Tag:Jeff Goodman
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:19 pm
 

Miami's Charlie Coles calls it a career

By Jeff Goodman

Charlie Coles has finally called it a career. 

Miami-Ohio's head man, one of the more likable guys in the industry, announced his retirement moments after his team was knocked out of the MAC tournament Monday night. 

Coles replaced Herb Sendek back in 1996 and was in the final year of his contract. He was 70 years old, but it was the numerous health issues that may have ultimately caused him to retire. 

He had a heart attack in 1986 while at Central Michigan, collapsed on the court during a MAC tourney game in 1998 and underwent bypass surgery a decade later. Recently, Coles was in the hospital for a couple days due to a virus. 

Coles played at Miami and was an assistant under Sendek. He coached a Wally Szczerbiak-led team to the Sweet 16 in 1999. 

Coles leaves with a 266-226 mark at Miami. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:43 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 11:41 pm
 

Tiny Dancers: VCU

Shaka is back.

A year ago, Shaka Smart and the VCU Rams made the magical and improbable run from the First Four to the Final Four.

They could have another crack at it.

Smart and his more inexperienced Rams took care of George Mason in the semifinals and then held off top-seeded Drexel, which came in on a 19-game winning streak, to win the CAA tournament championship on Monday night.

This is obviously a different team from the one that shocked the nation a year ago.

Gone are Jamie Skeen, Joey Rodriguez, Ed Nixon and Brandon Rozzell.

It's now senior Bradford Burgess and a bunch of youngsters who may not shoot it as well, but get after it on the defensive end - and are headed back to the NCAA tourney.

It's a different cast of characters, but Shaka Smart and VCU are back in the NCAA tournament. (US Presswire)

Player to know -- Bradford Burgess - He's not a big-time scorer (he averages a little more than 13 per game), but he finished with 20 points and knocked down a handful of 3's in the semifinal win over George Mason. Burgess struggled offensively against Drexel, but he's started an NCAA-record 144 consecutive games since he arrived at the school and can really get after it on the defensive end. He's also a guy who isn't afraid to take -- and make -- the big shot.

The Vitals:
Record: 28-6, 15-3 in the CAA
Most recent tournament appearance: 2011 (Final Four)
We’re thinking: 11 seed
KenPom ranking: 46
Sagarin ranking: 50
RPI: 49
Best wins: South Florida, Akron, Drexel
Worst losses: Georgia State, Georgia Tech
Notable stat: According to KenPom.com, VCU leads the nation in defensive turnover percentage at 27.3. I'm fairly certain that means that opponents turn the ball over 27.3 times per 100 possessions. That's pretty impressive.

-- Jeff Goodman

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:38 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:39 pm
 

Winthop Fires Randy Peele

By Jeff Goodman

Winthrop has parted ways with Randy Peele. 

Peele took over five years ago after Gregg Marshall left for Wichita State. He was 77-82 in his tenure. 

“We are certainly very appreciative of the hard work and dedication shown by Coach Peele on behalf of this university over the past nine years, first as an assistant and then as head coach of our men's basketball program,” Winthrop athletic director Tom Hickman said. 

The Eagles were 25-39 in the last two seasons and 12-20 this year. It was Winthrop's first 20-loss campaign since 1997-98. 

Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:22 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Brown fires head coach Jesse Agel

By Jeff Goodman

Brown has fired coach Jesse Agel. 

Agel was 39-79 in four years at the helm - including a 14-42 mark in the Ivy league. Brown was 8-23 this past season and 2-12 in league play. 

The school announced the decision on Monday afternoon. 

Agel was previously an assistant under Tom Brennan at Vermont and helped the Catamounts get to three NCAA tournaments. Associate head coach T.J. Sorrentine will take over on an interim basis. 

For a look at each of the firings and hirings so far this season, go to our "coaching changes" page.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:02 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: Big 12

Everyone counted Kansas out prior to the season, but the Jayhawks won yet another Big 12 regular-season title despite being painfully thin and relying heavily on National Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson. Now it's time to see if they can win the conference tourney as well. A number one overall seed could be at stake for Kansas if Bill Self's group can reel off three more wins. Missouri also has an outside shot at earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament if the Tigers win the league tourney.

Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State are all likely locks for the Big Dance, but also could use momentum -- none more so than Scott Drew and the Bears. This was a team that was regarded as a Final Four caliber club just a month or so ago, but now everyone questions Baylor's toughness -- and that of Perry Jones III in particular. Baylor will face Kansas State in a terrific matchup on Thursday afternoon. Third-seeded Iowa State will play a Texas team that is squarely on the bubble in the nightcap.

