Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:18 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 8:24 pm

Texas A&M's Kennedy battling Parkinson's

By Gary Parrish

Texas A&M basketball coach Billy Kennedy announced on Thursday that he is "dealing with" an early stage of Parkinson's, the disease most closely associated with Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox.

"I have been experiencing neck and shoulder pain for several months," Kennedy said. "While not debilitating, the pain has affected my ability to sleep with any duration or regularity. As a result of this and my schedule, I had reached a state of exhaustion and was advised by my attending physician to take some time to restore my strength and to further explore the underlying cause of my discomfort. Through testing, it has been discovered that I am dealing with an early stage of Parkinson’s disease. At this time, I am heeding the advice of my doctors and addressing the disease and its symptoms. We have begun a long-term treatment plan and recovery. My doctors are encouraged and are telling me I will be able to come back soon."

Kennedy, 47, is in his first year at Texas A&M.

The former Murray State coach took over after Mark Turgeon left for Maryland.

"I am very grateful for the outpouring of support and the prayers from friends, family and the Aggie Network," Kennedy said. "We have a good prognosis, be encouraged, and join with me in eager anticipation for the success that awaits us. My intention is to return to the court as soon as it is prudent. Until my return, I have great confidence in Coach [Glynn] Cyprien and the staff I have assembled to lead this great group of young men and this basketball program."

Kennedy's diagnosis was a surprise because Parkinson's doesn't usually affect people until after the age of 50. It's difficult to predict how Parkinson's will affect any specific individual, but when identified early and treated studies show a man may go more than 15 years before he reaches a stage of high dependency from caregivers.

"Our foremost concern is for Coach Kennedy and his family," said Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne. "Billy knows he can count on us and the Aggie Network for support. I fully expect Billy to have a long and illustrious coaching career here in Aggieland when he is cleared to return to the court. Meanwhile, I have confidence in the staff Billy has hired and in our basketball team. I’m anxious to get the season started and to get Billy back on the basketball court."
Posted on: October 26, 2011 7:16 pm

SEC clears Holloway to play at Ole Miss this year

By Gary Parrish

A source told CBSSports.com that the SEC on Wednesday endorsed the NCAA's decision to make Murphy Holloway immediately eligible, meaning the transfer from South Carolina will play for Ole Miss this season.

An official announcement is expected soon.

Holloway played two years at Ole Miss before transferring to South Carolina to help take care of his infant daughter. He sat out last season per normal NCAA transfer rules, then decided to transfer back to Ole Miss and apply for a waiver to play immediately. The NCAA approved his waiver earlier this month, but the SEC still needed to endorse it. That, a source said, happened Thursday.

Holloway is a 6-foot-7 forward

He averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 2:31 pm

The SEC Media has done it again

By Gary Parrish

Remember when the SEC Media didn't vote John Wall on the preseason SEC First Team?

I do.

I wrote this about it.

Now they've done the same thing to Anthony Davis, and I think I'll just cut what I wrote about Wall, paste it here and change the names where necessary. It'll make the same point and save some time. Here goes:

The SEC media poll and preseason awards have been released.

Kentucky is picked to win the league.

That's smart.

John Wall Anthony Davis was voted Second Team All-SEC.

That's dumb ... and you'll see why in time, I'm certain. Speaking of, I have a friend who watched Kentucky practice recently. When it was over he sent the following text: "Just done watching UK practice. Wow. John Anthony is incredible."

Anyway ...

Now I know what you're thinking: Who cares, Parrish?

Answer: I care. And you do, too. That's why you're reading this. And though I realize there are no hard and fast rules to voting for preseason teams, they should, in my opinion, try to serve as predictions for how the postseason team might look. Using that as the gauge, not having Davis on the SEC First Team is undeniably stupid. He's the most talented player on the most talented team in the league. Like I once wrote about Wall, you'll see in time, I'm certain. And please don't mention how "Davis hasn't even played a college game yet," because that's the dumbest thing college basketball fans annually spend October saying about incoming freshmen. Remember, Jared Sullinger had never played a college game, either ... until he did. Then he got 19 points and 14 rebounds in Ohio State's season-opening win, and that shouldn't have surprised anybody.


Because some guys are just obviously gifted.

Jared Sullinger is one of those guys.

Anthony Davis is, too.
Posted on: October 22, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 2:36 pm

Stallings feels 'pressure' to advance in March

By Gary Parrish

A column about Bruce Pearl garners cookout remarks. A column about John Calipari gets references to vacated Final Fours. A column about Rick Pitino leads to emails loaded with tired and not-really-funny-anymore sex jokes, and this is how it goes pretty much every time.

Reader comments are usually predictable.

I learned this years ago.

So I wasn't surprised when my column professing belief that this season's Vanderbilt Commodores are built to compete for anything and everything, including a trip to the Final Four, was met with skepticism, nor was I shocked that the main reason folks seem skeptical is because Kevin Stallings has lost his NCAA tournament opener in each of his past three trips, all to lower-seeded teams. I knew what the perception of Stallings and, by extension, his program would bring before I ever typed a word. In fact, I spoke to Stallings about his lack of postseason success in recent years, and he discussed it with great candor.

"The only thing the typical fan base cares about is how you finish, and I share the frustration with the fans," Stallings said. "There's nobody who wants to win or have better finishes than the players and the coaching staff, but [the recent losses are] not going to ruin my life because there are too many good things happening here, too many bright spots, too many success stories, and I believe these guys are having great experiences. But I will say this: It'll be greater if they have success in the NCAA tournament, and for that I feel a responsibility, and I feel a little bit of pressure."

When's the last time you heard a coach acknowledge feeling pressure?

And it's not job-security pressure.

