Posted on: October 7, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 11:39 am
By Jeff Goodman
I'm already locked into going to Midnight Madness down in Chapel Hill this Friday night.
But I'm tempted to go to Marquette Madness.
That's when coach Buzz Williams and his point guard, Junior Cadougan, are set to square off live in a Karoake contest.
Talk about pure entertainment.
The two potential songs, according to Marquette spokesman Scott Kuykendall, will be Livin' on a Prayer or Sweet Caroline.
The best part is that Williams actually thinks he can sing.
"With the headsets on, you think you're good," Kuykendall said.
Well, Buzz, I'm here to tell you that you need to stick to coaching.
What ultimately I'd like to see is a sing-off of point guards: Cadougan and Ohio State's Aaron Craft.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 2:31 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Some guys just aren't cut out to be head coaches. They make better assistants.
Big East Commissioner John Marinatto may be one of those guys.
"I firmly believe we would manage this a lot better with a different leader," said one Big East head coach, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "He's a good man, a good right-hand man. But I think he's in over his head."
To be fair, Marinatto was thrust into an unenviable situation, following the late Dave Gavitt and Mike Tranghese as the leaders of the Big East.
Marinatto's resume reads as follows: A Providence kid who graduated from Providence College in 1979, then later went onto become the athletic director at the school for 14 years. He was the associate commissioner of the Big East from 2002-2009, when he took over for Tranghese.
"There's just no way it would have gotten to this point if Dave or Mike were still in charge," another Big East head man said.
One thing is for certain: Gavitt and/or Tranghese wouldn't have had the news of Syracuse and Pittsburgh's departure delivered to him in a football press box on Saturday - as has been reported to be the case with Marinatto.
"I'm not sure how it would have worked out, but it would have," a coach in the league said about the overall situation the league now finds itself.
``I doubt it," answered yet another when posed the question whether this would have occurred under previous leadership.
However, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh departing for the ACC at some point (likely prior to 2014) and UConn begging and pleading to join the exodus, Marinatto has come under fire.
While there are certainly those who are skeptical, Marinatto does still have his share of support.
"I think eventually this would have happened anyway," one coach said. "Everyone wants to put it on Marinatto, but this is a league that's been built on instability."
Now the future of the Big East - and the way it'll be comprised - is in jeopardy. Will it add a couple members to replace what is has lost - and may lose - and move forward? Or will it re-shape itself for improved long-term stability and go the route of the "basketball-only" schools, thus going hard after Xavier and Butler?
We'll see what Marinatto does - and whether his fate mirrors that of outgoing Big 12 commish Dan Beebe, who's at left of Marinatto in the photo above.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:08 am
By Jeff Goodman
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 12:21 pm
By Jeff Goodman
One of these years I’ll get back to the Maui Invitational.
But I’m guessing it won’t be in 2012.
The field was officially released today and it’s solid, but not spectacular. It reads as follows: North Carolina, Butler, Illinois, Marquette, Texas, Mississippi State, USC and Chaminade.
I wanted to go this year with a stacked field that includes Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, UCLA, Tennessee, Georgetown and Chaminade. However, the issue is actually the mediocre 76 Classic that I would have hit following Maui.
The lone time I’ve actually been to the Maui Invitational was on my honeymoon (yes, my wife is pretty cool) back in 2000 when Arizona beat Illinois to win the event.
Other than, of course, the honeymoon portion of the trip – it was the chance to sit next to the late Pete Newell and pick his brain on the rickety bleachers in the Lahaina Civic Center.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 3:03 pm
BRONX, N.Y. – After going through multiple high schools in the span of five months last summer and fall, Michael Carey is content with where he is now.
He attended Lamar Consolidated (Tex.) this past year, and is happy with the way things turned out there.
“I’m going to be there for good,” the rising senior said.
One thing Carey is not content with is his standing nationally. Not ranked in anyone’s top 100, the Bahamas native is out to prove people wrong.
“I want to become an elite point guard in the country,” Carey said. “People are starting to see me as a point guard, that’s what they’re going to see at the next level.”
The 6-foot-5 Carey is an offensive-minded player who can handle both guard positions. He is extremely aggressive off the dribble, getting past defenders into the lane and using his length and athleticism to finish strong at the rim. With his size, Carey is able to see over most opponents and also make plays inside.
