Tag:North Carolina
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 12, 2012 2:08 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:16 pm

Video: Parrish gabs Syracuse and Kentucky

Gary Parrish isn't ready to declare Syracuse the best team in the country. As for Kentucky, he takes UK over UNC -- something that wasn't the case in the preseason. Parrish went on Tim Brando's radio show this morning to discuss three of the country's top teams.

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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.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:06 am

Podcast: Full-fledged Louisvile-Kentucky preview

By Matt Norlander

On Saturday at noon on CBS, one of college basketball's best rivalries -- some, including today's guest, say it's the best -- will be renewed when Louisville heads into Rupp Arena to face Kentucky. Plenty aren't giving U of L much of a chance. Is that fair? Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones joins me to discuss how this week has been down in the Bluegrass State.

Jones, a former writer here at the blog, is based out of Louisville and has become the fan's voice for UK hoops. We did some podcast collaboration last season, and with this big game upcoming, it felt right to wrap up 2011 by getting him back on. Good news Louisville fans: he doesn't totally mock you or your team! Surprising how reserved he was, in fact.

We resolve to discuss:
  • From the beginning: Jones did used to write for the blog, so we get reacquainted to start things off, then talk about how much Kentucky fans hate Goodman and Parrish.
  • 6:01: It's pretty fair to say Kentucky is not playing as completely as it could be. Why is that? How are the fans reacting to this season so far? They seem balanced, surprisingly.
  • 10:50: What's up with Terrence Jones?
  • 14:39: Talking U of L-UK, and so much of it is Pitino vs. Calipari. The two purely hate each other. Jones offers up some anecdotes.
  • 18:00: Normally, the UK players get up for this game, but it's not something that consumes them. This year, that doesn't seem to be the case.
  • 23:58: Talking national hoops with Jones. There's a group of 11 he sees as the most likely to make the Final Four. Beyond that, it's a big drop-off in terms of New Orleans expectations.
  • 29:52: Wrapping it up with some NYE talk and the Duke-UNC/UK-Louisville rivalry comparison.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:18 pm

Podcast: Year in Review, Part Two

By Matt Norlander

It's part two of our look-back on college hops in 2011. But before Gary Parrish, Jeff Goodman and myself get to talk about the memories, events and games that shaped the best of the sport this year, the big boys address, for the first time on the podcast, the Todd O'Brien situation at St. Joseph's. It's a story that continues to have legs and is in need of answers.

After that, it's the retrospective, followed by some holiday thoughts, memories, and cheer. Get some hot chocolate, throw a log on the fire and enjoy.

What to hear where:
  • From the beginning: Giving Goodman and Parrish the floor to discuss and share their opinions on the Todd O'Brien/St. Joe's situation.
  • 11:20: Parrish's five favorite memories of 2011. Yes, the aircraft carrier is mentioned. Yes, him getting lost on the way to the aircraft carrier is mentioned.
  • 16:40: Goodman's list, which includes the mandatory memory of joining us "idiots at CBS." Tears here.
  • 20:31: I listed off three of my five Monday, and so the final two are here. The Vanzant one has really stayed with me.
  • 24:04: Apologize for some navel-gazing here, but I needed to point out Goodman coming aboard, Parrish actively pursuing it, and how rare that can be in this industry under the circumstances it happened.
  • 27:37: The podcast gets a bow on it with Hannukah and Christmas chatter. What can I say, I can't get enough of it, and Goodman's stories of the Festival of Lights are worth sharing.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.

Get CBSSports.com College Basketball updates on Facebook   

Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 2:16 pm

UK vs. UNC lives up to all the hype -- and more

By Jeff Goodman

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Almost always, these games don't live up to the billing. This didn't -- it exceeded expectations.

It has been hyped all offseason as the No. 1 vs. No. 2. As it turned out, North Carolina came into the game fifth in the nation -- after a road loss to UNLV -- and it was Kentucky that entered with the top billing.

But it didn't matter.

The game was electric from the tip. Kentucky punched North Carolina in the mouth, taking a quick 9-2 lead. However, the Tar Heels responded and wound up taking a 43-38 lead into the break.

However, North Carolina also went into halftime with three fouls on star forward Harrison Barnes - who picked up his third with a little more than six minutes in the first half.

