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Tag:Duke
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Nike sterilizes college hoops with platinum unis

None of these people currently play college basketball. (Nike)
By Matt Norlander

Syracuse fans' worst nightmares have come true. The team will wear gray uniforms. That's the color of the enemy, Georgetown.

It's not just Syracuse, though. Many teams will be wearing gray -- oh, sorry, PLATINUM -- at some point this season. Nike teamed up with a bunch of universities, primarily because Nike has lot of employees with a lot of time on their hands and is obsessed with this gray/platinum trend way more than it should be. Because of this, nine teams will don these generic, already-out-of-vogue uniforms.

Other schools duped into the marketing ploy include Arizona, UConnDuke, Florida, Kentucky, both the men's and women's North Carolina teams and the Baylor women's hoops squad. Here's the thing -- they're not even that ugly. It'd be one thing if these threads were Oregon's court reincarnated, but they're just ... boring-looking, nondescript from the past half-decade of altering team jerseys up and down the grayscale.

                       [SEE THE COMPLETE SLIDESHOW OF NEW UNIFORMS AT NIKE'S WEBSITE]

The relief comes from the fact these things will not affect player performance. Because players don't much care what they wear, or at least they don't let the colors they don alter their game. As long as fans can restrain themselves from vomiting onto the floor, we should all survive this. Look good, feel good; feel good, play good and all that, but these just look like uniforms that take away from the spirit of the team. They're not playing for Syracuse or UNC or Arizona anymore. They're playing for Nike. Aren't we all. Them or Apple.

There is good news. First of all, the uniforms are apparently great for the environment, having been made up of mostly recycled polyester material, as well as most of Jim Boeheim's old, sweaty dress shirts.

Secondarily, the teams won't be wearing them on the regular. Syracuse will place them on their backs for the most meaningless game of their season: the Feb. 22 home game against South Florida. Kentucky, so fa as we know, is only throwing on the throwfronts for the Jan. 31 game against Tennessee. UConn will give these things a go this Sunday, against Notre Dame.

They'll come and go until the next uniform trend arrives. And when that happens, let's abide by dominant team colors.

(Via Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)
Posted on: January 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Duke's student section losing its luster

The "Cameron Crazies" student section has seen its attendance and enthusiasm drop in the last few years. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Cameron Crazies.

The student section at Cameron Indoor Stadium has long been considered a college basketball staple, complete with body-painted undergraduates heckling opponents and Dick Vitale body-surfing.

It seems that the once-renowned section has quickly lost much of its luster, though.

According to the Duke Chronicle, only 650 students have attended each game – just more than half of the 1200-person capacity for the student section. The school has been selling general admission tickets in the student section in an effort to fill it.

The lack of interest in standing in the rain and other weather conditions has turned some students off from going to games, although Garrett said people can show up a half-hour before tipoff and still get a ticket in the student section. According to the paper, the lack of marquee teams playing at Cameron has been another problem. Duke has played several of its top non-league games at Madison Square Garden, and the ACC isn’t exactly loaded with top-10 teams this season.

Against Wake Forest, head coach Mike Kzyzewski had to encourage the students to get louder during the game. That’s not a good sign.

"Students need to realize that going to Cameron is . . . an awesome experience," co-head line monitor Ellie Garrett told the paper.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 4:03 pm
 

Podcast: Seth Davis hates the Giants so, so much

By Matt Norlander

One of, if not the biggest, names in college basketball sportswriting, Seth Davis, is back on the program. All that great football overshadowed what transpired in hoops, so we're here so you can hear all about it.

What were the biggest results? What of Fab Melo not playing at Syracuse? Why can't we focus on the positive with Murray State? And why on earth does Seth root for the Redskins? All extremely important topics that are covered in the Monday edition. It's one of our best this season, so get to clicking. And if you'd like to read Seth's recent work, head on over here and check out his columns, plus the fantastic annual Hoop Thoughts editorial.

