Tag:Utah
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: December 19, 2011 9:33 am
 

Easy to confuse Pac-12 with a mid-major league


By Jeff Goodman

There's no East Coast bias here. The Pac-12 stinks. Plain and simple. 

"No excuses," one head coach in the league texted me. "You're right." 

There's truly no defense for what's gone on out west thus far. The league has been absolutely manhandled. 

Sunday was just another day in the park for the Pac-12, one that saw South Dakota State pummel Washington in Seattle and then watched Virginia go out to Oregon and take care of the Ducks. 

A day prior, there was no shame in Gonzaga working over Arizona in Seattle. But what about Northern Arizona - with a 70-year-old interim head coach -- knocking off Herb Sendek's Arizona State Sun Devils?  Or Georgia going west and beating USC at the Galen Center?

The league doesn't have a single victory against a Top 25 team. In fact, it's nearly impossible to find the most impressive win notched by anyone in the league. It's been so pitiful that a case can be made for Oregon State's come-from-behind win in New Jersey against a young Texas team as the flagship win for the Pac-12 thus far. 

This could be a two-bid league. Probably should be a two-bid league. 

We thought, entering the season, there were four teams that were capable of making a legitimate run to the NCAA tournament. Maybe even a handful - if you want to include an Oregon team that was thrown together due to desperation. 

UCLA appeared formidable on paper, but we quickly learned that one player can truly wreck a season (see: Reeves Nelson). Arizona isn't nearly as talented as some thought, especially with talented freshman Josiah Turner refusing to buy into Sean Miller's approach early in the season. 

Oregon's Dana Altman has already lost his top freshman, Jabari Brown, and is now reliant on a bunch of second-chance guys (i.e. Devoe Joseph, Tony Woods) and Washington, the most talented team in the league, earned its most impressive win against UC Santa Barbara. California was blasted by Missouri and also lost on the road to what everyone figured was a rebuilding San Diego State club. 

Stanford has been the most impressive team in the league thus far with a 9-1 record, but the Cardinal still hasn't notched a victory against an NCAA tourney team. The loss was impressive, against top-ranked Syracuse in New York, but the most significant wins have come against N.C. State and Oklahoma State - a pair of teams likely headed to the NIT. 

Don't even get me started on teams like Arizona State (4-6), Washington State (which lost to UC Riverside), USC (which already has seven losses), Colorado (which has lost to Wyoming and Colorado State) and a dismal Utah team. None will even be on the bubble for the CBI or CollegeInsider.com. 

Listen, I want to defend the Pac-12. I graduated from a school in the league. 

But I'd lose all credibility in doing so. 

The league is currently ranked ninth in the RPI, behind the A-10 and Missouri Valley and barely in front of the WCC and C-USA.  

However, if there's one positive spin I can put on the Pac-12's misery, it's the fact that this league is up for grabs, a complete toss-up right now. It's difficult to imagine a scenario in which the regular-season champ doesn't get an at -large bid to go dancing - and obviously, the tourney winner gets an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. 

That means everyone in the league still has a shot. 

Well, maybe not quite everyone.


Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:05 am
 

Podcast: Let's break out the Pom Poms for Ken Pom

By Matt Norlander

Ken Pomeroy houses the stat sanctuary that is kenpom.com. It's become a go-to place for fans and writers and coaches alike, yet plenty of folk still want to resist getting smarter/well-informed about the game we love. 

Pomeroy makes his second podcast appearance to discuss how much information and interpretation from the data can and should be gleaned after one month of the season has passed us by. There are trends to take note of, but where should the line be drawn? Among other topics: unabashedly bashing Jeff Goodman, who is not yet a big believer in KenPom stats, and looking at just how historically bad Utah is this year. For a major-conference team, they are off to a start we've seldom seen before.

If you'd like to know why the Big Ten is the best conference so far, that's included as well. Get smarter, get to understand the game better and see why tempo-free isn't that daunting. No calculators required.

