Tag:Florida
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Your SEC/Big East Challenge guide



By Matt Norlander


What do you want in a preview? I've been self-assigned (is that even possible?) to give you the rundown on all of the SEC and Big East games coming up over the next 72 hours, and I wasn't quite sure where to go with this. After all, these are early-December games, half of them are afterthoughts, and preview material is usually come-and-go outside of preseason and NCAA tournament talk.

So I looked at the games and decided I'll just give you whatever random thought comes off the top of my head. A conversational tone works best here, since there are no real true tilts of consequence involved outside of the fantastic ones going on Friday night Louisville and Syracuse. (I'll be at the latter.) If there's a stat sited, I do not have it memorized. Those I looked up. I'm not huge on predictions, so you won't find those here.

All this said, I do expect these 12 games to be better than what the ACC and Big Ten gave us Tuesday and Wednesday night, by the way. If you have any other curiosities that go beyond this post, check our SEC/Big East Challenge page, which has the history of this event and stats that go along with it.

Thursday

Providence at South Carolina (7 ET): Oh this is just bad. Providence is a few years away from true relevancy, and Darrin Horn is already coaching for his job at South Carolina. NEXT.

St. John's at Kentucky (7:30 ET): Wildcats get the Johnnies tonight, less than 48 hours before Carolina comes in. I'd say St. John's would have a chance, except they're playing Kentucky. Kind of a problem. SJU doesn't have one senior on its roster and head coach Steve Lavin will not be making the trip. Kentucky will be looking ahead to UNC, but the 'Cats should win by a minimum of 23.4 points.

Ole Miss at DePaul (9 ET): Have a sick interest in this game if for no other reason than I want to know how many people show up to watch it. Have to say, the fact these teams are a combined 9-2 is a welcomed surprise.

Georgetown at Alabama (9:30 ET): Best game of the night, period. Are you sure what Georgetown is yet? We do know the Hoyas take care of the ball very well. That early trend could be bucked in Tuscaloosa, though, because Alabama is on its way to being a top-five defensive team in the country. Teams are shooting a 35.7 effective field goal percentage against the Tide. Second-worst in the country.

Friday

Florida at Syracuse (7 ET): I'll keep this strictly to basketball, because I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do that one I get there to cover the game. Basically, I'm intrigued as hell. I love Bradley Beal's (right, with Billy Donovan) game. I'm still not sold on Florida's four-guard look, even if Patric Young gets his chances to play janitor when that happens. No Erik Murphy for the Gators means they're less dynamic. I like Syracuse is a really fun one. With the Orange, you're just never sure who's going to be the player that has the big game. Looks like someone's going to need to decidedly have a huge night to beat a team a lot of people like to make the Final Four.

Cincinnati at Georgia (7 ET): Car-wreck factor has be interested. When will Cinci start playing at a level that's indicative of the talent it has on this team? Georgia's in a third-gear year, I think.

Vanderbilt at Louisville (9 ET): What do you think about this one? Vanderbilt certainly not expected to win it (I haven't checked, but I'd put the Cards at about -4.5 here). Louisville's still not at full strength, nor is Vandy. Goodman's going to be at this game. I think this one adds up to little, even if it's nice in the moment. Because come late February, both these teams will have personnel on the floor that didn't play in this game. If Vandy/'Ville are vying for the 3-seed line and you want to give the winner of this the bid, by all means, but beyond that there won't be much long-term effect from this game. I think John Jenkins struggles in this one, too.

Auburn at Seton Hall (9 ET): Oh, get it out of my face, please.

Saturday

Arkansas at UConn (3:15 ET): The Hogs are without Marshon Powell and so I don't see how Mike Anderson's new team keeps this within 20. UConn's due for a really impressive, really big win. I want to see how Alex Oriakhi plays in front of the home crowd in Hartford. Oriakhi's been public with this playing-time situation. UConn will grow and stumble a little more in December, but I'm betting we're putting this team in the highest echelon by New Year's Day.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee (5:15 ET): I'd call this game the biggest true toss-up of any listed here. I'm down on Pitt this year in regard to most others. A win here would be very uplifting for Jamie Dixon's team. Same can be said for Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee, who's probably still punching the pillow after his Vols couldn't steal that game against Memphis in Maui.

