Posted on: November 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 2:49 pm
By Jeff Goodman
NEW YORK -- Jim Boeheim began the media gathering on Tuesday afternoon at the Marriott Marquis with the following statement:
"This is all about basketball," said Boeheim, whose Syracuse team will play Virginia Tech Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden. "If you want to talk about something else, I'm going to leave."
"I made one statement," he later added of his initial comments which followed ESPN's report that Orange associate head coach Bernie Fine had had sexually molested a pair of former team ball boys. "And I thought it was the right statement."
Let's face it, though. No one was there to talk basketball with the Syracuse head coach -- except for maybe the elder gentleman with the funky hat. We were all there to make certain that Boeheim didn't pop off again about Fine, and the recent allegations levied about Fine and sexual abuse with former ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang.
Boeheim came out strong immediately against the 39-year-old Davis, saying he and Lang, 45, were searching for a payday.
Boeheim was fairly tame (by Boeheim standards), but it didn't take much to prod Boeheim into at least touching on the situation -- and allegations -- involving a guy who he has known for 50 years.
"It's been investigated three times," Boeheim said. "And it's going to be investigated again ... Everything will work itself out in time - and when the results are in, we'll know."
The latest in the investigation is whether the police will release all the documents to the district attorney.
"I support Bernie - as I said before," Boeheim said. "I've known him for 50 years. If something else happens to surface with facts, we'll have to adjust to that."
But Boeheim has no regrets regarding his initial statements.
"This has been investigated three times," he said. "Bernie has been a great friend, a great person to work with. Until something factual comes up, it's not going to change a thing."
"What we have is to be determined," Boeheim added. "We have to see what we have. We don't know."
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 3:23 pm
By Matt Norlander
Looks like Tuesday is going to be a pretty big day in the Bernie Fine case up at Syracuse.
UPDATE: The State Supreme Court Justice postponed this case until next Tuesday.
The District Attorney's Office from Onondaga County wants the police reports and records that relate to anything doing with the sexual molestation allegations against Bernie Fine -- plus any other publicly undisclosed records relating to Fine and what would be considered relevant to this case.
William Fitzpatrick, the county D.A., obtained a subpoena Monday, "requiring the police to turn over the records from 2002 to the present for presentation to a grand jury today, he said," according to the Post-Standard.
Police Deputy Chief Shawn Broton, according to the Post-Standard, reacted to being subpoenaed "with an obscenity."
The police didn't immediately oblige. Interesting, right? The fact this battle has also been so public -- and that the DA has been on the record about quite a few things from the get-go -- is also surprising. Now the two sides will go to court Tuesday to determine if the D.A. Office has the right to see the records, or whether the Syracuse Police Department gets to keep things in house now that this case has become warm again.
CBSSports.com filed a request for certain records relating to this case under the Freedom of Information Act last week. We have not heard back from the Syracuse Police Department yet.
Fitzpatrick is adamant this is going to go his way, and soon.
“The records are going to be provided,” he told the Post-Standard.
Posted on: November 20, 2011 6:40 pm
By Jeff Goodman
It was just the ninth triple-double in UConn history.
No, it wasn't Jeremy Lamb. It wasn't Andre Drummond, either.
It was sophomore point guard Shabazz Napier.
As I've said over and over - and Huskies coach Jim Calhoun has also stated: Napier is the key to the Huskies.
While veteran big man Alex Oriakhi is struggling and freshman Andre Drummond has been consistent, a bright spot thus far has been the emergence of Napier.
I'd like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. I had him near the top of my list of Breakout Guys for this season.
Napier, despite not shooting it well a year ago, is a terrific shooter. He's also one of the top defensive guards in the country. And now he's starting to learn how to run a team.
Napier finished the win over Coppin State with 22 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds -- with just a lone turnover. Through the first four games, he's averaging 18 points, 6.2 assists, 6 rebounds and 2.2 turnovers per game.
He said the guy he watched in the summer at the camps he attended was Pittsburgh's Ashton Gibbs.
"I know he's looked at as a scoring guard," Napier said after the win. "One thing he does so well is get everyone involved and also know when to score."
Napier also spoke about his new haircut - which he refers to as a "rat tail." He said he has it in honor of a friend, Ernest Likely, who was killed last season.
"It's a Boston thing," Napier said. "He came to a lot of my games."
"I'm thinking of cutting it," he added. "I've got the barber coming tonight and I need a haircut. I'm not sure yet."
If I was Napier, I wouldn't change much. The new floor game - and rat tail - seem to be working for him.
Posted on: November 19, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 8:15 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Even if you run away from the fire, you can still get burned.
Just ask Mick Cronin.
Cronin has been bashed for Cincinnati's weak non-conference schedule for the second consecutive year - and deservedly so.
A consensus Top 25 team this season, the Bearcats started with Alabama State, Jacksonville State and Presbyterian. Radford, Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Chicago State are also litter the non-league slate.
There are a few dangerous teams on the schedule: Marshall and Miami (Ohio), but the BCS teams are also lackluster with Georgia and Oklahoma.
Well, Cronin's team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday against Presbyterian.
The Blue Hose came back from a 15-point second half deficit for a 56-54 victory.
I was reluctant to put Cincinnati in the Top 25 to open this season and it had nothing to do with its schedule. Sure, the Bearcats finished strong last season - but they lost a few intangible guys.
Yancy Gates and Sean Kilpatrick both produced, but there wasn't much else. In fact, there was virtually nothing out of Cincinnati's bench.