Topics:
  • From the beginning: We recorded this last night, so we start with our reactions to the football games. How could we not start with that? Unfortunately, it devolves into Redskins talk pretty quickly.
  • 2:43: Outside of Syracuse and Murray State's games, what was the most meaningful result from Saturday or Sunday?
  • 8:07: Syracuse. Let's discuss the Orange and what they are, the Fab Melo situation, and how good they really are. Seth has his doubts, and I think it's fair -- even though I still want to believe this team has a very good chance at this year's Final Four.
  • 14:02: So far ... what do we make of this basketball season? Has it been a good one?
  • 17:30: Seth and I deviate from the hoops talk to lament how great we are and how awful our lives become when people request to talk to us on the radio. I do this after having asked Seth to come on my podcast. It's all so insufferable in its meta existence.
  • 20:17: Let's talk about Murray State, the great story, not Murray State, the when-will-they-lose story. Seth takes a second to stroke Parrish's ego as well.
  • 28:00: Seth and I pick our fringe bubble teams that we believe will play themselves into the field. We also take the inverse: good teams likely to play themselves into the NIT.
  • 32:10: Chip Kelly to Oregon almost happened, but this doesn't really much happen in college hoops -- that hot coach with the sexy scheme who can bring a new flair to the pros. Why not?

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:21 pm
 

Video: Incredible finish to Florida State-Duke

By Matt Norlander

Goodness.

The past few minutes have felt like the first weekend in March. Tennessee pulled out a great, close home win over UConn; Kansas eked out a 69-66 win at Texas; and then you have this, Florida State's second huge win on a Saturday. Only this time, it came on the road. Austin Rivers took the ball to the hoop, tied the game, then Michael Snaer sent the dagger in as time expired, most definitely vaulting FSU into the polls come Monday morning -- and permanently getting them into the NCAA tournament conversation.

FSU controlled most of this game. It deserved the win -- and now the ACC is a definite three-team race. Some Saturday we've had so far.

We should have more reaction from FSU soon. 

Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:32 pm
 

Podcast: Harrison Barnes and Austin Rivers' roles

By Matt Norlander

No one knows ACC basketball like Jim Young, the funny/snarky presence who runs ACCSports.com. Young joins me fresh off that three-point Duke win over Virginia Thursday night. Virginia did a lot of good there. But beyond Mike Scott, what do the Cavs have?

We're smothered in ACC chatter, which isn't necessarily a good thing. But from Maryland to N.C. State to UNC to Duke to Harrison Barnes to Austin Rivers, it's all covered today. Near the end we talk some music, too (I just can't help myself).

Our gabbing goes like this:
  • From the beginning: Some introductions and remembrances of podcasts past. Then it's on to talking Duke over Virginia, focusing primarily on Virginia.
  • 6:32: How do we assemble the ACC? UNC / Duke / Virginia / everyone else? Do we group Virginia with Duke?
  • 9:17: The problem with the ACC, the biggest one, is all the bizarre results that make it seem worse since so many teams played badly out of conference.
  • 12:54: A few moments on Maryland, which is the most interesting team outside of Duke and UNC.
  • 14:58: "I ... have no idea" is the appropriate slogan for the ACC in 2011-12.
  • 16:08: North Carolina, oddly under the radar right now? And let's get going with the Barnes talk.
  • 23:53: And now it's on to Austin Rivers, who a lot of people have a lot of opinions on what he should be doing for this team. This transitions into a general Duke discussion that I think is the most interesting part of the pod.
  • 32:18: Wrapping up the chat with some music talk. And if you've got any recs, feel free to tweet them at me.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:05 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 1:06 am
 

Night Court: Home losses are the common theme

By Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Looks like the MAAC is not going to be a cakewalk for Iona this season. The Gaels welcomed Manhattan into town and dominated for the first 32 minutes or so, leading by 17 with 7:58 remaining. Then the Jaspers turned on a switch and outscored Iona by 20 in the final eight minutes – capped by Emmy Andjuar’s banked-in 3 at the buzzer to give Manhattan a 75-72 victory. Go check out the video above.

Win to brag about: Wisconsin needed a win badly against Purdue – and the Badgers held off the Boilermakers for a 67-62 win. It was Purdue’s first home loss since Feb. 28, 2010. Wisconsin jumped out to a 22-4 lead on the strength of five 3-pointers, but Purdue slowly came back in the game, spurred by a nice offensive game from guard Terone Johnson. For a team that has struggled to provide secondary options to Jordan Taylor, getting five guys in double-figures was key for Wisconsin.

