Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 2:44 pm
By Gary Parrish
Associated Press poll: Thanksgiving weekend is tricky.
Lots of family time.
Lots of shopping.
Good football on television.
It's easy to lose track of things in college basketball, I know. But my god. There are websites all over the place -- including, of course, CBSSports.com -- where box scores from every game played can be found, and it just seems like AP voters ought to take a few minutes and look at them before submitting their ballots. If they did, the Poll Attacks would be much more difficult to file every week. As it is, this is simple stuff.
So thank you, Mark McCarter of the Huntsville Times.
You've made my job simple on this Monday.
And I hate that it's you because I like you and we go way back. But come on, man. You put Cincinnati 25th on your ballot despite the fact that the Bearcats are 3-2 with home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall. That's two home losses. To Presbyterian. And Marshall. What does Cincinnati have to do to get off your ballot? Would a loss to Miami-Ohio this week do it? What about two losses this week -- to Miami-Ohio on Tuesday and Georgia on Friday? Surely that would be enough, right?
Also, why no UNLV on your ballot?
The Rebels are 7-0 with a win over North Carolina.
That's slightly better than 3-2 with home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall.
Obviously, I could go on for another 300 words. But that's enough. Because the Houston Chronicle's Sam Khan voted Villanova 24th, and that's similarly silly and needs to be addressed. The Wildcats are 4-2 with neutral-court losses to Saint Louis (by 12 points) and Santa Clara (by one point). I suppose that's better than home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall, but not much better. I genuinely have no idea how Sam could still be ranking Villanova, but I also have no idea how Sam can rank Memphis seventh -- 12 spots of the Michigan team that dominated the Tigers and at least sixteen spots ahead of the Georgetown team that he didn't rank despite it also beating the Memphis team he still believes belongs in the top 10.
In fact, I don't even know why he'd rank Memphis at all right now.
I'll explain that next ...
Coaches poll: Memphis will win Conference USA.
The Tigers are too talented to do anything but win Conference USA.
But at some point, to some degree, the results have to matter, and the Tigers' results through four games don't suggest they are, at this moment, the top 10 team most believed they'd be in the preseason ... or even worthy of the No. 21 ranking the coaches gave them Monday. Memphis is 2-2 with a home win over an Atlantic Sun team (Belmont) and a double-overtime win on a neutral court over a team picked 11th in the SEC (Tennessee). The Tigers' losses are a double-digit defeat on a neutral court to No. 15 Michigan and an overtime loss to unranked Georgetown, also on a neutral court. Simply put, that's not good enough.
Now I know what you're thinking: How can CBSSports.com rank two-loss FSU but not two-loss Memphis?
Answer: Florida State's two losses are better. And FSU deserves more of the benefit of the doubt. The Seminoles are 5-2. Their losses are an overtime loss to a team we have ranked 11th (Connecticut) and a five-point loss to a team we have ranked 22nd (Harvard). Beyond that, FSU's ranking isn't based on potential nearly as much as Memphis'. The Seminoles were good last season -- third in the ACC with an 11-5 league record and a trip to the Sweet 16 -- and they returned the bulk of that roster. Meantime, Memphis was awful last season. The Tigers went 10-6 in Conference USA, basically played well for just one week in El Paso, won the C-USA tournament and got the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. So their preseason ranking was always based more on recruiting rankings and the idea that they'd this season be more like the team that pushed Arizona to the buzzer in their postseason opener last season than the team that finished fourth in C-USA, and, again, I think they will eventually. But through four games, they haven't. And that's why I can't make sense of Memphis still being ranked this week when so many other teams deserve it more.
The Crimson are 6-0 with a win over Florida State.
The Hoyas are 4-1 with the lone loss being a close loss to No. 14 Kansas.
And Georgetown beat Memphis.
How could anybody rank Memphis but not Georgetown right now?
