Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:42 pm

NCAA's inane, arcane phone rules strike again

By Matt Norlander

Because a coach sent a text to a cellphone instead of an email, Georgia was put on 30-day probation in May, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All together now: facepalm.

The advent of phone technology has rendered a lot of the NCAA's contact rules in regard to coaches and recruits not only obsolete, but dumb and irresponsible.

Here's what happened, per the Journal-Constitution:
Men’s basketball assistant coach Kwanza Johnson sent an impermissible text to prospect Robert Carter of Thomasville on April 25. Johnson immediately reported to the UGA complaince office that he had intended to send the note to Carter via his phone’s email function (email is permissible). Nonetheless, UGA self-imposed a 30-day communication ban in May and prohibited Johnson from phoning prospects for two weeks, which the SEC accepted without adding penalties.
A sensible resolution for a problem that should have never become a problem. May isn't a huge recruiting month, so Georgia got out of this relatively unscathed, but it doesn't make the rule any less stupid. The NCAA is in the process of slowly but surely changing its texting, emailing, Facebooking and tweeting regulations, as it should be. The rules don't make sense anymore. If email is allowed, any other form of electronic communication should be as well.

There's also a movement afoot to eliminate a limit on phone calls during the recruiting period.

The blog post linked above also shows that Georgia football was hit for "inadvertent" phone calls. Pocket dials. Of course! Thank goodness there's reform coming, because the pocket dial could and would become the ultimate cop-out, though the NCAA would have none of it, I'm sure.

The frustrating aspect about all of this is how slow the NCAA has been to change its guidelines, when smartphone usage has skyrocketed in the past three years. It is now the highway for recruiting. The NCAA catches a few high-speed delinquents from time to time, but more often than not it's pulling over violators for things that amount to a broken tail light.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:58 am

New UCLA hire doesn't sway Jordan Adams


By Jeff Bo

If UCLA fans expected immediate results from the hiring of Atlanta Celtics AAU coach Korey McCray as an assistant coach, they won’t get it from Jordan Adams.

Adams, who plays on the Celtics, has UCLA on his list but said the hiring of McCray wouldn’t change his perception of the Bruins.

“I think it’s great for him,” Adams said. “He knows a lot about coaching, he’s a great trainer. He will help their program out a lot.”

However, he would add: “All schools are equal.”

Adams, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), is one of the top recruits from the South in the class of 2012. His strength and scoring ability makes him tough to guard for opposing wings. Adams doesn’t shy away from contact around the basket and can also knock down perimeter shots.

He will never be mistaken for someone who can jump out of the gym, but that doesn’t faze him.

“[I’m a] shooter, rebounder, scorer. An unathletic skilled guard,” Adams said. When questioned about his lack of athleticism, he quipped: “I am, but I’m not gonna dunk on no one.”

The Atlanta Celtics were one of the “preseason” favorites for the No. 1 spot in AAU basketball, but they have struggled against the elite teams. With the talent on the roster, though, a big-time summer could be in order.

The same could be said for Adams, who commented that he hasn’t really broken out yet.

“Being selfish, really,” Adams said when asked what he needs to work on. “I like to get teammates involved, but you never get noticed for those things – like LeBron the other day.”

Plenty of schools have already liked what they saw from Adams, who listed Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Memphis, Georgetown, Tennessee and UCLA. He said there were other schools in the mix too, but he forgot them.

Although he doesn’t have any favorites, Adams does plan on visiting Memphis at the end of June. If everything goes well, he said there is a chance he might commit to the Tigers.

“There could be [a chance],” Adams said. “[I need to see] things I’ve never seen at other colleges. They’ve been attractive to me for awhile.”

Damien Wilson, Adams’ teammate on the AAU and high school scene, committed to Josh Pastner and Memphis last month. Not surprisingly, that could play a factor in where Adams ends up.

“Yes, that’s [going to play] a big role,” he said. “I want to play on a wing across from him.”

Adams has already taken visits to UCLA, Georgia and Miami, with the Bruins and Hurricanes standing out.

“The coaches are honest, cool and I like their programs,” he said.

While there is no timetable for a decision, Adams was succinct when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Good coaching, a winning season,” he said.

McCray’s presence at UCLA seems like it will keep the Bruins in the hunt for Adams, but Westwood – and many other schools – will have to wait and see.

Photo: Brian Ing/SL

Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:38 am

Kuran Iverson stays out of the spotlight

Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – For such a highly-ranked player, Kuran Iverson gets very little coverage on a consistent basis.

It could be attributed to his lack of appearances on the AAU circuit, the fact he plays for a small school in Connecticut, or simply because you don’t know where and when he will show up.

For example, it was rumored he would play with the Long Island Lightning at the Tournament of Champions. On Friday, he wasn’t there. After a flight delay, Iverson appeared on Saturday to help lead the Lightning to the U-16 championship game.

“I haven’t played ball in awhile,” Iverson said.

The 6-foot-8 small forward from Northwest Catholic (Conn.) has sat out most of the spring period to focus on academics. Now, Iverson said his grades are in good shape.

