Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 9:32 am

Parrish's Early Watch List for Naismith Award

By Gary Parrish

The Atlanta Tipoff Club is nice enough to let me vote for its prestigious Naismith Award.

I just filed my 50-player ballot for the Early Season Watch List.

Here's how it looks:
  • Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame)
  • Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
  • Will Barton (Memphis)
  • Brad Beal (Florida)
  • Tarik Black (Memphis)
  • Dee Bost (Mississippi State)
  • William Buford (Ohio State)
  • Aaron Craft (Ohio State)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Marcus Denmon (Missouri)
  • Andre Drummond (Connecticut)
  • Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh)
  • Mike Glover (Iona)
  • Draymond Green (Michigan State)
  • JaMychal Green (Alabama)
  • Jorge Gutierrez (California)
  • Elias Harris (Gonzaga)
  • John Henson (North Carolina)
  • Tu Holloway (Xavier)
  • Robbie Hummel (Purdue)
  • Scoop Jardine (Syracuse)
  • John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
  • Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette)
  • Kevin Jones (West Virginia)
  • Perry Jones (Baylor)
  • Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
  • Kris Joseph (Syracuse)
  • DeAndre Kane (Marshall)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Doron Lamb (Kentucky)
  • Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
  • Kendall Marshall (North Carolina)
  • Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota)
  • Doug McDermott (Creighton)
  • Khris Middleton (Texas A&M)
  • Reeves Nelson (UCLA)
  • Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)
  • Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Thomas Robinson (Kansas)
  • Terrence Ross (Washington)
  • John Shurna (Northwestern)
  • Peyton Siva (Louisville)
  • Josh Smith (UCLA)
  • Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
  • Jeffery Taylor (Vanderbilt)
  • Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
  • Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
  • Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 4:26 pm

Pitino's Louisville First vs. Cal's Players First

By Gary Parrish

LOUISVILLE -- So I was walking around Louisville's practice facility Saturday, and I kept seeing shirts that read "Louisville First." Apparently, that's this season's slogan for the Cardinals. Team first. Nothing else matters. Check your ego at the door. Louisville First.

No big deal, right?

Coaches do stuff like this all the time.

But then I started thinking about John Calipari's Media Day on Thursday and the speech he gave at Friday's Big Blue Madness, and I couldn't help but make a connection between Louisville's new slogan and Calipari's favorite new phrase -- Players First. "This is a players-first program," he said over and over again, and it really is classic Calipari. He's always one step ahead, trying to turn somebody's something into something else. You see, once Pitino decided to tout his program as a program that puts the team first, Calipari decided to take the opposite approach and hammer into recruits' heads whatthat he's a players-first coach and only at Kentucky to help prospects "reach their dreams." Yes, Calipari has used the phrase before, but he's never used it as relentlessly as he's been using it lately. Everything is players-first-this and players-first-that. If Final Fours and national championships happen to come with that, well, that's fine, too. But it's players first at UK. Players first. Players first. Players first. Don't ever forget it.

So funny.

I love stuff like this.

Season tips Nov. 7
Anyway, besides that it's been fairly quiet in the Pitino-Calipari War of Words since the Louisville coach, in response to the Kentucky coach, said he planned to "ignore the jealous ... ignore the malicious ... ignore the ignorant and ... ignore the paranoid." If true, that's too bad because the Pitino-Calipari rivalry makes the Louisville-Kentucky rivalry tops in college basketball. I personally won't be satisfied until Calipari brings up Karen Sypher and Pitino spends 20 minutes talking about how much he'd hate it if one of his five Final Fours were ever vacated, much less two. Up to me, that's where we're headed. But after talking to some Louisville and Kentucky players about it over the weekend, I'm convinced I'm more into the rivalry between their coaches than they are, and you, the fans, probably are, too.

"We don't hear much about it, but our fans are always like, 'That Calipari is this,' and then the UK fans are like 'Rick Pitino is this and that,'" Louisville guard Peyton Siva said with a laugh. "Hey, it's Louisville vs. Kentucky. It's the fans' rivalry, and they feed into it. So anything Coach P says about Kentucky, they're gonna blow it up. And anything Coach Calipari says about Louisville, they're going to blow it up.

"It's fun," Siva concluded. "But we don't worry about it much."
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 11:51 am

Louisville freshman still waiting to be cleared

By Gary Parrish

LOUISVILLE -- A shoulder injury has Louisville's Wayne Blackshear unable to practice.

