coaches -- at any level -- sports has today. His choice to leave Texas A&M to go to Kentucky was, in my opinion, the worst choice possible for him, the person.

I give Gillispie credit for landing a third major BCS job, though. He can coach. That's never been in doubt, even in Kentucky. During his time in Lexington, it was more of a clash between Gillispie's personality and the culture there. The man never even signed a contract while coaching the Wildcats. That's really bizarre, folks.

Failing to get UK to the NCAA tournament for the first time in almost two decades sealed his fate beyond any person-to-person conflict that existed, though. What gets overlooked: Kentucky also acted way too quickly and didn't think about the guy it was hiring. It needed someone to replace Tubby Smith, and Gillispie wasn't even the hot name of the month -- he was the hot name that day. Complete move based on impulse, not studiousness.

There are plenty of people in college basketball who do not like Gillispie. He is perceived as odd, and many would rather consider him outside the college basketball coaching fraternity. That's not to say he doesn't have friends in the business. He absolutely does. There's a reputation he'll fight daily until his teams win big, his personality adjusts, or something else like that happens.

Gillispie says he's on his way, though. He readily admits that Kentucky was a bad decision. He's willing to talk about things now that he probably wouldn't have been as recently as six months ago. Things like the millions he reportedly lost in the David Salinas saga and his history of alcoholism.
Gillispie talked about the impact of those events and his plans to rebuild Texas Tech and turn the Red Raiders into contenders for a national title. A striking quality about Gillispie is his enthusiasm. At Texas A&M and Kentucky, he could be guarded and defensive with the news media. Initially he declined USA TODAY's interview request, which associate athletics director Blayne Beal attributed to Gillispie's rocky ending at Kentucky, where camera crews followed him in the hours before and after his firing. Yet whether laughing about reruns of his favorite sitcom, Seinfeld, or speaking vibrantly about his job, Gillispie seemed at ease.
I'll break for brevity and levity for a second here. Gillispie digs The Sein? Billy, I've completely misjudged you! Let's talk favorite episodes. Is any one more underrated than "The Bris"? OK, back to Gillispie on his past:
"In certain places, you have 14 requests in a particular day and you can only honor one or two, so 12 people end up saying you don't like to get out and do those kinds of things," he says. "I actually love it. It's a way for people to see the energy we have." ... Gillispie says he no longer drinks. In 1999, while an assistant at Tulsa, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving. In 2003, a judge dismissed a drunken-driving charge, and it was later expunged, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, which cited the El Paso County Clerks Office. Gillispie pleaded guilty to the 2009 charge in Kentucky in a plea deal. Giving up drinking, Gillispie says, "is what's right for me and what's right for people to continue to have confidence in me."
I'll go a little heavier than that and suggest that if Gillispie didn't give up drinking, he'd probably only have a couple of years at Tech before he was out of head-coaching in basketball for life. Texas Tech gives all of its support to Gillispie, as it should, but the man has to prove himself in a number of areas. His drinking problem is chief among that.

Any compassionate human should naturally root for Gillispie's redemption. He's self-aware now, or so it seems. We need as man positive influences in college coaching as possible. Gillispie didn't have the reputation before. He may not even have it now. But he's working toward scrubbing himself into a new image. Plenty once believed he wasn't capable of that kind of change.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:09 am

Multiple suitors in need of (Wannah) Bail

By Jeff Borzello

Wannah Bail certainly has the name of a basketball player. Extremely long and athletic, Bail also has the build and body of a highly-touted prospect.

This summer, however, Bail felt he didn’t get a chance to show his full host of talents due to a toe injury.

“Not my best, especially coming off injury,” he said. “I had always felt as if I could have done something better, even after giving it my all.”

When healthy, Bail has the physical tools to be a dominant performer. Ranked No. 68 in the CBSSports.com Top 100, the 6-foot-7 power forward runs the floor extremely well and uses his strength to make plays at both ends of the court. He can get solid position for offensive post-ups, and he is a very good shot-blocker and rebounder. If he refines his offensive game, Bail could be a stud.

Bail, a native of the Bahamas, is now enrolled at Lamar Consolidated (Texas) after bouncing around a few high schools in the Lonestar State last year. His recruitment will also begin to sort itself out with coaches finally able to track him during the school season.

“It’s going good,” Bail said of his recruitment. “I’m really enjoying it.”

For now, Bail is hearing from Auburn, St. John’s, Houston, Texas Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Kansas, South Florida, Indiana, Texas A&M, Baylor, Washington State and others. All besides Kansas have offered.

Bail plans to take his recruitment slowly, but did take a visit to Houston on Saturday, when the Cougars beat UCLA in the football season opener. Michael Carey and Chicken Knowles also joined him on campus.

Don’t look for a decision soon.

“I have no favorites,” he said.

