Tag:Virginia
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Tuesday polls: Let's hear who you're taking

By Matt Norlander

We want to know which teams you like this week, and by which sort of margin. Best of all? We're working in concert with Seth Davis and his TV show, so these results will get shared each Wednesday on "Courtside with Seth Davis" on the CBS Sports Network.

This is the third installment of the polls. You can swing by here each Tuesday just after lunchtime to make your clicks. So let's hear it.



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Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:32 pm
 

Podcast: Harrison Barnes and Austin Rivers' roles

By Matt Norlander

No one knows ACC basketball like Jim Young, the funny/snarky presence who runs ACCSports.com. Young joins me fresh off that three-point Duke win over Virginia Thursday night. Virginia did a lot of good there. But beyond Mike Scott, what do the Cavs have?

We're smothered in ACC chatter, which isn't necessarily a good thing. But from Maryland to N.C. State to UNC to Duke to Harrison Barnes to Austin Rivers, it's all covered today. Near the end we talk some music, too (I just can't help myself).

Our gabbing goes like this:
  • From the beginning: Some introductions and remembrances of podcasts past. Then it's on to talking Duke over Virginia, focusing primarily on Virginia.
  • 6:32: How do we assemble the ACC? UNC / Duke / Virginia / everyone else? Do we group Virginia with Duke?
  • 9:17: The problem with the ACC, the biggest one, is all the bizarre results that make it seem worse since so many teams played badly out of conference.
  • 12:54: A few moments on Maryland, which is the most interesting team outside of Duke and UNC.
  • 14:58: "I ... have no idea" is the appropriate slogan for the ACC in 2011-12.
  • 16:08: North Carolina, oddly under the radar right now? And let's get going with the Barnes talk.
  • 23:53: And now it's on to Austin Rivers, who a lot of people have a lot of opinions on what he should be doing for this team. This transitions into a general Duke discussion that I think is the most interesting part of the pod.
  • 32:18: Wrapping up the chat with some music talk. And if you've got any recs, feel free to tweet them at me.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:05 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 1:06 am
 

Night Court: Home losses are the common theme

By Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Looks like the MAAC is not going to be a cakewalk for Iona this season. The Gaels welcomed Manhattan into town and dominated for the first 32 minutes or so, leading by 17 with 7:58 remaining. Then the Jaspers turned on a switch and outscored Iona by 20 in the final eight minutes – capped by Emmy Andjuar’s banked-in 3 at the buzzer to give Manhattan a 75-72 victory. Go check out the video above.

Win to brag about: Wisconsin needed a win badly against Purdue – and the Badgers held off the Boilermakers for a 67-62 win. It was Purdue’s first home loss since Feb. 28, 2010. Wisconsin jumped out to a 22-4 lead on the strength of five 3-pointers, but Purdue slowly came back in the game, spurred by a nice offensive game from guard Terone Johnson. For a team that has struggled to provide secondary options to Jordan Taylor, getting five guys in double-figures was key for Wisconsin.

Win to brag about, Vol. 2: Saint Mary's continues to send a message to the rest of the WCC. After dominating BYU two weeks ago, the Gaels handled Gonzaga on Thursday night, 83-62. Potential league player of the year Rob Jones didn't score until there was 1:39 left in the game, although he grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists. Matthew Dellavedova was an absolute stud, hit several clutch 3-pointers and finishing with 26 points. The hero might have been freshman Brad Waldow, who came out of nowhere to rack up 17 points and nine rebounds. Will Gonzaga and BYU protect their respective homecourts the way Saint Mary's has done in Moraga? 