LSU at Rutgers (7 ET): Just a couple of truly nondescript, non-enthralling 4-3 BCS conference teams. I think I'd rather put away my summer clothes into storage.

West Virginia at Mississippi State (9 ET): The final game of the Challenge, it's the kind of game MSU should win without controversy if it wants to be top-20 caliber. WVU is down, considerably down, this season. The Bulldogs have twice as much talent on this team -- and a lot more size, even if Denis Kilicli will bruise it up down low with Renardo Sidney and/or Arnett Moultrie. The flip side: Huggins has been known to get his team to steal wins in these kind of spots.

Photos: AP
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: November 30, 2011 11:25 am
 

Florida's Murphy won't need surgery on knee

By Jeff Goodman

Erik Murphy could be back within the week.

Florida's junior forward won't need surgery on his knee, according to Gators coach Billy Donovan, after it was determined that there was no further damage to his meniscus from an injury he sustained back in high school.

"The meniscus tear was from when he hurt it his sophomore year in high school," Donovan told CBSSports.com. "It looks like this was just a bone bruise."

The 6-foot-10 Murphy, who started the first four games and averaged 10 points per contest, injured the knee in practice last week and missed wins against Jacksonville and Stetson.

Will Yeguete started in Murphy's place and averaged nine points and 10 boards in the two games.

"We're hoping to have him back in a week to 10 days," Donovan said.

Florida plays at Syracuse Friday. There's a chance Murphy could play against Arizona on Dec. 7 in Gainesville.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: November 21, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 8:07 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

By Gary Parrish

Can Washington lose at Saint Louis and move up five spots on a ballot?

Yes, apparently.

But it's a stupid ballot.

Let's do some Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Did you watch any of the Coaches vs. Cancer event last week?

I did.

Good stuff.

But guess who didn't?

Answer: Future Poll Attacks Hall of Famer Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.

How else to explain his ballot?

Mississippi State beat Texas A&M by nine points and Arizona by 10 on consecutive nights to win the CVC. The Bulldogs looked good in the event; Arizona and A&M didn't. But you wouldn't know that from Scott's ballot. He's got Arizona ranked higher than any other AP voter, all the way up at No. 11. And he's got Texas A&M ranked 25th.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs?

They remain unranked on his ballot.

But there's always next week, I guess.

Another interesting ballot -- actually, this one is much more interesting -- belongs to Kevin Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner. He's got Washington ranked 14th even though the Huskies were considered nothing more than a fringe Top 25 team last week -- back before they lost by 13 points at Saint Louis on Sunday. And that's not even the craziest part. The craziest part is that Kevin had Washington ranked 19th last week, which means he moved the Huskies up five spots after a double-digit loss to Saint Louis. Seriously. That really happened. Swear to God.

(Kevin has SLU unranked, by the way. So he moved Washington up five spots to No. 14 after losing to Saint Louis but kept Saint Louis unranked. If anybody wants to try to explain this, I can be reached at cbsparrish@gmail.com.)

Coaches poll: My biggest pet peeve when it comes to rankings is when teams drop in polls following close road losses to higher-ranked teams. I mean, how does that make any sense? If you're ranked eighth you are, by definition, supposed to lose a road game to a school ranked third. And if you lose that road game in competitive fashion, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be ranked eighth. In fact, in some cases, it might mean you should be ranked higher. But under no circumstances should you be punished for losing a close game on the road to a higher-ranked team.

And yet that's exactly what happened to Florida.

The Gators were ranked eighth last week.

They lost 81-74 at No. 3 Ohio State.

And now they're ranked ninth.

Again, the Gators were dropped for losing a close game to a higher-ranked team on the road.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Also dumb: Texas getting 31 points. The Longhorns are 2-1 with a loss to Oregon State. They might be good when all those freshmen grow up, but they're not Top-25 worthy right now.

