Tag:Big East
Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:10 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 12:15 pm

There's no 'Melo, but Orange pack plenty of punch

By Jeff Borzello 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – There’s no question who the center of attention was at Syracuse’s Midnight Madness.

Despite not doing much of anything for the two hours of festivities, the presence of Carmelo Anthony lifted the energy in the building to a level most onlookers had not seen in awhile.

Heading into the season, there’s obviously no Carmelo Anthony on this year’s Orange team. There’s not a Donte Greene or a Jonny Flynn. Simply put, there’s no definitive go-to-guy that will have the ball in his hands down the stretch of games.

Season tips Nov. 7

And head coach Jim Boeheim’s just fine with that.

“I think if you only have one guy, that’s a weakness,” Boeheim said at Syracuse’s Media Day.

“Even when Carmelo was here, Gerry [McNamara] made as many big plays as he did. Hakim Warrick made some plays, Josh Pace made big plays. The important thing is to have balance.”

A season ago, Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph and Brandon Triche all took their fair share of shots at the end of the shot clock or game clock. Fab Melo made clutch baskets against St. John’s. With C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters ready to take on bigger roles, there are countless options for Boeheim late in games.

“I haven’t seen that since my freshman year, with Jonny Flynn,” Joseph said of having one consistent go-to-guy. “Last year, the ball was pretty well-spread, points per game were really even. It’s going to be the same, with so many guys that can score. I can do it, Scoop can do it, Brandon can do it.”

By the time March rolls around, if the biggest problem Syracuse faces is having too many offensive options, I’m betting they will be in pretty good shape.

It's a problem most teams would love to have. 

Posted on: October 14, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:10 pm

Dunk contest highlights from UConn's First Night

By Matt Norlander

STORRS, Conn. -- UConn's First Night has just ended. Gampel was loud as hell -- particularly because I sat in front of the subwoofers. I can't even hear myself typing this.

The highlight of the evening, truly, was Kemba Walker and Ray Allen being introduced. Both ovations were enormous and roof-rattling. Hasheem Thabeet's fashion choice of a shiny-blue Hartford Whalers winter-type vest was also astounding and didn't go unappreciated by the fans. I particularly adore the face that he's wearing a men's large.

But the dunk contest is what you want to see. I got onto the baseline and captured the video for your pleasure. Freak freshmen Ryan Boatright (who's about the size of an average American ninth-grader) and Andre Drummond made it to the finals, with Boatright winning it. In the final video, kind of thought for a millisecond I was going to relive this.

Here's Boatright's chair dunk.

Drummond's between-the-legs: not likely to be duplicated in game action this year.

Boatright's dunk from the baseline was plenty nasty ...

... but Ray Allen said Drummond's baseline flush was worthy of being among the best in the NBA's contest.

Posted on: October 12, 2011 7:23 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 7:25 pm

Video: Drummond dunks on Norlander's face

By Matt Norlander

STORRS, Conn. -- I spent Wednesday afternoon on UConn's campus, primarily talking to stud Huskies freshman Andre Drummond for a feature you'll be able to read later this week. After the interview ended, Drummond got on the court and started shooting. Naturally, I asked him if he'd be interested in dunking on me. He wasn't.

He preferred to dunk over me. And he very nearly did -- on the second take. In the video below, Drummond and his 41-inch vertical leap nearly clear by terrified dome. To keep his rep in tact, I promised I wouldn't publish the first take, wherein he chickened out at the last second and clanked a dunk.

Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:05 pm

Syracuse's Midnight Madness will have Carmelo

By Matt Norlander

From laughingstock to legitimacy. Syracuse's initial Midnight Madness event included someone from the Jersey Shore I've never heard of and Tone Loc, last seen as relevant around 1993. But the university responded to the underwhelming response from fans by ditching on both of those "entertainment" acts and has instead opted to do the best thing possible.

