Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:51 pm

A 101-year-old woman was shot in the neck

By Gary Parrish

Former Iowa State and Memphis basketball player Shawn Taggart has a 101-year-old grandmother.

That's cool.

She was shot in the neck this weekend when two of her grandsons started firing at each other.

That's not cool.

From the Associated Press ...
Police said Monday in a news release that Naomi Taggart's grandsons started shooting at each other while arguing over money at the family's residence [in Richmond]. ... Naomi Taggart was shot in the neck. She is in serious condition at a local hospital.  The shooting occurred shortly after midnight Saturday. Police arrested 28-year-old Steven L. Taggart on an outstanding warrant that's unrelated to the shooting and are looking for his brother, 36-year-old Kevin D. McCray. McCray is charged with attempted murder, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
So to recap: Shawn Taggart has two brothers. One is 36. The other is 28. They both still live with their grandmother, and this weekend one of them shot their grandmother in the neck during an argument over money. I'm not sure how much money they were arguing over, but it couldn't have been much considering neither of them seem to have the means necessary to, you know, move out of their grandmother's house. Just a sad story, really.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:42 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:45 am

The nation's best HS shotblocker got dunked on

By Gary Parrish

I watched Nerlens Noel several times at the Nike Peach Jam a few weeks back and have no problem with the recruiting analysts who call him the best high school shotblocker they've ever seen. He's awesome. I love him. Just a unique talent capable of swatting anything and everything.

Except Shaquille Cleare, I guess.

"Nice look for Cleare ... and the dunk and the foul!" said the announcer broadcasting from the AAU Nationals at Walt Disney World on Wednesday night when Cleare took a pass and dunked on the nation's best shotblocker. "Going at Nerlens Noel!"

You can see the highlight at this link (courtesy of Rob Dauster). It's worth checking out ... if only because Noel might set a record for blocks by a freshman when he plays college basketball in the 2013-14 season.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:44 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Howland better hope he's right about Jones

By Gary Parrish

Matt Norlander -- along with everybody else in the college basketball world -- reported earlier that UCLA coach Ben Howland has suspended reserve point guard Jereme Anderson indefinitely because of an arrest that's rooted in the theft of a laptop. So I guess Cam Newton has company. If Anderson goes on to to win a Wooden Award and a national championship, you'll be able to trace it right back to this.

Anyway ...

Lazeric Jones will now have to play more than the 28 minutes per game he played at point guard last season for as long as Anderson's suspension lasts. That's bad news on the surface. But if you're looking for a bright spot, I can tell you that Howland went out of his way last weekend to talk about Jones with me while sitting courtside at the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas, and the man with three Final Fours to his credit seemed genuinely optimistic about his junior college point guard with one year of eligibility remaining.

"Lazeric Jones has had a really great offseason," Howland said. "I think he's going to have a great senior year."

For Howland's sake, I hope he's right.

Because the Bruins' success will rely on that now more than Howland could've possibly imagined four days ago.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:22 am

Calhoun could stop all this, but he won't

By Gary Parrish

I don't know whether Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has explicitly told the president of his university that he wants his athletic director fired. How could I? But I do know this: If Calhoun -- the most powerful man on campus, by far -- wanted to stop what appears to be the imminent buyout of Jeff Hathaway, he could. But Calhoun doesn't want to do that. So he won't. And that's why the quote he delivered to ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil seems silly and insincere.

"I don’t want to see anybody lose a job."

Really, Jim?

If that were true, Hathaway's job would be safe.

But the reality is that most believe the only reason Hathaway's job is in jeopardy is because Calhoun, for lack of a better word, hates Hathaway. That's the picture painted by almost everybody close to the Connecticut program -- including Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs, who described Hathaway as a "dead AD walking" while adding that Hathaway "never had a chance against the baddest man in Connecticut."

"I have nothing against anybody."

That's another quote Calhoun delivered to O'Neil.

It's also unbelievable.

But can you really blame Calhoun for thinking he can say something so absurd?

The man, just last season, basically got away with using a booster turned agent to buy a prospect, and then he won the national championship, too. So I completely understand why Calhoun thinks he can use his power to remove his athletic director while simultaneously claiming he has no interest in doing so. What I don't understand, though, is why anybody would believe Calhoun when he says he has "nothing against anybody" and doesn't "want to see anybody lose a job."

If that were true, Calhoun could stop this.

But I bet you all the money Josh Nochimson gave Nate Miles that he won't.

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:40 am

UCLA's Smith still battling weight issues

By Gary Parrish

Ohio State's Jared Sullinger has received lots of attention for dropping weight and reshaping his body this offseason, and he seems positioned to dominate college basketball as a sophomore even more so than he did as a freshman. Big Ten, consider yourself warned. But Sullinger wasn't the only heralded big man facing weight issues last season. Another was UCLA's Josh Smith, whom I asked Bruins coach Ben Howland about over the weekend.

"Right now he's about 10 pounds over where he was last season," Howland said matter-of-factly.

That's not what I wanted to hear.

Smith is among the nation's most interesting prospects because he's a big dude with unusually soft hands. Problem is, he's just too big for his own good. The Washington native was listed at 6-foot-10, 305 pounds last season, and those numbers are probably generous. I was hoping to hear that Smith had spent this offseason losing 20 pounds. Instead, I'm told, he's gained 10.