Then it was Doron Lamb who backed up his words in the second half.

Lamb, who less than 24 hours prior said that his team was more talented and the backcourt clearly had superior talent to UNCm had a couple of huge drives midway through the half - and then buried two mammoth 3-pointers to give Kentucky control.

North Carolina, after a missed free throw by Kentucky freshman Marquis Teague with 20 seconds left, had a chance to win the game on the final possession.

The play was designed to go in the post to Tyler Zeller, but ultimately ball wound up in John Henson's hands - who shot what appeared to be an uncontested 12-footer from the right side. Then the only guy in the country who could block Henson's shot, Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis, did just that to seal the win.

Kentucky 73, North Carolina 72.

I'm not sure I've seen a more riveting December game. Two teams loaded with pros -- in a crazy setting at Rupp Arena.

It was so entertaining, I want to see it again.

Maybe April 2.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: December 2, 2011 4:48 pm

Kentucky's Lamb says 'Cats are more talented

By Jeff Goodman

LEXINGTON, Ky. - John Calipari delivered the message - over and over - about North Carolina's experience while Terrence Jones kept a stone-face while attempting to convey that this was just another game. Senior Darius Miller said all the correct things. 

Doron Lamb. 

He told the truth. No filter. No BS. 

"I think we're more talented offensively and defensively," Lamb said less than 24 hours before top-ranked Kentucky welcomes North Carolina to Rupp Arena.

And what about the two backcourts, Doron?  How do you think they stack up against one another?

"I think we're way more talented," he said. 

I wonder if Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland will get a look-see at those comments when they arrive in Lexington. 

Unlike Jones and even Miller to an extent - who both downplayed the significance of this game - Lamb spoke the truth. To be honest, it's refreshing.

"It's a big game for us," Lamb said. "We want to try and keep our No. 1 spot." 

This was supposed to be a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2. UNLV ruined that when the Running Rebels pulled the upset over North Carolina a week or so ago in Vegas. Now the Tar Heels enter the contest at No. 5 in the country, but the numbers don't matter. 

"You want games like this because they help you learn about your team," Calipari said. 

Calipari is all about spin, but that's not spin. 

No one is really going to care about who won this game if these two teams meet again in April 2 in New Orleans -- as many anticipate to be the case. Both teams will likely be No. 1 seeds entering the NCAA tournament come March and these two clubs will have a different look to them in four months time. 

This game is about figuring out your team's deficiencies and trying to correct - or at least - soften them. For North Carolina, it'll be whether they are able to defend and match Kentucky's toughness - among other things. For Kentucky, it'll be whether Marquis Teague can play with poise - and whether Terrence Jones truly is a different player from a year ago -- also among other things. 

Calipari and Roy Williams won't commit to continuing this series, using their league slate and other non-conference matchups as an excuse to halt the matchup. So this could be it for a while - so we need to enjoy it. 

"The moment I saw it on the schedule, I started looking forward to this game," Lamb said. "Everybody's been talking about it." 

Lamb and just about every diehard college hoops fan. You've got no shortage of potential lottery picks -- Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for Kentucky and Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller with North Carolina - in addition to plenty of others with NBA futures. It'll take place in arguably the most electric environment in college basketball: Rupp Arena. 

It won't be a methodical affair as was the case in the previous game for both teams, when North Carolina had to grind one out against Wisconsin and Kentucky was forced to watch St. John's milk the clock in an effort to stay in the game. 

Williams and Calipari have athletes - and they let them go. 

This should be terrific. 

Any predictions, Doron?

"We win," he said with a smile. "And leave the arena by 3 p.m.. -- and then I enjoy my day off Sunday."  

Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 4:32 pm

Kentucky vs. UNC: A complete breakdown

By Jeff Borzello

It’s not No. 1 vs. No. 2, but it still features about 10 first-round picks and is certainly the “Game of the Year.” Of course, we’re talking about North Carolina vs. Kentucky, the showdown set for high noon in Lexington on Saturday.

North Carolina entered the season atop the polls, but a 10-point loss at UNLV dropped the Tar Heels back a bit. They haven’t played to their potential just yet, but there’s still plenty of time – starting Saturday. On the other side, Kentucky has looked every bit as talented as everyone thought they would be heading into the year. The Wildcats’ best win is over Kansas, but they could really send a message against UNC on Saturday.