Vanderbilt isn't firing its coach no matter what happens this season.

What Stallings was talking about is pressure from his desire to give his players the best college experiences possible, and he knows tournament-opening losses don't provide great experiences. He also knows fans -- both his fans and opposing fans -- talk about how he's never advanced past the Sweet 16, and how he hasn't won an NCAA tournament game since 2007. Granted, Stallings doesn't completely understand why that's all people talk about given the fact that he's running a program that can be respected nationally for how it operates on and off the court, but he's aware of the perception and would love nothing more than to change it.

"We're 4-5 in the NCAA tournament [since I've been at Vanderbilt], so it's not like we haven't won," Stallings said. "We've gotten bumped lately, and that's no fun. But most programs would be very happy with a [near] .500 record in the NCAA tournament. ... And I have to give some appreciation to my boss, David Williams. Because the first thing he says is, 'Hey, you've got to get there to lose.' There was a long stretch where Vanderbilt wasn't getting there, and he has that perspective, and I appreciate the support he provides. But we would still like to finish better than we have, because I want these guys to have the greatest experiences they can."
Posted on: October 21, 2011 7:58 pm

Blackshear cleared to play for Louisville

By Gary Parrish

The NCAA informed Louisville on Friday that McDonald's All-American Wayne Blackshear has been cleared to compete as a freshman, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com. The news was first reported by Scout.com's Evan Daniels.

CBSSports.com reported last weekend that Blackshear wasn't yet through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"But Wayne's situation is, I think, pretty good," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said at the time. "We are optimistic."

For good reason, apparently. A source told CBSSports.com that Louisville learned Blackshear had been cleared toward the end of Friday's practice. He will likely be held out of Saturday's practice because, the source added, the 6-foot-5 wing "won't be ready. "

"But he'll go Monday," the source said.

CBSSports.com rated Blackshear as the 24th-best prospect in the Class of 2011.
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 8:26 am

The Poll Attacks are back

By Gary Parrish

The Coaches Poll
just got released.

I've looked it over good.

Now it's time to Poll Attack.


Before looking at the poll I knew I'd be OK at the top as long as North Carolina and Kentucky got every first-place vote, and that's exactly what happened. Thirty-one coaches voted. Thirty put UNC No. 1. One put UK No. 1. And I'm cool with that. But a No. 1 vote for any other school would've been silly and an example of a voter being different just for the sake of being different, and I hate voters like that. So I'm glad the Coaches Poll didn't feature any voters like that. That's why I start with praise.

But how did St. John's get 11 votes?

The top eight players from last season's team -- that's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight -- are all gone, leaving Malik Stith as the leading returning scorer. He's a 5-foot-11 guard who averaged 3.3 points in 12.2 minutes per game last season. Meantime, three of the top recruits have been ruled academically ineligible, which leaves St. John's with, I believe, just seven scholarship players. None of the veterans are impact players at the Division I level. None of the newcomers are named Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond. So this is not a team that should be getting votes for the Top 25. It's a team that should instead be picked about 12th in the Big East, which is where Big East coaches placed the Red Storm earlier this week.

And VCU getting four votes doesn't make much sense, either.

Look, nobody loves Shaka Smart more than me.

He's terrific.

But Jamie Skeen is not walking through that door.

And neither is Brandon Rozzell.

Or Joey Rodriguez.

Or Ed Nixon.

That means four of the top five scorers from last season's team are gone, and even that team -- the team with Skeen, Rozzell, Roriguez and Nixon -- finished just fourth in the Colonial ... behind George Mason, Old Dominion and Hofstra. People forget that because of the run to the Final Four. But the truth is that VCU was a bubble team for four months last season, and this team isn't as talented as that team. Perhaps Smart will prove me wrong. God knows he's done it before. But for now the Rams shouldn't be on anybody's Top 25 ballot.

Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:27 am

Preseason candidates for Tisdale Award announced

By Gary Parrish

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced on Thursday its 12 preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award that annually honors the nation's top freshman. Three of the 12 -- Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague -- play at Kentucky.

The full list is as follows:
  • Brad Beal (Florida)
  • Chane Behanan (Louisville)
  • Khem Birch (Pittsburgh)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Andre Drummond (Connecticut)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
  • Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
  • Josiah Turner (Arizona)
  • Cody Zeller (Indiana)
Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won the Wayman Tisdale Award last season.

Sullinger is the CBSSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year this season.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 1:30 pm

Syracuse's 2003 title team was young, too

By Gary Parrish

I wrote a column last week while in Kentucky about how much the Wildcats will use freshmen this season, and I made the point in that column that "no team in the history of college basketball has ever won a national championship relying so heavily" on the type of young roster John Calipari possesses. I could still argue that's technically true because four of Kentucky's top seven figure to be freshmen, and two others are sophomores. But what I've discovered -- because a friend pointed it out -- is that Syracuse's 2003 championship roster was built similarly.

Three of the top five scorers were freshman -- Carmelo Anthony (22.2 ppg), Gerry McNamara (13.3), Billy Edelin (9.0).

Hakim Warrick (14.8 ppg) was the second-leading scorer.

He was a sophomore.

Josh Pace (4.3) and Craig Forth (3.8) were sixth and seventh in scoring.

They were both sophomores, too.

The lone senior on the team was Kueth Duany.

He averaged 11.0 points per game.

So, yes, Kentucky's top seven this season will be technically younger than Syracuse's top seven was in 2003 because UK will use four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior instead of three freshmen, three sophomores and a senior. But, obviously, it's close. And I just thought that was something worth noting.

Also worth noting ...

That Syracuse team lost its season-opener.

The coach who beat them?

John Calipari.

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