Seriously -- the best thing possible. Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick, Wesley Johnson, Pearl Washington, Derrick Coleman and a slew of other former Orange and Orangemen will play in an alumni game Friday night at the Carrier Dome. This kind of opportunity is practically once-in-a-lifetime, considering most of these guys are still in or near their physical primes and unable to be with their NBA teams during the ongoing lockout.

Borzello's heading up to central New York Thursday, and I'm telling you he doesn't deserve this kind of treatment.

But the SU fans do. It's going to be great. Whan an upgrade. The Dome -- which is definitely one of the best places in college hoops to catch a game -- will be electric.

The Post-Standard reports:

Ed Levine, CEO of Galaxy Communications, confirmed plans for the game on Tuesday.

"It's going to be spectacular,'' Levine said. "It's the greatest collection of Syracuse stars ever. And the fact that Midnight Madness is part of ESPNU's national broadcast is going to put Syracuse basketball in the national spotlight.''

Levine said several of the former Syracuse players would take part in autograph and photo sessions from 7 to 8 p.m. The legends will be divided into teams and will participate in a 10-minute scrimmage.

Members of the current coaching staff, including Gerry McNamara, Lazarus Sims, Mike Hopkins and Adrian Autry, might also take part in the legendary scrimmage.

You've gotta get McNamara out there; he's definitely got some long bombs left in him.

What a 180 for SU athletics. These Midnight Madness things can be overblown and not really mean all that much for fans, but when a school has heritage and a breed of pros like SU, capitalizing on this opportunity is optimal for all involved.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 9:52 am

The 2011-12 CBS college hoops TV schedule

By Matt Norlander

Our television overlords released today the terrific slate of games we've got assembled for the upcoming season. Bookmark/print out this page so you know what's coming when.

CBS Sports 2011 College Basketball Schedule
Date Time (ET) Game
Saturday, Dec. 3 12:00-2:30 p.m. North Carolina @ Kentucky
Saturday, Dec. 10 12:00-2:00 p.m. Duke vs. Washington
Saturday, Dec. 17 2:00-4:00 p.m Butler vs. Purdue
4:00-6:00 p.m Memphis @ Louisville
4:00-6:00 p.m Gonzaga vs. Arizona
Saturday, Dec. 31 12:00-2:00 p.m. Louisville @ Kentucky
Saturday, Jan. 7 2:00-4:00 p.m Michigan State @ Penn State (Women's)
4:00-6:00 p.m. UConn @ Notre Dame (Women's)
Sunday, Jan. 8 1:30-4:00 p.m. or 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wisconsin @ Michigan
Saturday, Jan. 14 3:30-6:00 p.m. or 1:00-3:30 p.m. Oregon @ Arizona
Sunday, Jan. 15 4:30-6:30 p.m. or 1:30-4:00 p.m. Indiana @ Ohio State
Saturday, Jan. 21 12:00-2:00 p.m. Alabama @ Kentucky
2:00-4:00 p.m. Michigan @ Arkansas
4:00-6:00 p.m. Kansas @ Texas
4:00-6:00 p.m. UConn @ Tennessee
Sunday, Jan. 28 1:00-3:00 p.m. Texas @ Baylor
Sunday, Jan. 29 12:00-2:00 p.m. Michigan @ Ohio State
Saturday, Feb. 4 1:00-3:00 p.m. Marquette @ Notre Dame
Sunday, Jan. 29 1:00-3:00 p.m. Vanderbilt @ Florida
Sunday, Feb. 5 1:00-3:00 p.m. Michigan @ Michigan State
Saturday, Feb. 11 1:00-3:00 p.m. UConn @ Syracuse
Sunday, Feb. 12 1:00-3:00 p.m. Illinois @ Michigan
Saturday, Feb. 18 1:00-3:00 p.m. UCLA @ St. John's
1:00-3:00 p.m. UNLV @ New Mexico