In order to get recognized as a full-time point guard, Carey realizes there’s work to do.
“I can run a team and break down anybody,” he said, “but I need to get faster. I’m fast, but not fast enough. I need to get quicker.”
After an impressive spring, Carey was set to continue to make a name for himself with a solid June heading into the July live period. Unfortunately, at the Rumble in the Bronx on Saturday, Carey reinjured a toe that he had originally hurt during the school season.
It is unclear the extent of the injury, but Carey will undergo an X-ray back home on Thursday to determine whether he needs surgery now or after the July period.
“My coaches think I should do it now,” Carey said. If he decides to do that, he likely won’t be able to play in any events until the Desert Duel in late July.
“Just as I was playing really well,” Carey said, showing signs of disappointment.
Even the injury won’t keep him down for too long, though.
On Monday, Carey will take a trip to Tallahassee, Fla. for Florida State’s elite camp. The Seminoles are one of the schools to offer Carey, with new assistant coach Dennis Gates taking the lead in his recruitment. Carey has also spoken to head coach Leonard Hamilton.
“I like their style of play, and the way they develop players,” he said. “They have good players, and they can take me to the next level. I’m looking forward to [the visit].”
Carey also holds offers from Nebraska and Houston, and has been offered in the past by Marquette, USC, Baylor, Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Kansas, Auburn, Florida, West Virginia and Tennessee are also in the mix.
One interesting facet in his recruitment is his relationship with highly-touted forward Wannah Bail. Bail is also a native of the Bahamas, and plays on the same high school and AAU team as Carey.
“I mean, we’ve talked about it,” Carey said of going to the same college. “That’s my boy, but I’ve gotta do what’s best for me.”
Carey does not have any visits planned besides Florida State, although he did say he wanted to take a trip to Tennessee at some point.
Despite not having a favorite or a specific timeline for a decision, Carey could be ready to end his recruitment.
“It could happen anytime,” he said.
Photo: Houston Roundball Review
Posted on: May 25, 2011 9:51 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
The transfer train continues to roll on Wednesday night.
A source has informed CBSSports.com former Marquette transfer Erik Williams has decided to play at Sam Houston State.
Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward, played in 24 games last season for the Golden Eagles, averaging 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. In the four games he played double-figure minutes, Williams averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds.
He was a top-100 player coming out of Cypress Springs High School (Tex.) when he chose Marquette over Alabama, Baylor, Texas A&M and others. His combination of length and athleticism should be a huge attribute in the Southland Conference.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:00 am
Some small-town news leaking out of Milwaukee this morning, as Marquette freshman Vander Blue is facing assault and battery charges. Charges that stem from an incident that took place last October. An incident we don't have much information on, but know the matter was dealt with internally at Marquette.
The reason that's so: Blue committed the alleged crime on Marquette's campus and was ticketed for his behavior at 1:30 a.m., October 24. Since it was on MU grounds, Blue was dealt with internally, thus his case remains cloaked, largely.
From the AP:
Marquette spokesperson Brigid O’Brien Miller said the university knew about the incident right after it happened. She said the case was heard within the student conduct code process, but she couldn’t disclose the outcome because of federal privacy rules for students.A hearing for Blue is scheduled today at Milwaukee Municipal Court.
This news now runs parallel to the pair of sexual-assault cases that have surfaced at Marquette this school year, though none of the Marquette basketball players have been directly and publicly accused in those cases. (Student-athletes have been, however.)
Blue was a nominal role player for the Golden Eagles last season, averaging 5.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:17 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 10:19 pm
Posted by Matt Jones
1. Ohio State’s quest for dominance: College basketball has been decidedly mediocre as a whole this season, with no real difference between most of the teams in the top 25. But all year, Ohio State has seemed to be on a different plane. Its two losses during the regular season were both on the road, against ranked teams in the Top 15. And now in the tournament, as Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, etc have struggled at times in their games, the Buckeyes have rolled and looked absolutely dominant. Now however they are rewarded only with the two winningest programs in college basketball history, Kentucky and North Carolina. Win those two in a convincing manner and they will be cutting the nets down in Houston.