Loss to hide from: Minnesota isn’t a bad team by any stretch, but the Golden Gophers were 0-4 in the Big Ten going into Thursday night. On the other hand, Indiana had already beaten Kentucky and Ohio State at home so far this season. So what happened? Minnesota grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and forced 15 turnovers en route to a 77-74 victory. Indiana couldn’t get its shooting going, knocking down just 4-of-22 from 3-point range.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In a battle for first place in the Big South, UNC-Asheville overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Campbell. The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 in the conference behind a tremendous all-around performance from guard Matt Dickey. The senior had 19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals for UNCA.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: George Mason’s Ryan Pearson came into Thursday averaging 18.2 points per game. Against Drexel, Pearson shot just 1-for-9 from the field and finished with two points as George Mason suffered its first conference loss of the season. Pearson did grab 11 rebounds, but the Patriots needed his offense – and didn’t get it. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 6: Since Wes Miller took over as interim head coach for UNC-Greensboro, he had suffered six straight losses. He picked up his first win on Thursday at Charleston.
  • 47: That’s the combined number of free throws Robert Morris and Quinnipaic made on Thursday. Quinnipiac won, 78-76.
  • 6-for-26: That’s what Stanford and Utah shot from the free-throw line -- the worst combined percentage in a decade.
  • 16: That’s the number of assists Scott Machado dished out for Iona in its last-second loss to Manhattan.

Three other notable results:

  1. Virginia went 0-for-11 from 3-point range in the second half against Duke, but still had a chance to send the game into overtime. But Mike Scott and Jontel Evans both missed, giving Duke a 61-58 win. Despite the loss, Virginia is for real.
  2. Dee Bost stole the ball from Trae Golden in the final seconds and went the other way for a dunk to clinch Mississippi State’s 62-58 win over Tennessee.
  3. Murray State stayed undefeated by beating Jacksonville State, 66-55. 

Notes:

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:41 pm
 

UVA loses close at Duke but proves its worth

Tony Bennett's team must be tournament-bound after seeing the way it played at Cameron Thursday night. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Matt Norlander

In a typically enlightening post from RealGM’s Dan Hanner earlier Thursday afternoon, he noted how well Virginia had played against college basketball’s better teams so far this year. In short, the Hoos have been among the best teams against the best competition.

You might not think that, though. You might think, Since Virginia’s new to the national scene, on a rebuilding plan that’s perhaps ahead of schedule, they’ve beaten pin cushions on the way to a 14-1 season. You’d be wrong in thinking that. If I’m wrong in thinking you how you were thinking, forgive me for a similar sin. Nevertheless, Check Hanner’s work. It’s great and opens up some of myster surrounding one of the nation's most surprising teams.

Thursday night, Virginia had its toughest test yet, subsequently falling at Duke, 61-58. Most will come away impressed that Tony Bennett’s team could put itself in a position to have two 3s in the final seconds with overtime in the balance. Both fell short. Eleven 3s in total clanked off the rim in the second half. None got through the hoop. That hurts. Oh for 11 from deep in a three-point losing effort isn’t morally reassuring; it’s maddening as hell.

Still, Virginia firmly established itself as a worthy No. 3 ACC team, a group that’s most likely going to navigate itself to its first NCAA tournament berth in five years — and the second in the past 11. The ACC, which saw Clemson fail to win at morbidly offending Boston College Thursday night, is on pace to indecipherably slice itself into, max, a four-bid league. Who that fourth team is — we'll be waiting a while to find out.

We know Virginia’s the third, though. Mike Scott is so much the reason for that. The player who should be on our top 10 Player of the Year chase feature is as valuable to his team as anyone in the country outside of maybe Damian Lillard at Weber State. Scott finished with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. In most games he’s played this season, Scott’s walked off the floor with more points than anyone else.

When Duke’s involved in a game, and particularly when Duke wins, the story’s usually about the Devils. Not Thursday night. Thursday night was about how Virginia could handle itself in the toughest gym in the country and whether it proved to be in the room with UNC and Duke. For now, it does. 61-58 is seldom sexy but almost always speaks to the team keeping the score that low. Virginia's a much superior defensive team; it also dictated pace and made Duke play its game.

If you had looked at Ken Pomeroy’s pregame head-to-head comparison of these teams (and for those who love our game but are still holding out, the kingdom of information behind Pomeroy’s paywall is college basketball’s best bargain at $20/year), you would’ve seen a disparity in reds and dark greens that seemed to heavily favor Duke.

We’ll never be able to predict what’s truly coming after the tip, though, and I’m thankful Virginia kept it closer than anticipated. (Pomeroy’s model had a 67-59 Duke win. Pretty close.) The Cavs did themselves some good tonight, even if losses in conference are always a hard thing to get down. More than halfway through a season with a decent schedule, UVA is 14-2 and looking ahead to the two ACC Tech teams in the next 10 days.