Either way, again, Memphis will be fine in time; I still believe that. The roster remains really, really talented. But should the Tigers be ranked 21st on Nov. 28 -- ahead of Saint Louis, FSU, Harvard and Georgetown? No, absolutely not. It really can't be justified by anything that's ever happened on a basketball court.
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:02 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 7:23 pm
By Gary Parrish
They were sloppy at times -- full of questionable decisions and questionable shots. That'll have to improve. And it will. And when it does, watch out. Because after watching Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright play together for the first time (that's Boatright jumping over Napier at UConn's First Night this year) in the fourth-ranked Connecticut's 78-76 overtime win over No. 22 Florida State on Saturday, I'm pretty sure I'm ready to call the tiny playmakers the nation's most entertaining backcourt. What they lacked in composure they made up for with excitement. What they lack in experience they'll gain soon enough.
Napier spent the afternoon bombing away.
He hit six of 13 3-point attempts.
Boatright was crossing anybody and everybody.
He slashed into the lane almost at will.
They took turns playing with the ball and off the ball.
Both seemed mostly comfortable in either role.
Napier finished with 26 points and Boatright got 14 -- none of which were bigger than the three that came via free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score and force overtime. It was the freshman's Darius Washington-moment, and he passed it with ease. These stakes were different than those stakes, sure; a bid to the NCAA tournament wasn't in the balance. This is November, not March. But it was still a pressure-packed moment considering this was a game featuring two ranked schools on national television, and Boatright handled it well.
"I was just thinking about winning," Boatright told CBSSports.com by phone. "I knew I had to make them."
Which is precisely what he did.
That it came in his college debut only made it more impressive.
Boatright, as you know, was caught accepting extra benefits from his summer coach before enrolling in college. The NCAA suspended him for six games. That forced him to miss UConn's first five ... plus Friday's loss to unranked UCF.
"It was tough sitting out," Boatright said. "No way to describe the feeling. Watching made me sick to my stomach."
But he won't have to watch anymore.
And he's going to make the Huskies a bigger problem than they otherwise would be in the Big East, because now Jim Calhoun has two dynamic ball-handlers to go with an All-American wing (Jeremy Lamb) and a pro big (Andre Drummond). Sprinkle in the pieces that are Alex Oriakhi, Tyler Olander, DeAndre Daniels and Roscoe Smith, and forget about how the Huskies look now. Think ahead to March and how they could look then.
The pieces are in place to compete for another title.
"We just got that last piece," Lamb told CBSSports.com by phone. "Boatright was great today. He gives us another ball-handler. So I don't know how long it's gonna take, but I think we'll get there. I think we're gonna get there."
Posted on: November 25, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 11:46 pm
By Jeff Goodman(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBBon Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)
Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s slate of college basketball games …
Game of the day: Central Florida stormed back from a 17-point deficit with 16 minutes left in the game and knocked off No. 4 UConn in the Bahamas. Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan (right) each had 20 points in the 68-63 victory.
Win to brag about: Marshall has received plenty of preseason hype and the Thundering Herd got a huge victory at Cincinnati. The Bearcats are no longer a Top 25 club after a loss last week to Presbyterian, but this was still an important win for Tom Herrion & Co., if Marshall wants to be in the conversation for at an-large bid come March.
Loss to hide from: Florida State falling to Harvard. Listen, there's no shame in losing to Harvard this season. The Crimson could wind up running the table in the Ivy League. However, the Seminoles only scored 41 points in the entire game - and a team with a frontline with NBA size was outrebounded by Harvard, 40-30. Leonard Hamilton's team had just five assists.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Michael Jordan's younger son, Marcus, went for 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and also dished out seven assists in the win over UConn. He made huge baskets - and also critical free throws - in the waning minutes of the game.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: We'll give to to a pair of Oklahoma State freshmen: Highly touted forward Le'Bryan Nash and point guard Cezar Guerrero. Nash finished with the goose egg in 11 minutes and Guerrero had just three points, three turnovers and no assists in the loss to Virginia Tech in the NIT consolation game.
