Tag:Kansas State
Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:06 pm
 

Baylor's win over K-State puts it among elite

By Jeff Borzello

Is it time to take Baylor seriously?

Like that seriously? Like Final Four, national champion seriously? As seriously as we take Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse?

Those four teams have separated themselves as something of an elite quartet this season, the four best teams in the country. After Baylor’s 75-73 win at Kansas State on Tuesday night, though, it might be time to add another team to that group.

The Bears went into Bramlage Coliseum and knocked off a Wildcats team that was coming off a 16-point throttling of previously unbeaten Missouri. They shot 53.7 percent from the field, forced 19 turnovers and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds. Heading into the game, Kansas State was allowing 0.87 points per possession; Baylor scored 1.10 per trip.

Even more impressive, the Bears did it with basically everyone in foul trouble. Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller, A.J. Walton and Pierre Jackson all had four fouls, forcing head coach Scott Drew to go with some makeshift lineups down the stretch.

From a pure talent standpoint, not many teams can compete with Baylor. Miller and Jones are future lottery picks, and Acy is an athletic forward who makes plays at both ends. In the backcourt, Walton is an aggressive defender, while Jackson is an explosive guard who is a tremendous playmaker when under control. Brady Heslip has provided a consistent perimeter option from 3-point range.

There’s plenty of depth, too. Anthony Jones is one of the more versatile players in the Big 12, and Cory Jefferson has had his moments inside. Deuce Bello is a freak athlete, while California transfer Gary Franklin provides a scoring boost.

The personnel is all there.

With its length and athleticism, Baylor is a nightmare to face on the defensive end. As they showed against Kansas State, the Bears can force turnovers in the man-to-man. It’s difficult to score inside against Baylor because of the size it has down low, and they don’t foul very often (despite the troubles against the Wildcats).

So why don’t people believe in Baylor?

For one, it’s hard to trust Jackson or Walton on a consistent basis at the point guard position. Both players have trouble taking care of the ball, and have a tendency to play out of control at times.

Offensive efficiency in the halfcourt has crept up as a potential weakness as well. While Jones is one of the most talented players in the country, he doesn’t always assert himself on the offensive end. Heslip and Jackson have been the only guys knocking down 3-point shots so far this season.

And the issue of coaching also hovers over the team; can Drew win a big game? He led Baylor to the Elite Eight in 2010, but many people still look at him as a guy who just stockpiles talent and isn’t the X’s and O’s coach that some of the other elite head men in the country.

This season, though, every team has problems. Even Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

It shouldn’t stop Baylor from joining that group. The Bears are elite.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: January 7, 2012 9:33 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 11:21 am
 

Night Court: Mizzou, Florida, Louisville all fall

By Jeff Goodman

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: No surprise that it was the tilt between Louisville and Notre Dame. These two teams had gone to overtime each of the last three times they met - and this one went to double-overtime before Notre Dame came out on top. The Cards had won 20 straight at the Yum! Center before losing two straight - one to Georgetown and now against the Irish. Notre Dame's Eric Atkins made the game-winning on a pull-up with 14.5 seconds left in double-OT. 

Most exciting game: Stanford's 103-101 quadruple-overtime win over Oregon State in Corvallis. Stanford's Josh Owens' bucket at the end of regulation came just after time had expired -- and the game-winner wasn't until the fourth overtime when Chasson Randle hit a shot with 37 seconds remaining. There were 171 field goal attempts in the game. 

Win to brag about: Kansas State didn't just beat undefeated Missouri. Frank Martin's club, coming off a poor loss to in-state rival Kansas in Lawrence, dominated the Tigers. Rodney McGruder led the way, but this was a team effort - especially on the defensive side. The final score. 75-59. 

Loss to hide from: Cincinnati had reeled off seven consecutive wins since The Brawl - including one at Pittsburgh. The Bearcats had renewed promise of climbing back into the NCAA tournament picture, but those hopes took a significant step back with a loss at home to St. John's. The Red Storm blew a late lead, but came away with the win after a game-winning tip from freshman Moe Harkless. 

Another one to hide from: Florida State was believed to be the No. 3 team in the ACC behind North Carolina and Duke. The Seminoles are now 9-6 overall and got thumped on the road against a mediocre Clemson team. Leonard Hamilton's team has dropped three of its last four games - including a triple-overtime setback at home against Princeton. 