Photo: Adidas Nations

Posted on: August 24, 2011 12:27 pm

Some clarifications on Gillispie, Texas Tech

By Matt Norlander

Yesterday, I wrote an opinion piece on Texas Tech and Billy Gillispie. In frank: I have my doubts about the future of the program under him due to the collateral damage his reputation could have in recruiting. The post was buttressed off a SPORTSbyBROOKS report that Billy Gillispie had been something of a nuisance in Lubbock since arriving there earlier this year. Many people who had spent many years at Tech prior to Gillispie's arrival are no longer working there.

I received a couple of, let's call them concerned, calls regarding my post and some innaccuracies contained within, which were catalyzed by the Brooks post. Multiple sources affiliated or formerly affiliated with Texas Tech called to clarify and rectify three things they state are patently false. This blog and myself are never above reproach, so here are the retractions:
  • Billy Gillispie and former assistant Chris Beard were never physically separated by Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt.
  • They were never separated because Beard and Gillispie were never involved in a physical altercation. Ever.
  • Gillispie was never outright verbally abusive toward Beard, so speculation of that behavior is incorrect. It never happened and never had an impact on Beard choosing to leave Tech's program earlier this summmer.
So there you have it. Beard is still gone and Tech moves on with a new staff and prepares for a new era under Gillispie.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Gillispie era at Texas Tech isn't going smoothly

By Matt Norlander

Few major, BCS-level athletic directors would have hired Billy Gillispie to coach their basketball team. He was radioactive, to say the least. In fact, that probably doesn't do it justice.

Honestly, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt may have been the only major-conference AD willing to take a chance on Gillispie. The former Texas A&M and Kentucky basketball coach is known for his ability to win games but also carries with him a reputation that seems will haunt him forever, much of that stemming from how hard he is to interact with. There are also concerns with his penchant for drinking.

Fortunately for Gillispie, Hocutt went all in on him a few moths ago. Yet, before a game's been played under Gillispie, it turns out he couldn't even make it through an offseason without headaches and turmoil at his new job. There's already erosion within the Texas Tech program, considering Gillsipie can't hang on to assistant coaches, trainers or even secretaries.

He's scaring, bullying and forcing people away from the buildings in Lubbock. People who'd spent the better part of a decade there no longer are because of the new basketball coach in town.

SPORTSbyBROOKS ran with a story today that details some of what Gillispie's put Hocutt through in a few months' time, including the departures of the people referenced above. The post's primary conflict centers around longtime assistant Chris Beard, who left the program in mid-June -- an uncommon time for an assistant to jump ship.

Fighting? Yes, there was fighting. Fighting of the physical variety that came to after Beard couldn't take Gillispie's verbal abuse anymore (a mere 10 weeks' time since he was hired on March 21). Fighting of a variety that apparently boiled to a point where Hocutt had to separate Beard and Gillispie. An athletic director playing peacemaker between two basketball coaches.

Picture that scenario unfolding in your mind, then appropriately ask yourself, What has happened at Texas Tech?

Beard left the program after multiple, heated altercations with the irascible and intractable Gillispie, the final of which was physically broken up by ... Hocutt.

That final conflict was a mediation of sorts after Beard had previously decided to leave the program because of Gillispie’s poor treatment of Tech employees, a former player and concern over Gillispie’s fast-and-loose recruiting tactics.

Remember, Beard was a guy who got along famously with Bob Knight throughout the notorious coach’s tenure and was a close confidante of Pat Knight as his top assistant. Gillispie was also a previous admirer of Beard, having tried to hire Beard at one of his previous coaching stops.

But the throwdown in front of Hocutt was the final straw for Beard, who was cursed by Gillispie on multiple occasions in front of Hocutt before responding to the Tech coach in kind.

In exchange for Beard’s silence about Gillispie’s ill-advised stewardship of the program, Texas Tech has since paid Beard a hefty sum in an exit agreement that included a confidentiality clause. (Beard was not a source for this story, nor did he initiate or have any role whatsoever in its production or publication.)

I can confirm that many around and formerly with the Tech program have been very tight-lipped about what seems to be tenuous-at-best circumstances right now. There's also another person not stated in Brooks' story who joined Gillispie's staff briefly in the spring only to leave shortly thereafter.

Gillispie's burned so many bridges at this point. Not a lot of assistant coaches are willing to work for him because word spreads, obviously. College coaches absolutely love to talk with each other and bury the guys who've tried hard to bury others before. It's part of the fun of the July recruiting trail.

Gillispie did recently replace Beard. After a weeks-long search, Jeff Kidder, who spent the past six years coaching at the junior college level, joined Gillispie's staff on Aug. 3.

Texas Tech is in a tough spot right now. Even if you eliminate all of the tension built up from a human resources standpoint, think about if Gillispie would even be a head coach right now if it was known how much money he'd been bilked out of in Ponzi schemes. No way he gets hired by Hocutt if that's known. We're talking about a coach that never officially signed a contract when he was at Kentucky. Do you think Gillispie would have been hired at Tech in the first place if his ties to David Salinas and Jim Donnan were public prior to April?