Win to brag about, Vol. 2: Saint Mary's continues to send a message to the rest of the WCC. After dominating BYU two weeks ago, the Gaels handled Gonzaga on Thursday night, 83-62. Potential league player of the year Rob Jones didn't score until there was 1:39 left in the game, although he grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists. Matthew Dellavedova was an absolute stud, hit several clutch 3-pointers and finishing with 26 points. The hero might have been freshman Brad Waldow, who came out of nowhere to rack up 17 points and nine rebounds. Will Gonzaga and BYU protect their respective homecourts the way Saint Mary's has done in Moraga? 

Loss to hide from: Minnesota isn’t a bad team by any stretch, but the Golden Gophers were 0-4 in the Big Ten going into Thursday night. On the other hand, Indiana had already beaten Kentucky and Ohio State at home so far this season. So what happened? Minnesota grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and forced 15 turnovers en route to a 77-74 victory. Indiana couldn’t get its shooting going, knocking down just 4-of-22 from 3-point range.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In a battle for first place in the Big South, UNC-Asheville overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Campbell. The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 in the conference behind a tremendous all-around performance from guard Matt Dickey. The senior had 19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals for UNCA.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: George Mason’s Ryan Pearson came into Thursday averaging 18.2 points per game. Against Drexel, Pearson shot just 1-for-9 from the field and finished with two points as George Mason suffered its first conference loss of the season. Pearson did grab 11 rebounds, but the Patriots needed his offense – and didn’t get it. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 6: Since Wes Miller took over as interim head coach for UNC-Greensboro, he had suffered six straight losses. He picked up his first win on Thursday at Charleston.
  • 47: That’s the combined number of free throws Robert Morris and Quinnipaic made on Thursday. Quinnipiac won, 78-76.
  • 6-for-26: That’s what Stanford and Utah shot from the free-throw line -- the worst combined percentage in a decade.
  • 16: That’s the number of assists Scott Machado dished out for Iona in its last-second loss to Manhattan.

Three other notable results:

  1. Virginia went 0-for-11 from 3-point range in the second half against Duke, but still had a chance to send the game into overtime. But Mike Scott and Jontel Evans both missed, giving Duke a 61-58 win. Despite the loss, Virginia is for real.
  2. Dee Bost stole the ball from Trae Golden in the final seconds and went the other way for a dunk to clinch Mississippi State’s 62-58 win over Tennessee.
  3. Murray State stayed undefeated by beating Jacksonville State, 66-55. 

Notes:

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:41 pm
 

UVA loses close at Duke but proves its worth

Tony Bennett's team must be tournament-bound after seeing the way it played at Cameron Thursday night. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Matt Norlander

In a typically enlightening post from RealGM’s Dan Hanner earlier Thursday afternoon, he noted how well Virginia had played against college basketball’s better teams so far this year. In short, the Hoos have been among the best teams against the best competition.

You might not think that, though. You might think, Since Virginia’s new to the national scene, on a rebuilding plan that’s perhaps ahead of schedule, they’ve beaten pin cushions on the way to a 14-1 season. You’d be wrong in thinking that. If I’m wrong in thinking you how you were thinking, forgive me for a similar sin. Nevertheless, Check Hanner’s work. It’s great and opens up some of myster surrounding one of the nation's most surprising teams.

Thursday night, Virginia had its toughest test yet, subsequently falling at Duke, 61-58. Most will come away impressed that Tony Bennett’s team could put itself in a position to have two 3s in the final seconds with overtime in the balance. Both fell short. Eleven 3s in total clanked off the rim in the second half. None got through the hoop. That hurts. Oh for 11 from deep in a three-point losing effort isn’t morally reassuring; it’s maddening as hell.

Still, Virginia firmly established itself as a worthy No. 3 ACC team, a group that’s most likely going to navigate itself to its first NCAA tournament berth in five years — and the second in the past 11. The ACC, which saw Clemson fail to win at morbidly offending Boston College Thursday night, is on pace to indecipherably slice itself into, max, a four-bid league. Who that fourth team is — we'll be waiting a while to find out.