The counting begins:
  • From the beginning: We needlessly explain the process to Goodman, who I know will take the time to listen to this.
  • 2:42: So, we're more than a month into the season. How much can we take from the stats we have right now? And there's a key component to remember when look at this year's stats, too -- previous years' trends.
  • 8:31: Do tempo-free stats and trends lend themselves well to predicting outcomes?
  • 12:16: What are the most "important" stats to be tracking in this new era? Some are more indicative than others.
  • 15:07: We move on to talking actual teams, actual action and on-court stuff. First to be address: Utah, which is having a miserable start to its season.
  • 20:33: Vanderbilt must be discussed again, this time because Pomeroy and I differ on how good this team ultimately is.
  • 24:56: Why the Big Ten is definitively the best league in college basketball.
  • 28:42: Why Henry Sims is playing amongst the best hoop in the nation right now. ALERT: GOODMAN LIKELY BREAKING HIS COMPUTER BY THIS POINT.
  • 30:23: Podcast ends with some answers from listeners' questions.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Pac-12 Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

I graduated from a Pac-12 school, but it's still going to take me a while before I don't keep saying Pac-10. Anyway, here's the Pac-12 Offseason Report. 

Pac-12 Offseason Report

Arizona – Archie Miller left to become the head coach at Dayton and was replaced by Joe Pasternak, who was previously the head coach at New Orleans. The Wildcats will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer and also have non-league games against San Diego State (11-23), at Florida (12-7), at Clemson (12-10) at Gonzaga (12-17 in Seattle). Lamont “Momo” Jones (Iona) and Daniel Berejano (Colorado State) both transferred out of the program.

Arizona State – The Sun Devils will play in the Old Spice Classic in Florida and have non-league games against New Mexico (11-18), at Tulsa (12-3) and against Nevada (12-7). Brandon Dunson (Azusa Pacific) and Corey Hawkins (UC Davis) both transferred out while Sendek & Co. added Eric Gordon’s brother, Evan, from Liberty.

California – The Bears will play in the CBE Classic in Kansas City and also have non-conference dates at San Diego State (12-3) and at UNLV (12-23). Mike Montgomery’s team will also travel to Sweden, Norway and Denmark from Aug. 12-22. Justin Cobbs is eligible this season after sitting out last season following a transfer from Minnesota.

Colorado – Tad Boyle & Co. will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (11-17/20) and also has non-league games set against Georgia (11-28), at Colorado State (11-30) and against Fresno (12-7). Carlon Brown (Utah) is eligible this year after sitting out last season.

Oregon – The Ducks will go to Italy from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. Dana Altman’s team will also host a four-team event from Dec. 20-22 that includes N.C. Central, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin and also play Virginia on Dec. 18. Three players left the program: Malcolm Armstead (Wichita State), Martin Seiferth (Eastern Washington) and Teondre Williams (Clayton State) while Olu Ashaolu (Louisiana Tech) came in and will be eligible to play this season and Tony Woods also decided to transfer to Eugene.

Oregon State – The Beavers will play in the Legends Classic and don’t have any big-time non-league games. Eric Moreland is eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from UTEP.

Stanford – Johnny Dawkins and his team will go to Spain from Sept. 3-14. Charles Payne was promoted to an assistant spot and replaces Rodney Tention (San Diego). The Cardinal will play in the Preseason NIT and also have non-league games against N.C. State (12-4) and against Butler (12-23).  

UCLA – Scott Duncan left to join friend Larry Shatt’s staff at Wyoming and was replaced by former Atlanta Celtics summer coach Korey McCray. Ben Howland’s team will play in the Maui Invitational and also has non-conference contests against Texas (12-3), vs. Richmond (12-23) and at St. John’s (2-18). Larry Drew (North Carolina) transferred into the program and will sit out while two more former Tar Heels – David and Travis Wear – are eligible this season.

USC – The Trojans will take a trip to Brazil from Aug. 12-21. Ryan Hannick is out as the director of basketball operations and has been replaced by Jamal Bode, Kevin O’Neill’s former manager at Arizona. O’Neill & Co. will play in the Las Vegas Invitational (11-25/26) and the Trojans will also play at Minnesota (12-3), New Mexico at home (12-10), Georgia at home (12-17) and Kansas at home (12-22) in the non-league slate. Bryce Jones (UNLV) left the program while Ari Stewart (Wake Forest) and Eric Wise (UC Irvine) both transferred in. Aaron Fuller (Iowa) is eligible this season after sitting out last year.