Numbers don’t lie:
32: That's the number of points scored by Boston College freshman Patrick Heckmann. The German native was 9-of-13 from the field, 4-of-5 from deep and make all 10 of his free throws in an overtime win over UC Riverside.
250: Rick Pitino won his 250th career game at Louisville, but it was more difficult than expected - as the Cards beat Ohio University, 59-54.
11.6: That's the rebounding average of UNLV's Mike Moser through five games this season. Moser transferred after one season at UCLA and had 13 more boards on Friday - in a win over USC.
Three other notable results:
Saint Louis knocked off Villanova, 80-68, and went to 5-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.
Ole Miss took care of Miami, 64-61, in overtime down in Oxford, Miss.
Dayton beat Fairfield, 56-49, to advance to the championship game of the Old Spice Classic down in Orlando - and a matchup with Minnesota for the title.
Florida junior forward Erik Murphy suffered a knee injury in practice on Thursday and sat out Friday's win. The extent of his injury is still unclear - per source.
Xavier's Travis Taylor, who averaged just 4.3 points and 5 boards over the first three games, had a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) in a 70-56 win over Georgia.
Clemson's Milton Jennings, a heralded Top 50 recruit coming out of high school, had a career night with 22 points and 14 boards in a win over Furman.
The Battle 4 Atlantis consolation game may be more intriguing than the title contest. UConn plays Florida State at 2 p.m. and will be followed by Central Florida vs. Harvard for the championship.
President Obama will be in attendance for the Oregon State-Towson game. No, not because it's Pat Skerry's home debut with the Tigers. He'll be there to watch Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, better-known as Michelle Obama's brother.Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 12:33 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Florida State sophomore guard Ian Miller won't be available for the Seminoles for the first semester.
According to a source close to the situation, the 6-foot-3 sophomore - who didn't play in either of the Seminoles' exhibition contests - is expected to return to the team in December.
Miller, who averaged 5.5 points as a freshman last season, is expected to battle with veteran Luke Loucks and Arkansas transfer Jeff Peterson for the starting point guard spot.
Florida State opens at home against Jacksonville on Friday night.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:09 am
Wannah Bail certainly has the name of a basketball player. Extremely long and athletic, Bail also has the build and body of a highly-touted prospect.
This summer, however, Bail felt he didn’t get a chance to show his full host of talents due to a toe injury.
“Not my best, especially coming off injury,” he said. “I had always felt as if I could have done something better, even after giving it my all.”
When healthy, Bail has the physical tools to be a dominant performer. Ranked No. 68 in the CBSSports.com Top 100, the 6-foot-7 power forward runs the floor extremely well and uses his strength to make plays at both ends of the court. He can get solid position for offensive post-ups, and he is a very good shot-blocker and rebounder. If he refines his offensive game, Bail could be a stud.
Bail, a native of the Bahamas, is now enrolled at Lamar Consolidated (Texas) after bouncing around a few high schools in the Lonestar State last year. His recruitment will also begin to sort itself out with coaches finally able to track him during the school season.
“It’s going good,” Bail said of his recruitment. “I’m really enjoying it.”
For now, Bail is hearing from Auburn, St. John’s, Houston, Texas Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Kansas, South Florida, Indiana, Texas A&M, Baylor, Washington State and others. All besides Kansas have offered.
Bail plans to take his recruitment slowly, but did take a visit to Houston on Saturday, when the Cougars beat UCLA in the football season opener. Michael Carey and Chicken Knowles also joined him on campus.
Don’t look for a decision soon.
“I have no favorites,” he said.
Photo: Adidas Nations
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 2:48 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Devon Bookert had options.
The Alaska native could have gone to Cal or San Diego State right now. Instead, the 6-foot-3 point guard has committed to Florida State in the Class of 2012.
"I was comfortable with them as people and I just felt like it was the best fit," Bookert told CBSSports.com.
But first Bookert, who has spent the last few years at Anchorage West High, will go spend this year at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.
