Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: September 20, 2011 6:21 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:48 am

Anderson's commitment huge for Howland, UCLA

By Gary Parrish

You can blame it on underclassmen leaving early or on a recruiting lull.

Or on a combination of the two.

Either way, Ben Howland hasn't tasted a Sweet 16 since he made three consecutive Final Fours from 2006 to 2008, and many had started to wonder about his long-term viability at UCLA. Had his style of play run its course in Los Angeles? Could he still consistently recruit elite-level prospects? Was his hiring of a summer coach from the Atlanta Celtics program a sign that Howland was getting desperate?

Those are the questions basketball people spent July asking each other.

Now a new question must be asked: Is Howland suddenly in position to make a fourth Final Four?

That's how significant Kyle Anderson's commitment to the Bruins was late Monday. Not only did it give Howland a consensus top-five prospect from the Class of 2012, it also quieted critics and suggested UCLA's first season in what will be a renovated Pauley Pavilion could lead to Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

That's the site of the 2013 Final Four.

Pencil UCLA in for it if Howland next lures a commitment from Shabazz Muhammad -- a Las Vegas native and the top prospect in the Class of 2012 who, according to sources, is likely to choose the Bruins over Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UNLV. It should also be noted that Howland's assistant from the Atlanta Celtics (Korey McCray) has UCLA seriously involved with a pair of elite bigs from Georgia, specifically Tony Parker and Shaq Goodwin. Assuming the Bruins get just one of them, Howland could have a 2012-13 roster that looks like this:

G: Larry Drew
G: Shabazz Muhammad
F: Kyle Anderson (as primary ball-handler)
F: Reeves Nelson
C: Josh Smith

Key Reserves: David Wear, Travis Wear, Dominic Artis, Jordan Adams and Tony Parker/Shaq Goodwin.

That would be quite a collection of talent in Westwood.

Perhaps good enough to bring a 12th national championship to the school.
Posted on: September 17, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 2:19 pm

The ACC is about to get even better in hoops

By Gary Parrish

You don't apply for membership to the ACC unless you already know you'll be accepted.

So this is happening.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh -- two of the Big East's most important members -- are heading to the land of Duke and North Carolina, and though I'm not certain what it does for the ACC in football other than ensure commissioner John Swofford will run what's on track to be the first so-called super conference, the basketball aspect of this is exciting.

The ACC was already arguably the nation's best basketball conference.

Now it won't even be debatable.

The league is about to add two perennial and rock-solid top-25 programs .

Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim are the active leaders in victories.

Now they'll be fighting for the same league championship.

That's a cool future for the ACC.

Meantime, where the Big East goes from here is anybody's guess.

One option might be to try to pluck Kansas and Kansas State from the Big 12 to get to nine all-sports members (once TCU is added), but West Virginia could still, at some point, leave for the SEC, and Rutgers is always an option for the Big Ten. In other words, the Big East is just as vulnerable as the Big 12. One of the leagues might survive, at best. But the most likely scenario has leftover members from both leagues merging to form something that's a geographical mess and notch below a soon-to-be-enhanced SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12.

"Whatever happens, we'll have to adjust to it," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told CBSSports.com by phone on Saturday. "I'm not commenting on Syracuse to the ACC, but in general I'm saying that I don't see how it's a good thing to have all these huge conferences. But I may be wrong. That's my opinion -- and I'm old. ... [But] some day we'll get to 16-team leagues and everybody may look back on it and say it wasn't such a great idea."

Most agree with Boeheim because there's a chance this makes everybody more money at the cost of happiness.

Traditional powers will have a tougher time winning league titles.

Traditional losers will have a tougher time breaking through.

Traditional rivalries will be sacrificed.

But complaining about those things is like sitting around and complaining about how children don't play outside anymore. Or how our country would be better without fast-food chains on every corner. Or how the BCS ruins college football's postseason. Like it or not, these are the times in which we live. Super conferences are coming, and Swofford should be credited for being proactive in this eat-or-be-eaten world. He's on the verge of poaching two of the Big East's all-sports schools and ensuring the ACC survives this grand shift in the landscape of college athletics, and by doing so he's seriously enhanced the basketball side of his conference.

Yes, I know, basketball isn't what's dictating any of these proposed moves.

But that doesn't mean basketball won't be affected.

Or, in the ACC's case, vastly improved.

Photo: AP

Posted on: September 16, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 8:17 pm

Parrish's Wooden Preseason Top 50

By Gary Parrish

My colleague Jeff Goodman posted his Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 earlier today.

It omitted Missouri's Marcus Denmon and North Carolina's Tyler Zeller.