2. The era of Jorts in full effect: The most improved player in college basketball is the lone senior on a program known for its freshman, who played 35 total minutes last season. Josh Harrellson is a fan favorite in Lexington, Kentucky, in part because of his Cinderella story and in part because of his unique personality. In addition to becoming a force on the glass down low, Harrellson has embraced the nickname “Jorts,” given to him because he famously wore jean shorts on his campus recruiting visit. The denim legend has a chance to enter UK lore if he can somehow slow down Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and make Kentucky so filled with jean shorts, that it looks like Gainesville on a Saturday college football afternoon.
3. Buzz Williams’s final audition: Coach Buzz Williams is absolutely focused on taking Marquette to another Final Four, and to do so, he will have to beat two of the North Carolina, Ohio State, Kentucky trio. But Williams will also be a hot commodity when the season ends, as he is likely to be pursued by all of the job openings left in college basketball. Marquette is not the most attractive BCS-level job and Williams will have the opportunity to jump ship if he so chooses. Either way, a number of college Athletic Directors will be watching his Golden Eagles play, waiting for a loss and a chance to call his cell phone for a quick inquiry.
4. Harrison Barnes lives up to the hype: Thanks in large part to the success of freshman John Wall last season, many in the national media felt the need to crown North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes national preseason player of the year before he had even played a game in Chapel Hill. Early in the year, Barnes did not live up the hype, causing some painful growth and verbal reprimands to the press by coach Roy Williams. But as the year has gone on, Barnes has hit his stride and looks an awful lot like the number one player in America he was coming out of high school. A run to the Final Four and the Harrison Barnes redemption story will be told far and wide, likely followed up with a top 5 pick this spring in the NBA Draft.
5. Duke goes for the repeat: Only two teams have gone back to back in the NCAA tournament in the last 35 years and both were considered some of the best in the history of college basketball. This year's Duke team has the chance to replicate the accomplishment, but do so in a different manner than the two prior winners. Both the 1992 Duke and 2007 Florida teams were dominant from start to finish, but this year's Duke team has been a notch below Ohio State and Kansas all season. They escaped against Michigan on Sunday and now are four games away from college basketball immortality...even if many of us aren't sure that they are all that good.
6. Arizona announces it is back: It hasn't been that long since Arizona was the dominant college basketball power on the west coast. But then came the rise of UCLA, the decline of the Lute Olson era, Kevin O'Neill and all of a sudden, Arizona basketball became somewhat of an afterthought. Well regardless of what happens in the Sweet 16 versus Duke, the Wildcats' program under Sean Miller has proven that it is once again a power. Derrick Williams has made some of the most athletic plays of the tournament and Arizona has won two hard-fought battles over Memphis and Texas. With a strong recruiting class coming next season, Arizona basketball is back regardless of if they beat Duke. but if they sneak up and knock out the Blue Devils, well Arizona will announce that it is a top ten program once again, this time to stay.
7. Kemba Walker's time: There isn't much left for Kemba Walker to accomplish at Connecticut. He has had an amazing season and his run in the Big East tournament ensures that he will be remembered forever around the Huskies' program. But he is two wins away from taking his UCONN team to a Final Four, completing a postseason that will have few equals in recent history. His ability to score and will wins at the end of games is unbelievable to watch and Walker now must do it as an underdog two more times to reach his ultimate goal. In a year where the stars have come out, Kemba still has the chance to be the biggest one yet, with two games in Anaheim to tell the tale.
8. Steve Fisher's redemption: Everyone thinks Steve Fisher is a bad coach. Regardless of his amazing tournament run to the title in 1989 and his time spent overseeing the Fab Five, the reality is that media and most college basketball fans think Fisher is synonymous with "good recruiter/bad coach." But San Diego State has had a tremendous season in a tough conference and now has a chance to prove its mettle versus arguably one of the two best players in the game (Kemba Walker) and the defending national champions (Duke) over the next five days. Win both of those games and Fisher may not quiet the critics, but they will have much less ammunition than they would prefer.
9. Learn about the Morris twins: Coming out of high school, most figured the Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, to be super talented, but likely headed for a substantial amount of trouble during their time at Kansas. That opinion was bolstered by a stupid moment from Markieff, as he shot a BB gun out of a dorm window and ended up arrested on a battery charge. But since then, the Morris twins have gotten better on and off the basketball court and are the leaders of a Kansas team with a legitimate chance to win a title. Both players are forces on the glass and can score, making them not only a great brother tandem, but a matchup nightmare. In a relatively open bracket, it should be easy pickings for the brothers Morris.