So this is what the Red Raiders are faced with: Before the season begins, its coach is already fighting a bad environment within the office, a worse reputation on the recruiting trail and an uphill battle in the whittled-down, weakened Big 12.

Have to think Hocutt wonders daily how he could have avoided this, and how he talked himself into hiring Gillispie in the first place.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:55 am

Villanova captain Isaiah Armwood transferring

By Jeff Goodman

Jay Wright doesn’t want Isaiah Armwood to leave.

But the Villanova coach wants what’s best for the Wildcats captain – and that’s an opportunity to play a major role in another program.

Therefore, the 6-foot-8 junior has decided to transfer elsewhere.

``He’s the greatest kid in the world,” Wright gushed. ``He’s our hardest-working guy, our captain. We started him every game on our trip. I love him to death.”

``I just want to see him achieve his goals,” he added.

Wright sat down with Armwood at the end of the trip to France and the Netherlands and the two, days later, came to an agreement that it would be best for Armwood to go elsewhere.

With the addition of frontline guys JayVaughn Pinkston and Marcus Kennedy – along with starting center Mouph Yarou back – minutes would likely be precious for Armwood.

The Maryland native started seven games last season, averaging 2.5 points and 3.6 rebounds.

If he leaves prior to the start of school, he’ll sit out this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Sources told CBSSports.com that schools in the mix for Armwood are Maryland, Iowa, Texas Tech and George Washington. Armwood grew up near Maryland and GW and both Iowa and Texas Tech have former Villanova assistant coaches – Andrew Francis (Iowa) and Chris Walker (Texas Tech). 

Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:06 am

Pat Knight more comfortable at Lamar

By Jeff Goodman

Pat Knight is the first one to admit it.

``It was the best thing that happened to me,” said the former Texas Tech coach. ``I haven’t had this much fun since I was at Akron.”

That was a dozen years ago – when he spent one season as an assistant with the Zips.

Now Knight is the head coach at Lamar – after being fired at Texas Tech following three-plus seasons and a 50-61 overall mark.

``There’s no BS in recruiting now,” Knight said. ``No cheating. I’m a flip-flop, old-school guy and now I don’t have to put on a show.”

Knight is the first one to say he was spoiled, taking over the job at Texas Tech when he father, Bob Knight, retired.

Knight was set to take the year off this season, and likely do some broadcasting work, but then he was contacted when the Lamar job opened up.

He made some calls – and was told the same thing by everyone. It’s one of the best jobs in the Southland and he’d take over a team that has the talent to compete for one of the top spots in the league.

``That’s why I took the job,” he said. ``The pieces were already in place. I just needed to get some help up front.”

Knight has four of the team’s top five scorers back – including guards Mike James (12.5 ppg), Anthony Miles (11.9 ppg) and Devon Lamb (9.5 ppg).

``They were enamored with the 3 last year and they are streaky shooters,” Knight said. ``But those guys are really quick.”

Then he added a pair of junior college frontcourt guys in Nikko Acosta and Stephen Coles.

``They can shoot the 3, post it and also drive it,” Knight said. ``In our motion offense, we don’t need them clogging up the middle.”

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 5, 2011 4:11 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 4:24 pm

Jordan Goodman makes choice -- for the 3rd time

By Jeff Borzello

Maybe the third time is the charm for Jordan Goodman.

Goodman, who had previously committed and de-committed from both Georgetown and Rutgers, made another college decision Tuesday, choosing coach Billy Gillispie and Texas Tech. The news was confirmed to CBSSports.com by Antwain Tennell, Goodman's AAU coach with the Dwight Howard Warriors.

"It was just a good choice for him," Tennell said. "They need a wing to step in right away and play."

Goodman is a 6-foot-9 forward from the Washington, D.C., area who attends Arlington Country Day (Fla.), where Tennell is also an assistant coach. Goodman had previously gone to school at Progressive Christian (Md.) and Seneca Valley (Md.). He ran with the DC Assault AAU program until switching this season.

The well-traveled Goodman has also changed college commitments as often as high schools. He originally popped for Georgetown in March of last year, citing a connection to Dave Cox, the former Georgetown assistant and DC Assault coach. When Cox went to Rutgers two months later, Goodman decommitted from the Hoyas.

In a move that came as a surprise to no one, Goodman gave a pledge to Rutgers in June of 2010. The connection to Cox seemed to cement the decision. But two months ago, Goodman reneged on his commitment to Rutgers and reopened his recruitment.

Will this commitment stick?

Only time will tell. After all, there's still 14 months before Goodman will arrive on a college campus. For now, that campus appears as if it will be Texas Tech.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Texas Tech
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