With all the talent on stage, let’s go position-by-position.

POINT GUARD: Kendall Marshall vs. Marquis Teague

Two completely different point guards, both extremely talented in their own right. Marshall ranks second in the country in assists, notching at least 14 assists in three different games. The lefty doesn’t push the ball like a classic UNC point guard, but he moves the ball in transition with the pass. Teague is very quick and athletic, but he’s still adjusting to life as a college point guard. He has been taking care of the ball far better lately, but he can still improve his decision-making. EDGE: North Carolina

SHOOTING GUARD: Dexter Strickland vs. Doron Lamb

The two least-touted in the starting lineups, both play a key role nonetheless. Strickland is a very good defender who uses his length and athleticism to be effective in transition. He’s also the de facto backup point guard when Marshall goes to the bench. Lamb is one of the best 3-point shooters in the SEC, knocking down 48 percent of his outside shots this season. He’s also a solid distributor and playmaker who can go off the dribble. EDGE: Kentucky

SMALL FORWARD: Harrison Barnes vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Both were No. 1 high school prospects at some point in their career, and actually matched up as top prospects at the NBA Camp in 2009. Barnes has started better this season than he did last year, making a killing in the mid-range and also knocking down outside jumpers. Kidd-Gilchrist is a do-it-all player who makes things happen at both ends of the floor. He’s a very good defender who uses his strength go get to the rim as well. EDGE: North Carolina

POWER FORWARD: Tyler Zeller vs. Terrence Jones

An interesting contrast of players. Zeller is a back-to-the-basket scorer who has a variety of post moves and gets to the free-throw line on a consistent basis. He’s been up and down this year, not surpassing 12 points or seven boards in his last four games. Jones is playing some of the best basketball in the country, looking like a matchup nightmare for nearly every opponent. The lefty is excellent around the rim and in transition, but also has the ability to step out and knock down a three. EDGE: Kentucky

CENTER: John Henson vs. Anthony Davis

This is going to be fun. Two of the most athletic, longest big men in the country will go head-to-head with someone who can match up evenly. Henson is a tremendous shot-blocker, and is also a double-double threat every night out. He’s improved his offensive ability this season. Davis is the best freshman in the country and the sure-fire No. 1 pick for the NBA Draft. He’s an unbelievable shot-blocker as well, and uses his athleticism to make things difficult for opponents. He’s also excellent in transition, running the floor extremely well. EDGE: Kentucky


Both teams have impact players coming off the pine. North Carolina uses future lottery pick James McAdoo on the inside. He’s athletic and can score in different ways. Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston are knockdown shooters with athleticism, although Hairston might miss the game with a sprained wrist. On the other side, Kentucky has experienced forward Darius Miller leading the way. He’s a former starter and can do a little of everything. Kyle Wiltjer is an inside-outside threat, while Eloy Vargas gives post minutes. EDGE: North Carolina (if Hairston plays)


North Carolina:

  • Putting Strickland on Teague – Marshall won’t be able to keep up with Teague, but Stickland is quicker and more athletic
  • Containing Jones – Zeller might not be able to guard Jones when he goes off the bounce, but can’t let Jones dominate
  • Perimeter shots – Kentucky has plenty of trees around the rim, but the Tar Heels need to open up the defense by knocking down 3-pointers


  • Second chances – North Carolina is susceptible to offensive rebounds, while Kentucky has the athletes to get points off put-backs
  • Taking advantage of matchups – It remains to be seen if UNC can keep up with Kentucky in transition; the Wildcats need to push it
  • Perimeter shots – Like UK, North Carolina has shot-blockers at the rim. The Tar Heels don’t guard the 3-point line that effectively, though


There is going to be a ridiculous display of talent and athleticism on the floor come Saturday in Rupp Arena. There are interesting personnel matchups across the floor, as well as stars coming off the bench. John Calipari has his troops humming right now, while Roy Williams is still working out some of the kinks. Expect plenty of transition baskets and fast-break dunks. In the end, I think the home-court advantage could be enough for Kentucky – the Wildcats will continue to hit their stride.

Photos: US Presswire

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