And yet another: UConn got Jim Calhoun back, but the Huskies lost their second straight on the road - this time at Rutgers. It followed a setback at Seton Hall with associate head coach George Blaney running the show. Rutgers has now taken down Florida and UConn on its home court in the last week or so.  

Player who deserves improper benefits: Iowa State's Royce White is one of the best passing big men to come around in a while. The Cyclones finished with a triple-double -- 10 points, 18 boards and 10 assists -- in a 74-50 rout over Texas A&M in College Station. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: As good as Louisville's Russ Smith has been lately, the Cardinals guard was just 1-for-9 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc and finished with just three points in the double-overtime loss to Notre Dame. 

Numbers don’t lie:

0: That's how many points Xavier point guard Tu Holloway managed. It was the first time Holloway went scoreless since his freshman season. 

11: That's how many double-doubles West Virginia's Kevin Jones has this season after going for 22 points and 16 boards in a win over Georgetown. 

17-0: Syracuse began the season with 17 straight wins last season - and Jim Boeheim's club has done it again after holding off a late Marquette charge. 

3-0: Colorado's record in Pac-12 play, which means the Buffs are in first place in the league. No one expected that. Not even Tad Boyle. 

Five Other notable results:

Florida lost in Knoxville to Tennessee and the Gators will likely fall out of the Top 25. First it was Rutgers and now Tennessee. 

Virginia Tech lost at Wake Forest, 58-55. That's not good news for Seth Greenberg and the Hokies - who will likely be on The Bubble again this March. 

Xavier got a win at Fordham, 67-59. The Musketeers needed this one badly after losing five of six since The Fight. 

Duke struggled to get a win at Georgia Tech. The final score was 81-74, but it was closer than that. 

Temple knocked off Duke earlier in the week. Dayton defeated the Owls in Philly, 87-77. 

Notes:

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, following the loss at Temple, opted to start freshman Quinn Cook at point guard and also re-insert Miles Plumlee into the starting lineup. 

Marquette coach Buzz Williams told CBSSports.com that big man Chris Otule will have season-ending knee surgery Tuesday. 

Kentucky wing Stacey Poole is transferring to Georgia Tech, according to numerous reports. 

Towson set an NCAA Division 1 record with its 35th consecutive setback in a 75-38 loss to Old Dominion. 

On tap: 

Sunday isn't loaded, but there are a few quality matchups. Here's what leads the way: 

Wisconsin at Michigan, 1:30 p.m. ET - The Badgers are struggling and Michigan is coming off a tough loss at Indiana. 

Purdue at Minnesota, 6 p.m. - After the slip-up at Penn State, Robbie Hummel & Co., can ill-afford to slip-up against a Minnesota team that is 0-3 thus far in Big Ten play.

Maryland at N.C. State, 6 p.m. - One of these teams could finish in the Top 5 of the ACC, so this game could be important down the line. 

VCU at Drexel, 8 p.m. - Shaka Smart's team is 2-1 in CAA play while Drexel is 1-2. However, this is an intriguing league matchup. 

Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:15 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 5:44 pm
 

Mizzou suffers 1st loss; size, schedule exploited

By Jeff Goodman

Missouri's strength of schedule, no matter how you cut it, was lackluster. The RPI has the Tigers strength of schedule in the low 200's and for good reason. 

The Tigers had played just one "true" road game in their 14-0 start, a close call last weekend at an Old Dominion team that is young and still trying to find its identity. 

The wins that appeared impressive -- routs over Cal and Notre Dame in nearly Kansas City, a victory over Villanova in New York and a win against Illinois in St. Louis -- don't look all that powerful any more.  None of those four teams are locks to make the NCAA tournament and it's not crazy to claim all four could wind up as NIT teams. 

Well, Missouri took its first loss on Saturday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum, where the Tigers were truly never even in the game against Kansas State. 

Now, let's be clear: Road wins in league play are tough to come by. Just ask Georgetown, which lost Saturday at West Virginia; or Florida, which dropped one at Tennessee. But for those who tabbed Missouri as the Big 12 favorites after its hot start, let's wait a while. 