Also also dumb: Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson voted Ohio State No. 1 last week. He then lost to the Buckeyes by 44 points on Friday. He then dropped them from the top spot on his ballot on Monday. Would a 50-point win have been enough to keep OSU No. 1 on Anderson's ballot? What about 60? Or 90?
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:13 am
Edited on: November 16, 2011 12:30 am
 

Night Court: K and UK take Tuesday's headlines

By Matt Norlander

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

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court each 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.)

Game of the day: Kentucky was a fun watch, but the night's best game was certainly Florida at Ohio State, which ended with an 81-74 win for the Buckeyes. Both teams looked nice. They played well and appeared in mid-season form. But OSU's just so good right now. No shame in the Gators falling the way they did; I'd love to see that rematch in the Sweet 16 or beyond come March. Jared Sullinger and Patric Young going against each other was the highlight of the 24-hour marathon for me.

Win to brag about: A man won his record-setting 903rd game Tuesday night. There is no more appropriate candidate for this category, ever, than that.

Loss to hide from: It was a road game, but still, Iowa State falling 74-65 to Drake doesn't mean good things for a Fred Hoiberg team that's trying to win with duct tape and specialty gadgets. Whatever ISU's trying to do, it backfired Tuesday night.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Let's just have a cop-out here and pick everyone on Kentucky's frontcourt. It's like going up against a bunch of helicopter blades when you play the Wildcats. Kansas was obviously outmatched going into that game -- but there were times when the Jayhawks looked like ignorant robbers running into a tripped bank job. They'd scurry into the paint and scurry right back out.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Parrish may give me grief for this, but for as good as Memphis looked, his boy, Tarik Black, only played 13 minutes and scored six points in the Tigers' swift win over Belmont. Black is believed to have potential that makes him the team's best player. Didn't see any of that Tuesday.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 37. That's what Butler shot from the field, yet still won over Chattanooga, 57-46. It's going to win a lot of games like that this season.
  • 18. Michigan State's Draymond Green is the team's best player, and he's already showing his value, snaring an average of 18 boards through two games against two really good teams in UNC and Duke.
  • 59. That's what Memphis shot from the field Tuesday against Belmont. Tigers surprised me and a lot of people with how well they played. It was so good, I feel bad for thinking they'll never have a game as complete as that again against an opponent as good as Belmont.

Three other notable results

  1. Darrin Horn may not hold on to his job at the end of the year if the administration looks back and sees losses similar to the 58-53 one that happened tonight against Elon. Yep, Elon.
  2. Pepperdine 66, Arizona State 60. Sun Devils are a bad team, no doubt, but are we going to do this miserable Pac-12 spectacle again this early in the season?
  3. Weber State 73, Utah State 63. Utah State's rebuilding this year, but they did defeat BYU over the weekend at home. No luck on the road against Weber State, which only need 12 points out if its best player, Damian Lillard. Scott Bamforth led the Wildcats with 17.

Notes

  • We're really piling on here with the bad losses -- all of these are losses to hide from -- but Trent Johnson and LSU have to get served as well. The Bayou Bengals fell 71-63 to Coastal freaking Carolina.
  • You likely missed it, but Villanova could have very easily lost to La Salle at home. The Wildcats got the game to overtime and won, 76-69.
  • Texas took out URI at home, 100-90, but ... I dunno. The Longhorns looked off. About as off as a team can look when it puts up a Benjamin. I don't know what to expect from that team this year. I do know it's not elite, and the defense is nothing like what it was last year.
  • Vanderbilt didn't have John Jenkins due to a bad ankle, but beat Bucknell at home, 80-68.
  • I don't care how bad you are: you cannot score less than 40 points in a game if you are a Division I college basketball team. Yet Monmouth couldn't crack deuce tonight against George Mason, falling 71-39.

On tap: Long Beach State plays at Pittsburgh (9 ET, ESPNU); my man Nate Wolters and South Dakota State travel down to Georgia; Indiana has a tricky one on the road at Evansville, which beat Butler last week.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:27 am
 

Preseason candidates for Tisdale Award announced

By Gary Parrish

The United States Basketball Writers Association announced on Thursday its 12 preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award that annually honors the nation's top freshman. Three of the 12 -- Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague -- play at Kentucky.

