Tag:Wake Forest
Posted on: May 13, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Tony Woods still searching for a new team, image

Posted by Matt Norlander

Tony Woods has owned up to his issues, but still claims he was a smothered-up victim of the media's blanket. The former Wake Forest center saw his career in Winston-Salem come to a quick end last fall, when he was granted a release from the school shortly after being charged on three counts of assault against his girlfriend.

The girlfriend, Courtney Barbour, was reported to have a fractured spine because of an incident in the two's apartment. Woods was quickly demonized for his behavior in nearly every corner of the Internet and on the Wake Forest campus. Soon enough, he was no longer a part of Wake Forest's basketball team. Since then, Woods has lived his life in relative silence. Until today.

An eye-opening account from Yahoo! Sports' Jason King today reveals more details of the incident between Woods and Barbour and paints Woods in a relatively positive light. Everyone involved in the incident -- Woods, Barbour and the two's mothers -- all deny any vicious, brutal, physical encounter, which the police report naturally inferred when three counts, brought on by the police, not Barbour, of assault were charged against Woods.

The Yahoo! Sports story has a lot of details and explanations for why the altercation took place, but it basically stems from a fight between Woods and Barbour wherein each person was defending their mother. Then ...
Barbour said she was sitting on the edge of a mattress where Woods was laying with their son. Because the couple had just moved into the apartment and had yet to purchase a bed-frame, the mattress rested only on top of a box spring just a few feet from the floor. She said Woods became agitated and pushed her off of the mattress, causing her to topple onto the carpet.

At that point, Woods said he picked up his son and attempted to leave the room.

“Then it became a power struggle,” he said. “She got up and tried to take him from me. I didn’t want to give him back, so I pushed her away again. At that point our parents came in and broke everything up.”

Barbour said Woods never attempted to hit her or punch her. Asked if she thought he had any intent to injure her, she said: “No, not at all. I never felt that way.”

Barbour eventually went to the hospital, where it was determined she had a part of her spine fractured. She suggests that injury could've happened a week prior. No matter, it's now in the past, everyone's moved on -- and Barbour and Woods remain in relationship to this day, albeit a long-distance one; Barbour lives with the couple's child in Washington, D.C.

Woods has completed his 100 hours of court-ordered community service. He attended community college and took a job at UPS in Louisville to pay for those classes. Now the race to pick a school as soon as possible is on. A former highly ranked recruit, there are still plenty of high-level programs interested in Woods' services. The 20-year-old just took a visit to Kentucky and plans on seeing Texas next week. He had committed to play for Louisville in the middle of last season, but has since backed out since Louisville assisant Tim Fuller -- whom Woods knew from Wake Forest -- left the Cardinals to join Frank Haith's staff at Missouri. In fact, Missouri, Xavier and Cincinnati are three other schools showing interest in Woods, according to King's story.

The center with professional basketball talent now seems to have perspective about hard work and second chances.

“I know what it means to have to work for things now,” Woods said in the story. “Some athletes – especially D-I athletes on a big-time stage – never learn what it means to work and to be a real person in the real world. Paying bills, getting a job, struggling. All of it has made me appreciate the opportunity to play basketball so much more.”

He's going to get his chance, and when he does, the toughest is probably yet to come. No matter which school he picks, opposing arenas will not be kind in his first year back on the court.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Wake Forest
 
Posted on: May 13, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 3:17 pm
 

2013 prospect Isaiah Hicks has UNC at the top

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – There’s Isaiah Hicks dunking the ball three times in a row. There’s Isaiah Hicks running the floor and beating everyone for a transition basket. There’s Isaiah Hicks blocking shots at will.

And there’s Isaiah Hicks  . . . disappointed with his performance?

“I didn’t play my best,” Hicks said at the Southern Jam Fest last weekend. “It just wasn’t my day. I could’ve done everything better.”

According to everyone else, though, Hicks is one of the top players in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-8 forward from Body of Christ Academy (N.C.) is extremely long and athletic, creating mismatches with his leaping ability and speed. He can beat bigger players down the court and score on smaller defenders around the rim.

“I just gotta bring it every game,” Hicks said.

In terms of recruiting, the sophomore has offers from Xavier, North Carolina State and Clemson, along with interest from North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Despite not getting an offer from the Tar Heels, they seem to be ahead of the pack.

“I liked everything,” Hicks said.

Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 2:57 pm
 

Skip Prosser Classic to skip a season

Posted by Matt Norlander

One of the best newborn traditions to come to college basketball is going on hiatus. What a shame.