Sunday, Feb. 19

1:00-3:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard

Michigan State @ Purdue
Indiana @ Iowa
Penn State @ Wisconsin

Saturday, Feb. 25 12:00-2:00 p.m. Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
2:00-4:00 p.m. UCLA @ Arizona
2:00-4:00 p.m. Villanova @ Georgetown
4:00-6:00 p.m. Missouri @ Kansas

Sunday, Feb. 26

1:00-3:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard

Wisconsin @ Ohio State
Indiana @ Minnesota
Purdue @ Michigan

Saturday, Mar. 3

12:00-2:00 p.m. Memphis @ Tulsa
2:00-4:00 p.m. LSU @ Auburn
2:00-4:00 p.m. Pac-12 Wildcard

Washington @ UCLA
Utah @ Oregon
Colorado @ Oregon State
Washington State @ USC

4:00-6:00 p.m. Louisville @ Syracuse
Sunday, Mar. 4 12:00-2:00 p.m. Kentucky @ Florida
2:00-4:00 p.m. Missouri Valley Championship
4:00-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard
  Ohio State @ Michigan State
Michigan @ Penn State
Illinois @ Wisconsin
Saturday, Mar. 10 11:30-1:40 p.m. Conf USA Championship
1:40-3:40 p.m. Big Ten Semifinal #1
4:00-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Semifinal #2
6:00-8:00 p.m. Pac-12 Championship
Sunday, Mar. 11 1:00-3:30 p.m. Atlantic 10 Championship
3:30-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Championship
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: October 11, 2011 10:22 am

Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis suspended four games

By Jeff Borzello

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey announced on Tuesday that forward Tim Abromaitis will miss the first four games of the regular season due to a violation during the 2008-09 season.

In his sophomore campaign, Abromaitis played in two exhibition games and then sat out the rest of the season as a redshirt. The NCAA allows freshmen to play in preseason games and still redshirt – but not sophomores, juniors or seniors. According to the rule, Abromaitis technically used a season of eligibility with those two games.

“This certainly was an unfortunate misunderstanding that I had of the NCAA rule,” Brey said in a statement. “I discovered that I had misinterpreted the rule midway through the 2008-09 season and immediately reported it to our compliance office.”

Abromaitis will use his fifth year of eligibility this season, after sitting out four games against Mississippi Valley State, Detroit, Sam Houston State and Delaware State. He will return against Missouri in the CBE Classic semifinals on November 21. It doesn't seem like the Fighting Irish will have much trouble dispatching any of the first four teams, although Ray McCallum and Detroit could pose a threat. In Abromaitis' place, Jerian Grant will get an opportunity to provide a perimeter boost. The slasher sat out his freshman season, but is very aggressive at both ends of the floor. 

Abromaitis, a 6-foot-8 Connecticut native, averaged 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds last season. He shot nearly 43 percent from 3-point range.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:28 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 9:32 pm

Mike Rice: Kadeem Jack had started to mature

By Jeff Goodman

First it was Mo Creek. Now Kadeem Jack.

Indiana's Creek had surgery on Monday and will likely be lost for the season while Jack, a talented Rutgers freshman big man, will miss the next 3-4 months due to a broken bone in his right foot.

"It's tough because he was really making progress," Rutgers coach Mike Rice told CBSSports.com on Monday. "He had really started to mature."

Jack is raw, but plenty of big-time schools saw the upside in the Trinidad native - including North Carolina.

He ultimately chose Rutgers and it was considered a major coup for Rice and his staff.

The tough part is that Jack will not be able to take a medical redshirt because he enrolled in the middle of last season and redshirted.

Jack's progress will be hindered with the injury, but Rice said he expects to have him back in the fold at some point in January.

"He's an energy guy who can rebound the ball and he runs like a two-guard," Rice said. "It's not like we're asking him to score 20 or run the team. He's an energy guy and he'll be able to come back and play quickly."