But the NCAA Clearinghouse is delaying his college career, too.

"It's just a matter of the Clearinghouse clearing him," Louisville coach Rick Pitino told CBSSports.com, meaning the Clearinghouse hasn't yet cleared the McDonald's All-American to compete as a freshman.

Blackshear is a 6-foot-5 wing from Chicago.

CBSSports.com rated him as the 24th-best prospect in the Class of 2011.

"Yes," Pitino answered when asked if he's optimistic Blackshear will get through the Clearinghouse. "They're being a lot tougher this year than they have been in the past. But Wayne's situation is, I think, pretty good. We are optimistic."

To Pitino's point about the Clearinghouse being "a lot tougher this year," Kansas announced Friday that two of its freshmen -- Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor -- have been ruled ineligible. St. John's has had three heralded freshmen ruled ineligible. UCF's top recruit, Michael Chandler, also failed to make it through the Clearinghouse.

This development is not the first problem with Louisville's recruiting class.

Kevin Ware, a 6-4 guard from Georgia, was ruled ineligible last month, but he could join the Cardinals in December if his SAT score increases. Pitino said Ware is scheduled to retake the SAT next week. Meantime, McDonald's All-American Chane Behanan also didn't open practice with his teammates. The 6-6 forward watched Saturday's workouts with a boot on his right foot because of a sprained ankle suffered in Friday night's scrimmage.

"But he'll be ready by Monday," Pitino said.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 9:17 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 12:15 pm

Calipari: This is a 'players-first program'

By Gary Parrish

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- John Calipari stood on the massive stage, his Final Four-caliber team of future pros seated behind him, the words KENTUCKY EFFECT on a screen as the backdrop behind them, and the larger-than-life Kentucky coach spoke for 12 minutes about what he's done and what he plans to do.

It was more Obama than Krzyzewski.

More campaign speech than are-you-ready-for-some-basketball.

And that's because Calipari wasn't talking to you or I as much as he was talking to them -- the prospects here at Big Blue Madness both officially and unofficially, a group headlined by Class of 2012 stars Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin, Dajuan Coleman and Willie Cauley. They won't all attend Kentucky. At least I don't think they'll all attend Kentucky. But some of them will, and Calipari made an obvious effort to make them aware that when they enroll they'll be part of a "players-first program."

"This is a players-first program," he said. "We are here to help them reach their dreams."

That's the thing about basketball prospects these days.

Season tips Nov. 7
Their dreams are different than your dreams.

Fans have dreams of No. 1 rankings and national championships, but kids, for the most part, just want to get picked in the lottery. If they happen to make a Final Four along the way, great. But the dream is almost always the NBA. Calipari understands this as well as anybody. And he doesn't fight it. He embraces it. Which is why he stood on that massive stage in front of a capacity crowd at Rupp Arena and talked mostly about what the UK program can do for players and what those players can then turn around and do for the UK program.

That the Wildcats produced five first-round picks in 2010 was mentioned.

That is, after all, the kind of thing that gets recruits' attention.

"That had never been done before and it may never be done again," Calipari said. "Unless we do it here, of course."

Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 8:12 pm

Rick Ross is alive and still headed to FedExForum

By Gary Parrish

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Big Blue Madness should be wild here at Rupp Arena tonight, but John Calipari's old school is where the Madness news is this afternoon because a plane carrying Rick Ross from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis had to make an emergency landing after the rap superstar reportedly had a seizure.

TMZ.com reported the news.

This is a basketball story because Ross was scheduled to perform at tonight's Memphis Madness.

And he still is.

Exactly what happened on that plane and to Ross remains unclear. But Ross has already called Memphis officials and said "don't believe the media reports," Tigers coach Josh Pastner told CBSSports.com by phone. "He said he's OK. He'll be here."

That news was a relief to Pastner.

"I had people calling asking what I did to the Boss," Pastner said, and you should know that Boss is one of Ross' many nicknames. "But the Boss is still coming. He's alive."

Crisis avoided.

Long live Ricky Rozay.