The Skip Prosser Classic -- a game between Xavier and Wake Forest, the two schools Prosser (right, in 2005, with Chris Paul) coached at prior to his unexpected death in 2007 -- will not be played next season. The reason? A conflict of schedules, according to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Wake Forest's Scott Wortman confirmed the information to Russell.

Scheduling games is one of the finicky, tricky things for coaches and athletic departments to do. Most of them hate the process, as organizing and arranging quality opponents while baking in some cupcakes is one of the biggest challenges of the offseason, truly. My question: How was this not already set, beyond any other obstacles, in stone?

I talked with Xavier coach Chris Mack on the phone today, and he told me Xavier was open and willing to a number of dates to play the game, but Wake Forest could not oblige.

"It's unfortunate that Wake Forest could not find a date for us to continue the series that honors a man who meant a lot to all of us," Mack said. "Although it will not hold the same place in our hearts as the Skip Prosser Classic, we are in the process of finding a quality opponent to replace them on this year's schedule."

In effect, Mack is now on the hunt to find a game with a major-conference team that can replace Wake. (Efforts to reach Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik have not yet been successful.)

This should only be a one-year hiccup, as the teams have a 10-year deal in place to play out the series. I've waxed poetic about the awesome notion and nature of this game before, and I'll do the same here again. It's a great thing that highlights some of the best aspects of college basketball's non-conference season. This kind of opportunity doesn't surface all that often (thankfully), so it's really in the best interest of both programs to make sure the games happen. To be honest, the fact that some scheduling clustered up this from happening is a bit embarrassing for both programs.

The teams split the first two years of the series, Xavier winning last season.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 19, 2011 11:35 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 10:11 am
 

What we know and don't know: Wed night edition

Posted by MATT JONES

It was a relatively quiet night in college basketball, headlined by blowouts and embarrasing performances. Duke beat N.C. State, West Virginia got clipped by rival Marshall and Ohio State kept rolling by crushing Iowa. As far as the other important games, a review of what we know and what we don't know coming out of each of the most important scores of the night (picture of current St. John's "assistant" Gene Keady's hair included just for my amusement):

TEXAS 81,  TEXAS A&M 60

What we know: Mark Turgeon’s team is talented enough to get victories against good opponents at home, but tonight showcased that it is nowhere near worthy of its current top-10 ranking. The Aggies were dominated in every facet of the game in Austin and took a beating that should for the time being eliminate them from their status as a March “sleeper." Fortunately for Texas A&M, this was only one of two road games against ranked teams it will play, giving Turgeon’s group a chance to still finish with a gaudy record, before collapsing in March.

What we don’t know:   How good can Texas be? When their freshmen are playing under control and Rick Barnes is able to get big time production from Jordan Hamilton, Texas can look scary. The loss at home to UConn made me skeptical, but maybe we just write that up to the travelling show that Kemba Walker has become. Tonight, Texas was quite impressive and looked like a national contender, setting up a great battle on Saturday versus Kansas for early Big 12 supremacy.

LOUISVILLE   88,   ST. JOHN’S 63 : 

What we know : Louisville coach Rick Pitino has put together one of the better coaching performances of his career, taking arguably the worst set of talent he has had since the early Kentucky days and turning it into a team that will make the NCAA Tournament. This demolition of the team that in the preseason Pitino said could win the Big East, combined with the amazing comeback against Marquette, has the Cardinals sitting pretty as they head to the meat of their Big East schedule.

What we don’t know: What type of team is St.John’s? The Red Storm is in the middle of a brutal stretch in which it plays five ranked teams in six games and thus in theory, one dud of a performance isn’t a shock. But to lose by 25 in a winnable road game against a team that potentially could have provided a needed quality win ... well that makes one wonder if the senior-laden team will be worthy of its assistant coach's marvelous hair down the stretch.

PURDUE 63, PENN STATE 62

What we know:   Purdue got handed a gift by a costly referee error that will sting the 10 people in Nittany Lion country who care about basketball. With Penn State up one and five seconds to go, a ball was clearly deflected off a Purdue player out of bounds, thus giving the Nittany Lions a likely road victory. However the referee standing right in front of the play gave the ball back to the Boilermakers for no discernable reason, giving Purdue one last shot at saving face. The Nittany Lions can only look in the mirror for the poor defense and open look on the ensuing play, but the opportunity should have never occurred.

What we don’t know:   Will Penn State’s run of shocking finishes be enough to get an NCAA Tournament bid? The Nittany Lions are only 3-4 in the Big Ten, but have beaten Michigan State and Illinois and nearly pulled off shocking upsets at Ohio State and Purdue. The schedule still gives Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin at State College, and if the plucky group could win 2 of those 3, they could be the surprise story of the Big Ten.