10. Richmond tries to keep going: Every year a team comes from out of the first weekend as a big underdog, heads into the second weekend with lots of press and excitement, only to fall in their Sweet 16 game to a stronger opponent. Last year that team was Cornell from the Ivy League and this year it is the familiar NCAA tournament success story, the Richmond Spiders. Unlike past heroes of the little guy, Richmond is from a near-major conference (Atlantic 10) and counts some good athletes and one great player, Kevin Anderson. Richmond plays great defense and has the ability to beat anyone in the tournament...except perhaps Kansas, who creates matchup nightmares for the Spiders. This is the spot where teams like Richmond exit stage left. We shall see if the Spiders will follow the script.
11. Could VCU be great?: No team had a better first weekend than VCU. Who would have ever imagined that the Colonial team would put absolute smackdowns on USC, Georgetown and Purdue, all three in games that were never really all that close. VCU coach Shaka Smart has become the hottest name in the coaching community and our CBSSports.com writer Gregg Doyel suggested that they might be the most impressive team so far in the tournament. VCU plays a straightforward offensive style, in which every player can score and all on the court have a variety of skills. It makes them tough to prepare for in a given game and nearly impossible to defend when clicking. It is tough to see VCU coming out of this bracket and beating Kansas, but making the Elite Eight and giving the Jayhawks a good game? I would call it likely.
12. Florida State goes for respect: Every year there is one team like Florida State that makes the Sweet 16. Usually they are from a power conference, were average all year, often underachieving, and then they get the perfect draw and make a run to the tournament's second weekend. The Seminoles were blessed by getting to play the decidedly unathletic and overseeded, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and are now onto play America's new fascination, VCU. When healthy, Chris Singleton is the type of player that can lead FSU over anyone and there will be no team they will see that they can't match up with athletically. But FSU has always been a team that skeptics dismiss and Leonard Hamilton is a coach that usually brings out the eye rolls from those in the college basketball community. This weekend could change that.
13. Brad Stevens tries to do it again: Butler's move to the championship game last year was remarkable and a testament to the ability of Brad Stevens and a great group of Butler players, led by Gordon Hayward. But this Butler team's set of last-second wins last weekend may have even been more impressive. While Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are both playing well, there was a time this year that Butler was completely in turmoil, losing to lower level Horizon League teams and looking like a fragment of the team that was a half court shot from cutting down the nets. But Stevens never gave up, the team got better and now two one point wins have put the Bulldogs two victories from the Final Four. The Southeast bracket is wide open and there is no reason that Stevens cannot make magic again.
14. Jordan Taylor will impress: Jordan Taylor is a phenomenon to watch. While he plays on a painfully boring team that at times can suck the life out of any room it is in, he is an explosive scorer that also has the ability to get his teammates involved and control a game. Taylor will get overshadowed this weekend by Jimmer, Kemba and the rest, but he is as good a player as they are and at the top of his game, potentially a better NBA prospect. Wisconsin is prime to sneak in under the radar and make a trip to the Final Four, because they play great defense and are a style contrast for most teams. Bo Ryan can get it done with this group, but it will be Jordan Taylor who makes it happen.
15. Jimmer: He is the biggest star in college basketball and has become a sports figure so well known, that he can be called only by his first name. Jimmer Fredette draws the highest ratings of the NCAA tournament and is everyone's second favorite player in the nation. But what he doesn't have is a Final Four, an accomplishment that will make him an all-timer in the sport. Florida is a team that BYU beat last year and the Cougars might be favored against either Wisconsin or Butler. Jimmer can do it and if he does, he will become the Tim Tebow of college basketball. All it takes is two more wins.
16. The under-appreciated Gators: Florida is playing its best basketball of the season and is one of only a few teams left in the tournament that has a scoring threat at every position. This Florida team has generally been overlooked all season and was thought by most to be way overseeded in the No. 2 spot in the Southeast region. But the Gators played two great games in Tampa and come to New Orleans with the most open bracket in the field and are the odds-on favorite to advance. Billy Donovan is extremely overlooked as a coach...three national title games in 11 years and a chance to go to a fourth Final Four this year. Get that done and he has to be considered one of the five best coaches in the game, a group he is rarely placed into.