The full list is as follows:
  • Brad Beal (Florida)
  • Chane Behanan (Louisville)
  • Khem Birch (Pittsburgh)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Andre Drummond (Connecticut)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
  • Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
  • Josiah Turner (Arizona)
  • Cody Zeller (Indiana)
Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won the Wayman Tisdale Award last season.

Sullinger is the CBSSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year this season.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 11:32 am
 

Florida's Rosario answers critics on Gator guards

By Jeff Goodman

Mike Rosario has heard it plenty.

It's basically the only question that everyone asks about this year's Florida Gators.

"How are these guys going to co-exist with just one ball?"

Let's face it: Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton were difficult to watch at times last year - and the year prior - due to their ill-advised shot selection.

Now Billy Donovan is adding two more guards - Rosario (a Rutgers transfer, thus the photo) and talented freshman Brad Beal - to the mix.

Both are known for their ability to score the ball.

"We've heard that a lot," admitted Rosario, who led Rutgers in scoring as a freshman and sophomore prior to transferring to Florida. "But I think it's going to be great for us because we can really make it easy for each other."

Junior big man Erik Murphy has been gushing about Rosario and Beal, how both are extremely unselfish and possess high basketball IQs. Rosario was considered a volume shooter at Rutgers, but much of that was by default - as the Scarlet Knights needed him to score.

But now he realizes he doesn't have to do it all.

"I came here to win," Rosario said. "Everyone knows I can score the ball, but I came here to surround myself with great players."

Rosario said he thinks Donovan will employ a four-guard lineup at times, depending on the matchup, but he also realizes that one of the four guards will likely start on the bench.

"Coach (Donovan) talks to us a lot about sacrifice," Rosario said. "Guys are going to have to be ready to sacrifice."

If the guards do wind up putting team first, this could be a scary group. Beal is a smooth guard in the Ray Allen-mold, Murphy - according to Donovan and Rosario - have been playing with more of an edge this offseason - and Patric Young can be a beast in the paint and on the glass.

"I feel like we have the type of team where we can determine our whole path," Rosario said. "It's really up to us."

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:13 am
 

McGary's parents favor Duke; AAU coach Michigan

By Jeff Goodman

WOLFEBORO, N.H. - Exactly one year ago, the question from coaches was whether or not Mitch McGary could play in the Big Ten - or another big-time league.

Now he's the No. 2 player in the nation.

The 6-foot-10 McGary, an Indiana native spending his second year at Brewster Academy (N.H.), has taken three visits and could take three more.

McGary went to Michigan for a rainy football game a few weeks ago, where he hung out with fellow Chesterton High (Ind.) product Zack Novak. Then he went to North Carolina and most recently, took an trip to Duke.

McGary didn't deny the fact that his parents favor Duke while his summer coach with the SYF team, Wayne Brumm, likes Michigan.

He also said he's still taking it all in right now.

"I'm keeping quiet," he said. "I'm putting it down on paper and seeing what school fits me. I'm not sure when I'll commit."

Could today be the day?

It's when Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will travel to Brewster and meet with McGary.

Roy Williams and John Beilein were both at the school on Wednesday. Billy Donovan and Mark Turgeon came earlier in the week while John Calipari is set to make an appearance on Saturday.

"It's brutal trying to figure it all out, but I know I have great options," he said.

Ones that weren't there a year ago.

McGary said he would like to take visits to Florida, Kentucky and Maryland - but he's not sure if and when that will happen.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:19 pm
 

Florida's Erik Murphy reinstated after suspension

By Jeff Borzello

Florida head coach Billy Donovan announced on Thursday that junior forward Erik Murphy has been reinstated to the team.

Murphy – and teammate Cody Larson – had been suspended since April 12 after they were arrested for allegedly trying to break into a car after leaving a bar. They were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass, to which Murphy pleaded guilty. His plea deal included 50 hours of community service, a substance abuse program, and $440 in restitution.

“Erik Murphy has serviced his punishment,” Donovan said in a statement. “We’re all disappointed with what transpired, but there’s no question Erik learned a great deal through the whole process and understands what a great opportunity and privilege it is to play college basketball.”

Larson is still suspended from the team; he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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