Utah – New coach Larry Krystkowiak put together a staff of Tommy Connor, DeMarlo Slocum, Andy Hill and Norm Parrish (director of basketball operations). The Utes will play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and also have non-league games at Fresno (12-3), vs. BYU (12-10) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (12-7). Utah has added Glen Dean (Eastern Washington) and Aaron Dotson (LSU) while Will Clyburn (Iowa State) and J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State) left the program.

Washington – The Huskies are hosting an event with Florida Atlantic, Georgia State and Portland and will also play in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 6 against Marquette in NYC. Lorenzo Romar’s team will also play at Saint Louis (11-20), at Nevada (12-2) and against Duke at Madison Square Garden (12-10).

Washington State – Ken Bone’s team will play in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and also against Pepperdine in the Cougar Hardwood Classic on Dec. 22 in Seattle. The Cougars will also face Gonzaga on Nov. 14 on the road. Andre Winston (Portland State) left while Royce Woolridge (Kansas) transferred into the program. Mike Ladd (Fresno) is eligible after sitting out last year.

Offseason reports: Big 12 
Posted on: June 22, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 10:56 am
 

Utah programs discussing annual four-team tourney

By Matt Norlander

For the first time in 66 years, Utah and Utah State aren't scheduled to play each other in men's basketball. The reason for this: Utah's move to the Pac-12.

Utah athletic director Chris Hill had some pretty lousy answers for dodging the game, which, all of a sudden, was too hard to accommodate. Things like more league games than what the Utes had in the Mountain West were chief among the excuses. No matter what reasons Utah wants to throw out there, the primary one this century-long tiff on the court isn't happening next season is because it's no longer a priority for Utah, which leads the series, 130-93.

Having gone to a new conference, Utah is now looking like the kid who shed 15 pounds in senior year of high school, got a new 'do and is running with the popular crew. The'yre suddenly too involved with themselves and new friends to pay much attention to one of their oldest pals. Sad, really.

There's hope yet for the Utes and Aggies to keep the rivalry alive, though. And make no mistake about it, this rivalry is a heated one, an annual event that means a lot to the people in Utah. The fact it's on a temporary hiatus has boiled over a lot of people.

So how will this battle be resuscitated? How about a four-team, Utah-based tournament?

That's going to be put on the table soon. The games would ideally be played in Salt Lake City, in the Jazz's house. In addition to Utah and Utah State, BYU and Weber State would be part of the get-together.

As such, [Hill has] floated an idea with Utah Jazz officials and BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe about bringing the Utes, Cougars, Aggies and Weber State together at EnergySolutions Arena to start each season in an effort to build some excitement and allow the teams to play each other. The Utes are contractually committed to playing at Weber State in 2011, but there is no agreement between the Wildcats and Utes beyond this year.

Utah and USU are in the midst of a two-year hiatus in football, marking just the 10th and 11th times since 1900 that the teams didn't square off on the gridiron.

BYU's also alienated the state to an extent, as its move to the West Coast Conference, a residency that begins in July, has put a halt on a few looked-forward-to games, many of those between Mountain West opponents -- like Utah.

The idea for a four-team tournament isn't new. Indiana will begin its Crossroads Classic next season, the Purdue/Indiana/Butler/Notre Dame extravaganza was first introduced more than 60 years ago. Teams in the greater New York area have tried to accommodate this sort of event for nearly a decade. It's a moneymaking machine, and something fans clamor for. And for the sake of rivalries, early-season interest in college basketball and a boost in mountain-time college ball, the teams need to agree to this and make it possible for 2012.

Don't let something egotistical like a change in conference affiliation affect rivalries and dampen the enthusiasm for the fans, Utah. This one's all on you, Utes.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Tags: BYU, Utah, Utah State
 
Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Andrew White looking to prove himself on circuit

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Some players rest on their laurels after rising up rankings and becoming high-major recruits.

Andrew White is not one of them.

“I now have to prove I’m as good as advertised,” White said last weekend at the Tournament of Champions.