Also in good shape is Iverson’s game. The rising junior is an absolute matchup nightmare due to his size and skillset. He can handle the ball well and is able to knock down perimeter jumpers. Moreover, he is versatile enough to play around the rim and make passes over the defense. Iverson still seems to be growing, which could hamper his ability to run the floor. With that said, his potential might be as high as anyone in the class of 2013.

The younger cousin of former NBA star Allen Iverson will have his pick when it comes to colleges.

For now, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Kentucky, Syracuse, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and North Carolina are in the mix.

Although he doesn’t seem anywhere close to a decision, Iverson likes North Carolina and Connecticut.

While on Tobacco Road, Iverson took a trip to Chapel Hill. “I like the team, everybody played hard,” he said of the Tar Heels.

The national champion Huskies are his home state team, but location has nothing to do with why they are high on his list. “I just like Kemba,” Iverson said.

Iverson also mentioned that he wants to visit St. John’s.

With his combination of size, skill and athleticism, Iverson is guaranteed to make an impact at the next level.

If colleges can find him, of course.

Photo: Hartford Courant 

Posted on: May 11, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm

Shaq Goodwin continues national rise



Posted by Jeff Borzello

Shaq Goodwin was always highly-regarded in the class of 2012. He was a top-50 recruit that took a backseat to many of his teammates on the Atlanta Celtics and Memphis YOMCA.

This spring, though, Goodwin has taken off. He is now ranked in the top-15 by most scouts, and as high as No. 10 by one service.

“It’s really a privilege,” Goodwin said. “I would have never thought.”

The 6-foot-8 forward from Southwest Dekalb (Ga.) is a long and athletic combo forward that runs the floor and finishes in transition. Goodwin is one of the best passers in the country for his position, and he is a match-up nightmare due to his ability to make shots and post up players around the rim.

He said his rise in the rankings is due to more publicity and a chance in focus.

“People just noticing me,” Goodwin said. “And really taking the game serious. I was [before], but I was having too much fun.”

In terms of recruiting, he now has a top five of UCLA, Memphis, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. In April, Miami (Fl.) was in the top four but the recent coaching change has dropped them back in the pack.

“I don’t know,” Goodwin said. “I just don’t know them.”

While he said he has no favorites, he did say Alabama and Florida are coming after him the hardest. Both teams picked up their interest after Goodwin’s performance during the spring.

He also wants to take an unofficial visit to UCLA in June.

“Somewhere where I can play and won’t get in trouble,” Goodwin said when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Certain cities where they let me do what I want there. Maybe I’ll get in trouble there.”

For now, opponents are the only ones in trouble.

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:34 am

Kevin Ware decommits from UCF, saga continues

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Please, end this already.

In yet another addition to a whirlwind couple of weeks for Kevin Ware, the top-100 recruit decommitted Thursday night from Central Florida.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now, personal stuff that I don’t really want to speak about right now,” Ware told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I spoke with my family about everything, and I decided it was time to back off on UCF.”

Originally signed to Tennessee, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard was released from his letter of intent after Bruce Pearl was fired in late March – after some drama, of course. Last week, Ware ended his recruitment by committing to Central Florida – after meeting with Louisville head coach Rick Pitino the day before.

Then, Ware was scheduled to play in the Derby Festival in Kentucky. He told CBSSports.com he would not participate in it because of the backlash he would receive from Louisville fans at the game. Reports began to surface shortly thereafter that Ware was wavering on his commitment to UCF and would play in the Festival. Rumors swirled that he was asked to list his college choice as “undecided” at the game. Making matters worse, Ware refused to talk to media during the days leading up to the game.

Following the game, Ware said he was still committed to UCF and never wavered in that thought. As recently as Wednesday, Ware was still planning to play for the Knights in the fall.

Then everything changed . . . but we’re not sure why.


“I talked it over with my family, and there’s a lot of personal stuff that I need to get figured out before I decide on any school that I want to go to,” Ware told the AJC. “I’m just tired from everything. Once I get my final grades in and know what schools are recruiting me, I will definitely have my choice made up then.”

Ware told the paper that Louisville and Georgia were his favorites, but he has not spoken to either school since he committed to UCF.

Ware did not respond to a message from CBSSports.com seeking comment.

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Posted on: April 28, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 10:51 am

Tough schedule will test Xavier in 2011-12

Mark Lyons returns to lead Xavier next season.Posted by Eric Angevine

The Xavier Musketeers announced a home slate that should have season-ticket holders salivating for the non-conference season at the Cintas Center come autumn.

"We are excited about this impressive home schedule and I know that our fans will be too," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack in a statement released by the athletic department. "The non-conference home slate is arguably the best we've ever had, including games against 2010 NCAA Tournament teams Georgia, Gonzaga, Cincinnati and Purdue."

It's a measure of Xavier's steady growth as a program that the Musketeers can get power-conference teams to come to Cintas at all. Even a home-and-home is difficult to secure for most mid-major programs. Cincy, of course, alternates yearly with Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout, and Gonzaga is technically a mid-major, too, but technicalities don't much matter in the scheduling game. These are all opportunities to sell out the home arena, generate excitement around the program and build a tourney-worthy profile without having to travel all throughout November and December.