Rick Barnes' young Longhorns are the only team that is likely playing for an NCAA tournament berth this week in Kansas City. Kansas plays the Oklahoma-Texas Texas A&M winner and Missouri gets the winner of the Oklahoma State-Texas Tech matchup.

The Big 12 tourney has intrigue because Baylor stands to still earn a two seed, and KU/Mizzou chase a No. 1 (AP)

Oklahoma (8) vs. (9) Texas A&M. The Sooners did just about what was expected of them in Lon Kruger's first season in Norman. The Aggies? Not so much. It's been a rough year for rookie A&M coach Billy Kennedy, who has dealt with personal health issues and also multiple injuries to his bestplayer, Khris Middleton.

Oklahoma State (7) vs. (10) Texas Tech. Travis Ford's team has been a disappointment. There's just no way of sugarcoating it. The Cowboys have dealt with plenty of injuries and it's still unclear whether talented freshman Le'Bryan Nash will play against the Red Raiders due to a fractured left hand. Billy Clyde Gillispie's Texas Tech team is dismal -- with just one league victory all year long.

-- Jeff Goodman
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:24 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 11:25 am
 

Horizon title game preview: Valpo vs. Detroit

It's been a magical ride thus far for Valparaiso's first-year head coach Bryce Drew. Drew took over for his father, Homer, after last season and the Crusaders were tabbed fifth in the Horizon preseason poll. However, led by league Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff, Valpo has a chance to earn an automatic bid Wednesday night at 9 p.m. with a win over third-seeded Detroit.

The Crusaders won the regular-season title and thus, earned the right to have the league tourney championship contest on its campus at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo got 19 points and 16 boards from Boekhoff and dominated on the glass to knock off Brad Stevens and Butler, 65-46. Detroit is the highest-scoring team in the league and is led by its star point guard Ray McCallum (aka Little Ray), who just happens to be the son of the coach.

McCallum was dominant in the semifinals -- with 26 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 63-58 win over Cleveland State. The Titans will try and snap a streak of five consecutive losses over the past two seasons to Valparaiso -- and will also try and earn their first NCAA tournament bid since 1999.

Drew, who made that magical shot as a player for the program back in 1998 to knock off Ole Miss, will try and get Valpo back dancing for the first time since 2004.

-- Jeff Goodman
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:35 am
 

CAA title game preview: Can both earn bids?

Neither VCU or Drexel are a lock for the NCAA tournament. That's why Monday night's CAA tournament championship contest is so important.

The winner gets an automatic bid while the loser will sweat it out Sunday when the NCAA tournament field is unveiled. Drexel comes in as the No. 1 seed and on a school-record 19-game winning streak after taking care of Old Dominion in the semifinals. VCU is the No. 2 seed, but has the luxury of playing in its backyard, the Richmond Coliseum.

The lone time the two teams met this season was in Philadelphia on Jan. 8 and Drexel came away with a 64-58 victory. VCU (27-6) jumped out to an astounding 22-0 start against George Mason in the semis, but the Rams saw the lead whittle down to just a half-dozen points late in the game before holding onto the victory. Senior Bradford Burgess led the Rams with 20 points -- including a 5-of-10 effort from beyond the arc.

A win for VCU would put Shaka Smart, who led the Rams from the First Four to the Final Four a year ago, back in the Big Dance. It would also give the program its fifth CAA tourney crown. Drexel (27-5), which entered the league in 2001, is still looking for its first conference tournament title. The only time the Dragons earned a trip to the championship contest was back in 2003 when they lost to UNC Wilmington.

-- Jeff Goodman
Category: NCAAB
Tags: COL, Jeff Goodman
 
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:50 pm
 

Michigan State loses Branden Dawson to ACL

By Jeff Goodman

Michigan State lost the opportunity to win the Big Ten outright title today -- and that's not all the Spartans lost. 

Tom Izzo also watched starter Branden Dawson go down with a torn ACL early in the loss to Ohio State. 

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Dawson was averaging 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. He had four points in the loss to Ohio State prior to the injury. 

This is a significant blow to the Spartans -- who will now have to put Brandon Wood back in the starting lineup. 

Dawson is a big-time athlete who brings toughness, defense and a rebounding from the wing spot. 

 
 
 
 
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