White parlayed an impressive winter and spring into a top-100 ranking by many services, and the 6-foot-6 small forward from The Miller School (Va.) is making sure it stays that way.

He put his reputation on the line against fellow 2012 prospect T.J. Warren at the Ravenscroft School (N.C.) last week.

“I heard he played the same position as me, so I was looking forward to it,” White said. “It’s good to have the top players. It’s good to matchup with someone as good or better than you.”

While White struggled to defend Warren and also faded somewhat in the second half, his complete skill-set was on display.

His size and athleticism makes him a difficult matchup on the offensive end, as he runs the floor extremely well and attacks the basket with a purpose. White is improving his outside jumper, and is highly-effective with his mid-range game.

Since reclassifying to 2012, White has seen his recruitment skyrocket from mostly mid-majors to a smattering of schools at a variety of levels. He mentioned George Mason, Old Dominion, Connecticut, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Boston College, Providence, Utah, BYU and South Florida.

“I’m wide open,” White said.

While he holds at least 15 offers, he is still very motivated to make sure everyone knows he can compete at the highest level.

“Some schools passed up on me in 2011,” White said. “I’ve got to show I’m worthy of a place like that.”

Photo: Charlottesville Daily Progress

Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 11:58 am
 

Utah/BYU feud heats up over transfer

Larry KrystkowiakPosted by Eric Angevine

The Church of Latter Day Saints comes in for a lot of ribbing these days. There's the BYU honor code scrap from this past winter, and a hit Broadway musical from the creators of South Park. Those of us who aren't members of the church don't understand the strictures believers willingly adhere to, so they seem like fair game to make light of.

One of those strictures is the requirement that young church members travel to perform a religious mission. It's the reason players for Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State, etc. are often older than their peers - they leave and come back to continue their playing careers.

Apparently, there's an unwritten rule that players on Mormon missions cannot be recruited by other programs. Utah - on its way to the Pac-12 - is accusing Brigham Young - on its way to the WCC - of violating that rule. 6-foot-7 forward Josh Sharp is a Utah signee who has been away for two years. He's enrolled in summer classes at BYU while still on his sojurn, though BYU has not officially signed him, and can't comment on his status as a result.

Here's a statement from new Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak (right), as cited in the Salt Lake City Tribune:

"We want Josh to be a part of our program and are disappointed that rival schools can take advantage of a loophole in the system should they choose," Krystkowiak said in the statement last week. "Josh attended classes here for a year, signed an NLI and financial aid agreement [but not simultaneously], and we want him to continue his education and playing career here. It is my understanding that there is an unwritten rule that players cannot be recruited by other schools while they are serving missions. To do so is not only inappropriate, but it creates an atmosphere of ill will."


The Tribune article is careful to note that there is no evidence clarifying whether Sharp contacted BYU of his own accord or was "recruited" by the school while he was away. However it happened, though, the in-state rivalry seems primed to bubble away in perpetuity, even as the two schools drift in opposite directions on the currents of conference realignment.

Photo: US Presswire
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Conference Catch-ups: the Pac-12

Everybody say 'hey' to the new guy!

Posted by Eric Angevine

It may still feel like the Final Four just ended, but for most schools, the offseason is now more than two months old. With that in mind, all of us at the blog are going to take this week to give you what we’re calling “Conference Catch-Ups.” The motive is to recap the biggest storylines in college basketball’s offseason so far, plus keep your appetite whetted in what is the longest offseason in major American sports.


The Big Stories

Twelve to tango: It’s the Pac-12 now, which might take some getting used to. At least it’s numerically correct, unlike the 10-member Big 12 and the 12-member Big Ten. In adding Utah from the Mountain West, the Pac-12 has brought aboard a once-dominant squad (The Utes reached the Sweet 16 in 2005 and the final game in 1998) that has fallen on hard times. Head coach Jim Boylen was jettisoned after a second straight losing season, and former Montana and NBA head coach Larry Krystkowiak was brought on board. Colorado, despite finishing out of the running in their final season in the Big 12, comes in with a lot of momentum, most of it attached to the person of second-year head man Tad Boyle, a Colorado native who calls the Buffs his “dream job”. Both squads may start out rough, but a change of scenery might do them good.