Sure, their offensive numbers are eye-popping. They've been extremely effective and efficient. Marcus Denmon has All-American'ish numbers. Kim English has shot the you-know-what out of the ball and Phil Pressey has controlled tempo and make plays when necessary as the Tigers have climbed their way into the Top 10. 

But this is a team that could have difficulty in league play.

Kansas State is a difficult place to play and the Wildcats, despite getting smacked by Kansas in Lawrence earlier in the week, are a fringe Top 25 team. The Wildcats crushed Missouri in the paint. 

Remember, Missouri has just one legitimate big man in Ricardo Ratliffe. Virtually no depth on the frontcourt. 

K-State exploited its size advantage - and if Mizzou thought the Wildcats were big, strong and long, just wait until they see Kansas and Baylor. 

Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Podcast: This one is lacking in holiday cheer

By Matt Norlander

It's Wednesday, so that means Goodman and Parrish are back on the podcast. Parrish saw Jay-Z and Kanye Saturday night, so we have to lead our show with how the show everyone's talking about. Playing the same song eight times in a row? That apparently happened.

After the music gabbing, its on to the hoops, of course. Ben Howland refusing to kick Reeves Nelson off the team, Marquette's ability, Missouri as an elite team, Goodman and I yelling at each other about Marcus Denmon. Oh, this is a good one, indeed. Then there's the Big Ten/Big East debate, which is increasing (we're totally responsible for this).

Sorry this one was late -- had to get our ducks in a row in order to get the three of us on at the same time. We think it's worth it, though.

While we watch the throne:
  • From the beginning: A full review of the Watch the Throne show Parrish was at.
  • 5:20: So, about that whole Reeves-Nelson-still-on-UCLA thing ...
  • 8:54: Goodman was at MSG for the Jimmy V Classic. He's got a hotel story first before we get to the hoops.
  • 11:37: Phil Pressey and Missouri. And Goodman gets angry at me! CONFLICT!
  • 16:10: Goodman writes about Marquette's lack of talent. I disagree. And so we fight a little more. We're both on about a combined seven hours of sleep, so it got a little ornery.
  • 20:50: It's December, in case you hadn't heard. This is the slowest time, the next three weeks, of college basketball. Storylines come in smaller supply, the meaningful matchups aren't as much there due to finals, the holidays and the lead up to conference play.
  • 24:29: The most under-the-radar team in a major conference right now: Kansas State? Goodman talked with Frank Martin this week.
  • 26:25: Big Ten/Big East/Big 12 talk. Oh, and Goodman chirps at Parrish about Thomas Robinson. This was just an awesome podcast for bickering.
  • 31:47: Wrap-up chat and miscellaneous talk. Goodman and I make nice again, which is good, because I'm kind of terrified of the guy when he gets angry.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts go up here and on iTunes. The Wednesday show is dedicated to keeping the egos of CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish inflated. Mondays and Fridays are for the real people to come on. Here's the iTunes link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. If you're still going strong and hanging on to a Zune, then, yes, you can listen on that as well.


Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 10:07 am
 

This is a system problem, not a Beasley problem



By Gary Parrish

The text message came early Thursday from a longtime college basketball coach.

Here's what it said:

"We have kids going to college who don't want to go to college. If the NBA doesn't want them, then the D-League should be set up for them. But the sad fact is that these kids are getting paid more money to go to college for a year than to play in the D-League."

The text was an obvious reaction to the Washington Post's story on Michael Beasley's lawsuit against his former summer coach (Curtis Malone) and agent (Joel Bell) that has already muddied the reputations of the summer coach and agent and seems likely of vacating Beasley's one season at Kansas State. As my colleague Matt Norlander pointed out, Beasley and his mother have basically acknowledged receiving extra benefits throughout high school and college. Assuming the NCAA follows up, it's hard to imagine a scenario that doesn't involve the NBA veteran being ruled retroactively ineligible just like former Memphis star Derrick Rose was ruled retroactively ineligible and former USC star O.J. Mayo was ruled retroactively ineligible. In other words, the top three picks from the 2008 NBA Draft -- each of whom was a one-and-done prospect -- will eventually be wiped from the official record books. They are celebrated recruits turned permanent stains.

That, my friends, is a system problem.

And it should be noted that the NCAA didn't catch any of them.