We know Virginia’s the third, though. Mike Scott is so much the reason for that. The player who should be on our top 10 Player of the Year chase feature is as valuable to his team as anyone in the country outside of maybe Damian Lillard at Weber State. Scott finished with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. In most games he’s played this season, Scott’s walked off the floor with more points than anyone else.

When Duke’s involved in a game, and particularly when Duke wins, the story’s usually about the Devils. Not Thursday night. Thursday night was about how Virginia could handle itself in the toughest gym in the country and whether it proved to be in the room with UNC and Duke. For now, it does. 61-58 is seldom sexy but almost always speaks to the team keeping the score that low. Virginia's a much superior defensive team; it also dictated pace and made Duke play its game.

If you had looked at Ken Pomeroy’s pregame head-to-head comparison of these teams (and for those who love our game but are still holding out, the kingdom of information behind Pomeroy’s paywall is college basketball’s best bargain at $20/year), you would’ve seen a disparity in reds and dark greens that seemed to heavily favor Duke.

We’ll never be able to predict what’s truly coming after the tip, though, and I’m thankful Virginia kept it closer than anticipated. (Pomeroy’s model had a 67-59 Duke win. Pretty close.) The Cavs did themselves some good tonight, even if losses in conference are always a hard thing to get down. More than halfway through a season with a decent schedule, UVA is 14-2 and looking ahead to the two ACC Tech teams in the next 10 days.

They'll win close and ugly and will most likely drop one or two bad ones. I can feel that coming. But Virginia's now the Wisconsin of the East. It's better than Wisconsin, too. More reliable now, anyway. There are holes and many areas Virginia can get better (in short: rebound the ball on the offensive end better and get a guy or two to stretch defenses), but with what they've got they're the ACC's third best. No doubt.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:29 am
 

Which program boasts most NBA players?

By Matt Norlander

OK, so take your guess. Which college program do you think has the most representation at the NBA level right now?

What jumps to mind? North Carolina’s superb lineage? You know Ben Howland had all those pros at UCLA in the past seven years. What about UConn? It’s always got a few future millionaires wearing its threads for a year or two.

The answer’s actually …

Duke: just plain more athletic and more talented than anyone else. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke. It’s ironic at face value, since the joke’s always been something to do with Duke’s players always being so great at the college level and amounting to nothing beyond that. But Duke’s been consistently getting guys into the Association.

You want to know how Mike Krzyzewski’s really keeping his program at the top? Well, winning that 2010 title helps, but just as importantly, he can walk into any recruit's home, flash those four rings, and also proclaim he’s putting more guys into the NBA than John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Donovan and Jim Calhoun. Most wouldn't think that was the case. Until I came upon this information, I would've maybe put Duke in the top five; certainly not atop the list.

According to rosters listed on the NBA official website as of the season-openers on Christmas Day, here’s who is sending the most players to David Stern's empire.

1. Duke, 17
2. UCLA, 15
    Kentucky, 15
4. Texas, 13
    Connecticut, 13
6. North Carolina, 12
    Kansas, 12
8. Arizona, 10
    Florida, 10

Credit for this information goes to the Arizona sports information department, which sent me a notice that this was the 12th straight season the NBA’s employed at least eight former Arizona players.  As for conference play? Yeah, let's throw out some more ammo for the ACC honks, who can rightfully proclaim their league brings in the most elite talent -- by a wide margin.

1. Atlantic Coast, 62
2. Pac-12, 53
3. Big East, 49
4. Southeastern, 45
5. Big 12, 40
6. Big Ten, 25

Some think these facts mean little, but that's not the case. Here's how it boils. What's a coach's job? Win games. How do you win games? You get the best players possible. How do you do that? What are the best players thinking about? When it's not their next meal or girls, they're daydreaming about playing in the NBA. And at the heart of it all, a coach who puts players into the NBA dangles the biggest carrot in the garden.

The names on that list aren't surprising, and they're not going to change. Winning titles doesn't go hand in hand with elite talent, but keeping your program at the forefront of college basketball does.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com