They'll win close and ugly and will most likely drop one or two bad ones. I can feel that coming. But Virginia's now the Wisconsin of the East. It's better than Wisconsin, too. More reliable now, anyway. There are holes and many areas Virginia can get better (in short: rebound the ball on the offensive end better and get a guy or two to stretch defenses), but with what they've got they're the ACC's third best. No doubt.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:53 am
 

Podcast: Does CBB not have 25 great players?

By Matt Norlander

There's a grouping of surprising college basketball teams who've yet to feel the swoon of conference play. But are they for real? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman present their cases. They also discuss UConn's Final Four chances, why they'll come together.

There's also the matter of the Mountain West, which I believe is the fourth-best league in hoops, better than the ACC and Pac-12. Goodman and Parrish can't quite go there. It's a longer podcast today, 42 minutes, and at this point you know what you're getting on the Wednesday show: unfiltered bickering mixed in with some smart analysis.

Timesheet:
  • From the beginning: We had to record this Tuesday afternoon because Goodman is travelling to New York today. We started talking the Wooden Award ballots, primarily the bickering behind them.
  • 6:39: Compiling a list of 25 worthy players for this list proved to be tough. Isn't that a bad sign? Parrish equates it to the bubble.
  • 7:40: UConn is going to get it together, meaning they're going to resemble a team most will see making the Final Four, Elite Eight at the worst.
  • 12:51: UNLV landed Khem Birch and damn are the Rebels getting it done immediately with Dave Rice.
  • 16:35: I make the case the Mountain West is the fourth-best league, top to bottom. My superiors scoff in my general direction. Actually, they do more than that.
  • 19:54: The A10 is a jumbled mess -- can it afford to be one?
  • 23:37: Who's for real? There are six teams out there. "I think they're a real basketball team" makes me laugh much more than it should.
  • 32:08: The final 10 minutes ... it's just a bunch of gabbing. Goodman's schedule, Parrish feeling slighted I didn't ask about his schedule, me lamenting the most epic #whitepeopleproblem of all-time, me vs. Bob Huggins.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


Get CBSSports.com College Basketball updates on Facebook   

Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:22 am
 

Night Court: UVA reps for hoops on Bowl Monday



By
Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Alright, so we didn’t have anything that matched Oregon vs. Wisconsin or Oklahoma State vs. Stanford, but Virginia holding off LSU down the stretch wasn’t too bad. The Cavaliers needed two late free throws from Mike Scott to get the 57-52 win over a Tigers team that had defeated Marquette and was on a seven-game winning streak. Virginia improved to 13-1 on the season; Monday night’s win was its 11th in a row.

Win to brag about: Despite turning the ball over 31 times, Robert Morris went into Ohio and knocked off the Bobcats, 70-67. Ohio had won nine in a row heading into the game, including wins at Marshall and Northern Iowa. The Bobcats’ only previous loss had been to Louisville. The Northeast Conference should be very competitive at the top this season, but Andy Toole’s Colonials might be the favorite.

Loss to hide from: Wake Forest was without leading scorer C.J. Harris, but that’s no excuse for losing 56-52 at home to Wofford. The Terriers had lost four starters from last season and already had losses to High Points and UMKC this season. Travis McKie had 25 points and six rebounds for Wake Forest, but Wofford’s Brad Loesing countered with 17 points – and a win.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel went for the first triple-double in school history in a 67-41 win over Bethune-Cookman. The senior forward had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks. Gabriel shot 11-for-13 from the field and also pitched in with three assists and four steals for good measure.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: In order to beat No. 5 Baylor on the road on Monday night, Texas A&M needed all the offense it could get. Instead, leading scorer Khris Middleton shot just 4-for-17 from the field and also turned it over four times en route to a 61-52 loss. The team as a whole shot below 29 percent from the field and scored just 17 points in the first half, but Middleton’s struggles set the tone. Perry Jones’ 14 points and 12 rebounds paced Baylor.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 16.4: That’s how many points per game Jamal Wilson was averaging before Rhode Island kicked him off the team. The Rams are 2-0 since dismissing him, including a double-overtime win at Boston College on Monday.
  • 10: Georgia State has now won a school-record 10 straight games after beating Drexel by 14 on Monday. The Panthers are one of the biggest surprises in the CAA.
  • 12: That’s how many consecutive points Miami’s Shane Larkin scored against UNC-Greensboro. And he did it in 1:27. The Hurricanes won, 99-89, behind 30 points and 12 boards from Kenny Kadji. Trevis Simpson had 36 for UNCG. 