"It’s a chance for me to get better and stronger," Bookert said. "I know I could play in college this year -- I’ve played against some of the best players in the country, but most of the kids have already been in summer school and I’d already be starting out behind."
Bookert started to gain some traction as a player in the summer, but his national coming-out-party was when he put up 22 points and had 10 assists in Branch West’s huge upset over the Oakland Soldiers in late-July.
Bookert is an old-school point guard has managed to slip under the radar, but Leonard Hamilton has done well with those type of kids -- from Al Thornton to Bernard James to Okaro White.
"I expect him to be a very good player," said former Anchorage West High's Chuck White, who also coached Trajan Langdon. "He loves the game, refuses to get outworked and is very competitive. He's just a good all-around, well-rounded player. He's a lot like Trajan -- he handles the ball better while Trajan was a better shooter."
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 10:47 am
By Jeff Goodman
ACC Offseason Report
Boston College – Joe Jones left to become the head coach at Boston University and Steve Donahue has decided to promote Woody Kampmann and hire Izzi Metz as his new director of basketball operations. The Eagles will play in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and have non-league games against Providence (12-8) at home, UMass (11-21) and Penn State (11-30). Dallas Elmore transferred out of the program while Oregon transfer Matt Humphrey is eligible this season.
Clemson – The Tigers are in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii (12-22/25) and also have non-league games at Iowa (11-29), at Arizona (12-10) and against South Carolina (12-4). Donte Hill (Old Dominion), Noel Johnson (Auburn) and Cory Stanton (Lipscomb) all transferred out of the program.
Duke – The Blue Devils will go to China and Dubai from Aug. 14-26. Mike Krzyzewski brought back former player Jeff Capel, who was fired as head coach at Oklahoma in the offseason. He moves into the spot of Nate James, who was reassigned. The Blue Devils will play in the Maui Invitational and also have a loaded non-conference slate: vs. Michigan State in the Champions Classic in NYC (11-15), at Ohio State (11-29), vs. Washington in NYC (12-10), at Temple in Philadelphia (1-4), vs. St. John’s (1-28).
Florida State – Andy Enfield got the head job at Florida Gulf Coast and was replaced by Dennis Gates (Nevada). The Seminoles will play in the Battle of Atlantis in the Bahamas on Nov. 23-27 and also go to Florida (12-22) and play at Michigan State (11-30). Jeff Peterson transferred in from Arkansas and will be eligible this season as a graduate student.
Georgia Tech – New coach Brian Gregory brought Billy Schmidt from Dayton, hired Josh Postorino, Chad Dollar and Amir Abdur-Rahim as the director of operations. The Yellow Jackets will play in the Charleston Classic (11-17/20) and will have non-league games against Northwestern (11-29), at Georgia (12-7) and vs. Alabama (1-3). Brian Oliver transferred to Seton Hall and Brandon Reed is eligible this season after transferring from Arkansas State.
Maryland – Mark Turgeon brought Scott Spinelli and Dustin Clark (director of basketball operations) with him from Texas A&M, hired Dalonte Hill (Kansas State) and kept Orlando “Bino” Ranson. The Terps will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and also have non-league games vs. Illinois (11-29), against Notre Dame (12-4) in D.C. and against Temple at the Palestra (1-21). Haukur Palsson left the program to play pro ball back home.
Miami – Jim Larranaga brought his staff with him from George Mason: Chris Caputo, Eric Konkol, Michael Huger and he kept Mike Summey as the director of basketball operations. The Hurricanes will play at Purdue (11-29), vs. Rutgers (11-15), at Ole Miss (11-25), vs. Memphis (12-6) and at West Virginia (12-11). Trey McKinney-Jones (UMKC) and Kenneth Kadji (Florida) are both eligible this season after sitting last year.
N.C. State – Mark Gottfried put together the ex-Charlotte staff of Bobby Lutz, Orlando Early and Rob Moxley. He also hired Jeff Dunlap as his director of basketball operations. The Wolfpack will play in the Legends Classic and also will face Indiana (11-30) and Syracuse (12-17) at home, and will play at Stanford (12-4). Ryan Harrow (Kentucky) transferred out while N.C. State added one-year Cal State Bakersfield point guard Alex Johnson, who is eligible this season.