It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there: The Pac-12 still gets its share of top players, but stars continue to leave after spending just a year or two out West. This season saw the departures of Derrick Williams (Arizona), Alec Burks (Colorado), Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto (Washington State), Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Nikola Vucevic (USC) and Isaiah Thomas (Washington).  Even Colorado’s Ryan Kelly and Jeremy Green of Stanford took the plunge, though neither has any real chance of getting the call.

Miller puts down roots in the desert: Who can blame the players for wanting to leave when the coaches are burning up the revolving door? With more than half the league’s head men logging less than five years at their respective jobs, sticking around almost seems like a bad career move. That didn’t stop Sean Miller from turning down overtures from just about every other power conference in the nation this spring. He flirted more heavily with Maryland than with anyone else, but eventually accepted an extension to stay in Tucson. It’s sunny there, and he just came off of an Elite Eight appearance. Sounds like a pretty good deal, no?

The Great Unknown

Can this conference recover? Ben Howland’s teams made the Final Four (or better) in every year from 2006 to 2008. Then success bred failure as all of the program’s most talented players jetted off to the golden shores of the NBA long before their eligibility could expire. The league is still reeling from frequent transfers, as well. The strongest programs right now look to be Arizona, Washington and, with more talent on the way, UCLA again. In fact, had the Wildcats broken through to the final weekend this past March, would we even be asking this question?

NBA Draft report

As pointed out above, half the darn league seems to be out the door each season. The superstar out of this bunch is Williams, who has the athleticism and size to throw down some nasty inside dunks, paired with a sweet outside stroke that keeps opponents whirling. Toss in a tendency to make the big, sometimes game-winning play on offense and defense and you’ve got an easy lottery pick.

Alec Burks, who played his career in the Big 12, is considered to be a likely first-rounder, as are Klay Thompson and Tyler Honeycutt. Big man Nikola Vucevic looks like a high second rounder, and everything else is a crapshoot. It would be one thing if all those players left for obvious gain, but so many of them are unlikely to see their dreams come true.

Transference

Coming
              
--Larry Drew II (from North Carolina).

--Glen Dean (from Eastern Washington to Utah)

--Aaron Dotson (from LSU to Utah)

--Evan Gordon (from Liberty to Arizona State)

Going
              
--Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones (from Arizona)

--Malcolm Armstead (from Oregon)

--Teondre Williams (from Oregon)

--Daniel Berejano (from Arizona to Nevada)

--Will Clyburn (from Utah to Iowa State)

 

Team commentary in 20 words or Less

Arizona: The Derrick and MoMo show is no more, but Miller is staying put. Wildcats rebuilt fast, however, and look good to go under Sean Miller.

Arizona State: Herb Sendek is playing small-ball with guys who can’t shoot straight. Will freshman PG Jahii Carson be able to turn the bus?

Cal: The Bears struggled with a wet-behind-the-ears starting lineup, but all that teaching time could pay off this year.

Colorado: The Buffs have a couple of decent young players, a hot head coach and a little momentum going into their new digs. With little certainty at the top of the Pac-12, they could have opportunities.

Oregon: Dana Altman proved he can coach by building a CBI championship team out of E.J. Singler and duct tape. Year two could be fun.

Oregon State: Craig Robinson is going to be up for re-election around the same time as his brother in law. Running mate Jared Cunningham could make the race exciting.

Stanford: Johnny Dawkins reeled in one of the best young point guards in the nation in Chasson Randle. Still looking for a reliable scorer with Jeremy Green gone.

UCLA: The Wear twins plus Josh Smith makes this a huge team, but the Bruins are still in need of a reliable point guard.

USC: The Trojans are losing Nikola Vucevic to the NBA and don’t look to have anything spectacular on the way in.

Washington: Top scorers Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning are gone, but the Huskies have a loaded freshman class coming in.

Washington State: Klay Thompson was a predictable loss, but the toughness of DeAngelo Casto will be missed as well. This team needs to find a new personality.

Utah: With a new head coach and transfers going in and out all over the place, this team is starting from scratch.


Photos: US Presswire

Big East Conference Catch-up

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