Throw in the fact that the A-10 slate gets more challenging every year, and the Musketeers should be sitting pretty come time for the Big Dance once again.

Reading that list brings to mind one of those questions I ponder from time to time without ever really settling the issue. Seeing Gonzaga and Xavier face off reminds me that the Bulldogs and Musketeers, along with Butler, more or less created the current expectation that mid-majors can become long-term, viable success stories. And yet, as of today, only Butler, under Brad Stevens, has pushed through to the tournament's final weekend from that group. Things get even more confusing when we note that the two CAA teams to have made the Final Four were at-large selections who barely made the field.

Personally, I'm of the belief that achieving consistent success in a tough conference like the growing A-10 or WCC is a pretty meaningful accomplishment. In fact, the auxiliary enhancement of each league's overall profile is a long-term benefit that the Horizon and CAA are just beginning to delve into. Being a league bully, as Gonzaga once was, is nice, but ultimately hollow. Next season, the Bulldogs will have to wade through a slate that features an established foe in St. Mary's, tough competitors like San Francisco and new league member BYU. Xavier must face tourney teams like Temple and Richmond as well as challenging opponents Duquesne and Rhode Island and legendary coaches like Rick Majerus (St. Louis) and Phil Martelli (St. Joe's). Stack that up against a sagging power conference like the Pac-10, and see who has the edge come Selection Sunday in 2012.

Xavier is in a very good place right now. Chris Mack, one of the more dynamic and effective young coaches in the game, has again eluded the clutches of a major college program. Even with Tu Holloway leaving, Mack has talent and experience returning, including last year's second-leading scorer Mark Lyons (right). Mack also brought in a top-100 player in 6-foot-5 recruit Dezmine Wells to keep expectations high and the talent pool fully stocked. The machine is purring like a vintage roadster.

Sure, making the Final Four would be nice. But maybe a program like Xavier has even bigger dreams. Maybe this is the kind of team that can finally break through and win it all some day. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race (this and other comforting cliches will be available all summer long here at Eye on College Basketball).

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: April 5, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 7:02 pm

Making the Leap: Thompkins, Leslie go pro

Posted by Jeff Borzello

With two first-round picks on its roster, Georgia had the potential to be one of the more dangerous teams in the country next season.

The news that juniors Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie are entering their names into the NBA Draft puts that into doubt, though.

Thompkins announced he would hire an agent, while Leslie is just testing the waters, leaving open the option of returning to the Bulldogs for his senior season.

“I feel that it’s best for me to forgo my senior season,” Thompkins said in a statement.

“He is doing just what I think he should do – find out what the NBA thinks about him and make an educated decision with the right facts,” head coach Mark Fox said about Leslie.

Thompkins and Leslie led Georgia to the NCAA tournament this season, with Thompkins averaging 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds and Leslie putting up 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds.

Leslie is currently projected as a first-round pick by most mock drafts; if he leaves, the Bulldogs could be in trouble. Big men Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price have used up their eligibility.

Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson return in the backcourt, while incoming freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is one of the most explosive shooters at the high school level. The frontcourt will be a problem, though. Connor Nolte and Marcus Thornton will be the top returnees up front – they combined to average 3.2 points this season. Recruit Nemanja Djurisic is solid, but he’s not ready to start in the SEC.

It looks like Georgia’s one-year return to glory could be over quickly. 

Photos: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 18, 2011 8:41 am
Edited on: March 18, 2011 10:51 am

Charlotte pod ready to shift to on-court drama

Kyrie Irving looks ready to go in Charlotte

Posted by Eric Angevine

Sometimes, a prevailing attitude or emotion becomes most notable by its absence.

That's what happened this morning when I got on an elevator at the Charlotte Marriott with a couple who were conspicuously not dressed in team gear. When they began to speak to one another in German, I had an epiphany: these people had no idea what was going on here.

They don't care that Kyrie Irving is ready to play today. A discussion of Bruce Pearl's job status would likely elicit a shrug, or a puzzled smile. Their brackets aren't busted.

They were perfectly nice people, but I couldn't wait to get out of the elevator bubble and back with my people. The low-key Michiganders searching for coffee and wondering if the 1-3-1 trap can contain Scotty Hopson. The burly men in red and black Georgia golf visors. Heck, even the purple-clad people of Washington, who allegedly find me less than personable after I chose the Huskies as a possible 2nd-round upset victim a few days ago.

This pod, perhaps more than any other, has been full of off-court drama. Pearl getting a vote of no-confidence from his AD right before his first game of the tournament. Coach K springing Kyrie Irving's availability after weeks of rehab on us after we already filled out our brackets. Those are all great stories, and they've kept us occupied while we wait, but today, for a few hours, we'll shift our focus from the big picture to the small. We'll parse out who's feeling it according to our own lights. Fans of the Hampton Pirates and Long Island Blackbirds will leap, fist-pump, gyrate and pray that their teams will make history in dramatic fashion.

Thursday showed us what the rest of this month will be like. Enough waiting. We're ready.

Photo: US Presswire

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