Cincinnati may wind up making the NCAA tournament and making its way back into the Top 25, but feasting on cupcakes is hardly the way to do so.
Especially now -- when the cupcakes don't taste quite so good.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 10:51 am
By Matt Norlander
With a lot of moving parts, uncertainty, panicking and judgment already getting tossed on this Syracuse story, I wanted to bring on someone in the media who knows this program as well as anyone.
Mike Waters of the Post-Standard is that person. He was well aware of who Bobby Davis was back in 2003, when Davis was interviewed multiple times by the newspaper, when he claimed then as he does now: Bernie Fine sexually molested him time after time in the '80s and into the '90s.
Normally I give timestamps on what gets talked about when, but today's podcast is just over 18 minutes, a fluid conversation, and we run the gamut as best as we can with this. We can't jump to any conclusions right now, and there's a film over this story that still needs a lot of scrubbing. Waters discusses how the paper reported the story originally and why it wasn't run. We examine why Jim Boeheim has already come out so strongly in defense of his friend of nearly 50 years.
We switfly get to the big questiosn regarding this issue right now, as of Friday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m.
These podcasts go live on the site and on iTunes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, usually around lunchtime or a little before. CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman, Gary Parrish and I have our weekly gabfest each Wednesday. Monday and Fridays we try to bring on personalities and scribes from around the sport. Listen on your iPod; subscribe on iTunes. Or use the RSS feed. And we've even got the Zune-minded hooked up, too.
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 12:54 am
Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s slate of college basketball games …
Game of the day: As Matt Norlander pointed out in the preseason, Long Beach State has the toughest non-conference schedule in the country – by far. In order to prove themselves, though, the 49ers needed to pick up a win or two. They went into Pittsburgh on Wednesday night and handled the No. 9 Panthers, 86-76. Casper Ware had 26 points and six assists for LBSU, which will try to pull off another upset on Nov. 28 at Louisville.
Loss to hide from: Not saying Central Arkansas is remotely good or is supposed to win more than a handful of games this season, but the Bears lost to Philander Smith at home, 97-90. Philander Smith is an NAIA school in Arkansas with just four sports and an enrollment of 850. And Central Arkansas lost to them. Don’t expect much from Corliss Williamson’s troops this season in the Southland.
Player who deserves improper benefits: We already talked about Ware, but he needs to get a second mention here. Ware had received plenty of hype throughout his career as a playmaker and a high-level scorer, but he really put on a display against Pittsburgh tonight. He knocked down deep 3-pointers, drove to the basket and finished, and was also tremendous in transition. His confidence and swagger took LBSU to a new level.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Two of the scoring stars in the Summit League had a chance to pull off SEC upsets on Wednesday. Both players struggled. Oakland’s Reggie Hamilton shot 3-for-14 and turned the ball over six times in a 23-point loss Arkansas. Stat-sheet stuffer Nate Wolters went 6-for-16 as South Dakota State was handled by Georgia.
Numbers don’t lie:
Three other notable results:
On tap: Lots of tournament action tomorrow. In the 2K Sports Classic, Texas A&M takes on Mississippi State and Arizona faces St. John’s. The marquee opening-round game in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off is Purdue against Iona, while Maryland also goes against Alabama. Other interesting games include VCU vs. Seton Hall and Fairfield vs. Minnesota.
Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:09 am
By Matt Norlander
Louisville, the No. 7 team in the latest edition of the CBSSports Top 25 (and one), just took a hit it could ill afford. The school annonced late Sunday night that junior guard/forward Mike Marra will be out for the season after tearing his left ACL during the Cards' game against Lamar Sunday.
Marra's injury, which occured with 12:17 to go in the game, caused him to be carried off the court -- it was then that fans feared the worst.
"A magnetic resonance imaging test at Jewish Hospital on Sunday night revealed the damage. Surgery will be scheduled later and the normal recovery time from an ACL reconstruction is 9-12 months," the school said in a statement.
Marra averaged 6.2 points and two assists as a sophomore last season, starting 11 games.
Louisville plays next at Butler Saturday.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 2:37 pm
Henry Sims has always shown flashes of his potential in the past, but he’s never been able to consistently produce on a nightly basis down low for Georgetown.
Could that change this season?
Sims led the Hoyas with a career-high 19 points in their 83-54 victory over Savannah State on Saturday. He looked a lot more aggressive offensively than last year, making solid moves with his back to the basket and finishing in a variety of ways at the rim. Sims was able to carve out space on the low block and be a consistent option. Moreover, he was able to pass out of double teams when necessary, which was effective in Georgetown’s offense.
With such a young team this season – Georgetown has 10 freshmen or sophomores on the roster – Sims will need to be one of the leaders for the Hoyas. He is one of two seniors, and there are plenty of points to be replaced with Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Julian Vaughn all gone from last season.
Sims averaged just 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds last year, with just two double-figure scoring games to his name. There have been games like the one he had today, though, where he looked like he was ready to be a consistent factor. Sims had 12 points and five assists against Loyola (Md.), and 10 points and seven boards against Missouri. He also racked up 12 points during his sophomore season against American.
Was this just another isolated performance from the 6-foot-10 center, or is Sims ready to become a major contributor for John Thompson III?
If the Hoyas are going to make a run towards the NCAA tournament, Sims will need to be a go-to-guy down low. Today can't be the highlight of his season.
Photo: US Presswire