GEORGIA TECH 74   WAKE FOREST 39

What we know: Wake Forest is bad. I mean, like, historically bad. In the worst ACC in at least 20 years, Wake Forest has a legitimate chance to go winless, placing it in the discussion for worst team in the history of the conference. Think I am exaggerating? Then you didn't watch this travesty of a performance.

What we don’t know: Will Paul Hewitt save his job? Georgia Tech is now 9-8 overall and 2-2 in the ACC. One of those wins is an impressive victory over North Carolina, but the natives are still restless. The non-conference mediocrity probably puts a NCAA Tournament bid out of reach, thus his future job prospects likely rest on a finish above .500 in the ACC.

NOTRE DAME 66, CINCINNATI 58

What we know:   Notre Dame is a different team when in South Bend than when they travel to non-Irish climates. The Irish are now 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road in the Big East, and every game has been a relatively wide margin of victory or defeat. The Irish are able to beat anyone on their home court, but the chance to get a good seed in March will come down to grabbing road victories in the winnable matchups at Depaul, South Florida and Providence.

What we don’t know:   Will Cincinnati get any win to impress? The Bearcats are an impressive 16-3 overall, but in the Big East, their losses are to Syracuse, Villanova and Notre Dame, while the wins are over Depaul, Seton Hall and South Florida. No team is more difficult to rank nationally, or even in conference, as games against teams of similar strength have been few and far between. One of those however comes this weekend against at St. John’s in the first true test to see if the Bearcats are worthy of our attention.

SOUTH CAROLINA 81 , ARKANSAS 74 (OT)

What we know:   South Carolina’s early conference success means that the six best teams in the SEC likely all reside in the SEC East. The Gamecocks are now 3-1 in conference and have the potential to sneak into the discussion for an NCAA Tournament berth, after a start that included a road win at Florida. Darrin Horn’s team has a huge home game coming against Kentucky on Saturday, which could officially turn them into a conference contender. For Kentucky, coming off a loss to Alabama, the game has become somewhat of a must-win, making Saturday’s game in Columbia a sneaky must-watch.

What we don’t know:   Will any team from the SEC West make the NCAA Tournament? With the return of Renardo Sidney and Dee Bost, Mississippi State looks to have the talent of a member of the field of 68, but early losses while the two were ineligible probably keep them out of the field. The only two other teams with legitimate chances to go dancing are Arkansas and Alabama and the loss by the Razorbacks tonight will hurt come Selection Sunday. The SEC West as a division owns college football and is low mid-major in college basketball.

Posted on: January 6, 2011 12:16 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 12:17 am
 

George Jones' Night in Review

possum

Posted by MATT JONES

Back in the olden days, when all blogs were local and Seth Davis was simply a "handsome CBS television personality" and not a "handsome CBS television personality with his own shown on the CBS College Sports Network", I used to do a nightly post in which I would attempt to wrap up all the important news in college basketball in one quick roundup.  The point of course, was to make sure that those of you who are too busy to come home, sit by the television with your significant other and scan the cable networks for the latest news from the WAC, would have a way to understand what happened in the world of college basketball in one ridiculous summary.  I have decided to move this concept over to the bright lights and big city atmosphere of CBSSports.com, and thus we have the first edition of the "Night in Review." 

Every evening we will begin the Night in Review by giving a quick tip of the hat to someone in the news who is not focused solely on college basketball.  Tonight we give a big "HOWDY!" to George Jones, aka "the Possum," who apparently had a heart scare in Nashville on Wednesday.  Jones is best known for the country classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today", producing # 1 hits in four different decades and looking damn smooth in a white leisure suit.  Thankfully for his fans, the heart scare turned out to be temporary and he is expected back home on Thursday.  But in the mean time, check out some of the Possum's work if you aren't familiar.  I know some of you sophisticated types with your highfalutin dinner parties, NPR tote bags and New Yorker cartoon book compilations might not be familiar with George's catalogue, so let me give you a few starters: "She Thinks I Still Care", "What a Good Year for the Roses" and "Choices." You folks can thank me later.

To the Wednesday notes worth knowing:

1.  Its Jimmer Time in Vegas --- The Game of the Night in college basketball turned out to be a dud all because of the force of Jimmer.  After falling behind 23-15 early, UNLV fell faster than the political stock of Sharron Angle in the second half as Jimmer Fredette took over, powering BYU to a 89-77 victory.  The man whose name my girlfriend hates with the same passion she had previously reserved for the girl with fangs on "The Bachelor" (I actually like it...both the names and the fangs), Fredette put on an offensive show, scoring 39 points and hitting seven three-pointers to bring out the boo birds in the Thomas & Mack Center.  With the win, BYU strikes the first blow in the battle with San Diego State for Mountain West Conference supremacy, while UNLV proves that the hints of problems suggested by the UC-Santa Barbara and Louisville losses should have been taken seriously.