The SAT security testing agency caught Rose cheating on his SAT, Yahoo! Sports exposed Mayo, and Beasley basically outed himself in a lawsuit that highlights the underbelly of high-major recruiting. The NCAA initially cleared them all to compete as freshmen, somebody else later discovered a problem, and now Memphis and USC have 2007-08 seasons that don't count, and Kansas State will join them in time. These are messy situations but hardly surprises because the system in place creates such issues.

Elite basketball prospects are commodities well before they're even recruitable student-athletes according to NCAA rules, meaning agents get their fingers in them long before college coaches. They are compromised early on and in many cases have no desire or real need to attend college. But the NBA's one-and-done rule essentially forces them to campus where they have to pretend to be amateurs, and, let's be honest, they're almost never amateurs by the NCAA's definition. Still, there's lots of pressure on college coaches to enroll the best prospects, and so they do even when they know it's risky. Then the coaches, agents, players and, some would say, the NCAA are all left to cross their fingers and hope nobody gets caught because part of the allure of college basketball is the idea that these are just college kids playing for the love of the school.

But it's all horsesh-t.

Complete and total horsesh-t.

The top three picks of the 2008 NBA Draft are proof.

We'll continue to add names to the list until the system is overhauled.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:58 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:41 pm
 

Michael Beasley suing former AAU coach, agent

By Matt Norlander

Michael Beasley is suing the person who, at one point in his life, was probably the second- or third-most vital human being to Beasley's success in basketball. The other is his former agent.

Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported an expansive story on Beasley -- one of the biggest impact players in college basketball in 2008 -- suing Joel Bell, who briefly (officially) represented Beasley through September of 2008, and Curtis Malone, Beasley's AAU coach in high school.

The suit is a counter to Bell's suit that Beasley ended his contract prematurely.

Beasley was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft. This legal fight has been a long time coming, and because it's over broken verbal and written contracts, the seedy side of amateur athletics comes leaking out the side of the foundation.

As for the collegiate angle, there's no telling if this will affect Kansas State in any way, or Dalonte Hill, the former K-State assistant now at Maryland who got Beasley to play for the Wildcats.

You want to know how things get done at the AAU level? This is it. And it's only getting out because former friends, coach and player, have gotten into a tussle over money. An agent was promised a player would be his, and that promise didn't quite work out.

Money gets players and coaches and schools and agents and runners into these situations, and many times, it tosses them out of them, into the light where rolled eyes come just after fingers point with cynicism instead of amazement. Coaches, agents and would-be agents see talent at 13, 14 and 15 years of age, and the plan is concocted. Let's get that kid. Let's get him now. You get him on your team, you push him toward me when he's older, and I'll represent him when he's making NBA money.

Many times, this happens without a kerfuffle. Other times relationships go sour and word never escapes. But Beasley and Bell were separated mere months after the business marriage, and now the dispute is public.
Beasley asserts in his suit that Bell Sports Incorporated President Joel Bell bankrolled Curtis Malone’s nationally recognized DC Assault summer basketball program and that in return Malone felt obliged to steer Beasley ... to Bell for professional representation. Beasley’s suit contends that, along the way, Bell and Malone violated NCAA rules and federal laws governing agent conduct. Beasley’s accusations are part of a countersuit against Bell and a third-party claim against Malone filed Sept. 27 in Montgomery County Circuit Court in response to a Jan. 21 breach-of-contract suit filed by Bell Sports Inc. against Beasley. Bell’s original suit claims Beasley wrongfully terminated his representation agreement with Bell Sports Inc. just prior to signing an endorsement deal with Adidas.
Ah, yes. There's the shoe company, and those are just as responsible for the rule-breaking behavior in amateur sports as any other, organization or outfit. The story depicts Bell and Malone as a duo who frequently helped out Beasley and his family, taking care of everything from food to travel to getting out of serious vehicle violations, like driving with a suspended license, which Beasley's mother was nabbed for.

Malone's lawyer, Bill Heyman, told the Post, “Mr. Malone absolutely denies the allegations of impropriety made against him in the third-party complaint.”

Bell and Malone and Beasley won't be speaking about this publicly. They never intended to, and long after the suing ends, maybe they'll pipe up, but there won't be much new information to gather, I wouldn't imagine. The Post's story depicts Beasley's mother depicting Malone -- Beasley AAU coach, remember -- as a runner. And unfortunately, that's how some are seen. A lot of these AAU coaches are tied into agents and runners, and become de factors themselves. They're incubating potential gold-making chickens; you're expecting them not to flirt with the temptation?