That was a mistake.

The ballot I turned in includes both of those players and 48 more.

Here's how it looks:

(Note: Freshman and transfers are not eligible for the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. That's why Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis and a few other first-year players are omitted.)
  • Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame)
  • Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
  • Will Barton (Memphis)
  • Tarik Black (Memphis)
  • Dee Bost (Mississippi State)
  • William Buford (Ohio State)
  • Kyle Casey (Harvard)
  • Allen Crabbe (California)
  • Aaron Craft (Ohio State)
  • Marcus Denmon (Missouri)
  • Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt)
  • Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh)
  • Mike Glover (Iona)
  • Drew Gordon (New Mexico)
  • Draymond Green (Michigan State)
  • JaMychal Green (Alabama)
  • Jorge Gutierrez (California)
  • Tim Hardaway (Michigan)
  • Elias Harris (Gonzaga)
  • John Henson (North Carolina)
  • Tu Holloway (Xavier)
  • Robbie Hummel (Purdue)
  • Joe Jackson (Memphis)
  • Scoop Jardine (Syracuse)
  • John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
  • Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Kevin Jones (West Virginia)
  • Perry Jones (Baylor)
  • Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
  • Kris Joseph (Syracuse)
  • DeAndre Kane (Marshall)
  • Doron Lamb (Kentucky)
  • Jeremy Lamb (UConn)
  • Kendall Marshall (North Carolina)
  • Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota)
  • Ray McCallum (Detroit)
  • Doug McDermott (Creighton)
  • Khris Middleton (Texas A&M)
  • Reeves Nelson (UCLA)
  • Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure)
  • Alex Oriakhi (UConn)
  • Thomas Robinson (Kansas)
  • John Shurna (Northwestern)
  • Peyton Siva (Louisville)
  • Josh Smith (UCLA)
  • Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
  • Jeffery Taylor (Vanderbilt)
  • Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
  • Maalik Wayns (Villanova)
  • Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 15, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 6:02 pm

Three St. John's freshmen ruled ineligible

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

Remember that highly ranked recruiting class that had St. John's fans excited?

It's the same class that now has the same fans disappointed.

Class of 2011 signees Amir Garrett, Jakarr Sampson and Norvel Pelle have all been declared ineligible by the NCAA, St. John's confirmed Thursday. The school is still hoping to get the talented trio through the NCAA Clearinghouse in time for the second semester, but it remains undetermined whether that'll actually happen. Meantime, a source told CBSSports.com on Thursday that Sampson, a 6-foot-7 wing, might now elect to return to where he played last season -- Brewster Academy.

Sampson and Garrett were both ranked in the Top 100 of CBSSports.com's Class of 2011 rankings.

Sampson was No. 55. Garrett was No. 89.

Posted on: September 15, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 2:36 pm

Mario Chalmers talked 'sh-t' to Jay Wright

By Gary Parrish

My pal Jason King from Yahoo! Sports has a book coming out later this month. It's called "Beyond the Phog -- Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade," which means it's an easy Christmas gift for any and every KU fan. That's obvious. But it's going to be a worthwhile read for all followers of college basketball if there are more stories in it like the excerpt published today at KUSports.com.

The story is told by Mario Chalmers.

You might remember him from the 2008 national title game.

He's the guy who hit that shot that forced overtime against Memphis.

Anyway, before the Jayhawks beat Memphis in championship game they played Villanova in the Sweet 16. This was just another Sweet 16 game on the surface, but Chalmers said it was "personal" because Villanova's Jay Wright had previously cut Chalmers and Sherron Collins from a USA Basketball team of which he was the head coach.

I'll let Chalmers take it from here ...
So when it came to the Villanova game, Coach Self called Sherron and me into his office and said, “How do you feel about this Villanova game?” I said, “Coach, this is personal to me. I don’t like Jay Wright.” He was like, “I understand that, but keep it out of the media.” So when the media asked if it was a personal game, we’d say, “No, it’s not personal. It’s just another game.” But during the game we were talking all kinds of s--t to Jay Wright. We’d run by him and tell him, “Sit your ass down! We got this!” Another time we said to him, “This is what you get for cutting us. We’re about to dog you!” Anytime we were throwing the ball in from the sideline, when he was standing up trying to call a play, we’d tell him to shut his mouth and sit down. There was one play where I threw a lob to Shady on an inbounds pass and he dunked over Scottie Reynolds. Right before I threw it I looked at Jay Wright and said, “Watch this!” That game was definitely personal for Sherron and me.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:05 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:15 pm

Trippin': Fight might've been good for Hoyas

By Gary Parrish

John Thompson III would've rather the fight in China been avoided. That's obvious, right? But the fight did happen -- you've read about it and seen it many times already, I'm sure -- and there's nothing anybody can do about it now. So Thompson has decided to use the incident as a positive, and he really thinks it might be exactly that.