Three other notable results:

  1. VCU further showed why it is the CAA favorite heading into the final two months, beating Hofstra on the road, 80-63.
  2. Long Beach State kicked off Big West play with a 74-60 win over UC-Irvine. The 49ers can’t afford more than one or two losses if they harbor even remote at-large hopes.
  3. Vanderbilt made just two of its first 14 shots, but the Commodores bounced back to beat Miami (Ohio), 69-62. 

Notes:

  • UC Santa Barbara’s Orlando Johnson hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to give the Gauchos a 58-57 win over Cal Poly. UCSB head coach Bob Williams is now the winningest coach in school history.
  • Vermont and Stony Brook could be the two best teams in the America East. On Monday, Stony Brook landed the first punch, knocking off the Catamounts.
  • In other America East action, Gerardo Suero had 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Albany in its win over Hartford.
  • VMI’s Stan Okoye had one of the best all-around lines of the night: 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, four steals.
  • Campbell stayed undefeated in the Big South, beating previously-unbeaten Coastal Carolina in overtime, 70-65. The Chanticleers didn’t hit a field goal in the extra session.
  • Keith Rendleman racked up 24 points and 18 rebounds to lead UNC-Wilmington to a win over Delaware. The two teams combined for just two turnovers in the second half.

On tap: The competition picks up a little bit on Tuesday. The game of the night features Michigan State putting its 13-game winning streak on the line at Wisconsin. Two of the best big men in the Big East will battle when Seton Hall’s Herb Pope takes on Connecticut’s Andre Drummond. I will be in attendance for that one. Missouri also puts its undefeated record to the rest against Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener.

Photo: AP

Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Injury bug bites several in the opening week

By Jeff Borzello

The personnel shakeups in college basketball over the past few weeks have been alarming. There have been freshmen declared ineligible, players suspended for rules violations or NCAA issues and now injuries are beginning to hit a few contenders as well. Several players missed games over the weekend due to injury; are they replaceable?

Khris Middleton, Texas A&M

On Friday, Texas A&M announced that leading returning scorer Khris Middleton (right) had a partially torn meniscus in his right knee and would miss 3-4 weeks. Middleton, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds last season, and already had six points in the opener before suffering his injury. In his place, Ray Turner has stepped up his offensive production. Turner isn’t as athletic or the inside-outside option that Middleton is, but he scored 20 points in each of the first two games and also grabbed 14 rebounds.

Jordan Green took Middleton’s place in the lineup, providing a little bit of everything at the guard position. Fortunately for Billy Kennedy, the Aggies have plenty of depth to replace Middleton for the near future. A&M does head to Florida on Dec. 17; Middleton would certainly help the Aggies’ chances in Gainesville.

Mike Marra, Louisville

Louisville continues to get hit with the injury bug. Rakeem Buckles was already out until at least mid-December while freshman Wayne Blackshear will also miss the next couple of weeks. Stephan Van Treese is also still out with an injury. The news got worse on Sunday, as Mike Marra tore his ACL and will sit out the rest of the season. Marra was a good weapon off the bench who could come in and knock down jump shots.

Heading into the season, the Cardinals were overflowing with wings. Now, sophomore Russ Smith and freshman Angel Nunez might need to play more minutes than expected, while Jared Swopshire could see some time at the three. When Blackshear does return, he will have a chance to make an impact immediately off the bench.

Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt

With Festus Ezeli, it’s a matter of suspension and injury. He was suspended for the first six games of the season, but then sprained his MCL and PCL and will miss six-to-eight weeks. Vanderbilt clearly misses its best inside player, as the Commodores looked stagnant offensively and lost to Cleveland State on Sunday, 71-58. The 6-foot-11 Ezeli averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 boards last season, and the Commodores are having a tough time replacing him.

Steve Tchiengang took Ezeli’s place in the lineup, and he has totaled nine points and 12 rebounds in two games. He’s a physical presence on the glass, but he lacks offensive ability. Jeffery Taylor is more of a perimeter threat, while Lance Goulbourne is not one to do much with his back to the basket. The only other frontcourt option is Rod Odom, another face-up player. Vandy needs to bide its time until Ezeli returns, relying on the perimeter group more than ever.

Short-term absences

Erick Green, Virginia Tech: With freshman Marquis Rankin already out, Green was expected to take on more of a point guard role. However, he missed the opener against East Tennessee State with an Achilles injury. He is a game-time decision for Monday night’s game against Monmouth. Without Rankin and Green, the Hokies struggled to control the ball, racking up more turnovers than assists. Sophomore Tyrone Garland better be ready. Tech is also without forward J.T. Thompson, who will miss the entire season with an ACL tear in his right knee.

Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State: Who really knows with Sidney at this point? He missed Saturday’s game with a groin injury, but head coach Rick Stansbury also said he was “sick” at one point. Arnett Moultrie stepped up in his absence, going for 28 points and 13 rebounds. Center Wendell Lewis saw an increase in minutes, but he is more of a factor on the boards and on the defensive end. Sidney should be back soon, but his attitude and conditioning is more of a concern than his injury.

Sammy Zeglinski, Virginia: The Cavaliers kicked off their campaign with a 37-point victory over South Carolina State on Sunday. Zeglinski, who played nearly 26 minute per game last season, missed the game with a sprained ankle. In his place, Jontel Evans handled the position effectively. The two split time last season, and Evans puts on more pressure at both ends. Zeglinski can play off the ball as well, and his injury isn’t expected to keep him out.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: November 13, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Virginia poised to make leap in the ACC

By Jeff Borzello

Outside of North Carolina, Duke and maybe Florida State, the ACC is fairly wide-open this season. There is a gap between the Seminoles and the next team in line, just waiting for a team to step up and be a contender.

Why not Virginia?

The Cavaliers got off to a roaring start to their season on Sunday afternoon, thoroughly handling South Carolina State, 75-38. Mike Scott was his typically impressive self, racking up eight points and 15 rebounds, while Joe Harris got hot early and scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

Sure, it was just South Carolina State, which is not expected to be much of a factor in the MEAC race. For me, though, the Cavaliers just needed to look good in order for me to be a believer.

It starts with Tony Bennett, who was 31-31 in two seasons since arriving in Charlottesville. On the surface, that’s obviously not impressive, but there was plenty of injuries and plenty of personnel attrition along the way. Bennett now has a roster full of his type of players, which means they will get after it on the defensive end and make life difficult for the opponent at the other end.

The return of Scott is a huge boost. He’s one of the most underrated players in the conference, and flew even further under the radar this season after missing most of last year with an ankle injury. Scott provides a legitimate inside option for the Cavaliers.

The perimeter is deep and talented. Harris and K.T. Harrell are both talented shooters who spurred multiple runs for the Cavaliers against South Carolina State on Sunday. When they are knocking down their shots, it opens up more opportunities for Scott down low. Jontel Evans is a quick point guard who creates pressure on both sides of the ball, and Sammy Zeglinski, who missed Sunday with an ankle injury, can play both guard spots. Freshman Malcolm Brogdon can be an impact player.

When Bennett has had success in the past, he has had a very solid perimeter, capable inside players and a ferocious defense. The Cavaliers have the pieces to be like that this season. They have been one of the better defensive teams in the ACC the past two seasons, but have simply not had the offensive firepower or inside play to contend with the top teams in the conference. They’ve shown flashes, but haven’t been able to put it together on a consistent basis.

If everyone stays healthy, and Assane Sene and James Johnson provide something up front, don’t be surprised to see Virginia finish fourth in the ACC and go dancing come March.

Photo: US Presswire

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