To add another layer to this, it's known that Beasley used to stay with Malone regularly. Beasley attended five high schools, was highly coveted, and without much consistency in his life, Malone was a constant. The two were very close. Now there's this. A fallout because a relationship was built of money and the prospect of getting rich off a prospect.

The Post reports that between 2005 and 2009, DC Assault brought in nearly $600,000 in "contributions and grants." The team, like many AAU programs, is registered as a charity. Since it's a public charity, donors to the program are not mandatory to be listed. The report is dense, so very detailed and really well-done. A lot of it has to do with issues between Beasley and Bell well after he left college, but this issue started in the echoey gyms when Beasley was a naive high school freshman, and two guys conspired to team up with him in hopes of using his ability to make them wealthy.

It happens so often in hoops. Exposing it is nearly impossible, because the interested parties don't benefit from squealing. Something bad needs to happen. Someone needs to get burned. In this case, long after college and AAU is behind them, nobody's afraid to confront the seedy past.

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Frank Martin ecstatic with West Va. to Big 12

By Jeff Goodman

If the Big 12 does add West Virginia - as appears to be the case from all accounts - Kansas State coach Frank Martin is ecstatic.

Not necessarily because it'll bring his mentor of sorts, Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins, to the league.

"It's a Hall of Fame coach who went to the Final Four a couple years ago," Martin told CBSSports.com. "If it does happen, it's awesome. Our league instantly gets better."

Martin said he spoke to Huggins on Monday afternoon and the two spoke exclusively about basketball.

"I don't think he had any idea this was coming," Martin said of the reports that have West Virginia leaving the Big East.

Martin said his preference is for the league to be at a dozen teams, but he reiterated that he has complete confidence in the leadership of the Big 12 - whatever direction it chooses to go.

"I have never waffled on the decisions that have been made," Martin said. "I know people on the outside want to complain that we don't have stability, but Kansas State is in a better place than it was five years ago because of the Big 12."

"West Virginia's football program is always in the top of the Big East," he added. "It's big-time football and we don't even have to talk about it basketball-wise."

The addition of West Virginia and TCU would replace outgoing Texas A&M and Missouri - which appears set to depart for the SEC.

"People talk about us being vulnerable," Martin said. "But look at who we are adding."
Posted on: September 21, 2011 8:52 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 8:59 am
 

Perry Ellis closing in on decision

By Jeff Borzello

The highly-publicized recruitment of Perry Ellis is just hours away from ending.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita Heights (Kan.) will announce his commitment at 2:45 p.m. local time during a press conference at his high school gym. The finalists for his services are Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State.

Throughout his recruitment, Kansas has been considered by some to be the favorite, but the family has not shown their cards heading into the final day.

“All four coaches have recruited him for at least three years,” Fonda Ellis, Perry’s mother, told CBSSports.com. “They have built a relationship with Perry and our whole family. They are all great programs and we think they all are great choices.”

Fonda Ellis took some time to break down each of the four choices.

Kansas and Kentucky are in the mix because of their tradition.

“They both have it,” she said. “From the history to the winning to the fans to the coaches.”

Ellis likes the desire that Kansas State players have.

“Coach [Frank] Martin has his players playing with heart,” she said.

As for the hometown school, Ellis thinks Gregg Marshall has put Wichita State on par with bigger and more traditional basketball schools.

“Under Gregg Marshall, he has done an awesome job rebuilding the program to the next level,” Fonda Ellis said.

Ellis is ranked No. 27 by CBSSports.com. He is a versatile forward who can score in a variety of ways. Ellis is able to post up defenders and score with his back to the basket, but he is also capable of facing up opponents and knocking down mid-range and perimeter shots. He finishes well at the rim, and is solid on the glass.

Whichever school hears its name this afternoon will be getting an impact performer.

“Perry wants to pick a school that makes him feel totally comfortable,” Fonda Ellis said. “From the coaches to the players to the style of play and the campus. We just want Perry to be happy, and if he is happy, he will be comfortable and successful.”

Photo: Adidas Nations

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