The guess here is that he'll drop the 10 when preseason practices officially begin because most players shed weight during October and November. So Smith will be effective as a college sophomore, I'm certain. But it appears his struggles with his weight just won't allow him to be as effective as he could be, and that really is a shame because what he could be is a lottery pick and, by extension, a very wealthy big dude with unusually soft hands.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:29 pm

First thing on tap for Vegas: A speech

By Gary Parrish

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MEMPHIS AND LAS VEGAS -- I'm on a flight from Memphis to Las Vegas right now (with ESPN.com's Dave Telep and LSU coach Trent Johnson) that's supposed to land a little before noon. The second 10-day stretch of the July evaluation period for college basketball coaches starts tomorrow, but most everybody travels west early today so that they can get settled ... and then spend the afternoon and night drinking and gambling and eating expensive meals.

That used to be my plan.

But the past two years I've spent this day speaking at various coaching clinics, and today will be no different. I'm in the post-lunch group at the Rising Coaches Elite Conference -- a really nice event put on by "an organization created for aspiring college coaches by aspiring college coaches." It's mostly for video and operations guys tying to transition into the role of full-time assistants. The men who founded it -- among them DePaul's Andy Farrell -- are good dudes with a passion for the sport. I've gotten to know them well over the past couple of years, and it's clear they're headed for big futures.

Anyway ...

The conference is today and tomorrow at the MGM Grand. Here's the post-lunch schedule for this afternoon:

1:00 – 1:45: Memphis head coach Josh Pastner

1:45 – 2:30: Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard

2:30 – 3:15: CBSSports.com Senior Writer Gary Parrish

3:15 – 4:00: Xavier head coach Chris Mack

4:00 – 4:45: Florida assistant Matt McCall

4:45 – 5:30: N.C. State assistant Bobby Lutz

5:30 – 6:00: Alabama head coach Anthony Grant

8:00 – 8:45: USC head coach Kevin O’Neill
Posted on: July 15, 2011 8:57 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 9:57 pm

UNC's Leslie McDonald suffers torn ACL

By Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish

Leslie McDonald’s junior season at North Carolina could be in jeopardy after he suffered a torn ACL on Thursday night, his father told CBSSports.com on Friday.

``I talked to him this afternoon," Leslie McDonald Sr. told CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish. "It is torn"

Asked how his son is dealing with the news, McDonald Sr., answered, "Not good. Basketball is very important to him, but I told him his whole life isn’t basketball and he’s going to be OK."

The 6-foot-4 McDonald -- who came off the bench and averaged 7.0 points in just 15.7 minutes per game last season -- suffered the injury in a Pro-Am game, according to John Harrington, who coached McDonald in high school at Briarcrest Christian in Memphis.

"He did a little stepback move and the knee just buckled on him," Harrington told Parrish. "I just hate it for him."

This is an obvious blow to the Tar Heels, who are expected to be the nation's top-ranked team in every preseason poll. But it's possible UNC will be able to absorb the loss of its top 3-point shooter -- especially if sophomore Reggie Bullock is healthy. The Tar Heels are also adding a talented freshman shooter in P.J. Hairston.

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 7, 2011 6:45 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 11:45 am

2011 recruiting trip: Z-Bo and private planes

By Gary Parrish

AKRON, Ohio -- And the star of the night session at the Adidas Invitational was ... Z-Bo, of course.

"Mr. Randolph, I am from Canada and I don't get to be around people like you often," said a high school prospect who approached Zach Randolph at a gym late Wednesday. "Can I take a picture with you?"

"Sure," Randolph answered.

And what followed was a stream of high school prospects anxious to meet the Memphis Grizzlies star who had stopped by a high school in suburban Indianapolis -- which is near Randolph's offseason home -- to visit with his college coach, Michigan State's Tom Izzo. I can't promise you the prospects on the floor noticed Randolph's presence, but I can tell you everybody else in the buidling did, and Randolph would've been overwhelmed for hours if tournament officials hadn't stepped in and demanded the autograph seekers get out of the "coaches area" of the gym. Either way, it was a neat reunion between player and coach -- one of the highlights of my first full day on the road with Izzo as this July evaluation period continues.

If you're keeping track, I think Izzo and I watched nine games in seven gyms on Wednesday. We met in the lobby of our Indianapolis hotel at 7:30 a.m. Our first game was at 8:15 a.m. Our final game ended around 10:15 p.m. We boarded a private plane around 10:50 p.m. We landed here in Akron a little before midnight. We checked into this downtown hotel around 12:30 a.m.

So that's a 17-hour day, and it was draining. But the truth is that Izzo and I were the lucky ones beacause we had access to a private plane that at least allowed us to get from the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis to the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron late last night. Most coaches making the same trip were also in a gym until around 10:15. They couldn't have gotten back into their rooms until around 11, couldn't have fallen asleep until around midnight. And yet they still had wakeup calls for around 3:45 a.m. because the only commercial flight leaving Indianapolis that could get coaches to Akron by the start of today's workouts was scheduled to leave at 5:24 a.m.

That's the flight Illinois coach Bruce Weber was supposed to be on this morning, by the way. But don't ever say Big Ten coaches don't take care of each other, because Izzo invited Weber to fly privately with us rather than put himself through that ridiculousness. That both men were on the redeye from Las Vegas to Orlando with Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser the day before Prosser died four years in the middle of a grueling schedule probably should be noted.

"Thanks for letting me go with you," Weber said as we touched down in Akron.

"No problem," Izzo said. "No problem."

For more of our college basketball recruiting road trip, click here.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com