UPDATE: Ross had another seizure this afternoon on a private jet headed to Memphis, according to TMZ.com. He's now reportedly hospitalized in Birmingham, Ala. So if you're keeping track, that's two seizures and one TwitVid in the past 12 hours for the Boss. Crazy. And scary.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 2:59 pm

It's Madness Day and we are everywhere

By Gary Parrish

LEXINGTON, Ky -- It's Big Blue Madness Day in Kentucky, and folks really do like blue around here. They wear blue shirts and blue hats; I've even seen some blue shoes. And I'm not talking about students, exclusively. Old people wear lots of blue, too. It's a little crazy, but I'd expect nothing less from the nation's most passionate fan base as their national-championship-caliber team prepares to open practice tonight at Rupp Arena.

I will be there.

Then I'll spend Saturday with Louisville.

And Sunday with Vanderbilt.

Season tips Nov. 7
And Monday with Memphis.

Meaning my next four days will be spent with the coaches who have the teams ranked No. 2 (Kentucky), No. 7 (Vanderbilt), No. 8 (Louisville) and No. 9 (Memphis) in our preseason Top 25 (and one). Meantime, my colleague Jeff Goodman is spending the next two days with No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke, then he'll be with No. 5 Ohio State on Monday. My colleague Matt Norlander is with No. 3 Connecticut. My colleague Jeff Borzello is with No. 4 Syracuse.

What does that mean?

It means CBSSports.com staff writers will spend the next four days with the teams ranked first to ninth in the preseason Top 25 (and one), and I'm not sure any website or newspaper in America (or any other country in the world, for that matter) can match how we're attacking this college basketball season. So you're in the right place. We've already had Jerry Palm project the Field of 68, and Goodman and I have filled out his bracket. We've got conference previews running daily, and columns on North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut and Syracuse up now.

Check them out.

Check everything out.

Then bookmark this blog and keep coming back.

Because we aren't planning to slow down until at least mid-April.

Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 1:42 pm

Oher and Tuohy about to be reunited in Baltimore

By Gary Parrish

Sean Tuohy Jr has been asking Michael Oher to come to his high school games for the past two years.

Almost every time, there's been a reason Oher couldn't make it.

But those reasons are about to become invalid.

"He's always had excuses for not flying in for my games," Tuohy said. "Now he'll have to come to them all."

That's the result of Tuohy recently committing to Loyola-Maryland -- a Metro Atlantic School located in Baltimore about 15 minutes from where his older brother lives. And if the names in this story sound familiar, they should. Oher is the Ravens offensive lineman who was the subject of "The Blind Side;" Tuohy is the little brother from the book and film, the one everybody called SJ. He's now a senior point guard at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. That's the same school where Oher starred in football before attending Ole Miss.

"I really didn't think about him factoring into my decision until after I had decided," Tuohy said, and that's true. But, rest assured, Oher will be a factor going forward. The former first-round pick will likely be a regular at Loyola-Maryland games starting in 2012-13. Meantime, Tuohy should be able to score Ravens tickets pretty much whenever he wants.

"I better," Tuohy said. "I better."
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:56 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 2:32 pm

NCAA's ruling on Abromaitis violates common sense

By Gary Parrish

Students ought to be able to trust campus officials.

We can all agree on that, right?

Whether it's a counselor or a professor or even a men's basketball coach, a student should be able to take that person's word as gospel and know that whatever they're being told about a decision being made is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Which is why the NCAA's decision to suspend Tim Abromaitis from Notre Dame's first four games this season is disappointing, because the mistake that caused it was clearly a misunderstanding of a rule that could easily be misunderstood, and Irish coach Mike Brey -- not Abromaitis -- is the one who misunderstood it.

As my colleague Jeff Borzello pointed out earlier, Abromaitis played in two exhibition games as a sophomore, then sat out the rest of the season as a redshirt. That's the mistake. Because though the NCAA allows freshmen to play in exhibitions and still redshirt, it does not afford sophomores, juniors and seniors the same opportunity. The rule is written clearly in the book, but surely you can see how Brey might've got confused because, let's be honest, how often are sophomores, juniors and seniors redshirted at the high-major level? Brey probably didn't understand the difference in the situations because he never had to understand the difference in the situations. So Brey messed up. And he acknowledged it. And it was obviously an innocent mistake ... but the NCAA still opted to suspend Abromaitis for the first four games of this season, and that just isn't right.

Yes, I understand ignorance is no excuse.

I get that.

But I also believe common sense should always trump everything.

And Abromaitis having to pay for something that's so meaningless and not his fault seems to violate common sense.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com