North Carolina – The Tar Heels will play Michigan State on Nov. 11 in San Diego on an aircraft carrier and will also play in the Las Vegas Invitational. Roy Williams’ team also plays Wisconsin at home (11-30) and at Kentucky (12-3) in the non-conference slate. Larry Drew transferred to UCLA.
Virginia – The Cavaliers will play in the Paradise Jam and also have non-league games vs. Michigan (11-29), vs. George Mason (12-6), at Oregon (12-18) and at LSU (1-2 or 1-3). Will Regan (Buffalo) transferred out of the program.
Virginia Tech – Adrian Autry (Syracuse) left and Dennis Wolff left the director of operations spot to become the head women’s coach at Virginia Tech. Robert Ehsan (Maryland) replaced Autry and Jeff Wulbrun takes Wolff’s spot. The Hokies will play in the Preseason NIT and also have non-league contests at Minnesota (11-30), vs. Kansas State (12-3 or 12-4), at Oklahoma State (12-31) and vs. BYU (1-25). Manny Atkins transferred out to Georgia State.
Wake Forest – Walt Corbean has been moved up from director of operations, replacing Mark Pope, who left for BYU. Jeff Nix, a former NBA assistant, takes Corbean’s old spot. The Demon Deacons will play in the Old Spice in Orlando and also have non-conference games at Nebraska (11-30), at Seton Hall (12-10) and vs. Richmond (12-3). Ari Stewart (USC) transferred out of the program and Melvin Tabb was suspended and is leaving as well.
Offseason reports: Big 12 | Pac-12 | Big Ten
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:09 pm
By Jeff Goodman
In the ACC, it’s been Duke and North Carolina -- and everyone else.
But Florida State sits on top of the "everyone else" category. The Seminoles are the third-winningest program in the league over the last six years with 58 league victories.
Over the last three seasons, the Seminoles have averaged 23.3 wins -- and are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance last year.
Still, Leonard Hamilton’s team doesn’t get much respect.
I admit I didn’t have them in my early Preseason Top 25 -- and wasn’t alone, either. With the loss of Chris Singleton and also starting guard Derwin Kitchen, I just assumed the Seminoles would fall back into the pack.
However, this is a program that was able to win a year ago without Singleton on the court -- and then without him playing much of a role in the NCAA tournament.
So I put them in the Preseason Top 25 -- which is where they belong.
Sure, it’ll be difficult to replace the long and talented Singleton, considered one of the elite defensive players in the nation and a key reason why Florida State led the nation in field goal percentage defense (.363) -- the best mar in the ACC since 1960.
"Obviously, Chris and Derwin meant a lot to the team," Hamilton said. "But the team was forced to make adjustments last year and I think that will help us this year."
Hamilton dealt with injuries to big man Xavier Gibson and forward Terrence Shannon -- and also had to work with the adjustment on and off the court with freshman Iam Miller as well as the acclimation to the Division 1 level for junior college big men Jon Kreft and Bernard James.
Everyone is back except Singleton and Kitchen.
Hamilton has NBA size on the frontline. In fact, even with losing the 6-foot-9 Singleton, this team will be bigger. It may have more size and length than the Washington Wizards team he coached for a season in the NBA.
"That’s probably true," he admitted.
Hamilton said that the offensive execution should be improved with the big men knowing the system and multiple options at the point guard spot. There’s Miller, veteran Luke Louckes and Jeff Peterson, who is eligible immediately after transferring in from Arkansas.
"They’ll be some competition," Hamilton said. "We’re going to allow the players to compete and sort that out."
Hamilton said this year the focus will be on getting to the free throw line at a higher clip, playing faster and cutting down the turnovers -- and praying for health.
"We like this team," he said. "We’re just hoping to be void of some of those basketball demons, the injuries."