"In a roundabout and undesired kind of way, the whole incident, the fight, really brought this group closer together quickly," Thompson said. "So big picture, it's not a bad thing at all."

Georgetown returned home from China last month.

Thompson reflected on the trip with CBSSports.com on Wednesday.

What Thompson learned: "This group has a willingness to compete and a willingness to win. And it's a versatile team -- much more versatile than we've been the past couple of years."

Who or what impressed Thompson: "I think the key part of the trip was just the introduction and acclimation and initiation of our freshmen. We have five freshman and we're going to need significant contributions from all of them, to tell you the truth. I was very pleased with how they competed, how they responded and how they learned. They all played really well. Collectively, their basketball IQ and competitive spirt is high."

What concerned Thompson: "Our inexperience. As much as I like this group, we're still an inexperienced team."

----- NOTES -----
  • Like most coaches, Thompson is mostly spending this "contact" period on the road watching and meeting with prospects. But when I caught him on the phone Wednesday, he was actually walking into his office ... for a moment. "I'm going to be in here two hours," Thompson said. "Then it's back on the road."
  • Georgetown, as Thompson pointed out, will rely heavily on a freshman class of Otto Porter, Greg Whittington, Tyler Adams, Mikael Hopkins and Jabril Trawick. Thompson said all of them -- except Adams, who was injured at the time but is now fine -- showed encouraging signs in China, and he didn't single anybody out. But when I asked about Porter specifically, here's what Thompson said: "Otto is outstanding. He's just a basketball player. He does everything on the court. He can score. He defends. He rebounds. He works hard."
  • The country got to hear John Thompson Jr. -- Thompson III's legendary father -- tell his 9/11 story earlier this week, and most of us were blown away by it, by how close the former Georgetown coach came to dying in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Among those not blown away was Thompson III. He heard that story 10 years ago. "I remember him trying to decide whether to travel that day," said Thompson III. "I'm just glad he wasn't stubborn about getting on that plane."
Photo: Reuters
Posted on: September 13, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 2:41 pm

Maryland to name court for Williams, not Driesell

By Gary Parrish

Maryland officials ended a debate Tuesday by announcing that the court at the Comcast Center will be named in honor of Gary Williams as opposed to Lefty Driesell.

"Gary has been a faithful alumnus, a highly successful and iconic figure in men's college basketball across the nation, a fierce competitor, and a tireless fundraiser on behalf of student scholarships," said Maryland president Wallace D. Loh. "He has been the face of Maryland men's basketball for more than 22 years. Gary led the Terps out of historic Cole Field House into the Comcast Center. I can think of no better way to recognize his success and his contributions to the University of Maryland than by naming the floor of the basketball court in Comcast Center in his honor."

Most everyone agreed the court should be named for Williams -- the school's all-time winningest coach with 461 victories and a national title. But some boosters reportedly wanted the honor to go to Lefty Driesell, who won 348 games in 18 seasons before being forced out following the death of Len Bias.

So Maryland had a delicate issue to resolve.

Williams or Driesell?

That was the question being batted around in College Park.

But Maryland officials have now answered it.

The dedication will take place in a formal ceremony on Dec. 9.

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this recognition," said Williams, who retired from coaching in May. "It's important to remember that the success we achieved at Maryland was a team effort and all the coaches, student-athletes and staff who were here are a big part of this. I'm very appreciative of the effort by [athletic director] Kevin Anderson, President Loh, Chancellor Kirwan and everyone else who has been a part of making this happen."
Posted on: September 13, 2011 5:55 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:00 am

Believe statements from the SEC at your own risk

By Gary Parrish

Mike Slive said on Monday that the SEC has "no immediate plans for a 14th member."

And that might be true.

But before we start preparing to watch a 13-school SEC -- i.e., the current members plus Texas A&M -- in 2012-13, I feel compelled to point out what Florida president Bernie Machen said less than a month ago after a meeting with fellow league presidents and chancellors.

"[We] met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment."

Again, Machen said that on Aug. 14.

The SEC voted to add Texas A&M just 23 days later.

The lesson?

We should all be careful about what we believe as this conference realignment story continues to change by the day. Don't forget that there's a reason most have long assumed the SEC would jump from 12 members to 14 members whenever it decided to jump, and a smooth-talking commissioner who specializes in semantics publicly suggesting otherwise isn't really a good reason to believe that still won't be the case.
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