2.  Bruce Pearl gets a sendoff ---  The only person who may have had a worse December that Bruce Pearl is Brett Favre, likely only because I refuse to open any text pictures I receive from Knoxville.  Wednesday's Memphis game saw Pearl's Tennessee team having lost four of its last five and about to begin an eight-game SEC stretch where the coach would not be allowed on the sideline due to an SEC suspension.  So the Vols responded as any group of kids about to watch Daddy head off to the NCAA gulag would, by absolutely annihilating its in-state rival, Memphis.  The Vols dominated in a 104-84 shellacking that was not as close as the score indicated.  What seemed to be a team reeling, instead found its groove and begin the SEC season with some positive momentum.  

3.  Boston College hates the Ivy League ---  As anyone who has ever had a friend go to Boston College can attest, the school does have a serious case of Ivy League envy.  Every BC student will try to convince you that "I could have gone to an Ivy League school but BC's academics are just as good as those Ivy schools and you know what, I wouldn't want to go to school with all those nerds anyway.  Plus, we have great sports here, so take that you little Harvard/Yale/Dartmouth/Brown dork."  While that self-rationalization is always fun to listen to, now it is even more incorrect than usual as Harvard beat Boston College 78-69 for its third straight win over the Eagles.  Piled on top of the earlier loss to Yale, and it becomes clear that BC should be thankful ACC play is beginning and the nerds are going to go back to beating up on each other.

4.  Fear Missouri ---  Yeah I know Missouri's 98-58 victory tonight was only over North Alabama and no, I am not Gary Parrish so I couldn't tell you (a) what conference North Alabama is in or (b) if it is an actual university or just a set in a DJ Qualls movie.  However, I am impressed with a team that has seven scorers in double figures against any team and goes into Big 12 play with just one loss and having played as well as anyone outside of the top five in the non-conference season.  Plus Mike Anderson just seems like a guy you would want to hang out with...and his hair is not nearly as creepy as Quinn Snyder's.  They have my attention.

5.  Duke's Schedule is Putrid ---  Have you noticed that for the #1 team in America, you don't hear a lot about Duke?  Want to know why? Because Coach K somehow lost his manliness on the way to Bobby Knight's record and has stopped scheduling anyone of note in the non-conference.  This year's slate saw only two Top 25 teams, one of which was mandated by the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, multiple games against bottom feeders and only one true road game...and it was at UNC-Greensboro of all places.  Tonight they beat Mike Davis and UAB, which is sweet, but when will Duke go play games that matter?  You are Duke!  You matter in college basketball.  Act like it.

6.  Wake Forest won ---  With fellow "worst teams in the BCS", Auburn and Oregon State, getting big wins this week over Florida State and Oregon State, Wake Forest had to do something to keep up.  Beating High Point 79-63 might not seem like much, but lets remember that this is a school that got beat by Presbyterian and went into a road game at Richmond as a 16 point underdog...and DIDN'T COVER.  So yeah it is High Point...but it is also Wake Forest.

7.  Central Florida Keeps Rolling ---  If you were on CBSSports.com today, you read about fifteen stories on Central Florida and so you know that they are a Conference USA team ready to make a national splash.  Tonight they beat Marshall 65-58 and Marcus Jordan had his team come fly with him for 26 points.  If you haven't paid attention yet to Central Florida, you really should, because if I am reading George O'Leary's resume correctly, his ability to coach both the football and basketball teams to such good seasons at the same time is quite impressive.

8.  Rick Pitino Likes Kevin Willard --- The Louisville Cardinals got back on track tonight, beginning Big East play with a 73-54 victory over Seton Hall.  The Hall has been part of what I like to call the "forgotten neighbors" of the Big East, often forgotten by commentators who trumpet the power at the top but ignore the train wrecks at the bottom of the 16 team league.  After the game, Rick Pitino said that Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard would turn the program around and that he would be the "next Billy Donovan" in college basketball.  High praise indeed, although to be fair, Rick's track record of prediction has never been the best, including comparing former Kentucky Wildcat Jared Prickett to Larry Bird and calling current Cardinal Mike Marra "the greatest high school shooter I have ever seen."   
So there you have it, your night in review.  Tomorrow is highlighted by the Xavier-Cincy battle, a decision by 2011 five-star recruit Deandre Daniels as to his college destination and more decimation of whatever comedy soul is left in "The Office."  Stay tuned....
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com