"He has gifts athletically that a lot of people don't have - especially at 6-9" he added. "He was starting to get stronger and put together the fundamentals."

Now Rice said that freshmen big men Derrick Randall and Greg Lewis will likely become the beneficiaries of Jack's absence for the first few months of the season.

"I was probably going to redshirt one of them," Rice admitted. "Now they'll probably get Kadeem's 20 or so minutes."

Rice was also raving about the rest of his freshman class: Guards Myles Mack, Jerome Seagears and Eli Carter.

The young core will team with sophomore Gil Biruta and Kansas State transfer Wally Judge over the next few years. Dane Miller and Austin Johnson are the only upperclassmen on the team and both are juniors.

"We're going to be pretty good in a couple of years," Rice said.
Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: October 10, 2011 11:16 am

Realignment rumors reach the A10, CAA

By Matt Norlander

Before we go any further, just know that all that follows within this post, within conference realignment, within the universe, is reliant upon Missouri. Yes, Missouri, the latest Big 12 team dead set on screwing everything up for so many others. The Tigers want into the SEC, and once that happens, the Big 12 will be back to nine teams.

So then the Big 12 will be forced to act again, and it will probably be an aggressive, multi-team courting. From there, the Big East stands to get poached ... again. And we'll have trickle-down to the A-10 and CAA, where we'll have the second- or third-biggest tangible effect in college basketball.

Pete Thamel of the New York Times wrote Sunday night that Hofstra (a member of the CAA) president Stuart Rabinowitz has contacted Charlotte, Richmond and George Washington about possible inclusion into the Atlantic 10, which currently sits at 14 teams. Boston University, of the America East, also has received a phone call, per Thamel.

Rabinowitz is the president of the C.A.A. Council of Presidents/Chancellors. Hofstra declined comment Sunday night, but Yeager did not deny that conversations were taking place when asked about them last week.

“There’s a lot of informal conversations going on,” [CAA commissioner] Tom Yeager said. “Athletic directors are running into each other in the press box on Saturdays, and I think it’s a nonstop topic of conversation. We’re not going after anyone.”

Although the C.A.A. is sending feelers to A-10 members and others, a different college official said that the Atlantic 10 had expressed informal interest in adding C.A.A. members George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth.

The lunacy and needlessness of conference realignment has, for the first time, completely obstructed regular-season play. At least commissioners, presidents and chancellors had the courtesy of keeping this fidgeting to a confined space (during the summers) the past two seasons. No more. The time to continue to act is now, because so many want to move out of their arrangements, and they want to get this done as soon as possible, as to avoid conference exit fees and cut off affiliations sooner rather than later.

Is this good for college basketball? It's certainly going to change it. The Big East is on the verge of completely losing football, should the Big 12 go after West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati, which I believe is a veritable scenario, should Missouri get through the SEC threshold. If and when that happens, the Big East will still live on as a basketball league, but it too will pluck a few programs into its new existence.

The sad commentary of it all is that these smaller leagues, most of which don't have football-playing members, are now forced into a shuffle because the big guys have had unrest for well over a year now.

“Many institutions in conferences all across the country are gathering information, as well, as they review and analyze their current conference membership,” [Missouri Valley commissioner Doug Elgin] said. “We will continue to keep all such informal inquiries that we might receive from individuals outside our membership confidential.”

The Big East presidents and athletic directors will have another conference call Monday. Although expansion will be a primary topic, no invitations are expected to be issued.

It's believed one of the primary points of discussion will be raising the league exit fee from $5 million to $10 million, which seems a hell of a lot more promising than holding a bake sale -- because both activities have about the same amount of influence over whether any of those programs (UConn chief among them) leave the Big East.

All of this is table setting for Missouri and the SEC. Right now, plenty of calls are being made and people are moving into place so they can act swiftly once the first official move sets off a chain of movement that will undo the mid-major college hoops configuration as we've known it.

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